Sunday, May 30, 2010

corny chicken wraps

Recipe from Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook.

2 cups cooked, cubed chicken (I used 3 small chicken breasts)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 c salsa
1 c shredded cheese
8 flour tortillas

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken, corn, salsa and cook over med heat until warmed through.

Sprinkle cheese on tortillas, place about 1/2 c chicken mixture down center.  Roll and serve.

In order to stay within my budget I made the tortillas.  They definitely taste better than any store-bought tortilla I've ever had, maybe even better than any tortilla I've ever had.  Because I have to cook them one at a time they seem a little labor intensive, but they're really not that bad.  And they make Travis really happy.  (Maybe I should use my griddle...)

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp shorting, such as Crisco
3/4 c warm water

Mix ingredients. 
 Finish by kneading dough into one smooth ball. 
Pinch off pieces (I made 5 large tortillas for this supper) and roll dough out - the thinner the better. 
Place in heated, ungreased skillet over med high heat. 
When the tortilla begins to bubble flip it.

Thoughts:  These were simple and okay.  They'd be good for a "bare cupboard meal" since I almost always have corn, salsa and chicken on hand.

my menu for the week

monday morning I sat down with some cookbooks and decided our dinners for the week.  my grocery list was then based off the menu.

monday:  grilled chicken breast, baked potato, salad 
tuesday:  spaghetti with meatballs
wednesday:  corny chicken wraps
thursday:  pancakes and sausage
friday:  black bean burgers with chips and hummus

we got through wednesday and then my wonderful father in law arrived to stay through the weekend and help on the house.  I couldn't serve him pancakes, and I definitely couldn't serve him meatless burgers.  so instead we grilled out pork chops on thursday, went to firehouse pizza on friday and I learned that I need to think about WHO I'm feeding when I'm doing my meal planning.  as in, while I can force my husband to eat anything he may be skeptical about (and, to his credit, he does and usually likes it), I need to be a good hostess.  especially to a kind man who has taken off 2 days of work to help hang siding.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

spaghettil with (the best ever) meatballs

seriously, this was sooooo good!

meatballsthis recipe.  I didn't have italian seasoning so I used a little bit of italian dressing.  I also followed a suggestion and used an egg in place of the milk.  I've never really cared for meatballs - at least any of the meatballs I've ever tasted, but since I'm tired of meat sauce I decided to try something new. 
these were AMAZING!!!!

pasta:  whole wheat, cooked according to package.

red sauce:  my recipe: 
few glugs of olive oil in pan, add 1 heaping Tbsp of minced garlic.
to that add:
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
stir well.
season to taste with:
brown sugar (about 1 Tbsp)
basil (about 2 tsp)
oregano (about 1 Tbsp)
 few dashes of salt, pepper, red pepper
honestly, I measure nothing and I never have.  I just dump, stir, let it sit and then taste it.  I then add more of whatever is needed. 

make this again!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

grilled chicken breast

don't heat the house - make your hubby grill on the hottest day of spring.

chicken breast:  seasoned with salt, pepper, and italian dressing, expertly grilled by dh.

side:  baked potato, topped with cottage cheese, pepper and green onion

salad:  fresh from the garden, seasoned to taste

the best part of the dinner for me was the apple and gorgonzola cheese on the salad.  yum. 
second best, not having to wash a bunch of dishes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

cheddar chicken spirals

a good casserole, also from the Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook.

cheddar chicken spirals:

1 1/2 C spiral pasta, cooked according to package
1/2 C mayo
1/3 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 C frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 1/2 C cubed, cooked chicken
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided

mix mayo, milk, salt and basil in a large bowl. 
stir in 1 c cheese. 
add cooked chicken and veggies. 
drain pasta, then stir it into the bowl.

transfer to greased 1 1/2 qt. microwave safe dish.
sprinkle with remaining cheese.
cover and microwave on high for 4-5 mins.
let stand 5 mins before serving.

I doubled almost everything in this recipe, using a whole box of pasta, 3 chicken breasts and 2 packages of frozen veggies.  it was awesome.  I will be making this again, many times.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

spinach ravioli bake

from the Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook.

dinner was good and simple.

lettuce salad:  again, from the garden!  woo-hoo!

side:  cottage cheese for extra protien

spinach ravioli bake:
2 C spaghetti sauce
1 pkg frozen ravioli
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 C grated parm cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a shallow 2 qt baking dish.
Coat bottom with sauce.
Top with ravioli, then mozzarella, then spinach, then parm.
Repeat layers.

Bake, uncovered, for 40-45mins.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Travis and I both really liked this dish, although I think I'll use a little less spinach next time.  This dish was pretty cheap:  $1 bag of Kroger chopped spinach, my homemade sauce (it costs about $1.15 to make), cheese for $1.50 and the ravioli for $3.50ish.  So that's about $2 a serving.
Also, Bonnie, next time you make this thin out your sauce a little bit so it goes farther!

Monday, May 17, 2010

pasta with bacon and cauliflower

You will note that the main dish here is not very healthy, but seeing how it tasted like bacon, it was very yummy.

Pasta:  whole wheat spaghetti, cooked according to the box.  half a package of bacon (the other half was used in this breakfast casserole last week - super good).  one package of frozen broccoli and cauliflower cooked for 4 mins in the microwave and then finished according to the Real Simple recipe.   I topped it with some parm and shredded Italian cheeses because we don't have pecorino.

Salad:  lettuce fresh from our garden!!!!!  topped with green onions (also from our garden), cheese, and then to the specific likings of each family member.

Side:  cottage cheese topped with green onion and pepper.  we're big protein people and I wanted to be sure Trav was content.

Overall, I liked the pasta more than Trav, though he still liked it.  Lydia also liked it and ate a lot.  The salad was probably the highlight, though, since it was the first time we were able to harvest it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

meatless friday

Tuna melt, lettuce salad, chips and hummus.

Travis and I have decided to go meatless on Fridays according to the old Tradtion of the Church.  We never really remember to sacrifice anything else, but we want to mark the day of Christ's Passion in some way.  We decided that we'd do what the saints did.  Eat tuna every way possible.

Tuna melt:  canned tuna, mayo, mustard, diced green apple, green onion (from the garden!), pepper, and curry powder.  Scooped onto hamburger bun, topped with American cheese and broiled for 5 mins.  (My first time broiling.  The top of the bun got a little burnt, but nothing a good scraping couldn't take care of.)  Served with lettuce and tomato.

Lettuce salad:  simple and seasoned to preference.

Hummus:  Betty's recipe: 
1/4 C lemon juice
1 & 3/4 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp tahini
6 Tbsp chickpea water
1 tsp salt

Drain the chickpeas, reserving the water.
In blender or food processor mix salt, garlic and tahini (make sure you mix the tahini in the jar).
Add chickpeas and water.
Add lemon juice and blend well for smooth texture. Add more water if needed for correct consistency.
Taste for salt and lemon juice.
Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monster Cookies

3 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 C oatmeal
Chocolate chips, MnM's, dried fruit, etc

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat eggs, sugars, butter and vanilla.

Add baking soda, then peanut butter.  Blend well.

Add the oatmeal one cup at a time.

Mix in chocolate chips, etc.  (I usually add 3 handfulls, which is about 3/4 of a bag.)

Drop dough by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 mins.

Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 2-5 mins before cooling completely on rack.

Be warned:  these cookies are absolutely amazing.  It will be beyond your power to just have one.

Chicken Stir Fry

Totally simple and very easy.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cubed, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned.

Meanwhile instant brown rice is steaming.

Two bags of frozen stir fry veggies ($1 a bag when on sale at Kroger) cook in a little bit of veg oil.

Seasoned to taste at the table with soy sauce and parm for me, hot sauce and parm for Trav.  I know, we're weird, we put parm cheese on stir fry.

Also, I decided to use these cheap wine glasses as water goblets at dinner.  Because, why not?  It makes the meal feel special, which I need at the end of a long day in the trenches.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

pork chops, cauliflower and lettuce salad

First time for the pork chops.  Everyone liked them and agreed to make them again.
I thought the cauliflower was perfect; Travis wanted more butter and parm.
Everyone's salad was different, based on personal preferences.

Pork was prepared according to recipe, although I added the sauce while the meat was still cooking.
Cauliflower was frozen, prepared in microwave, and seasoned with 1 Tbsp butter, red pepper, salt, garlic powder and parm cheese - a few dashes of each.
Salad was romaine lettuce with tomato, craisins, gorgonzola cheese, green onion and croutons.  Topped with a raspberry vinaigrette.

post, the first

Here's the thing, I'm not very good at meal planning.  But I love to cook and I love to present the food I've prepared.  I'm not a great chef, and a lot of my meals are very Midwestern, but I'm trying to branch out and challenge myself.  That's a tricky thing to do when you only have $70 a week for groceries and at least $30 of it has to go to diapers and formula.

So I've started this little blog to help me celebrate the dishes I make, and to form a sort of recipe box for myself.  I'll take as many pictures as possible, and include links or recipes for every meal I serve my family.  My hope is that this wee adventure will aid me in goal of planning 5 dinners for every week and adding variety and nutrition to our diets.  (Not that there won't be sweets...)

I called it "the bonnie dinner table" because, well, it's as good as I could get for creative.  And, corny though it may be, I like the play on my name and the adjective "bonnie", meaning "good".  Here's hoping that the vast majority of this food is "good"!

If you have any good meals or recipes please feel free to contact me with them. 
 Now here's a picture that shows two things that are very important in my kitchen - mostly because they make me very happy:  the compost bucket and produce from our garden.  Fresh as fresh. 

Wish me luck, for away we goooooo!