Friday, February 19, 2010

Black-Eyed Peas

A bag of dried peas has been sitting in the pantry shelf since New Year's.  I cooked according the instructions on the bag, making a soup with a ham bone (with lots of meat), a chopped onion, and a couple of chopped carrots, salt and pepper.  Smells good!  We'll have the black-eyed peas served over white rice with a side of spinach for dinner tonight.   I may make cornbread too, the not-sweet kind is our favorite.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Polynesian Pot Roast

Oh how my heart sings when I think of pot roast, but because my totally wierd family hates normal old-fashioned pot roast, we're trying a variation on a theme.
Polynesian Pot Roast
chuck roast, not browned
3/4 c. catsup
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. soy souce
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
onion, cut in rings
Combine all in crockpot, cook 7-8 hrs. on low
Mark and I enjoyed this dinner with corn and green beans. Mark will overindulge in what tastes good, and I had to stop him from eating the entire pot roast!  Oink oink said the piggie!

Lenten Spaghetti

Ash Wednesday calls for no meat, so how simple is a jar of spaghetti sauce over noodles?  Yep.  That and garlic bread and a throwback from my childhood, peas.  Momma always served peas with spaghetti.  Go figure.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mushel-Burgers!

Last night we were supposed to have hamburgers, but instead we had dinner at our friend Norman's house. We popped in to meet his new granddaughter and planned to go out for dinner, but Norman and his daughter Julie insisted we stay.  Julie's baby is darling.

Tonight, instead of hamburgers, I made a treat, Mushel-Burgers!  My family loves it. This is a simple meal that takes me back to my childhood.  We always had this served with potato chips and kool-aid.
  • In large, deep pan, stir fry two pounds of lean ground beef until brown.  Drain fat.
  • Sprinkle entire packet of onion soup mix over meat.
  • Mix 3 heaping tablespoons of corn starch into 2 cups water.
  • Pour water over the meat and stir until it is a rolling boil. 
  • Reduce temp to simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Make a meat sandwich with mayo, mustard and five pickle slices on soft white bread.
I served this with frozen steak fries, drizzled with EVOO, sea salt, and rosemary.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes
Present: Marty, Mark, David, Audrey.  There is enough left over for a sandwich lunch for me and for David..

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heart Attack Chicken

It's called HEART ATTACK for good reason!  We had this favorite artery-clogging chicken dish, with cooked red beets, and a mixed greens salad.  Because blueberries were on sale and I like them so much, I am sprinkling it where I can, like along with walnuts on my salad.
Heart Attack Chicken
In a large frying pan, sprinkle a packet of Italian dressing mix into a melted stick of butter. Add a bag of flash-frozen chicken tenders, turning often until chicken is almost cooked. While the chicken is cooking, cook a half bag or box of noodles, drain and set aside. Once cooked, temporarily move the chicken onto a plate.  Add a can of cream of chicken soup and an 8-ounce block of cream cheese to the pan of sauce, cutting and stirring until everything is melted into a thick sauce.  Mix in a half cup of milk, a tablespoon of jarred pimentos and the bottom of a baggie of leftover sliced mushrooms,  then add the chicken and drained noodles and heat through.  This is such a forgiving recipe. You can have your choice of dry dressing mixes, "cream of" soups,  and your imagination is unlimited on what, if any, extras you toss in.  Today I had pimentos and mushrooms, but we've tried it with frozen peas, lots of mushrooms, brocolli, sugar snap peas.  I think the sugar snaps are my personal favorite.  We used ziti noodles today, but we usually use either flat noodles or bow ties. Present: Marty, Mark, David

Menu Monday

I began a coordinated effort to post a weekly menu in my main blog, There's A Cricket In The Corner.  Yesterday was my first attempt at this new organizational challenge, which should miraculously appear every Monday.  My challenge is in making the menu, not the posting in two blogs.  I decided to do a kitchen purge and will only buy what is absolutely necessary to make meals until my overflowing cubbard is bare, so the menu may have to get a little creative.

Carnival Food

Mark will occasionally hit the grocery store and bring home things he'd like to eat.  Two big packages of homemade sweet Italian sausage and a bag of yellow, red, and green bell peppers made a big hint; Mark wanted fair food!  He sees sausage and his senses are filled with memories of a steaming griddle piled high with grilled sausage links over a greasy mixture of peppers and onions.  I obliged, but in weak and one-sided effort to save my man's arteries, made a few adjustments to a carnie's sure-fired route to a fast and furious heart attack.

    SAUSAGES AND PEPPERS
  • In a large no-stick pan, heat a couple of swirls of olive oil to keep the meat from sticking, add sausages cut into hot-dog length pieces, skin on.  Brown both sides, then set aside.
  • Without draining grease, add two sliced bell peppers and two sliced onions, salt and pepper, flip that around in the pan so the vegetables get coated with sausage-flavored olive oil and cook on medium until the onions are clear.
  • Lay sausages in the peppers, cover and let it all get hot again, lift meat and veg out of the oil/fat, drain on paper towels, pat off more oil, and then plate.
I served this with stewed tomatoes, because Mark loves them and this is his meal, and yellow rice, because David won't eat most of this meal except the yellow rice, which is his favorite.

Not including prep time, this meal was a twenty minute wonder.
Present: Mark, Marty, David.  Lots of leftovers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Private Superbowl Party

Mark and I stayed home to watch the big football game.  Although the Tampa Bay Bucs is my favorite team, I was happy that my 2nd favorite - the Saints, was a contender; thrilled that the Saints beat the Colts, however saying 'Who Dat" just doesn't fit in my vocabulary.  I'm more of a "Geaux Team" kind of fan.

We snacked on tortilla chips and a layered Mexican dip: refried beans, onion, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese. Mark had a couple of beers.
Dinner was:
Yard greens salad of mixed leaves, topped with blueberries, walnuts, and balsamic vinigarette.
Marinated steaks on the grill, medium rare.
Baked potato with sour cream and chives.
We both had a peach for dessert.
present: ♥ Marty and Mark ♥

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sushi Saturday

Mark and I went to Bayridge Sushi and shared a few rolls. Mark likes the fake crab legs and the sweet, crunchy junk in his,and no wasabi.  I'm more of a "sushi purist";  I want plain raw salmon rolls, or rolls made with vegetables with raw seafood, and load me up on mind-blowing wasabi, then roll it in the yummy orange roe.  
Bayridge is not my favorite sushi restaurant. It's like eating at Denney's...It's not bad, but it's not good. Still, you eat, you leave happy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pasta Puttenesca

Hi Janine - The recipe is here: http://martysmeals.blogspot.com/search/label/pasta%20puttanesce

Thank you, Patty, for this recipe.  An easy dish, made from canned foods, this delisioso meal was made by prostiutes, and the aroma would draw in customers!

Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

A nice package of cheese-stuffed tortollini, boiled a few minutes to cook.  Drain, then I added about 2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil, a squirt of basil (looks like a toothpaste tube, I keep it in the freezer), and a big fistfull of fresh baby spinach.  Stir that around, and serve after the spinach is wilted.  It was good! 


I served this with homemade vegetarian vegetable soup, made from leftovers in the fridge: pesto pasta shells, frozen mixed vegetables, a half-jar of spaghetti sauce, about a third of a cup of refried beans, water, sea salt.  The pesto in the shells made it just right.  Tasted almost exactly like my favorite can soup, Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable, but looked a little creamy from the beans.

diners: Mark, Marty, David, Audrey

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tonight's dinner is stuffed bell peppers, but what do you stuff them with?  We are out of rice, no mushrooms, and not really sure what to put in the mix, I improvised, which usually ends up being the best idea of all!  I used the basic mix for meat loaf.
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning and some salt
  • 3/4 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 bell peppers, halved and cleaned
  • jarred spaghetti sauce
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
I cut the bell peppers in half; an orange, yellow, and a red one. When I cleaned them out, I saved the seeds for spring planting. (I like bell peppers, especially dipped in blue cheese dressing.)  I covered the casserole loosely with tin foil and baked at 350F for an hour.  After it was baked, I drained the fat, then poured some spaghetti sauce from a jar over everything and topped with a slice of provolone cheese on each, finally baking five more minutes to melt the cheese.    Smells great!  I wonder if David will go near it.
The next time I make this, I'll try not to pack the filling in so tight, as the meat was hard like a meat ball.  Maybe replace the oatmeal with cooked rice too.  No, David wouldn't eat it...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Banana Nut Bread
½ c. softened butter or margarine (1 stick)
½ tsp. Salt
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 crushed over-ripe bananas - grossly overripe is best
2 cups all-purpose flour (not self rising)
½ tsp. Baking soda

¼ to ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Using a wooden spoon - cream ingredients together in order given. Not necessary to mix super good.  Spray either one bread pan or two tinfoil mini-pans with Pam. Bake in preheated oven, 325 degrees for 1 hour.  Everybody loves this recipe!


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