Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quick No Roll Pizza Crust Recipe

2 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 packet of Fast Acting Yeast
1 cup Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Oil

I just toss everything into my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough paddle and allow to mix and kneed for 5 minutes.

Alternatively you can combine dry ingredients and then mix in wet and combine well. Kneed by hand. I like to kneed in the same bowl to avoid mess.

Place kneaded dough into oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes in a warm place.

Spray Pizza Pan with oil spray. Dump dough out onto pizza pan and use your hands to push and pat dough to the round shape of your pan.


Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 1st, 2010

This past week was my first official shopping trip since I signed up for the eat from the pantry challenge. I managed to save $150 dollars on Mega Event and Coupons. I scored some Johnsonville Brats/Italian Sausages for $1.89 a pack after mega and coupons, $3 packs of chicken breasts (4 breast with bone in each pack that turns out to be 5 dinners for us plus free stock), a few 4-1/2 pound packs of pork butt for a dollar a pound that I'll slice in half and make 4 dinners out of (in fact some ham and cabbage is in the crock now), $.99 cent packs of bacon, $.99 packs of Oscar Mayer hotdogs, $.99 packs of Little Debbies snack cakes, $.99 cent 5-lb. bags of potatoes and $80 cent dozen eggs. And lets not forget the Sargento cheese. I had peelie coupons that I got from pack of shreds a few months back. I held onto those coupons for just the right sale and I'm glad I did. The Sargento cheese ended up being $.50 cents a bag after my coupons and mega. It was dollar days locally too so I was able to partake in lots of good deals like that but I wont list them all. I just need to order my special Gluten Free flours and such and I'm all good again.

Let me go to posting my menu plan for the week. I just felt that you would understand my menu better if you seen what I'm stocked full of. Here goes:

Monday: Rice and Beans served with Corn Chips
(I'm going to try THIS recipe)

Tuesday: Sausage, Rice and Bean Enchilada's using Corn Tortillas
(You see why Rice and Beans was made first? I'll double THIS recipe and freeze one)

Wednesday: Lasagna made with Italian Sausage (sale item)
(You don't really need a recipe for this do you?)

Thursday: Hamburgers served with Home Made Cheese Rolls & Home Made Fries
(The roll recipe can be found here thanks to THIS post)

Friday: Home Made Pizza. Gluten Free for me, regular for the family.
(Lots of cheese handy now. Kinnikinnick for me. You can find my fabulously easy no roll crust here for gluten eating folks)

Saturday: Meatloaf served with Macaroni and Cheese
(Gluten Free mac and cheese. Tinkyada pasta and Kraft Cheese powder)

Sunday: Roast Beef served with Mashed Potatoes


Friday, January 29, 2010

Pub Style Ham and Cabbage

This is another family favorite. I grew up eating this dish my mother would make for us all year long (not just St. Patty's Day). To this day my older siblings translate this dish into comfort food. My mom did not add the Leek soup mix nor is it a part of the traditional way the irish made it, that is optional. I just think it adds a nice flavor.

3 lbs Ham Butt
2 cups chicken stock
1 package Knorr Leek Soup Mix (optional, eliminate for gluten free)
1 head cabbage, cut into chunks
3 cups Carrots
3 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)

Add ham (or corned beef), stock or water, soup mix in 6 quart dutch oven or crock pot. Simmer covered in dutch for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until Ham/Beef is tender when poked with a fork (about 30 minutes per pound).

At that point, add vegetables and simmer for 20 minutes until tender (but not soggy).

Alternatively add ingredients (in this order: broth/ham/carrots/potatoes/cabbage) into crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes (growing up, this was our preference) or the Irish tradition Boiled Potatoes and:

Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cups cooking liquid, plus more as needed
1/4 cups half-and-half, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Stir in the mustard and wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add cooking liquid and half and half. Cook, whisking constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until mixture is creamy. Add as much cooking liquid necessary to make a smooth sauce.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Toasted Coconut Pie

2 squares of Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (chopped)
2 cups Cool Whip (Thawed)
1/4 cup Coconut
1 (3-1/2 ounce) package Jello Coconut Cream Cook and Serve Pudding Mix
1-1/2 cups Milk
1 Pie Crust (I'll use This)

Microwave chocolate in glass bowl for 1 minute.
Stir until chocolate is melted.
Add 1/4 cup coconut and 1 cup cool whip, stir until mixed well.
Spread onto bottom of crust, refrigerate while preparing filling.
Mix pudding and milk in medium saucepan.
Bring to full boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
Gently pour over chocolate.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Top with Remaining Cool Whip and Coconut.

Cookie Crumb Pie Crust

I'm giving this one a try today. I love Ginger Snaps. I think they would make a wonderful substitute for a Graham Cracker Crust.

1 8 ounce Bag of Ginger Snaps (I use Mi-Del)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/3 cup Butter (melted)

Put the cookies and sugar into food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Then add butter and pulse until moist clumps form.

Press the crumb mixture into bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased pie plate.

Bake until golden Brown.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Salsa Fresco

Salsa Fresco

3 Tablespoons finely diced onion
1 pound ROMA tomatoes diced small
1 finely diced green or jalapeno chili
2 Tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients and chill. Stores in fridge up to 5 days.

I'll be posting this recipe to:

  • Ultimate Recipe Swap
  • Food on Friday

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eat from The Pantry Challenge - Shopping Trip Update

OK I broke down and finally went shopping. I'm glad it occurred on a super fantastic deal week.

  • 6 packages of Birds Eye Veggies (broccoli) - $1 each minus $.50 coupon = .$.50 each/$3 total
  • 6 packages of Starkist Tuna - $1 each minus $1 coupon = All 6 are Free
  • Little Debbie Donut Sticks (kids snack) = $1.79
  • Crystal Lite Pink lemonade (kids snack) = $2.99 minus $1.00 coupon = $1.99
  • Minute Maid OJ - $2.99 minus $1.00 coupon = $1.99
  • Whole Fryer Chicken (special request for Chicken and Dumplings) = $3.50
  • Kroger Milk = $3.09
  • Kroger Coffee Creamer = $1.89
  • All Laundry Detergent - $2.99 closeout price minus $2.00 coupon = $.99
  • 10 - Glaceau Vitamin Water's = $1 each/ $10 total
  • Kroger Bread = $1.19

Total Spent: $29.43 of a $30 gift card.

I just can not wait for this month to be over. For the pantry to be cleaned out and for our new diet to start!!!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Taco Soup

Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic
1 Large Onion
1 pound Ground Beef
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can Corn
1 can Black Beans
2 cans Chicken Broth (Swanson)
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cilantro

Heat oil in large pot.
Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
Add ground beef can cook until brown.
Add tomatoes, beans, corn, broth and seasonings.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Have you seen this wonderful list yet? Its just a sample of all the wonderful ideas to inspire you while you are eating from the pantry.

What you have:
What you can make:

canned beans,
canned tomatoes

Simple bean chilli – serve with rice or tortillas
Bean soup – add veges, stock, spices
Bean burgers – mash beans and make patties

rice, onion, stock
Risotto – add leftover vegetables, meat, sausages, parmesan
Rice pilaf – add spices, nuts and vegetables

pasta, onion,
canned tomatoes

Tomato pasta sauce – add herbs, garlic, wine, stock, tomato paste
Pasta bake – layer in a dish and add cheese, breadcrumbs, and any veges you have

lentils, stock,
canned tomatoes

Spicy lentil soup – add garlic, spices, herbs, leftover sausages
Dhal (lentil curry) – add curry, yoghurt, chilli spices

canned tuna, potatoes
Fish cakes – add an egg, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, herbs

flour or tortillas,
tomatoes or tomato

Pizza – add cheese, vegetables, meat, herbs

potatoes, onion
Potato gratin – add milk, breadcrumbs, cheese

potatoes or kumara,
onion, stock

Vege soup – add other veges and your favourite spices and herbs

coconut milk or
evaporated milk,
potatoes or kumara

Vege curry – add any other veges you have, fresh or frozen,
and curry spices or curry paste

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Eat from The Pantry Challenge

Feast your eyes on this pantry. Stocked so full you are going to wonder why I did not do this sooner. Right?

Well I have been staring at this menu plan for a while now. I find it so hard to believe that I have this much ~ lol. All on about $40 a week. LOL.

1 - Grilled Pork Medallions
*2 - Taco Dinner
*3 - Roast Beef/mashed potatoes
4 - Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff
5 - Gnocchi w/Bolognese Sauce
6 - Meatloaf/French Fries
7 - Sherry Chicken/Green Beans
8 - Crock Pot Pork Chops
*9 - Chicken Wings
*10 -Turkey Dinner
11 - Leftover Turkey
12 - Turkey Rice Soup
13 - Sausage, smashed peas and Pasta Dinner
14 - Meatloaf
15 - Spaghetti & Meatballs
*16 - Taco Dinner
*17 - Crock Pot Roast Beef
18 - Leftover Beef Beef Stroganoff
19 - Leftover Beef Beef Barley Soup
20 - Gnocchi w/Bolognese Sauce
21 - Pork Cutlets
22 - Taco Dinner
*23 - Pasta E. Fagioli Soup
*24 - Salisbury Steak
25 - Home Made Pizza
26 - Pepper Steak/Rice
27 - Kielbasa
28 - Sausage Roll (no idea what)
29 -
*30 -
31 -

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gluten Free Breakfasts and Dinners

I have been laying off the gluten lately. I had a few odd problems that I could not explain. I was discussing it with a friend who happens to be nurse and she suggested the elimination diet. It seemed to her that I was having some sort of food reaction.  I struck gold on the first try. I do not need a doctor to figure this one out. It was an instant fix. In a matter of a day all that ailed me was gone.  But for the record, I did see my doctor.  He confirmed what I had suspected.  Along with that I had various nutrient deficiencies.

Here is the thing though. I'm loosing weight too. Maybe I'm eating less? Maybe I'm eating more of the right sort of foods? Since it ends up being mostly protein and vegetables ~ maybe its the protein diet aspect? Maybe this wheat thing keeps you puffy and fluid retained unless you drink TONS of water? Or maybe it was my wheat and thyroid issues combined?  Maybe its this? I dont know, I'm not a doctor. All I know is that I've been loosing about a pound every 2 weeks since. Its AWESOME!!! I do not feel like I'm deprived at all either.

I'm starting to get allot of questions on how to follow this regimen from friends who need to. So I figured I'd post some of my breakfast and dinner ideas for you to feast on. I mean, all my posted meal plans are Gluten Free but a condensed list if you will. Plus I'll suggest Gluten Free brands as an added bonus.

Eggs & bacon, Chex cereal and milk, Yoplait yogurt and fruit, Nabisco cream of rice, corn meal or regular pancakes or waffles made with Pamelas baking mix with Johnsonville sausage (except Brown sugar and honey), corn meal mush (anson mills), grits (albers or arrowhead mills).
Honeysuckle White Turkey
Gravy (corn starch, meat fat, sweet sue broth, herb-ox boullion)
Steamed veggies
Fresh Mashed Potatoes

Oven Baked Chicken (sprinkled with McCormick garlic/onion powders, salt and pepper)
Macaroni and Cheese (tinkyada mac noodles or any store rice variety w/melted velveeta)

Fresh Roast Pork
Roasted Red Potatoes (tossed with parsley and butter)
Boiled Cabbage
Fresh baked Bread

Grilled Chicken breast with GF BBQ sauce (sweet Baby Rays)
Cole Slaw w/Mayo (McCormick Garlic/Onion powders, salt and Pepper, Mrs. Dash)
Cooked rice w/broccoli and velveeta

Roast Beef (McCormick garlic, salt, pepper, onion, herb-ox bouillon)
Roasted Potatoes/Carrots/Onion
Green Lettuce Salad
Fresh Bread

Stir Fry w/Fresh meat and veggies, egg, sesame oil.

Baked Fresh Fish (any kind you like, butter/onion/spices maybe)
Baked Potato (Velveeta, Oscar Mayer bacon or Hormel BBits, green onions, sour cream, butter)
Seamed broccoli

Beef Stew (made with broth, beef cubes, veggies and corn starch to thicken)
Corn Bread (Ener-G mix)

Hamburgers w/Cheese (I dont eat with roll but understand that Kinnikinnick has great products)
Lettuce/Tomato/Onion slices on side
Lays Chips

Taco Night (Old El Paso Hard Taco Shells)
Fresh ground meat with McCormick's Taco Seasoning Mix
Refried Beans (Old El Paso)
Salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, kraft cheese

Baked Pork Chop
Baked Potato Wedges (olive oil and spices)
Steamed Broccoli/Carrots/Cauliflour

Pasta (Gluten free) and Spaghetti Sauce (Del Monte w/o meat)
Home Made Meatballs
Kraft Parm Cheese
Green Salad
Fresh Bread (

Meatloaf (using Bob's Red Mill oat's pureed into a powder)
Idahoan Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Home Made Pizza (Pamela's Baking Mix or Kinnikinnick frozen shells)
Topped with Fresh Mozzarella
Contadina Sauce (seasoned with McCormick Italian Seasons and a dash of sugar)

Pepper Steak (La Choy Soy, Honey, L&P Worcestershire, herb-ox boullion, Swansons organic beef broth, ginger, sesame oil and brown sugar)
Served over Rice

See.... ordinary every day foods. And for the most part, they are things you can easily find at your grocery store. It really is not that hard after all.


Fried Apples

Have you ever tried the Stouffer's Harvest Apples? Well they are AWESOME!!! I love them. However, they make them with wheat gluten so I can no longer consciously eat them. Sooooo, I set out to start making some of my own from home. My kids love this and what better way to get them to eat fruit! Trouble getting children to eat fruit? Crazy you say? Well I suppose I'm not the only one in the world but any chance I can serve something that makes them want to eat a fruit ALONE for a meal, thats a good deal.

2 1/4 cups Apple Juice
4 Large Jonathan Apples
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/4 Apple Juice
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 Allspice
4 Tablespoons Sugar

Peel apples, core and slice into about 1 inch slice. Half slices.
In a large skillet, combine the apple juice, lemon juice and sliced apples.
Heat on medium heat until apples just about tender (do not overcook - apples should be turned half way.
Combine 1/4 cup apple juice and corn starch. Mix well.
Add to pan along with remaining ingredients.
Cook and stir constantly until thickened.

This is where I started with my inspiration for this recipe. I changed it a bit to suit my needs based on the input of others. Sorry, I know some folks hate that. But I wanted to give credit where credit is due.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Eat From The Pantry Challenge - First Shopping Trip Update

I went to Walmart to do my first shopping trip for my January challenge. In case you had not noticed, I started this challenge last week. No coupons in hand, just the basics were needed. Here is what I ended up with:

Bread: $2.17
Bread: $2.17
Cola: $.78
Twist Up Soda: $.78
Twist Up Soda: $.78
Snickers (snack sized strip): $1.00
Hershey's (snack sized strip): $1.00
Donut Sticks: $1.62
Cream Cheese: $1.67
Sour Cream: $.66
Gallon Milk: $2.84
Gallon OJ: $3.74
Dozen pack Ramen Noodles: $1.98

Grand Tally: $21.19

By the way, have you seen the ridiculous cost of BREAD? My stars. I seriously need to start making my own bread or getting a bread-maker.
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