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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weekly Menu 7/23+

Saturday chicken fajitas
beans & rice
grilled peaches
Sunday lasagna
garlic bread
lemon cake
Monday grilled fajita caesar salad
Tuesday chicken fried steak
mashed potatoes
green beans
Wednesday oven baked chicken
Thursday farmers casserole
Friday sausage wraps
mac & cheese

Last week was all of my favorites, this week it’s Clayton’s birthday and we’ll have three of his favorites. 

1.        Cook extra meat tonight so you’ll have some leftover on Monday.
Chicken Fajitas
Add-ons that you like
Rice & Beans
Grilled Peaches
Drizzle a tiny amount of honey on a pitted peach.  Place face down on the upper part of the grill where it is not over direct heat.   Somehow the cooking of the peach just brings out a little extra flavor.
Grilled Peaches
Drizzle a tiny amount of honey on a pitted peach.  Place face down on the upper part of the grill where it is not over direct heat.   Somehow the cooking of the peach just brings out a little extra flavor.

1.        This is a great recipe to double and put one in the freezer for later.  You will only spend an extra 10-15 minutes in overall prep, but you’ll save an extra 45 min to an hour later on by not having to start from scratch. 
2.       The key to making this second pan is to not cook it before you put it in the freezer.  That way it is fresh (good) and not a leftover (not as appealing).
3.       One more key here is that if you have teen-aged boys who are always trolling the fridge for something to eat, it is best to label any unbaked items in the fridge.  Particularly if it’s lasagna.  One particular guy cut himself a nice sized hunk of lasagna one day, heated it up in the microwave and thought it was a little crunchy.  It was; the no-boil noodles had not been cooked because the whole pan had not been baked yet.  When asked for menu suggestions this week, he wrote down fully-cooked lasagna. 
4.       If you have extra veggies that you want to work into the sauce you can grate or chop them up and your family will likely never know they are getting an extra bit of veggie.
Lasagna (single pan)
·         2 c cooked ground meat (beef, turkey, Italian sausage)
·         1 c chopped onion
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         16oz can diced or pureed tomatoes
·         8oz can tomato sauce
·         6oz can tomato paste
·         1 T Italian seasoning (basil, oregano)
·         ¼ tsp black pepper
·         No-boil lasagna noodles
·         2 eggs
·         2 c cottage cheese
·         ¼ c Parmesan cheese
·         2T parsley
·         6 oz provolone cheese slices
Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add in meat, tomatoes, seasonings and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile mix filling ingredients in a bowl: egg, cottage cheese, parmesan, parsley.  Spread about half cup of sauce on bottom of 9x13 pan.  Then layer noodles, overlapping as necessary.  Top with half of the filling mix, half of the provolone cheese and then half of the tomato sauce.  Repeat layers.  Sprinkle additional parmesan on top if desired.  This is the place to put your spare pan into fridge/freezer.  Bake 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Extend baking time to 45 min for a cold lasagna. 

Garlic Bread
Lemon Cake

1.        Hopefully you have some leftover chicken from Saturday for this.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
·         Chopped romaine
·         Grilled chicken
·         Garlic croutons
·         Parmesan cheese
·         Caesar salad dressing

1.       Clayton suggested this menu to counteract the salad of Monday night.
2.       Double the gravy recipe tonight and set aside half of it for Friday night’s mac & cheese. 
3.       Get your meat onto the ‘simmer’ stage and then you’ll have time to get the potatoes and other items ready too.  It might be a bit much for a Tuesday night, but feel free to shift things around. 
Chicken Fried Steak
·         1 lb round steak ½” thick; cut into serving sized pieces or use tenderized cube steak
·         1c flour+ 1 sleeve zesta saltines crushed + salt and pepper
·         1 egg, beaten
·         ¼ c milk
·         2T oil
Pound steak between sheets of waxed paper, if you didn’t buy tenderized meat to start with.  In shallow bowl combine flour and saltines.  In another bowl combine milk and egg.  Dredge meat through milk and then into flour.  A double trip through the milk and flour makes an extra thick crust.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; place meat in skillet without letting pieces touch.  Cook about six minutes per side, turning once.  Add more oil if necessary.  Return all meat to skillet.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook for 45-60 minutes or until meat is tender.  This is a step most restaurants skip today. 

Mashed Potatoes
·         ¼ c butter
·         ¼ c flour
·         2c milk
·         Salt & pepper
Melt butter, add flour salt and pepper let it brown just a little and then add milk.  Stir all around until the flour/butter mixture melts into the milk.  Then let it get bubbly and thick. 
Green Beans

1.        Clayton says this one is for old time’s sake.
Baked Chicken
Stove Top Stuffing

Farmer’s Casserole
·         3 c frozen hash browns
·         ¾ c grated Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese or Colby Jack
·         1 c diced chopped ham
·         ¼ c chopped green onions
·         4 eggs, beaten
·         1 ½ c milk
·         Salt and pepper
Coat 2 qt square baking dish with non-stick spray.  Arrange potatoes evenly in bottom of dish.  Sprinkle with cheese, ham and green onions.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk and salt and pepper.  Pour over potatoes.  Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven 40-45  minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Sausage Wraps
Mac & Cheese
·         Using the leftover gravy from Tuesday
·         6 slices American Cheese
·         1 c cottage cheese
·         1 c grated cheddar cheese
·         2 c cooked macaroni elbow or shells

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