Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recipes While I'm Gone

I hate to leave you with nothing while I'm gone. I am going to take pictures of all of the wonderful food I will be filled with while playing at Disney World, but until I can post them I thought I would refresh your memory with some of the more recent favorites of mine. If you haven't tried some of these, you should. If I rotated dinners more often, these would be some of the ones I would make over again.

Breakfast:

Baked Oatmeal with Berries

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins


Dinner:

Taco Pasta Toss

Feta Cheese Chicken Breasts

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Asparagus Pasta with Pecans

Jennifer's Pasta Alfredo Bake

One Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Fast Chicken & Rice

Sesame Ginger Chicken

Oat Topped Sweet Potato Crisp

King Ranch Chicken Casserole


Dessert:

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

Snowball Cookies

Apple Dumplings




Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!


Until next week...




Monday, May 24, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This was the first time I've ever had this kind of pizza. I've seen it before on Menus, but I've never given it a try. I knew I was going to have to come up with something different for Clay if I was making a Mushroom Garlic Pizza for me! This one sounded perfect, especially because Publix had the crust, cheese and BBQ sauce on sale this week. I think they had the bacon on sale too! Homemade pizza is so much better than frozen or delivery. In fact, the other week I had a headache from you-know-where, so we ordered some pizza. Ella was shocked when she realized that somebody was delivering it to our house. "They're bringing it to our house??" she asked. "Yes, baby, they do that!" was my response :) I would rather have this pizza than Pizza Hut any day. There is a few steps involved but don't let that deter you from making it. Once its in the oven you can forget about it and get the table set. This would be great for "Movie Night" with some friends. You know they will be impressed when you made the pizza! And don't forget about the other pizza I've made, the Hawaiian Chicken Alfredo Pizza. All different, but equally delicious!



1 14-oz. can Pillsbury Pizza Crust
6 slices bacon
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the dough out over a large baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Pull out and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion until it has softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, about 10-15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, slice the bacon into bite-size chunks and cook over medium heat in a large skillet until browned. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Pour off some of the fat the accumulated in the pan- all but about 1 tablespoon. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and cook in the pan over medium heat about 5-6 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Remove from the pan and shred when cool enough to handle.

Spread the BBQ sauce evenly over the crust and sprinkle with the shredded chicken, caramelized onion, bacon and feta cheese. Top the entire pizza with shredded mozzarella. Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the pizza is golden brown around the edges, about 15 more minutes.



Enjoy!



(adapted from All Recipes)

Mushroom Garlic Pizza

Oh. My. Gosh. This pizza was SOOOOO good! I love mushrooms, but Clay can't stand them. That's why I made 2 pizzas tonight. I made the BBQ Chicken Pizza for him and this pizza for me. Yes, all for me! The Worcestershire sauce gives the mushrooms a beefy flavor and I love the combination of the cheeses. This pizza was out-of-this-world good. I'm speechless.



1 14-oz. can Pillsbury Pizza Crust
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 8-oz. containers sliced white mushrooms
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I used Monterrey Jack)
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the pizza dough out to cover a large baking sheet, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 of the minced garlic. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add mushrooms. Saute until golden and moisture has evaporated. When they're just about done, add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle the baked dough with the Swiss cheese, then the mushroom mixture and the feta cheese. Top the entire pizza with the mozzarella cheese (use more or less to your liking). Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the cheese is golden and melted, about 15 more minutes. Cut into squares and serve.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Rachael Ray)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

My parents are famous for their grilled pork tenderloin! Every year we take it to our family reunion and it is gobbled up in seconds. What can I say? My Dad knows how to grill! My parents grill almost every night, but my most favorite is the pork tenderloin they fix. This week Winn Dixie has theirs B1G1, so Mom got a couple for my brother's birthday dinner. She said she has also done this same recipe with a pork loin, sliced long-ways down the center to resemble a pork tenderloin. Just as yummy! The pork loin goes on sale sometimes in the grocery stores for as low as $1.99 per pound. That's a definite stock-up price when you see it that low. This is a quick, easy and healthy way to cook pork. And one of the only ways I'll eat it. I'm not a huge fan of pork (aside from bacon!). Cook a pork chop for me any kind of way, and I'd rather have a chicken breast in its place. I'm just a nut for chicken, I guess. Its a good idea to make extras of this pork when you're grilling, because it makes a fabulous sandwich for lunch the next day. Slice it really thin, and then bathe it in the juices that accumulate in the bottom of the plate. Heaven.



2 pork tenderloins
salt and pepper
Italian Dressing

Trim the pork tenderloins of any excess fat and the "silver skin". Season generously with salt and pepper. Place in a large zippy bag with a few squeezes of Italian dressing. You want enough to cover the meat. Squish the meat around and let marinate in the dressing for about 15-30 minutes in the fridge. Take out about 5 minutes before grilling to take some of the chill off. Grill over low heat for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the tenderloins. The internal temperature needs to read about 160 degrees. Let rest for about 5 minutes then slice into thin slices.




Enjoy!



(recipe from my Mom and Dad, Sandy and Charlie Sumlin)

Jazzed Up Mac and Cheese

I made this recipe for the first time last year for Easter. I loved it. And let me just say that I don't really like tomatoes. I want to like tomatoes. I do. I really do. I've tried to eat them, and it just doesn't work for me. I can eat canned diced tomatoes cooked in something and ketchup. That's about the extent of it. The only other way I'll eat them is roasted or cooked in the oven. It brings out the sweetness in the tomato and it is oh-so-yummy. And if you don't like tomatoes, fine. You can either pick them off at the table, or just bake it with the topping minus the tomatoes. I really think it takes this mac and cheese over the top. The goldfish bring it back down to Earth. Who doesn't love Goldfish? The original recipe used breadcrumbs, but I read about several people substituting Goldfish in the comment section. Awesome. I only had the Original flavor this time, but I used the Cheddar flavor last time. Really, really good! If you're planning on entertaining with this recipe, go ahead and make the whole thing. If you're planning on making it for your family dinner, I would try to half it. It makes a ton...well, an entire casserole dish full! I made it for my brother's birthday dinner today and we have well over half of it left. I guess I know what I'm taking for lunch this week! I am going to grill some chicken breasts to throw on top with some steamed broccoli. That will cover me at least until Wednesday!



1 lb. elbow macaroni or cavatappi (the little corkscrews)
4 cups milk
1 stick butter, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 small tomatoes (I used about 6 plum tomatoes)
1-1/2 cups crushed Goldfish crackers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside. (I only had penne noodles on hand this time. It works best with the elbow macaroni noodles.)

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook fora minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the cheeses and seasonings. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top; season the tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the crushed Goldfish, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Ina Garten)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Totally Awesome Chocolate Birthday Cake

I love baking. Some people can cook, but they don't bake. Baking takes more time and precise measuring. I love baking because you can do it when you wake up, in the middle of the afternoon, or at midnight. It fills the house with a smell that is pure happiness. I wanted to make something for my brother's birthday. I knew he wouldn't like Pinkalicous cupcakes, so I decided to ask him what he wanted. Anything...name it and I'll make it. He said chocolate cake. Done. Now begins the search for the perfect recipe! I searched out a few and then decided to go with one of my favorites, Joy the Baker. And how could I go wrong when she calls it "The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Ever". Yes, I knew this would be smashing. This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had. And I'm very proud that I baked it!



For the cake:

1-1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
2-1/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1-1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, sifted

For the glaze:

6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled (plus more if needed)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.

To make the cake batter: Put brewed coffee and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat and let come to room temperature (I let mine sit for almost an hour).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment, mix together sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk on low speed for about 1 minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix on low again for another minute.

Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. *The batter will be very loose*. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan and then invert onto a cooling rack. (I made my cake the day before and glazed it the day-of.)

To make the icing: Chop the chocolate into small pieces, put them in a heatproof bowl (or a double boiler), and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water. Remove the bowl from the heat when all of the chocolate bits have melted.

Melt the butter in a separate pan or the microwave. Whisk the melted butter into the melted chocolate until thoroughly incorporated. Sift in half of the powdered sugar. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Sift in the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. The glaze should be thick and shiny. Lastly, add the coffee and whisk to create a glossy glaze.

Pour the glaze over the Bundt cake, covering it completely. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.



The glaze was WONDERFUL! For those that are not coffee lovers, don't worry. You don't taste the coffee one bit. Coffee brings out the chocolate's natural flavors, so its a great pairing. Its not at all coffee-tasting.


Happy Birthday Chaz!





Enjoy!



(adapted from Joy the Baker)

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I love the flavors of Sante Fe Soup. Well, I love the flavors of Mexican food in general. On one of the more recent blogs I've found, Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes, I ran across this recipe. I do not use the crock pot much. When I do use it, its generally on the weekend. Which sounds crazy, right? I work during the week, so why not put dinner in the crock pot and have it waiting for you when you get home! I am gone from 7:30 to 5:00, so I think that would totally be overkill. Even in a crock pot. A roast would maybe last that long. But I have found that when I do chicken, especially chicken breasts, they are dry and gross being in the crock pot for 12 hours by the time we sit down to eat. That being said, I figured I would give this a try over the weekend. You can serve it directly over rice, or wrap it up in a flour tortilla with rice and cheese like I did. I really liked this. I wrapped mine up with plain brown rice, so it was fairly healthy. I would like to recreate it for the stovetop though. I'm just not much for the crock pot. Nothing against the recipe though, because its really yummy! I'm just not a crock-pot-kind-of-gal. I like to stand in front of the stove and pretend I'm on Food Network :)




1-1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (I used 3)
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn (or the kernels from 3 ears)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped (whites and a little bit of the green)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, Rotel, cilantro, scallion, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt and pepper in the crock pot. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and nestle down in the juices. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust seasoning if needed. You can serve this over rice and top with desired toppings, or wrapped in a tortilla. I topped mine with cheese and sour cream. Avocado would have been fabulous!

**Update: I'm going to use this to make Clay some quesadillas tonight with the leftovers! Its a really versatile dish!




Enjoy!



(adapted from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meatloaf Burgers

I picked out this recipe because Publix had their French Hamburger Buns on sale this week. I knew it was the perfect time for burgers because I have lots of ground beef in the freezer. But I didn't want regular burgers. How about some Meatloaf Burgers? I found the perfect recipe. I would normally cook burgers on the grill, but I felt to have the true meatloaf taste these needed to be baked in the oven. I loved the way they turned out. Very moist and lots of flavor. Ella wasn't interested in trying any, but Clay enjoyed them. I served his with Ore Ida fries and mine with roasted cauliflower. Yummy night for dinner in my house!




1 lb. ground beef
1/4 onion, grated or minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
hamburger buns

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix beef, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and salt and pepper. Mix just until combined with your hands. Do not overmix.

Divide beef mixture into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a 4-inch patty. Place on prepared baking sheet. Transfer to oven; bake until cooked through, about 14 minutes, flipping if necessary. (I cooked mine on a rack in a baking pan to help some of the fat and juices drip away from the patty.)

Serve dressed with cheese, lettuce and onions on a hamburger bun.

**Haha...you can tell that I didn't use the buns that were on sale at Publix. I just checked out the ad, and those are tiny! I bought mine at Sam's ($1.78/8-pk) when I returned some formula for Emme. When you get to know your price points, its easier to see a deal and pick something up when you see it. I knew that the buns at Publix were 2-something so I grabbed the one's at Sam's while I was there.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Everyday Food)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bacon Cheddar Scones

This was my first attempt at making scones. I've always shied away from them because I was afraid they would be a little on the dry side. I was under the impression they were sort of like dry biscuits. Not these! I knew that bacon and cheese would straighten any scone right up! Annie's Eats is a fabulous blog that I visit regularly. I was browsing around the other day and ran across this recipe. It was perfect to fix this week for my craving for "breakfast for dinner". I halved the recipe below and it still made 4 big scones which I halved for the picture below! Plenty for us and I still have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!



3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced (I omitted these)
10 slices bacon, cut into slivers
1 cup buttermilk (plus extra if needed)

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bacon into bite-size pieces. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine. Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.) Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Mix in the green onions, bacon and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture. Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is to dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk. Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.

In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together. Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash. Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I served mine with Scrambled Eggs.



Enjoy!


(adapted from Annie's Eats)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blueberry Baked French Toast

There is nothing like ending the day on a sweet note. I have missed out on making this recipe the last two times I put it on the Menu. The first time my youngest daughter was sick and got put in the hospital. Not only did I miss out on it, but Shannon from The Bargain Buggy and Aubrey from Eastern Shore Mom missed out as well. I was supposed to go to Destin for a girls weekend and make this for breakfast one morning! Totally bummed. Then, last week I was exhausted from baking cupcakes and completely forgot to make it Saturday night for Sunday morning. I was determined to get it made today! I assembled it this morning before work and baked it this evening. Clay and I were happy with cereal for dinner because we got to have this for dessert! If you've been hiding in a closet and have never heard of The Pioneer Woman, you must go now to check out her site. I've made several recipes of hers and loved the results of all of them. The Chicken Scallopine I made last night was the most recent. I found this recipe because I was looking for things that used pita chips. They were on sale that week at Publix and I have several bags in my stockpile. I LOVE bread pudding and I couldn't wait to see how this turned out! The salt on the pita chips balances out the sweetness of the custard and topping. The blueberries give it a nice tart pop. And you guys know how much I love maple syrup! Either for breakfast or dessert, you can't go wrong with this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.



1 Family Size Bag Stacy's Pita chips
7 large eggs
2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half-and-half)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
6 oz. fresh blueberries (optional)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (plus a tad more)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter

Grease 9 X 13-inch baking pan with butter. Pour in bag of pita chips and arrange evenly. In a bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over pita chips. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in refrigerator overnight, or at least 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove pan from refrigerator. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Slice butter and add to bowl, then use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks crumbly (I used my mixer to do this).

Sprinkle flour mixture over the blueberries and make sure its evenly distributed. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Chips on top should be crispy and crunchy. Remove from oven and cut into squares. Drizzle with blueberry or maple syrup and serve warm.

Note from The Pioneer Woman: "If you're feeling naughty, top with whipped cream. Just don't say I told you to do it!"





Enjoy!



(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

Menu 5/19

Here's to hoping this week I stay on schedule better! Last week I was thrown off schedule working on a Pinkalicious Strawberry Cupcake recipe. After bathing in pink cupcakes for 3 days the final products was awesome. I am looking for the next excuse to make them again! Who's birthday is coming up next? Do you want Pinkalicious Strawberry Cupcakes? Good, because that's what you're getting!

This week looks a little better at Publix, but I'm still pulling from my stockpile. My pantry is overflowing and I've got to start using some of this food in my house! I am going to really try to make this week count in my kitchen because I'm taking the next week off. I'm going to Disney World over Memorial Day weekend with one of my best girlfriends. And the best part is we're going just the two of us! No kids. Just great food and great fun with a great friend! I can't wait! I am planning on journaling my trip and taking all of the food pics and catching you guys up with some Dining Through Disney posts!

Here's what I've got planned for this week:

Tonight: Blueberry Baked French Toast (for dessert!)

Bacon Cheddar Scones- Wed 5/19
Meatloaf Burgers- Thurs 5/20
Peanut Crusted Chicken Breasts- Fri 5/21
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken- Sat 5/22
Not Your Ordinary Mac and Cheese- Sun 5/23
Grilled Pork Tenderloin- Sun 5/23
Strawberry Spinach Salad- Mon 5/24
Pizza Times Two- Tues 5/25

I am going to make muffins and snacks next Wednesday and Thursday to take on our Disney trip. Clay has put in a request for Chicken Cranberry Couscous, so I will make that next Wednesday night. And I want to make Cranberry-Apple-Nut Bread Thursday night to take on our trip to eat for breakfast on-the-go. I may try to make the Chewy Granola Bars too! They would be perfect to stash away in our bag for a quick snack in the parks. And not to mention, free!

I will post the recipe and pictures after I make them on the designated day. To make it easier to cook with me, I decided to include a recipe ingredient break-down to make your shopping a bit easier. The items marked with an (*) refer to a sale item this week at Publix. I'm pulling most of this from my stockpile this week.

And if you're shopping Publix, don't forget your $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon! (try zip 95677, radius 50 miles)


Bacon Cheddar Scones with Scrambled Eggs (Wednesday)
all purpose flour
baking powder
salt and pepper
1 stick butter
cheddar cheese *
green onions
bacon *
buttermilk
eggs
milk


Meatloaf Burgers (Thursday)
olive oil
ground beef *
onion
parsley
breadcrumbs
egg
ketchup
Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
hamburger buns *
and the fixins' (cheese*)


Peanut-Crusted Chicken Breasts (Friday)
olive oil
peanuts *
3 slices bread
salt and pepper
2 eggs
chicken breasts


Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken (Saturday)
1-1/2 lb. chicken breasts (I'm using 4)
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans
8 oz frozen corn kernels (2-3 fresh cobs *)
cilantro
chicken broth
green onions
garlic powder
onion powder
cumin
cayenne pepper (optional)
salt


Not Your Ordinary Mac and Cheese (Sunday)
elbow macaroni or cavatappi *
milk
1 stick butter
all purpose flour
6 cups shredded cheese (mixture of Swiss and white cheddar) *
salt and pepper
nutmeg
tomatoes *
goldfish *


Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Sunday)
2 pork tenderloins (on sale B1G1 at Winn Dixie)
Italian dressing
salt and pepper


Strawberry Spinach Salad (Monday)
1 bag baby spinach *
sliced strawberries *
almonds or pecans
Ken's Light Raspberry Vinaigrette *
(I will probably serve this with grilled chicken breasts)


Pizza Times Two (Tuesday)

Mushroom Garlic Pizza:
1 Pillsbury pizza crust *
olive oil
garlic
2 8-oz. containers sliced mushrooms *
2-3 cups shredded cheese *

BBQ Chicken Pizza: (my husband won't eat 'shrooms)
1 Pillsbury pizza crust *
olive oil
bacon *
onion
BBQ sauce *
2-3 cups shredded cheese *
1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded


I really want to make muffins and something else sweet, but I have to quit making that stuff! I make it and I eat it for days while it sits on my counter. But I see some Snickerdoodle Muffins in our future when the sour cream is on sale again :)


I'm eating cereal for dinner and having Blueberry Baked French Toast for dessert!! Maybe I'll eat Multigrain Cheerios to have a good balance :)


Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken Scallopine

When I originally planned this meal out for the Menu, I was going to make Pork Scallopine. Publix had their pork loins on sale this week, and I was going to have the butcher cut it into pork chops for me. I still haven't made it to Publix. I didn't want to get the pork just for this meal, when I had chicken breasts in the freezer. I find myself spending more money at the grocery store than I typically would because I'm buying things to cook for the blog. I really need to start watching that! I am going to have to start cooking with my stockpile because I have tons of food here. I don't need to have huge trips to Publix anymore. Although, when a good week comes around I know I will! If you like pork and have some boneless chops that you want to use, pound them out to about 1/2-inch thickness and make this using the pork instead of the chicken. This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, and in the original recipe she uses chicken. All of her recipes are fabulous. This one was no different. Clay ate this one too, but just picked out the mushrooms. He's gotten so much better about trying new things, but mushrooms aren't one of them!



1 box linguine noodles (I only had spaghetti)
4-6 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
12 oz. white mushroom, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 whole lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half-and-half)
1 heaping teaspoon capers (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness (do the same if you're using pork chops). Season both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. If you're using 6 chicken breasts, you will probably have to do this in batches.

Throw the mushrooms into the pan and stir, cooking for 4 minutes until the mushrooms have some color. Pour in the chicken broth and the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (I halved the recipe when making it, so I only used 1/2 of a lemon). Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously over medium-high to high heat for 1 minute, until sauce reduces. Pour in cream and stir, then add parsley and capers and stir. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper (be generous with your seasonings). Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with entire pan of sauce. Generously sprinkle with parmesan cheese.



Enjoy!



(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Baked Spaghetti

I liked this recipe because it was a baked spaghetti that used ground beef. The only baked spaghetti's I've ever eaten have been with chicken. It has lots of vegetables in it too, which makes it a well rounded dish. I used whole wheat pasta and 98% fat free soup. You could also trim it up by using ground turkey. Clay even liked it. He just picked out the mushrooms, and said it was really good! So, even if you have picky eaters in the house, this is a great way to get them to eat some veggies. Serve it with a small side salad and garlic bread and you've got a great dinner! Dawn, the columnist from the Baldwin Register's Spice of Life, said she divided this into two 8 X 8 dishes and froze one for later! This recipe was featured in the same article with my Mom's Southern Pecan Cream Pie.



1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
12 oz. spaghetti noodles
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8-oz. package mushrooms, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup sliced olives
1 can Cream of Mushroom
1/4 cup water
2 cups shredded cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large saute pan, brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain off excess fat. Transfer cooked meat to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, saute onion, pepper and garlic in olive oil and butter over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 8 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked out of the mushrooms. Add the tomatoes, olives and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Place half of spaghetti noodles in the bottom of a greased 13 X 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Mix the soup and water until smooth. Pour over the mixture and lightly spread. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Kim Neal- Baldwin County Living Magazine)

Coupons: Print Now

There are some great new coupons out this weekend! Also, remember its Sunday so be sure to get your newspaper for the coupon inserts. Here's some of the grocery coupons I think are worth printing:

$1/2 Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage

$.50/1 Captain Crunch Cereal

$1/1 King's Hawaiian product (excluding 4-pk rolls)

$1/2 Bar S Bologna or Franks

$5/$25 Rite Aid Purchase (great to use at Publix!)

$1/2 Oscar Mayer Lunch Meats

$1/2 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs

$1/2 Campbell's Chunky Soup

$1/1 Kraft Deli Deluxe Cheese

$1/2 Lean Cuisine, any variety (GREAT coupon paired with a sale!)



(Thanks Hip2Save and Bargain Buggy!)


Pop-Tart Cookies

Isn't this the best cookie ever?!? When I ran across these on another blog, The Caramel Cookie, I knew I HAD to try it! We love pop-tarts at my house. Especially the S'mores flavor. These cookies were so good. In the original recipe, she used Strawberry pop-tarts. So, I guess you could use whatever kind your family likes. I love how the cookies bake up thin and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy towards the center. Yummy! I took these to work and to the girls' school and they got rave reviews both places. This is a perfect treat to bake up for yourself (because you know you're going to eat most of them!)



2 sticks unsalted butter
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 Pop-Tarts, chopped, crust removed (I used S'mores)
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over medium low heat until butter turns amber in color (about 5 minutes from the first bubbles). Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Beat the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes (the mixture will be crumbly). Add the egg, the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract. Mix well until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the Pop-Tarts. Chill the dough for 1 hour, then scoop onto a greased baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper). Lay out in rounded teaspoons. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.



Enjoy!



(adapted from The Caramel Cookie)

When Life Happens

This week has been a little crazy around here! I have spent the last 3 days consumed with pink cupcakes: finding recipes, testing and retesting, baking and more baking, and then finally having a wonderful photo shoot with Erin Creel Photography. The first session was for my daughters and then we added in a little shoot with the cupcakes for a local magazine! Whew! It feels nice to have lived through it all. My husband has been slightly deprived though. I have not made dinner in three nights! I am totally fine living off of pink strawberry cupcakes, but Clay needs real food. I hope to redeem myself tonight with dinner. I can cook for Clay, but I cannot cook for all of you. Well, I could, but we would have a hard time squeezing into my house! So, because I don't want to leave you without all of the great recipes I have missed out on making, I am going to link them up for you. I may add them in a later Menu, and if I do I'll post them with my pictures. Tonight I am going to do a chicken version of the Pork Scallopine (are you totally shocked?) but I would love it if you substituted boneless pork chops in the recipe. Publix has a pork loin on sale this week and I was going to have the butcher cut it into chops for me. But, I have chicken in the freezer and I'm not getting dressed to go to the store today :) I am going to work on getting the cupcake recipe posted as well as the cookie recipe from Thursday night.

In the meantime, here's what got knocked off the schedule this week:

Blueberry Baked French Toast I WILL make this one day, I just forgot to make it last night before I went to bed. The Pioneer Woman is fabulous. Her post will actually get you further than mine would have. Please let me know if you try this before I do. I have missed making it the last two times I put it on the Menu!!

Mexcian Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas This is from a GREAT new site I heard about last week! (Thanks Lauren Kessler!) I was going to try this with the pork loin that was on sale at Publix this week. The pork shoulder she talks about in the recipe is usually called a Boston Butt around here. I think the pork loin would work great too, especially since she trims her pork of all of the fat. It would be fabulous wrapped in those flour tortillas we all stocked up on last week!

Grilled Cream Corn (This one was in the most recent Everyday with Rachael Ray, so its not online yet) This recipe looked so good! Since its raining today, its really not the best day to be grilling anyway. I will make this one day. Corn is in season and I love using the grill on the weekends! Publix had corn this week on sale 8/$2. If you try this one let me know!

8 ears corn, husked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons cream cheese
salt and pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat grill to a medium-high. Arrange the corn on the grate and grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are golden-brown and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels from the cobs; discard the cobs. (You should have about 5 cups kernels). Lower the grill temperature to medium.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over the grate. Add the butter to melt, then whisk in the flour until combined and foaming, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream cheese and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels; season with salt and pepper (and the cayenne if using). Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.


I am going to make "Chicken" Scallopine tonight. I have really been looking forward to that one! Let's hope next week is a little more predictable!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

French Dip Sandwich

Holy Moly this was good! I love a good French Dip and this did not disappoint! I took advantage of the great deal on the Oscar Mayer Roast Beef last week at Publix. If you feel like Martha, go ahead and cook your own roast. Me, not today! This is great for dinner or fix it for lunch during the weekend. Yum Yum Yum!




4 hoagie rolls
1 lb. roast beef, shaved or thinly sliced
4 slices muenster or swiss cheese
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping teaspoon corn starch
2 cups beef broth
2 beef bullion cubes (optional, but intensifies the flavor)


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Split the hoagie rolls and lay out on a large baking sheet. Cover 4 top slices of the bread with cheese and toast all 8 halves in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly toasted.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the beef broth. Add the bullion cubes and simmer over low heat until the bullion cubes dissolve.

Add the roast beef to the sauce and warm over low heat.

To assemble the sandwiches, divide the meat between the 4 bottom halves of the bread. Top with the cheesy tops. Divide the liquid between four small bowls for dunking.


Enjoy!



(adapted from Rachael Ray)


Coupons: Print Now

Here's some of the coupons that I've seen the last few days. I haven't done a round-up in a while, so you might have already printed some of these. If not, there are some good ones!

$1.50/1 Wheatables Nut Crisps

$1/1 Flat-Out Breads

$1/1 Fisher Product (should be on sale this week at Publix)

$1.10/1 Simply GoGurt (on sale 2/$2.79 at Publix)

$1/1 GoGurt or Simply GoGurt

$.50/1 Eat Smart Vegetable (on sale this week at Publix)

$.50/1 Blue Diamond Almonds (on sale this week at Publix)

$.50/1 Daisy 16-oz. Sour Cream

$.50/1 Wacky Mac (would be neat in the Creamy Taco Mac for kids!)

$1/2 Crystal Light Products

$1/1 Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

$1.50/2 General Mills Kids Cereal (HOT coupon!)

$1/2 Libby's Fruit use zip 64123 (great for canned fruit recipes!)


There are also GREAT Pet Coupons on Coupons.com! Check them out! Click on "Pet Care" in the left column for faster access. Two prints per coupon per computer!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cranberry Almond Granola Squares

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Ella, I loved the Special K granola bars. I thought they tasted like a jazzed-up Rice Krispie Treat. This recipe totally took me back. I love the gooey-ness the marshmallows give this granola bar. Its not dry like some of the other ones. This one is nice and sweet, and perfect with the cranberries. It was super quick to pull together. When I was cutting them, Ella said she wanted one. She grabbed hers and ran off to the living room. A few minutes later I hear, "Mama...I love these!" Sweet success in the kitchen! I have them all individually wrapped in cling wrap for a quick breakfast bite on-the-go!



3 tablespoons butter
1 10-oz. bag of marshmallows
3 cups granola cereal (I used Low-Fat Special K Granola)
3 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows, and cook, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, pour the granola cereal into a large zippy bag and crush with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin (or you could dirty your food processor, but why would you want to do that?!) Combine the cereals, cranberries, almonds and salt. Stir into the marshmallow mixture. Press cereal mixture into a greased 13 X 9-inch baking dish. Let stand for 1 hour. Flip out of the pan and cut into squares or bars. If you have a 15 X 10-inch jelly-roll pan you could use that to make thinner bars.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Southern Living)

Creamy Taco Mac

This is an ode to those good 'ole childhood days of Hamburger Helper. Or maybe I should say good 'ole college days of Hamburger Helper, being that I never ate it until then! I will admit that I have a couple of boxes in the pantry for emergency dinner nights when I'm good with a bowl of cereal, but Clay must have meat. It does come in handy. I must say, though, that this tastes much butter and is not any more difficult to fix. All of the ingredients are sale staples and you should have most of everything in your pantry. I know I did. This is great for busy weeknight meals because its something the whole family can enjoy.



1 lb. ground beef or turkey
8-oz. short pasta (I used macaroni)
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 packet taco seasoning (check out this recipe!)
3-oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
shredded cheddar cheese (optional...I ran out)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside. *I forgot to reserve the pasta water, so I just substituted 1/2 cup chicken broth when it is needed later*

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saute pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the skillet and cook 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water (chicken broth in my case). Continue to stir until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese if desired.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Annie's Eats)

Menu 5/12

I am not really excited about the Publix ad this week. I am going to cook mainly from my stockpile. As most of you know, I usually base my Menu around the Publix weekly sales ad. This week it doesn't look so great. And I have a TON of food already in my house. So, why go out and by more? Usually because its fun and I get great deals. This week that won't be the case. So, I will be shopping in my own pantry to create the meals for this week! Here's what I plan to make...and I say PLAN, because things sometimes change :)

Tonight:

Creamy Taco Mac
Cranberry Almond Granola Bars


French Dip Sandwiches- Wed 5/12
?- Thurs 5/13 (still looking)
Pork Scallopine- Fri 5/14
Blueberry Baked French Toast- Sat 5/15
Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas- Sun 5/16
Grilled Cream Corn- Sun 5/16
Baked Spaghetti- Mon 5/17

I will post the recipe and pictures after I make them on the designated day. To make it easier to cook with me, I decided to include a recipe ingredient break-down to make your shopping a bit easier. The items marked with an (*) refer to a sale item this week at Publix. I'm pulling most of this from my stockpile this week.

And if you're shopping Publix, don't forget your $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon! Here is a new one (try zip 95677, radius 50 miles)


French Dip Sandwiches (Wednesday)
Hoagie Rolls
Roast Beef (I'm using the FREE meat I got last week!)
Beef Broth
cornstarch
Onion
Cheese


Pork Scallopine (Friday)
Linguine or Egg Noodles
Pork Loin (cut into chops)
Mushrooms
Chicken Broth
Lemon
Heavy Cream
Capers
Parsley
Parmesan Cheese


Blueberry Baked French Toast (Saturday)
2 bags Stacy's pita chips (simply naked)
eggs
milk
heavy cream
sugar
vanilla
blueberries (optional)
all purpose flour
brown sugar
cinnamon
salt
butter


Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Sunday)
Pork Loin *
garlic
cumin
adobo (seasoning)
garlic powder
chicken broth
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
bay leaves
flour tortillas
avocado


Grilled Cream Corn (Sunday)
8 ears fresh corn
butter
flour
milk
cream cheese


Baked Spaghetti (Monday)
onion
green pepper
diced tomatoes (1 can)
butter
mushrooms
olives
ground beef
spaghetti noodles
shredded cheese
Cream of Mushroom soup
parmesan cheese


Here's to another good week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Southern Pecan Cream Pie

If you missed it, this pie was featured in the Baldwin Register last Wednesday. Dawn Hoover, the Spice of Life columnist, featured some "local celebs" (that would be me!) and their Mother's recipes. My Mom wanted to share her great-grandmother's Southern Pecan Cream Pie. It is absolute Heaven. I could not wait to get to her house yesterday to have some of this pie! I ate 3 slices. Yes, you read that correctly. Three slices! I must say that two of them were dinner though. I ate them curled up in bed catching up on Desperate Housewives. Such a sweet end to my Mother's Day! Put this one on the Menu next time you need to make a dessert. It is a winner for sure! Thanks Mom for making this yesterday and sharing half of a pie with me :)



3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1 baked 9-inch pie crust

Combine first three ingredients in a medium saucepan and set aside. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Slowly add the whole milk to the eggs. Add the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the saucepan, whisking to combine. Add the butter and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool completely and add pecans.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff. Fold half of the meringue into custard and pour into baked pastry shell.

Spread remaining meringue over filling, sealing to the edge of crust. Brown in a moderate oven at 350 degrees, for about 15 minutes. My Mom says that 8 wedges can be cut, but she prefers 6! If you like it as much as me, just sit down with the pie plate and a fork. Perfection!

*My Mom likes to bake her pie the night before and let it set up in the fridge overnight. It seems to taste better that way :)



Enjoy!


(recipe from my Mom, Sandy Sumlin)

Peanut Butter Coffee Cake

I was really looking forward to this Saturday morning. My husband loves peanut butter so I figured this would be a total hit. The original recipe called for an oat topping, but I didn't have regular rolled oats. I found a topping that used chocolate. Peanut butter and chocolate...for breakfast? In my house, Yes. I wish that I hadn't used my stoneware though. It doesn't cook like a regular baking dish and I had to cook it a lot longer than I should have to get it done in the middle. Doing that made the outside of the cake get too done. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the results. It wasn't as fluffy as it should have been. It was almost to peanut-buttery for me. If you like peanut butter and you have lots of it in the pantry, try this out. If not, read no further. This recipe is not for you :)




Cake:

2-1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In another large bowl cream together butter and peanut butter. Slowly beat in brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fluffy.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk to the creamed mixture, beating after each addition and beginning and ending with the flour mixture (1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour).

Spread batter in a greased 13 X 9-inch baking dish.

In another bowl combine ingredients for topping. Crumble over the batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Top with powdered sugar.



Enjoy...if you really like peanut butter!



(adapted from Natalie's Killer Cuisine)

Friday, May 7, 2010

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

This is a very popular casserole. There are lots of different versions of it floating around out there. I liked this one because it came from Southern Living (they always have great recipes), and because I had picked up most of the ingredients last week at Publix! I substituted flour tortillas for the corn tortillas. Use whatever you have on hand. I got in too big of a hurry and didn't read all the directions as carefully as I should have. I added the Rotel without draining it! I have never drained Rotel in any other recipes, so I just assumed that you didn't drain them for this recipe. It still turned out good though! So, what I might suggest is just draining one of the cans. I actually liked the texture of the flour tortillas after they absorbed some of the extra liquid. This was on the spicy side. It wasn't something that Ella ate. Maybe if you use the mild Rotel. The leftovers were great wrapped up in flour tortillas too! Maybe wrap it up and serve it with some Spanish Rice the next night. This is a big casserole so feed a crowd or use it for a double-duty dinner!



**Remember, I forgot to drain my Rotel. Duh! Yours won't be quite this runny. It also thickened up the longer it sat. The leftovers were great!



3-4 cooked chicken breasts (or 1 rotisserie chicken)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 Cream of Mushroom soup
1 Cream of Chicken soup
2 cans Rotel, drained (I FORGOT to drain them!)
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
12 (6-inch) fajita-size tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

If you're using chicken breasts, trim them of excess fat, season with salt and pepper, pound slightly with a meat tenderizer and saute over medium heat in a splash of olive oil. Cook for 6 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside. While the chicken is cooking, chop your veggies.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute 6-7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute 3-4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, cream of chicken and mushroom soup, Rotel and taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.

Shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13 X 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover with half of the tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.



Enjoy!


(adapted from Southern Living)


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Publix Trip: Why I Use Coupons!

I used to take pictures of my shopping trips, but I haven't posted one in a while. And then I figured, "why do y'all care what I'm buying!" So, I just quit doing it. But, tonight was too good not to share. This is a perfect example of why taking the time to clip coupons and organize your shopping trip really pays off. I am so happy with my receipt! I also purchased a $50 BP gas card, so that is included in my total. But, I will not be counting it towards my grocery budget for the week.



Order Total: $95.67
Sales Tax: $8.84
Grand Total: $104.51 (includes a $50 BP Gas Card)
Total Savings: $168.88 (includes $10 from the Gas Card)

What's in my Buggy:

(1) $50 BP Gas Card (for my Disney trip!)
(4) Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies
(2) Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwiches
(2) Jell-O Pudding
(2) Gallons Publix Milk
(1) 1/2 Gallon Publix Milk
(2) Single Tic Tacs- for Ella :)
(1) Publix Cream of Mushroom
(4) Nabisco 100 Calorie Much Pack (12-pack size)
(3) Special K Low-fat Granola
(2) Cheerios
(2) Cinnamon Toast Crunch
(36) Beech-Nut Baby Food
(1) Publix Hand Sanitizer
(1) Publix Cocoa Butter
(2) Double Stuffed Oreos
(1) Jumbo Bath Puff
(1) Emerald Almonds
(5) Oscar Mayer Deli Lunch Meat
(4) Eight O'Clock Coffee
(2) Hellman's Light Mayo
(6) Pop-tarts
(6) Ears of Corn
(1) Pineapple
(3) Apples
(1) Broccoli
(1) Green Bell Pepper
(1) Strawberries


Yes, so ALL of that food practically cost me $45 plus tax! Can you believe it?!?


Coupons I used:

(1) $10/50 Winn Dixie
(1) $10 off $50 BP Gas Card WYB $25 Groceries Publix Q
(2) $1/2 Pillsbury Cookies MQ
(2) $.75/1 Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich MQ
(2) $.60 Jell-O MQ
(2) $1/1 Milk WYB 1 Kellogg's Cereal MQ
(1) $1/1 Dairy Item Publix Q
(1) FREE 1/2 Gallon milk WYB 2 Nabisco Cookies MQ
(1) B1G1 FREE Single Tic Tacs MQ
(2) B1G1 FREE Nabisco 100-Calorie Packs MQ
(2) $1/1 Kellogg's Low-Fat Granola MQ
(1) $1.50/3 Kellogg's products Target Q
(2) $.55/1 Cheerios MQ
(2) $.55/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch MQ
(2) $1.50/8 Beech-Nut Baby Food Publix Q
(1) FREE Publix Hand Sanitizer Publix Q
(1) FREE Publix Cocoa Butter Publix Q
(1) FREE Nabisco Cookie WYB 1 Nabisco Cookie & 1 Gallon Milk MQ
(4) $1/1 Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat Publix Q
(5) $2/1 Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat MQ
(2) $2/2 Eight O'clock Coffee MQ
(1) $1/2 Hellman's Mayo Target Q
(2) $1/3 Kellogg's Pop-tarts MQ
(2) $3 RR from Walgreens


Chicken Fritters

There was a slight change of plans tonight when I realized that my Publix didn't have the Shrimp Skewers 10/$10 like what I saw in the Sneak Peek. I was a little disappointed, but then figured it would be a great night to make Chicken Fritters! My husband LOVES these and has been begging me to make them for quite a while now. The last time I made these I was about 7 months pregnant. Let's just say that I ate my fair share! My Dad used to make these all the time when we were little. I even remember taking the leftovers to the beach one day in the cooler and just eating them cold. The leftovers are great hot or cold, so pack some in a zippy bag and take them for lunch. That's if you have any leftover! These are not for you if you're on a diet or going for the healthy thing. But if you're going to cheat, these are totally worth it.



3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper
1 beer
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 cups vegetable oil

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk beer and flour together.

Heat oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat (I don't know the temperature). Dump half of the chicken pieces in the batter and coat well. Drop the chicken pieces one at a time in the hot oil (you can test the oil to see if its ready by dropping a little bit of the batter into the oil. If it sizzles, its ready!) Cook in batches- you will probably do a total of 4 or 5 batches. Don't over crowd the pan. Put just enough to fill the surface. Once all of the pieces have been dropped in, cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is cooked through (take out a piece and slice it open to check). Remove chicken to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt while still hot. Repeat with the rest of the chicken until all of the chicken has been cooked.



Enjoy!



Recipe from my Dad, Charlie Sumlin

Coupons Coupons Coupons

Here's some of the new coupons that have popped up throughout the day! There have been some really good ones. I especially love the B1G1 Nabisco snacks! I used it for the 12-pk 100 Calorie Snacks that were B1G1 at Publix. There is a max value for the coupon (around $3.29) and the big packs were on sale for B1G1 $6.17. I bought 4 and used 2 coupons. I got 4 boxes for $6.17 or $1.54 each! Awesome deal!


B1G1 Nabisco 100 Calorie Snacks (become a fan on Facebook)

$1/1 Lindsay Natural Green Ripe Olives (become a fan on Facebook)

$2/1 Red Baron Pizza by the Slice (RESET-become a fan on Facebook)

$1/1 Sargento Reduced Sodium Cheese (zip 06776)

$.50/1 New York Brand Frozen Bread Product

$1/1 Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

$.75/1 Ronzoni Smart Taste (this will make FREE pasta with a B1G1 sale!)

$.50/1 Starkist Pouch (reset?)

B1G1 La Creme Mousse (HOT!)

$1/1 Any Splenda Product

$1/3 Libby's Canned Vegetables

$.55/2 Hormel Pepperoni

$1/2 Hefty One Zip Bags (Winn Dixie puts these B1G1)



I will add more as I come across them!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ricotta Parmesan Chicken

Are you tired of pasta and sauce being on sale at the grocery stores? I know Publix has one brand on sale EVERY week. Needless to say, I have plenty of it on hand. But surprisingly enough, I haven't cooked anything with it lately! I came across this recipe on Foodbuzz the other day and though it was perfect because the chicken was on sale last week and this week its the pasta, sauce and ricotta cheese. This is a good twist on your typical Chicken Parmesan. It was a winner in my house!



4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (2 slices of bread)
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
10 oz. spaghetti noodles (just shy of one box)
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and pound slightly with a meat tenderizer. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange on the bottom of a baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the ricotta, milk and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over chicken breasts.

In a food processor or blender, pulse bread and garlic to make the bread crumbs. Mix in the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the crumbs over chicken breasts liberally, pressing into chicken to ensure a good stick.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Also warm sauce in a separate saucepan over low heat.

To serve, slice the chicken and serve over the pasta with a ladle of sauce.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Eatin' On The Cheap)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Menu 5/5

Is it Tuesday already? I wish time went by this fast when I was in high school! The days just seem to flip over one another now. I wish that I didn't require sleep. I would be able to get so many more things done! Just think of how much time we waste sleeping. I love working at night when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet. I just regret doing it when its time to wake up the next morning! I still have oodles of coupons to organize tonight. I still haven't caught up from when Emme was sick. This may be one of those late nights. I think I may pull my hair out if I have to keep digging through envelopes to find my coupons. Its going to be time to get my Publix trip together for Thursday and these bad boys all have to be in the correct place! Speaking of Publix there are a few good deals going on this week. Nothing spectacular. My family is really excited about the pop-tarts! I wish they would run better deals on the meat. Until the chicken deal last week, I have been visiting other grocery stores to stock my freezer. I think I have still managed to pull together a great menu. Did you guys try any of the things from last week? What do you think of the Chicken Tacos and Moo-Shu Chicken?


Ricotta Chicken Parmesan- Wed 5/5
Chicken Fritters- Thurs 5/6
(didn't make the Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers as planned)
King Ranch Chicken Casserole- Fri 5/7
Peanut Butter Coffee Cake- Sat 5/8
Chicken Amandine- Sat 5/8 (didn't make!)
Pineapple Sherbet- Sun 5/9 (didn't make...but still planning to!)
Southern Pecan Cream Pie- Sun 5/9
Almond Veggie Stir-fry- Mon 5/10 (also didn't make!)
Creamy Taco Mac- Tues 5/11
Cranberry Almond Granola Bars- Tues 5/11

I will post the recipe and pictures after I make them on the designated day. To make it easier to cook with me, I decided to include a recipe ingredient break-down to make your shopping a bit easier. The items marked with an (*) refer to a sale item this week at Publix. I'm pulling a lot from my stockpile this week. Several of the items (Rotel, tortillas, chicken) I picked up this past week on sale. I also visit my local farmers market for produce throughout the week. Its on the way home and Ella loves getting the string cheese :)

And if you're shopping Publix, don't forget your $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon! Here is a new one (try zip 95677, radius 50 miles)


Ricotta Chicken Parmesan (Wednesday)
ricotta cheese *
milk
boneless skinless chicken breasts
fresh breadcrumbs * (pulse bread slices in the blender or processor)
parmesan cheese
pasta *
spaghetti sauce *


Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers (Thursday)
salt
sugar
shrimp *
olive oil
parsley
lemon
garlic


King Ranch Chicken Casserole (Friday)
chicken breasts (or 1 whole chicken)
chicken broth
butter
onion
green bell pepper *
garlic
Cream of Mushroom
Cream of Chicken
Rotel (2)
taco seasoning
cheddar cheese
flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)


Peanut Butter Coffee Cake (Saturday)
all purpose flour
baking powder
salt
baking soda
butter
peanut butter *
brown sugar
eggs
milk
sugar
rolled oats


Chicken Amandine (Saturday)
almonds *
bread crumbs
eggs
boneless skinless chicken breasts


Pineapple Sherbet (Sunday)
pineapple chunks *
sugar
vanilla extract
whole milk

Almond Veggie Stir-fry (Monday)
cornstarch
sugar
soy sauce
sesame oil (or olive oil)
broccoli *
red pepper
onion
garlic
fresh ginger (I get this at my local farmers market)
almonds *
*I may add chicken and additional veggies if I see fit Monday :)


Cranberry Almond Granola Bars (Tuesday)
butter
miniature marshmallows
Special K Granola * (or other cluster cereal)
Rice Krispies
Craisins
salt


I enjoyed Apple Jacks and Chocolate Cheerios for dinner tonight! Looking forward to the Ricotta Chicken Parm tomorrow night.