Mandie's Dinner Diner

March 8, 2014

Keurig money-saving tip

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — Tags: , , — ruralmomof3 @ 7:55 am

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I decided to try something that my 11 y.o has been doing (peer pressure- lol) and I’m happily impressed with the results. My 11 y.o. likes using the Keurig but he doesn’t like strong coffee. . . so. . . . . he saves everyone else’s used k-cups in the refrigerator and reuses them! He brews the much lighter “second run” coffee and then mixes it with hot cocoa mix for an 11 y.o. version of a mocha.

Well, I decided to try a more adult version of the same and am quite excited to share it with you!

I brewed a used k-cup at the small size setting and added the following:
milk to fill the cup (coconut milk for me)
sweetener to taste (stevia drops for me)
a dash of cinnamon
a few drops of vanilla

The result was a mild coffee beverage with reminder notes of chai tea!! I likey!!

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June 7, 2013

Summer Meals – Themes Take the Thinking Out of It!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 6:38 am

STOP!  Wait!  Before you run to McDonald’s on the way to ball practice or grab a hot dog once you get there, stop and spend a little time planning ahead and you’ll save money and enjoy what you’re eating so much more! 

My girlfriend emailed the other day and asked me to come up with a day of the week theme for her to help her not have to think so hard about what to prepare for meals.  This is what I came up with:

Soup Sunday Sunday’s are busy here. . . . We are blessed in that we attend church only a couple miles away from our house but we do not get home from there until at least 11:30.  Those of you who don’t get home until after noon, really feel the hunger pains I’m sure!  Soup that comes in cans from the store heats up in minutes.  Homemade soup can be prepared (minus any pasta) before you leave for church and left on simmer or in the crock pot until you return home.  Side this with a grilled cheese sandwich and some canned fruit!
 
Munchy Monday – Monday’s can be a little hectic so why not plan for hand held meals on Mondays!  Think about the things you find in the appetizer section of a buffet table: fresh fruit and dip, veggie trays, meat and cheese platters, chips and salsa, etc.  Prep these foods a few days in advance so you can just retrieve them from the refrigerator on Manic Monday. Example: the day you get home from grocery shopping: peel, cut up, etc before you put the fresh stuff away.  Then you do not have to think about it again!
 
Taco Tuesday – This is a no brainer, but you can think outside the box. . . . Look at the broader menu of Mexican Night:  Burritos, Enchiladas, Taco Salad, and of course Tacos.
 
What’s new Wednesday – Find a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try.  The key here is to plan ahead for this.  Do not wait until Wednesday, you won’t have the ingredients you need.  Find these recipes before you go shopping, make sure you get everything, and then leave the recipe on the refrigerator (or a note with the name of cookbook and page number) for easy finding.
 
Thankful Thursday–  Look in your refrigerator and pantry.  Pull out the leftovers or the items that have been there a while.  Thank God for the blessing of excess food and eat!
 
Few Friday – Oftentimes on Friday we want to get the meal done and over with so we can get on with the weekend.  Use as few ingredients as possible or dirty up as few pots and pans as possible! Crockpots with a crock pot liner will work great for Few Friday!  What about making a casserole on the stove top (not the oven) by cooking the meat, draining the fat, and adding your other ingredients right in the skillet you fried the hamburger in!  Or grilling burgers outside and serving them with a pickle and canned fruit.
 
Spaghetti Saturday – Another no brainer but, again, think in the broader sense here.  Saturday is pasta day!  Fettuccini w/ grilled chicken and broccoli, Macaroni n Cheese with Ham and peas, Spaghetti and meatballs w garlic toast, Beef and noodles
 
It’s really all in thinking a few days ahead! (easier said than done, I know. . . you should count the McDonalds receipts in my purse) Post the themes on your refrigerator where you can refer to them as needed!  Enjoy!

May 2, 2013

Wild Dinner: Mushroom, Onion, and Turkey on Rice

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 2:53 pm

This recipe is really quite simple but it is yummy!!  Don’t let the title scare you either.  You can make this from all wild ingredients if you want, or you can go to the store and get “tame” ingredients and it will be just as yummy!  This should serve 4-6 people.

2-3 Tbl butter

12-16 oz fresh mushrooms (any variety), cleaned, sliced

4-6 green onions or 1/2 of a regular onion (any variety), cleaned, sliced

1-2 c. cooked turkey, diced or shredded

1 Tbl oil (optional)

Salt and Pepper

1/8 c. lemon juice (aka “a splash”)

4-6 c. hot, cooked rice (any variety, but I prefer a blend of wild and brown)

Melt the butter in a hot skillet.  Add mushrooms and begin to cook/fry them, stirring frequently.  When they start to look wet, add your onion and cook for 2-3 min before adding the turkey and salt n pepper.  If the mushrooms have absorbed most of the moisture/butter, add a Tbl of oil at this time (slide the food to the side and place oil directly on pan bottom).  Continue cooking and stirring often until the turkey is heated through and the mushrooms are done.  Add the splash of lemon juice and stir to incorporate.  Serve on a bed of rice! 

 

 

April 5, 2012

Use up those Leftover Easter Eggs

Filed under: Eggs and Vegetarian Main Courses, Leftovers, Poultry, WIC friendly — ruralmomof3 @ 7:00 am

As I look in the fridge at the nearly 2 dozen of boiled eggs and smell that funky smell they leave, I am reminded that I need to get them used up.  Some people like to  just eat them as they are with a little salt and pepper, but I like to make stuff with them.

Here are some ideas:

  • A salad with dark greens,  red tomato, purple onion, and a sliced boiled egg with your favorite dressing on top.
  • Egg salad sandwich  Recipe – use about 2 boiled eggs per person.  Remove the shell and rinse.  Smash the eggs with a fork or chop them well.  Combine this with a little salt and pepper and start with about a teaspoon of mayonnaise per person and a drop of mustard (optional).  Mix well and add more mayo until you get the consistency you like- some people like a litttle mayo and some like a lot.  Spread on bread and top with a little lettuce.  You could also add a little bacon or bacon bits or ham to this but warn those who eat it so they don’t mistake the meat for egg shell chunks (lol)
  • Deviled eggs–  if your eggs peel easily (to have them peel easily, you need to use eggs that are at least a couple weeks old from the store or a month old if they were fresh from the farm).            Recipe- Carefully peel and rinse your eggs.  Carefully slice them in half the long way.  Pushing up from the outside slightly you can easily “pop” the yolk out with a teaspoon.  Put the yolks in a small bowl and lay the empty whites on a platter.  Mash the yolks with a fork and add about one teaspoon mayonnaise for every 3-4 eggs.  Add a dash of salt and pepper and a dot of mustard.  Mix well.  If you want a creamier consistency add a little more mayo until you like it.  Refill the whites with the creamy yolk mixture (I use my small cookie scoop, some use a frosting decorator thingy, and some just use a teaspoon and their finger).  If you want to dress them up, sprinkle with Paprika or pepper.
  • Creamed eggs on toast.     Recipe- Make a thin to medium white sauce (basic recipe found in most cookbooks and on the side of most corn starch containers).  Once thickened, turn to simmer and stir in several sliced boiled eggs and some salt and pepper.  Serve on toast.  To dress this one up a little or make it a more substantial meal, you can also stir in some leftover chopped ham or lay a thin slice of ham on the toast before spooning the creamed eggs on top.  Can also be sprinkled with some shredded cheese.  This is my favorite use of boiled eggs!!
  • Boiled eggs can also be added to chicken or tuna salad to stretch the meat a little further.
  • Boiled egg yolk is sometimes used as a thickener in homemade salad dressing too.
  • Hot Chicken Salad (can use ham instead if you like)- it uses boiled eggs.  The one I have tried is:  1 cup chopped chicken, turkey, or ham.  Heated on low with 1 Tbl butter, 1 Tbl water.  When heated through, add dash of salt, pepper, and celery salt.  Stir in 1 Tbl lemon juice, 1/3 c. mayonnaise, 2 chopped boiled eggs and 1/2 c diced celery.  Serve on biscuits.  I found this to be a little thick- if it is for you too, a cream sauce can be added to it or some cream of chicken or celery soup.
  • I had a recipe for a Chicken and Boiled Egg loaf (like meatloaf) but can’t find it right now.  It was very similar to the chicken salad recipe above but baked in a loaf pan and served like meatloaf.  You can play around with that idea and see what you can come up with!
  • Noodle Dish Dressing

3-4 boiled, diced eggs

1 small onion diced

3-4 Tbl sour cream

1 Tbl water

1-2 Tbl vinegar

pinch salt

Combine all ingredients well and serve on top of hot egg noodles.

  • I have a Favorite Potato Salad recipe that’s a little different.  It is a little more complicated than some but I think it’s worth the effort.

In a small saucepan, bring to boil:

1/4 c. vinegar

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard

dash pepper

1 Tbl diced onion

In a separate bowl, beat the boogers out of

2 raw eggs.

Reduce the heat of your saucepan mixture and while stirring with a wisk, slowly pour in beaten eggs.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Beat in 1 c. salad dressing (I prefer Hellman’s mayonnaise) and remove from heat.

Pour this dressing over:

2 chopped boiled eggs,

4 c. cubed and cooked potatoes (I prefer to use potatoes that are still warm)

1/2 c. diced cucumber or celery (I prefer the cucumber)

Toss to coat.  Serve warm or chilled.

  • Macaroni Salad -The following ingredients are my favorite combination for macaroni salad.  I do not have amounts listed because I don’t measure this one.  Combine the ingredients using the amounts  you have available and use enough salad dressing (Hellman’s is my first choice) to make a creamy salad.  Refrigerate (may add more salad dressing at time of serving)

Cold cooked Macaroni noodles

Thawed Frozen Peas

Diced Ham

Boiled Eggs, chopped

Cubed chedder cheese

Green onion or sweet onion- chopped

Salt and Pepper

Celery seed or dill weed (optional)

  • Our local rural electric cooperative magazine has a recipe section and I found a very simple recipe called 1930’s Depression Casserole.  Instead of boring you with the minute details, I’ll give you the simple version.

peeled and boiled potatoes

peeled and boiled eggs

saltine crackers (soda crackers)- crushed

medium white sauce (well salted and peppered)

Basically all it is is layering the sliced potatoes, sliced eggs, and sauce in a buttered casserole and topping it with crushed crackers.  Bake in a slow oven until heated through.  I can only imagine this tasting even better with some cheese in it or a little ham but since it is a depression recipe, these were probably hard to come by back then.

These recipes were previously posted on my other blog, www. ruralmomof3.wordpress.com   but have been reformatted here.

October 22, 2011

Concentrated Broth? Yes, really!

Filed under: Dips, Sauces, and Dressings, Soup and Stew — ruralmomof3 @ 6:35 pm

I have been using a very handy product from Meijer for quite some time now.  When I shared it with one of my classes they were surprised to hear about it.  Concentrated broth is in the soup aisle with the regular broth.  You use it just like you would boullion – 1 packet per cup of water but you get the benefits of less sodium!!   I prefer Meijer Brand over the few other choices because it has vey few extra ingredients.  Here, I’ll show you!

Chicken Stew

Filed under: Poultry, Soup and Stew — ruralmomof3 @ 6:26 pm

A cool fall evening and a boy with a cold. . . . perfect night for chicken related soup type stuff!!

Here’s what I did:

2 Tbl olive oil or butter

1/2 rutabaga, peeled and julienned

1 handful baby carrots, sliced (or 1-2 whole carrots)

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/8 head cabbage, shredded

1 small onion sliced thin

1-2 c fully cooked chicken

3 c chicken broth

salt n pepper to taste

In stock pot, place oil and then vegetables in order and cook on medium (I put in the oil, turned burner onto low, and prepped the veggies as I placed them in). Stir occasionally, cook until they have begun to sweat well and are that bright color shown here:Once the veggies get all bright and yummy looking, add your chicken and broth, and seasoning.  Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to med/low and cook 10 min or so until the veggies are almost soft.  I served mine with grilled cheese on wheat!

September 26, 2011

Mexican Corn Bread Stack

Filed under: Casseroles, Leftovers, wild game — ruralmomof3 @ 12:25 pm

I love Mexican!  I have some friends who make this “Shepard Pie” like Mexican casserole that I absolutely love.  I had a variety of leftovers the other day and realized that I could make that casserole as a “stack” and it would be really yummy!  Here’s what you need!

The Recipe:

Salsa

Fresh from the oven Cornbread

Leftover meat (I used smoked venison, but beef, chicken, whatever), hot

Shredded cheddar

Stack these in order on each dinner plate and enjoy!

September 23, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 3:25 pm

Today, I brought home from Aldi the most beautiful looking peppers! I mixed bag of sweet baby peppers. I have not seen these before but they look like hot peppers (elongated) but they taste like red, orange, and yellow bell peppers. I enjoyed them in salsa and thought about chopping them up for the freezer. Then I remembered that I had also purchased fresh mushrooms and had fresh spinach in the refrigerator. So, I got busy creating this:

The Recipe:
1/2 lb lasagna noodles, cooked
2-3 c. favorite spagetti sauce
1/2 lb cottage cheese
1/2 c. parmesan
1 small egg (any size will do)
1/2 lb fresh spinach washed and dried
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1-2 c. bell peppers, sliced or diced
Plenty of Mozzeralla cheese (at least 2 cups)

In a separate bowl combine the cottage cheese, parmesan, and egg. Beat with wisk until well combined and set aside. Grease well a deep 9×13 pan (if you just have a regular cake pan: steam or stir fry the spinach and mushrooms until wilted and “shrunk” to save room in your pan).

Next, place just enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to coat it. Then layer the ingredients in this order:
Single layer lasagna noodles
Spinach and mushrooms
Another layer noodles
Cottage cheese mixture
Bell peppers
Any noodles that are left
Spagetti sauce
Mozzeralla

I have mine in a low oven a couple hours before we eat WITHOUT the mozzeralla on top and covered tightly with foil. About 20-30 min before time to eat, I’ll turn the oven up to 450^, remove the foil, add the mozzeralla, and cook until bubbly and brown.

If you are in a bit more of a hurry, place in a 450^ oven with the cheese and bake for 45-60 min. Check at 30 min and make sure the cheese is not getting too brown. If it is, loosely lay foil that has been sprayed with oil on top for the next 15-20 min. Remove to finish browning.

Crusty bread, yummy salad, and a tall glass of ice water will make this a beautiful meal!!

If you prefer to include meat, brown about a half pound of ground beef and add it into one of the layers (but not on top- it will get to brown and hard). Enjoy!!

Amanda

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

September 19, 2011

Spiced Apple Pancake Syrup

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:45 am

We went camping over the weekend and I discovered that I did not bring any syrup for our campfire pancakes! For shame, for shame!!! I did have some basic ingredients though and so I made spiced apple pancake syrup. It was yummy!

The Recipe:

3 single-serve packets Alpine Spiced Cider instant drink mix
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbl butter/margarine

Combine all the ingredients and bring it to a fast, foamy, rolling boil. Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve over fresh pancakes! Yummy!!

Amanda

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

August 17, 2011

Fresh Tomato Zucchini Bake

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 12:52 pm

One of my FAVORITE summer dishes of ALL time.
The recipe:

olive oil (any oil will do)
1-2 large tomatoes or equivalent, sliced thin
zucchini- similar amount to the tomatoes when sliced
onion, sliced thin
basil
salt/pepper
Mozzeralla- slices or shred

Preheat oven to 450^ Drizzle a good coating of oil on the bottom of a casserole that is large enough to hold your ingredients. Layer tomato, zucchini, onion, a light drizzle of oil, sprinkle spices, heavy layer of mozzeralla and repeat. Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 min until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top and the tomatoes have gotten juicy and bubbly. Serve hot with crusty bread or like we did today: Cold Turkey Sandwiches, Corn on the cob, this yummy dish, and fresh nectarines.

Enjoy!

Amanda

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

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