1/30/2012

Paula Deen...I'm Not

This is going to surprise y'all, but sometimes I get in a rut.  (I see the shock on your faces!)  I try to keep a calendar with what we're having for dinner on the side of the frig.  This was in response to being tired of answering the question, "What's for supper?" 15 million times a day.  The calendar can be seen as soon as anyone comes up the stairs into the kitchen, which is the way we all come in the house.  The only confusion comes when the plan has to be changed due to activities, or just if what is planned doesn't seem "right" for the weather or for that night.

There are times when I just don't feel like sitting down and planning out our suppers, 2 weeks at a time.  I get tired of fixing the same thing month after month.  So, I switch over to denial mode:  if I don't plan, I'll magically come up with something to fix.  It takes a lot of time to research new recipes on the internet, and then it takes courage to actually fix them because it may or may not taste as good as it looks, or as good as I think it sounds, so there's always a backup plan to order take out.
I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago and found some recipes that looked great...and every one of them turned out great!
On Mondays I try to fix something in the crockpot since I get home later than the rest of the week.  (The following pictures are not mine; I took them off of their respective websites.)
On the schedule was:
Five-Spice Steak Strips
We had this over rice, and I used a London Broil that had been marinated over night.  One word of advice:  the Chinese 5 spice was cheaper in the oriental section of the grocery store instead of the spice aisle.  It was really good; I'll definitely be making this again!

Italian Pot Roast
CH & YS actually liked this better than I did.  My local Kroger is undergoing a major update, so the frozen foods are at a minimum.  I substituted mini ravioli for the tortellini, and had to use yellow squash for the zucchini.  (Not real sure why Kroger didn't have zucchini.)  CH said that the gravy/sauce was better when he had it for leftovers on Tuesday.  I'll be making this one again, too.

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
This was amazing!  The only downside was that it made an awful lot for just 3 people, so next time I'll cut the recipe in half.  I like to have leftovers to take to work with me, but this was just a tad bit ridiculous!  This was my favorite new recipe of the month!

This picture IS mine:
This dish was quick to make:  about 30 minutes.  Racheal Ray would be proud!  I didn't have lemon juice to toss the arugula with, and key lime juice just didn't go with it, so I tossed a little bit of Italian Dressing with it, and it turned out great.  CH didn't really care for the arugula, so next time I may just use some spinach.  I have to admit, I'm not a real big fan of the "stems" on the arugula, either.

To top off the weekend, I made some "Sugared Peanuts" on Saturday:
A bit time consuming, but they turned out great!  My FIL brought some Alabama Peanuts to us earlier in the month when he was passing through.  This batch just barely put a dent in the bag he brought up, so I'm going to get some peanut oil so I can make some roasted peanuts.  Another batch of sugar peanuts may be in the future, too!
Some of you mentioned that you'd like to have the recipe for what I called "Eggnog French Toast", but it's actually called "Holiday Morning French Toast".  You can find the recipe HERE.
(This picture is mine!)

Do you have any good recipes that you've tried lately? 

8 comments:

  1. You are so organized - I'm very impressed. I need to do something like this. All too often, I'm scrounging around at the last minute trying to figure out what's for dinner! Your recipes sound wonderful - maybe I'll give one or two of them a try this week!

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  2. The Chicken and Wild Rice casserole sounds (and looks) yummy! I'm going to try it. I've been in a rut, too ... so I'm on the lookout for new recipes. I tried a new recipe last night ... it was ok but not good enough to add to my repertoire. :-(

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  3. Thank you! I love new recipe tips, you're right, it's very time consuming to search out new things to make. Also, I definitely relate to looking at things you think look good and then second guess when it comes time to cook.

    We really enjoyed Antipasta and Fried Ravioli recently, those were new to us. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Antipasto-Salad-107605 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/fried-ravioli-recipe/index.html

    I knew Mark and I would probably like them, I was surprised at how much the kids did too.

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  4. I'm trying a supposedly healthy version of a chicken stew tonite. I'll let you know what I think. I've tried lots of new recipes recently courtesy of Pinterest. You should check it out. You don't have to pin things, you can just follow people and browse. I like it because generally people have reviewed what they post so you know what kinds of things to add or omit from a recipe.

    If you want an invite email me and I'll send you one...I think that's how you join still.

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  5. My favorite Crockpot fix (which may not be new to you) is Pulled Pork. I buy country style ribs (spare ribs w/no bone) I simply spray the Crockpot with pam, arrange the ribs on the bottom and around the sides so that the meat is touch the pot. Dump a small bottle of Liquid Smoke over it. Cook on low in the Crockpot all day...at the end of the day remove the meat from the pot and shred with fork. Then top with your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve on Burger Buns. HEAVEN!!

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  6. I was never one to plan meals in advance. I love that you do that.
    The recipes sounds delicious. I pinnned the the Holiday Morning French Toast so I have it on my boards.

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  7. Wow--That French toast looks amazing. I will be checking out that Chicken and Wild Rice dish.

    No new recipes over here, but we did order out tonight (strictly because 25% of the profit went to a charity, OF COURSE), and it was fantastic!

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  8. whoa! Look at how organized you are! I really wish I were. I've been meaning to start a meal plan; but like everything else in my life these days, I get sidetracked. The meals that you have shown here look so good. I think the one you made looks the best. The chicken and rice dish would be great for my family since my son eats for, at least, 3. :)

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