Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can't Resist A Bargain

Sometimes I can have absolutely no intentions of making something, but one simple thing can change my mind, therefore changing my menu plan for the night. It could be a request from my son, an unexpected time constraint, or in this case, a great deal at the store.

I can't even tell you now what I was planning on making when these came to be. All I remember is I had breakfast for supper on the menu, and as I was doing my weekly shopping, I found an excellent deal on red potatoes at Aldi's...a 5 lb. bag of red potatoes for $.99!! Now I'm sorry, but no mom on a budget could walk away from that. So I stood there in the produce section thinking to myself  "What could I do with these and where can I include them in my week's meals?" And then it hit me. I was having breakfast, and they would make scrumptious home fries.

But don't think you can only serve these with eggs and bacon! They make a tasty side dish with any meal really, especially if your family is like mine and love them some taters. I'm always looking for ways to branch out from baked, mashed and roasted!

These should remind you of the home fries you can get at your favorite diner. They are simple to make, letting the oven do all the work. In fact, you could easily chop your potatoes in the morning, leave them in cold water all day (so they don't brown), drain them well when you get home, and then go from there! They cook beautifully in the oven while you are preparing the rest of the meal, or relaxing.

These days, good bargains are hard to come by, but the best ones are those that come when you are least expecting them and leave you with a couple extra dollars in your pocket when you need them the most.

Oven Baked Home Fries
5-6 large red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. all purpose seasoning
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In a 8x11 baking dish, combine all ingredients. Toss to coat well. Bake for 1 hour, stirring half way through.

Potatoes at Very Good Recipes

Monday, April 21, 2014

Take Out Casserole

I hope you all had a very nice Easter yesterday, surrounded by those you love, celebrating everything Spring and new life among us has to offer. And I guess my only question is "Are you tired of ham yet?" Did you get your fill or are you planning a week of leftovers? If you don't care to see another ham for quite a while, then you are going to be so happy you logged on today!

Sometimes I just get a craving and I get can't it out of my head until I satisfy it. Do you ever have that happen? And what do you do when there is no way you can "scratch the itch" so to speak? Do you simply try to ignore it, (which almost never works) or do you find another way? I'm more likely to find another way, and that's exactly how this recipe came to be.

See, I was craving Chinese take out...B.A.D. Like, it was the only thing I could think about. I have no idea why, but I do have my suspicions. If you read this post  back in March, then you know we aren't having very good luck with our favorite Chinese restaurants here in town. One closed and one burnt to the ground. So I believe my cravings came from a subliminal place. My brain knew I couldn't have the dishes I loved from those two places, so it decided to make them all I could think about. You know, tell someone they can't have something, and it only makes them want it more.

So I looked at what I had in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I looked at the time I had to give into my craving, and I thought "Why not take all the elements of this loved take out dish...and turn it into a casserole?" And that's exactly what I did. This would make a simple supper any night of the week. Prep the chicken in the morning, let it marinade all day, and then dinner can be on the table in almost no time at all that night. Oh, and it's very budget friendly too, especially if wait until the store is running specials on chicken and frozen veggies!

We all deserve to satisfy our cravings now and again. But if you can do it in a way that brings your family around the table to a new meal they love, well than that's just icing on the cake. Oh I want cake...

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole
1.5 lbs. boneless chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
3 TBS vegetable oil
2 heaping TBS Asian seasoning blend*
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. chicken broth
3 1/3 c. instant white rice
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen broccoli, thawed and drained well
1 (12 oz.) bag peas and carrots, thawed and drained well
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 1/3 c. teriyaki sauce, divided
1/3 c. water
Black Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine chicken, seasoning blend and garlic. Stir well. Marinade in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken until golden on all sides. Add pepper, broccoli, peas and carrots. Saute until veggies are crisp tender. Add rice, chicken broth, water, 1 cup teriyaki sauce and black pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Add 1/3 c. teriyaki sauce and stir. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving. *NOTE* You can find an Asian seasoning blend with the regular dried herbs and spices, or on the international aisle. The one I prefer is a sesame ginger blend.

Chicken at Very Good Recipes

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

Looking for something a little different for breakfast? Why not add chorizo to your morning scramble to add a little twist? And a jalapeno or two to kick up the heat? Now that I have your full attention lets get to it! This one has all that plus cheese, a few veggies and more cheese! Grab a fork your gonna love this one.

Chorizo and Egg Scramble 
2 tbs. Olive oil
1lb. ground fresh chorizo
1 small onion chopped
2 jalapenos, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
8 eggs
1 c. Mexican blend cheese, plus extra for topping optional
Mexican Crema
Salt to taste

In a medium skillet add oil along with onion, jalapeƱos, and zucchini. Stir to combine, and cook 2-3 minutes or just until onions have slightly softened. Add chorizo. Be sure to break up while in the pan so it cooks evenly. Stirring frequently. Cook until chorizo is nearly done. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat. Add Salt to taste.  Add eggs to the chorizo mixture, and stir to combine. Cook until chorizo is done and eggs are desired doneness. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir to combine, and allowed to melt slightly. Serve hot with extra cheese and Mexican Crema Enjoy!

Meal Plan April 20-25

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Happy Easter!
I'm taking Deviled Eggs to my in-laws.

Monday Leftover from last week's menu
Lobster Rolls
Corn on the Cob

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Sliced Peaches

Grilled Steak
Loaded Baked Potatoes

Bean and Cheese Burrito Casserole*
Chips n Cheese

Sausage McMuffin Sandwiches*
Hashbrown Cakes
Fried Apples

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another One Pot Meal

So, I'm talking to my friend a few weeks back. The topic? Food of course. (I know it probably seems like I talk about nothing else. But I do. I promise.) We were swapping ideas for one pot meals because both of us are dealing with these extended school days; and to be quite honest they are monotonous, especially when trying to meal plan. 

Anyway, she told me about this new recipe she had just come across, and couldn't wait to try. Then she went one to tell me it just so happened to be for something I had been meaning to make for me boys anyway, red beans and rice. You mean I can score points with my family with something super easy that only dirties one pan? That's a double bonus to this mama! 

Well, you can imagine the little smile that I got when she shared the recipe with me, and I discovered that it was actually from a good foodie buddy, and someone I've already introduced you to before, Stacey from Southern Bite. Yep, I got to be one of those cool people who says "Oh, I know him. Yeah, we're friends." My friend was very impressed. Or at least she pretended to be to make me feel good. 

If you're always on the lookout for easy weeknight meals, you're going to love this one! Not to mention if you have no desire to use every pot and pan you have in the house. One skillet and dinner is on the table! I'm sure there are more complicated ways to make this dish, but for our family, this was perfect. The boys absolutely loved the flavors, and I enjoyed not having to work too hard after a busy day. In this house, that's what we call a yummy win-win!

One Skillet Red Beans, Rice & Sausage From Southern Bite
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 (15.5 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
2 c. instant white rice
2 TBS Cajun seasoning
1 TBS vegetable oil

In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook 4-5 minutes, until edges being to brown. Add onion, green pepper and celery. Saute' until veggies are tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and beans. Add Cajun seasoning, stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook about 15 minutes until rice is tender. 

Shared on The Country Cook April 18, 2014

Beans at Very Good Recipes