Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Retro Dinner: Meatloaf

One of my husband's favourite meals is meatloaf.  Frankly, it is not one of mine.  While I like it the first night when it's screaming hot, it loses its appeal quickly when it is not so much.  J would eat it cold, at least once a week if I'd let him.
A couple of times every winter (because meatloaf isn't a summer food), I break down and make meatloaf for him.  We eat it one night, and then I leave the rest for him to eat for a couple of lunches.  Everyone's happy.
I've tried a few meatloaf recipes over time, but I always return to the one my mom made.  It's easy, and the flavour is really good.
Thankfully, there are very few foods that my husband remembers fondly that his mother made.  Unfortunately, one of those foods is meatloaf.  The first time I made my mom's, J wanted to know if he didn't like it if I'd call his mom for the recipe he remembered.  Then he tasted it, and apparently his mom and my mom used the same recipe.  Whew.
I present for you here my Mom's meatloaf recipe.  I have no idea where it came from...maybe the Lipton's people, maybe my grandmother.  There is no citation.  Just a filling, retro meal:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinteractive: Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is my Pinteractive post for the week.  Click on the badge over there ------> to go to Nanette's blog and see all the Pinteractive posts!
So, it's week 2 of Pinteractive for me, and once again I've managed to make a recipe from my board-o-stuff to try.  In fact, I also tried out something I'd seen all over Pinterest in this recipe, and it worked!  But more about that later.
J and I both love Mexican food.  Good Mexican.  The kind of Mexican not available in Canada.  It is not surprising, then, that the grocery store does not really stock what you need to make Mexican dishes at home.  I found this recipe while on foodgawker (I think), and pinned it immediately. It combined so many things I love:  soup, the crockpot, and Mexican food.  Once I reached my local grocery store, there were only 2 problems:
1.  This country does not carry Rotel
2.  I couldn't find enchilada sauce.
So I hemmed and hawed, trying to decide what to do, and came up with a couple of substitutes after deciding that I didn't want to wait until I went to the States in March to make the soup.
Then, I went to another grocery store to pick up something quick.  It was right next to the Mexican section, and lo and behold, there was enchilada sauce!  Seeing as I knew I wasn't going to be getting lucky with Rotel, I made the soup Saturday.  I present to you now my Pinterest recipe for this week, Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup via Dainty Chef's Blog:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Meal to Share: Zesty Chicken Roll Ups

So, friends of ours from our Home Church had a baby last Sunday.  Yay!!  And, as usual when something happens in the life of our group, there is a request for food for the family.  As someone who has been on the receiving end of meals when you just don't have the time/energy/hands to do so, I like to be able to send something.  Frankly, I like to be able to send all the components of a meal.  When I had a broken wrist, I appreciated the soup, but I appreciated the people who sent not just an entree but salad and dessert as well.  Unfortunately, I don't have time to make dessert.  But I'm hoping to send a salad to go with this.
An even better bonus from this recipe? It makes 2 pans:  one to share, and one for Wednesday night when I get home from guitar late.  J can put this in.  Finally, I'm in the process of cleaning out the freezer.  This will use up the cooked chicken and small tortillas that are lurking in the bottom of the basket in the bottom of the fridge.  I present to you from Kraft What's Cooking Zesty Chicken Tortilla Rollups:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Menu Planning: Feb 25-March 3, 2012

Once again, we went to the grocery store Saturday afternoon.  Unlike last week, we walked up to a cashier and were out of the store quickly.  I'm home every night this week, so we're planning to eat at home.  We'll see.  Here's a rundown of the week:

Saturday: Pinteractive post for the week - Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup and Carolyn's Rolls from the
Sunday:  I need to take snack for Home Church, so I'm making Fudge Oat Bars
               We've talked about having Paco's, which we didn't do last week
Monday: Beef Stir Fry over rice
Tuesday: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese and Italian Sausage
Wednesday: Grilled burgers, chips and dill pickles
Thursday: Grilled Chicken, Starch and Vegetables.  I'm still cleaning the freezer out, so it's whatever frozen
                  vegetable I find.
Friday: The infamous spaghetti and garlic bread.  I have yet to defrost the sauce.  It's just as well.

Sounds like a good week of pretty basic meals.  A few classics and a few quick meals.  Totally doable.

Friday, February 24, 2012

An Eruption of Cheesy Goodness: Volcano Sandwiches

I've said before how much I enjoy the Kraft What's Cooking magazine.  They have things that are fun, simple, tasty, and easy.  And a bunch of things that seem recycled.  I mean, there are only so many ways you can marinate chicken in salad dressing and cook it, despite the plethora of flavours of salad dressings that there are out there.
While I like making new things, I am asked by J to make some of those things that I've tried in the past that are really good.  Here's an example from What's Cooking Fall 2007.  I obviously started making these after we got married.  I don't know if it was because I had hot dog buns lingering in the back of my freezer, or I just thought they looked interesting.
These come from the Kids can Cook section, and I can totally see how these are kid friendly.  They're also husband friendly.  I pretend that I make them healthy by using whole wheat buns.  I present for your enjoyment a great weekend dinner, Cheesy Volcano Meatballs.  It's even Kraft's title, not some bastardized version from when J and I are talking and I can't remember what I'm planning to make is called:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken Thursday: Salsa-Chicken Tostadas

J and I both love Mexican food.  Living here in the Great White North as we do (despite the fact that this winter "White" is questionable), there is an incredible dearth of good Mexican.  As a result, we are always on the lookout for good Mexican when visiting the States.  Ask me for recommendations in Michigan and Ohio...there are some great places!
This week, while deciding what to make, I came across this recipe in the Spring 2010 Kraft What's Cooking.  I bought Old El Paso refried beans to use.  Once we realized that this was for Thursday night, we both started saying "Chicken Thursday" in the same accent as the guy in the Old El Paso commercials; proving once again that we don't get out much.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinteractive: Monkey Muffins

This is my Pinteractive post for the week.  Click on the badge over there ------> to go to Nanette's blog and see all the Pinteractive posts!
So, today's a holiday here in Ontario, which means I'm spending time doing a few of the things I love best:  sleeping in, snuggling with my husband, and cooking.  He's requested meatloaf for dinner, which I don't make very often because it's labour intensive and not my favourite.  But it is his, and I do have the time.
We also had 2 bananas on the counter, which are neither of our favourites.  Despite the fact that J merely tolerates bananas, he has me buy him 4 each week, and dutifully consumes them because they're, "good for [him]".  This past week, I bought 5, and told him if there were enough left, I would make muffins next week.  He left me 2.
Knowing me, I need to get my pinteractive post done this week so that I don't spend my time thinking about what I could be making and not ever getting around to doing it.  So I spent time yesterday looking for a great recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins.  While I could start with, or foodgawker, I went for a tried and true source:  Taste of Home.
TOH had 9 recipes when I searched banana chocolate chip muffins.  Some had yogurt in them, which I didn't have, one recipe made 6 and wouldn't use up all my bananas.  Then I found one that hit all the right notes:  bananas, chocolate chips, and the way into my heart:  peanut butter.  I present to you the recipe for Monkey Muffins:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meal Planning, February 18-25, 2012

I know why I don't grocery shop at 3 on a Saturday afternoon.  Eventually, you have to check out and you spend as long in the line as you did winding your way through the grocery store.  Not that I'm bitter.  I made friends with the people in line behind me.  But still.  Groceries on a Sunday afternoon are bad enough.  The best time to shop is still Saturday morning at 7:30.  I'm just sorry I wasn't up to do that today.  But I digress.
This week, Family Day is on Monday, so I'm home and have time to make stuff.  I want to get next week's Pinteractive out of the way as well.  I'm home every night, and I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, so I'll be home a little earlier than usual.  Here's a slightly longer week than usual, with our plans:
Saturday: Finger foods for dinner - the end of the goat cheese spread (I know, I know) with baguette, baked cheese dip, carrots and celery sticks, frozen buffalo wings and a LOT of water.  This is saltier than I orignally thought.  So much cheese.
Sunday: Brunch before going to the movies, and then probably Paco's for dinner.  We bring home hot dog sauce from Toledo with us, and make our own.
Monday: Banana Chocolate Chunk muffins for breakfast, Pinteractive lunch of Chicken Enchilada soup, and Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner.
Tuesday: Shrove Tuesday!!  Blueberry Pancakes and bacon with Elmira maple syrup for dinner.
Wednesday: Not sure.  This is wild card night after my guitar lesson.
Thursday: Homemade pizza.  We have sliced mushrooms, olives, prosciutto, onion, and cheese.  I love my bread machine for pizza dough.
Friday: The spaghetti sauce I didn't defrost last week and garlic bread.

Sounds like a good week.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Going Pinteractive

Like most of the rest of the world, I've joined Pinterest.  While I don't seem to use many boards, not surprisingly I've covered my recipes to try board with either sinfully delicious things or plain good looking recipes...and I've started to feel guilty.  Much like my magazine addiction obsession problem, I'm starting to stockpile and admire food that I'm not making.
So I'd been playing with the idea of having Pinterest week here on the blog - all pinned food, all the time.  But that's a big undertaking...and it depends on the good graces of my husband, who would need to put up with the output of food (he would...he likes to eat).
So today (as usual), I was reading my blog feed, and I came across Ms. Sizzle's link to Nanette and her post about signing on for Pinteractive.  What a marvellous idea!  I've pinned her badge up so I remember, and I'm now off to look for a recipe to make this week.

Not that Pinterest Week isn't going to happen.  But probably not for a bit.  When there's a little more than cakes up there. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Best Reason (I know) to Buy Asparagus

I don't always go through EDFs as I should.  I always find new recipes that are somewhat inspiring when I go back through them.  There is a reason that I currently am not getting any food magazines:  so many recipes already housed in my kitchen.  Here is a delicious recipe that could have been glossed over for a myriad of reasons.
EDF has a regular feature, Cooking for One.  This is a recipe from there.  When cooking for 2, as I have been since the fall of 2006, this would be a great reason to skip this one.  I find that when I make this, in doubling the recipe I get enough for 3 servings of the onions, asparagus, and sausage.  Plus, I love the grits....but I change them too.
I present to you the recipe for Chicken Sausage and Asparagus Saute over Cheese Grits, from May 2008's Everday Food.  I would love to provide you with the link to Martha Stewart, but it is apparent that they have disowned this recipe.  I am unable to find it on their site:

Meal Planning: Feb 13-19, 2012

This is an odd week.  Tuesday is Valentine's Day, so we're out.  I don't know what my Thursday looks like.  I'm also making a concerted effort at the moment to get to the bottom of my freezer.  We had some ancient green beans with our shake n bake chicken the other night that were a little freezer burnt.  So, we clean out.  Here's this week's menu:

Monday: Shepherd's Pie.  We have leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge because I made a few too many yesterday.  This is an easy way to get rid of them eat them up.
Tuesday:  Valentine's dinner out.  I'm having the garlic bread that is so good it should be considered crack.  I've decided.  Actually, I decided when I heard where we were going. 
Wednesday: Zesty chicken roll ups.  This will use up the cooked chicken and the small tortillas that have been hiding in the bottom of my freezer.  It also makes 2 pans, and I need to make a dinner for friends that just had a baby.
Thursday: I don't know if I'm home or not.  We'll plan spaghetti and garlic bread, so if I'm not here, then this can be for Friday.
Friday:  Wings and Wedges from the downstairs freezer.  Or spaghetti.  We'll make this easy.
Saturday: Something.  I have a bunch of things I've pinned on Pinterest that I'd like to try.  I'm thinking in a couple of weeks, we need to have a Pinterest themed week.  Actually make what I'm pinning in an organized way.

Who's with me?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Souper Sunday: Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle

I didn't make soup last Sunday.  Sunday was the Superbowl, and we'll be eating Wick-Fowler Chili, compliments of J.  It's his specialty, and it's good.  I made the crostini and Carolyn's rolls I posted earlier this week.
I did think, however, I would grace you with a new soup recipe for today.  My friend Sandy talked about making her favourite chicken noodle soup on Facebook, and I asked for the recipe.  She actually sent me two...I have a lasagne soup waiting in the wings for another week.  But here's her email with the recipe:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The World's Best Rolls...According to Me

The summer I did the first part of my Blind Teacher qualifications, I was blessed with the fortune of having friends with 2 small girls who lived in Toronto and still let me take over their basement for a month as I was going to school.  I did house sit and dog sit while they were gone, but still.  This is not to be confused with the 8 weekends they let me crash on their couch 5 years later as I took the first part of my Principal's qualifications.  They're good people, and I'm thankful for good friends.
Ahem.  Back to the summer of 1999.  One of the things that we ate that summer that I remember were these rolls.  She kept the batter in the fridge, and would make them.  So good.  I was smart enough to ask for the recipe.  I present it here for you today.  I don't know where it came from, beyond my friend Carolyn.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I actually Made Crostini

So for those of you following along, I had issues with my avocado on Sunday when I went to make Superbowl appetizers.  I was left with goat cheese, baguette, and not a whole lot else.
It's a good thing I planned to have chicken pesto risotto this week.  I bought a bottle of pesto.  Armed with that knowledge and the internet, I came up with something else.  I present to you Sarah's Goat Cheese and Pesto Spread for Crostini.
Not really attractive on my ugly countertop in a fruit nappy.  After the jump is a much more appealing picture.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Avocado and Goat Cheese Crostini

For March Break 2006, I went to San Fransisco and went to cooking school for a week.  If you're a foodie, I highly recommend the experience.  If you're not sure where to go, may I recommend Tante Marie's Cooking School ?  Located in San Fransisco, I spent 5 glorious days learning about Mediterranean Cooking, wine, cheese, and how to clean your own squid.
I came home armed with a folder full of recipes, 2 of which I've made since.  It's really very sad.  There were so many good things every day...and I never think about making them.  Until I do something ridiculous like last week.
In making the chicken avocado tostadas that became wraps, I forgot that I purchased an avocado until the meal was over.  Avocados are not one of my favourite things, nor are they J's.  But when I have an avocado, this is a recipe that springs to mind as something I like, and make from time to time.
My instructor for the week in San Fransisco was Jessica Lasky, and I see that she's a caterer in the Bay area still, but I'm not sure she's still teaching for Tante Marie's.  The book cited on the recipe is Panini, Bruschetta, Crostini by Viana La Place.  I love this recipe.  It tastes like Spring.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meal Planning: Feb 5-13, 2012

This is a funny week.  We shopped on Saturday this week to be ready for the Superbowl Party on Sunday.  While I have planned on eating at home for the next 6 nights, J's comment was that I should be planning that we will eat out at least once.  If I'm honest with myself, we probably will.  Here are the plans:

Sunday:  J's making Wick Fowler Chili.  A Double Batch.  I'm making an avacado/goat cheese spread for baguette slices and the world's most wonderful rolls.
Monday:  Shake n Bake Chicken, mashed potatoes and frozen vegetables
Tuesday:  Chicken Pesto Risotto off the Minute Rice Box (I haven't made this in ages...and it's simple and yummy)
Wednesday:  Linguine with Proscuitto and Peas with garlic bread (from TOH Simple and Delicious)
Thursday:  Something...probably leftovers.  The Risotto and Linguine will both probably have leftovers.  Maybe this will be Wednesday.
Friday:  Volcano Sandwiches!  Yummy!!!  With chips and pickles, it's perfect for Friday!

We also talked about what's in our freezer, and we're good for a while...and I've been pinning on Pinterest like a fiend.  There are so many things out there.

What are you having this week?