Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 24 Themed Menu & Recipes

HELLO ALL!  I do not have too much to say this week.  It has been busy as usual and I am working on some organizing and cleaning posts for you in the upcoming weeks.  So, let's just get to why you are here...FOOD!


Weekly themes are as follows:
  • Mediterranean Monday - We will mostly do Italian or Greek dishes but this day opens you up to try almost any dish.
  • Tokyo Tuesday - Asian inspired dishes
  • Wrap it Up Wednesday - Wraps, Sandwiches, Burgers, Salads, etc...
  • Taco Thursday - Spanish inspired dishes
  • Free for All Friday - This day is used for leftovers, dining out, or pot luck
  • Slow Cooker/Simmer Saturday
  • Seafood Sunday

***Saturday and Sunday are interchangeable depending on your families schedule that week.

As always, 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.

  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 (vegetarian).
  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. Meals that do take longer will have steps to help you prepare ahead of time. We all have busy schedules!
Monday - Sweet & Spicy Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 chicken cutlets (1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 1 orange, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Cooked orzo or couscous
  1. In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium-high. Season chicken. Working in batches, cook chicken, turning once, until browned, 4 minutes. Transfer to plate. Add remaining butter and orange slices to pan; cook until oranges brown around edges, about 3 minutes. Add broth, peppers, cayenne and honey; bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan, lower heat to low, partially cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve over orzo or couscous.

*Kid Friendly Note: I did not add cayenne to the recipe.  I served the kids portions and then sprinkled the cayenne to mine and my husbands dish.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Rachael Ray Magazine sweetandspicychicken
Tuesday - Hoisin Pork With Rice
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded for less heat) (optional) 
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 3/4-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen brown rice (about 5 cups)
  • 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  1. Preheat the broiler. Combine the hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar, the jalapeno, half of the scallions and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender or mini food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Slice the pork tenderloin in half lengthwise and place both pieces cut-side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and brush with half of the hoisin sauce mixture. Broil until golden brown and just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Combine the frozen rice, snow peas, 1 tablespoon each olive oil and vinegar, the ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the rice is hot and the snow peas are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Toss the carrots, the remaining scallions and 1 teaspoon each olive oil, vinegar and sesame seeds in a bowl. Thinly slice the pork; serve with the rice mixture, carrot salad and remaining sauce.
*Kid Friendly Note: I did not add jalapeno to this dish at all and it was still great!
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Food Network Magazine hoisinporkwithrice
Wednesday - Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 5-to-6-pound first-cut or flat-cut brisket, cut into 3 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 brioche or other rolls, split open and toasted
  • Coleslaw, for serving
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last 2 minutes. Transfer the meat and garlic to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Pour the beer into the skillet and simmer 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the pan; add the beer mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Nestle the celery around the meat and add the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika. Stir, then cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  3. Serve on brioche halves with coleslaw; drizzle with the cooking liquid.
Serves 4, Ready in 8hr 30min
Thursday - Tex-Mex Taco Mac & Cheese
  • 1/2-1lb pound ground sirloin
  • 16 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 ounces Cabot chipotle cheddar, shredded
  • 3 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 2/3 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 can of black beans drained, optional
  • salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
1. Brown the meat in a skillet. In a large stockpot, cook the pasta, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Whisk the milk and flour together. Then add to the meat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the chipotle cheddar, regular cheddar and cream cheese to the meat mixture. Cook until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
4. Add taco seasoning and black beans (if using). Season with garlic salt, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Garnish individual servings with diced tomatoes and dice green onions.
*Kid Friendly Note: If you do not want the mac and cheese spicy substitute more cheddar cheese for the chipotle cheddar.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
A Duo of Chefs
Friday - Savory French-Toast BLT
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 slices crusty bread, cut 1 inch thick
  • 4 lettuce leaves (romaine, Boston, or Bibb)
  • 8 slices tomato
  • Sliced avocado (optional)
  • Strawberries, washed and sliced
  1. Preheat griddle, or whatever you use to cook bacon.  Cook your bacon.  Drain on paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, cream, and chives; season with salt and pepper. Lay bread in a single layer in egg mixture and soak 3 minutes on each side. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. When butter sizzles, add bread and cook until golden and crisp around edges, about 3 minutes per side, flipping once.
  3. To serve, layer lettuce, tomato, avocado, and bacon on each slice French toast and sprinkle with chives.
  4. Serve with a fresh cut strawberries or a fresh fruit salad.
*These sandwiches are served "open faced".  Add 4 more slices of bread if you would like a full sandwich.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Martha Stewart savoryfrenchtoastblt
Saturday - Crock Pot Lasagna
w/Side Salad
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz pkg. lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • Spinach salad or salad of choice

1. Spray the inside of the crock-pot with cooking spray
2. Brown the ground beef
3. Stir the tomato sauce in with the ground beef
4. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the crock-pot
5. Arrange 1/3 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce (I usually break them up so they fit better)
6. Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheeses over the noodles.
7. Repeat these layers twice
8. Top with remaining sauce
9. Cover and cook on low for 4hrs (I've started the crock-pot on high in the morning before I leave for work and then put it on warm when I leave and it's perfect when I get home)
10. Let the lasagna stand in the crock-pot with the lid off for at least 10 minutes.
11. Serve lasagna alongside salad.

* Variations *
1. Add chopped onion and garlic to the ground beef in step 2
2. Use Italian sausage in place of ground beef or with ground beef
3. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to the cheese mixture. Replace cottage cheese with Ricotta.
4. Add 1/2 cup additional shredded mozzarella cheese to the top of lasagna 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 4, Ready in 4 hours
Creating Through Life crockpotlasagna
Sunday - Portuguese-Style Cod
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for coating the fish
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt
  • 4 7 ounces large center-cut cod fillets
  • 1 onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can  diced tomatoes
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto or serrano ham, halved crosswise
  • 1 pound green beans, halved
  • Crusty bread, to pass around the table
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt.
  2. While the potatoes are working, place an ovenproof pan in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees . Rub EVOO all over the cod and cook in the pan for 7 minutes; remove from the oven.
  3. While the fish is working, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes.
  4. Top the fish with the tomato sauce. Lay the ham slices on top. Roast the fish until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to reach a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil. Salt the water, add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 5 minutes.
  6. Place a bed of green beans on plates. Top with a cod fillet, tomato sauce and ham. Serve with the potatoes and bread.

Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Rachael Ray portuguesestylecod

Hope you enjoy and have a SUPER week!!!


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