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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekly Menu 6/4+

Saturday skillet 4-cheese pasta bake
carrot raisin salad
chipper skillet cookie
Sunday taco pizza
bananas & oj
 Long Laase'd Cobb Salad
Tuesday crunchy onion chicken
mac & cheese
Wednesday spam/egg/cheese
Thursday ravioli
mushroom/garlic bread
Friday sub sandwiches

1.       The carrots for the salad can be shredded with a cheese grater, the grating attachment to your kitchen aid mixer (my favorite), even chunks thrown into a food processor will work to get you started. 
Skillet Four-Cheese ‘Baked’ Pasta (Family Circle)
·         16 oz rotini pasta, cooked
·         3-4 links Italian sausage, cut in ½” slices
·         1 large onion
·         2 red bell peppers
·         1 T olive oil
·         1 jar spaghetti sauce
·         2 c shredded four-cheese blend (honestly I can only think of three cheeses, mozzarella, parmesan, romano; but if you can find a 4 cheese blend, you should get it)
Heat oven to 450.  While pasta is cooking seed and slice peppers into strips, slice onions into half-rings for a combined total of 4 cups veggies.  Heat olive oil in large oven proof skillet (most of them are oven-proof).  Add sausage, onions, peppers, stirring occasionally, until peppers and onions are tender and the sausage is cooked through.  Add sauce and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the drained pasta and 1 c of the cheese.  Sprinkle ¾ c cheese over the top and bake at 450 for 8 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving. 
Carrot Raisin Salad
·         3-4 c shredded carrots
·         ½ c mayo or miracle whip
·         ¼ - 1/3 c raisins
Mix it all together and allow to chill as long as you can stand to wait. 

Chipper Skillet Cookie
·         1 stick butter, softened
·         ½ c brown sugar
·         ¼ c sugar
·         1 egg
·         1 tsp vanilla
·         ¾ c flour
·         ½ tsp baking soda
·         ½ tsp salt
·         1 ½ c oats
·         ½ -1 c chocolate chips
·         Optional ice cream & caramel sauce
In large bowl beat butter and sugars with electric mixer until creamy.  Unless you still have your 1984 mixer, in which case it will never hang in there for such foolishness and you’ll need to use a wooden spoon.  But if you got a new handheld Kitchen Aid for a recent holiday then get to mixing.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well.  Add dry ingredients (I like to add the small soda/salt amounts first, then flour).  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of a 10” nonstick ovenproof skillet (cast iron works too).  Bake 15 minutes, or until top is lightly browned, at 350; cookie will continue to cook so that explains why I scratched out the original baking time and wrote in the 15 minutes.  Cool at least 10 minutes; cut into wedges and serve. 

1.        This dessert is so good, that you won't be able to save any leftovers.  But the best part is that it is healthy, cuz it’s fruit and there’s no added sugar or other stuff.
Taco Pizza (Pioneer Woman)
·         1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
·         1-1/2 c Warm Water
·         4 c All-purpose Flour
·         1 tsp Kosher Salt
·         1/3 c Olive Oil
·         1 can(14 Ounce) Black Beans
·         1 tsp Taco Seasoning (prepared, Or Make Your Own)
·         4 whole Corn Tortillas, Sliced Into Thin Strips
·         1/2 c Canola Oil, For Frying
·         1 c Grated Sharp Cheddar
·         1 c Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
·         1 head Green Leaf Lettuce, Sliced/shredded Thin
·         2 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Diced
·         1/2 c Cilantro Leaves
·         1/4 c Sour Cream
·         3 T Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
Make the pizza dough: Mix yeast with warm water and set aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix flour, salt, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. With speed on low, drizzle in yeast/water mixture. Allow to mix until totally combined. Cover bowl with a towel and set bowl in a warm, draft-free place. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours.

Pour black beans into a saucepan. Add seasonings to taste and heat up beans over medium-low heat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to desired texture. Continue cooking/heating beans over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer runny (should be the texture of refried beans. Set aside.

In a small skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. When hot enough to fry, drop in the tortilla strips in batches, frying quickly and removing from oil with a fork when crisp–about 30 to 45 seconds per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Place oven rack in the bottom position in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Remove half the pizza dough from the bowl. Place remaining half in a large plastic bag and refrigerate, saving for another use. With hands, spread pizza dough on an oiled baking sheet, making sure it’s relatively thin. Spread layer of refried beans all over pizza crust. Sprinkle mixed grated cheeses over the top. Place pan in the oven (in the bottom half of the oven) and bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Watch it to make sure crust doesn’t burn.

Remove pizza from oven. Sprinkle on shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cilantro leaves.

Mix together sour cream and hot sauce, adding enough hot sauce to make the mixture pourable. With a spoon (or you can put it in a pastry bag) drizzle mixture over finished pizza.

Sprinkle with tortilla strips. Cut into squares and serve immediately with good quality salsa.
Bananas & OJ
Slice bananas and pour some orange juice over the top.  Yep, it’s that simple, but it’s SO good. 

1.       Notes are from our contributor Laura:   Josh and I have been on a Cobb salad kick.  We LOVE this one.  And the good’s simple...and its fancy looking!  I buy the precooked chicken breast strips (fajita flavor) when they go on sale and use them for our salad.  Scary...but the meat lasts around 6 weeks or so in the fridge.  Just check the expiration date and make sure you are getting packages that aren't about to expire.  We made a change…instead of tomatoes we use red peppers. If you use this recipe...please don't feel like you have to use my title...I'm just in a corny mood this morning.  Maybe you are rubbing off on me. J   
Long Laase'd Cobb Salad 

·         Romaine Lettuce
·         Chicken breast strips
·         Avocado, chopped
·         Red Pepper, chopped
·         Feta cheese crumbles
·         Bacon bits (use the real ones)
·         Croutons, if desired

Arrange torn/cut romaine leaves in a bowl.  Add other ingredients to top...each in a line.  When you are done you have a salad with colorful stripes on the top that makes you feel like someone else made you a fancy salad...which we all know tastes better than a salad you have to make.

Use your favorite dressing.  I use ranch.  Josh uses balsamic vinaigrette.   Bacon vinaigrette also tastes good.

1.        This is a recipe I have been meaning to try.  I even went so far as to buy the packaged onion rings, but never went any further.  THIS is the week.  I think.  Except that I am supposed to be traveling for two nights….
Crunchy Onion Chicken
·         1 ½ c French’s French Fried Onions
·         1 lb boneless chicken
·         1 egg, beaten
Crush the onions in a plastic bag (produce bag).  Dip chicken into egg, then coat in onion crumbs.  Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cooked through. 

Squash (yellow/green or a combo)
Mac & Cheese
·         4T butter
·         ¼ c flour
·         ½ tsp salt
·         ¼ tsp pepper
·         ½ tsp dry mustard
·         2c milk
·         6-8 slices of deluxe American cheese (so not the kind you have to unwrap individually)
·         ½ c cottage cheese (it cooks in and you’ll never notice it)
·         1c grated cheddar
·         2c dry macaroni; cooked
Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and seasonings; stir until slightly browned.   Add milk and stir occasionally until thickened.  Add American and cottage cheese until American is melted.  Combine with cooked macaroni in a 9x13 pan.  Top with cheddar, bake till cheese is melted and bubbly at 375 degrees; 15 minutes.

1.        This will be a great meal for those I won't be home to cook for tonight.  They love this stuff and well, it’s not my favorite so what a good match. 
Spam Sandwiches with Fried Eggs and cheese

1.        In another effort to clean up things I’ve purchased and never cooked.  Tonight will use up some frozen ravioli that I ran across today when I was looking for a veggie to cook for supper. 
Frozen Ravioli & Bottled Sauce
Garlic Mushroom Bread
·         ¼ c chopped mushrooms (chop first, then measure)
·         3T mayo (no miracle whip here folks)
·         ¼ c grated mozzarella (or if you have left over 4 cheese blend from Saturday).
·         ½ tsp garlic
·         1T butter
·         Slices of delicious bread
Melt butter and small skillet and cook mushrooms and garlic until tender.  Cool for a few minutes.  Add in mayo and cheese and spread on bread.  Bake or broil (if you’re brave enough) until brown and bubbly.

Sub Sandwiches

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