Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sunday: Stir Fry Chicken

This recipe came from my mother. It was the first dinner I prepared for my darling husband back when we were dating. I served it with apple sauce and Mountain Dew. :) This is back when we used to drink Mountain Dew like it was a dietary supplement that should not be missed. My husband (boyfriend at the time) ate seconds and thirds. Needless to say, I have been making it ever since.
What you need:
1-2 eggs, uncooked
1 lb chicken cut into pieces
1 tsp. garlic (1-2 garlic cloves)
1-2 cups rice cooked
vegetable oil
soy sauce
Frozen veges (we use peas, carrots, green beans blend)

Begin to cook rice, according to the directions on the package. Pour 2-3 Tbs. oil into skillet and begin to heat oil. Toss in 1-2 eggs and scramble. Add 1-2 cloves garlic and chicken. Allow to cook until chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Throw in vegetables and cook for 6-8 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir in rice and soy sauce. (more or less according to taste)

To healthify this recipe substitute the following:
olive oil for veggie oil
brown rice for white rice
low sodium soy sauce for regular soy sauce.
For whatever reason, growing up, we always at this with apple sauce on the side. :)


Saturday: Chicken Sandwich

I roasted a 3 lb. chicken that I had sprinkled rosemary seasoning on, but you could just as easily use boneless skinless breasts for this recipe. My point in getting the whole chicken is that I would divide the meat up between 3 recipes. (Cooking tip: whenever you cook meat, always do extra and save it for your next meal or two.) I got this chicken from Angel Food, so it seemed like a logic choice. If you are interested in getting lots of food for very cheap you should look into Angel Food, by the way, and see if they have a distribution site close to you. Here's the link: I will gladly share my opinion or answer questions if you are someone who is seriously looking into getting this. This service is open to everyone. No minimum income required.

Now, back to the sandwich:
I used Kraft Vidalia Onion dressing which I spreaded generously onto the bun and slapped some chicken pieces on each bun. It's as easy as that. Would also taste great with some Monterey Jack cheese melted over the chicken. Mmmmm...wish we had that on hand. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday: Chili cheese burgers

1 lb. Ground Beef
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 can (15 ounces) chili with (or without) beans
4 hamburger buns
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (2.8 ounces) french-fried onion

Mix chili powder into your ground beef. Stir in chili and cheese and heat in the microwave of on the stove top until heated through. Scoop mixture onto the bottom buns. Top with French fried onion. Replace bun tops.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wenesday: Jalapeno Swiss Burgers

A different Hamburger idea. The swiss cheese has a mellow flavor that cuts the heat of the jalapenos. Try it! I think you will like it.

What you need:
Hamburger buns
Chopped onion
Chopped jalapeno pepper
Sliced swiss cheese
1 lb. Ground beef
Lettuce and Tomato slices (optional)

Cook and drain beef. Mix in jalapeno pepper and onion. Scoop beef mixture onto the bottom half of the bun. Top with a slice of swiss cheese. Toss into a 350 degree oven for 6 minutes of put in microwave on high for 30 seconds to melt cheese and warm bun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Coupon Giveaway

We will be giving a way a stash of 50 coupons (no internet). If you would like to beef up your stash, leave us a comment w/ you e-mail address included. We will randomly select a winner on Friday night (5 p.m.) and contact the winner via e-mail to get his/her address.

Be sure to check out our blog. We include step by step instructions (pictures included for all of you visual learners out there!) on some great healthy, frugal and creative meals!

Join Sarah for week long dinner meal plans that are inexpensive and easy at The Frugal Table, perfect for any Mom looking to fix good meals that won't break the bank!

Join Alisha, Out of the Box, for week long dinner meal plans that are simple and creative, perfect for the busy Mom who still wants to fix meals that are crowd pleasers!

Join Katie at The Tasty Green for week long dinner meal plans that are perfect for any Mom who is trying to show her family that a breadstick is not a vegetable.

We hope you join us!

Tuesday: Asian Beef Dinner

You're family will love you forever for making this one! :) It is absolutely DELICIOUS!! (and very easy)
2 packages (3 ounces each) beef-flavored ramen noodles
Boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (save one half for the Jalapeno Swiss burgers later this week)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. steak sauce
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 Tbs. green onion sliced

Set aside seasoning packet from noodles. Prepare noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. While noodles are cooking, cut steak into 3 in strips. In a large skillet, stir-fry the beef and jalapeno pepper in oil for 1-2 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, combine the noodles, water, steak sauce, carrot, onion, and contents of seasoning packet. Cook and stir until heated through. Return beef to the pan and mix in.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Every mom should have a picture of their child in the kitchen.

I just had to share:

This is the son that wants chocolate to be a food group. His other food groups would be "candy", "Chi Charms" (or to you and me, Lucky Charms) and "butter" . (sigh) :) Butter is actually Peanut butter and he is really referring to a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I know some of you checking out this blog have children out there too. For those of you who do, what food groups would your children pick if it were up to them? I would love to hear your responses. Who knows? You just might start to see some recipes with those ingredients in them on here later.

Dessert Option: Applesauce with Crispy Scoops

This incredibly easy dessert was taken from my Kid's Favorites Made Healthy cookbook. It requires very few ingredients and you might just find that you have all of them on hand already.

Here it is:
2 7-to-8 inch flour tortillas
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 4-ounce cups fruit-flavored or plain applesauce

1. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. (can be cut using a pizza cutter on a cutting board, a knife, or using kitchen shears) Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Generously coat tortilla wedges with cooking spray. In a small bowl stir together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over tortilla wedges. (while not necessary, it helps to have a flour/sugar shaker for this) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Use tortilla wedges to scoop up applesauce.
Kids will love helping with this one! Preparing it and dissapearing it. ;)

Monday: Beef Taco Salad (or chicken if you prefer)

This recipe is easy to make, tastes delicious, and it doesn't feel like you are eating a salad. :) Beef Taco Salads are very easy to whip together when you need to bring something to a potluck or a party of some kind.

Brown and drain 1 lb. beef. Add a taco seasoning packet and stir into the beef. (In the picture I show Southwestern Seasoning, because that is what we had on hand.) Mix whatever veggies you like. I used chopped up cucumber and tomato. Add a bag of salad and about 2-3 cups of crushed tortilla chips. Thousand Island or Western dressing goes great with this salad. 1000 Island is my personal fave. Toss and serve.

There is a lot of flexibility in this salad. Add more of less of each ingredient depending on your taste. While ground beef is my preference, I have also tried ground turkey and chicken and that was very yummy as well. Mix and serve. Isn't it great when dinner is a salad!?!

Out of the Box Dinner Menu

Here's the Out of the Box dinner menu for this week:

Monday: Beef Taco Salad*
Tuesday: Asian Beef Noodles*
Wednesday: Jalapeno Swiss Burgers*
Thursday: Mexican Tortilla Skillet*
Friday: Chili Cheese Burgers*
Saturday: Chicken Sandwich**
Sunday: Stir-Fry Chicken**
Dessert Option: Applesauce with crispy scoops

*I would like to mention that I purposefully chose 5 meals using hamburger. I buy 5 lb. of ground beef and cook it all at once. Once cooled I freeze bags of 1 lb each and defrost the day before the meal. This will save time and money.
**Two recipes use chicken, so I bought a 3 lb. chicken and split the meat between the two recipes.

...And here is the shopping list...(amounts specified when quantity will alter the recipe greatly)
Monday-Beef Taco Salad:
1 lb. Ground Beef, cooked and drained
Tortilla chips
Cheddar cheese
Thousand Island Dressing (or whatever dressing you prefer)
Chopped cucumber
chopped Tomatoes
Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce

Tuesday-Asian Beef Noodles
1 package (3 ounces) beef-flavored ramen noodles
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. steak sauce
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 Tbs. green onion sliced

Wednesday: Jalapeno Swiss Burgers
Hamburger buns
Chopped onion
Chopped jalapeno pepper
Sliced swiss cheese
1 lb. Ground beef

Thursday: Mexican Tortilla Skillet
1 lb. Cooked ground beef.
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
12 flour tortillas (burrito size)
1/4 cup water

Friday: Chili Cheese Burgers
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 can(15 ounces) chili (with or without beans)
French Fried Onions
Hamburger buns
1 lb. ground beef cooked and drained.

Saturday: Chicken Sandwich
Pieces of cooked chicken
Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing
Hamburger Buns

Sunday: Stir-Fry Chicken
1-2 eggs, uncooked
1 lb chicken cut into pieces
1 tsp. garlic (1-2 garlic cloves)
1-2 cups rice cooked
vegetable oil
soy sauce
Frozen veges (we use peas, carrots, green beans blend)

Dessert: Applesauce with crispy scoops
flour tortillas
cooking spray

Out of the Box (and sometimes book) Mommy

My week is next. Here is a little bit about myself:
I love to experiment with all different kinds of recipes. I have been blessed with a very easy-going husband, who will eat just about anything I put in front of him. While he is not picky, there are certain meals that I cook that get me a wink across the table and others that we just choose not to talk about. My husband and I have two children. Keely eats homemade baby food and is still nursing. Preston is a two year old and would prefer that we eat Lucky Charms, suckers, and chocolate all day long. When planning for a week's worth of groceries, we have decided that it works best for us to work in a couple of meals that take time and several meals that take less than 10 minutes to prepare. (Can't go wrong with PB &J) On the nights I feel inspired I go all out and prepare a meal that I am excited about and sometimes even light a candle and play music, but you can bet the next night we'll be eating something very simple, cooking out of the box, I like to call it. I don't have a problem with hamburger helper and frozen pizzas (especially if it cost us less than $2 to feed our family) but I must mix it up with a thought out home cooked meal every once in a while to keep from getting bored. I have found over the last few years that I get really excited about one cookbook and cook several recipes from it, and then I put it away for a while and forget about it again. I cook out of a large library of cookbooks that I personally own, but I also enjoy getting creative when I find it necessary to substitute ingredients. I am hoping that by sharing this blog you will be inspired to cook meals for your family, but I am also hoping that as I take pictures of our meals, I will be inspired to make them look more fun. I would like to see our darling two year old gobble down "real" food because it looks like it should be fun to eat, and stop begging for candy as soon as we are done eating. :) Okay, dear friends, prepare to salivate. We've got a meal to plan!