Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's in store for this week: (we have a lot of salad--I bought some this week and didn't remember we already had some in the fridge!)

Monday (we didn't have this last week...)
Apple-stuffed Roasted Pork Loin
Greeky Greek Roasted Potatoes
Broccoli (last of our garden's bounty!)

Maple-Orange Glazed Chicken
Nutty Rice Pilaf

Chili 5 Ways

Cuban Panini (Medianoche)
Yellow Rice

Beef Short Ribs
Herbed Egg Noodles

Hopefully, I'll have a recipe or two posted this week, too. Cuban Panini, Greeky Greek Roasted Potatoes, or Cinnamon Rolls. Any preference?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

My parents were here this weekend to watch our kids while we attended family wedding festivities, and while they were here, my mom cooked up a storm. She made barbecued beef sandwiches, homemade pizza, and meatloaf and scalloped potatoes. We also have leftover quiche from Saturday morning. We are STOCKED UP. So we'll probably pepper our dinners this week with some leftovers, and since I'm not going grocery shopping this week, we're having a pantry festival--dinners made with whatever is on hand. I still need to take stock of what we have before I come up with a menu, but I'd like to try this one week a month: skip the grocery store, the hassle, and the expense, and make do. I'll let you know how it goes!

And later today, I'll post my menu plan. See you soon!

Oh, yeah...

Leftover Buffet

Beef and Noodles

Finish the leftovers

Pork Loin Medallions with apricot glaze
Mashed Potatoes

Shredded Beef Nachos with Queso
Refried Beans
Pan Roasted Corn

Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with bacon (on homemade Challah)


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

...a day late. It's a weird week for menu planning because a) my parents are coming to visit this weekend and b) we have a family wedding this weekend, but here's what I've got so far...

Homemade chicken egg rolls (EASY!)
Maple-Sesame Bacon Fried Rice

Pot Roast
Garlic Bread


Baked Potato Soup

Someone brings us a meal, maybe?
If not, then it'll be Turkey dinner.

Attend rehearsal dinner Pig Roast

TBA lunch (Mom?)
Dinner reception at the country club (!! Fancy!!)


Who knows? Any ideas, Mom?

I've got some desserts on tap, though:
"McDonald's" Fried Apple Pies (because of all of the extra egg roll wrappers)
Homemade chewy granola bars

I may also try to make some mozzarella appetizers with the extra wrappers. Yum!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Uncle Abe's Soft Pretzels

Okay, this one needs no story. This is just a recipe that is an amalgam of recipes claiming to be similar to "Mall" pretzels (you know the kind). I made these for the first time yesterday, and Abe thinks they're spot-on. I think they could use a bit more chewiness, so I've added in a bit of bread flour into the recipe. But if you don't have bread flour, don't sweat it--I used all all-purpose yesterday, and they still turned out really well. I ate four of them.

Soft Pretzels

4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water

1 c. bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
all-purpose flour *

1/4 c. baking soda
2 c. hot water

kosher or sea salt, or pretzel salt, if you've got it
3 Tbsp. melted butter

FIRST, mix together the yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1 1/4 c. warm water, and set aside for 5 minutes to let the yeast get foamy. When it has, add in the oil.

Then, in a large bowl, combine the bread flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in the yeast mixture, *and then continue to add all-purpose flour until it makes a soft dough. (approx. 3-4 cups.) Turn dough onto a well-floured counter top, and knead in more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about an hour).

In a large bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Dump the dough out onto the counter top and flatten slightly. Then, using a knife or pizza cutter, cut off a strip that is approximately 1/12th of the total dough. Roll it on the counter until it is about 16 inches long. Then, twist into the classic pretzel shape, dunk in the baking soda/water mixture, and transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, or a cookie sheet that is well-greased. Repeat until all of the pretzels are twisted. You'll need two cookie sheets.

Then, sprinkle lightly with the salt, and pop into the hot oven. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate baking sheets top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Bake until the pretzels are golden brown.

Remove from oven and brush with lots of melted butter. Enjoy!

Makes 12 pretzels.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here's the tentative plan for this week.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Roast Chicken
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Glazed Carrots

Chicken Verde
Yellow Rice
Black Beans

Short Ribs
Green Beans

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Leftovers? McDonald's? Pizza? I won't be here, so it's anybody's guess!