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  1. Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Week 116 Menu

    Happy Easter!  May your day be filled with baskets, loved ones and chocolate.

    MONDAY:
    – Leftovers

    TUESDAY:
    – Pork Chops
    – Wild Rice (Rice-a-Roni, please!)
    – Veggie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Paninis of some sort (Cate just gobbles these up!)

    THURSDAY:
    Canneloni (I need to use up the ricotta cheese!)
    – Salad

    FRIDAY:
    Orange Chicken
    – Dumplings

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    Lentil Soup
    – Crusty bread

    It may be a holiday today…but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat this week!  Plan a menu and share it with the rest of us! (PS – Thanks again for your menus each week!!!!)


  2. Friday, April 10, 2009

    Oroblanco Grapefruit

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sweet grapefruit junky. Nate went to the farmer’s market last weekend and discovered my new favorite grapefruit variety: Oroblanco. It’s actually a cross between a grapefruit and a pommelo…and what a DELICIOUS cross it is.  Sweet, not as acidic, milder in flavor.

    It’s also huge. I photographed the oroblanco (yellow) next to a normal sized grapefruit, a navel orange and a ‘cutie’ just to give some perspective on the ‘giantness’ of this grapefruit. The rind was really thick, so the actual fruit yield was about the same as any other grapefruit.

    Anna just couldn’t resist being a part of the big photo shoot.


  3. Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Cannelloni

    Cannelloni is one of my favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant.  Which means I had to figure out a way to make it at home, of course!  I gave it a try this week and it was so so yummy.  Here’s what I did!

    Cannelloni
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
    Cuisine: Italian
    Ingredients
    • FILLING: will fill ~8 cannelloni, maybe up to 10
    • 1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded
    • ¼ C fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 C ricotta cheese
    • ½ C shredded mozzarella
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • 1 garlic clove, minced or use garlic press
    • 1 T chopped fresh basil (maybe a little more than 1 T)
    • ¼ t pepper
    • ½ t salt
    • SAUCE:
    • 1½ C jarred marinara (you could make your own, but this is faster and tasted great)
    • ½ C cream
    • 24 grape tomatoes, smashed up a bit (I pulsed in the blender a few times)
    • ¼ – ½ C shredded asiago cheese
    • SHELLS:
    • Ideally I suppose you make your own pasta, roll it into thin sheets and cut into rectangles. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen around here”¦.so, I tried two readily-available pastas.
    • Barilla No-Boil Homemade Style (Flat) Lasagna Noodles: These were PERFECT. Boil 3 minutes, CAREFULLY remove from the water (it’s easy to crack them in the middle, so be gentle!). Filling them is a cinch”¦just lay the rectangle out portrait (you know, tall-wise), lay your filling across the noodle near the end, then roll up! (I had a few cracks when I took them out of the water, but the noodle overlaps itself when you roll it up, so it wasn’t a problem) Pictured RIGHT.
    • Manicotti Shells: I also tried manicotti shells. They didn’t taste quite as good, and they’re harder to stuff. So, I will definitely do the flat, no-boil lasagna noodles from now on. Pictured LEFT.
    Instructions
    1. Mix filling ingredients.
    2. Mix sauce ingredients and warm on the stove (doesn’t need to cook too long or get too hot).
    3. Spray a rectangular casserole dish or metal cake pan with spray oil. Stuff cannelloni (see noodle descriptions above). Place stuffed cannelloni in the pan. Cover with sauce.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Mangia!
    Notes
    Makes approximately 8 cannelloni”¦Nate and I each ate 2, and the girls had 1 each. Fed our family of 4 with 2 cannelloni left over.

     


  4. Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!

    Tomorrow evening (Wednesday) marks the start of Passover. I thought it would be fun to get some recipes from a few of my Jewish friends and share them with you.

    One thing that I like about the Passover Seder is how important the food is to the celebration. It’s very symbolic and plays a key role to the festivities. It’s all very fascinating to me. If you’d like to read more, this web page has lots of great information.

    I will not be preparing a traditional Seder, but I am going to try a few recipes. I’ve got my Kosher ingredients all ready to go! Speaking of which…when I was at Safeway today, I was trying to find some matzoh bread. I’m not Jewish, so I was going to go quietly about my business in the Kosher food aisle and hope no one noticed I didn’t know what I was doing. Well, I couldn’t find any matzohs and overheard a woman ask for it. To make a long story short, Gentile Jane ended up on a store-wide matzoh quest with about 5 other Jewish people. So much for staying under the radar. I just kept my mouth shut, used as few words as possible and hoped people didn’t realize I was an impostor! And, after all of that, Safeway was completely out of matzohs! Oy Vey!

    Big thanks to Ciaran Blumenfeld, a dear blogging buddy, for providing us with so many wonderful family recipes!  And another big thanks to my friend Michele Wang for sharing her mother-in-law Sherry’s great Chocolate Walnut Spongecake recipe.

    Click “more” to see the recipes, including Jewish Penicillin (intrigued? read on!).  It’s worth a read-through, and Ciaran’s commentary is great! And, as always, if you have your own seder-friendly recipes to share, please do!

    (>> Find out more…)


  5. Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Week 115 Menu

    I planted my first tomato plant yesterday, which I am very excited about! The tomatoes will be grape-sized, sweet and yellow…assuming I don’t kill the plant.  I can’t wait to eat them!

    Yeah, I know, I have repeats on the menu this week. I didn’t do as much cooking last week as I had planned. Although, we only ate out once. I’m not entirely sure WHAT we had for dinner every night…I know we ate food. Anyway, it has just been one of those weeks…I was swamped with work (which I’m grateful for!) and Nate was beyond swamped, at one point working for 24 hours straight.  YIKES!

    MONDAY:
    – Meatball Subs

    TUESDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Brown rice & Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Waffles or some other easy breakfasty food

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out

    SATURDAY:
    Chicken Piccata
    – Pasta or Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    – Salad

    SUNDAY:
    – Pork chops on the grill
    – Wild Rice (yes, from a Rice-a-Roni box!)
    – Veggie

    Time for you to post your menu for the week! If you haven’t posted before, go ahead and give it a try – all menus are welcome! It doesn’t have to be fancy. This is ME you’re talking to, here.

    Thanks everyone! Have a great week!


  6. Friday, April 3, 2009

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza

    There are a few people in my life who are the source of some of my most favorite recipes and tips. My sister-in-law Cora definitely tops the list, but so does my friend Lindsay. Lindsay used to be my neighbor…those were the good old days. She’d call and say, “I’m making this awesome recipe” and I’d go over with my camera, take pictures, eat her food and get awesome recipes. Alas she lives in Seattle now, but I still use her recipes regularly. One of my most favorite recipes of all time comes from Lindsay and her husband Aaron (one of the few male commenters here on the blog!): Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    One of my favorite dinners, Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Lindsay and Aaron named the soup. The name fits perfectly. This tortilla soup is an extravaganza, filled with all kinds of wonderful ingredients that go so well together. Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite dinners…as long as I’m making it, thanks to Lindsay. (P.S. I think we should add the word “extravaganza” to all recipes. It makes life more festive!)

    Aaron and Lindsay's Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    This recipe is easy to throw together and one that I always make on weeknights. The leftovers are fantastic. Also, the toppings are key! Don’t skimp on the toppings. If you want truly amazing chicken tortilla soup, you gotta make sure you fill the bowl with all of the good stuff. Hence the “extravaganza.”

    Recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup from This Week for Dinner

    Please note: Lindsay fries up her own tortilla strips. Because she’s fancy like that. I am not fancy and always either buy tortilla strip salad toppers in the produce section or just break up tortilla chips on top. It tastes mighty fine even with that shortcut. Promise.

    Homemade fried tortilla strips for Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Have fun making and eating this soup. And be sure to bookmark the recipe, I promise you’ll be back for more.

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza
     
    A little spicy and a lot delicious!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dishes, Soup
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Ingredients
    • FOR THE SOUP:
    • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I usually just use half of an onion)
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or pushed through a garlic press)
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • A few shakes of cayenne pepper
    • ½ - 1 tablespoon chili powder (depending on your spice level desires)
    • 1 teaspoon or so of ground cumin
    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2-3 tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
    • Half of a bag of frozen corn
    • 1 large chicken breast
    • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
    • 2-3 limes
    • 2 large handfuls cilantro, chopped
    • FOR TORTILLA STRIPS:
    • 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
    • A few swigs of canola/vegetable oil or cooking spray
    • TOPPINGS:
    • Diced avocado
    • Shredded cheddar or jack cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Lime slices
    • Chopped cilantro
    • Tortilla strips or tortilla chips broken up
    Instructions
    1. TO MAKE THE SOUP:
    2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add chopped onion and cook until onions soften and become translucent, 3-5 minutes or so.
    3. Add garlic, green onions, cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin. Sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
    4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low (or the lowest heat that maintains a simmer). Add tomatoes, corn and black beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
    5. The very best way to prepare the chicken is to sprinkle the raw chicken breast with some cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and then grill the chicken. However, you can cook the chicken whatever way works for you. Once chicken is cooked, chop or shred the chicken. If you cooked the chicken another way besides seasoning and then grilling, go ahead and sprinkle those same spices over the cooked chicken to add a bit of flavor.
    6. Add the prepared chicken, juice from one of the limes and one handful of the chopped cilantro to the soup. Heat through for a few minutes and then serve!
    7. TO MAKE TORTILLA STRIPS (OPTIONAL):
    8. Heat canola or vegetable oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Alternatively you can spry the pan with cooking spray. Add tortilla strips to pan and cook until crisp, turning strips every few minutes. Once browned and crisp remove from heat and sprinkle with salt.
    9. THE FINAL PRODUCT:
    10. Serve soup garnished with avocado, cheese, sour cream, fresh lime and cilantro, and tortilla strips.

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE: