Monday, April 28, 2014

dinner menu for the week of April 27










dinner menu for the week of April 27
I decided to copy and paste what you'd find posted on the front of my oven this week:


sunday
chicken parmesan soup, toasted sourdough bread

monday

tuesday
pork cuban sandwiches, pretzels,fruit

wednesday
green pork enchiladas (using leftover smoked pork), chips & salsa, sliced pears

thursday
still thinking...

friday
Subway sandwiches, fruit

saturday
pizza party!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

spinach chicken salad with garlic balsamic vinaigrette











Was this salad tasty or what?!  The caramelized onions in this salad combined with the avocado and soy nuts was outstanding.  I'll be making this again...and soon!

spinach chicken salad with garlic balsamic vinaigrette (slightly adapted from Dinners, Dishes & Desserts)
6 cups torn spinach
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 avocado, diced
1 onion, carmelized (I thinly sliced the onion and sauteed it in a teaspoon of butter until the onions browned.  I added a little bit of water when it needed some liquid and kept cooking them and adding water until they were perfect.)
2 tablespoons soy nuts
2 small chicken breasts sprinkled with Pappy's and grilled then sliced


garlic balsamic vinaigrette
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

On two plates, layer spinach, carrots, caramelized onions, grilled chicken, avocado and pine nuts.  Thoroughly combine vinaigrette ingredients and pour onto salad.



  • 6 cups spinach
  • ⅓ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup caramelized onions
  • 2 Tbls roasted pepitas
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 tsp STAR Grilling (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbls STAR Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3½ Tbls STAR Grilling (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Read more at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/spinach-chicken-salad-w-garlic-balsamic-vinaigrette/#GTRKfSRM7VtaEk4j.99


  • 6 cups spinach
  • ⅓ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup caramelized onions
  • 2 Tbls roasted pepitas
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 tsp STAR Grilling (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbls STAR Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3½ Tbls STAR Grilling (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken for 6 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove from pan, and slice into strips.
  3. Divide spinach onto 2 plates or bowls. Top with carrots, avocado, onions, sliced chicken and pepitas.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad to serve.

Read more at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/spinach-chicken-salad-w-garlic-balsamic-vinaigrette/#GTRKfSRM7VtaEk4j.99

Thursday, April 24, 2014

lemon & dill chicken









I've known all along it's hard to go wrong with lemon & dill.  This recipe is terrific- tender chicken bursting with flavor.

lemon & dill chicken (slightly adapted from Eating Well)
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, filetted
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
Reduce heat to medium.  Add the remaining oil to the pan.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Whisk broth, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan.  Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. 
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a warmed platter.  Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken.  Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Monday, April 21, 2014

slow cooker chicken tikka masala









Chicken Tikka Masala is my very favorite recipe.  When I saw a slow cooker recipe I proceeded with crossed fingers that it would be good enough to make again...and again.  It is!  It's not my favorite recipe which is also on this blog but my that recipe takes some doing.  This recipe is PERFECT for a weeknight when I want something delicious and I want something without much effort.

slow cooker chicken tikka masala (adapted slightly from Dinners, Dishes & Desserts)
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen...see below)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 (29 ounce) can tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Garam Masala (I omitted because my favorite recipe doesn't call for it)
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 teapsoons salt
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne (if you like spicy!!)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
rice for serving
cilantro for garnishing

In your slow cooker, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, Greek yogurt, olive oil, garam masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne.  Add cubed chicken breasts and stir to combine (if using frozen chicken see below).  Add bay leaves and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3 hours.  Twenty minutes before serving, combine half and half and cornstarch.  Add to slow cooker.  Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Serve over rice and sprinkle with cilantro.

What I have to say:  I forgot to thaw my chicken breasts so before I began this recipe I put 4 large, frozen chicken breasts in my slow cooker and cooked them on HIGH for 1 hour.  I took them out and cubed them and put them back in (they were partly frozen).  I combined all the ingredients like onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, etc. in a bowl then poured it into my slow cooker and stirred it up and continued on as though I had used thawed chicken breasts. 

  • n the insert of your slow cooker mix together onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne. Once well combined and smooth, add chicken pieces, and toss to coat.
  • Add bay leaves.
  • Cover and cook for 6 hours on low (3 hours on high)
  • Whisk together half and half with the cornstarch. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the half and half. Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
  • Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro if desir

  • Read more at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/slow-cooker-tikka-masala/#Z7lLyJmjWiDuCVE7.99
    1. In the insert of your slow cooker mix together onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne. Once well combined and smooth, add chicken pieces, and toss to coat.
    2. Add bay leaves.
    3. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low (3 hours on high)
    4. Whisk together half and half with the cornstarch. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the half and half. Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
    5. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
    Notes

    Read more at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/slow-cooker-tikka-masala/#Z7lLyJmjWiDuCVE7.99
    1. In the insert of your slow cooker mix together onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne. Once well combined and smooth, add chicken pieces, and toss to coat.
    2. Add bay leaves.
    3. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low (3 hours on high)
    4. Whisk together half and half with the cornstarch. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the half and half. Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
    5. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
    Notes

    Read more at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/slow-cooker-tikka-masala/#Z7lLyJmjWiDuCVE7.99

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    menu for the week of April 20










    sunday  swiss raclette (yum!!!) HAPPY EASTER!
    monday slow cooker chicken tikka masala (new recipe!), basmati rice, pineapple, zucchini muffins
    tuesday spinach chicken salad with garlic balsamic vinaigrette (new recipe!), smoothie
    wednesday lemon & dill chicken, parmesan rice, sauteed zucchini, strawberries
    thursday slow cooker salsa chicken over rice or in tortillas with the works, marinated mexican carrots
    friday dine out
    saturday chicken quesadillas with peppers, fruit salad

    Sunday, April 13, 2014

    menu for the week of April 13










    it's going to be an easy week!

    sunday baked fish with dill sauce, tri-color pasta salad, applesauce
    monday grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, Anderson's split pea soup
    tuesday baked potato bar, blueberry banana smoothies
    wednesday slow cooker cashew chicken, basmati rice, pineapple
    thursday greek chicken salad, whole wheat bread
    friday homemade hoagies, chips, fruit, lemonade
    saturday  who knows...pizza?  i need more inspiration.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    asian chicken salad with wasabi dressing









    Hall of Fame!  I wasn't exactly trying to recreate the salad I enjoyed at The Painted Pony (although I haven't stopped thinking about it) but by golly this salad is outstanding.  It reminds me of eating sushi which I love to do but making sushi is such a production- and never tastes restaurant quality!  I'd rather make this salad- it's a snap to throw together and just as satisfying for me.  Next time I'll add some sliced avocado and some red leaf lettuce (like the salad we had at The Painted Pony) but for today I'm completely and totally satisfied.

    asian chicken salad with wasabi dressing (adapted from Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller)
    bagged shredded iceberg lettuce
    bagged baby spinach
    bagged coleslaw mix
    scallions, chopped
    cilantro
    sliced cucumber
    sliced celery
    grilled chicken, grilled then refrigerated (yesterday I grilled chicken breasts sprinkled with Pappy's seasoning)

    wasabi dressing
    1/4 cup Kikkoman's wasabi sauce
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    2 teaspoons sesame oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

    I enjoyed this salad served salad bar style!  Place salad ingredients in separate bowls.  Layer the salad: spinach, shredded lettuce, coleslaw mix, etc. ending with the chicken followed by the cilantro. 
    For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together.  I enjoyed a generous amount of dressing on my salad.  I would say the dressing serves 4.

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

    chewy carrot cake cookies









    I'm excited about these cookies!  They're just so sweet looking topped with carrot cake candy corn.  I love how crinkly these cookies turned out but I had to frost them with rich cream cheese icing because who can resist that?  Mmmm.....
    While my husband has my kids playing a game of Clue with him I think I'll escape and take a walk- the sunshine is beautiful this afternoon!
    Husband says: "These are good!  This is like a gourmet cookie."

    chewy carrot cake cookies (The Girl Who Ate Everything)
    1 cup flour
    1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional...I omitted)

    cream cheese frosting
    1/2 cup butter
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a mixing bowl, mix sugar and butter.  Add egg, vanilla, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add flour and carrot cake mix.  Take out a sheet of wax paper and plop the dough on top.  Wrap with wax paper and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  This is important step so don't skip.
    Preheat your oven to 350.  Roll the dough into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheets (I was able to get 30 cookies out of my dough, 8 cookies per cookie sheet).  Bake for 10 minutes.
    For the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Top each cookie with a carrot cake candy corn.


  • In a large bowl, add the flour, carrot cake mix, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
  • In a separate bowl add the butter and brown sugar. Cream together for a couple of minutes with a mixer.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl with a spatula if needed.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Add the nuts and mix until just incorporated. The dough will be soft.
  • Chill the dough completely for a couple of hours. This is essential so that the cookies do not spread too much.
  • Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough into 1 1/2 Tablespoon size balls and place on the cookie sheet. You want your dough balls to be taller than wider. These cookies do spread a lot so make sure you have plenty of room between the cookies.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden brown. The cookies may appear to not be done all the way but will set up on the pan. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the pan.
  • For the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix slowly at first until combined. Beat until fluffy. Frost cookies.

  • Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Learn How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
     
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, add the flour, carrot cake mix, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
    2. In a separate bowl add the butter and brown sugar. Cream together for a couple of minutes with a mixer.
    3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl with a spatula if needed.
    4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
    5. Add the nuts and mix until just incorporated. The dough will be soft.
    6. Chill the dough completely for a couple of hours. This is essential so that the cookies do not spread too much.
    7. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
    8. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 Tablespoon size balls and place on the cookie sheet. You want your dough balls to be taller than wider. These cookies do spread a lot so make sure you have plenty of room between the cookies.
    9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden brown. The cookies may appear to not be done all the way but will set up on the pan. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the pan.
    10. For the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix slowly at first until combined. Beat until fluffy. Frost cookies.

    Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 3/4 cup carrot cake mix
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Learn How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
     
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, add the flour, carrot cake mix, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
    2. In a separate bowl add the butter and brown sugar. Cream together for a couple of minutes with a mixer.
    3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl with a spatula if needed.
    4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
    5. Add the nuts and mix until just incorporated. The dough will be soft.
    6. Chill the dough completely for a couple of hours. This is essential so that the cookies do not spread too much.
    7. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
    8. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 Tablespoon size balls and place on the cookie sheet. You want your dough balls to be taller than wider. These cookies do spread a lot so make sure you have plenty of room between the cookies.
    9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden brown. The cookies may appear to not be done all the way but will set up on the pan. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the pan.
    10. For the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix slowly at first until combined. Beat until fluffy. Frost cookies.

    Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/03/chewy-carrot-cake-cookies.html#ljbTJsjo1eeZKRq0.99

    menu for the week of April 6










    sunday  smoked pork (slow cooker style!) on rolls or with rice, sliced strawberries
    monday  sofia loren buffalo chicken tacos, fruit salad
    tuesday  brunch stuffed peppers, whole wheat english muffins, blueberries
    wednesday asian salad with grilled chicken and wasabi dressing (new recipe!)
    thursday salmon au poivre, parmesan rice (new recipe!), green salad
    friday pizza- take out for sure!
    saturday not sure yet....still thinking about it...

    mandy's smoked pork (but in a slow cooker)









    My friend Mandy makes the best smoked pork.  As you can see here I posted her recipe a while back.  Today I went ahead and made it via slow cooker.  It worked great and it's just as fabulous (with less clean up).  So...the next time you're at Costco, pick up a nice 8 to 9 pound pork loin and go for it.  It will fill up your slow cooker and you'll have plenty for dinner.  Then I do what Mandy taught me to do and I fill up zip-lock bags and freeze it.  I pull it out as needed and add barbecue sauce for pulled pork or use it to make green enchiladas- my personal favorite.

    mandy's smoked pork slow cooker style (my friend mandy, aka Gourmet Mom on the Go)
    8 to 9 pound pork loin
    sea salt
    liquid smoke

    All you do is unwrap the pork loin.  Cut it in half cross-wise so both pieces will fit into your slow cooker.  Sprinkle sea salt and both sides of the pork loin.  Pour liquid smoke all over the pork loin.  Place in slow cooker on high.  Today I cooked mine for 9 hours and it was PERFECT!

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    restaurant style salsa









    When I am asked what my favorite food is I have a difficult time answering.  It depends on what kind of mood I'm in and what I've had lately.  This salsa just reminded me that I can eat salsa ANYTIME.  I eat it daily, in fact.  I'm pretty sure it's my favorite food...at least right now.  This salsa is sooooo good.  I am so glad I gave it a whirl.
    Last time I hosted the sister missionaries to dinner I made Buckeye Balls to honor Sis. Cooper from Ohio.  Tonight I am honoring Sis. Marvel from Arizona.

    restaurant style salsa (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
    2 cans (10 ounce) mild Rotel
    1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 teaspoon sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 cup cilantro
    1 tablespoon lime juice

    Place all ingredients into a large blender.  Blend until combined and yo get the consistency you'd like.  Test seasonings with a tortilla chip (or a Triscuit- that's my thing) and adjust as needed.  Enjoy!

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    menu for the week of march 30










    I almost didn't post this week's menu because it's half over (and I just haven't felt like thinking ahead this week) but we had a yummy soup last night and conference weekend is always full of good things to eat so here it goes:

    menu for the week of march 30

    sunday chicken quesadillas with peppers (my latest obsession), refried beans with melted cheese
    monday i can't even remember what we had!
    tuesday lentil vegetable soup (I had forgotten about this soup- it's a great one!), whole wheat bread, fruit salad
    wednesday spicy slow cooker soup, rolls
    thursday blt sandwiches, assorted veggies, smoothies
    friday pizza, junk food and a movie (my prediction)
    general conference weekend citrus cream cheese pull apart rolls (tradition!), cocktail meatballs (another tradition!), yumm bowls with the sister missionaries (get ideas HERE), chewy carrot cookies with icing (new recipe)