Thursday, January 31, 2013

Superbowl Recipe Round-Up

Even if the Packers aren't playing in the Superbowl this year it doesn't stop me from watching and cheering on a favorite (I am rooting for the 49er'sthis year!). I decided to compile a list of game day favorites to give a few different menu ideas for the big game. We are going to be having Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos, Baked Beer Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers, Easy BBQ Meatballs, Guacamole & Chips and Veggies & Dip...yum! 
Here is to a delicious game day spread!

Appetizers

Main Dishes


Sides


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Salmon with Prosecco Cream Sauce

I love finding a recipe that jumps off the page (or screen) at you, and you can't wait to make it. I came across a recipe for Salmon in Champagne Cream Sauce on Katie's blog So Tasty, So Yummy and knew I needed to make it.  I have made a similar dish which poached the salmon in white wine and I was intrigued by the champagne. Ultimately, I decided to use a prosecco over a champagne because I had a bottle at home and it is a little cheaper. If you have not had prosecco it is an Italian sparkling dry white wine and it is delicious.  This recipe is really simple and to poached fish is delicious with the creamy prosecco sauce. Ron and I both devoured our meals, and practically licked the sauce off the plate! This is  great recipe if you are entertaining because the cooking process is easy and the portions can be easily increased...plus who wouldn't want to have a creamy prosecco sauce!


Prosecco Poached Salmon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups Prosecco
1/4 cup shallots
3 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
Prosecco Cream Sauce, recipe follows

Grease medium rimmed skillet with the butter. Add the Prosecco, shallots, dill sprigs, chopped dill, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish to the pan and spoon the poaching liquid over them. Cook uncovered until the salmon is firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. (If the poaching liquid does not cover the fish, spoon the liquid over the fillets as they cook.)

Using a slotted spatula, remove the fillets from the pan and blot excess liquid with a paper towel. Serve with the Prosecco Cream Sauce.

Prosecco Cream Sauce

1/4 cup chopped shallots
2/3 cup Prosecco
1 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

In a saucepan, combine the shallots and Champagne. Bring to a boil and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.

Add the heavy cream, bring to a boil and simmer until cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon, and is reduced by nearly 50 percent in volume, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the butter until smooth and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately over salmon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 1/28 - 2/3

Happy Monday!

We had a busy weekend. My cousins were in town from Chicago and we had a fun couple of evenings with them. Ron also had a cribbage tournament and a CP bowling fundraiser...whew....but, it was all fun stuff. 

This week I am starting volleyball! I am really excited to start doing more physical activities since Kellen arrived. I am also having an early birthday celebration with friends. A few of my friends and I have birthdays within a few days of each other and we have recently enjoyed celebrating as a big group.  It is also the first night Ron and I will be without Kellen. We are very lucky to have two sets of grandparents who love to see him because it allows us to have date nights and the occasional baby free night.  It feels like a big step to have him stay at his grandparents without us, but it is a very needed night out for both of us.

I also got bang this week..... I think that covers everything new.

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Tex-Mex Shrimp and Chorizo Risotto (for SRC) and Salad
Tuesday: Blue Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Tatertot Casserole and Leftover Green Beans
Thursday: Spicy Beef Tacos
Friday: Out for Dinner with my Parents
Saturday: Out for Dinner and a Birthday Celebration!
Sunday: Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos and various apps for the Superbowl!

Treats: Lactation Cookies (per usual) and Applesctoch Cookies

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lactation Cookies

One of my goals after having Kellen was to give him a diet that primarily consisted of breast milk. Kellen was in the NICU after he was born, and breast feeding was very difficult. Since then I have been pumping to make sure he is getting as much as the good stuff as possible. We have to supplement with formula pretty occasionally, but his daily diet is mainly breast milk. I have read about different ways to help boost milk supply and there are all kinds of different methods. Fenugreek, beer, oatmeal, flax, massage, reflexology....the list is long. I am currently taking fenugreek and eating these cookies (yum!).  The combination of oats, brewer's yeast and flax is thought to have an impact on the breast milk supply. There are many different recipes out there, but these are delicious. Even if you are not a nursing mom these cookies are packed with delicious ingredients- my husband loves them!  The most common question people ask me is: "will I produce breast milk if I eat these?" and the answer is no, but you will get to enjoy a delicious cookie! I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, but I omitted the nuts resulting in a less dense cookie. So far I have made two batches of these (someone in my house also loves them!) and I have noticed an increase in my supply.  Rewarded by eating cookies..... lessons have been learned.  If you are a nursing mom or a cookie lover give these a try!


Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
1 3/4 cup oats 
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup  peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 cup ground flax
3 Tbl brewer's yeast
1/3 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 bag (12 oz) chocolate chips


Instructions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer's yeast, flax and water until creamy.

Mix in eggs.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Mix in chocolate chips. Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.

Place tablespoon mounds of dough onto greased baking sheets.

Bake 12-13 minutes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slowcooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Wisconsin has hit a cold front! Brrrr...... They even had a few school closings because of the low temps. When the cold weather hits I always think of a thick soup or chili. I stumbled across this recipe for Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili on Plain Chicken (one of my favorite blogs for comfort food recipes).  This recipe is really simple and takes about 5 minutes to throw together. I increased the amount of chicken to make a little more volume for lunches. Ron and I both loved how easy and delicious this dish was, and with the Rotel the slight punch of heat!

On another note, it was easier today to leave Kellen when I headed into work. However, I still was missing him 5 minutes after pulling out of my driveway....sigh....


Ingredients

1 can black beans
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese
3 chicken breasts


Instructions

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at bottom of pot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), rotel, black beans and water. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir cream cheese into chili. Use 2 forks to shred chicken. Stir together and serve.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 1/21 - 1/27


I am behind this week...in an hour I am returning to work for the first time since Kellen was born....*sniff*.  Here is what we have planned for our week (and eaten so far!). Hope everyone is having a great week and stay warm!!

Monday: Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta, Rice and Salad
Tuesday: Mexican Meatballs and Rice
Wednesday: Champagne Salmon, Roasted Potatoes and Peas
Thursday: Beef Chili
Friday: Date Night!
Saturday: My cousins are in town and we will be having dinner with them at a resturant called S.A.L.T.
Sunday: Out for Pizza....Ron is bowling in the charity CP bowl-a-thon!

Treats: More Lacation Cookies

Friday, January 18, 2013

Recipe Swap: Bobby Flay's Cuban Style Pork Chops

Time for Recipe Swap!


I took a small break from the swap when I had the baby because I didn't know how I would feel or what my recovery time would be like. The theme for this swap is celebrity recipes. I submitted Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchiladas (one of our favorites) and I received Heather, author of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, recipe for Bobby Flay's Cuban Style Pork Chops. I love cuban sandwiches and was thrilled to try this recipe. The original  recipe calls for the chops to be grilled, but we were out of gas on the night we planned to make these so we baked them. Ron and I loved the flavors of these pork chops- an awesome way to fill a cuban sandwich craving! Next time I think we will try the pork chops on the grill because I imagine they are even more delicious!

Thank you to Sarah of A Taste of Homecooking for putting together these awesome swaps!


Ingredients

3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbl dried oregano
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbl ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
4 pork chops, butterflied and pounded thin
8 thin slices of Swiss cheese
1/4 lb of shaved ham
1 dill pickle, sliced thin
Salt and Pepper


Instructions

In a small dish, whisk together  orange juice, lime juice,  oregano, garlic, cumin, pepper, and olive oil. Pour into a freezer bag and add the pork chops making sure all four are covered by the marinade. Cover and let soak for about 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Put the pork chops on a large cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Place one slice of cheese, ¼ of the ham, 4 slices of pickle and another slice of cheese on each pork chop. Fold the pork chop over and secure with a toothpick.

Place pork chops into an oven safe baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until pork chops reach desired temperature.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 1/14 - 1/20

It is my last full week home with Kellen before returning to work!!! I am sad. Part of me is happy to be at work because I enjoy my job, but the other part of me is so sad at the thought of leaving my little guy. Only having a few hours at night doesn't seem like enough...

I devoted this week to a few different recipes I have been wanting to try. I am happy that I have been able to blog more and continue to try new recipes. I was nervous that after Kellen arrived I would not be able to cook as often. This was true in the first few weeks, but as we got use to each other our normal (plus one!)routine has been coming back. 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Monday: Bobby Flay's Cuban Style Pork Chops, Rice and Salad
Tuesday: Muffaletta Casserole and Salad
Wednesday: Slowcooker Picadillo, Rice and Black Beans
Thursday: Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 
Friday: Out to Dinner with our friends David and Amanda
Saturday: Date Night!
Sunday: Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and Green Beans

Treats: Lactation Cookies

SRC: Swedish Meatballs

Secret Recipe Club is back after a short holiday break!

Secret Recipe Club

I received the blog From Grandma Loy's Kitchen. There were tons of fantastic recipes to choose from, but I saw this recipe for Swedish Meatballs. It sounded so simple and delicious. My Grandma was Swedish and every Christmas our family ate swedish meatballs, rutamuse and lutefisk. There is no recipe for her meatballs and I love to try different recipes to try and find the same flavors. This recipe was very delicious and easy (and even captured some of the familiar flavors).  Sometimes meatballs can be a bit of a pain to make, but broiling them made the process very simple. I decided to serve our meatballs over mashed potatoes, but it would also be delicious over pasta or rice.  Thank you for the delicious new recipe!


Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 egg
4 Tbl  flour
4 Tbl butter
2 cup beef stock or broth


Instructions

Mix together beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, allspice, onion and egg.  Shape lightly into 1 1/2-inch meat balls.  Spray a broiler pan with non-stick spray.  Place meatballs on pan.  Brown meat balls quickly on all sides under the broiler.  Remove meatballs to a large casserole dish.

Melt butter, brown flour in butter.  Add beef broth and cook until gravy is smooth and thickened.  Pour over meat balls.  At this point, meat balls can be covered and refrigerated 2-3 days.  Cover and bake in 325 degree oven 1 1/2 hours. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe Roast

Recently, I have been trying to use up ingredients we have in our pantry. I had a roast in the freezer and was trying to think of a new crockpot recipe. I spotted the can on Manwich and I thought it would work with a crockpot roast. I added peppers and onions for additional flavor as well. I was thinking that this would have a bbq flavor, but it really does not have the typical sweet flavor found in sloppy joe's. Ron and I both thought that this roast recipe was delicious. It was a great set it and forget it meal, and for me that is fantastic for busy days.  The picture is not so great...winter lighting and limited time are impacting my picture quality, but this recipe is delicious. If you like a little spice I recommend throwing in a jalapeno for a bite!


Ingredients

3 lb Beef Roast
1 white onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 15 oz can Sloppy Joe sauce (I used Manwich)
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup beef stock
1 1/2 tsp black pepper


Instructions

Place roast in crockpot and season with black pepper. Layer onions and peppers on top of the roast. In a medium bowl, mix sloppy joe sauce, stock and onion soup mix. Pour over roast. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve over a starch or shred and serve as a sandwich.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 1/7- 1/13

Happy Monday!

We had a fun weekend including a date night and a Packer victory! We are excited for Saturday and hoping for another victory! I have been getting my groove back in the kitchen and have been happy to have energy for cooking again. I have found my Ergo carrier to be a lifesaver for cooking and laundry. Sometimes Kellen wants to tag along and I have found wearing him to be a win-win for both of us.  We have also been using the Moby, but he seems to prefer the Ergo carrier at this point.

This week I have a few new recipes to try and we have a few nights out too. I am going out with my girlfriends on Wednesday and we are going to my work party on Friday night. It is also our niece's 1st birthday party (Kellen's first party!) on Sunday.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Sloppy Joe Roast, Roasted Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole Au Gratin
Tuesday:  Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes and Leftover Green Beans
Wednesday: Out to Dinner With My Girlfriends
Thursday: Honey Bourbon Shrimp, Rice and Broccoli
Friday:  Work Holiday Party!
Saturday: Go Pack Go! I am making Spaghetti for my family for the game. Yum!
Sunday:  We are celebrating my nieces 1st birthday...Dinner is TBA.

Treats:
 Banana Banana Bread (for Improv)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chicken In Creamy Chive Sauce

I have seen this recipe floating around the blogging world for a little while and had it book marked. I came across this version from A Seasoned Greeting and thought it looked delicious. White wine, cream and pasta? Yes please! I thought the flavors of this dish were delicious. The wine worked really well with the slightly sharp chive flavor. I used a gluten free penne pasta, but you could serve this over any type of pasta or rice. I also added a bit of white pepper to the mix because Ron and I love to pepper just about anything.

A perfect weeknight meal!

Things are still going well at home. Kellen is adjusting to life in the outside world really well. We had a great night last night- Kellen slept from 10:30 to 4:15!  In my book that is huge, and am hoping it continues. We are transitioning into cloth diapers, but he is between the newborn and regular sized adjustable diapers. Currently, I am using Grovia, SwaddleBees and BumGenius newborn diapers. I really like the Bumgenius and SwaddleBee, but the Grovia leak like crazy on our guy. When I take off the diaper after only a short time it is drenched....The others seem to last longer and are not as wet...Hopefully we can move to the other diapers next week because we mainly have BumGenius in our supply.  Does anyone else cloth diaper?


Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 and 1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus a little extra for topping
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
 
 
Instructions
 
Over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the shallots and garlic, saute for 2 minutes.
 
Add chicken pieces and cook 5 minutes, then add cream, white wine, thyme, and salt, bring to boil and then simmer 5 minutes until chicken is cooked.
 
 Once chicken is cooked, add the Parmesan cheese and simmer 1-2 minutes. Stir in chives, serve over pasta or rice.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

I know this is a a bit delayed, but I have a good excuse! I love putting together a list of favorite from the entire year. While there were many things we enjoyed the following recipes (in no particular order) are some of out favorites from 2012.

I hope everyone had a wonderful new year's eve. We were pretty low key (something new for us!), but I loved spending the evening with our little guy.

Have a great week everyone!