Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Easy Chicken Tacos

Hello, my sadly neglected food blog!  I have a quick and easy recipe for you today.  In fact, both my husband and kiddo have made this for our family and for families we were taking meals too.  True confession:  I've never made this recipe.  It's perfect for husbands/sons/daughters, because it is so stinkin' easy.

Here it goes:
Easy Chicken Tacos
5-6 frozen chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar salsa (whatever flavor/heat you like)
1 pkg taco seasoning (we use reduced sodium)

Put the chicken breasts in the crock pot.  Top with salsa.  Sprinkle with taco seasoning.  Cook on high for 5-6 hours.  Shred.  Eat in soft tortillas topped with cheese, sour cream, and whatever other toppings you prefer.  We are big fans of avocado at our house. 

You know what I love most about this recipe?  The fact that I can start with frozen chicken breasts.  Yay.  I don't have to remember to thaw them.  And, (on the nights I do remember to set something out to thaw) I don't end up with thawed meat and changed plans. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meals this Week

Sadly, I have been far too embarrassed to post my "meal plans" the last several weeks. Honestly, there hasn't been much meal planning going on and instead a whole lot of eating out. I don't really want you all to know how often Chipotle provides dinner for our household.

Going back to work full-time has derailed much of the little home organization I had. And, it's most obvious the weeks that we are really busy on the weekends. Wow. Unfortunately, for our budget and waistlines, there have been a lot of busy weekends lately.

Hopefully, though, we're moving back in the right direction. I actually went to the grocery store over the weekend (we didn't want to go hungry if a tornado hit) and made some things for the freezer and fixed a couple meals at home. Revolutionary, I know. (It was also how I coped with the looming storm threat).

So, here's what meals are looking like around our house this week (and it is nothing fancy, but at least it's not Chipotle).
Sunday - Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, orange jello salad, fruit
Monday - shredded beef taquitos (from the leftover roast), fruit, chips & homemade salsa
Tuesday - sandwiches, fruit, chips, cucumber (baseball game on this night)
Wednesday - Chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole, rice, strawberries/kiwi
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - We are hosting our monthly card night. Not quite sure what is on the menu yet...

What are you eating? Any suggestions for quick and simple weeknight meals?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

When we got married, there were a number of foods that Phil didn't really like. Nuts, avocado, coconut, to name a few. (The coconut was because it had "nut" in it). And he had only very recently decided that tomatoes were edible. It's a good thing, because that might have been a deal-breaker. I was raised to LOVE tomatoes.

Anyway, over the years, he was a good sport and started trying some of these things, and the amazing thing is, he loves them now...especially nuts, avocado and coconut. They're some of his favorites. Funny.

Anyway, when I saw this recipe, I thought it might be one Phil would like. He loves anything with coconut milk. And CJ would like it too, since he's a big fan of curry. So, we gave it a shot. It was easy and pretty tasty. Next time, I'll add more fresh ginger, probably some fresh garlic and maybe a little fish sauce (seems like it would fit). And maybe in place of the curry powder, I would try either a red or green curry paste. All that to say, this recipe is a great starting place. Give it a try.

I used this recipe and this one (an adaptation of the first) to come up with mine (very few changes).

1 TB oil

2 large chicken breasts, diced

1/2 medium onion, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 jalapeño, diced (I left half the seeds in, would leave them all next time)

Fresh ginger (I would say 1-2 tsp grated)

Garlic (didn't use any this first time, but at least a clove next time)

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk (the full fat kind is best)

2 TB lime juice

1/4 c. green onion, sliced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Salt, pepper

Hot, cooked jasmine rice

Cook chicken in oil until golden (do this in batches...or it won't get golden. I didn't and mine didn't). Remove to plate. Add more oil if needed, and sauté the onion until slightly softened. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, ginger and garlic (if using) and sauté briefly. Add the curry powder, chicken broth, coconut milk and cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are desired tenderness. Add lime juice, green onion, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

This week in meals - branching out

I haven't done much cooking at home the last two weeks, so when I planned the week's menu, I added quite a few new recipes. This is the week for them. My boss is gone at work, so I'll be able to leave a little early, which should help with getting dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time. So, here's what's on the menu:

Monday: Slow cooker chicken burritos, red rice, guacamole salsa
Tuesday: Baked mac-n-cheese, broccoli, salad
Wednesday: Coconut curry chicken soup, fruit
Thursday: Cheeseburger frittata, salad, fruit

Mmm, I'm ready to eat. What are you making this week?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Book club is one of the highlights of each month for me. Not only does it connect with my love for reading, but food plays a large role in our meetings as well. The host chooses food to serve that somehow relates to the book, and it's always fun to see what she comes up with.

This month, we read "Unbroken", an amazing story that I highly recommend. And, we also invited our husbands to read the book as well and to join us for book club. Because our group was going to be larger than usual, we all contributed to the food for the evening. What I chose was only loosely connected to the book, in that chocolate played an important role.

Regardless, these chocolate cookies were good. Really good. I found the recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything blog. Check her out. She's got lots of good recipes on there. And then, make these cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla1
1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt using a wire whisk and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll cookie dough into 1-1/4 inch balls (I made my cookies a little smaller than this). Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will still be soft but will set up after cooling. Place cookies on cookie rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Dad's Chili

Phil loves to tell the story of when we were first married (or maybe when we were dating) and he went along with me to my parents. My dad made this chili and we all took a zantac, or something similar, before dinner. And, of course, offered one to Phil. He seriously wondered what he was getting into. Who in the world takes medicine before the eat (other than for medical reasons)?

Since then, my dad has tamed the chili down a bit and we no longer medicate before eating. It's still spicy, but not nearly like it was. It's one of my favorite things to eat. Of course, you need to be able to find Snap-E-Tom (spicy tomato juice) in order to make it. I'm not sure it would work with anything else. (I have never successfully located it in Wichita, but my brother finds it in Kansas City, no problem.)

By the way, this is a Texas-style chili, no beans, just steak and sauce. We eat it over rice, topped with sour cream, with flour tortillas on the side. Yum. Oh, and it's delicious leftover. And (one more thing), last week, we topped it with diced avocado. Wow.

Dad's Chili
1 1/2 lb. beef sirloin, cut into small cubes
2 TB oil
2 cans Snap-E Tom (about 20 oz), tomato & chile cocktail (what it says on the can)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. chili powder (more chili powder will make it spicier)
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
3 cans Rotel tomatoes (if you want to make it super spicy, use 1 can of HOT Rotel)
Sour cream

Brown meat in oil (I usually do 2 batches) in a large stockpot/dutch oven. Stir in everything but the Rotel tomatoes (and sour cream, tortillas, rice). Simmer 45 minutes with the lid on. Add tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes (or more if you have it...45 or so) until juice is thickened. Serve over rice (or chips). Top with sour cream.

If I were going to have secret recipes, this would definitely be one. So, enjoy. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dining in DFW

This past weekend a dear friend and I made a quick trip to Dallas for some shopping and eating. It was so much fun.

The first night we ate at Mi Cocina at The Shops at Legacy. It was delicious Mexican food. We both had yummy steak tacos with fresh guacamole. I wish I would have taken a picture. Suffice it to say, our plates were clean. (Take note: tacos for dinner).

The next day, we hit Crate & Barrel, one of my favorite places, I mean stores, on earth.

For lunch, I had scoped out a fairly new restaurant called The Velvet Taco. When we drove by it, it looked a little sketchy from the outside. Fortunately, getting back on the highway involved driving by it again. The place was full! So, in we went.
We visited with a couple in line that sang its praises and had some great recommendations (who knew that egg tacos were such a hit?). Then, another girl came in and we asked her what she liked. She said, "Last night, I had ______". And she was back for lunch. I was sold.

These tacos were amazing. Here are the descriptions of my three tacos from the menu:

The #2 -Rotisserie chicken, white queso, roasted corn pico, cilantro, smoked poblano salsa, corn tortilla
The #8 - Roast pulled pork, house shred, thai basil, grilled pineapple-habanero salsa (oh my word), spiked bbq sauce, corn tortilla
And the #19 - Chorizo sausage, egg, pepper jack cheese, refried beans, mexican oregano, serrano-ranchero salsa, corn tortilla.

My friend Les had one with grilled flank steak and another with grilled adobo shrimp. People, we ate well.

The best part was the corn tortillas. They were incredibly fresh and delicious. Next time, you are in the area, go to The Velvet Taco.

(Note: tacos again, this time for lunch)

Next stop, was Ikea...or as my friend refers to it Mommy Disneyland. It's a good thing we didn't bring anyone else along. The vehicle was quite full when we left (which could have been more due to poor packing than the actual amount of stuff we purchased).

That night, even though we weren't hungry, we stopped at In-N-Out. Les went to school in California, so she was already well acquainted with the famous chain, but this was my first time.

My burger was indeed delicious (I feel like I keep using that word) and so were the fries. However, they probably would have tasted that much better if I would have been a little more hungry. Next time, I'm going to In-n-Out on an empty stomach.

Finally, on our way home on Sunday, we stopped at Taco Cabanas for breakfast. I didn't even know this chain existed, but I sure wish Wichita would get one. Fabulous breakfast tacos. Yes, we ate tacos each day and once for each meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, I would do it again.

What lesson can you learn from this post? If you're going to travel with me, we're going to eat tacos good.

(Updated to add: I completely forgot to mention our stop at Chick-fil-a on the way to Dallas. The highlight - a cookies and cream milkshake. March can not come quickly enough here in ICT).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Another week in meals

It seems that nothing we ate last week was deserving of a blog post. My weekend most certainly was, though, so watch for that soon.

In the meantime, here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Because of an unexpected trip to the dentist, tonight's meal got moved to tomorrow. So, we settled for very simple tomato soup, grilled cheese, and blood orange slices tonight.
Tuesday - my dad's chili with rice and tortillas and probably some kind of fruit
Wednesday - Chicken enchiladas, guacamole, oranges (we bought a big bag)
Thursday - Spaghetti carbonara, broccoli (roasted, if CJ has his way), probably more oranges
Friday - Card night at our house - Italian beef, sweet potato fries, fruit salad, dessert...I'm thinking lemon pudding right now. Wish it were Friday already. :)

Happy eating this week! Come back to see pictures of the awesome food I had this past weekend.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The week in meals

Here's what we're eating this week...or at least what I have planned.

Sunday - lunch - whole wheat apple oat muffins, breakfast scramble
dinner - ham and beans, cornbread
Monday - dinner at Youth Horizons
Tuesday - Tostadas (making homemade refried beans from Sunday's leftovers), white queso
Wednesday - Baked tortellini with bacon, broccoli
Thursday - Spiced chipotle honey chicken with sweet potatoes, salad
Friday - Mama's out of town, so the boys will eat chicken fries and mac-n-cheese...or leftovers

What are you eating?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Coffee Creamer

I have just recently became a coffee drinker. Or at least a coffee-flavored creamer drinker...ha. I like my coffee with plenty of milk/sugar. I especially like the new Natural Bliss creamer, but it's kind of spend-y. So, when I saw a recipe for homemade coffee creamer on Pinterest, I thought I would give it a try.

The verdict: It's easy and so good. And much more affordable.

Homemade Coffee Creamer

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
14 oz. milk (it doesn't work to just put milk into the sweetened condensed milk can, by the way) You basically need nearly 2 c. of milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine the ingredients (I use a quart-size canning jar) in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir. Then, shake, shake, shake. Store in the refrigerator. Mark the top with the milk's expiration date. So far, ours has not lasted nearly that long. That's it. Add to your coffee and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My own creation

Updated to add: This was really good leftover, maybe better than the first night. Just sayin'.

I am a recipe person. And, I like the follow the recipe precisely, especially the first time I make something. I am not much of a creative cook. In the past few months, though, I've started to branch out a little more and have become more confident in my ability to put things together that taste good without someone else's instructions. Usually, this just looks like a random addition or substitution. Or occasionally I'll combine a couple different ideas. But, tonight, I went all the way. This soup recipe is all mine. I'm sure it looks like other soups of the sort, but I promise I didn't get it from a cookbook, magazine, blog, Pinterest, etc...

It was good. Phil and CJ both gushed over it anyway. And I figure I better record it here in case we want it again in the future.

Chipotle Chicken Posole
(please forgive me, I did a lot of guessing, not a lot of measuring)
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I probably had 1.5 lbs or so)
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 c. chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, diced finely (I didn't take out the seeds, and my soup had some heat)
Chili powder
2 corn tortillas, cut into pieces
1 can (15 oz) hominy, drained/rinsed
...I sure hope I'm not forgetting anything

Put the chicken thighs in the bottom of your crockpot. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and coriander (or whatever spices you prefer). Top with onions and carrots. Pour in chicken broth, diced tomatoes. Add the chipotle in adobo. And the corn tortilla pieces (these will dissolve and thicken the broth). Cook on high 4-5 hours until chicken shreds easily. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crockpot and add hominy. Taste and season with salt if needed. Let heat through (about 30 minutes should be plenty).

Serve garnished with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, baked tortilla strips (slice 4 corn tortillas into thin strips, toss with 2 tsp. oil, bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally.)

Serve with Jalapeño Cheddar Scones. I'll post that next. They were scrumptious...and from a recipe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This week in meals

I just realized my last post was #100. How about that?

For dinner this week:
Monday - Beef & Tomato Stew over brown rice, salad, clementines (yes, this was on last week's menu)
Tuesday - Chipotle Chicken Soup, jalapeño cheddar scones (I'm making up the soup recipe...counting on the scones to save the day if my creation is a flop).
Wednesday - Peirogies with ham & peppers/onions
Thursday - leftovers or breakfast for dinner

What are you eating this week?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's for Dinner - Pizza & a salad

Tonight's dinner was courtesy of my most recent issue of Cook's Country magazine. I'm not sure I've ever made something bad out of one of my CC and tonight was no exception. My husband is, in fact, insisting that I share the recipes with you here.

I made Grandma Pizza and Antipasto Salad. Grandma Pizza is apparently quite popular in Long Island, NY but not so well know in other places. I had certainly never heard of it. It's not anything complicated, though, just cheese and tomatoes. But, it was very good. See below for recipe.

With it, we had Antipasto Salad which was packed full of flavorful ingredients (and a few substitutions to accommodate what I had on hand).

Grandma Pizza
Note: the method they had for forming the dough worked great, and I will use it again in the future with other pizzas).

3 TB olive oil
3/4 c. water - I used warm water
1 1/2 c. bread flour (8 1/4 oz - I have a kitchen scale, so I weighed out the 1 1/2 cups that I was over an ounce short, so I highly recommend a kitchen scale)
2 1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 TB olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
2 TB chopped fresh basil

For the dough:
Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 TB oil. Combine water and remaining 1 TB oil in a liquid measuring cup. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined (or just whisk it...that's what I did). With mixer on low speed, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium low and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer dough to greased baking sheet and turn to coat (oops...forgot to turn it). Stretch dough to 10 by 6-inch rectangle (I needed some flour on my hands to do this). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stretch dough (again with floured hands) to corners of pan (let rest if you can't get it and try again in a few minutes), cover loosely and let rise in warm place until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

For the topping:
Drain tomatoes in a colander. Combine drained tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in bowl. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in second bowl. Sprinkle cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges. Top with tomato mixture and bake until well browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Slide pizza onto wire rack, sprinkle with basil, and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

I might let mine cook a bit longer next time, even though the edges of the crust were getting pretty brown. The middle was not as crisp as I was hoping. But, it tasted great.

On to the salad...

Antipasto Salad
So, this is a little more complicated salad recipe than I would typically advocate. But, it really is good (unless you don't like vinegar). The flavors are bold. Also, I'm going to share how we made it. The original recipe called for artichoke hearts (9oz frozen...thawed and patted dry) instead of the cucumbers I used and black olives (not our favorite). Otherwise, I stayed true to the recipe.

2/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 in. thick (I used about 3/4 of an onion)
1 med. cucumber, diced
1/3 c. sliced banana peppers
2 TB olive oil
2 Romaine hearts, chopped - Actually, I just used a lettuce mix that we like and had on hand, that is half spinach - the Romaine would be better and hold up to the other ingredients
10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
3 (1/4 inch thick) slices provolone cheese (6 oz), cut into 1-inch long matchsticks
3 (1/4 inch thick) slices salami (6 oz), cut into 1-inch long matchsticks
Basil leaves, torn

Bring vinegar, water, garlic, oregano and 1 tsp salt to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onion is nearly tender, 5-7 minutes. (Add artichoke hearts at this point, cook 3 more minutes). Off heat, add banana peppers and cucumbers. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.

Drain marinated vegetables through strainer and reserve 1/4 c. vinegar mixture. Toss marinated vegetables with 1 TB olive oil in bowl. Whisk remaining 1 TB oil into reserved vinegar mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Toss romaine, tomatoes, salami, provolone with vinaigrette in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer salad mixture to platter and top with marinated vegetables, (olives) and basil.

Dig in.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meal Plan for this Week

I made a few adjustments to this week's meal plan after being completely derailed by a migraine on Monday.

So, here's what the week looks like now:
Monday - Chipotle (thanks to my understanding husband plus my failure to make a trip to the grocery store)
Tuesday - Soft Tacos (Yes, mexican food is always welcome at our house)
Wednesday - Grandma's Pizza (tomato/cheese) and Antipasto Salad (both from the new Cook's Country)
Thursday - Beef & Tomato Stew over brown rice (from the new Everyday Food), applesauce
Friday - Card night - which means dinner with friends

Also worth noting...I went through all my pins on Pinterest tonight and moved everything that I've actually made to a new board (Saw it, Pinned it, Made it). I wanted to clean up my Yum board, so that it just includes new ideas and not things I've already tried. I was pleased to find that I have made 46 new recipes from ideas found on Pinterest. That's pretty good, right? Not just a waste of time? :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brown Butter Whole Wheat Soda Bread

We had this tasty bread with cheesy vegetable soup tonight at supper. Try it soon. It is easy, flavorful, delicious. And it doesn't require yeast, for those of you who are yeast-averse. Because it is a soda bread instead, its texture is denser and chewier (the oats and whole wheat flour also contribute to this).

I found the recipe on How Sweet it Is. Everything I've tried from her site as been delicious, and this was certainly no exception.

Brown Butter Whole Wheat Soda Bread

1/4 c. butter (1/2 stick)
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 TB brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. black pepper (use freshly ground if you can)
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
1 egg white, beaten

Have you ever browned butter before? It's really easy. And, it's the first step. Just take a small saucepan and put the butter in it and place it over medium heat. Whisk constantly as it melts (it will foam and the foam will subside). As soon as you see brown specks in the butter, take it off the heat. (And I even go ahead and take it out of the saucepan so that it doesn't get too brown). Set that aside.

Now, mix together the flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and seasonings. Add the butter and buttermilk. Stir together with a fork. Then, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together (a few minutes).

Divide dough in half, form into rounds, and place 6 inches (mine was more like 4) apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the top with the beaten egg white. Then, cut an X in the top of each about 1/2 inch deep.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before eating.

It smells incredible while it's baking!

Menu Planning for the New Year

I'm changing the way I do menu planning for the new year...or at least, for now.

This past summer, I tried using theme nights to plan our meals but it didn't work out so well. I got hung up on the alliterations (like Try Something New Tuesdays). I couldn't come up with one that matched each day of the week. Silly, I know.

So, I'm abandoning the idea of alliterated themes and just focusing on the things we like to eat in categories. Phil & CJ helped with this too. Here's what we've got so far. (I'm leaving Fridays/the weekends open for leftovers or for changing things around when needed).

Mondays - Mexican
Tuesdays - Pasta/Pizza
Wednesdays - New recipe (or perhaps some weeks, an old standby)
Thursdays - Soup

The other thing I decided this time around was that while I will use those themes for planning, I will not be tied to making Mexican on Mondays necessarily, if for some reason we need to switch.
As I planned on the first two weeks of the new year, I really enjoyed using the themes to guide me. Here's what we're having (or had)

Monday, Jan. 2 - cheese and crackers (one last hurrah during Christmas break and CJ's request)
Tuesday, Jan. 3 - Chicken Caesar Sandwiches, roasted sweet potatoes & onions, homemade brioche
Wednesday, Jan. 4 - Lasagna, Salad with Lemon Garlic dressing, Bread, Pineapple (switched Tuesday & Wednesday this first week in order to have company over)
Thursday, Jan. 5 - Cheesy Vegetable Soup, Brown butter whole wheat soda bread, sliced apples

Monday, Jan. 9 - Mexican stuffed shells
Tuesday, Jan. 10 - Grandmother's pizza (from my new Cook's Country magazine)
Wednesday, Jan. 11 - Slow cooker beef & tomato stew (supposed to be served over brown rice, but I'm thinking of serving it over barley...I've never even bought barley before)
Thursday, Jan. 12 - Chicken Minestrone, bread

I'm also experimenting with planning out two weeks in advance (but only shopping for one) to see if that saves me some time.

One other confession: this menu was planned after not cooking on a regular basis for a couple weeks, so it is filled with new recipes I want to try (not just on Wednesdays). If life gets busy, some of these will not happen.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What's Cooking 2012

If you read my book blog, you know that I always have a stack of books waiting to be read. Tonight, I started thinking about what is in my "to be cooked" pile.

Pinterest is a great source of recipe inspiration for me. Feel free to click over and see what has recently caught my eye. I also read a lot of cooking magazines, got a stack of new cookbooks for Christmas and check them out regularly from the library as well. I am not really short on recipes I want to make. But, then there are those things that would be more challenging to me in the kitchen. That's the type of recipes I'm talking about today.

So, in the spirit of the new year, I am starting to work on a list of new things I want to cook.

For starters, I would really like to try to make croissants this year. And homemade crackers. What else? Cook more fish. Master pie crust. Make more bread, sourdough, brioche, etc. Make healthier choices...that still taste good. How about making my own yogurt?

What's on your "to be cooked" list? I'm always looking for ideas.