Saturday, June 18, 2011

This weeks meals part two...

Okay, I promised this post would follow soon after... it should get posted tonight, though I will have to go make dinner soon. So, it may be after dinner before I post it but at least I have already started on it.

Breakfast (x7)
Chicken and Pepper Hash and Eggs
Hard Boiled Eggs and Toast (x2)
Egg Sandwich and Fruit (x2)
Oatmeal with Blueberries, Milk, and Brown Sugar (x2)

Lunch (x4)
Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan Bread
Tuna Salad Sandwich on Wheat, Pasta Salad, Fruit
Hamburger, Pasta Salad, Fruit
Pasta Salad with added Salami and Cheese

Snacks (about 4)
Vegetables and Pita with Baba Ganush
Cheese and Crackers
Pretzels and Peanut Butter

Dinner (x4)
Italian Chicken and Pepper Skewers with Long Grain and Wild Rice
Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob, and Onion Rings
Eggs, Country Ham, Hash Browns, and Fruit
Spicy Shrimp and Salmon, Asparagus, Corn Fritters

This weeks meals...

I need to post my honey mustard salmon from earlier in the week and I plan to do that tonight after dinner. Hopefully at that time I will also have two more recipes to share!

Right now I am focusing on eating out of the freezer because I really need to restock on some stuff that we always eat... but I have no room because the freezer is full of random stuff. I also want to be able to have some room to keep homemade waffles or pancakes up there as well. Right now, there just is not enough space for what I want to do. Thus, just about every meal has at least one thing that comes from the freezer.

I'm really struggling with any sort of diet right now. My dinners are not that bad though we splurge here and there (the Pot Roast for example this past week). We eat a lot of vegetables and leaner proteins (not as much red meat or ground beef). However, I almost always skip breakfast and then grab something out for lunch... even if I am home all day. I NEED TO STOP DOING THAT!

(yes, I just yelled at myself...)

So, I need to really come up with some healthy, tasty, and inexpensive breakfasts and lunches. I also need a way to have a lot of variety without spending too much money and wasting a lot of food. My biggest problem is that I get bored so easily and I flat out don't "want" what I have in the house. I need to change that and the way I look at food. So, I am going to make some rules for myself.

1) One glass of milk everyday. I know I don't get enough calcium and vitamin D.
2) One glass of no sugar added apple juice a day. This helps with some of the tummy issues I deal with due to some medications I take.
3) Out of the rest that I drink, only one serving of non-water. I am getting way too much sugar and calories in what I drink.
4) One serving of fruit everyday. If nothing else, so I don't waste as much.
5) I must eat breakfast every day even if it is just a piece of fruit.
6) I must eat lunch at home at least 4 times a week.

I am working on my grocery list for next week already so that I have time to come up with some ideas. As such, I will now be coming up with extended menu's that include what choices I have for breakfast and lunch for each week. I can also use this to see how I can use dinner leftovers to come up with new ideas and concepts (one of my favorite breakfast/lunch ideas is hash made from leftover meat and vegetables from the night before... the combinations are endless!). These menus will (hopefully) be posted weekly. The first one should shortly follow this post.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Menu for June!

So, today is June 1, 2011. Thought I would go ahead and post my monthly menu for this month. I am waiting on my new issues of Food Network Magazine and Rachel Ray Magazine to add a few meals to July before I can finish that.

Wed 6/1- Breaded Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce, corn bread, roasted sweet potatoes

Fri 6/3
Southwest Pasta Skillet

Sat 6/4
Thanksgiving in June: Turkey, Rolls, green bean cassarole, cranberry sauce, stuffing

Mon 6/6
Left Overs

Wed 6/8
Honey Mustard Salmon, Roasted Asparagus

Fri 6/10
BBQ Chicken, Potato/Carrot/Onion Packets, Rolls

Sat 6/11
Pot Roast, Carrots and Onions, Potatoes and Potato Rolls

Mon 6/13
Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic bread

Wed 6/15
Steak 'Em Up Pitas, French Fries, Fruit

Fri 6/17
Garlic-Herb Red Snapper, Rice Pilaf, Buttered Snap Peas

Sat 6/18
Orange Chicken and Brocolli, Egg Rolls, Rice

Mon 6/20
Grilled Sirloin Teriyaki, Rolls, Potato/Onion/Carrot Packets

Wed 6/22
Italian Chicken and Tricolor Pepper Skewers, Long grain and wild

Fri 6/24
Hamburgers, Potato salad, Corn on the Cob

Sat 6/25
Cajun Chicken Pasta, Garlic bread

Mon 6/27
Spicy Shrimp and Salmon, Asparagus, Rice

Wed 6/29
Farmhouse Casserole, fresh fruit

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beer Braised Chicken

I am WAY too full. Tonight I made a new recipe and it was much better then I could ever have thought. So... I ate too much.

But as I promised some of my followers... here is the recipe. It actually tasted a lot like a chicken "pot roast". Very rich and flavorful. I served this with some french bread to soak up the juices. Hope everyone enjoys!

Beer Braised Chicken (adapted from Food Network)


  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (preferably brown ale)
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 4 medium sized carrots, sliced
  • 3/4 pound red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.

Add the olive oil to the drippings in the pot. Add the chicken in batches and cook over medium-high heat until golden on the bottom, 6 to 7 minutes, then flip and sear the other side, about 1 minute.

Add the beer, onions, potatoes, mustard, sugar, thyme and 1 cup water to the pot and stir, making sure the chicken is fully submerged.

Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Discard the thyme and stir in the bacon and parsley.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parmesan Chicken with Pasta Fresca

This was good, simple, and very light. As some of my readers know, I can not have a lot of tomato due to medical issues. Fresh tomatoes do not seem to cause the same issues as canned or sauces so I try to use those whenever possible. I found this through Southern Plate and it was really good.

Parmesan Chicken with Pasta Fresca

-1 box penne pasta
-1/2C baby spinach
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2C cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 red onion, large dice
-Fresh cracked pepper
-1/8C white wine
-1/8C balsamic vinegar
-1/4C EVOO

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a measuring cup, mix the white wine, balsamic vinegar, EVOO, and 1 clove of garlic.

In a saute pan, heat 2 tbl olive oil and saute remaining garlic and the onion until tender.

Add pasta and cherry tomatoes and cook until the pasta is seared.

Rewisk sauce and add to the pasta along with the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted.

Parmesan Chicken
-4 thinly sliced chicken breats
-2C all purpose flour
-1C plain bread crumbs
-Italian Seasoning
-Parmesan Cheese
-Black pepper
-1C cream
-Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 350.

Put 1C flour in a bowl. Put the other cup of flour, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and pepper in another bowl. Put the cream in a third bowl.

Dip the chicken into the plain flour, then the cream, and finally the breadcrumb mixture.

Using a large, nonstick pan heat the oil until hot. Pan fry the chicken until brown and crispy.

Place the fried chicken into a baking dish and bake in the preheated over 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the chicken sliced on top of the pasta and sprinkle with more parmesan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Month, New Diet, New Menu

So first, I seem to have some new followers. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy. While this blog is mostly about food, I also discuss other things on it that I find interesting. I do hope to spend more time on it with the semester ending and hope I will be able to personalize it more.

Today's post is about my menu for the month of May. I usually do a monthly menu so that I can see a general layout of meals and be sure I don't have a lot of "splurge" items within the same week. I try to be sure to have a nice mixture of meals every week. I WAS going to try and have a no meat day every week, but so far that is just not happening due to not everyone being on board about it. Oh well... I still feel we are starting to eat better!

So my monthly menu will start with this upcoming Wednesday even though it is technically still April and will go through May 31. This is due to how my shopping trips line up.

4/27: Breakfast: Eggs, ham, hashbrowns, toast
4/29: Pasta Fresca with Parmesan Chicken and Garlic Bread
4/30: Asian Grilled Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Asparagus
5/4: BLTs, Fruit, and Potato Salad
5/6: Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Mixed Vegetables
5/8: Appetizer Night (not sure exactly what yet)
5/9; Tilapia Masala, Peas, Rice Pilaf
5/11: Garlic Rib Eyes, Potato/Carrot/Onion Foil Packets, Rolls
5/13: Honey Mustard Salmon, Roasted Asparagus
5/15: Italian Sausage, Corn on the Cob, Fruit Salad
5/16: Steak Fajitas, Mexican Rice, Mexi Corn with Black Beans
5/18: Beer Braised Chicken, Spinach Salad, Crusty Bread
5/20: Glazed BBQ Shrimp, Corn on the Cob, Rolls
5/22: Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak, Corn on the Cob, Restaurant Mashed Potatoes
5/23: Homemade Pizza
5/25: Asian Style Orange Sauced Salmon, Green Beans
5/27: Beef Teriyaki Skewers, Rice Pilaf
5/29: Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob, Potato Salad
5/30: White Chicken Lasagna, Garlic Bread

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guild Wars 2

Okay, so this little post has nothing to do with food. I ended up not making what I originally planned for dinner and instead we ordered some pizza. I was just too tired and worn down to cook... plus I had been craving a pizza with lots of veggies on it so I couldn't complain.

So what I wanted to talk about today was a little game called Guild Wars 2. I have been playing the original Guild Wars for awhile now with my ranger main. As such, I am really looking forward to playing GW2 when it finally comes out... though I am getting a bit tired of waiting.

We currently have all the races announced: Human, Charr, Asura, Norn, and Sylvari.

We also have six of the eight classes announced: Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist, Guardian, Thief, and Necromancer. However, we are still waiting for two more classes.

Even without knowing all the classes, I have NO idea what I want to play. I LOVE ranger in the original Guild Wars, but not sure I want to stay with that class in GW2. Thief looks really interesting and so does Necromancer... plus who knows what is in store with the other two classes.

I also don't know what race I want to play. They all look interesting and fun to play. Most likely I will make one of each race and see what I enjoy playing the most.

So, anyone else looking forward to GW2? What do you think you will play?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beef Shepherd's Pie

Or should I say, Cottage Pie. Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. Since I didn't feel like using ground lamb, I used ground beef which is traditionally called Cottage Pie. Either way, I call it YUM! It doesn't look like it would be as flavorable as it actually is. This recipe is very good and it will be one I keep and make again and again.

The original recipe is from Food Network, but I have changed it some.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 cups Mashed Potatoes (boxed or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat Over to 375.

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, half the salt, and Italian Seasoning. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook until tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more.

Stir in the beef, the broth, the remaining salt, the Worcestershire, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps of meat, cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder around the edge. Sprinkle with cheese, and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter.

Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops

So, I got to page 5 of my 15 page paper today. I had only aimed for page 3 so I am really happy with my progress. So far the information I have come up with is very interesting and once the paper is finished, I might be willing to post about it.

In celebration of my progress, I decided to take a moment and post a couple of recipes from this past week or so. With how much work I have had lately, it makes it hard to keep up with the blog, so it takes a back burner to my school work. I apologize about that, but I hope to get back to it once things start to slow down.

For now, here is a recipe I made the other night. It is based off of a recipe by the Neely's of the Food Network. It was really, really good. I served it with corn on the cob and potato salad.


  • 4 (1 1/2-inch thick) center cut bone in pork chops
  • Emeril's Essence
  • Sweet and Tangy Glaze, recipe follows


-Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

-Season the pork chops lightly on both sides with the Seasoning Salt.

-Grill the chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Brush them with the Sweet and Tangy Glaze the last 5 minutes of grilling.

Sweet and Tangy Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tilapia and Green Beans...

Now, that doesn't sound like a fun title, but it was tasty that's for sure.

And as I was eating I realized my camera was still downstairs so no pictures again today. Sorry! Maybe someday I will actually remember the camera!

This meal was light, fast, and doesn't require a lot of thinking. Which is good, because my brain was about dead from reading research journals and articles all day looking for sources for a paper due at the end of the month. I found everything I need though I have to go back through them and actually pick out the information I want to include in the paper.

I just keep telling myself that the semester is almost over...

But finally, here is the food.

Cajun Tilapia with Dill Sauce

-Tilapia fillets
-Cajun seasoning to taste (I actually used some of Emeril's Essence)
-1 Lemon thinly sliced

-1/4 C mayonnaise
-1/2 C sour cream
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1 tbl lemon juice
-fresh dill to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350 and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2) Season the tilapia with the cajun seasoning. Place the fillets in the pan and place the lemon slices on top. (Mine were the perfect size to have 2 slices per fillet)

3)Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

4) While the fish is baking, mix the mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl. Serve with the fish.

Sauteed Green Beans

-2 tbl butter
-1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
-1/2 a medium onion, diced
-3 cloves minced garlic

1) Melt 1 tbl butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent and soft.

2) Melt the other 1 tbl butter in the pan. Add the green beans.

3) Cook, covered, until the beans are tender crisp, about 10 minutes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The dangerous Vegetable Soup...

So for dinner tonight I am making a vegetable soup in the crock pot. It is actually very favorable (I find many crock pot recipes bland), full of vegetables, and a great starter recipe. So, why did I title this "dangerous vegetable soup"? Because cabbage hates me I think.

You see, I was slicing the cabbage, the last vegetable to be prepped, and I missed... and cut myself. It's pretty bad, but I won't go into details because wounds and food do not go well together. Needless to say, it hurt, a lot, and is still very painful. Luckily it is on my left thumb, so I don't need to use it while it heals. I just got too excited slicing the cabbage and I wasn't careful. My fault.

Oh well, I will still eat the soup... and by doing so get my revenge on that cabbage!

"Dangerous" Vegetable Soup
1 med onion, chopped
1C sliced carrots
1C sliced celery
1C sliced cabbage
1C frozen corn
1C frozen green beans
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2-3 C beef broth (or as much as you want)
2 bay leaves
black pepper to taste

1. Combine the onion, carrots, celery, and cabbage in slow cooker.
2. Combine broth, tomato paste, and worcestershire sauce in a measuring cup. When blended, pour into the slow cooker and stir. Add the bay leaves and black pepper.
4. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
5. Add the corn and green beans. Stir. Cover and cook on high for another hour.

Note: This recipe to wonderful because you can add or subtract any sorts of vegetables. Add raw vegetables at the start and the frozen for the last hour. I also sometimes make this with ground beef and/or kidney beans to make it more filling.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Balsamic Salmon and Rice Pilaf

So, as promised, here is a meal from last week to tide people over until I get going here again. This meal was a real hit and pretty healthy. We also had potato rolls with it since I had bought some for the BBQ chicken tonight and needed to use the rest.

Salmon Fillets
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbl chicken stock
1 Tbl honey
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
4 tsp Dijon mustard
chopped fresh oregano

- Preheat the over to 400
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon on the baking sheet.
- Mix together the garlic, stock, honey, vinegar, and mustard in a small pan. Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens and reduces.
- Brush the glaze on the salmon and sprinkle with the chopped oregano
- Bake salmon for about 14 minutes or until it flakes. When done, remove from over and brush some more glaze on before serving.

Spring Vegetable Rice Pilaf
2 Tbl butter
1/2 C orzo
1 Tbl olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 carrot cut into matchsticks
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2.5 C of chicken stock
1 C long grain white rice
1 Tbl lemon zest
1 Tbl fresh thyme
1 C of spinach
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Parmesan cheese

- Melt the butter is a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the orzo and cook until a golden brown. Remove the orzo from the pan.
-Add the olive oil to the pan, then the asparagus, carrots, shallots, and garlic. Cover and cook until vegetables just start to soften, about 5 minutes.
-Stir in the stock, rice, lemon zest, thyme, and orzo and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat, and simmer until rice is tender, about 16 minutes.
-Fold in the spinach, then stir in the lemon juice and Parmesan.

The month to come

So, I couldn't get SPSS to download. Well actually I got it to download, install, and then it wasn't allowing me the free trial. This means I will have to head to campus tomorrow early to try and get this data analyzed. I am hoping an hour and a half will be enough to run a handful of regressions and correlations. Then I can finish the paper Tuesday at the boyfriend's.

I should also mention a new "thing" for me. I have decided that every month must include a recipe from both my Food Network Magazine and my Rachel Ray magazine for that month. I find myself using a lot of online recipes and ignoring all these wonderful ones that I have sitting around! Time to put those subscriptions to work!

Since I had a bit of time today that I had not counted on, I am going to post my menu for the month.

And the meals can always change. We may be having company at some point this month and I might end up changing a few things around to accommodate for them (cooking for 4 versus 2 for example).

So, my calendar for April.
4/3: BBQ Chicken, potato/onion/carrot grill packets, potato rolls
4/4: Slow cooker vegetable soup and grilled cheese
4/6: Cottage Pie
4/8: Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce, Green beans
4/10: Grilled steaks, baked potatoes, creamed spinach (for me), salad (for mom)
4/13: White Chicken Chili with a Corn Bread Crust
4/15: The Marlboro Man Sandwich, Fries, Fruit Salad
4/17: Teriyaki Pork Chops, Carrots/Onion/Potato grill packets, rolls
4/20: Baked Shrimp Scampi, Green Beans, Red Lobster Biscuits
4/22 Ribeye Steaks in Red Wine Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, creamed spinach, salad
4/24: Easter- Baked Ham, Southern Green Beans, Deviled Eggs, Rolls, and more
4/27: Breakfast: Eggs, Ham, Skillet Potatoes, Toast
4/29: Pasta Fresca with Parmesan Chicken, Garlic Bread

When I have time I will post recipes again. I may actually post a few I missed in my absence tonight. May as well... stupid SPSS...

I'm baaaack!

Well, at least that is the plan.

School has been kicking my behind lately and will continue to do so until the end of the month. Then I will hopefully get a bit of rest and relaxation in before next semester.

However, when talking to a friend online the other day, he suggested I pick my blog back up. He was excited about the idea of sharing recipes and thought this would be a great way for me to post mine. Well, duh, that is what I was doing already... but I got busy and a bit lazy about it.

So I am charging my camera as we speak. It'll be another couple of days before I have a new recipes for everyone (I have a paper to finish writing so meals are super easy the next few days), but I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.

Friday, February 25, 2011

So many plans...

... so little time.

I am really excited about spring coming. Hopefully we won't see some freak snow storm from here on out, though I most likely just jinked us. The reason I am excited of the idea of spring is because I have so many huge plans for this spring and summer.

1) We are going to clear out the garden and build our own planter boxes. This will hopefully help our garden and allow us to do better this yea then last. We are currently planning on tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and some herbs. Not sure if this will be our final list or if we will add to it.

2) Lots of new grilling recipes to be made this year! We are also looking into getting a new gas grill to take the place of our poor dying charcoal grill.

3) We are going to clean out the garage to make room for shelving and a freezer. We have found we really need to get a freezer of some sort. Our current one (the one attached to the fridge) is just too small for our needs.

and so much more!

Also, school has been kicking me in the behind recently which is why I have been slow in updating. Hopefully I will be back soon with new recipes and ideas for you all!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fried Chicken... YUM!

Fried Chicken is amazing... or should I say, good fried chicken is amazing. I have not had much luck in the past with fried chicken recipes. The chicken is either dry and overcooked or the coating is burned before the chicken is fully cooked.

Then I met the Pioneer Woman... and she has saved me from any more fried chicken disasters. There are a couple keys to this recipe that make it so wonderful. First is the buttermilk
"bath" that the chicken takes overnight. Second is the milk/buttermilk that is put into the flour mixture that causes the coating to be extra crunchy. Finally, by frying it until brown and then baking it to finish the cooking, it really keeps it from drying out the chicken or over browning the coating.

I made this with corn on the cob and biscuits with honey butter.

Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

2 cut-up fryer chickens
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup milk
canola or vegetable oil for frying

1. In a large bowl (or 2 freezer bags) add the chicken with 1 quart buttermilk. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to fry, remove chicken from bowl and let sit on counter for 30 minutes to take chill off.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Stir together the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and cayenne in a very large bowl. In a small bowl combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and use a fork to mix until little lumps throughout.

3. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat to 365F. Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with the breading, pressing to adhere the breading. Add the chicken to the oil 3-4 pieces at a time. Cover pan and fry 5-7 minutes, checking to make sure chicken isn’t getting too brown. Turn, cover and cook additional 3-5 minutes more. Monitor temperature of oil to make sure chicken doesn’t burn. Keep in mind chicken will finish cooking in oven.

4. Place chicken on baking sheet and continue frying rest of chicken. When done, bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until chicken cooked through.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quick, fast, and tasty...

I think a lot of home cooks with they had more recipes for meals that are quick, fast, and tasty. I know I am always looking for more! So, when I was looking around some of my favorite recipe web sites, that is normally what I am looking for. This past week, I found one that is a definite keeper. It is also a pasta dish that is low on tomatoes, but is not full of heavy cream.

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Fake Bake (adapted from Rachel Ray)


  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 (14.5) can diced tomatoes
  • Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan


-Prick sausages with a fork and place in a large skillet with 1 inch of water. Cover and bring water to a boil then reduce heat. Allow all the liquid to cook away then brown the sausage. Remove from the pan and reserve the dripping.

-Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.

-Add the peppers, onions, and garlic to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

-Slice the sausage and add the slices back into the pan with the vegetables. Cook until the sausage becomes crisp around the edges.

-Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, making sure to get all the browned bits off the bottom (this is where the flavor is!). Stir in the crushed tomatoes and parsley and bring to a bubble. Reduce the to low.

-Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the ricotta cheese and half the Parmesan. Stir to combine and until the cheese is all mixed through.

-Add the past mixture to the peppers and onions. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

-Serve with the rest of the Parmesan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken... a wonderful reason to eat stuffing!

So, this week I am roasting a chicken. In reality it's because I have been craving some cornbread stuffing... so the chicken is just an excuse. This has become one of my favorite recipes and now is a "must have" at my family's Thanksgiving table. It's a tiny bit sweet and a whole lot of tasty. It also makes a ton of stuffing, so be prepared!

Cornbread Stuffing (adapted from Pioneer Woman)
  • 1 whole Pan Of Cornbread (I use Jiffy because I like the sweetness)
  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Dried parsley to taste
  • Dried sage to taste
- Chop up the cornbread and french bread into one inch cubes and allow to dry for about a day.

- Add one stick of butter into a large skillet. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.

-Add 4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add some of the dried parsley and some of the sage.

-Place the bread crumbs into a large bowl and ladle in the broth/vege mixtures. Add enough broth into the bread crumbs to make it moist, but not too watery.

-Add more parsley and sage to taste.

-Either stuff the bird and bake according to directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, January 31, 2011

This weeks menus

Last week wasn't that great of a week. We ended up getting pizza on Friday night and eating out on Saturday night. As such, we didn't have the salmon or the shrimp penne. Those have now been pushed back to future days. Hopefully we do better this week.

This weeks meals will be:

Tonight is Country Style Ribs in the Slow Cooker and Cole Slaw.

Wednesday is Italian Sausage, pepper, and onion fake bake with garlic bread.

Friday is Roasted Chicken, cornbread dressing, and corn.

Sunday is Superbowl munchies! Coconut Shrimp with dipping sauce, chicken wings, pan fried onion dip and chips, cheese and crackers, and something sweet (no idea what though). I may also add some jalapenos poppers for myself as mom would never eat them!

Monday is whatever I decide I want while I am at the store as I only have to cook for myself.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Pot Roast

So I am mixing things up from my original menu and plan. Tonight was supposed to be Salmon Fillets over Couscous, but I am changing that to Pot Roast. It's cold, rainy, and it's supposed to start snowing soon. So I decided I wanted something warm, filling, and rich for dinner tonight and Pot Roast just fits the bill.

I use a recipe that my mom taught me and it is the recipe she has used since I was a kid. It's not something you can make quickly and takes a decent amount of time to cook. However, it is SO worth the time and work.

So today I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes EVER. This is my mom's recipe and one I hope to continue to make forever.

Mom's Pot Roast

  • 3-5 lbs Chuck Roast
  • 1.5 lbs of Carrots, cut into even sized chunks (keep them decently large as they cook a long time)
  • 1 lg Onion cut into quarters
  • 10-12 medium Red Potatoes cut into even sized chunks
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 5 Beef Bullion Cubes
  • Water
  • Corn Starch

-Use a Dutch Oven or Large Cast Iron Skillet

-Preheat the Oven to 350

-Season the Roast. Sear in the Dutch Over or Skillet in Vegetable Oil until all sides are browned. Remove the Roast from the pan.

-Put the Onions into the pan and allow to brown. Add a small amount of Water in order to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

-Put the Roast back into the pan. Add the Beef Bullion Cubes and enough Water to come 3/4 of the way up the Roast.

-Put the pan into the over and cook, covered, for an hour.

-Add the Carrots to the pan and more water if needed. Put the pan back into the oven for an hour and a half.

-Add the Potatoes to the pan. Put the pan back into the open for half an hour.

-Remove the pan from the over. Remove the Potatoes to a bowl and the Carrots and Onions to another bowl. Remove the Roast to a plate.

-Put the pan on low heat on the stove. Make a mixture of corn starch and water. Add this mixture to the juices and water in the pan and bring to the boil. Add mixture until the thickness of the gravy is to your liking.

-Serve the Pot Roast and Potatoes with the gravy. Serve the Carrots and Onions on the side.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu starting 1/24

So, I've been gone a few days. Things are starting to get busy again in my life thanks to school and other reasons. Hopefully I can handle everything going on in my life without falling on to bad habits.

You see, I am a stress eater. When I get stressed out I find something to eat and it is usually something that has a lot of fat or sugar in it. Luckily, I don't have a lot of that stuff in the house anymore so it's a bit harder for me to do this. I still need to stop doing it though because it throws off my whole day and makes me feel worse then I did before.

So, meals are getting moved around and changed due to changes in schedules. Here is what the menu looks like for this week:

1/24 Teriyaki Chicken (crockpot), Salad, Rolls
1/26 Salmon Filets, Couscous/Rice, Asparagus
1/28 Pot Roast, Carrots and Onions, Potatoes
1/30 Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce, Garlic Bread
1/31 Tangy BBQ Ribs (crockpot), Cole Slaw

Also, I am moving my grocery days to Wednesdays instead of Mondays. I hate going to the grocery store on weekends and Mondays I have a night class so I would be rushing to get the food in the slow cooker on time. I need to eat at about 4-4:30, so the food has to often go in before 10 AM or so. There is no way I could get up, get ready, go to the store, and get back in time to put the food on. So, now I am going to the store on Wednesday mornings and buying groceries for Wednesday through Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Soup's on!

I have classes tonight, so I have soup in the crockpot. This way I can eat before I leave for class and then mom can come home from work and still have a hot meal without much work on her part. Tonight is Minestrone Soup with fresh bread that I picked up at Earth Fare the other day.

Soup is actually pretty difficult for me to get recipes for. So many of them have a ton of tomatoes and I just can't have that much tomato (due to medical issues). This recipe only contains one small can of tomato paste for the whole thing, which is a lot less then I normally find for Minestrone or Vegetable Soups.

Minestrone Soup (based off of a recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, cliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version)
  • 1 (24 oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1(10 oz) bag frozen green beans
  • 2-3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 2 Tbsp italian seasoning
  • Water to fill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup small pasta
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

-Use a 4-6 qt slow cooker

-Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil until tender

-Combine all ingredients, except pasta and cheese, in slow cooker

-Cover and cook 4-5 hours on High (or 8-9 hours on Low)

-Add pasta 1 hour before cooking is complete

-Top individual servings with cheese

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This weeks menu

Tomorrow is grocery day! So, here is my meal list for next week. It has changed a bit from when I posted the menu list for the next couple of months. Part of the reasoning was due to my class not meeting yet on Monday because of the holiday. Another reason is because I cleaned out the freezer the other day and decided we need to do our best at eating from it. I had to throw away WAY too much food because it had been in there way too long. So, we need to do better at that as it will save us money. The less I have to buy at the store, the better!

I am also trying to work on using coupons and the ads better to try and save money.

1/18 Honey Mustard Pork Chops, Angle Hair Pasta, Glazed Carrots
1/19 French Toast, Sausage, Cantaloupe
1/20 Minestrone Soup (crockpot), Fresh bread
1/21 Salmon with Couscous/Rice
1/23 Marinated Steak, Baked Potato, Salad

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tonight's Dinner

I am going all out for dinner tonight and making a HUGE delicious meal for myself and my mother. We are having Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Corn Fritter Casserole. YUMMY!

Corn Fritter Casserole is one of my favorite side dishes to make with a wide variety of meals. It does great in the place of stuffing or potatoes and has a decent amount of vegetables in it to make it healthier. That is not to say this side is healthy by any means. It is definitely a sinfully delicious side.

Corn Fritter Casserole (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • Cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 375°.

-Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

-Stir in onion, bell pepper, whole-kernel corn, and cream-style corn; mix well.

-Add muffin mix stirring until well combined and just moistened.

-Pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

As a note, if you like things spicy you can dice up a jalapeno and add it when you add the onion and bell pepper. It would make this a bit more like a Mexican version of the recipe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

One of the reasons I offered a year ago to do most of the cooking is because I was tired of having the same thing every week. Spaghetti and meat sauce, steak and baked potatoes, plain baked salmon and canned asparagus... I was simply getting bored and wanted to try new things. So now, when I make spaghetti, I actually WANT spaghetti. This time I am making meatballs instead of just a meat sauce.

Spaghetti with Meatballs (adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Dried Parsley to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Good quality tomato sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound spaghetti


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

-Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

-Allow the vegetables to cool

-Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak. Squeeze out the excess milk before adding it to the bowl of cooled onions.

-Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper.

-Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands until just mixed together (don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough). Divide into 10 equal pieces and shape them into 10 nice looking meatballs.

-Heat oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes.

-Put them into a baking dish and spoon some of the tomato sauce over them. Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil.

-Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

-Serve meatballs over spaghetti and the rest of the sauce, along with additional grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tonight's dinner

It's snowing. It'll stop here and there and then pick up again. Roads are going to be horrible come this evening and I hope everyone gets home safe.

Cold and snow makes me think of chili, stew, or soup. However, since I can't really have tomatoes anymore, I had to find a new chili recipe.

And I found a wonderful one!

So tonight's dinner is going to be White Chicken Chili with a Cornbread Crust.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 cans of navy beans (19oz)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth (14oz)
  • 1 can mild green chilies (4.5oz) ----> if you don't like heat, use 1/2 this
  • 1 can white corn
Cornbread Crust
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package cornbread mix (6oz) ----> I use Jiffy as I like the sweetness
Sour cream, optional, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-In a dutch over, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

-Add the lime juice, cannellini beans, chicken, broth, and green chilies, and stir until just combined.

-Remove from the heat and set aside.

-In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, butter, and cornbread mix, and blend well.

-Pour over the chicken chili in the skillet.

-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

-Top with sour cream if desired when serving.

Hope someone enjoys this recipe as much as I do!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The rest of the day...

So, I have posted my dinner menus for the next couple of months and thought "yay, it's done!"

Then I remembered something...

One normally eats more then a single meal in a day and I have NO ideas for breakfast or lunch. As eating breakfast and lunch is pretty important to a good, solid diet, I realized I should get some ideas for those meals as well. I also needed some ideas for healthy snacks that I can take with me to classes and out and about. This way I will be less likely to go down to the vending machines for a snack.

My biggest issue though is that I get bored. I can not have the same things over and over again. I start the resent the diet at that point and usually end up eating something I shouldn't. So, I need to have a good selection that I can make easily and change up easily.

Some breakfast ideas:
- Oatmeal
+ Brown Sugar and Apples
+ Peanut Butter, bananas, and almonds
+ Brown Sugar and Peaches
+ Strawberries and Milk
+ Blueberries and Milk
- Baked Eggs
+ Spinach, mushrooms, and ham
+ Tomato Sauce, onions, bell peppers, and Parmesan cheese
+ Chicken, salsa, and feta cheese
- Homemade Breads and Muffins
- Omelets
+ Left over meats, veggies, and cheese
- Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Sandwich
- Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast with fruit toppings
- Smoothies

Some lunch ideas:
- Leftovers from dinner
- Salads
+ Lettuce: Spinach, Romaine, Mixed Greens
+ Protein: Chicken, Tuna, Steak, Hard Boiled Eggs, Deli Meats
+ Veggies: Red Onion, Cucumber, Tomato, Bell Peppers, Avocado
+ Add Ons: Beans, Toasted Nuts, Croutons, Crumbled Cheese, Crumbled Bacon, Olives
+ Dressings: Homemade Ranch, Balsamic, Oil and Vinegar
- Sandwiches
+ Bread: Whole Wheat, Sourdough, English Muffins, Pitas, Rye
+ Fillings: Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Bacon, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Tuna
+ Avocado, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions, Cheese
+ Hummus, Olive Oil Mayo, Mustard, Dijon, Oil and Vinegar

Some snack ideas:
- Fruit Leather
- Fresh Fruit
- Nuts
- Chips and Salsa
- Veggies and hummus
- Popcorn
- Fruit Bars
- Pretzels
- Cheese and Crackers
- Greek Yogurt and fruit
- Homemade trailmix

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have already made two posts on New Years Resolutions so you are most likely wondering why another one. Well, it's because I forgot to post my #1 cooking resolution for this year!

So, drum roll please...

I am going to finally get up the nerve to make my own yeast bread. This is also going to expand into the idea that I am going to bake more. Fresh yeast breads, breakfast breads, muffins, ect. I think this would really save me money and be healthier for the household.


School starts on Thursday. Not sure if I am excited about it or dreading it. Since I knew classes were coming up I decided to work on a menu for February so that I was ahead. I currently use the website Say Mmm to help lay out my menus and it works really well. However, to help myself and those who might actually read this, I am also going to post my monthly menus here on my blog. I also mean to post recipes that I find that we really enjoy... we will see how long that lasts!

So, here is my menu for today until the end of the month of January:

1/5 Chicago Style Pizza
1/7 Fajitas and Spanish Rice
1/8 Beef and Broccoli, Eggrolls
1/9 Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Casserole, Corn bread
1/11 White Chicken chili with a Corn Bread Crust
1/12 Honey Mustard Pork Chops, Angle Hair Pasta, Glazed Carrots
1/14 Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread
1/16 Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn Fritter Casserole, Rolls
1/17 Minestrone Soup (crockpot), Fresh bread
1/19 French Toast, Sausage
1/21 Salmon with Couscous/Rice
1/23 Steak Pinwheels with Sun Dried Tomato Stuffing, Roasted Asparagus, Rolls
1/24 Teriyaki Chicken (crockpot), Salad, Rolls
1/26 Pot Roast, Carrots and Onions, Potatoes
1/28 Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans
1/30 Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce, Garlic Bread
1/31 Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (crockpot), Stuffing, Corn

Now, the menu for February:

2/2 Chicken Sausage, Pepper, and Onion fake Bake, Garlic Bread
2/4 Roasted Chicken, Cornbread Stuffing, Corn
2/6 Fish and Chips
2/7 Hamburger Soup (crockpot), Fresh Bread
2/9 Roast Pork with Maple and Mustard Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots
2/11 Fried Chicken, Biscuits with Honey Butter, Corn
2/12 Italian Sausage, Baked Beans
2/14 Chicken Noodle Soup(crockpot), Fresh Bread
2/16 Mustard Roasted Salmon, Asparagus, Rolls
2/18 ??? <--- My birthday
2/20 Ribeye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
2/21 Tender and Tangy Ribs (crockpot), Mashed Potatoes, Canned Fruit
2/23 Teriyaki Chicken Noodles, Egg Rolls
2/25 French Onion Soup
2/27 Baked BBQ Chicken, Corn Fritter Casserole, Rolls
2/28 Beef Stew, Fresh Bread

And because my grocery shopping trips would run the last few February meals into the same week as the start of March:

3/2 Brunch: Amish Breakfast Casserole, Breakfast Bread
3/4 Enchiladas, Mexican Rice
3/6 French Dip Sandwiches, Fruit Salad, Broccoli Salad

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year


So, it's a new year. The year has the potential to bring a lot of good and a lot of not as good. However, that is a part of life and something one always has to deal with.

One tradition that happens at this time of year is the idea of a New Years resolution. I don't normally make resolutions because I never seem to keep them past the first few weeks. However, this year, I am making a pledge to myself. I refuse to think of it as a resolution so that I actually have a better chance at keeping it! I wrote about that in my previous blog (from December 6th).

I am hoping to start later this week.

My menu this week isn't the best due to a couple of traditions we have at the beginning of the year. However, it will get better!

Today: Apps and Snacks- quesadillas, artichoke and spinach dip, cheese and crackers, and brownies.

Monday: Orange Glazed Salmon, Roasted Asparagus, Rolls

Wednesday: Chicago Style Pizza and Hot dogs

Friday: Steak Fajitas, Spanish Rice

Sunday: Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Casserole