Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week 2 Themed Menu and Recipes

Welcome back!  Here is the second weekly dinner menu and their recipes.  Hopefully you tried one, if not all of last weeks dinners. 

As I stated last week, when I post the menu I will also supply the "Theme" list as a reminder for my followers and any newcomers. I have also added a short list of "Notes" that can be used toward any meal that you decide to try.

At the end of each recipe there will be a link to direct you to the site where I found these meals. You can print from the blog page or from the link that I provided.

The themes are as follows:
  • Mac-n-Cheese Monday - a jazzed up version of mac-n-cheese each week with a protein
  • Taco Tuesday - Mexican fare
  • Wang Chung Wednesday - Asian fare (sometimes becomes "Wacky Wednesday" and it's pot luck)
  • Tuscan Thursday - Italian cuisine
  • Fish Friday
  • Slow Cooker/Simmer Saturday
  • Sandwich Sundays - this can be anything from burgers to panini's to cold cuts
***Saturday and Sunday are interchangeable depending on your families schedule that week.

  1. My daughter has a peanut allergy so we substitute and/or omit items that may be in a particular recipe, please do the same if you or anyone in your family has any allergies/dietary needs/personal preference.
  2. Some meals that I put on the menu will be my first time making them as well. So feedback is always appreciated
  3. If there is a meal that I know my kids will not eat I will make a "kid friendly" version of it for them, I will make note of this within the recipe.
  4. All families grocery budgets vary so please adjust ingredients or brands to fit the needs of your family.
  5. The majority of the meals are 30 minutes or less. We all have busy schedules!!!

Monday - Grilled Chicken & Bacon Mac-n-Cheese

as seen on

  • 6 slices good-quality smoky bacon, such as apple-wood smoked bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat, short-cut pasta
  • 2 pieces skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or celery greens, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a rack placed over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Chop and reserve. Switch on the broiler and position the rack in the center of the oven.
Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it, add pasta and cook 1 minute less then instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
Step While pasta is working, heat grill pan or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle chicken with EVOO to coat lightly then season evenly with paprika, salt and pepper. Grill chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a cutting board and halve the pieces lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
Step While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden brown and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in cider (or stock), then add milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheese until melted.
Step Add the chicken, bacon and sauce to the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Broil until bubbling and browned, about 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley or celery greens.
Serves 4-6, Ready in 30 minutes
This meal is from Everyday with Rachael Ray     chickenbaconmacncheese 
Tuesday - Chicken Chilaquiles (for the grown-ups)
& Chicken Quesadilla's (for the kiddos)
picture provided by

This meal has kick to it because of the chipotles so I serve my kids a non-spicy alternative

Ingredients for Chicken Chilaquiles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
  • 2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 small cooked rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded     ***save some chicken for quesadilla's
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • 4 cups (about 3 ounces) tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 3/4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
  4. Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, sour cream, and feta. Serve.
Ingredients & Directions for Kids Quesadilla's
  • Flour Tortillas- 2 per each quesadilla
  • Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
  • Mexican Cheese Blend (use amount based on your liking)
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream (optional)
*Warm pan or skillet for the quesadilla's.  Spread butter on tortillas and place in pan or skillet.  Sprinkle desired amount of cheese and chicken and top with other tortilla.  Let brown on first side before flipping.  Once cheese is melted remove from pan, cut, and serve. 

Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Martha Stewart Everyday Food      chickenchilaquiles

Wednesday - Glazed Pork w/Pineapple & Rice
Picture and recipe from

4 slices (each 1/2-inch-thick) fresh pineapple
3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the broiler. Place the pineapple slices on a foil-lined baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic and mustard. Rub pork w/ sauce.
3. Place pork in the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat; place the pineapple in the oven. Broil the pork until it registers 155°F on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the broiler (let rest 10 minutes before slicing- the temp. will rise to 160°F. as the pork sits). Turn the pineapple slices; cook until browned in spots, about 10 minutes more.
4. Halve pineapple slices; arrange on a platter with the sliced pork. Drizzle the pork with the pan juices; season with salt and pepper. Serve with quick ginger sauce.
5. To prepare sauce: In a small bowl, stir together all sauce ingredients; season with salt and pepper.
*Peeling ginger: I find that it's easiest to grate ginger when it's frozen.
*I usually grill the pork and the pineapple. Try it!
*I also serve this meal with Minute Rice. 2 cups makes 4 servings
Serves 4, Ready in 40 minutes. 
This recipe is originally from Martha Stewart Everyday Food but today I got it from recipegirl...glazedporktenderloin
Thursday - Tomato & Grilled Bread Salad
w/Sliced Flank Steak
picture provided by marthastewart

  • 1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 lb Flank Steak
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  1. Heat grill to medium.  Season flank steak with olive oil and steak seasoning and grill until desired temperature.  Let it rest 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  2. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and flank steak. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.
*This is also yummy with kalamata olives or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4, Ready in 25 minutes
Martha Stewart Everyday Food   tomatobreadsalad
Friday - Grilled Salmon w/Citrus Salsa Verde
courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 large oranges
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for oiling the grill
  • 4 (4 to 5-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skinned, each about 3-inches square
  • 2 tablespoons amber agave nectar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salsa: Peel and trim the ends from each orange. Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, orange zest, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grilling rack with vegetable oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave nectar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Spoon the salsa verde on top of the salmon or serve on the side as an accompaniment.   Serve with your choice of rice pilaf or couscous.

Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
From Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis     grillsalmoncitrusverde

Saturday - Slow Cooker Pot Roast

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 3-to 3-1/2- lb. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 envelopes Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
  • 3/4 cup water

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown roast.
  2. Arrange carrots and potatoes in slow cooker. Top with roast and set aside.
  3. Combine Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix with water in glass measuring cup. Add to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan.
  4. Add soup mixture to slow cooker. Cook covered on Low 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours.
  5. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter.
Thicken gravy, if desired, by combining additional 1/4 cup water with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until thickened
Serves 8, Prep Time 10 minutes
From Lipton   liptonpotroast
Sunday - Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Waffle
with Ham, Cheese, & Fried Eggs
 picture courtesy of
My family loves breakfast for dinner and this meal is delicious.  It may sound weird when you are reading through but really it is AWESOME! 
  • 4-6 frozen waffles
  • 1 cup refried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4-6 slice Munster cheese
  • 8-12 slices of ham
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Maple syrup for drizzling
1. Heat broiler in oven.
2. In a small bowl, combine refried beans and olive oil. Mix well and season to taste.
3. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Crack egg into skillet and fry to desired firmness.
4. Toast the waffles to desired doneness. Spread with butter and then with refried bean mixture.
5. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with cheese.
6. Put waffles on a baking sheet and broil until cheese melts, watching carefully so it does not burn.
7. Remove from oven, top with ham, fried egg and top with chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve immediately.

***Serve with fresh sliced fruit, whatever is in season

Serves 4 (make extras for second helpings), Ready in 30 minutes
From Elia Aboumrad, "Top Chef"   topchefbldwaffle       

Have a fantastic week and Happy Eating!!!


  1. Tried your recommendation of rubbing alcohol on stains. It got Grape juice stains out of my white formica counter top.

    1. That is awesome! And don't forget the rubbing alcohol removed caulk from your pants that had been washed and dried.