Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Corn Souffle

Corn souffle is part of our Sunday or weekend meal.  I normally make a roast of some kind and souffle has to be one of the sides.  It is easy (don’t let anyone tell you souffle has to be hard), does not cost much and taste wonderful.  This recipe is the very basic and still Yummy!

souffleIng

Corn Souffle Recipe
1 can creamed corn
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk

Whisk the 3 eggs together until it has small bubbles, about 1 minute with an electric mixer.

SouffleEgg

Add the flour, sugar and salt.  Mix for another minute.  Add the creamed corn.
SouffleRaw

Pour the mixture into a greased oven proof dish.  I used an 8x9x2.
SouffleReady

Bake at 350 ‘F for 30-45minutes.  If you are not sure, insert a knife and if it comes out clean it is done.

Emily does not eat it (I think it has to do with the texture since she does not eat whipped foods), but the rest of us will gobble the whole thing up in one sitting.  Did I just admit that in public………?

PostHeaderIcon Thai Veggie and Oats Patties

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The girls had oats for breakfast this morning and when I  make oats I always end up with more than I need.  I was looking for a recipe to use the extra oats in and I came across a suggestion to add it to veggie burgers.  Most veggie burgers have mushrooms or beans in them, but since I had neither in the house, I had to come up with my own veggies to put in it. I pulled out the broccoli and figured that was a good start. I also had loads of peppers in the fridge, cilantro, lime and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It seemed like an unlikely veggie burger, but more like a Thai curry so that was my inspiration.  I have been craving a good Thai curry for months now and have not gotten around to making one so this was a good solution. Here is what I did.
veging

Ingredients:
2/3 cup leftover cooked oats
1/2 cup broccoli cut into tiny pieces
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow pepper
bread crumbs (enough to firm up your mixture)
1 egg
1 tablespoon cilantro or taste
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste
lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper
vegpattie

Directions:
Mix together oats, broccoli, tomatoes, onion, peppers, salt, pepper, cilantro, egg, curry paste and a squeeze of lime juice.  The mixture will be very wet, add enough bread crumbs just so that the mixture is firm enough to form patties.  They will still be sticky patties.  Pan fry the patties in a small amount of olive oil or non stick spray if you prefer until they are browned on both sides.  Serve with extra fresh cilantro and lime slices.
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I ate mine on a slice of firm tomato with the cilantro, lime juice and crushed black pepper.  The flavors were great, I really got my Thai fix with this one.  Tonight I made brown rice as a side to our dinner (this was lunch), so I may try to make these with the left over brown rice as well.

PostHeaderIcon Taco Seasoning

I have a ridiculous amount of dried herbs and spices and when I was looking at a recipe that called for Taco seasoning, there was no way I would run out and buy any.  Instead I looked online for ideas to make my own.  I found many recipes that were similar in ingredients, but with different amounts.  I ended up blending my own amounts to come up with one that works for us.  I had to tone the heat down a little since I am catering for little ones tastes as well as adults.

Here is my recipe for Taco seasoning and the recipe that I used it in tonight.
tacoing

Taco seasoning

Ingredients
4 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoons paprika (increase to 2 tablespoons for adults)
6 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper (use up to 4 teaspoons if you are making this for adults)

Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients together until combined.  Store it in an airtight container.  The recipe makes 4 servings.
tacojar

Salsa Chicken
There is no real recipe to this one.  I took 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Sprinkled them generously with the Taco seasoning on both sides.  Place the chicken in a oven proof dish and cover with salsa.  Bake in a 350′F oven for 25 minutes covered with foil.  Remove the foil, sprinkle with cheese (I used a cheddar and mozzarella blend).  Bake for another 10 minutes.  Serve on rice along with sour cream and tortilla chips.
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This is my new “need to make dinner fast” meal.  Our grocery stores have regular specials on salsa and I am all stocked up.  It would cost me twice as much to make the salsa myself and since it is an all natural product I don’t feel too bad that it is a convenience food.


PostHeaderIcon SpaghettiO’s

I made SpaghettiO’s by mistake last week and the kids loved it.  They have no idea what the real thing taste like so they cannot compare the taste, but it is a fun looking meal for kids in general and they “lapped it up”.

O's

Two weeks ago I made a large pot of pasta/pizza sauce and froze smaller portions in Tupperware containers.  On the same day I made 4 meals out of ground beef.  Two portions of hamburger patties, one portion of meatballs for dinner that night and a few smaller meatballs to freeze in the pasta sauce.  I planned to use these for small dinners when I don’t feel like cooking or large lunches for when the kids are super hungry.  I usually defrost the sauce and make a small side of pasta to go along with it.  I found Anelletti pasta at Trader Joe’s a few months ago and loved that it was so different.  I cooked it (took forever to cook!) added it to the meatballs and sauce and was surprised to see what the final result looks like.

Opasta

How cool is that!! The kids ate it with a few raw veggies and a fruit salad for dessert. OK, I had some as well, it was yummy! It is also healthy since the homemade sauce has all natural ingredients and you know exactly what goes into the meatballs when you make it yourself. I will post my meatball and sauce recipes when I get a little more time. For now I am concentrating on our first week doing homeschool lessons so everything else takes a back seat.

PostHeaderIcon Potato Gratin

Don’t be fooled by the name, this dish is neither fancy nor hard to make, which makes it right up my alley!

I have copious amounts of potatoes in my fridge and pantry due to co op purchases and needed something to make as a side dish to BBQ ribs, a nice rustic Potato Gratin did the job.

Gratin Fin

The basic Potato Gratin is potatoes, cream, butter, garlic and salt and pepper.  You can “fancy” it up by adding cheese, mushrooms, herbs or whatever you prefer.  I had half a red onion in the fridge so that was used in today’s recipe.  If you prefer to leave the onion out it will be just as tasty. Here is what I did.

Potato Gratin Recipe
1 teaspoon olive oil (you will not use this is you do not add the onion)
3 large potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 onion thinly sliced (optional)
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2/3 – 1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkling of dried parsley

Soak the potatoes in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
GratinPotatoes
Make sure they are completely covered with water, they will turn brown if not.
Saute the garlic and onion in the oil until soft, do not burn the garlic.  Burnt garlic tastes horrible! (you will leave this step out if you do not use onions)
Gratinsaute

Assemble the dish as follows:
Butter an oven proof dish with a little butter. Place one layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom of the dish, then dot with small amounts of butter. Add a third of the garlic and onion mixture (if you are not using onion, this is where you will add a third of the raw chopped garlic). Next salt and pepper and then a drizzle of cream (about a third of your cream).
Repeat the above starting with a layer of potatoes and ending with the drizzle of cream. You can add a bit more cream at the end if you find it looks dry. Here is a picture of mine before it went in the oven, but I did add a few more splashed of cream after this picture. Sprinkle with dried parsley and bake in a 375′F oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the top is brown.

Gratin Prebake

This is so simple to make and looks great on a table.  The kids helped me put this together.

I served it with BBQ ribs and marinated vegatables for dinner tonight.  The picture at the beginning of the post is the final product.

PostHeaderIcon Friday night Pizza – GAPP 1

GAPP recipe number 1

James and my 5 year old, Emily, love pizza.  They will willingly eat it several times a week so I try to make it a regular Friday night dinner for us.  I do not feel so bad serving them my home made pizza since I can control what goes into the dough, the sauce and the topping.  I serve fresh veggies or fruit salad on the side to round off the meal.  We all like different pizzas and everyone gets what they like on their pizza.  The kids like pineapple and bacon, James like as much meat as possible, in any form along with mushrooms and I like veggies or if I don’t feel inspired to come up with a creative pizza for myself I will share with the kids. The girls love to make pizza with me and will eat all the raw dough if I do not watch them.

Pizza dough recipe:

Ingredients:
1 cup water
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups flour (can do up to half whole wheat flour)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
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Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together, knead until the dough is elastic.
dough

Allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size.  Roll out, add your sauce, cheese and toppings.  I use a pizza stone for our pizzas, but a cookie sheet works well.  The recipe makes two large thin based pizzas or two medium thicker crust pizzas.  I like it thin and crispy myself.
raw
Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the base is cooked.

If you make this in a bread machine, add the ingredients in the order listed above, select the dough cycle.  Then, roll out and add your sauce, cheese and toppings.
2pizza

I normally add my homemade sauce that I use for both the pizzas and spaghetti and meatballs.  At some stage when I make it again, I will post it on the blog.  Last night I had no sauce so my neighbor gave me some of hers to use.  We prefer a mixture of cheeses, about 2 parts cheddar and 1 part mozzarella.

Cost analysis:
This was a cheap pizza night for us.  Both bacon and cheese have been on sale at our stores for weeks now so for both these large pizzas I paid no more than $10.50.
$6.00 total for shredded cheese, $2.99 for the bacon, the ham was part of a larger ham we bought last week (about 0.50 for the ham used on the pizza) the dough cost me $0.50 to make (a little less actually) and then one 6th of the pineapple was another $0.50.  Not a bad price considering 1 Papa John’s large pizza sells for $10.99.

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