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.