Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/31 - 4/6

Happy Monday!

This weekend was a blast. I was up north with a few girlfriends and we had a fantastic time. Lots of laughs, falls, food and drinks. Amazing.  I can't wait till next year for more fun.  When I returned home, Ron and I took Kellen to a wildlife sanctuary to feed ducks and watch the animals. He absolutely loved it!  Last night, Ron and I watched basketball and I finished off the evening with Walking Dead and Shameless. 

This week is low key and I am really happy about that. I have been battling an obnoxious cold and am really hoping to kick it soon. We have volleyball and that is about it. I am hoping to get to the zoo this weekend with the little guy and make a big pot of chili to freeze. 

Hope everyone has an amazing week! 

Monday: Burgers, Salads and Baked Beans
Tuesday:  Out for Dinner
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday:  Slow Cooker Thai Beef, Brown Rice and Salad
Friday:  BBQ Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Salt & Pepper Biscuits and Salad
Saturday: Beef Chili w/ all the fixings
Sunday:  Grilled Brats, Cowboy Beans and Grilled Veggies


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boozy Beef Brisket

Ron and I normally do not cook brisket at home, but we happened to have one in our freezer.  I wanted to do something boozy and salty- total comfort food.  I used our slow cooker to create the deliciousness in the photo below.  The onion flavors with the flavors from the brandy and beer were fantastic. We served this over creamy mashed potatoes so all of the juices could be soaked up.   

Kellen turned his little nose up at the brisket and mashed potatoes (his loss), but loved the green beans.  Kellen has his canines, top and bottom molars come in right now which has cause him to be pretty finicky on his meals. I looked into his mouth yesterday and I can see bits of all the teeth. I feel so bad for him because I imagine it to be very painful, especially coming in so quickly, and can imagine eating would cause discomfort.  
Wisconsin had a little snow over the past few days! All I have to say to that is GO AWAY.  I suppose it is par for the course living here, but I am ready for spring.   


Ingredients

2- 21/2 lb beef brisket, trimmed
1 cup beer (I used Miller Lite)
1/4 cup Brandy
1/2 cup beef stock
1 onion soup packet
Black Pepper


Instructions

Place brisket into the crockpot and season with black pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk beer, brandy, stock and soup packet. 

Pour over beef.  Cook 8-9 hours on low.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/24 - 3/30

Happy Tuesday (I am a day late)!

I also want to say Happy World Doula Week for all the lovely Doulas out there!

This week is a little hectic. We have things going on each night, but it is all fun stuff! Tomorrow Ron and I have volleyball and Kellen is overnight at his Grandparents.  I am a bit excited about this because it means we do not have to rush back after the game, and can hang with out friends a little longer.  On Thursday Ron works in the evening and I have a work dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant.  Kellen will also be in tow and he will be thrilled because he loves the quesadilla, beans and rice.  This weekend I am headed to Door County with my girlfriends! We do this each year and always have a blast. I am soooo excited.  Ron and Kellen will have a boys weekend (how funny boys weekend has changed from a party to the zoo!).

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Stuffing Meatloaf, Herb Butter Potatoes and Peas
Tuesday: Grilled BBQ Chicken, Broccoli Cheese Risotto and Salad
Wednesday: Out for Dinner
Thursday: Out for Mexican with Work Friends (Lasagna Soup for Ron)
Friday: Girl's Weekend in Door County
Saturday: Girl's Weekend in Door County
Sunday: Bacon Pieorogie Bake and Salad

Treats: Beer Brownies,  Strawberry Basil Margarita, and Grapefruit Mimosa

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sausage and Mushroom Stroganoff

Time for the March Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month is sausage and mushrooms. I was really excited about these two ingredients because they pair so wonderfully together.  At first I tried to think of a unique twist on a stuffed mushroom, but I kept going back to pasta. I really like Stroganoff and, for some reason, we do not make it at our house often. I thought the the sausage ad mushroom twist would be delicious in this traditional pasta dish. I kept close to a traditional stroganoff flavor profile, but added a little garlic alongside the sausage.  Ron and I really enjoyed this meal, and it made wonderful leftovers.  Kellen liked the noodles, but wasn't into trying the sauce- his loss. 

I love playing with a recipe like this because the possibilities are endless. Ron and I were thinking of chorizo or andoullie for a spicy style Stroganoff!

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for details! 


Ingredients

1 lb ground pork sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 beef stock, divided
1 1/2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbl flour
8 oz sour cream
Cooked Egg Noodles
Chopped parsley (optional)


Instructions

In a large rimmed skillet, cook sausage and onion till it is not pink and onions are tender.  Drain fat from pan. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. In a bowl, mix stock, Worcestershire sauce and pepper together. Sprinkle flour over the meat and stir to evenly coat. Stir in the stock mixture. Cover and lightly simmer for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the sour cream. Once it has heated through remove from the stove and sever over egg noodles.  Top with chopped parsley, if desired.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Simple Irish Soda Bread

I previously posted the recipe I made for St. Patrick's Day and I wanted to share the recipe we made for our Irish Soda Bread.  Soda bread uses baking soda as the leavening agent in the bread, and there are many different varieties, not only from Ireland, from this bread.  Sometimes you see the bread in loaf form cut in to slices, circle loaf cut into wedges and even with raisins.  I opted not to use raisins in my bread because Ron does not care for them (I love them!).  This recipe created gave a biscuit like texture to the bread which Ron and I really enjoyed. I think I would have enjoyed raisins in the bread, and I will give it a try next time.  The recipe calls to bake on a baking sheet, but I used a pie plate and it worked perfectly for a round loaf. I also added caraway seeds to the bread for a little extra flavor. 

This was a delicious addition to our Holiday meal!


Simple Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
 4 tablespoons white sugar
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 tablespoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
 1/2 cup butter, softened
 1 cup buttermilk 
 1 egg
 1/4 cup butter, melted
 1/4 cup buttermilk 


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a pie dish.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, caraway seeds, raisins (if using) and butter. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk** and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place in prepared pie dish. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30-45 minutes. Check for doneness beginning at 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes for a buttery crust.

**If you do not have buttermilk use the following substitution: 1 cup butter milk= 1 cup of milk and a Tbl of lemon juice. Allow mixture to stand for 5 minutes prior to use**

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Herb Buttered Potatoes

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day!

I am a day late with this recipe, but had to share because it is amazing.  I usually do not make corned beef at home because we like to go out for dinner.  However, this year I decided that I wanted to do both.  I went to my cooking board because I knew they would have tried and true recipes to recommend. 

Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking recommended a Sandra Lee recipe and it sounded fantastic.  While preparing the meal, I was surprised at how easy it was and, like Sarah, wished I had done this sooner!  

I made a few small modifications to the recipe.  I used a bit more carrots and opted for baby carrots over chopped. I also decreased the apple juice and used a little brown sugar.  

This meal was absolutely delicious! The beef was so tender and juicy and the veggies so flavorful.  I also loved the herb butter potatoes. I usually do not fix my potatoes that way, but Ron and I loved it and decided that we needed to do it again.  I served this meal along side warm wedges of irish soda bread (recipe to come tomorrow).  Even little Kellen gobbled down the meal! 

Thank you Sarah for an awesome recommendation! 


Corned Beef and Cabbage with Herb Buttered Potatoes
Slightly modified from Sandra Lee and A Taste of Home Cooking

Corned Beef:
3- 3 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet 
2 cups baby carrots
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and cut into small  wedges
1 cup apple juice
2 cup water
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper

Potatoes:
2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced in 1/2
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. 

Place  carrots and onions on the bottom of a large Dutch oven, then put the corned beef on top. Arrange the  cabbage wedges around the beef. Mix juice, water, sugar and pepper together. Add to corned beef along with contents of the spice packet. Cover and place in the oven. Cook 5 hours until the beef is tender. Remove the beef and slice. Arrange vegetables around beef on  a platter for service. 

Prior to the beef being done, add potatoes to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return them to the pot. Add the butter, garlic powder, parsley, and salt, and pepper, to taste. Stir gently combine so that all the potatoes are evenly coated. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with corn beef and vegetables.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/17 - 3/23

Happy Saint Patrick's Day friends! 


Here is what is on tap (besides a Harp):


Monday: Out for Corned Beef and Cabbage
Tuesday: Tilapia with Peppers, Olives and Capers, Roasted Potatoes and Salad
Wednesday: Out for Dinner
Thursday: Crockpot BBQ Chili Beef Sandwiches, Tatertots and Salad
Friday: Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole, Green Beans and Salad
Saturday: Out for Thai
Sunday: Recipe Swap for Breakfast/ Braised Short Rib Pasta, Garlic Bread and Salad

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad

Time for March Secret Recipe Club!

Secret Recipe Club

This month I received the blog Smells Like Brownies.  When I was initially looking over the all of the wonderful recipes I was on the look out for a brownie recipe given the name of the blog.  However, when I came across the Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad  it sounded so delicious and thoughts of brownies flew out the window.  The salad was a favorite of the blogger after a trip to a D.C. pub.  She liked it so much she created it at home to enjoy.  The salad does have a few steps and does take a little time to prepare, but it is so worth it! The original recipe instructs how to candy your own pecans, but I bought some candied pecans from a local candy store (I included instructions below if you wish to candy your own). Please note, that the recipe makes 1 lb of nuts. When I bought the candied pecans I purchased about a cup.  For the salad, I made my own creamy balsamic dressing with a balsamic, mayo, touch of mustard, honey and fresh chives.  If you are looking for a fantastic salad- please give this a try! It is decadent and is perfect for an impressive lunch or dinner. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!  On Sunday, I made corned beef, cabbage, herb garlic butter potatoes and Irish soda bread. Amazing. Tonight we are headed to the restaurant I use to work at till having Kellen, Nicky's Lionhead. I worked at Nicky's for 10 years and still have many friends that work there.  Ron and I love to go and visit and have drinks. One of the owners, Johnny, makes awesome corned beef and cabbage and I can't wait to dig in!  I also made an Irish car bomb cheesecake for dessert..... 



Ingredients

5 oz arugula, chopped
1 lb roasted butternut squash cubes
3/4 cup chopped candied pecans
1/2 cup cooked pearled barley 
1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano
5–6 Tbl creamy balsamic vinaigrette
2 eggs, poached
salt and black pepper


Instructions

Squash:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash lightly with olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Roast for 25 minutes.

Pecans:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large zip-top bag, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir them into the egg white mixture. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pecans from the egg white mixture and drop them into the bag with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Once all of the pecans are added, seal the bag, and shake it to coat all of the pecans.
4. Pour pecans from the bag and place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Creamy Balsamic:

3 Tbl mayo
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl minced chives
1 Tbl honey
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Whisk together and cover in fridge

To Assemble:

Toss the arugula, squash, pecans, barley, and cheese with balsamic dressing.

Scoop the salad into serving dishes.

Poach the eggs in simmering water. Lay an egg on the top of each salad. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Crack the eggs and let the yolk dress the salads.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast casseroles are a favorite in our household. However, we do not make them as often as we use to because Kellen can't participate. Poor buddy has an egg allergy, but hopefully will get to try this in the near future. We do skin tests with Kellen and the reaction has become smaller and small with each test.

I actually made this casserole when we went to Blue Harbor with Ron's family. It was a perfect way to start out our morning.  The recipe does require a little advanced planning because it needs to sit overnight the the best result.  Our family loved this breakfast treat.  I preferred mine with a touch of pure maple syrup dizzled over the top. I love salt and sweet combos....except Kettle Corn....that it a different story. 

If you are looking for a delicious breakfast to feed a crowd this is delicious and will not disappoint! 


Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1/2 loaf sliced white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb ground pork sausage
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2- 1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground sage
6 eggs, beaten
Cooking Spray, for greasing
Pure Maple Syrup, if desired for drizzling


Instructions

Lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Evenly spread cubed bread in the bottom of the pan.

In a medium skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. using a slotted spoon, spread the cooked sausage over the bread and top with the cheese. Whisk together the, milk, dry mustard, salt, pepper, sage and eggs. Pour mixture over the cheese layer. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

The next day or when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the covered casserole until set and slightly golden, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the casserole to set for 15 minutes before serving. 

Drizzle with maple syrup if desired. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eggs Benedict Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite things. Eggs Benedict is one of my favorite things. Why not combine to two?

This was my thought process while I was creating this dish. I have really enjoys taking traditional food items and making them into something unexpected.  I have implored this type of thinking while creating my Garlic Bread Carbonara, French Onion Soup Dip, White Chocolate and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Greek Skillet Lasagna  just to name a few. 

The inspiration for this dish came after a few members of my cooking board were making a breakfast risotto. I was in the mood for something a little different and wanted to challenge myself to make a risotto that could keep the flavor profile of Eggs Benedict. 

The verdict: absolutely delicious. I got the flavors from my favorite breakfast, but with the creaminess of a risotto.  Originally, I bought english muffins and was going to toast the crumbs for a topping.  However, after tasting the risotto as it cooked I did not think it needed it.  Ron and I devoured this meal and I enjoyed it for breakfast the next day with a freshly poached egg. 

The risotto is wonderfully rich and buttery thanks the the smooth yolks from the poached egg mixed with the bright hollandaise.  The chives provide a nice bite at the end, but can be omitted if you are not a fan. 

This weekend we are going to Ron's great aunts birthday party and on Sunday I am trying my hand on corned beef in our dutch oven (we also used our crockpot) and creating an Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake!


Ingredients

for risotto:
1 Tbl butter
1Tbl olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
1/2 lb chopped Canadian bacon
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp white pepper

for Hollandaise: 
4 egg yolks
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

4-6 poached eggs (depending on how many you are serving)
2 Tbl thinly sliced fresh chives


Instructions

for risotto:
Place chicken stock in a medium saucepan. Bring  to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low-medium heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes.  Add Canadian bacon and cook for an additional minute. Stir in rice, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium (your liquid should sizzle when it initially hits the pan) and add wine. Add 1/2 cup stock and cook 3-5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Continue adding remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next. 

Stir in white pepper and cheese. 

for Hollandaise:
Heat a double broiler or metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water) on stove top.  Quickly whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice in the double boiler. Continue whisking until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon. Reduce heat to low. Drizzle in melted butter, whisking constantly. Add cayenne. 

to assemble:
Plate hot risotto. Top with a poached egg. Drizzle Hollandaise over risotto and top with chives.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Salted Fudge Brownies

I am a big chocolate lover, but absolutely love a good brownie.  These brownies from Eva Bakes have been made by a few ladies on my cooking board, and received rave reviews.  I knew I needed to make them for a crowd or else we would have ate the entire pan.  The brownies are wonderfully easy to make and are absolutely delicious.  The salty sweet flavors with the chocolate is positively addictive- I can see why these were so popular!  Ron thought these were fantastic and declared them to be the best brownies.  Salt is dessert in very popular these days (I am looking at you salted caramel) and a salted fudge was a great variation from all the salted caramel taking over the blogosphere. 

Kellen even tried a few bites of the brownie and you should have seen the grin on that little dude's face.... 


Salted Fudge Brownies 

Instructions

1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened choclate, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt


Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously grease an 8x8 square baking dish. 

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir occasionally until the mixture is uniform. Turn off the stove and remove the from the heat. 

Whisk in the cocoa until it is fully incorporated. Do the same with both sugars, eggs, vanilla and flour.  Add each ingredient individually and fully mix them in before adding the next one.

Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the sea salt over the top of the batter. Using a spatula or knife, swirl the salt into the brownie batter. 

Bake the brownies in the center rack of your oven for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are done but the center is still slightly gooey. If you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come up with a little bit of the brownie batter.

 Cool for at least 1 hour on the counter. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to cool for an additional hour.

Serve at room temperature. 

Yield: About 16 brownies

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/10 - 3/16

Happy Monday! 

This weekend was a lot of fun! On Friday, we had dinner with my parents to celebrate Ron's birthday. We ate at one of my favorite places, Plae Bistro.  I had a fantastic snapper dish and Ron had steak- both were fantastic. On Saturday, before heading to Milwaukee, Ron went into lab for a bit while Kellen and I relaxed (I even snuck in a Game of Thrones while he napped). In the afternoon we headed to Milwaukee to celebrate Ron's birthday. We picked up Ron's friend on the way down. We stayed in an older hotel downtown called the Knickerbocker.  It was quirky, but has a lovely charm. I have only eaten at the restaurant (The Knick) for brunch and was excited to see the inside of the hotel. We had dinner at the Rumpus Room and it was awesome. I was so pleased because I wanted to find a place Ron would love for his birthday.  I had a scallop entree which was wonderful. Ron and Dan had a Shiparkski Burger which was a monster!  The rest of the evening was spent with cocktails and a pool table. 

This week and weekend are pretty fee.  We have been having lots of fun lately and it will be nice to relax. We are also getting warmer temps! I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this. I am hoping it holds up and I can bring Kellen to the wildlife sanctuary this weekend. We are also having a playdate with Kellen's little buddy and his mommy (my buddy!). 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Italian Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Bake
Tuesday:  Eggs Benedict Risotto and Salad
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Stuffed Shells, Garlic Bread and Salad
Friday: Out for Fish
Saturday: Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes, Irish Soda Bread and Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake
Sunday: Corned Beef Hash, Eggs and Toast

Treats: Chocolate Stout Cake 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cafe Rio Chicken Tacos

It is time for the March WC Recipe Swap! 

The theme for this month was Blogger's Choice. I received the blog Kate's Recipe Box.  Kate has tons of delicious recipes on her site and it was very hard to pick just one!  Normally, I gravitate towards a main dish because we are always looking for new dinner ideas at our house. I came across Cafe Rio Chicken Tacos and immediately thought they sounded flavorful and delicious.  I was looking forward to making these tacos all week because I have made Cafe Rio pork before and loved it!  We do not have a Cafe Rio in Green Bay, but I imagine making it at home is a tasty substitution.  These tacos are so full of flavor! My spicy beef taco lovin' purest husband even thought they were absolutely delicious.  I added a little onion powder to the recipe because I love the flavor, but have grown to dislike raw onions after having Kellen (so odd).  We topped our tacos with the tradition toppings, but added in black beans as well. 

Thank you Kate for a great recipe! 
Thanks also go to Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting our swap!

This weekend we are heading to Milwaukee to celebrate Ron's birthday with a few friends. I am still mulling over what restaurant to go to....

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken breasts
1 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbl ground cumin
1/2 Tbl chili powder
1/2 Tbl onion powder

Toppings:
shredded lettuce
shredded sharp cheddar
diced tomatoes
sliced black olives
black beans
sour cream


Instructions

Place chicken in the crockpot. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

When cooked, remove chicken and shred. Return to crockpot and stir. Allow chicken to cook in the crockpot for an additional 20-30 minutes so it soaks in all the juices and flavor. 

Serve with tortilla shells and desired toppings. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pork Roast

I have made no secret about my love of our crockpot.  Sometimes I have odd texture issues with meats, but always really like them if they are shredded or fall apart with ease.  I love the flavors of red wine cooked with meat and wanted something that would cook while I was away at work. I added a little Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar for an extra kick of salty sweet flavor. I served this roast with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. Ron and I both loved the flavors of the pork. Kellen even tried a few pieces, but he was partial to his green beans.  Next time we make it I think I will throw in mushrooms and onions joining the pork for the all day simmer. 

Tonight is our volleyball game! I always get excited to play...mainly for the friends, but it also means I get a cold tap beer. Drool. 


Ingredients

2 1/2- 3 lb pork roast
1 1/2 cup red wine
3/4 cup vegetable stock 
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion powder
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper


Instructions

Place roast in crockpot and season with salt and pepper. 

In a medium bowl, mix wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.

Pour over roast. Cook 7-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bacon Pieorogie Bake

This meals is pretty awesome. It reminds me of a loaded potato skin....but I had a few speed bumps while making it.  This was all user error, mind you, and no fault of this delicious recipe.  I put off my weekly trip to the grocery store due to laziness and American Horror Story, and had to resort to going after work.  I hate doing this because I am starving and in a hurry to get home- yes, I am one of those who likes shopping and takes me time.  I grabbed the pieorogies out of the freezer case thinking I had grabbed cheese and onion.  I rushed home and put together dinner just in time for Kellen and Ron to get home. I was so pleased with time skills as we sat down to eat. I took one bite and something was off. Ron gave me an odd look as he choked down his bite. I rushed to the trash and pulled our the box. I bought sweet cheese. It tasted like cheesecake covered in bacon, tomatoes, cheese and onions.  Ron and I looked at each other trying to decide what to do (Kellen was happily eating his cheesecake bacon tomato pieorogies as if there was nothing wrong- babies).  Ultimately, we decided to remake it because I knew it was so good just from the sauce.  I ran back to the store and, of course, got the same check out person.  I am sure they are thinking, "wow, this girl really loves these things".   Anyways, I got home and re-made the dish and it was sooooooooooo worth it.  I really loved the flavors and the sauce is awesome. I actually doubled the recipe so that we has a little extra for leftovers.  This recipe is worth a try and, if you happen to buy sweet cheese pieorogies, go back to the store because this is so delicious! 

I also want to say happy birthday to my sweet Ron today! Tonight we are going out for pasta and pizza to celebrate!


Bacon Pieorogie Bake

Ingredients

2 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies 
Cooking spray
8 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz cream cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/2 cup quartered baby tomatoes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Sparay a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and arrange the frozen pierogies. 

Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.

Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Add cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt.  Gradually add chicken broth to pan, whisking  until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pieorogies.  Top with cheese. 

Bake 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/3 - 3/9

Happy Monday! 

This weekend was relaxing and was ended with a fantastic chicken dinner with Ron' family at one of our favorite supper clubs. 

This week it is Ron's birthday! I have decided that he has now gained the title of old man... Just kidding.  We are going to his favorite pasta place for dinner on Tuesday and to Milwaukee this weekend to visit with friends.  I am really excited to get away for the weekend and celebrate with my sweetheart. 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Grilled Pork Chops (Dijon Mushroom for me and BBQ for Ron) and Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad
Tuesday:  Happy Birthday Ron! Out to Grazie's
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Brisket with Horseradish Sauce, Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Thursday:   Italian Chicken Potato and Green Bean Bake
Friday: Out for Dinner
Saturday:  Milwaukee for the Night! 
Sunday:  Short Ribs in Chipotle and Green Chili Sauce, Rice and Green Beans