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text 2019-01-07 15:57
Menu Monday

Well, I might as well confess right now that in 2018 my inner hoarder got the best of me.  I was unable to by-pass a sale of canned goods that I knew that I could use at some point.  As a result, the canned goods shelf in my kitchen in over flowing.  One of my New Year's Resolutions is to use up what I've got before I buy more.

 

The second thing is my new recipe file--it is stuffed full of magazine pages and photocopies, all of food that sounds good to me.  So my second Resolution is to try more of these recipes.  Any that are good, I copy into my personal cookbook, then I send the photocopies to my sister.  She has recently let me know that she appreciates my being her personal test kitchen.  She cooked several things over the holidays that turned out well.

 

So, in the interest of pursuing my Resolutions, here are the canned goods used to produce a Pumpkin Pie Crumble for a family event over Christmas:

 

 

And here is the complete crumble:

 

 

Topped with a bit of whipped topping, it was quite delightful:

 

 

More recently, I made Mexican Pork Stew:

 

 

It only required one tin of tomatoes, so you are spared the "Can Photo."

 

However, I was very happy to move all of these items out of inventory:

 

 

The creamed corn went into this Creole Cornbread:

 

 

When it was fresh from the oven, it was quite pleasant, if a bit crumbly.  Leftovers are not nearly as nice, even when heated, so I think I will return to my cornmeal muffins in future.

 

Also produced during this session was Deconstructed Cabbage Roll Soup:

 

 

The recipe made an enormous amount, so some has been pitched into the freezer, to provide a home-cooked meal on one of those evenings when I have no desire to cook anything.

 

2019 is off to a good start! 

 

 

 

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text 2018-12-17 18:27
Menu Monday

Look at this!  It's Monday and I actually remembered to do Menu Monday!

 

So it's kind of sad that I have so little to show you.

 

However, I can share my Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread, which I brought to my office Xmas potluck:

 

 

In it's intact state as well as sliced:

 

 

Plus a lovely view of the swirly innards:

 

 

Very yummy stuff.

 

I also made Honey Garlic Chicken last week:

 

 

Very easy--just put in marinade in the evening and shove in the oven when you get home the next day.  Delicious and easy.

 

Finally, a holiday treat that my family loves--Nuts & Bolts.  I'm making them gluten-free nowadays, but they are still a hit.  (Perhaps because we all seem to have a weakness for salt, rather than sugar):

 

 

Hopefully, I'll have more time for cooking and testing some new recipes over the Christmas vacation.

 

In the meantime, friends, enjoy your Christmas treats!

 

 

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text 2018-12-04 19:15
Menu Monday (but on Tuesday)

This delay until Tuesday is becoming habitual for me!  I find it difficult to get everything organized on a Monday morning--that's my story & I'm sticking to it!

 

I'm afraid that the first menu item that I'm reporting was a dire failure from my perspective.  I got the recipe off the interwebs and it sounded great.

 

Bang-Bang Shrimp with Pasta:

 

 

I really didn't like the sauce.  Maybe it was the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce which was a major component of the sauce.  Now I've got part of a bottle of the stuff and must find a way to use it.  I've found two chicken recipes that I'd be willing to try to use it up.  I didn't mind the taste with the shrimp, but disliked it on the pasta, if that makes any sense.  So it might be fine on chicken.

 

Next up was Cashew Chicken:

 

 

There were two half peppers (red and yellow) getting elderly in my crisper and this also had the benefit of using 1 can of water chestnuts (from my pantry hoard).  My inner hoarder has obviously had the upper hand during my grocery shopping recently and I must start planning menus based on the number of cans that I will be able to use up.

 

This weekend, I decided that something must also be done with a bowl full of apples that were getting soft and unpleasant for lunches.  A quick consult with a cookbook which I've got on loan from the library, and I hauled out the slow cooker and made Crustless Apple Pie.  Which is basically chunky applesauce, but I like applesauce. 

 

 

This is my version.  Following is the picture from the cookbook:

 

 

Finally, I made a Ground Beef Curry:

 

 

 

This used a jalapeno pepper that was on its last legs, a large can of tomatoes, and ground beef & frozen peas already in the freezer.  Not to mention using up two potatoes.  Since I adore curries of all descriptions, this was a great winter evening meal.

 

Bon appétit, friends!

 

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text 2018-11-05 16:22
Menu Monday

Once again, I've been struggling to convince myself to cook.  But having this photo project to contribute to has encouraged me to keep on producing better food for myself.

 

First up, Harvest Baked Oatmeal:

 

 

This provided breakfast for a whole week!

 

 

Next up was Smoky Tomato Soup:

 

 

It all started with bacon because bacon makes everything better.  Hence the bacon sprinkles on the soup surface.

 

Please also note the Cornmeal Cheese Muffins on the side.  Nummy!

 

Then, I had bits & bobs to use up, so made a Frittata:

 

 

An excellent way use up a leftover baked potato, a red pepper that was on its last legs, some Italian sausage that I had defrosted but not put to good use yet, shredded cheese that had been open for a while, plus some eggs that had lingered in the fridge for a while.

 

 

Then, it was time to bake for Book Club.  They are my guinea pigs, so I tried a new recipe for Orange Gingerbread:

 

 

This was made with quinoa flour and almond flour.  The glaze was icing sugar & orange juice.

 

 

It was not bad, but didn't get rave reviews.  I rather doubt that I'll make it again.

 

And finally, on Saturday night for a treat, I made Hoisin Pork Ribs:

 

 

This is one of my all-time favourite recipes, a real comfort meal.  These are the left-overs, because I couldn't wait to dig in once they were ready.  With rice & broccoli, they made a great cool weather Saturday evening event.

 

Happy cooking, friends!

 

 

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text 2018-11-05 15:51
Menu Monday

Halloween wrap-up and three solid good meals.

 

 

Mini Halloween Cheesecakes

 

 

Ok, so most of the love I had for these was how cool and fun they looked, they definitely pop! It is a very easy recipe, your crust or base is a Halloween Oreo cookie and for cheesecake purists out there, you might turn a nose up at the easy cheesecake. I thought it all tasted great (yes, of course, the cheesecake doesn't have that thick goodness) but I was super pumped about how pretty they turned out.

 

Spicy, Sesame Snake Breadsticks

 

 

I cut the recipe in half, I only wanted 8 breadsticks, not 16. I don't know if that somehow hurt how much I had to work with, but as you can see, mine weren't coiled as much as the pictured ones. I had to really work with the dough to to get them thin enough and coiled. I don't know if all of this worked to make the dough more dry but these turned out super crispy, I like my breadsticks more soft. I also couldn't find black sesame seeds so I had to take a red pepper flake and cut it in half, time consuming and a lot of them ended up falling off anyway. UGH. I dipped them in sriracha ranch, good but too crispy for me.

 

 

Spooky Slime Cookies

 

 

Hard to tell just from picture if they turned out, right? Lol. I swear this is what they were supposed to look like. I think the creator was going for Slimer from Ghostbusters, which once I saw the recipe, I HAD to make. The hardest part was separating the egg yolks from the white, I use a plastic water bottle to do this and have about a 70-80% first time success rate but just beware the struggle can be real when trying to do this. I think they tasted a lot like cotton candy. If I were to make these again, I would flavor them, recipe says to add vanilla but I'd go with cherry, strawberry, or something stronger or more fun. They were somewhat blah or boring flavor wise. 

 

 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

 

 

This one probably took just under an hour but I really enjoyed the flavor of the sauce. I used 99% lean ground turkey and Sweet Heat Stubbs BBQ sauce with 1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar. Yummy! I don't like super saucy things, I call it drowning it, you can see by the picture, some would say I like mine dry. If you're a saucy person, I would recommend doubling the sauce as there wasn't much left over even after I used it. 

 

 

Vegetarian Fajita Pasta

 

 

I added corn and avocado. This was super simple to make and not time consuming. It was tasty and did have a little spice to it. Kind of one of those simple almost boring ones but gets the job done. 

 

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bowls

 

 

Along with the Halloween cheesecake bites, this was a big winner. Easy to make and oh my god, so good. The flavors, the way they all combined together! Magnificent! I didn't have a Caribbean Jerk spice, so I went with our Spicy Creole and yowza, did this end up having some kick you in the pants and make your nose run. The avocado and mango worked wonderfully to help tone it down, though. I'll definitely be making this one again and you should too!

 

Don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday my American friends!

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