Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chipolte Burgers

2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo, including sauce
1 lb ground beef chuck
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
4 English muffins or hamburger buns, halved horizontally


Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas); see "Grilling Procedure," below.

Meanwhile, open any whole chipotles and discard seeds, then mince chipotles.

Mix chipotles (with sauce), beef, onion, and salt with your hands, then form mixture into 4 (3/4-inch-thick) patties.

Grill burgers on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, turning over once, 4 minutes total for medium-rare. Grill English muffins, cut sides down, until grill marks appear, about 30 seconds. Serve burgers in English muffins.


1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. chili powder
3 lbs. chicken pieces, skinned
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 lg. clove garlic, crushed
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. uncooked long-grain rice
1 (10 oz.) pkg. sliced or whole okra

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shallow dish, mixing well. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess flour; set chicken aside. Cook chicken in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken.

Add onion, green pepper, and garlic to Dutch oven; saute 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add chicken, tomatoes, chicken broth, and rice, stirring well. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add okra; cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.

Meal Planning June 27- July 2

Well, hopefully this week is going to cool down a bit. The heat is ridiculous this summer- and it does not help in the kitchen either. I am also working on eating more lunches here at home during the week. I am not a big fan of sandwiches, so making lunches is not one of my favorite things to do. I am trying to have fresh fruit and other items to make the meals not as predictable. So I am hoping to do better this week. I am also packing lunches for Hannah this week as she goes to a day camp, so I might even pack Elizabeth and I a lunch at the start of the day with hers. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday Night: Enchilada Casserole * Freezer Casserole
Served with fresh peaches and refried beans (or Mexican Mashed Potatoes as Hannah called them)

Monday Night: Turkey Kabobs served overrice with fresh corn

Tuesday Night: Creole Casserole

Wednesday Night: Chipolte Burgers with squash

Thursday Night: Chicken with couscous and fresh beans

Friday Night: Out. . . after cooking all week. . . we are going out!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Summer is a time with fresh vegetables available everywhere. However, sometimes I find it hard to figure out the best ways to use each of the ingredients. This is a great way to use bell peppers. This particular recipe reminds me of my mom's cooking. We didn't have it often, but it is one that makes me think of growing up. Enjoy another week of cooking!

6 green peppers (bell)
1 lb. ground beef
3 c. of cooked rice
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 T of Italian Seasoning/ or seasoning of choice
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Remove tops and seeds from 6 green peppers. Simmer cleaned peppers (upright) for 5 minutes in 1/2" salted water. Drain and cool slightly before stuffing. (This step will eliminate the slightly bitter taste stuffed peppers often have.)

2. Combine 1 pound ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Fill the peppers with mixture.

3. Pour 15 ounce can of tomato sauce around peppers. Cover; bake at 400 degrees about 1 hour, basting occasionally with tomato sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

This is recipe number two of meal sharing for today. Andrea found this recipe on Again, one I really enjoy. The taste is unbelievable. I can not wait to have this as a meal.

6 slices Roman Meal Bread, toasted
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red chile sauce (optional)
6 (4 inch) skewers
32 pieces pineapple, fresh or canned

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Foil-line one baking sheet.

2.Break bread slices into pieces; place in blender or food processor. Process until finely ground into crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup, reserve remaining bread crumbs.

3.Combine turkey, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, green onions, egg, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, pepper and chili sauce in medium bowl. Divide turkey mixture into 36, 1-inch balls; roll in remaining bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet.

4.Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven.

5.Assemble meatballs and pineapple chunks on skewers.

Serve over a bed of rice

IF FREEZING: Prepare the meatballs and freeze in an air tight aluminum pan. Thaw, assemble skewers adding pineapple, and serve with rice. Heat and serve.

Ground Beef Enchilada Casserole

This was one of the recipes Andrea made for us today. It looks absolutely delicious. I have a feeling this will be a recipe that comes into our normal rotation. She found the recipe on Recipe Zaar online. I have found many recipes there myself. Definitely one to check out. Enjoy!

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon seasoning salt (or to taste or use white salt)
black pepper
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, diced
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas (cut into about 1-1/2-inch pieces)
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups canned sliced black olives
1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce (I use my own recipe for this)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (or use a Mexi-blend cheese)
2 firm tomatoes, coarsely chopped

shredded lettuce
diced tomato
chopped sweet onion

1 Set oven to 400 degrees.

2 Grease an 11 x 7-inch casserole dish. (or two 8x8 pans)

3 In a large skillet cook the ground beef with the green chiles, onions, garlic, bell pepper, dried chili flakes (if using) and chili powder; cook over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain fat completely (you can prepare this mixture up to a day in advance and refrigerate).

4 Season with seasoned salt and black pepper to taste then transfer to a large bowl.

5 Stir in the tortilla pieces with cream of mushroom soup, black olives, enchilada sauce, sour cream and 1-1/2 cups shredded cheese; mix to combine.

6 Transfer to prepared baking dish.

7 Cover and bake for about 30 minutes or FREEZE until ready to use.

8 Uncover and sprinkle with about 2 cups (or more of shredded cheese then chopped tomatoes.

9 Return to oven and bake uncovered until casserole is bubbly and the cheese has melted (about 8-10 minutes).

10 Serve with toppings.

Cooking with Friends

I have found with talking with friends that cooking for us during the week is stressful (go figure). There are certain nights that we have to be out, or have very little prep time. One thing I have been doing the last month is cooking with friends. . . or casserole trading. The idea is simple: you cook one recipe two times and trade it with a friend. This is a great way to have those meals ready to go on those busy nights. You each have dinner for the family with half of the work. If you have three friends- you make it three times- and trade.

Some things I have learned so far:
1. If a casserole is meant to go in a 9x13 pan, it is about double what a family of four will eat. So, I would suggest making the same recipe, but dividing it in to 2 8x8 pans (standard cake pan). Two meals for the price of one.

2. Look at cost of the recipe before you begin. If it involves a lot of cheese or meat, it can add up quickly.

3. If you are cooking with a larger group, like a group of five or more, try to find a large kitchen to cook in. I had a group of friends cook together at our church. It was wonderful to spread out!

4. Find out allergies- peanuts and seafood are not uncommon in our little groups We have one family friend who is allergic to bananas. Same with spicy foods. . . discuss with your friend before.

5. Go for a test run first. When I am trying new recipes, I am now thinking about- would it freeze well, will kids like it, what is going to be the best way to store it, etc.

Here is the recipe trade I did today (recipes will follow):

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
Beef Enchilada Casserole

Old World Manicotti with Spinich
Chicken Spaghetti

Meal Planning for June 20- June 26

Okay- well, I totally fell apart with my meal planning the last three weeks. First of all, I had the last week of school. Then, the week of training after school. Finally, the first week of vacation. Each week I was burnt out of planning, and I found some new way to wing it. The meals were not as good, the freezer is empty (almost), and I felt like I was piecing things together the whole time. All in all. . . I did nothing to help me. :) So, today I am back in the grind. I feel better going in to the week with a plan. Yes, I am a a bit OCD. So, I am back on track. I have so many things to post; events, meals, parties, darn good recipes. Right now I will start with this week's planning and build from there.

Sunday Night: Grilled Steak with baked sweet potatoes, and grilled eggplant.

Monday Night: Chicken Spaghetti (freezer meal)*

Tuesday Night: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Wednesday Night: Old World Manicotti with Spinach*
While making the recipe I added 2 cups of frozen spinach to the cheese mixture.

Thursday Night: Church

Friday Night: Dinner out

Saturday Night: Anniversary Dinner Out (almost a month late)
*meal trade with a friend