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Monday, September 26, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

There was a change in the weekly meal plan. I had about two hours of sleep last night and there was no way I was going to be able to get anything cooking in the crock pot this morning to make the baked chicken chimichangas. The beef was sitting in the fridge so I knew I could come home and make the sloppy joes. I just wasn't sure if I was going to make it the whole day. Once I got past that sick feeling I was okay but still really tired. But here I am at 9:45pm and I'm feeling wide awake. When I do lie down after I get this posted I better fall straight to sleep. No lying wide awake in bed like I did last night until 5am. I have to get up tomorrow at 6am so I can be at the Dyer library at 8am. Someone hates me to make me get up that early.

I liked these sloppy joes. Do they taste exactly like a Philly Cheesesteak? No, but they have a really good flavor with the onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. I could have done without the cheese sauce. The original recipe called for provolone but I couldn't find what I needed at the store. I'm thinking that the provolone would have been better. I should have just gotten a chunk at the deli but I was tired and didn't want to have to go back that way. So I settled for a block of reduced fat mild cheddar. Will and I both agreed that it didn't have a lot flavor. Maybe I should have used sharp cheddar. I think even a slice of melted provolone would have been better. So yeah I could have done without the cheese, which I don't say very often, but the meat was really good.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking

8 servings, 4 WW points per serving includes 2 point hamburger bun
2 tablespoons of the cheese sauce adds 2 WW points

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound really ground beef
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
8 low calorie and fat hamburger buns
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup reduced fat mild cheddar, shredded

In a large skillet heat the oil and add the onion and green pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender. Add the ground beef and garlic powder and brown the beef until cooked through. Drain. Place the beef mixture back in the pan and add the steak sauce, beef broth, and mushrooms. Bring to a bubble and cook for 2 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir the cheese.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cupcakes

A co-worker of mine said that these were a little slice of heaven. Score. You can't beat a compliment like that. A month or so ago when I made those Strawberries and Cream Mini Pies I had some filling left over. I used that left over filling to stuff some chocolate cupcakes and topped them with a cool whip cream cheese mixture. They were fabulous. I knew I wanted to try the filling in yellow cupcakes with whipped cream icing.

These were fabulous too. Like a strawberry shortcake. Link

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cupcakes
a Lacey creation

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24 yellow cupcakes, (I used a yellow cake boxed mix)
1 cup mashed strawberries
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
16 oz heavy cream
2 cups powder sugar

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the strawberries and water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook for three minutes or until it thickens. I didn't time it but it didn't take long for the mixture to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.

While that's cooling make the whipped cream. I used my kitchen aide to make my icings. I placed my mixing bowl in the fridge to get cold. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and use the paddle attachment to beat the cream. Set on medium and let it beat for 5 minutes. Add in the powder sugar and let beat until it starts to thicken. If it doesn't add more powder sugar a little at a time.

Southwestern Chicken Drumsticks

Do you ever start to make a recipe and realize you don't have everything you need? That's what happened when I went to make this. The recipe called for butter, lime juice, and various spices. The lime juice I had was over a year old. So I improvised and pretty much changed everything about the original recipe except the butter and the chicken. I think it turned out pretty good.

Southwestern Chicken Drumsticks

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6 servings, 3 WW points per drumstick

6 drumsticks, thawed and skin removed
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup salsa
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the drumsticks in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a bowl melt the butter. Mix in the salsa, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over the chicken. Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. When you serve pour some sauce over the chicken.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meal Plan for the week of 9/26/2011

Monday: Baked Chicken Chimichangas (Recipe to Come)
Tuesday: Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes (Recipe to Come)
Wednesday/Thursday: Black Bean and Beef Chili (Recipe to Come)
Friday: Jessica will be in town. Let the feeding frenzy begin.
Saturday: Cassandra's wedding.
Sunday: Jessica will still be in town.

Mini Peach Pies

I have an obsession with mini foods. I think it's the cuteness of mini foods that gets me the most. And then I like the portability of mini foods. How you don't need a fork to eat them. You just grab them with your fingers and eat. Lastly I think I love mini foods because it's okay to eat 3 or 4 or 10 of them right? Right? Well maybe not 10 but I won't tell if you won't. I made these cute little peachy pies for Carol's book discussion group last week and I heard they were a hit. I have to keep them spoiled with the homemade treats and it keeps me baking. I have often thought about starting my own Goodies to Go business so I could make some extra cash doing what I love but honestly I'm not sure where to start. How do I sell myself? How do I get myself known? What do I charge? I'm not a business person. Maybe I should ask someone who is to help with that. I just want to bake and make peoples taste buds and bellies feel good with my creations.

These pies were really good. Nice and peachy.

Mini Peach Pies
taken from Cook Au Vin

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8 cups ripe peaches, skins on (I used a 4 pound container from Sam's it was just enough)
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter
1 packaged refrigerated pie crust

Pit the peaches and dice into a small dice. In a large bowl, gently stir together the peaches, sugar, flour and nutmeg. Let rest for 20-30 minutes until the juices release and syrup begins to form. Place a strainer over a large soup pot and place the peach mixture into the strainer. Allow the syrup to fall into the pan, reserving the peaches. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low and cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid begins to thicken. Stir in the peaches. By adding the peaches in last, you avoid overcooking them and turning them to mush. Mine cooked for about 5 minutes and it thickened so I added the peaches and cooked for about 5 more minutes.

Off heat, add the vanilla and butter, gently stirring until the butter melts. Let cool to room temperature. The filling can be made in advance and refrigerated.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Unroll one of the pie crusts and using a rolling pin thin out the dough just a little bit. Cut circles big enough to fill a mini-muffin well. Gently place the circles into the muffin tin as if you were filling a pie plate. Fill with pie filling, almost to the top. With remaining dough pieces, gently cut out whatever shape you want to top it with. I cut strips for these, but you could cut out small hearts or stars. Or just cover with rounds. With one box of pie crusts I was able to make about 32 mini pies. I had enough pie filling to make a whole pie. Which in the original recipe she did. Or you could make 32 more mini pies. So you could 1/2 the filling recipe.

Bake the mini pies at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beef Roll Ups

A friend of the family's used to make this recipe. I remembered that it was really good. So I asked my Aunt if she had the recipe and she did. It's very easy. In the picture the roll ups are on the right hand side of the plate. To the left are the mash potatoes covered in gravy with extra stuffing.

Beef Roll Ups

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6 roll ups w/extra stuffing and gravy, 7 WW points per roll ups w/extra stuffing and gravy

6 Steak umms, thawed leave the parchment paper on
1 box stuffing
2 jars beef gravy
mash potatoes

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees

Prepare the stuffing according to the box directions. In a 8 inch square baking dish pour one jar of gravy. Take a Steak umm leaving it on the parchment paper it came on. Spoon about two tablespoons of the stuffing onto the short end of the Steak umm and roll up. Use the paper to help you roll up the Steak umm. They are fragile. Place the roll up seam side down onto the gravy. Repeat with the remaining Steak umms. You will have stuffing left over. I spooned the rest of the stuffing over the roll ups and then topped with the other jar of gravy. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with mash potatoes. The potatoes will add extra points.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meal Plan for the week of 9/19/2011

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (Pancakes, Turkey sausage, and Eggs)
Tuesday: Pita Pizzas
Wednesday/Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Pork provided by my Godmother, which she got from the Apple Orchard)
Friday: Southwestern Chicken Drumsticks (Recipe to Come)
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Left Overs

Angie's Taco Pie

I think I could eat Mexican type food everyday and be happy. Unfortunately Will is not the same way. So I try and limit my Mexican cravings. I found this recipe on the Gooseberry Patch website. I sorta followed it. Instead of just making regular boring taco meat I made my Rio Rancho taco meat and I thought this meal was really good. Will liked it too. It's a combination of sweet and savory with the cornbread and the taco meat and cheese. Just add your favorite taco toppings and you have a very yummy meal.

Angie's Taco Pie
adapted from Gooseberry Patch

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4 servings, 10 WW points per serving

1, 7oz package of Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1/2 lb. really lean ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
1/6 cup or 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
2 0z of green chili's
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar Splenda or just brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 cup water
sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the cornbread according to the package directions. Spray a 8 inch square or round baking pan with cooking spray and pour in the cornbread batter. Set aside.

In a skillet brown the ground beef and onion. Drain. Place back in skillet and add the next eight ingredients. Let cook for 10 minutes or until some of the water has reduced. Spoon beef mixture over the cornbread batter and top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until the cornbread has set. The cornbread pretty much completely rises over the beef mixture and cheese. Feel free to use your favorite taco meat recipe. The original recipes just calls for beef mixed with taco seasoning then topped with salsa and cheese. Nothing wrong with that but I wanted to kick it up and notch and I have to hide salsa inside the meat or Will won't eat it.

Next time I think I might make these into individual muffins.

Chicken Souvlaki Pitas

I love stuff that goes in a pita. I love souvlaki. The only thing that would have made this better would have been some feta. Reduced fat of course. I got this recipe from Dinner for a Year and Beyond's blog. She has great recipes. This is super simple and super good.

Chicken Souvlaki Pitas
from Dinners for a Year and Beyond

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4 servings, 9 WW points per servings

1 (6 ounce) container plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup shredded cucumber
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 pitas
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onion
reduced fat feta

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and garlic salt. Set aside.

In a large resealable bag, combine the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and seal bag. Make sure the marinade covers all the chicken. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to overnight.

She grilled the chicken but I baked it in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 35o degrees. Place in a baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. To serve, heat the pitas for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Cut the chicken up and distribute evenly between the four pitas. Top with tomato, onion, feta, and cucumber sauce.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Meal Plan for the week of 9/12/2011

Monday: Chicken Souvlaki Pitas (Recipe to come)
Tuesday: Beef Roll Ups w/ Mash Potatoes and Gravy (Recipe to come)
Wednesday/Thursday: Cheese Tortellini Soup
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Angie's Taco Pie (Recipe to come)
Sunday: Left Overs

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hashbrown Pork Chop Casserole

Will loves pork chops. I don't have the first clue how to make pork chops. I'm afraid of cooking them too long and making them dry. My friends mom in Arizona makes really good grilled pork chops. They are really yummy. Me and pork chops just don't go hand in hand. So when I found this recipe on The Country Cooks blog I knew I had to give it a try. The recipe came from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook and I love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. I'm going to have to check this cookbook out. Not only does this recipe have pork chops but it also has cheesy potatoes which Will loves too. Will did love this dish. He did say that the potatoes could have used a little bit of pepper but that's easy to fix. Other than that I thought this was a delicious meal. The pork chops were moist and the potatoes were nice and creamy and cheesy.

Hashbrown Pork Chop Casserole
from The Country Cook

8 servings (4 oz pork chop, 1 cup potatoes), 8 WW points per servings

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4 pork chops (I used a 2 lb package of boneless thick cut pork chops called grillers)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free cream celery soup
1/2 cup skim milk
32 oz package frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 onion, diced
1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Season the pork chops on both sides with seasonings of choice. I used salt, pepper, and garlic. In a large skillet heat the oil and brown the pork chops on both sides. Don't cook through because they will finish cooking in the oven.

In a large bowl combine the, sour cream, celery soup, milk, hash browns, onion, and cheese. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread in the hash brown mixture. Top with pork chops. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until heated through and pork chops are fully cooked.

Meal Plan for the week of 9/5/2011

Monday/Tuesday: Hashbrown-Pork Chop Casserole (Recipe to Come)
Wednesday/Thursday: Lazy Woman's Lasagna
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Left Overs

Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich

This isn't the greatest picture. It doesn't convey the yumminess of this sandwich. I found this recipe on a blog I frequent called Dinners for a Year and Beyond. The author said it was like Subway's sandwich. I didn't think it tasted exactly the same but it was pretty good. So was the sweet onion sauce. I will be making this again. Don't be intimidated by the longish list of ingredients. You will be surprised by what you already have in your pantry and this comes together very fast. It's not hard to make at all. If your not a fan of the sweet onion sauce then you don't need make it because the sandwich without it is good.

Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich
adapted from Dinners for a Year and Beyond

4 servings w/o buns, 6 WW points per servings

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1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into thin strips

teriyaki marinade --
1/4 cup soy sauce reduced sodium
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon dried minced onions
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper

sweet onion sauce --
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon dried minced onions
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Splenda brown sugar blend
1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper

In a large resealable bag, place the teriyaki marinade ingredients and the chicken. Let chicken marinate for about 1 hour. I didn't have time to let mine marinate and my chicken wasn't totally unthawed so I baked my chicken uncut in the marinade in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees instead of grilling the chicken. The chicken turned out very flavorful and moist. Though next time I would like to grill it.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, combine the sweet onion sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil while stirring to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Set aside.

To serve, slice rolls and top with chicken and desired toppings. Drizzle with the sweet onion sauce and enjoy!

Oven Baked Stew

I'm the type of person that can eat ice cream all year round. I'm also the type of person that can eat soup or stew all year round. When I saw this recipe I knew I needed to try it. It sounded great and it seemed very easy. I planned it for Wednesday. I was going to get it ready and have Will put it in the oven to bake. Then I remembered Will is working a different shift now and doesn't get home until 7pm and this dish takes 2 hours to cook in the oven. I didn't want Will to have to wait until 9pm to eat. So I decided to put everything in the crock pot and let it cook all day so it would be ready to eat when Will got home. All Will had to do was throw in the brown in serve rolls in the oven to go with the stew. This was a great meal and making it in the crock pot worked out just fine.

Oven (Crock Pot) Baked Stew
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

6 servings, 6 WW points per serving

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1 (1 oz) package of Dry Onion Soup mix
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 pound lean Beef Stew Meat (cut up into bite sized pieces)
2-3 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
3 large Carrots, peeled and diced (I used a small bag of petite baby carrots)
1/2 an Onion, chopped
1 can 97% fat free Cream of Celery Soup
1/2 cup Ketchup

In a gallon zip lock bag place the beef stew meat and the onion soup mix, salt, and paprika. Seal the bag and shake to coat the meat. In a large crock pot layer the meat, potatoes, carrots, and onion. In a small bowl combine the celery soup and ketchup together and then pour over the mixture in the crock pot. Cook on low for six to eight hours.