Thursday, October 23, 2008

quick grocery store dinner ideas? challenge

Hey gals, I was inspired by Jennifer's Grocery Store Tomato soup dinner idea, to ask, what is your favorite throw it together from pre-made ingredients dinner? Tonight I made some yummy pasta from Costco.

It was a seasonal butternut squash ravioli (SO GOOD)mixed with a couple of tablespoons of the Kirkland Pesto sauce....I threw in a couple of chicken breasts, sliced up and browned in a skillet. I LOVE a dinner that comes together in 10 minutes! It was another case of getting sucked into what they were sampling the day I was tasty.

I also love their rotisserie chickens ($4.99) and one of the bags of salad (or the yummy spinach salad in the delicase, but it's more spendy) Drive home, and pretend you slaved for hours over a rotisserie :)

What are your favorites?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Swiss Steak

My mom made this meal a lot when we were kids and I now know why. It is so easy to make and my family all loves it, like we did when I was a kid. It took me 15 minutes to get it in the oven today and 2 hours later, dinner was ready.

Family pack of Top Round Steaks (thin cut is the best)
Carrots, Onion, Potatoes
Salt & Pepper

Lightly flour, salt & pepper trimmed meat, pound it flat and lightly brown in oil.
Put meat in a skillet with cut carrots, onion slices, quartered potatoes. (It doesn't call for any tomato sauce but I added 3 or 4 spoonfuls of marinara tonight and it was so good)
Cover, cook 2 hours at 300 degrees. The meat falls apart easily.
Add bread and you are ready for dinner!

Pumpkin Seeds

I decided to finally post some recipes we love. I have the seeds cooking in my oven right now and that smell brings so many great childhood memories. My daughter helped make them this year...sharing the tradition my mom started.

1 1/2 T melted butter
2 c rinsed pumpkin seeds
1/2 t. worchestershire sauce
1 1/4 t. salt

Blend. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours until seeds are crisp, dry & golden brown.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Three Ingredient Supermarket Soup

This is another easy Trader Joe's find. I went grocery shopping today and this was up for tasters.

1 box creamy tomato soup
sweet Italian chicken sausage (comes in a pack of 6 links) just remove from casing
use your judgement on how many
Parmesan cheese or shredded Italian cheese blend

brown sausage in saucepan until cooked
pour box of soup into pan and scrape up bits on bottom to get the good browned flavors
ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

that's it! I know, its easy, and my kids liked it. This time of year we east a lot of tomato soup and lunch time food can get a little boring. I also though it would be good to add in some cooked pasta.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Orange Julious

I made this last night for some girlies with sore throats. It was really yummy. I think it's even better than the original. I used 1 T. less sugar and I think next time I will try even less. It's plenty sweet.

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
8-10 ice cubes.

blend in blender. Serves 4

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Dip

Can you handle any more pumpkin right now? Here's a yummy dip. When I first heard what was in it I wasn't so sure, but I really like it!

3/4 cup soft cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Blend together and serve with fruit.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

roasted balsamic vegetables with penne

Okay Julie, here you go.... It's not that I don't want to share, I'm just slow at this. Don't be turned off by the long list of ingredients, it's just cutting up a bunch of vegetables. The goat cheese mixed with warm roasted veggies is creamy and delicious!

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices

2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices (about 6 oz.) I find grape tomatoes work too

1 eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 c.)

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch-wide slivers

4tbs. chopped basil, divided

4tbs. balsamic vinegar, divided

1tbs. Extra Virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

8oz. penne

2tbs. sour cream

1tbs goat cheese ( I always use more cheese!)

Preheat oven to 500

In a medium bowl, add zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, onion, bell pepper, 2tbs basil, 2tbs vinegar, oil salt, pepper and toss.

place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for 15-20 min until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife and just beginning to brown.

Cook pasta. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add sour cream, vegetables, 2tbs basil, 2tbs vinegar, and toss to combine.

Serve pasta and crumble goat cheese over the top

note* the recipe says to reserve 1/2C of the roasted veg. for another use another day ( put on baguette bread with cream cheese) I think it's fine to add all the vegetables to the pasta.

note* last time I made this I mixed in browned sausage, it was good!

Holiday Fun

My kids and I are going to be home all weekend while my hubby is out of town. We were supposed to go with but kids have been sick all week :( I am wondering if anyone has any fun dinner ideas to help keep the kids spirits up. I have a recipe for "sleeping cannelloni" where the pasta is the sleeping bags, the heads are mushrooms with olives for eyes and the hair is parmesan but I am looking for something new and creative. Can anyone help? Thanks Amber

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

I made these for dinner last night. Couldn't even taste the onions!!! Callie and Asher loved getting the rings of onions apart so even your kids could help make these. We froze a ton for someother day after lunch today. I got this from my slow cooker cookbook.

2 onions, sliced
4-5 pound pork roast
5-6 whole cloves
2 C water

1 large onion, chopped (I skipped this one, too many onions already)
16-oz bottle barbecue sauce

Put half of sliced onions in bottom of slow cooker. Add meat, cloves, and water. Cover with remaining sliced onions. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours (I cooked it on high for 5 hours instead). Remove bone from meat. Cut up meat. Drain liquid. Return meat to slow cooker. Add chopped onion (if using) and barbecue sauce. Cover. Cook on high for 1-3 hours, or low for 4-8 hours, stirring two or three times. Serve on buns.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I'm so excited that I acually made myself sit down and post a recipe! I've been thinking about doing this ever since it started. This is a yummy recipe from the Rachel Ray magazine Feb. 07 issue. It's a really easy, warm fall meal. I usually serve it with a green vegetable.

serves 4
Prep Time 20 min
cook time 1 hr

2 acorn squash
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper
1/2 C couscous ( I make 1 cup dry couscous and use it all, I think it could use more than 1/2 c cooked)
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3/4 pound ground beef ( I use 1 full lb.)
1/2 C chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 C dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the squash in half crosswise and scoop out the pulp and seeds. trim the ends so each half will stand upright. Place both halves in a baking pan, flesh side up, and pour hot water into the pan to reach about half way up the squash. Add 1/2 tbs. butter to the center of each squash and season with salt and pepper. Bake the squash until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 min to an hour.
2. Prepare the couscous according to the package directions and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium -high heat . Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 min. push the onion aside, add the meat, season with salt and pepper and cook through, about 5 min. Stir in the walnuts, cranberries and couscous; season with salt and pepper if needed.
3. remove the squash from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully transfer each half to a plate. Divide the couscous among the squash.

And the winners are...

Time's up as of yesterday at 11:59pm! Wow, this was a close one, ladies! ;)

I think this contest was a success! We have had 4 new authors sign up...2 of which really went for it!

New author winner is LYNNE P. with 26 new recipes ( i counted off the post list not the labels)! Close behind, was Amber W with 23 new recipes!!

Old author winner is Miss LeeAnn with 12 new recipes!!

Way to go girls!! Your prize is a 15 dollar gift card to the store of your choice. Starbucks? Target? You let me me or comment....

Keep posting girls! I've been loving your ideas.

Beef and Bean Burritos

I had these last night for dinner. I only made half the recipe and ended up still freezing about 8 burritos for later! Good idea for those of you having babies.

1/4 C oil
2 onions, chopped
4 lbs. ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz can tomato sauce
62 oz can refried beans
24 10-inch flour tortillas

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook onions until tender. Add ground beef and garlic; cook until browned. Drain; add seasonings and mix well. Stir in sauce; simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans; cook and stir until well blended/ Cool slightly. Spread mixture down centers of tortillas; roll up burrito style and arrange seam-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and serve immediately, or cool and freexe on baking sheet. When frozen, wrap individually or in pairs and store in plastic zipping freezer bags. Makes 2 dozen!!!

Heat and Eat Instructions:
Thaw desired number of burritos. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.