Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Got Milk? 4: Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

I needed to make cookies for Home Church this week.  Actually, I just needed to make a dessert, but I'd pinned these cookies and couldn't stop thinking about them.  Obviously, this was the perfect occasion to make small cheesecake-type bites that I could share with friends.
Here's the thing:  the recipe said they would make 3 dozen.  I didn't make small cookies, and I got 4 dozen.  Then there were only 4 of us at Home Church, and while J ate 3, he told me they were okay, but he didn't really like desserts like that (he only likes chocolate chip cookies...WHAT'S UP WITH THAT????).  So I needed to decide what to do with over 3 dozen cookies that I wasn't sure what they'd be like after freezing.
Seeing as I've never done anything but go to school for my entire life, I really don't know what any other workplace is like.  What I do know is this:  if you put food on the staff room table in any school, it will disappear.  Quickly.  Weirdly, I knew I was going to visit my old staff and I took them the cookies.  I didn't even offer them to my current teachers.  I'm not sure what I really think that means.  Cookies were enjoyed by all.  They're delicious.  My husband is crazy.  Friday is treat day.  I'll feed my own staff then.
I present to you now Heat Oven to 350's Cherry Cheesecake Cookies:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Planning: February 22-28, 2014

I sat down with the flyers and everything this morning to plan what we're eating this week.  J asked if it was actually going to happen.  Sigh.  Sometimes I have great plans and no ambition.  This will not be one of those weeks.
I'm trying to wrap up the first issue of the 2006 Magazine Challenge in a meaningful way, and also trying to make a couple of things from Pinterest. That should happen in the next 2 days, with some tried and trues during the week that aren't hard to make (or eat, for that matter).
We are also having Home Church at our place right now, so I've included a couple of desserts for snack time.  The rest we will eat for dessert this week.
K....easy weeknight favourites, experiments on the weekend.  Sounds like a plan when there's so little on TV now that the Olympics are winding down.
Here's the plan for the next week:
Saturday:  Something I'm not inclined to tell you about yet, but it's part of the big reveal on March 10th.  We'll eat them with salad and Garlic Bread.
Sunday:  Potato and Onion Frittata for lunch, and Pizza for dinner. 
Monday:  Salmon is on sale this week, so marinated salmon, rice and broccoli
Tuesday:  Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Pie made with pinto beans, because that's what's in the freezer.
Wednedsday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Burgers, Chips and Pickles
Desserts:  Cherry Cheesecake Cookies and Lime Squares
Easy enough.  Bring it, end of February.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Comfort Food: Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Gravy

Some of the things I pin on Pinterest are things that sound okay, but I think J will really like.  This would be one of those recipes.  J talks from time to time about his mom making things like Salisbury Steak or Tuna Noodle Casserole.  Neither of those are things that I think about making usually.  Frankly, I would never make Tuna Noodle Casserole.
This looked delicious in the picture, and I had the juices left from the Drip Beef to use in lieu of beef broth.  It was obviously time to make something with gravy.  This fit the bill.
I present to you now Riches to Rags by Dori's Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Rewind

We were home for Valentine's Day.  J asked me if I wanted to go out, but I really didn't.  We eat out too much.
While flipping through the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Everyday Food, I found a menu for 2 for Valentine's Day.  I decided that it would be an easy present for us both:  dinner in, with lots of yummy things.  The entire menu as presented by EDF is Artichoke-Parmesan Crostini, Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction Sauce, Creamy Spinach, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.
The beauty of this menu is it's meant for 2.  The only thing that makes 4 servings is the mousse.  But I didn't think that I wanted to make the crostini or the mousse.  I decided to make the main, serve a cheese course, and buy a dessert for two.  The result was a lovely meal.
I present to you now from the 2006 January/February issue of Everyday Food what we had for Valentine's Day at home:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Year 2

I just realized that I hadn't chosen a snappy name for the second year of the Magazine Challenge, and that I hadn't put out there what I'm hoping to make from the Jan/Feb issue.  As I've said before, last year's Magazine Challenge was a success, even if I didn't make as many recipes as I would have liked from the year 2005.  We're going to try again with 2006.  Here's what sounds good out of the Jan/Feb issue:
  1. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
  2. Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust
  3. Potato and Onion Frittata
  4. Pasta Salad with Roasted Broccoli
  5. Bean, Corn and Tortilla Salad
  6. Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse
  7. Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia and Salsa
There's the list, and I've made one thing.  Lots and lots to go.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Magazine Challenge: Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia with Salsa

You know how I said I was going to continue with the Magazine Challenge this year?  That I'd marked the recipes and was ready to go?  Yeah, that.  It's February, and I just made my first recipe from the January/February 2006 issue.
When going through the magazine, there were a lot of good looking desserts.  J keeps reminding me, however, that I can't just serve him dessert as a meal.  A tempting idea, but no go.  So this past weekend, I sat down and had another look through the issue for some entree-type things that we might eat.
A while ago, I promised J that I would start cooking more fish.  While he's a big seafood fan, I'm not nearly so much.  Tilapia is a fish that I'm willing to eat because it doesn't taste like much of anything.  When I unwrapped it tonight, it didn't even smell like fish (I buy my fish from the fresh counter and use it usually within 24 hours to help with the smell aspect).
There are a lot of things going for this recipe.  It's easy.  It's quick.  It uses salsa.  I went from start to eating in 20 minutes.  On a weeknight, that's all good.
I present to you now from the Jan/Feb 2006 Everyday Food issue Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia with Salsa:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Meal: Chicken Arrabbiata

Sooner or later it's going to warm up here.  I don't know when, but sooner or later.  The snow has been piling up around here and I have been wishing there was time to hibernate.  Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen anytime soon.  There is about a foot of snow sitting on the tarp'd patio table, and about 6 inches on the hot tub.  We've left it as insulation, seeing as it's been too windy and way too cold to consider being out in the tub.  Sigh.  I love hot tubbing in winter.
But I digress.
Winter calls for heavy food with lots of garlic and melted cheese.  When I saw this, I knew it would be a tasty meal for J and I on a cold night.  Once again, Budget Bytes gave us a meal that J told me I could make again if I wanted.  It's just as well he did.  I could only get 30 oz cans of tomato, and I overbought the chicken because it was on sale. 
I suggest you make this too.  You won't be disappointed.
I present to you now Budget Bytes' Chicken Arrabbiata:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Game Food: Shredded Beef Sandwiches

Last Sunday was the Superbowl.  It was a super snore of a game, but did give a chance to make some food that would be good for tailgating. 
J and I usually make chili for the Superbowl.  But having made chili a couple of weeks ago, we wanted something different.  I went through my Pinterest board and found this recipe for shredded beef sandwiches where the meat cooked for the entire afternoon and made enough for an army.  While it was just the two of us, we had hearty sandwiches that evening and the next day.  Then I froze enough for at least two more meals.  AND I saved the leftover juice from the meat to make gravy for another meal. 
Shredded beef - the gift that keeps on giving. 
I present to you now The Way to His Heart's Shredded (Drip) Beef Sandwiches:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Planning: February 8-14, 2014

You know what?  I'm going away next weekend.  We will have reached the point in the winter where there's a holiday, and J and I are off to Ann Arbor to cheer on the Wolverines in basketball and restock everything I'm running out of in the kitchen.  In the past couple of weeks, we've run out of Pace picante sauce, good olive oil from Zingerman's, and a few staples from Penzey's (like taco seasoning).  A trip to the States is in order and will be fun.
But I digress.  We have to get there.
This week, I don't seem to have a whole lot at night, which is good.  More time for Olympic viewing!  I'm also working on my grocery list, and it seems pretty short.  With a weekend away, we've decided to do Valentine's Day at home.  EDF has a menu for two that I'm thinking about.  We'll see.
Other than that, here's what's brewing on the mountain for this week:

Saturday:  Chicken Arrabiata and garlic bread.  I know I was supposed to make this last week.  It didn't happen.  But it's Saturday, and it's on the menu for tonight.  I'm even thinking of opening a bottle of wine.
Sunday:  Leftovers
Monday:  Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia, rice pilaf, and a vegetable.  I promised J I would cook more fish than I do.  But this looks easy, and it's part of the Magazine Challenge!
Tuesday:  Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Chicken Taco Bowls
Friday:  If I make the whole menu, Artichoke crostini, creamy spinach, roasted tomatoes, steak with red wine-pepper sauce, and bittersweet chocolate mousse.
 Looks like a great week, and then off to adventures away!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pintertest Kitchen: 45 Minute Dinner Rolls

It's a while since I've done a Pintertest Kitchen.  It's not that I haven't been making things, I just don't post.  Pinterest is an ongoing source of things to make and enjoy.  While I do have a few other boards (Road Trip, anyone?), my Recipes to Try and Recipes I've Made are by far the busiest.
A little while ago, J and I made a batch of chili on a Sunday afternoon.  I was fairly certain that I had leftover rolls from something in the freezer.  I was wrong.  So very wrong.  With no time for a 3 hour loaf of bread in the bread machine,  and no cornmeal for cornbread, I turned to the genius of Pinterest to find me something that might work in a pinch.
Enter this pin:

I present to you now Crazy for Crust's 45 Minute Dinner Rolls:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Offbeat: Unsurpasta Pizza

I realized recently that I hadn't made anything from Looneyspoons in a while.  We've been eating a lot of simple, quick prep meals recently as work has been crazy.  Meals have been things like baked ham, or burgers, or grilled chicken and veggies.  I made a stir fry one night with a bag of precut vegetables and chicken fillets.  My goal with J is to eat out not more than twice a week - usually on Friday or Saturday.
When looking through my fridge to see what needed to be used up from the week, I found a lot of little bits and pieces.  Then I found this recipe that would use up some of the leftover bits.  While it's not quite the original recipe, my inspiration is for sure the Looneyspoons version.  I just didn't like some of the vegetables, and had an agenda for things I was using up.
I present to you now the Oreos and Coolwhip version of Looneyspoons Unsurpasta Pizza:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Weeknight Dinner: Greek Marinated Chicken

J and I both like the flavours used in Greek cooking.  Lemon, garlic, oregano, ouzo...saganaki...baklava.
While cruising Pinterest one night, I found this pin.  Not shockingly, I thought it looked delicious.  I was equally not shocked when I clicked through and discovered that it was from Budget Bytes.  How could it not be good?
With chicken drumsticks on sale at the grocery store, how could we not try this?  I present to you now Budget Bytes' Greek Marinated Chicken:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Planning: February 2 - 7, 2014

You know who checks my blog relatively regularly?  My mom.
This afternoon on the phone, she reminded me again that I've been absent around these parts.  I blame work.  Or sloth.  But probably work.  I'm spending a lot of time in front of the computer these days with report cards.
Not surprisingly, I have been cooking, and we have been having some new and interesting things.  They're all documented on my camera.  I swear.  So I'm going to spend this afternoon queuing up some stuff that's been lurking around for a while on my camera.  Not just for my mom, but for the rest of you too.  We've had some yummy things.
Speaking of yummy things, this week is planned, and we've been to the grocery store.  Here's what we're eating this week on the mountain:
Sunday:  It's Superbowl Sunday.  We're having Drip Beef, which is essentially pulled beef sandwiches.  The beef is currently simmering on my stove.  It smells amazing.  To go with that are things that you might find at a Superbowl party:  chips, baked goo, carrots and celery sticks.  You know, easy party food.
Monday:  I have a meeting Monday night.  We're having leftover sandwiches.  Drip Beef makes enough for an army.
Tuesday:  Budget Bytes posted a recipe for Chicken Arrabiata.  It sounds easy.  And delicious.  So, that with garlic bread.
Wednesday:  Leftover chicken.
Thursday:  Mexican Bake Thing, because it's easy and we haven't had it in a while.
Friday:  Probably go out.  That's often what happens on Friday.

Sounds like a good week for the beginning of February!