Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday again.  Time to figure out what to feed my hungry crew.

Monday:  Slow-cooker pot roast with potatoes and baby carrots

Tuesday:  Farfalle with butternut squash (for my Milk Calendar Project)

Wednesday:  Hot Turkey Sandwiches  (Thanksgiving is long over so we aren't sick of turkey around here!)

Thursday:  Cheeseburger Pasta

Friday:  Chicken minestrone and garlic-cheese toast

Saturday:  Leftover Buffet

Go to for more menu ideas!

2011 Milk Calendar: Ginger-Lemon Beef and Broccoli

Confession time:  I decided to do this project after I made this dish so there is no picture, and I tweaked the recipe to fit my pantry (like all home cooks do).  My sister-in-law stayed for dinner last night so I had to cook the beef separately because she is a vegetarian. 

So, go check out the recipe here:  Ginger-Lemon Beef and Broccoli.  When you come back, I will let you know how I tweaked it and how it worked out.

Notes: OK, so I didn't have any fresh lemons on hand so I subbed the zest and juice out for orange zest and juice.  I also didn't have six cups of broccoli on hand so I used a bag of frozen California Mix vegetables instead.  I cooked the beef in a separate fry pan while I stir-fried the veggies and then gave the meat  a splash of the sauce instead of mixing everything back together.   This worked out really well and is a good way to serve carnivores and vegetarians together with very little fuss.  I cooked plain spaghetti noodles to serve with the stir-fry, but rice would be great too.  The grownups garnished their bowls with Sriracha sauce since I went light on the red pepper flakes for the kids.

The Verdict: Everyone gobbled it up and my husband commented that he really liked how the added milk added a creaminess to the stir fry sauce.  I think it helped it stick to all the ingredients and noodles.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2011 Milk Calendar: Sweet Cornmeal Surprise Muffins

I like baking on Sunday mornings.  I love cornmeal muffins.  I was really happy to try out this recipe.

Check out the recipe here:  Sweet Cornmeal Surprise Muffins

My notes: I love how you soak the cornmeal while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients.  It softens it up and takes away from the grittiness that corn muffins can sometimes have.  You don't soak it so long that you lose the lovely crunch that a corn muffin has.  I used Smuckers Double Fruit Strawberry Jam for the filling, but I am sure anything you have in your pantry would work well since the flavour of the muffin is so mild.  I might add a dash of cinnamon next time I make them.  I think cinnamon adds a nice flavour to almost any baked dish.  I also think lining your muffin tin with cupcake liners instead of just spraying with nonstick spray is a must since you run the risk of jam leakage and sticking with this sort of baked good.

I must make small muffins since I got 15 instead of the 12 the recipe specified.

The Verdict:  The muffin is moist, with a bit of crunch and the jam is a nice addition.  You definitely don't need butter with these.  Charlotte and Matthew gobbled theirs up.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--Clipping binder edition with bonus recipe!

Hello blog! It's been a long time!  I took some time off to be sick.  I didn't feel like cooking when I was ill so the family lived on soup, sandwiches, pancakes....easy, quick and minimal cooking.

I am back, and this time I pulled one of my clipping binders off the shelf to make my menu.  There was a reason I saved all of those recipes, right???

Monday--Cheeseburger soup*, bread from my bread machine (handwritten, I have no idea where I got it)
Tuesday--Psycho Chicken (Cooking Light, June 2002), steamed vegetables, buttered noodles
Wednesday--steak. sauteed mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles, mashed potatoes and steamed green peas.
Thursday--Pork Chop Suey (cheating...Eat, Shrink and Be Merry)
Friday--Salmon Loaf (my Mom's recipe)
Saturday--Balsamic chicken with caramelized onions (Woman's Day, Feb, 1999)

You can check out more menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie

*Cheeseburger Soup
1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp parsley flakes (I am subbing in fresh)
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. basil
4 Tbs butter or margarine, divided
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
2 cups cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in a large soup pot.  Drain and set beef aside.  Place pot back on heat and saute onions, carrots,  basil, and dried parsley  in 1 Tbs butter until tender.  Add broth, potatoes, ground beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining 3 Tbs butter.  Add flour.  Cook and stir 3-5 minutes until bubbly.  Add to soup and bring back up to a boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt, pepper.  Stir until cheese melts.  Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and garnish with fresh parsley if you didn't use dried.

Serves 4-6,  I think.