Sunday, May 31, 2009

Corn on the cob/Corn Salad with Feta and Walnuts

I got the hubby to grill up some ears of corn the other night--I shucked them, then he wrapped them in aluminum foil, poured in a little olive oil, and threw them on the grill. Simple, but YUMMY. I love butter, but don't need it on this corn, so it's probably a lot healthier this way, too. For me, anyway...

I sliced the left-over corn off of the cobs, and used it to make Corn Salad with Feta and Walnuts. I got the recipe out of the June 2009 Real Simple magazine. The ingredients sounded like odd pairings, but I thought it was pretty good. And I'm a picky eater! I'll probably make this again.

Notes: When I made this, I halved the recipe because I only had two cups (ears) of corn, and I went back and diced the jalapeno into smaller pieces than are shown going in. And I added in some cumin. Because I really like cumin. And I thought it needed just a little something else. Be careful when toasting the walnuts--they burn quickly (as in, I had to toast twice because I burned the first batch). Also, don't add the Feta cheese until you serve the salad; apparently it gets a little soggy if it sits for a while.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Round 2 Recipe...Blackbean burger => Blackbean enchiladas

Found this recipe on Food Network when I looked up "double duty dinners".
The first recipe for Black Bean Burgers was very easy. My kiddos helped me make them. I was not impressed though. My husband thought they were okay with enough mayo!

The next night, I made the Black Bean Enchiladas with the 1 cup of black bean mixture that I had reserved. Now, I thought these were pretty good. I also made my own enchiladas sauce that I will use for the rest of my life. I think that helped.
Now, I forgot to take a picture of the enchiladas. They were not as good as the Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas recipe from Kerri :) I do want to find a decent Black Bean Burger recipe because there was definitely some room for improvement there!!
Enchiladas Sauce
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add 1 tbsp flour and stir. Add 2 cups chicken stock ( I used that which I had made with my Beer Can Chicken :) and stir until thick. Add chili pepper, cumin and coriander. PERFECT!!

Honey Mustard Salmon/Asian Salmon Cakes


So, pre-kids I used to make salmon whenever it was on sale. I could usually get it for $3.99/lb, and salmon is so rich, Mark and I could get away with getting between a half and three quarters of a pound. Even then, occationally we would have leftovers and lets face it, who wants to eat leftover fish? I came across a recipe to use leftover salmon and make a cake out of it. The source I used was Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller. This is actually a great book to get tips for cooking quickly and she has a lot of these "morphing meals". For meal #1, you roasted the salmon with a small amount of a honey mustard glaze, and served it with additional sauce at the table. Cooking salmon in this way is so easy and flavorful...and it doesn't stink up your kitchen! Mark really liked the sauce, I did make a sub for the hot mustard powder, and thought it would be better as written.


I was really excited about the asian salmon cakes with the wasabi cream! The cakes themselves were fine, although a little uninteresting. I hated the cream :( I used wasabi powder instead of paste and I think something is wrong with it. I served it with some greens from my CSA and made a ginger seasame dressing. It wasn't bad. It did stink up my kitchen a little bit.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spanish beef and rice/stuffed peppers


I found this recipe in my 30 Minute Meals 2 book in the section for double duty dinners. I am not sure what makes it spanish style, but it was pretty good. The recipe is very simple, but it had a lot of flavor. For some reason, I only took a picture of James's plate:


For dinner #2, I put the beef and rice into leftover HATCH peppers from last year. I did follow the spirit of the recipe, but made several changes: used kale instead of spinach (thanks CSA!), did not mix or reheat filling with broth, just drizzled in some tomato sauce instead of mixing it it, and finally, I did not grill the peppers, just baked them for 375 for about 30 minutes. I served it with corn muffins from the freezer.


Both of these dinners were fine, but I probably wouldn't make them again.

Morning coffee/afternoon iced treat!

My sister is making me post this ;)


DH made a trip to California a month ago and brought me back some chocolate hazelnut flavored coffee. After a bad night, I brewed a pot of this (full caff) rather than my normal half caff. I like it with 2 creams and 2 sugars.


In the afternoon, I started to fade a bit, so I took what was leftover in the pot and made an iced coffee. I filled a cup with ice, filled it up halfway with the leftover coffee, filled the rest with milk, stirred in half a packet of sweet and low and had myself a yummy treat. Lately, I have been making a big pot of this on Monday mornings so I can have iced coffee for the rest of the week.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beer Can Chicken... => Chicken Salad

Beer Can Chicken...Thanks Uncle B-rad for this one!

1 Whole Chicken
Tony C's or seasoning of your choice
1 Can of Beer
Empty can of beer, save beer. Cut can leaving about 2/3 of the can. Fill with beer...drink the rest:) Stick the bird on the can. Rub the bird with butter. Rub the bird with Tony C's or other seasoning. Bake in the oven for 1.5-2 hours at 375 or until done :)

This is the first fruit from our garden:)
I also made some chicken stock and it is in my freezer for us later, but used the leftover chicken for Chicken Salad. I wanted to make a fancy kind with nut or grapes or celery, but ended up just making it super plain.

Chicken Salad

Shredded Chicken
1/3 cup Mayo
Salt and Pepper

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken *updated with pictures*


This is another recipe I got from my Cooking Light message board several years ago. The recipe is easy.

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless breast
1 can corn (I used frozen)
1 can black beans, drained
1 16oz jar salsa
- Combine all ingredients in crockpot.
- Cook on low for around 8 hours.
- Remove chicken.
- Add 1/2 brick cream cheese to crockpot and allow to melt.
- Shred chicken and mix back into crock pot.

From here you can do several things. You can serve it over rice or polenta. I used it to make burritos that first night.


For the next meal, I mixed the leftover chicken mixture with 1/2 pound cooked pasta. Sometimes I will use pasta that I have frozen to make this meal. You can add a little milk, chicken stock, or pasta water if it seems to dry. Transfer pasta mixture to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle with some sort of cheese. Bake at 375 for around 30 minutes.

I took a picture, but I can't find must have not uploaded. I will work on that. This meal isn't great, but it is super easy and the kids love it.

Found pictures!



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mashed potatoes/potato bread

From the sunday roast beef dinner, I had some leftover mashed potatoes.


In the spirit of this challenge, I decided it would be apropiate to use them in another form...potato bread!


This recipe was in a recent issue of Cooking Light. It was pretty easy to put together, although I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, not my hands. The result was delicious! But of course it was, it was freshly baked bread.

I don't know if I will make this again though, I definately would want to, but just may not get around to it. At least I have another loaf for later, YAY!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Triple Chicken

I started with a whole chicken that I roasted using this recipe. I followed it pretty much except that I used russet potatoes instead of red (because that's what I had on hand) and I didn't make the gravy. The chicken turned out great and I loved the roasted onions. Next time I'll add even more onions. I served it with a salad and bread.

We were left with about 1.5 cups of roasted chicken. I used the carcass (does that word disgust anyone else, or is it just me?) to make some chicken stock. I think the roasted carcass adds such a good flavor to the stock. I put it in the crock pot with some water celery, onions, carrots and parsley and cooked it on high for a couple of hours. I chilled overnight and skimmed the fat the next morning. I got about 4c of broth that I froze for use in a soup sometime.

Tonight I used the leftover chicken to make a Chicken Broccoli Alfredo pizza. It turned out really good and was a nice change of pace from the usual veggie pizza we eat on Friday nights. My kids devoured this.
Not bad for a $5.00 chicken!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Roast beef (sunday dinner)/sandwiches (weeknight dinner)

A really good way to get a little more mileage out of a meal, is to somehow turn it into a sandwich. See, nice meal, casual meal. Double duty!


The roast beef was a recipe I got from last years Cooks Illustrated. It was in an article entitled "Improving Cheap Roast Beef". It recommends using Eye of Round roast, which I don't really consider cheap, but I did get it on sale for $2.99/pound. Not bad!

Slow-Roasted Beef. Whew, didn't have to type it in. The real winner was the horseradish cream sauce (whip cream to soft peaks, fold in equal quantity of horseradish, salt and pepper to taste) One of the best I have ever had!

For my weeknight meal, I warmed the buns and the beef, but at lunch, I really prefer it cold. Served it again with that cream sauce. YUMMY!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

May challenge: double duty dinners

What do you know? It is May, actually May 3rd and I am just getting around to this. The challenge for this month is double duty dinners aka cook once, eat twice aka morphing meals aka glorified leftovers. I like to make one meal out of something, then serve it again later, but change it up to make it seem like a whole new meal. My dad got on this kick awhile ago. He called it "The Rotation". He made a big batch of RR's sloppy joe's (meal#1), then would make lasagna from it (meal#2) and finally stuffed peppers (meal#3). Rachel Ray does have some of these double duty dinners, but another good source is Robin Miller who hosts "Quick Fix Meals" also on the food network.

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!