Menu 1-31-10

Meals:

Chicken and Noodles

Pizza

Tater Tot Casserole

Enchiladas

Baked Pasta

Chicken Pot Pie

Leftovers

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Roasted Chickpeas

I have really grown to love chick peas over the past few years – in hummus, tossed on a salad, etc.  I totally love the healthy little beans.  Years ago I never would have looked in their direction.  My how things change!  So, since I always have a can or two in the pantry, I thought I would go ahead and try roasting them for a snack.

I wasn’t sure if Tim would like them, so I cut the recipe in half {below is my halved version}, but I upped the amount of spices used because I love a good kick.

Overall, they were pretty good, but not something that I’ll bother to make frequently because they didn’t knock my socks off.

Roasted Chickpeas

{Source:  adapted from Milk and Honey}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  (16-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4  teaspoon cayenne  
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan {I used a smaller baking sheet since I halved the original recipe}. Bake 35- 45 minutes or until crispy and dry, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

I can’t really think of a better combination of flavors than peanut butter and chocolate.  It is certainly my favorite anyway!  So, not only do these bars have great flavor, the texture is great too.  They are somewhere in between blondies and cake, but leaning more towards blondies.  Yum!

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

{souce: taste of home}

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter – I used crunchy, but would have preferred smooth PB
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips – I used semi-sweet

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.

Beer & Cheese Dip

I decided to make a snack for us to nibble on during a lazy Sunday and decided on this dip that I have seen on a few other blogs.  It was great!  We both like beer a lot so we definitely like finding ways to incorporate it into our food. 🙂

The ranch flavor is quite strong, so I’ll probably reduce the amount used next time.  Overall, this was a nice alternative to my usual cheese dip recipe.

Beer & Cheese Dip

{source: adapted from Vintage Victuals and Milk & Honey}

I cut the recipe below in half.

INGREDIENTS:

  • two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • two 5-ounce jars of Kraft Old English Cheese (or 10 ounces Cheese Whiz)
  • one 1-ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup beer or as much as needed to reach desired consistency
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped – I omitted
  • Pretzels, crackers, chips, carrots, or crusty bread for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the cream cheese and Old English Cheese together in a large bowl for about 40 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Stir in ranch mix. Add beer gradually as you stir, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle your toasted pecans evenly over the surface of the dip. Chill for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Serve with dippers of your choice.

Hearty Beef Stew

I think this could be considered the perfect Sunday night meal during the winter months.  It takes a few hours to cook, so you’ll want to plan ahead, but it is not difficult at all.  A little hands on time is all it takes, and then the oven does the rest of the work.

I served the stew with Red Lobster biscuits.

Hearty Beef Stew
{source:  adapted from America’s Test Kitchen seen at Good Things Catered}

Ingredients:

3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes {I used approx. 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat}

salt and ground pepper

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped coarse

2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4 inch thick

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 c. dry red wine

1.5 c. low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 tsp ground dried thyme

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes

3 or 4 large carrots , peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick

1 c. frozen peas  {I omitted}

1/4 c. minced parsley {I omitted}

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
-Dry beef thoroughly and season generously with salt and pepper.
-Heat 1 Tbsp oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat.
-Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 min)
-Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional min.)
-Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 Tbsp oil to pan if needed, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.
-Reduce heat to medium and add additional 1 Tbsp oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom.
-Add onions, celery, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 mins).
-Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 sec.
-stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 min.)
-Add wine, scraping the bottom and stiring until thick and flour is dissolved.
-Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan.
-Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer.
-Add beef, return to simmer, and place the pot in the oven.
-Cook for 1 hour.
-Add potatoes and carrots cover and return to the oven to cook for additional hour.
-Remove the pot from oven (here you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
-Add the peas, cover and allow to stand for 5 min.
-Stir in the parsley, discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Menu 1-24-10

Meals:

Foil Pack Taco chicken with potatoes

Swedish Meatballs with noodles

Baked Pineapple Chicken with rice

Buffalo Chicken Fingers with oven fries and a veggie

Beef Quesadillas

Leftovers

I will possibly try to make Cabonara again since it flopped last time??

Citrus Pound Cake

This sweet cake is a delicious treat for any time of day!  For breakfast, an afternoon snack, or dessert – a small slice is perfect! If you like pound cake you will love this recipe.  It is super moist and buttery.

The glaze is optional but does make it extra special.  I mainly used it because the cake stuck to the pan a little and I wanted to hide the spots. 😉  So whatever you do, grease that pan like you mean business!

As an alternative to the glaze, a raspberry or strawberry syrup or sliced fresh fruit would also be great.

Citrus Pound Cake

{Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman}

Ingredients
  • 3 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 whole eggs at room temp.
  • zest from 1 or 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 teaspoons lemon flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sprite, 7-UP, Or Sierra Mist
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter with electric mixer.

Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add the zest, vanilla, butter, and lemon extracts and mix well.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add soft drink, then mix together until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into a well greased Bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake is golden brown and no longer jiggly.

Remove cake from oven, allow to cool in pan briefly and then invert pan on a plate until cake drops out.  Slice and chow down!

Glaze

1/2 to 1 cup of powdered sugar

juice of 1/2 a lemon {about 3 tablespoons}

Stir together until you achieve the right consistency.  Drizzle over the cooled cake.  You can substitute water or milk in place of lemon juice.

Enjoy!

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