Friday, February 13, 2009

Herb french fries

These are an oven baked french fry. You can use any old tater you would like. I just happen to have Yukon gold on hand.

Herb "french fries":
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425
Wash taters and cut into pieces about 1/2 inch wide and the entire length of the potato (like a french fry). Place oil on the baking sheet. Add potatoes and coat with oil. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated. Place in oven. Check after 10 minutes. Remember: you are cooking on a high heat. You don't want to burn these taters. Once crispy on one side, turn and cook until golden brown. For a little extra yumminess, I add a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese during the last five minutes. Delicious. If you are going to do this, you may want to go a little light with the salt. Parmesan tends to be a little salty.

Pizza Burgers on garlic toast

This is an original recipe. Well, I mean, how difficult is it to really make a burger? I only put that disclaimer because I don't really measure anything when I cook. So, if I say use 4 cloves of garlic and you think that might be too much: reduce it!! I happen to love garlic and onion. Yum!

Pizza Burgers:
2 lbs ground turkey
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon oregano*
1/2 teaspoon basil*
3 tablespoons tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Be careful not to over mix it. This will cause the meat to become chewy. Form into patties and cook in a skillet over med-low heat. I put it on a lower heat because it is poultry and I wanted to make sure that it would cook through without burning the outside.

Tomato Basil Sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes (not sure on the ounces, I just know it isn't the big can)
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
remainder of tomato paste from burgers
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock or broth

I put the tomatoes into a food processor to chop them up a little bit. I didn't want my sauce to be chunky. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of oil, onions, bay leave and garlic. Saute just until onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients. Combine very well. Bring to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes more on medium and the reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally

Garlic toast:
french bread
4 tablespoons margarine or butter (covered 6 large pieces of bread)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

Melt the butter. Add the garlic powder and salt to taste. Use a pastry brush to spread on the bread. Toast in the oven at 350 just until crispy.

Place the burger on a slice of garlic toast. Top with sauce and a little mozzarella cheese, if you would like. Place another slice of garlic toast on top.

Enjoy!!!

* When using dry herbs, crush them in the palm of your hands. It helps to release more of the flavor. You could also use fresh herbs here but you will need a larger quantity. I don't really use a lot of fresh herbs, so if I had to guess I would say bump it up to at least a tablespoon of each chopped. It's just a guess though.

Fiesta Chicken Tacos

I found the original recipe at Joelen's Culinary Adventures. Of course, you know that I had to adapt it a little bit. I'm not one for staying inside the box. I did make the recipe for the cream of chicken soup and I was pretty pleased with it. It is cheap and lower in sodium so that is a huge plus.

Original Recipe:
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Cream of Chicken Soup
(I made this homemade cream of chicken soup to use instead of canned)
1 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa OR Picante Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 can drained and rinsed, black beans
4 boneless chicken breast halves, sliced
Paprika
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
corn tortillas, warmed


MIX soup, salsa, water, corn and beans in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Top with chicken and sprinkle with paprika. Cover.

BAKE at 350°F. for 45 min. or until done. Sprinkle with cheese.

SERVE by slicing chicken and stuffing in warmed corn tortillas.

My adaptation:
I left out the corn. Why make it healthy??
I also seasoned my chicken with salt, pepper and a little bit of cumin. Tasted phenomenal. I also used flour tortillas. I prefer them over the corn. I also added my own toppings: lettuce, tomato, plain yogurt (I know it sounds gross, but it really is a great substitute for sour cream).

Duh

Not only did I post my menu late, but I left off two days. I'm a little special.
Saturday- Chicken fettuccine alfredo with spinach
Sunday- I don't know. Apparently, Little D decided that I really didn't need my menu. It's gone. Sad face. I have the food for next week, but I really don't remember what I planned on making. Hmmmm. Guess I will improvise. It will be very interesting as well because we are planning on putting our tile floor down in the kitchen next week. I guess I will have to make up a couple of days worth of food so that we can reheat it in the microwave on those days. Well, I'm going to print off another menu and try this again. This time I will hide it from that little booger.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday.....a few days late. Sorry!!

Monday- Fiesta Chicken Tacos
Tuesday- Pizza burgers on garlic toast with herb french fries
Wednesday- Spaghetti Casserole
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Vegetarian Nachos

I had originally planned to make Chicken Noodle Soup tonight, but my hubby was very upset about not having pasta. Last month, Tuesday was pasta day. I figured he was tired of that so I changed Tuesday to Italian day. I know. Not much of a difference, but apparently it was too much of a change for him. Hopefully I will get some recipes posted soon. I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the nice weather we had!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Grocery shopping

After my doc appointment yesterday, I decided to torture Little D some more and not return home. We were going to go grocery shopping.
A little background: Before I go shopping, I scope out the stores that have the items I need at the best price. Generally, Aldi has the best prices on everything. There are some things I cannot get there such as black beans or special pastas like fettuccine.
Back to the story.
Schnucks and Shop N Save usually don't have anything I purchase on sale, except for this week and last week. Schnucks is really cranking out the deals. They had their chicken on sale and their cheese. It caused me to go over budget for the week, but I paid great prices. This week they had lettuce and eggs on sale 10 for $10. Sweet. Aldi had a couple of deals: baby carrots $.49 and 3 lbs Red Delicious apples $.99. I bought four bags of carrots and three bags of apples. The carrots will actually keep pretty well for a couple of weeks. The apples aren't too bad in the crisper drawer either.
I decided to buy for two weeks. I know that I will have to probably grab milk and bananas, but that's ok. My grocery budget is $60 a week. I went over last week by $30, but I was under by $15 the week before. I was setting my shopping trip budget at just $90. I couild have set it at $105, but I wanted to challenge myself. I'm a glutton for punishment. I DID IT!!!!!! Well, almost. I was over by two bucks, but that's still good. I think.
Oh!! I made the tilapia last night. My hubby loved it. He was worried about reheating it at work and it getting nasty. He sent me a text from work letting me know that it was great and everyone was jealous. Apparently, my cooking is getting to be popular. LOL. D doesn't actually share. He just makes sure everyone can smel it. Jerk!!!
I'm going to be adventerous and make a lighter version of shrimp scampi in a couple of weeks. I'm crossing my fingers.
I'll leave you with a pic of Little D cheesin for the camera. He has a new fake smile. LOL. I have a few pics from Christmas that I will put up randomly since I didn't do a pic post.
I can't wait to buy a grown up camera AND learn how to use it properly. I'm tired of pictures looking like crud. Sigh. In time. First, I have to figure out what darn camera to get!!! The paint took me two years to pick out so I am figuring it will take me a good three years to decide on a camera.

Friday, February 6, 2009

He has some nerve

Well, my hubby pretty much broke my heart and my spirit today. He told me something that I wasn't quite ready for. He informed me............that I need to go shopping. Say whaaaaaa?????? He instructed me to find two new outfits, head to toe. They can't be just jeans and a t-shirt. I only have three weeks to accomplish this. Blah. He's tired of seeing me in t-shirts and hoodies. He is also tired of seeing the same shirt any time we go out. I don't have an extensive wardrobe. I have no problem with that. I was the nerd in school who actually LIKED wearing the uniform. I love that I wear a uniform for work. It's less stress. I think I will try that argument with D. "I can't buy new "nice" clothes. Hoodies and tees are my uniforms." I don't think it will fly. It's worth a shot. He said he is going to make me go to the mall!!! Can you believe this??? What is wrong with him??? I think he hates me. The thought of the six million panic attacks I will have was enough to nearly send me to tears. Good thing I had some ice cream to comfort me. Mmmmmm. Blue Bunny Personals are so convenient. Don't worry, it was light. I also shared it with Little D, so I didn't end up with much.
The doc visit went well today. He said all of the spots that I had questions about were fine and that I wasn't a crazy neurotic for having him check them. I do have to go back to get my bloodwork. He ordered a full panel which includes a screening of my cholesterol levels. Eek. My dad has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Thanks, Dad! Sheez. This is a fasting test, which doesn't agree with me. I like to eat. The fact that I will HAVE to wait will make me even hungrier I'm sure.
I was browsing around on Etsy and found a bunch of cute things for gifts. I'm not going to post any of the ideas just in case the certain someones read my little bloggy poo.
That's all for now. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!! I will. I have my Fantasy Baseball draft tomorrow. Look out, boys. This year is going to be a lot better!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shucks

I had a mini-stroke this morning. I flipped out because I hear my hubby walk into the bedroom. He has been getting home later so I naturally assumed: D is home. I'm not awake. I'm running late for work!! No, not so. He just got home early. He surprised me with a rose and a coffee for our 2 month wedding anniversary. I somehow managed to smack my face on the coffee cup. I'm a genius!!
He also said that he thinks he is able to give me what I want. Get your minds out of the gutter. He found a place to get laminate, including the stair pieces, for very cheap. I hope we like it. I didn't want carpet, as mentioned in my previous post.
I wanted to share with you my most recent Walgreen's savings tally.
Value of merchandise purchased: 307.81
Actual amount spent: 139.73
I have stock piled enough deodorant, toothpaste, mouth wash and hair product to last us until the end of the year. I have enough peanut butter and dish soap to last at least 4 months. I have enough cereal to last 2 months (we go through a box a week). I also purchased about 2 months worth of diapers for Little D. I'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well poop

No, that wasn't a command. I'm trying not to curse, so I used poop instead of the alternative. My hubby talked to his step-dad today about flooring. My hubby was set on doing the stairs in ceramic. I told him that was dumb. I know, very mature and very eloquent. Me in a nutshell. His step-dad told him ceramic on stairs is difficult to do because the wood flexes and this causes the tiles to crack. D doesn't want to put the laminate on the stairs because the edges are expensive. His step-dad says that hardwood is best for the stairs. Well I want caviar on a tuna fish budget. It would appear that once again I got my hopes up for no darn reason. D thinks we should put down carpet. Hooray. I love carpet. It's so easy to clean especially when certain people don't eat at the table. EVER. I love carpet as much as I love__________________. Oh, there are so many inappropriate things that fit here. Hehehe.
Well, I guess I'm gonna go scope out carpet. Maybe I will just tell D to do it by himself. I don't want to shop any more. Poop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hubba hubba, sorry hubby

I think I have a slight crush. It's a new one. I mean, I still love Ryan Reynolds even though he went and married some chick, but I have a replacement. I have a tendency to be attracted to guys that most ladies aren't. I'm strange, but that is ok. How I discovered my new flame: We recently got rid of our movie package on satellite, so I have been recording a TON of shows to watch. We are also trying to redo our house and eventually our yard so many of these shows are from DIY and HGTV. There is this little show called "Desperate Landscapes". The host is Jason Cameron. He has a body to die for.
I mean seriously. Looks at his arms!!! Ok, now before ya go an yell at me, I will have you know that my hubby is the one that pointed this out. I had watched 4 or 5 episodes and never even noticed how built this guy was. Today I paid a little more attention. He borders on the edge of too muscular, but I wouldn't kick him out of my yard. I don't find the big muscle dudes very attractive, but he just makes it in. Ya need to watch this guy swing a hammer or hold a chainsaw. It will make you very happy. The only complaint I have about the show is that his shirt stays on. Bummer.

Bruschetta Chicken

This sounds like a fancy pants recipe, but this is so simple. It only requires a few ingredients and tastes wonderful. My family loves it. I found the original recipe at ......and a cookie for dessert. I have made this three times. I think the final time was the best, hands down.
The first time I used the stuffing mix, but I really didn't care for it. My idea was to make my own bread cubes and season them accordingly. Then I realized, Hey, croutons would be a really good substitute. My hubby agreed that it tasted MUCH better.


Original recipe:
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.
LAYER chicken, basil, cheese and stuffing in 3-qt. or 13x9-inch baking dish.
BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

My adaptation:
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes (petite diced or dice finer in food processor)
1 pkg. croutons (any that you love)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c mozzerella
1/4 c grated parmesan

The rest of the instructions are the same. I crushed my croutons slightly. I had purchased the larger ones and I didn't want huge hunks of bread. I also seasoned the chicken breast lightly with salt and pepper. I didn't go crazy because I find croutons and cheese pretty salty, but I think it was the little something extra that was missing the last time I made it. The chicken tasted a little bland without it. I also adder oregano because I love the flavor. I left out the water. Canned tomatoes have a pretty high content of water, and when you cook them, the water is drawn out. I didn't want a terribly "wet" dish. I added an extra clove of garlic because I love it. I recommend this quick easy dish on a night you feel rushed or just tired. I make it with either rice or some sort of pasta. It's yummo!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Week of February 2
Monday- Chimichangas
Tuesday- Bruschetta Chicken
Wednesday- Stroganoff
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Tilapia with spinach
Saturday- Breakfast Casserole
Sunday- French Toast (possibly stuffed), eggs and bacon

I am going to make fish. Hmmm. I'm a little nervous about this. I have never cooked fish. My husband wanted me to fry it. I refused especially because he is complaining about wanting to eat healthier. Hopefully it will go well for me!!

I went over budget last week. I didn't freak out too much about it because I was able to stock up on items that I know we will use (chicken, cheese, cereal). Not to mention, the week before I was under budget by $15. I was running through the ad for Schnucks. They are doing their 10 for $10 deal. I think I remember seeing eggs, lettuce and tilapia. Hmmm....sweet.

D and I were sick over the weekend. I suppose it was the true flu. We were both so achey and ran fevers. It wasn't much fun, but I think we are starting to recover.

I also wanted to thank everyone who commented on my last post. I had blogger's remorse after I posted. I thought was sharing way too much info about myself, but it really did help to get it out. It's nice to know that I'm not really crazy. Today was a better day at work. I actually got to use the restroom!! LOL. It's the little things in life.