Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Asian Style Pepper Steak

2 lbs boneless beef chuck, round, whatever steak
A1 Steak Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Beef Broth (or 1 cup water and 1 bouillon cube)
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Ginger
1/4 cup Soy Sauce (La Choy)
4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (Lea Perrins)
1 bag Frozen pepper and Onion mix (or pepper & 1 onion)
1 fresh tomato, sliced

Marinade steak in A-1 for 4 hours (or overnight).
Julienne steak into strips and add to pan with garlic, cayenne, salt, pepper pan with olive oil.
Saute until browned. (it can be transferred to a crock pot at this point.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours)
Mix 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons corn starch.
Add starch mix, broth, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, soy, worcestershire sauce to crock pot.
Mix until well incorporated.
Add Vegetables.
Sir and cook for 6-8 minutes (until the vegetables are tender crisp).

The resulting product is very saucy. 


Paste E Figoli Soup (no meat)

As my very good friend Alison says, "There are millions of versions of this recipe on the net".  This is so true.  But this recipe is MY FAVORITE.  The bean puree gives it a really nice creamy flavor without the cream.  
I have said before that the Italian recipes on this blog are my mothers.  Although this is considered an Italian dish, it is not my creation nor one of my families recipes. It may be the only Italian recipe in my files that is not ours.  Where I got it from, I have no idea.  But it is awesome!!!  

Here is my very favorite Recipe for Pasta E. Fagioli soup:

1 bag frozen soup mix vegetables (onion, celery, carrots) (could use 1 cup fresh each)
1 beef and 1 chicken bouillon cube
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 - 15 ounce cans cannelloni beans (one pureed in blender with can juices to form paste)
8 ounce tomato sauce (or crushed if you like the chunks)
1 Tablespon basil
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 can chicken broth (or 2 cups fresh)
1 can beef broth (or 2 cups fresh)
    (or use 1 quart of any kind of stock)
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta or other small pasta (I order my GF verson from Amazon, see below)
Grated Parmigiana or Romano cheese

In a deep pot, saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.
Blend the can of beans with the one cup water in electric blender until almost smooth.
Add blended beans to pan then add the can or tomato sauce, celery, chicken broth, basil, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 cup water and bring to slow boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente, according to pasta directions.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Sherry Chicken

Sherry Chicken

6 pieces chicken
1 can cream soup (any)
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1 tea garlic powder or 1 clove fresh chopped garlic
1 tea onion powder
1 tea Mrs. Dash
1 cup colby cheese, grated

Cook chicken in fry pan until browned on each side. Add sherry, stock, soup and seasoning. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cooked though.

This recipe could very easily be done in the crock pot as well. Just cook for 5-6 hours on low.

Pork Chops with Gravy (Crock Pot)

6 pork chops (thick)
salt and pepper
Mrs. Dash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 can mushrooms (or 8 ounce fresh fried)
1 can cream of kind soup
garlic salt

Dredge pork chops in salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash table blend
Place in slow cooker
Add garlic, tomato paste, mushrooms, and cream of kind soup and garlic salt
Cook 5-6 hours on low in crock pot until chops are tender.


Herbed Sirloin Tip Roast

Herbed Sirloin Tip Roast

1 sirloin tip roast, about 3-4 pounds
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (I usually omit this for kids sake)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon parsley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

About 2 hours before roasting, place the roast in a 13 x 9 dish and add red wine. Add seasonings to top of roast and rub in with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and roast for about 1 to 1/2 hours or until roast is 145 degrees internally for medium rare.

If I find a good sale on Sirloin top, I will add all ingredients in a food storage bag and freeze.

Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff

Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff

1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic (or 1/4 garlic powder)
2 cups cooked beef
1/4 cup red wine
1 Herb Ox beef bouillon cube
1 can of Progresso mushroom soup
8 ounces of mushrooms
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup sour cream

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Meanwhile cut leftover beef into strips.
Add beef to skillet along with wine and bouillon and simmer meat covered for 30 minutes.
Add worcestershire, cream soup, mushrooms, and seasonings and simmer again for 5-7 minutes.
Stir in sour cream and serve.

Note: when I cook this after roasting the Herbed Sirloin tip Roast recipe - I use 1-2 tablespoons of the leftover gravy while meat is cooking along with a splash of beef broth if I have any on hand.

My picky kids actually eat this!

Philadelphia Cheesesteak Soup

This soup is one of my favorite things to do with leftover roast beef.  A real Philadelphian knows what cheese steaks are made of. In my travels I have seen some hysterical attempts at a copy.  I use whatever cheese in this soup I happen to have on hand though. Velveeta would be the appropriate switch for the a more authentic flavor but any way you choose, it will taste surprisingly good.

Philadelphia Cheesesteak Soup

3/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 green pepper (or 1 cup frozen diced)
1 medium onion (or 1 cup frozen diced)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons corn starch
6 cups milk
1 can beef broth
1 beef bouillon cube
2 cups leftover roast beef , diced
8 ounces cheese (provolone, velveeta, or any)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter and oil in large heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

Add green peppers, onions and mushrooms and saute until tender (about 5 minutes).

Add cornstarch to milk, stir to dissolve. Add to vegetables and stir in bouillon, slowly whisking to incorporate. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened. Add salt, pepper and beef.

If you prefer flour to starch, add flour to vegetables and cook while stirring for 3-5 minutes. Then add milk and stir until incorporated.

Slowly stir in cheese until all is melted.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 28st, 2009

I don't usually plan out that many weeks ahead but my new years resolution is starting early. I want to use what I have on hand to reduce my spending for the month of January. That way when February and income tax come around I will be in a good financial standing so we can finally take that trip to Disney like we always wanted to. Life somehow always got in the way. We have been wanting to take this trip since my oldest was 2. Then relocations, pregnancies, illnesses, job losses and more relocations always got in the way. We finally seem a bit settled for the first time in at least 8 years so I hope to finally get this started. My mission for January: Eat From the Pantry Challenge. I will only allow a MAXIMUM of $40 a week to purchase snacks for my son at school, milk, bread, orange juice, dairy, vegetables and medications if necessary. As you can see below, I can easily get 3 weeks out without much effort. The real challenge comes in the 4th week when I think I'll be totally out of food.

It will also be difficult come February when my cupboards are bare and the HUGE expense it will cost me to re-stock. My plan at that point is to only buy what is on the menu for the week and then coupon finds.

This Week (1)

Lunch: Philadelphia Cheese Steak Soup (using leftover roast from xmas)
Dinner: Home Made Pizza


Baked Ham

Grilled Pork Medallions


Chicken Cutlets


Next Week (2)

Roast Beef w/Mashed Potatoes


Green Beans

Broccoli and Cheese Rice

Gnocchi w/Bolognese Sauce

Chicken Wings w/Fries

Meatloaf w/Mashed

Week Three (3)
Turkey Dinner

Leftover Hot Turkey w/Gravy

Turkey Rice Soup

Sausage, smashed Peas and Pasta dinner

Individual Meatloaf's

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Taco Dinner

Week Four (4)
Crock Pot Roast Beef

Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff

Leftover Beef Barley Soup/Fresh Bread

Gnocchi w/Bolognese Sauce

Pork Cutlets


Pasta E. Fagioli Soup (vegan)

Week Five (5)


Home Made Pizza

Crock Pot Roast Beef

Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff

(Pepper steak, Kielbasa, Sausage Roll)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kroger Deals for week ending 12/22/09

Here are the best deals I see at Kroger this week.

Kraft Cheese -shreds, bars or cubes — BOGOF
$1/2 Kraft or Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese printable here
Final Price: $1.39/ea

Green Giant Frozen Vegetables (boxed) — $1

-$.50/2 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables printable here
-$.50/2 Doubled
-$.50/2 Shortcuts
Final Price: $.50/ea

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers- $1.67

Use $.40/1 coupons from 11/15, 11/22, and 12/13 SS inserts.
Final Price, $.87

Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables (Steamfresh)- $1
-$1.00/2 Sunday Paper Insert
Final Price, $.50 each

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, 4 oz — $1

-$0.40/1 Idahoan Potatoes printable here
Final Price: $.20

All Liquid Detergent, 26-40 load — $3.99

-$2.00 Sunday Insert
Final Price: $1.99

Chex Cereal (Not on sale, but I need some)
-1.00/2 Shortcuts
-1.00/2 Printable Print

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gluten Free Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

The original purpose of this cookie recipe was to create a copy cat recipe of a cookie I used to enjoy at a Memphis location of McAllisters Restaurant. Its not a chain-restaurant recipe though. I only ever found them served at this one particular location and they were so good. They are so incredible, soft and tender and buttery.   The recipe you see here is a gluten free version of the original.  You can find the original recipe I made at my friend Alison's place here.

1 Egg
1 box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix
1 Tablespoon J-ello Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 8-ounce Cream Cheese, softened to room temp.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened to room temp.
Powdered Sugar for rolling

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix ingredients well. 
  • Dough will be very sticky at this point. 
  • Refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. 
  • Make into balls with heaping tablespoon portions or maybe a mellon baller if you have one. 
  • Roll into powdered sugar. 
  • Place balls about 1 to 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and set aside.
  • Leave cookies on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes to set up before baking.
  • Dust with additional sugar while still warm if desired.
NOTES:   Using only a tablespoon of Jello instant pudding so what the heck should you do with almost a full box of pudding?  Go ahead and add it to your cake recipe with one tablespoon short.  I've done this and it still works just fine!!!!! Print

Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 21st, 2009

Hi, remember this? LOL. I actually have been reverting back to my old ways. That is writing down on my shopping list pad what meals I have available to make. I'm going to get back on board though so here it goes.

Monday: Pizza Party with Cubs

Tuesday: Baked Ziti

Wednesday: Meatloaf & French Fries

Breakfast: Waffle Inn
Dinner: Aunt Donna's House

Breakfast: Overnight French toast, overnight breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Lunchmeat sandwiches on fresh baked rolls & Pasta E. Fagioli Soup
Dinner: Beef (have not decided yet), Spinach Casserole

Grazing: Credite Platter / Olives, cheese chunks, pepperoni, deviled eggs, cheese dip

Saturday: Baked Ham / Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sunday: Home Made Pizza & Salad

Monday: Salisbury Steak / Make Ahead Mashed

Wednesday: Pork Medallions

Thursday: Crock Pot Pepper Steak with Rice

Friday: Chicken Cutlets

Saturday: Taco Dinner


Saturday, December 19, 2009

O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup

Creamy cheesy potato soup is a restaurant favorite that can now be made at home with this great copycat recipe. This soup is hearty enough to be served as a meal.

3 pound red potatoes
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup flour
8 cup half-and-half
16 ounce Velveeta cheese, melted
White pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 pound bacon, fried
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until 3/4 cooked.

In a separate large Dutch oven, combine melted margarine and flour, mixing until smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.

Add melted Velveeta. Stir well. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture. Stir in pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place soup into individual serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chives and parsley. Print

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Royal Icing

3 ounces pasteurized egg whites (carton in dairy section)
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
1 box (about 4 cups) confectioners' sugar


In large bowl or stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

What shall we do on Christmas Break?

The kids will be out of school for a full two weeks. First I think we will homeschool two hours a day still. Second I have a few crafts in mind. Please, feel free to add some of your ideas (it would be a HUGE help).

1) Make a Reindeer Shirt found here
2) Help Santa by making our own Bows out of old Magazines found here or
3) Make your own Snow globe
4) Make our own Ornaments out of Cinnamon found here (one bottle equals 1 cup, 2 Tbsp)

It feels incomplete. Maybe we will make cookies? Hmmm.....

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