Sunday, March 3, 2013

Recipe: Baked Leek and Parmesan Dip

I got a couple of leeks in my Bountiful Basket a couple of weeks ago and still had not used them.  I've never cooked with leeks before but I knew it was related to onions and garlic so I decide to make a hot dip with it.  I make a hot Parmesan dip at Christmas time with my mom so I thought I'd try it with the leeks.  Turned out very delicious!

Baked Leek and Parmesan Dip

2 Leeks - white and light green parts only
1 Medium Onion, chopped
3 packages Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 cups Parmesan, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste

Split leeks and rinse well.  Chop leeks and onions and in saute in small pan with some butter for 8-10 minutes until soft.  (If you don't like them sauteed, you can also put them in a saucepan with some water, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes).  

In baking dish combine leeks and onions with remaining ingredients saving a 1/2 cup of Parmesan to top)  .  Cover with remaining Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees.

Note:  This would be really good with artichokes added to it too.

I put the leek tops and some other vegetables (and garlic and herbs) I had left from my recent Bountiful Baskets into about 8 cups of water and brought it to a boil.  Turned it down to simmer for about an hour and I now have vegetable broth.  Once it cools, I will put some in ice trays and freeze so that I can have small amounts when needed and the rest I will put into approx 2 cup containers and freeze.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe: 5 Basic Pasta Sauces from Rachael Ray

Below is a link to 5 Basic Pasta Sauces by Rachael Ray.  The one I think is missing is a Pesto Sauce but that's just my opinion!  Enjoy

Rachael Ray Pasta Sauces Here

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recipe: Chuckwagon Cheddar Chicken

This recipe is from the Steamboat Entertains cookbook.  It is hard to find but there are a few used copies on Amazon here.  My family loves this recipe and I don't know why I don't make it more often as it really is pretty simple!  It reminds me a lot of the Kraft Fresh Takes Italian Parmesan but the cheddar cheese just adds another layer to the flavors.

Looks very similar to this once baked.  I'll try to remember to take a picture tonight.

Chuckwagon Cheddar Chicken
(I cut this recipe in half except for the cheese - I use more :-) )

8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Butter
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese

Melt butter, add garlic,  Mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pepper and cheddar cheese in a bowl.  Dip chicken in garlic butter, then dip in breadcrumb mixture, coating well.  Put into a baking dish. Pour any extra butter or breadcrumb mixture over the checken.  Bake, uncovered in a 9" x 13" baking dish at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Serves 8.

I am serving this with garlic mashed potatoes tonight.

Menu Plan Sunday (well actually Tuesday)

Last week was our first real week of doing a menu plan.  It went pretty well, due to some unscheduled activities and more leftovers than expected we skipped the Homemade Pizza on Friday and moved the Taco Salad to Saturday.

This week, I put out all my entree cards and asked my husband and sons to pick out 2 items each that they would like this week.  From that we narrowed it down to 3 meals and a couple of lunches (we don't normally plan those).

Menu Plan for week of February 24-March 2:
Sunday - Leftovers
Monday - Chicken and Dumplings
Tuesday - Leftovers
Wednesday - Chuckwagon Cheddar Chicken
Thursday - BBQ Pork (from the freezer)
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Pizza Wraps (Lunch) and Orange Chicken (Dinner)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recipe: Meatballs

My boys and I made meatballs today with hamburger I picked up at my local King Soopers a couple of weeks ago for .98/lb.  I froze the meat and then thawed it out yesterday.  Our recipe is pretty loose, throw in some spices/herbs (whatever you like), eggs and bread crumbs.  There really isn't much measuring going on, I just throw in whatever looks good.  6lbs is a lot of meat so make sure you season it enough :


6 lbs Ground Beef
6 Eggs
1 cup Homemade Bread Crumbs or Crackers
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
Onions (Chopped)
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Liquid Smoke
Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl until well mixed.  Form into even sized balls (so they bake evenly) and put on large cookie sheet (if you put cooling racks on the cookie sheets the grease will run down into the cookie sheet making these a bit more healthy for you). Bake for 20-30 minutes until no longer pink in the center.  You can also fry these on the stove until all sides are browned and no longer pink in the center.

We made fairly large meatballs so we only got about 60 from our 6 lbs.  They were delicious in our spaghetti for lunch.

Menu Plan Sunday

I finally finished my menu planning board.  I think it took more time to figure out the papers to use than to actually make it.  I'm still thinking about more I might want to add to it, but it is functional.  Now I am finally ready to do my first menu plan with it!  I will do a separate post with a few photos and details of how I made my board.

Today was a Bountiful Basket pick up so I got lots of fresh fruits and vegetables so while planning my menu for this week, I tried to think of a few meals I could make using what I got.  Later today, my boys and I will be making meatballs with 80/20 hamburger I got for .98 cents per pound. We will also fry up some of it for taco meat.

Menu Plan for week of February 17-23:
Sunday - Spaghetti with meatballs
Monday - 40 Cloves Garlic Chicken (in the crockpot)
Tuesday - Taco Salad
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Meatballs
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Leftovers

I am only menu planning dinners as I usually just eat left overs for lunch.  I anticipate that Tuesday may end up being a left overs night too and that is ok with me.  I would rather eat up the leftovers than throw away the food.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recipe: Crockpot BBQ Pork

I purchased a pork butt roast for $1.79/lb on Monday.  I brought it home and put it in my new Elite pressure cooker.  Added spices and seasonings below and BBQ sauce and turned it on.  When the timer went off after 30 minutes of pressure cooking it was not done inside (i.e. raw) so I put it in again.  This time after another 30 minutes (plus about 10 minutes to come up to pressure) it was done but not "fall off the bone tender".  We pulled some off and made sandwiches and then I threw the rest of it into my crockpot for 2 hours on high.  I should have only put it in for an hour but it still turned out well.  I normally cook this is my crockpot but wanted to try the new pressure cooker.  Now I have 2 appliances to clean up :-(.

Crockpot BBQ Pork

1 Pork Roast/Shoulder/But (trim off fat)
1 Package Lipton Onion Soup Mix (or make your own)
1 Bottle Dark Beer (or whatever kind you have on hand)
Water to cover roast
Garlic Salt
Chili Powder
Whatever Seasonings/herbs you want to add

1 Bottle Light Beer (or whatever you have on hand)
1 Bottle BBQ Sauce

Put roast in crockpot fat side up (so that fat runs down through the meat giving it good flavor)
Add 1st bottle of beer and the seasonings.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low 8 hours.
When meat is literally fall of the bone tender, drain liquid, shred meat and add the 2nd bottle of beer and BBQ sauce (I sometimes add 2 bottles of BBQ sauce depending on how much meat I have).  Cook on low for hour or until you are ready to eat (really just heating up the sauce).  If you have kids in the house you should eliminate the 2nd bottle of beer as the alcohol will not cook off - I don't usually add a replacement liquid.

Serve on buns with pickles, cheese, whatever condiments you like on your BBQ.

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