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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Meal Plan: 2/27 - 3/5

Welcome a new week.  I hope this week brings you happiness.  We are all dealing with the wonderful Louisville allergies, in FEB???  What is the rest of the year going to bring us. 

Austins was really good...we even had to purchase dessert so the 5 (4 adults & 1 child) of us could use our gift certificate from (discounted gift certificates).

Thanks to Mommies with Cents I won a new toothbrush for Andrew.  I know, it is the small things in life that make me excited.  I'll let you know how he likes the new Plackers tooth brush when we receive the toothbrush that sings Barn Yard sounds for 2 minutes (the time you are supposed to brush your teeth).

Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big and small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Herbed Goat Cheese

Serves: 4
 Time: 35 Min, Cook Time: 45 Min, Ready In: 1 Hr 20 Min
Source: All Recipes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup soft goat cheese (Note: if you use herbed goat cheese, you probably will want to cut down on the thyme & garlic)
  • 3 dates, chopped (optional, we wont be using these)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 large, thin slices of prosciutto (Costco, typically, is cheaper on prosciutto than traditional grocery stores)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the shallots, and cook until they turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook and stir an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the shallot mixture to a bowl. Mix in the goat cheese, dates, and basil; stir until well combined.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch long slit into the thick side of each chicken breast. Work your fingers into the slit, and expand the slit to form a pocket in the breast meat. With your fingers or a spoon, stuff each chicken breast with about 1/4 cup of the goat cheese mixture. Wipe off any cheese mixture from the outside of the chicken breast, and wrap each breast in a slice of prosciutto so that the pocket opening is covered. Place the chicken breasts, seam sides down, onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken meat is no longer pink and the prosciutto is browned and crisp, about 40 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over after 20 minutes.

Pizza Night

Not sure what type of pizza we will have, but I'll use leftover pasta sauce which is in the freezer as the base. 

Pancake Night

The hubby has requested pancakes & I'm sure the little one wont mind a bit to have pancakes or cakes as he calls them. 

Burger Night

Last week we had Roasted Garlic & Pesto Turkey Burger with Mozzarella & Parmesan Regiano Cheese on a Pretzel Roll.  It was Delicious!

  • Ground Turkey Meat 
  • Favorite Spices = Paula Dene's House Seasoning & Extra Garlic
  • Roasted Garlic = cut the top off of a head of garlic, place garlic in aluminum foil, pour 1 T. olive oil over garlic head and close foil.  Bake at 400 for 45 - 60 minutes.  Tip: Heads of garlic freeze well - make sure no air gets to them.
  • Pesto
  • Favorite Italian Cheese
  • Rolls
  1. Mix turkey & spices together. (This can be done earlier in the day.  Make sure you seal the container well).
  2. Grill till well done (since it is turkey).  
  3. Smear the garlic on the rolls.  
  4. Top with pesto.  
  5. Melt cheese on the burger.  
  6. Enjoy!

Chicken Taco Salad (Make A Head Meal)

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 small, vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies
  • Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • French or Catalina salad dressing (optional)
  • Salsa (optional & healthier than the salad dressings)
  • Fritos or edible taco salad shells
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)
  • onions (optional)
  • jalapenos (optional)
Make Ahead Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the chicken breasts with taco seasoning and place on rimmed baking sheets. Cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
  2. Allow chicken to cool and place in ziploc storage bags. Freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.
Last Minute Preparation:
  1. If chicken has been frozen, remove from freezer and defrost. Chicken can be used cold or heated in a 375 oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice each chicken breasts on the diagonal in 1/2" slices.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the salad, tomatoes, chilies, and olives with dressing to taste.
  3. If using taco shells, pile lettuce mixture in the shells. Top with sliced chicken and cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
  4. If not using taco shells, pile some of the lettuce mixture on a plate. Surround with Fritos. Top with sliced chicken, cheese and a dollop of sour cream (if desired).

Grilled Marinated Strip Steak with Scallions

Serves 4
Serving Suggestions: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (see below) & roasted vegis
Source: Martha Stewart
  • 4 boneless strip steaks (about 10 ounces each)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt
  1. Place steaks in a large, shallow nonreactive dish. Slice 3 scallions into thin rounds, and combine with the remaining ingredients except the salt in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour marinade over steaks; cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature 40 minutes, turning steaks once.
  2. Heat grill or grill pan. Remove steaks from marinade, letting excess drip off, and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt. Grill until they are well browned on the outside and cooked to desired doneness, or about 6 minutes on each side, for medium-rare. Transfer to a large serving platter; cover with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Grill remaining scallions, about 1 minute on each side, and serve with the steaks.

    Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Seasoned Salt
    Source: Martha Stewart

    Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Seasoned Salt
    A copper gratin dish or cast-iron skillet is ideal for roasting potatoes, but a rimmed baking sheet works equally well. To ensure that the potatoes cook evenly, slice larger ones in half lengthwise and leave smaller ones whole.


    Serves 4
    • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof gratin dish or skillet in the oven 15 minutes. Combine salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl.
    2. Toss potatoes in a medium bowl with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with seasoned-salt mixture, and arrange potatoes in a single layer in preheated pan. Roast until they are golden on the outside and tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve hot with additional seasoned salt on the side.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meal Plan: 2/20 - 2/26

Welcome a new week.  I hope this week brings you happiness.  Isn't this warm weather breathtaking. Can you believe it is almost the end of Feb??? 

Well, my Mom & Step Dad are here this weekend and we will once again be trying a new restaurant, Austins in Louisville.  I'll let you know how it tastes!

Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big and small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Flank Steak

Sorry, I can't find a recipe I want to try.  So, I'll make some type of rub and let it sit for several hours & then grill it inside.  Stay tuned for what we do. 

Burger Night

I haven't decided what kind we will have.  I'm sure Mark will have some suggestions. 
Enjoy your burger night!

Baked Pork Chops

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 30 Min, Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Min
Serving Suggestions: Mashed Potatoes, Risotto, Sweet Potatoes, Salad, Vegis
Source: All Recipes 
  • 6 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread
  • crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I'll use cream of chicken soup)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs. Let sit about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. (Oil Test:  if you place some breading in the pan, make sure the oil bubbles before putting chops in pan).  Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. (Note: let chops fry for several minutes before turning, to insure your breading stays to the chops)  Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

White Pizza with Chicken, Pesto and Pine Nuts

Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 10 minutes+ (depends on the pizza crust you purchase)
Source:  Food Network
  • 1 store bought pizza crust
  • 1 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup cooked diced chicken (another great use for the store bought pre-roasted chicken)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place pizza crust on a large baking sheet and top with pesto, chicken, cheese and pine nuts. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese melts and crust is golden brown.

Chicken, Pasta & Savory Garlic Cooking Creme

I've seen the commercials for the new cooking cremes.  They look YUMMY!  I'm hoping I can find them at the grocery store.  I'll pair the garlic cooking creme with

  • roasted chicken (save time with pre-roasted from your grocery store)
  • Sauted peppers
  • Sauted onions
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • wheat pasta


Mark and I saw the new commercial for Taco Bell's Barbacoa burrito and I said it looked good.  He said, I'm sure it would be better if we made it.  So, here is a recipe for it.  I hope you enjoy!  Let me know your thoughts!

Serves: 6
Prep:  30 minutes
Total Time: 7.5 hours
Serving Suggestions: Rice, Beans, Tortillas, Pico de Gallo, Corn Salsa

  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/4-1/3 cup ground dried ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (cider vinegar is common in Mexico)
  • salt
  • 3 lbs bone-in chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges for serving

  1. Cut a slit in the side of each garlic clove. Place them in a microwaveable bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke holes in the top and microwave for 30 seconds on high. Cool until handleable, then slip off the papery husks.
  2. One by one, drop the garlic cloves into a running food processor, letting each get thoroughly chopped before adding the next. Add the chile powder, cumin, black pepper, vinegar, 1 teaspoons salt and 1/2 cup water and pulse to blend.
  3. Place the meat in a large crock pot. Scrape the marinade onto the meat, then spread it sloppily over the top and sides. Pour enough water into the slow-cooker to cover the lower 1/2 inch of roast. Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours or until meat is tender. Carefully remove meat with a slotted spoon onto a large plate, pulling away the bones.
  4. Degrease the cooking broth and boil it down in a saucepan to concentrate the flavors. Ladle it over the meat and garnish with the onions and cilantro.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas)
Serving Suggestions:  Salad, Mexican Rice, or Black Beans

Source:  Cooking Light
Note:  I'm going to switch out the chicken for ground pork.
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 4  (8-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/4  cup  (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped cilantro
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4  cup  water
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 9  (6-inch) corn tortillas, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2  green onions, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl; stir in cream cheese, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove 3 tablespoons onion mixture; add to chicken. Add chili powder, red pepper, and cumin to remaining onion mixture in pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 3/4 cup water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Tear 1 tortilla into small pieces; add to tomato mixture. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour tomato mixture into a blender, and process until smooth.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Warm remaining 8 tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in prepared dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over filled tortillas. Sprinkle filled tortillas with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with green onions.

Meal Plan: 2/13 - 2/19

Welcome a new week.  I hope this week brings you happiness and warm weather.

As I mentioned last week was a little out of the ordinary with my in-laws in town.  We went to Paula Deen's restaurant in Elizabeth, IN at Horseshoe Casino for breakfast.  It was yummy! This week I hope you enjoy my meals.  Of course we have a chocolate dinner for Monday night.  My family wishes you a Happy Valentine's Day.  I've already made a variation of the Jalapeno Breakfast Braid and it received rave reviews from my MOPS group.  

Stay warm!  Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big and small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Burger Night

I'm not sure what type of burger we will have, but I know it will be on a pretzel roll.  I just found frozen ones at a restaurant supply store (which doesn't require a membership & sells to the public).  I was SOOOOO excited!

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops (Valentine's Meal)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 10 min; Cook: 10 min
Serving Suggestions:   Roasted Carrots & Sweet Potato...Followed By Disney's Chocolate Soufle' Source:  Food Network
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over pork chops.
  3. Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for 3 minutes per side. Put the skillet in oven and bake the pork chops until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer the chops to a serving platter and serve.

Sausage and Peppers

Yield: 6 servings
Serving Suggestions: Spinach Salad
  • Cooking spray
  • (4-ounce) links turkey Italian sausage
  • 2  cups  (1/4-inch strips) green bell pepper
  • 1  cup  (1/4-inch strips) red bell pepper
  • 1  cup  (1/4-inch strips) yellow bell pepper
  • 6  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • (26-ounce) bottle pasta sauce (Ragu Light Tomato Basil)
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6  cups  hot cooked penne (wheat pasta is a healthier alternative)
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan; cool slightly. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  2. Wipe pan with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add peppers; sauté 6 minutes. Add sausage; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add sauce; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Add mozzarella, stirring until melted. Place 1 cup pasta in each of 6 shallow bowls; spoon about 1 cup sausage mixture over each serving. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon Parmesan.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Source:   Cooking Light
  • 1  tablespoon  dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 1  (6.75-ounce) package thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles or angel hair pasta)
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Jalapeño, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid

Yield: 6 servings
Source:  Cooking Light
  • 1  (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough or Crescent Roll Sheets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/4  cup  chopped onion
  • 4  ounces  chicken sausage with jalapeño peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 4  ounces cooked bacon (chopped) (optional)
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4  cup  shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4  cup  chopped seeded jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1  large egg white, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 15 x 10–inch rectangle.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sausage; cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in eggs; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until set. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle Monterey Jack lengthwise down center of dough, leaving about a 2 1/2-inch border on each side. Spoon egg mixture evenly over cheese. Sprinkle cheddar over egg mixture; top with jalapeño peppers.
  5. Make 2-inch-long diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Arrange strips over filling, alternating strips diagonally over filling. Press ends under to seal. Brush with egg white. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meal Plan: 2/6 - 2/12

We hope this post finds each of you happy and healthy.

This week is a little different than others.  Superbowl Sunday, we'll be eating snack food - FUNYUM!!!!  My inlaws will be here from Wednesday - Saturday, so we will probably eat out  more than our normal once per week, but no worries - I still brought you 6 meals for the week.

Stay warm!  Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big and small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Garlicky Patty Melts with Provolone

Prep: 10 min, Cook: 20 min; Total: 30 min
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Suggestions: Bacon and Egg Macaroni Salad (see below)

Source: Rachel Ray
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 to 2 Fresno chile peppers, seeded depending on heat tolerance, and finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Softened butter
  • 12 slices good quality white or Italian bread
  • A couple handfuls arugula or baby spinach leaves
  • 12 slices sharp deli-sliced provolone
  1. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine the meat, chile pepper, garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper, and a little extra-virgin olive oil. Form into 6 thin patties. Drizzle the patties with a little more oil and fry on the hot griddle for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Lightly butter the bread. Build the patty melts, layering the bread (buttered sides facing out) with 1 slice of cheese, a few leaves of arugula, the patty, a second slice of cheese, and finally another slice of bread. Cook the patties on the griddle to melt the cheese, 2 minutes on each side. Cut the patty melts from corner to corner and serve immediately.

Bistro Flank Steak Sandwich

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Notes: Make this bistro-style sandwich, sauce and all, completely on the grill. If you're in a hurry, just grill the steak and garlic and substitute jarred roasted red peppers for the grilled bell peppers.
Serving Ideas: Serve with Oven "Fries" and a glass of lemonade
Source: EatingWell
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 4 large slices whole-wheat country bread, cut in half, or 8 small slices
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Place garlic in the center of a piece of foil and drizzle with oil. Gather the foil together at the top to form a sealed packet. Sprinkle both sides of steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Place the garlic packet over indirect heat or the coolest part of the grill. Place the steak and bell peppers over direct heat or the hottest part of the grill. Cook the garlic until soft and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cook the peppers, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Cook the steak, turning once, until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the garlic packet, peppers and steak to a clean platter. Tent the steak with foil to keep warm.
  4. Grill bread, turning once, until toasted, about 1 minute per side.
  5. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the stems, seeds and ribs. Slice into wide strips and toss with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Peel the garlic and place it and the oil from the packet in another small bowl. Add mayonnaise and mash with a fork until combined. Slice the steak very thinly.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, spread 1 scant teaspoon of the roasted garlic aïoli on each piece of bread. Divide greens, the sliced steak and grilled peppers among 4 slices of bread; top with the remaining bread.

Gnocchi and Pork Bolognese Sauce

Servings: 6
Source: Food Network, Robert Irvine

Note:  The following is my quick version.  If you want the long version where you make your gnocchi & bolognese sauce from scratch click on the source link. 

  • Pre packaged gnocchi
  • Salt
  • Pork Bolognese Sauce, recipe follows
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Cook the gnocchi per package instructions.  When the gnocchi float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon, draining well.   
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the Bolognese Sauce and heavy cream to a simmer. 
  3. Add to the Bolognese Sauce to gnocchi to cook for 3 minutes in the sauce. Remove with a slotted spoon and portion into serving dishes. 
  4. Top with basil ribbons.

Pork Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large bell pepper, cored and cut into small dice
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved or 1 can of diced Italian tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet until warmed. Add the ground pork and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the wine, onions, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the peppers, tomatoes, basil, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a slow rolling simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream and warm through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Taco Thursday

I love Tacos...I was raised making tacos almost on a weekly basis...Granted I don't fry my own shells anymore, I still love to eat tacos!!!

Now, I tend to make tacos with shredded pork or chicken and sometimes it is with ground turkey, so much healthier, but still brings back fond memories.

Taco Meat Tip:  When seasoning, most packets say to wait till the meat has been cooked & drained.  I say, season while it is cooking then the seasoning will be more throughout the meat instead of just on the outside. The leaner the meat the less spice flavor you will lose when you drain the meat.

Toppings & Sides Options:
  • Onions
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Black Olives
  • Jalapenos
  • Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Corn Salsa
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Black Beans
  • Refried Beans
  • Mexican Rice

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli

I sure hope this tastes like Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli soup.  I LOVE the soup...
Serves: 5 quarts or 20 cups of soup
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Oil
  • 1 Pound Ground beef 
  • 6 Ounces Onion
  • 7 ounces carrot
  • 7 ounces celery
  • 24 ounces tomatoes, canned; diced
  • 1 cup Red Kidney beans , cooked
  • 1 cup White kidney beans, cooked
  • 44 ounces beef stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon Hot sauce
  • 24 ounces spaghetti sauce
  • 4 ounces shell pasta
  1. Saute beef in oil in large 10-qt. pot until beef starts to brown
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes
  3. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot
  4. Also add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce, and noodles
  5. Add chopped parsley
  6. Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breast

Prep: 15 min   Cook: 40 min
Source: Food Network
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 12 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the vegetable oil and butter into a large skillet and place over high heat. Once the butter and oil are bubbling, add the chicken breasts to the skillet 4 at a time. Sear on each side until the chicken is golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove to a large baking dish. Repeat with the remaining breasts and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, toss to combine and then follow with the balsamic vinegar and red wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a bubble then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. [Simmering the wine in this mixture does not reduce the alcohol content substantially.]
  4. Pour the balsamic mixture over the chicken and place the pan in the top half of the oven for 10 minutes, or until the chicken has just cooked through. Remove from the oven, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and set into a prepared chafer.