Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Singapore Noodles and Weekly Menu

I hadn't been shopping in about 2 weeks so I was running pretty low on just about everything. My grocery bill today was $125 with $45 in coupon savings. I needed to buy meat so my bill was a bit higher than it normally is. The weather for this week is finally nice so I plan to grill out a lot.

Here is what my menu is for the week;
Singapore Noodle Stir Fry
Shrimp Kabobs with couscous
homemade cheese fries
hot dogs and brats and coleslaw
taco night
hamburgers and veggie burgers

The Singapore Noodle Stir Fry I found on my fellow Disboard members website. I am going to try it with shrimp. http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/09/singapore-noodles-840-recipe-140.html 
I thought it turned out pretty good. The tip she has about cutting the noodles in half really helps. I am not sure how much calorie wise I ate though. The package of noodles says 200 calories for a ounce of noodles. However, the noodles bulk up so you really don't know how much you are eating. I used shrimp as my protein. I had to tone down the sauce because my kids were eating it too. I added 1 tsp of the garlic chili paste and about 2 TBSP of soy sauce. This one is a keeper.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Silky Creamed Corn and Steak for Memorial Day

Our plans were to go to a park today however it is almost 90 degrees outside and I am a bit under the weather. I have a very sory throat and am congested. Thankfully my taste is still intact so I plan on making one of my favorite side dishes. I originally saw this recipe on the Neely's show on the food network. Once you taste it you will never want regular corn on the cob again!

Let me start off by saying: Holy Corn on the Cob! The ears my hubby purchased today are huge! Note: this recipe uses bacon fat. We don't eat bacon here often but when I make it I save the bacon fat in Zip loc bags for when we need it.

Here is the recipe:

6-8 stalks of corn
( I soak them in a clean sink for a hour or so)
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 c cold water
2 TBSP bacon fat
1 TBSP butter
salt and pepper

After the corn has soaked remove the husks and silk. With a large kitchen knife cut the corn from the cob as close to the white of the corn as possible. Save any liquid that comes from the cob. In a large frying pan start melting the bacon fat. Stir the sugar, flour,heavy cream, and cold water in a large bowl. Pour over the corn in the frying pan. Bring the corn to a boil and lower the heat to low. Keep stiring the mixture. It takes about 30 minutes for it to come together. At the very end add salt and pepper and a pat of butter to finish it off. Fight with your family over whom gets the last spoonful.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mini Pizza Pockets for Dinner Saturday

Last night I was searching the fridge for something to make that wouldn't take much effort. I saw we had a Pillsbury thin pizza crust left and some pepperoni. A friend of mine on the Disboards.com suggested making pesto pepperoni  tortilla wraps and bake them. I used frozen speghetti sauce but you can use pizza sauce like Contadina. I also used Classico pesto sauce. I took the same idea and made mini pizza pockets. My oldest doesn't eat meat so I made hers with just Asiago cheese and sauce. Crimp the edges with a fork and poke a few holes in each top. The whole meal came together in a about 15 minutes. I suggest using an egg wash to get the tops of the mini pizza pockets more brown. I sprayed the tops with PAM.

Mini Pizza Pockets

1 thin sheet of Pillsbury pizza dough
Classico pesto sauce
pepperoni slices
veggies of your choice sauteed
pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
feta cheese
Asiago cheese or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 or per package instructions.
Lay the dough out on a pizza sheet sprayed with PAM. Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Once down the middle and into 8 pieces. On each piece spread 2 TBSP of  pesto or spaghetti sauce. If using the pesto I added feta and pepperoni. In the others I added sauce and cheese.  Crimp the edges with a fork and use a egg wash for the top. Poke a few holes to let the steam escape. These cooked up in about 15 minutes. I served sauce to dip them in. Makes 2 pockets each total of 8.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last Night Fish Fry Friday.. Make that Fish Bake Friday

Fish on Friday is a big thing here in Milwaukee. It goes back to the original large Catholic community whom could only eat fish on Fridays. Where ever you look there is a fish fry for sale on Friday. The most popular is Serb Hall. The only problem with that is the cost. Expect to pay upwards of $12.00 per person for a fish fry. With a family of four that isn't the most budget friendly option. Luckily I have an affordable option. My grocery store had buy one get one free packages of Tilapia on sale last week. A package will feed my family. I love Tilapia because it has a similar mild flavor to catfish and a low cost.

I have my husband defrost the package so I can make it and bake it when I get home. Working late is a challenge. I try to get all my meals on the table by 6PM so I rely on the crock pot a lot. Baking is a great alternative to frying fish and saves some calories. I use a breading "Frying Magic" which gives a light crispy coat in the oven. All I have to do is dip the fish in egg wash and into the bredding and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

notice the paper plates! I hate doing dishes lol!
I also made some of our favorite fried onion rings. Yes, I made and exception and fried these but I double drain them on paper towels to make sure we aren't getting all the fat. My daughter whom doesn't like onions loves these.

Haystack Onion Rings

2 large onions
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp Zatarains Creole seasoning
salt for seasoning
1 1/2 cup oil for frying

Heat the oil on medium low heat on the stove top. Mix the seasoning with the flour. Cut the onion into small pieces. Big enough not to break the rings. Separate the rings and add to the flour seasoning. Test the oil by putting a small amount of batter into it. If the batter floats and has bubbles around it, it's ready to use.

The temperature of the oil will drop a bit when you place the onion rings in. I place about 10 in at a time and us a slotted metal spoon to move them around so they won't stick together. Adjust the heat if you notice they are getting too brown. They should cook within 3-5 minutes. Drain on paper plates lined with paper towels. You may have to flip them over onto another paper towel lined plate to remove more grease. Season with salt when they come out of the fryer. This method also works well for other veggies like zucchini.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

I love that I have a crock pot and can have meals waiting for me when I get home with very little prep work. Today I made BBQ pork sliders. They are very easy to make and are a a big hit during the summer in our house. I love to top them with some fresh slaw or pickles. I got some King Hawaiian rolls for free as part of a meal deal this week at my grocery store and I am using the remaining pork from the pork posole I made recently. You can usually find good deals on pork butt however, the sirloin was a better deal this past week.

Here is the easy recipe!

BBQ Pork Sliders in the Crock pot

1 pork butt or shoulder halved
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp garlic
1/2 onion diced
1 Ziploc crock pot insert (makes clean up super easy)
1/2 c water or apple juice
BBQ sauce of your choice (we love Sweet Baby Rays)
12 dinner rolls like Hawaiian King Bread

Inside the crockpot liner add the water or juice and then the roast and spread the cumin and garlic salt over it. Add the onion.  Cook on high for four hours or low for 8. Then with two forks shred the pork and add BBQ sauce over it. Give it a stir and let it sit in the crockpot to warm up about 5-10 minutes covered. Serve with slaw or pickles. Serving size is usually 3 dinner rolls per person.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crockpot Pot Roast for Dinner Tonight

This is one of my favorite crock pot recipes because the meat comes out so tender. The best part is you set the crock pot in the morning and a delicious meal is waiting for you when you come home. It has been horrible out weather wise and I find myself looking for comfort foods. This will surely fill my belly!

Crock Pot Pot Roast

1 frozen bag of onion soup (see recipe)http://tinkmomfoodie-foodobsession.blogspot.com/2011/01/frugal-with-capital-f.html
1-2lbs pot roast
5 or 6 potatoes quartered
2 carrots cut in 2 inch pieces
2 stalks celery roughly chopped
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter

The rest is a easy as pie. Defrost the frozen soup in a microwave safe bowl. (Today I am leaving the soup frozen) Add to the bottom of the crock pot. Place veggies in bottom of the crock pot Season meat with salt and pepper and add to the pot.  Cook on high 4 hours or 8 hours on low. Before serving brown 2 TBSP butter in a sauce pan. Add 2TBSP flour and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add broth from crock pot and stir til bubbly to make a gravy. Serve over the pot roast and potatoes. Note: I am also using a Reynolds' crock pot liner today for easy clean up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Rice Balls for Dinner Tonight

I am a big fan of Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious." It takes you through making veggie purees you can hide in foods. One of my kids favorites are the chicken rice balls. I have adapted it a bit to suit our tastes and like to serve it with marinara sauce and a veggie on the side so my kids are getting a double dose of veggies.

The purees are really easy to make. You can buy steamer bags from Ziploc or you can boil the veggies on stove top. Once they are steamed you blend them in a food processor or blender with a slight amount of water and they become purees. Usually you will need to use 1/4 to one half cup.  Each can be stored in a Ziploc bag and frozen and pulled out when you need it.

I am doing this recipe from my memory and they way I make it. Note: the sweet potatoes can be cooked in their skins in the microwave. I am using 2 for this recipe. Pierce with a fork. Microwave for 8-10 minutes. Puree with a bit of water til smooth.

Rice Balls
1 cup rice cooked in a rice cooker or stove top then chilled
1/2 c sweet potato puree
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts boiled for about 25-30 minutes
1 cup cheese shredded
1 egg
1/4 c milk or butter milk
additional 1/4 milk for egg wash
1 cup bread crumbs seasoned I like Contadina
PAM for spraying
salt and pepper about 1/4 tsp each

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Add chicken breasts to a food processor and grind for a minute until you get small pieces. Add chicken to chilled rice with the veggie puree, milk (I use skim), salt and pepper, and cheese. Mix until mixture is combined. You will be rolling these into meatball sized shapes. Usually 2-3 TBSP of the rice mixture makes one ball. Once all the rice is rolled into balls, dip into the egg mixture and into the bread crumbs. Spray a baking sheet with PAM. Place the rice balls on the sheet and give another spray of PAM over the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with marinara sauce. Makes 24 balls.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Time Flies...

We'll hun we made it! Today is my 13th Wedding Anniversary. We didn't have much money back then (and still don't) but we have had a lot of happiness over the years and two beautiful children which I thank God for every day. Can't wait for the rest of our life to spend together.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beautiful Sunday and Chicken Fajitas for Dinner

We haven't been having the greatest of spring here in Wisconsin so you have to take a nice day when you can get it. I took my daughter to a local park and we had a really nice walk. She also wanted to pick out some dandylions but which one?
We also saw this adorable gaggle of geese. The gosslings have grown up quite a bit in the last few weeks.

The house is hot and I am making a cold black bean mango salad I made a few weeks back along with chicken fajitas and some rice for dinner. http://tinkmomfoodie-foodobsession.blogspot.com/2011/05/fruit-market-finds-and-black-bean-mango.html.

Here is the marinade for the chicken fajitas:

Fajita Marinade:
1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin 

Pour the marinade over 2 chicken breasts that have been cut into one inch pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least a hour.

Chicken Fajitas
2 marinated chicken breasts and marinade
1/2 onion diced
1/2 bell pepper sliced
1/2 green pepper sliced
2 TBSP olive oil

In a frying pan add 2 TBSP oil and the veggies. Cook on medium heat until the onions become translucent. Remove veggies from pan. Add the chicken and marinade and cook chicken is no longer pink. About 6 minutes.  Add the veggies back in stir together. Serve in warmed flour tortillas. I use a slotted spoon so the fajitas won't get soggy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs For My Armegeddon Meal

All this talk about the end of the world is making me hungry! I did plan on going for a walk today. Really I did! However, it's raining out. My oldest is still intent on going to a soccer game this afternoon. I spent the majority of this morning doing the weekly cleaning I neglect when I work all week.

Today I am making crock pot BBQ ribs. This recipe is very easy and the ribs are fall off the bone tender when you come back home.

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

1 slab of pork ribs
1 TBSP garlic salt
one onion
1/2 c water
BBQ sauce of your choice. We like Sweet Baby Rays

Cut ribs between the bone. I like to cut them into two boned sections. Lay in crock pot. Add water. Season the ribs with the garlic salt. Squeeze the onion inbetween the ribs in the pot. Let cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. During the last hour drain out water and add the BBQ sauce making sure all the ribs get coated. Remove from crock pot and add additional sauce if need be.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Groupon Friday and the new POTC 4 Movie

Just call me crazy! My hubby and I went to see the new "Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides" this A.M. at 12 in the morning. It was a good movie but not my favorite out of the whole series. There are elements I like in the new story like the new love story between Penolope Cruise and Jack Sparrow and the addition of those mythical vixens the mermaids. Of course who doesn't love Johnny Depp? The theater I went to was a bit dated and the seats were way too uncomfortable to sit in for the two hour duration. My heart broke for this heavier woman. She went to sit in a love seat style seat and the arm broke off.
the huge lobby poster
I ordered a take home pizza from Papa Murphys. You get a huge pizza for not a lot of money. I then went to bed for a few hours last night before the movie and got about 3 hours sleep and another few hours this morning before I had to get up at 6 AM and go to work. I have a feeling I will be taking a cat nap in the recliner later today before I have to return to work.

Lunch today is on a Gropon for Quiznos. For $26 we get a punch card for eight regular subs. This should last us throughout the summer. Tonight my hubby and I are going to Milwaukee Ale House to use a Groupon for our 13th Wedding Anniversary coming up on the 23rd of May. He has to work all next week so this will be our only chance to go out tonight. I will post food pics later. 

Groupons are a awesome way to save money. They are a coupon that if enough people buy you get the deal and they are available in almost every city. I won't go out without using one. They have deals on food and entertainment and even spas. http://www.groupon.com/r/uu1531594

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crock Pot Pork Posole' and Jack Sparrow Today!

The week is flying by and today is the day I have been dreading all week. I have to go take a placement test for college. I haven't been in school for about 18 years. The first time around I had decided I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I even interned at  a radio station at one point. However, I ended dropping out at about the two and a half year mark. Now my youngest is going to be a full day K5 this next year and I have the chance to go back to school. We want to own our own house so badly. I work part time but that is just enough for us to get by. This will be a great opportunity for our family.

Tonight at midnight I am going to go see Pirates 4. I have been looking forward to this all week! Jack has a special place in my heart lol! Here is a picutre of he and I on Disney's Castaway Cay!

So the idea of the week is once again fast meals or meals I can cook in the crock pot. Last night I made pork posole. I purchased a pork sirloin. Normally I would use a pork butt or shoulder. The sirloin was on sale for about $5.00 less. I only used half and will be using the rest for pulled pork sandwiches later on in the week. I saw this idea on "Meals in a week" I changed some ingredients. Some I couldn't find at my store. Here's how I made it.

Pork Posole'

2 lbs pork sirloin or pork shoulder
4 cups chicken stock
1 can hominy drained
2 carrots chopped
1 onion diced
3 chipotle chilies in adobo (I threw in a blender with a bit of water)
1 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP chili powder
1 1/2 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP minced garlic from a jar
1 TBSP chicken soup base or chicken bouillon
cilantro for topping
tortilla chips for topping
sour cream for topping

I didn't braise my pork. I threw it in the crock pot with the carrots, hominy, chicken stock, and carrots. I then added in the seasonings and garlic and gave it all a stir. In a blender I blended the chipotle peppers with water. (a few TBSPs) Hominy is white corn but tastes almost like a potato when cooked. Set the crockpot to low for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. At the end remove the pork from the crock pot and with two forks shred the pork and return it back to the pot. Add the chicken bullion or soup base and stir. Taste for seasoning. Serve with cilantro, tortilla chips, and sour cream on top. After serving the first few bowls I add more water to bring the soup back up to the top of the crock pot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cornbread Mexican Pizza Revisited

My hubby requested this one. Cornbread Mexican Pizza. I have posted the recipe before but I changed a few things in it this time around. The original recipe I saw on Rachael Ray. Both Boca and Morningstar Farms have veggie type meat crumbles.  I didn't have salsa but instead used tomato sauce. I like it because you can use whatever veggies are in season. My daughter is a new vegetarian so I can make sure she gets her veggies too!

1 lb ground beef
2 corn bread mixes like Jiffy
2 eggs
1 1/2 milk
1 cup black beans drained optional
1 small zucchini diced (you may use the veggies of your choice)
1 small yellow squash diced
1 tomato seeded and diced
1 small onion diced
1 can tomato sauce
2 TBSP taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheese.
PAM for spraying
cast iron skillet

Pre heat oven to 400. Stir together the corn bread mix, milk, and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Spay PAM in the bottom of a cast iron skillet and dump in the corn bread mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set in the middle. In a sauce pan heat 1 TBSP of taco seasoning and the tomato sauce on low. In a frying pan add the ground beef and brown and drain the fat. Remove the beef and add some of the sauce to it. Spray pan with PAM once again. Add the veggies and sautee' until tender. Remove cornbread from the oven and pour tomato sauce over the cornbread. Add the tomato sauce and then the ground beef. On top of that add the veggies. Top that with cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Orange Glazed Chicken Stir Fry

Last night I made a variation of a stir fry I love. It has carrots, sugar snap peas, and chicken. This time I added a delicious orange sauce with it. I like how it comes together so quickly and tastes soooo good!

Orange Glazed Chicken Stir Fry

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 bag frozen sugar snap peas
2 carrots cut into coins
1/2 onion diced
2 tsp ginger minced
2 tsp garlic
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2/3 c orange marmalade
4 TBSP corn starch

In a separate bowl mix cornstarch with the chicken and stir until chicken in coated. In a frying pan add the EVOO and the carrots and onions. Cook until the carrots become soft but aren't all the way cooked through and the onions are translucent. Remove from pan. Add the remaining 2 TBSP of olive oil and add the chicken flipping over every few minutes til no longer pink. Add the ginger, chicken stock, soy sauce, and the veggies back to the pan. Let the sauce come to a boil and add snap peas. In a small bowl mix two more TBSP of corn starch with 1/4 cup water and pour into sauce. Let bubble. This will thicken the sauce. Serve over rice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lasagna is What's for Dinner

I have the ground beef on the stove as we speak and am making lasagna for dinner. This is one of my hubby's favorites. I love this show on the Cookingchannel.com called "Hungry Girl" and saw her substitute roasted egg plant planks for noodles therefore cutting down on calories and carbs. I roasted the egg plant at 425 for about 20 minutes flipping over about half way through. My daughter the vegetarian is getting egg plant planks with the ricotta.

Here is the recipe I use:
1 container fat free ricotta
1 egg
1 package precooked lasagna like Bertoli
1 egg plant cut into planks and roasted per directions above makes about 6 planks
1 can spaghetti sauce (I like Hunt's)
1 lb ground beef (I am using Supreme lean)
1 cup cheese of your choice like mozzarella or cheddar shredded
Italian seasoning

Lower heat in oven to 350 degrees. Stir one egg and a pinch of cheese into the ricotta. Mix Brown ground beef and drain off fat. Ladle 1/4 of the spaghetti sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. Place the first layer of noodles. Then add a spoonful of sauce to each noodle. Top with ricotta and then the ground beef. Next is the egg plant. You are using this instead of a noodle for the next layer. Top with the ricotta and meat then a noodle for the next layer. On the top layer top with sauce and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.  I ended up using 6 noodles instead of the whole box like I normally do. Bake covered with tin foil for 50 minutes. Insert a knife and check the noodles for doneness. Remove tin foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until done.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shrimp, Asparagus, and Gnocchi Revisited and Gloomy Saturday

What a horrible spring! This week we had one day that was 80 then it went down hill from there. It has been in the 50's and raining almost every day. I headed back to the local fruit market today to pick up some asparagus I had been eyeing. These things are huge! Also I picked up some prosciutto and another 8lb bag of oranges. Yep we ate almost the whole 8 lbs of the the first bag.

The plan for tonight is gnocchi with prosciutto and shrimp. I am going to make a piccata type sauce to go over it. Here is how I normally make picatta sauce. I don't have any white wine so I am going to make the sauce strictly out of lemon juice and chicken broth.

Gnocchi with Asparagus, Prosciutto, Shrimp,  and a Piccata Sauce

1 cup chicken broth
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 c white wine (use it if you've got it)
2 tsp capers
2-3 slices prosciutto sliced into ribbons
asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces then blanched
shrimp (today I am using raw) about one lb.
1 pkg potato gnochhi boiled
1 TBSP butter
salt and pepper

Defrost the shrimp if frozen by placing in a bowl of cold water. Every few minutes drain and add new water until defrosted. In a pot boil water and add asparagus pieces and boil for about 5-6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon and reserve the water. If you have thicker pieces of asparagus trim them down with a potato peeler so they won't be so woody. Add the gnocchi to the asparagus water. (Cook per package instructions) In a pan add chicken stock (white wine), and lemon juice along with the capers. bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and prosciutto. The shrimp will cook fairly quickly and are done when the are pink and begin to curl. Lasty drain the gnochhi and add to the sauce. Stir together and add salt and pepper.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fruit Market Finds and Black Bean Mango Salad

My husband and I in a quest to become healthier have taken up walking. I was also in need of a few veggies so we headed over to Layton Fruit Market near Milwaukee's air port. I used to frequent that place when we lived closer. I would then strap my then baby daughter into her stroller and walk a mile to get there and then around this cute airport park. That's where my hubby and I went today.
We got 8lbs of oranges for $4.99. They are huge! Also the olive oil was $4.99. In the regular super market it is 3x's that amount for the same oil. The bread was on clearance and with the portobellos I am making mushroom and onion sandwiches on crusty bread for lunch. For dinner I am making Artis' areapas or pita pockets stuffed with tomatoes, meat, pine nuts and seasonings. The side dish is going to be this mango black bean salad I saw on the Nate Berkus show. It looks awesome! I used red peppers too in it but at $3.99/lb I won't be buying any red peppers soon. Here is the recipe.

Black Bean Mango Salad
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
½ cup Italian dressing, any kind you like (use fat-free or low-cal) see note
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I have ones I froze)
½ cup chopped red onions
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor or blender, take ¼ cup of the mango with the Italian dressing until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining mango with the beans, red onions, and peppers. To the bean mixture, add the mango puree.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and chill until ready to serve.

Note: instead of using bottled dressing I made my own. I have some Greek seasoning I recently purchased from the Milford Spice Company online. Here is how I made the dressing.

1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Greek Seasoning or use Italian
1/4 c vinegar
2/3 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

I mixed all the above in a blender with the 1/4 mango as in the recipe and it tastes great but also tasted great without the mango.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches
2 Portobello mushroom caps wiped with a damp cloth to remove dirt
1 small Spanish or sweet onion diced
salt and pepper
1 tsp butter

If you wish you may leave the caps full without dicing them but I prefer to dice them. If you keep them whole just brush the sides with EVOO and grill them for about 2-3 minutes each side. I dice the mushroom tops discarding the stems. In a small frying pan heat the olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms. They will release a lot of water so do not season them to the end. They will be fully cooked after 2-3 minutes.  At the end remove from heat add the butter and salt and serve over crusty Italian bread. I also like to slather some mayo on the bread. It keeps the bread from becoming too soggy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shopping Day and Menu for the Week

I have't been to the store in about a week and a half. You know how they say never go to the grocery store hungry? That's correct! I still did ok. I traded in some coins at the coinstar machine. It came to exactly $17.00 then I had 5 coupons. It was double double coupon day so they double up to 5 dollar coupons. My bill was $87 and I saved $15.00 with coupons.

I started Sensa this week too. It's a powder you sprinkle over your food and works with your sense of smell to curb appetite. So far so good. I am down about 5 lbs for the week. I have also been trying to walk each day too.

My eldest daughter has decided to go vegetarian so I am trying to incorporate some veggie meals for her sake. Last night we had Classico cheese sauce over linguine with chicken. I made hers without the chicken and added the chicken to ours. She also has a project due tomorrow which she hasn't even started. Hence the hair pulling!

Well here is what I have planned for the week:
chicken patty sandwiches and home made fries
steak and potatoes (veggie burgers for my daughter)
lasagna with egg plant
stir fry sugar snap peas and chicken
mango and black bean salad and shrimp
kale chips to snack on
Mexican pizza

I know there is more but I have to run out the door for work:)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mole' Spice Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops

I recently ordered some spices from the Milford Spice company with my Groupon. One of them was a mole' rub. I had seen this recipe on myrecipes.com if you would like to make the spice rub from scratch.
mole' spiced pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
I rubbed the spice in and let it set covered with plastic wrap in my fridge for a few hours. My hubby grilled our pork chops outside but you can do so indoors for about 3 minutes per side. I used thinner loin chops.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Curried Chicken Sandwiches with Pecan and Apples for Dinner

I hope everyone is enjoying their Mother's Day! This was supposed to be a day off lol! My hubby came home for work and I made breakfast. We had home made pancakes, sausages, and fried potatoes. I started using Sensa today too. It's supposed to curb your appetite when you sprinkle it on food. I am not sure if it works quite yet. Lunch was a chix patty from Bocca. (so chickenless but tastes like chicken) I wanted something fast and stole it from my veggie daughters stash.

Right now I am making up some Curried Chicken Salad sammies for dinner. It is something you can make the night before and is quite filling. I also very the ingredients by season for example I add dried cranberries and walnuts in the fall or in the summer I add split green grapes. It also works well with a variety of dressings. I use Miracle Whip sometimes but today had Hellman's on hand. One constant is the curry powder. I love what it adds to the chicken.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 apple diced
2 stalks celery cut into thirds and diced

Boil the chicken breasts from frozen for 25-30 minutes until no longer pink and let cool. Dice the chicken into small to medium sized cubes. In a large bowl add chicken, apple, and celery. Then add the mayo.  Give the chicken a toss and add salt, pepper, and curry powder. Lastly add chopped pecans and mix. Refrigerate for a hour or over nite. After sitting you may need to add some more of the mayo just before serving.
Serve on toast.

My Mother's Day Wish (Depressing)

My Mother's Day wish is a very simple one. To have a better relationship with my Mom. I so much envy those that are close with their Mom. I am striving today to have the best Mother's Day with my kids. To show them how much I love them and value them.  My Mom in law is not here today and I miss her dearly. I know time is short on this Earth but not all of us have the ideal relationship with our Moms. Well here is to trying and realizing I am not my parents parent.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Groupon Friday and the Thor Premier

My hubby and I don't get a date night that often and it was our first chance to test my oldest daughters babysitting skills. She is finally at the age where she is able to babysit her sister. The question was would my younger one be alive when we got home?

About a week ago I got notice from Groupon they were giving us free tickets to go see the new movie "Thor" staring Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth. I also had some Groupons I needed to use at the mall and for dinner so I was very excited. Groupon is a discounted deal offered in your area daily. If enough people buy into it you get to buy it. You just click on this link and choose your area. http://www.groupon.com/r/uu1531594

We went to the Body Shop first. I had a Groupon for $45 worth of the Body Shop products. For a bit they had been offering buy 3 get two free but alas I missed that special. Instead they had thirty percent off gift baskets. This is what I got! I also purchased a face moisturizer with SPF. I work outsides sometimes and have very sensitive skin. I am happy I can use their products.
Then it was off to the movie premier. We got there around 6:30p.m. and saw a Groupon area set up. We were given our movie tickets, two vouchers for pop corn and soda and a head band with the Groupon logo on it. Here's my hubby showing our swagger lol!
I didn't think I would like the movie based on the previews I had seen but it was pretty good. It was on one of those huge ultra screens and we were pretty close but the chairs recline so you can be comfortable. My only complaint was the half hour of movie previews before the movie!

From there it was off to use another Groupon to Rustico pizza. We had thirty dollars to spend. The only problem was it was a Friday night and downtown. There was no parking except for in a parking garage across the street. Once we found a spot we went in to the charming pizza place. It had the original old floors and cream brick walls. I loved the ambiance.

Neighter my hubby nor I our drinkers so we each had diet cokes. I don't like meat on my pizza and my hubby does so we had to order a build your own pizza. He got sausage and pepperoni and I had the eggplant, feta cheese, black olives and artichokes on my side. We also ordered these yummy meatballs and garlic bread for our appetizer. The only question was would we spend over our Groupon? Yes we did a bit. Our bill was $9.00 plus the tip. Not bad for a dinner out and we had half of a pizza to take home.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shopping Day and Mexican Pizzas for Dinner

I really didn't need much. My fridge and freezer are full so I only ended up spending under $50 at the grocery store today and saved $13 on coupons. There was some peanut butter on clearance that I am thinking about now that I didn't grab more. Oh well!  So I stil have some things I want to make that I haven't I've got a movie date night for free with my hubby from Groupon for the movie Thor and I am going to use my Body Shop Groupon Friday too.

Here is what I have planned food wise for the next week
mexican pizzas and Zatarains rice
Chicken tortilla soup (we love it around here!)
mole rubbed grilled pork chops
brats and hot dogs on the grill
curried chicken salad sandwiches with pecans and apple
shrimp fried rice

These taste just as good as Taco Bells but won't break your pocket book!

Mexican Pizzas
1 lb of ground beef browned and drained
1 pkg flour tortillas
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 pinch cayane pepper
1 can black olives chopped
1 head lettuce choppped
2-3 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup cheese
2 inches Canola oil

In a frying pan brown ground beef and season with the above seasonings for the sauce and salt and pepper.
In a sauce pan combine tomato sauce and all the seasonings and let combine on low. In a frying pan heat the oil. When shimmering add the tortillas. They will puff up so have a knife handy to let the air out. Fry each side for about 2 minutes til lightly browned. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

 After done frying the tortillas make an assembly line. Place about 2 TBSP of the pinto beans on the tortilla and spread out. Add 2 TBSP sauce. Top with ground beef and another tortilla. On the top layer add beans, sauce, and ground beef. Microwave for 2 minutes and add tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and black olives. Serve with your favorite rice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Started Walking Yesterday Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee for Dinner

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Milwaukee! My hubby has off this week and I was going to drag myself to the gym but we made a pact to start walking. He was diagnosed with type one diabetes which means he is a insulin dependant diabetic. This is something that caught us by surprise about 6 months ago. I noticed something wasn't right with him. He was rapidly loosing weight, constantly thirsty, and very crabby. I thought the crabbiness was due to him working third shift. I made him go to the doctor and found out his blood sugar was over 500. That is VERY bad. They gave him an insulin injection right there.

One of the side effects of having high blood sugar is loss of vision. We were driving home from the doctor and my hubby starts to freak out! He says to me "I can't see!" I managed to get him to the side of the road. Eventually about 85 percent of his vision came back but we found out he has a disease called GAD that kills his islets in his pancreas so he can no longer produce insulin himself hence the two shots of insulin a day. He has been able to drop a lot of weight in a short amount of time and keep it off.

Well back to me. I have been on and off the weight loss wagon so many times but I am a current rider again. I am hoping the walking will steer me in the right direction.

Tonight I am making one of our favorites, Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee http://tinkmomfoodie-foodobsession.blogspot.com/2011/01/hey-good-lookin-whatcha-got-cookin.html

Monday, May 2, 2011

Arroz con Pollo Puerto Rican Style

Last night I made one of my hubbys favorties Arroz con Pollo or rice with chicken. It is very easy to make and makes a lot of food. I had chicken thighs on sale at my store but I have also used chicken wings and drumsticks for this dish. To make it Puerto Rican style I added gandules or green pigeon peas and ham. Also the addition of capers and green olives. http://tinkmomfoodie-foodobsession.blogspot.com/2011/01/thank-god-its-friday.html. I have added and changed a few things for the Puerto Rican rice.
4 chicken thighs
2 chicken drumsticks
2 chicken wings
2 cups long grain rice         
4 cups chicken stock
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP capers
2 turns of olive oil
1/4 c olives chopped
Adobo seasoning
flour for dredging
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp achote seeds (may be omitted)
1 large onion diced
1/2 cup chopped ham
chicken soup base or boullion

In a separate pan take achote seeds and brown them in olive oil for about 2 minutes. The seeds should not burn or it will leave a burnt flavor to your oil. Remove seeds with a spoon. Reserve oill until the browning of the rice step.

Coat a large stock pot with the olive oil and bring the heat up until the oil is shimmering. Dredge the chicken in flour, paprika, and garlic salt.   Place chicken in pot skin side down. Brown on both sides about 4 minutes each. Remove from pot. Brown onion in achote oil until translucent scraping the bits of chicken off the bottom of the pot. Add 2 cups of long grain rice and stir til golden brown about 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock, tomato paste,capers, and ham. Bring to a boil. When to a boil add chicken back into the pot reduce heat and cover with lid. Do not peek. Simmer on low for 15-25 minutes.(depends on the rice you are using I use Riceland long grain rice) At 15 minutes test a grain of rice for doneness.  After 25minutes take off lid and add drained gandules. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Corn Tortillas with Eggs and Sausage for Breakfast

I learned how to make this dish as a child. I would sleep over at my girlfriends house every weekend. Her father would make this delicious dish on Sundays. I have been making it ever since. It's a great use for left over tortillas and a great egg stretcher. Today I also made a half log of breakfast sausage. When I make Sawmill Gravy with Sausage I only use a half log. This was a great use for the other half.

Corn Tortilla's and Scrambled Eggs

10-15 corn tortillas ripped into 4-5 pieces each
5 eggs
1/4 c milk of your choice (I use Skim)
salt and pepper
PAM for the pan
Jimmy Dean Sausage half a log optional
1 TBSP butter

In a medium sized bowl place 5 eggs and scramble adding the 1/4 c milk. Rip the tortillas and add to the eggs. In a large frying pan spray with PAM and the butter. Once melted add the tortilla egg mixture moving the wet eggs to the outside of the pan. Spread out the tortillas so all the eggs cook. At this time brown the sausage in a separate pan.
When there are no longer any eggs on the sides of the pan, flip over the eggs and tortillas until the eggs are cooked. Serve with your favorite salsa.