Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu #21

Look at those two...aren't they cute?  Even with the goofy faces; actually mostly because of the goofy faces!  Xavier had a sleepover with Cousin Kennedy and he was thrilled as usual.  They played games, watched movies, and did art projects all day and had a blast.  They really do get along so well and it's great to watch (most of the time).  :-) 

As for our weekly menu, I had a bit of a cooking block and it was really hard for me to get this menu together.  I think it may be because of the mixed signals in my brain about wanting to start cooking Fall foods like soups & roasting & baking but being stuck with 90+ degree weather.  L  I may change it around since I’m not entirely enthused about it, but for now here it is . . .

Monday:  Veg Burgers w/ oven fries & fruit kabobs

Tuesday:  Chicken Parmesan w/ spaghetti squash, salad, & garlic bread

Wednesday:  Asian Veg & Noodles w/ chicken pot stickers

Thursday:  Turkey-Bacon-Swiss Panini w/ veg salad & fruit salad

Friday:  Beer Can Chicken (or “Dancing Chicken” as The Shinn Family refers to it) w/ black bean-corn salad & foil packet potatoes

Saturday:  Leftovers
Going wine tasting for a friend’s birthday, so most likely Pops will be putting dinner together for us.  J

Sunday:  BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ salad
I’m going to use the leftover Beer Can Chicken for this pizza, and I’m also grilling the pizza. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pot Roast & Potato Cakes

Last week I was supposed to make a Pot Roast in the slow cooker on our soccer night, but I just ran out of time and didn’t get it into the crock pot.  I decided to do the whole thing on the stove top, which I haven’t done in a while.  I also had leftover mashed potatoes so I decided to make potato cakes as a side dish.  My two guys loved the potato cakes and the pot roast was tender and flavorful. 


Pot Roast

1 3-lb chuck roast
1 bay leaf
S&P, to taste
2 T olive oil
1 onion, sliced into half moons
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
1 T tomato paste
1/2 C red wine
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 C beef stock

Crumble the bay leaf & mix together with S&P; use this to rub all over the meat.  Heat the oil over medium-high in a Dutch oven or a large heavy pan/pot that can be covered.  Brown the meat on all sides.  Remove the roast to a platter and add onions, carrots, & garlic to pan over medium-high.  When they begin to brown throw in tomato paste and mix well; cook for another 2 minutes.  Add red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon until the wine has evaporated.  Add the stock, turn the heat down to low and return the roast to the pot.  Turn the meat every 15 minutes and cook until tender (a fork should easily penetrate the meat & the juices should be clear), about 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on thickness of roast.  Do not overcook!

To make a delicious pan sauce, remove roast from pot when finished cooking & skim the fat from the top.  Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring often, until thickened and almost evaporated.  Serve over the sliced pot roast. 

 Potato Cakes

1 C mashed potatoes
3 green onions, sliced
1 egg
2 T flour + 1/4 C for dredging
¼ C panko crumbs
2 T Canola oil

Mix together mashed potatoes, green onions, egg, 2T flour, & panko crumbs.  Shape into little cakes, lightly dredge in flour, and pat to remove excess flour.  Set in the refrigerator until ready to cook. 
When you’re ready to cook them, just heat up oil in a pan and brown each side until golden brown. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu #20

Kalua Pork Egg Rolls

Not a whole lot to say today except. . .WooHoo SF 49ers!!! 

That aside, here’s this week’s menu. . .

Monday:  Grilled hot dogs w/ macaroni salad & potato salad
Just sticking to the basics today.  Hubby’s Broncos are on Monday Night Football, so hot dogs & salads are perfect.  Go Broncos!!!

Tuesday:  Chicken Tacos w/ homemade salsa, rice, & black beans
I’m using a whole free-range chicken for these tacos.  At the CRUSH event I worked at over the weekend (which was tons of fun by the way!) a friend of mine was set up a few booths over, and he had a bunch of these beautiful chickens leftover and sent me home with some.

Wednesday:  Grilled Chicken over Salad Greens w/ cauliflower mac n cheese
I never got to the mac n cheese last week, so here goes another try at it.

Thursday:  Roasted Tomato Soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday:  Dinner & Movie Out!
Not sure what we’re watching or where we’re eating. . .

Saturday:   Kalua Pork Egg Rolls, Orange Chicken, Pineapple-Bacon Fried Rice, Salad w/ Peanut Dressing
Our close friends, The Stanfords, along with my sister-in-law & her family are coming over for a dinner party so we can give them their Hawaiian souvenirs.  I haven’t decided on dessert yet. . .maybe pina colada pie or coconut cake or pineapple-coconut ice cream. . .???

Sunday:  Leftovers
I love party leftovers!!!  J

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu #19

X-man contemplating life on lava rocks in Maui.

This is my favorite picture of X-man from Hawaii.  He sat there for so long just staring at the waves crash into the lava rocks.  It was on the Road to Hana at the Ke’anae Peninsula…one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life (sigh). 

Okay, on with reality.  This week’s menu. . .

Monday:  Slow-Cooker Pot Roast w/ potatoes & carrots
This is soccer practice night, so dinner will be ready when we get back to the house.

Tuesday:  Orange Chicken w/ brown rice & stir fry broccoli

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Chicken Marsala w/ whole-wheat egg noodles & green beans

Friday:  Grilled Chicken Sausages w/ pepper kabobs & cauliflower mac n cheese

Saturday:  Boys our on their own (probably chicken nuggets & fries)  ;)
I’m working a really fun event called the CRUSH Wine & Culinary Showcase at Callaway Winery on this evening.  This is an annual event to celebrate California Wine Month by the winemakers, winery owners, and growers.  We may get a babysitter so Laddie can join in the fun too.  J 

Sunday:  Chili Relleno Casserole w/ black beans & Mexican brown rice
Laddie picked the menu for this day.  This casserole is definitely one of his absolute favorite things that I make.  I'll post about this one for sure.  :-) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Menu #18

Aloha!  We are back from Hawaii, and it was absolutely awesome!!!  Maui was utterly breathtaking from their rainforests to their black sand beaches.  We visited the Iao Needle, Maui Ocean Center, and took the Road to Hana with many, many beach stops throughout the trip.  

Returning home is leaving me with mixed feelings of sorrow from leaving paradise mixed with happiness to getting back to the comforts and familiarity of routine.  Our internal time clock has been screwed with so it’s a little hard to get back to regular sleep patterns and eating times again.  My first step at trying to get back to normality is planning our weekly menu, and here it is. . .

Wednesday:  Slow-Cooker Chicken & Brown Rice Burritos w/ salsa, guacamole & green salad w/ cilantro-jalapeno yogurt dressing
Here’s another step into getting into the groove of things…Xavier’s 1st soccer practice is this evening!  He’s really excited and practices are at 5 pm, so the crock pot is usually my kitchen BFF during sports seasons for us.

Thursday:  Panko Fish w/ smashed red potatoes & zucchini ribbons

Friday:  Leftovers

Saturday:  Grilled Turkey Dogs w/ veg chili & grilled vegetable pasta salad

Sunday:  BBQ Tri-Tip w/ leftover veg pasta salad & green salad