Saturday, April 30, 2011

May Meal Plan

I've determined that I need to meal plan on a monthly basis... makes for one huge shopping trip at the beginning of the month, but it works out better with our budget.

So here is my May meal plan:

1 - Pizza
2 - BBQ Chicken Wraps**
3 - Tacos
4 - Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs**, rice and salad
5 - Leftovers
6 - Fish and Chips
7 - Treated to dinner out!!
8 - Muffins and Fruit Salad
9 - Lasagna Rolls*, Salad
10 - California Black Bean Burgers**, pasta salad
11 - McDonald's *fundraiser for a local charity, so we are going for happy meals and big macs
12 - Grilled Salmon, grainy mustard and lemon baby potatoes**
13 - Chili
14 - Smokies, veggies
15 - Pizza
16 - Sesame Ginger Chicken**, udon noodles, stirfry veggies
17 - Eggs, Turkey Bacon and homemade hashbrowns
18 - Leftovers
19 - Chicken Quesidillas
20 - Chicken Stirfry, Rice
21 - Chicken, black bean salad
22 - Muffins and Fruit Salad
23 - Tuna Pasta Dish
24 - Beef Enchilada Casserole, Salad
25 - Grilled Cheese and Soup
26 - Eggs, Turkey Bacon and homemade hashbrowns
27 - perogies, veggies
28 - Smokies, salad
29 - Pizza
30 - Spaghetti, meat sauce, peas
31 - Shepherd's Pie

* will share recipe
** NEW recipe, will share with review.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is super tasty!   A favorite around here....    It's a Pioneer Woman recipe (and if you don't know who she is, you're going to be addicted to her site VERY soon).   I decided to just link to her recipe, rather than typing it out here, as she has LOADS of pictures in it, and step by step photos even.

Check it out at Chicken Tortilla Soup ~ her website is Pioneer Woman.  Such a talented and inspirational woman!

April Meal Plan #4

This week's menu is the following:

22 - Eating out - rehearsal dinner for wedding
23 - Eating out - wedding
24 - Sloppy Joes, Salad
25 - Curried Chicken Linguine*, salad
26 - Salmon, Rice, Veggies
27 - Leftovers
28 - Burgers, Potato Salad

I apologize for my lack of posting this week.  Being involved in a wedding this last weekend really messed with my menu planning and getting posts up.  I need to start scheduling my posts ahead of time, instead of doing them the day of.

We actually missed a couple meals this last week, and ended up eating left overs, or some quick frozen meals I had on hand, as it was such a busy week!

I will catch up on posting the recipes from last week, and hopefully add in some photos to those posts (and previous ones).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sweet and Tangy Chicken with Rice

This recipe is from Life's on Fire: Cooking for the Rushed.

Have you noticed I really like this cookbook!

8-12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chunky salsa
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp Mrs. Dash Original seasoning

Preheat oven to 350F

Place chicken in a 9x13 pan.

Chop onion finely.

Combine in a small bowl in this order: chopped onion, brown sugar, ketchup, salsa and spice. Stir together and pour over the chicken.

Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes.

I want to come back in with pictures in the future.... just haven't had my camera around lately.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is a go-to cookie recipe in our house.  Whenever I see chocolate kisses on sale... we stock up and do some baking.  

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
sugar (just enough to roll dough balls in)
Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (1 bag)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk until creamy. Add Bisquick and vanilla and stir. Chill in fridge for an hour or more. Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar. Place balls 2" apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Unwrap Hershey's Kisses and put one Kiss in the middle of each cookie. Let cool.

 My 2 year old loves to roll the balls in the sugar... and to "kiss" the cookies after they're out of the oven :)  A good recipe for baking with little ones.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Berry Sauce with Roasted Potatoes

 Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Berry Sauce with Roasted Potatoes

Recipe from Life's on Fire: Cooking for the Rushed.

I made this while visiting my parents one time, and it was so delicious!  Wouldn't have thought the berries would compliment the meal so much.

300 g frozen unsweetened blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

baby potatoes
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper

1 pkg stuffing (StoveTop, Uncle Ben's, etc)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
cooking spray
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
pepper to taste
1 tsp Mrs Dash Original Seasoning
2/3 cup corn flake crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F
Heat berries and sugar in small pot on medium.
Combine in this order in a small cup: cornstarch, gradually stir in water, lemon juice and spice
Stir until smooth and add mixture to berries. Stir until bubbly and slightly thickened and remove from heat to let stand.
Place potatoes in baking dish drizzle with small amount of oil, then toss and sprinkle with spices (paprika, italian and pepper)
Combine contents of stuffing according to box. Add brown sugar to the pot. Stir, cover and remove from heat.
Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Make 8 mounds of stuffing on the pan.
Cut each chicken breast in half. Place one piece of chicken on each mount and sprinkle the tops with spices. Cover with cornflake crumbs and place in oven beside the potatoes. Set timer for 45 min.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Meal Plan #3

This week's menu is the following:

15 - Sweet and Tangy Chicken* and Rice, veggies
16 - Homemade Pizza
17 - Sloppy Joes, Salad
18 - Chicken Tortilla Soup*
19 - Cheesy Asparagus Chicken Lasagna*, salad
20 - Chicken Chili*, salad
21 - Leftovers

Lots of chicken this week, and 3 new recipes.  :)   My husband has been requesting sloppy joes for a while....   I don't think I've ever actually made them before.... so I guess 4 new recipes!

Nanaimo Bars (a Canadian Classic!)

Nanaimo Bars 

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp Cocoa
1 egg
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 cup fine coconut

2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup margarine
3 tbsp custard powder
4 Tbsp milk

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp butter

1. Mix and melt over hot water: 1/2 cup margarine, sugar, cocoa and egg.
2. Add graham cracker crumbs and coconut
3. Pack into a greased 8 x 10 pan, cool 15 minutes
4.Cream 1/4 cup margarine, icing sugar and custard powder until smooth
5. Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time
6. Spread over first layer and let sit 15 min
7. Melt chocolate and butter over hot water
8. Spread over top, Cool and refrigerate

That's the recipe for standard nanaimo bars.

Peppermint Variety
At christmas I swap the middle layer out for peppermint icing (icing sugar, 1/4 cup margarine, milk, green food colouring and peppermint extract)

I've also done:

Cherry Variety
Swap middle layer for cherry icing (cherry flavouring, red food colouring)

Orange Vatiety
Swap middle layer for orange icing (orange flavouring, orange food colouring)..... also adding some orange rind to the base layer is yummy.

Basically you can flavour them anything that goes with chocolate and coconut.

Enjoy! Super yummy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April Meal Plan #2

This week's meal plan is a little abbreviated, as we are going on a mini holiday.

Week 2 Meal Plan:
8 - Pizza
9 - Away
10 - Away
11 - Away
12 - Away
13 - Macaroni  (needed something to make without having to get any groceries)
14 - Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Berry Sauce*, Veggies

*Will share these recipes

I also still owe you my yorkshire pop-over recipe.   It is coming tomorrow!  

As a rule with my meal plans, I try to plan for this schedule, but life happens, some days I have a more time consuming recipe on a day where my afternoon was crazy busy, etc, so I rearrange my schedule as the week goes on, based on life happenings.

For example... last week this is how is turned out:

1 - Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower   (had waffles with berry sauce)
2 - Waffles, Berry Sauce (had spaghetti and meat sauce, salad)
3 - Roast Beef, roasted potatoes and carrots, corn, yorkshire pop-overs*, salad (had meal from 1st)
4 - Spaghetti, meat sauce, salad (Beef Enchilada Casserole, salad)
5 - Beef Enchilada Casserole*, Salad (Leftovers)
6 - Chicken Curry*, Rice, Naan Bread, Salad (had meal from 3rd)
7 - Pizza (had leftovers)

So as you can see, I rearranged it based on our week... I still had every dish (with the exception of pizza), just in a different order.    Pizza got postponed, as I had some more leftovers that needed to be used up, and I figured Pizza would be good tonight, as we could take the left overs as our lunch for on the road on Saturday.

Just because you meal plan, doesn't mean you can't be flexible.   Often we end up on a playdate for an afternoon when we have a more labour intensive meal planned, but that's easy to rearrange.   As long as I pay attention to the meats and vegetables I have in the fridge, and make sure that meal comes before they begin to spoil, it's all good! :)

With baby #2 on the way, I've also been doubling a lot of my recipes lately, and stocking up the freezer.   I made 2 beef enchilada casseroles this week.   Week 3's meal plan is going to be fun, as there's several new recipes in it... looking forward to it!   For this week, since I won't be posting many recipes from the meal plan, I'll work on moving some of my favorite recipes over from my old blog (mostly desserts and goodies.... my specialties).  I've always been a "baker" not a cook....  I'm working on the cooking skills...slowly!

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry (serves 4)
from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster

4 cups hot cooked rice (I use basmati)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb cubed chicken breasts (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup petite diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground cayenne (for timid palettes, for more spice, add 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (for garnish) - (I skipped.. hate cilantro).

1. In large skillet heat oil over med-high heat. Add chicken and cook until darkly browned on all sides (5-7 min)
2. Stir in tomatoes, spices and coconut milk until blended. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through and juices reduce down slightly. Serve over hot rice.

We've done this recipe a couple times...  delicious!!   I've started doubling, as it's extra yummy the next day (kinda like stew is).   Yum.   Toddler is definitely hit or miss on this one, as sometimes she declares it too spicy, other times it is fine (from the same batch even).   You do control the level of spice though, so you can cater it to meet any mild palette if needed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beef Enchilada Casserole

Recipe from Life's on Fire: Cooking for the Rushed.

This is the first time making this recipe.... and it was pretty darn tasty. Not too spicy for the toddler, and enjoyed by everyone. My husband thought it was extra delicious with just a touch of peppercorn ranch dressing, that he put on his salad, on it.


675g ground beef
1 small onion
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can black beans (drained)
1/2 cup of grated low fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
12 Catelli Express Oven Ready lasagna noodles
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup grated low fat cheddar
1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 F

Brown meat.

Chop onion finely while meat is browning and add gradually as you cut.

Add chilies, soup, salsa, beans and cheeses to cooked meat. Stir until well mixed.

Layer 9x13 pan with 1/3 dry noodles and 1/3 sauce. Do this 2 more times. Drizzle water all over the top and top with remaining grated cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes.

* I think the addition of black beans to the sauce would be delicious, so that is on my next go at this recipe!   Enchilada Casserole... with no beans.. just seems wrong!  

* edited to add... I will DEFINITELY add black beans every time!   I made this again while on holidays to serve the family, and black beans totally made this dish!!... adding it to the ingredients.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

These brownies are a quick and easy dessert to bring places (it makes a large amount). A favorite in my husband's office, with the playgroup moms and just about anywhere else I've brought them!

1 (18 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs , beaten
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In mixing bowl combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract and beaten eggs.
3. In sprayed, floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan, pour batter and bake for 25-30 minute.
4. Icing: in medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter and milk, bring to boil and stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth and creamy.
5. Remove from oven and pour icing over warm cake.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Meal Planning

I have meal planned my entire month of April! Normally I meal plan 2 weeks at a time, but decided to do the whole month this month, and get most of my groceries early in the month (just picking up fresh veggies at the 2 week mark). I will be breaking it down by week for the blog though.

Week 1 Menu Plan:
1 - Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower
2 - Waffles, Berry Sauce
3 - Roast Beef, roasted potatoes and carrots, corn, yorkshire pop-overs*, salad
4 - Spaghetti, meat sauce, salad
5 - Beef Enchilada Casserole*, Salad
6 - Chicken Curry*, Rice, Naan Bread, Salad
7 - Pizza

*Will share these recipes