Sunday, March 20, 2011


UG! Massive internet issues this week. Sorry this is so late... let's just get to it!

This Weeks Menu

Monday - Heary Sausage Skillet, Orage Dream Pie for a family night treat
Tuesday - Mom's Cream of Carrot Soup and breadsticks
Wednesday - Crock Pot Creamy Southwestern Chicken
Thursday - Mandarin Chicken
Friday - Thin Crust Cheese Pizza

*BONUS* - Fried Pickle Spears

Hearty Sausage Skillet

½ lb smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, sliced
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c. water
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Velveeta Shells and Cheese Dinner
2 c. broccoli florets

Brown sausage in lrg skillet on med-high heat for 5 min; drain. Stir in tomatoes, water and Italian seasoning. Bring to boil. Add Shells. Reduce heat to med-low; cover. Simmer 7 min, stirring twice. Add broccoli, cook an additional 5 min or until tender. Stir in cheese sauce until well blended. (serves 4)

Moms Cream of Carrot Soup

¼ c. melted butter
1 med onion chopped
1 chopped garlic clove
3 c. (6 med) sliced carrots
1 diced potato
1 can chicken broth
1 soup can of water
¾ t. salt
½ t. dried tarragon leaves
¼ t. pepper
1 c. milk

In lrg saucepan, sauté onion & garlic in butter 5 for 5 minutes. Add carrots & potatoes; stir to coat w/ butter. Add broth, water, salt, tarragon & pepper. Simmer, covered over med heat 15 mins until veggies are soft. Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth. Pour back into saucepan & stir in milk. Heat and Serve.

Crock pot Creamy Southwestern Chicken Nachos

1 small bag frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar medium salsa (Medium salsa is a must, mild isn’t flavorful enough)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
tortilla chips
Any other additional toppings you desire such as chopped cilantro, diced avocado, diced green onion, sliced olives, etc.

Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crock pot. (Can corn can be used in place of the frozen. Just drain it and put the chicken in first followed by the corn)
Place frozen chicken breasts on top of corn and cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of medium salsa.
Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours.
Shred chicken with forks and mix in cream cheese until melted and creamy.
Serve with tortilla chips and add toppings to individual servings.

Mandarin Chicken

¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. honey
¼ c. lemon juice
½ c. ketchup
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 c. cooked rice
Preheat oven to 350. In sm bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and ketchup. Place chicken in 8 inch square pan. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and marinate 24 hrs in fridge. Bake, covered, 45 min and additional 10-15 min uncovered. Serve w/ rice. May also be grilled med heat 20-25 min.

Thin Crust Cheese Pizza

Yield: 2 13-inch pizzas

For the crust:
3 cups (16½ oz.) bread flour
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. instant yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. salt

For the sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

For topping:
Olive oil, for brushing
½ cup (1 oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded whole-milk mozzarella

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor* fitted with the metal blade. Pulse just to combine. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process just until the dough is combined and all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 10 seconds.
Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Add the oil and salt to the dough. Process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 30-60 seconds. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead briefly on a lightly oiled work surface, about 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. (After the period of refrigeration, the dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for later use.)

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

One hour before baking the pizza, adjust an oven rack to the second highest position and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat. Preheat the oven to 500° F. Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. (If you plan to freeze a portion of the dough, this is the time to wrap in plastic, place in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.) Form each half into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray the dough balls lightly with cookies spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
To assemble the pizza, transfer a dough ball to a well floured work surface. Flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the rim. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. (I needed to use the rolling pin a bit to get my crust thin enough.) Transfer the dough to a well floured pizza peel and stretch to a 13-inch circle. Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with olive oil. Spread ½ cup of the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan and the shredded mozzarella. Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated baking stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

*This dough can also be made in a stand mixer or by hand. Keep in mind, the idea is to avoid warming the dough, so a food processor or mixer is optimal.

Orange Dream Pie

1 graham cracker crust
2/3 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) orange gelatine
1 package (8 oz) Cream Cheese
1 tub (8 oz) Whipped Topping
Heat water to boiling. Pour into a bowl. Add gelatin mix. Stir 2 minutes. until completely dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour into blender. (You must use a blender. A mixer will cause mixture to splatter. Place softened cream cheese in blender, and blend well. Pour into large bowl. Slowly add whipped topping. Stir together well. Pour into pie crust. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Texas Fried Pickle Spears
-Adapted From Homesick Texan

24 oz. (680g) (weight includes liquid) baby dill whole pickles, quartered lengthwise into spears
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk, well shaken
2 cups panko breadcrumbs (I used Dutch paneermeel)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp dried dill weed

Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large zip-lock bag, seal and shake to combine. Throw the pickle spears in, re-seal and shake to coat well. Set aside.
Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine the breadcrumbs, cayenne and dill in a wide shallow dish. Set aside.
Dip the floured pickle spears in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs, coating well. (I use a fork so the mixture doesn’t stick to my fingers. Keep a small bowl nearby to scrape the fork off now and then.) Set the coated pickles on a large tray or cutting board.
Heat about ½” of vegetable oil up to 350°F (180°C) in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Fry the pickles in about 4 batches until golden brown on both sides. Make sure the oil heats back up to the proper temperature between batches. Drain on paper towels or paper bags.

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