Mandie's Dinner Diner

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!
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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! 

 

 

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

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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

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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

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June 9, 2011

Grandma Schmidt’s Strawberry Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:37 pm

Grandma Schmidt is not my grandma but some very good friends of mine’s grandma. What an Awesome lady and cook!! Here’s her recipe!

Mix:

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

Add 1 cup water and cook until this thickens. Add 3 1/2 Tbsp. strawberry jello. Cook one more minute. Let cool and fold into 1 qt. strawberries. Pour into a graham cracker crust and top with cool whip.

Amanda

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May 21, 2011

Homemade Subway

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 5:22 pm

We love eating this!!! I buy some nice looking rolls on the clearance rack at the grocery store, several varieties of lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and mayo (or italian dressing ). Then the kids place their orders and I toast them in the oven.

My favorite roll for this is a ciabatta roll- our local Walmart makes awesome ciabatta!! Split the rolls in half, spread on a bit of mayo, butter, or dressing. Place the meat on one half and the cheese on the other. I use the broiler setting but at 450^ for 4-6 min (check after 3min). When the cheese is melted and the buns have started to brown, they are done! If you don’t like toasted subs, I would still recommend that if you are buying day-old, clearance buns, you should at least warm them in the microwave to “freshen” them. Top with some lettuce or whatever veggie you want and enjoy!

Add your favorite chips to this as well- remembering that one family bag of chips at $2.50- 4.00 will feed 6 or more and chips in the individual bags are usually .99-ish.

Inexpensive meal with fast food flare!! Enjoy!

Amanda

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April 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 3:04 pm

The local fire department called a few days back wondering if I would donate 2 pies for the spring fish fry as usual. Just dropped them off and forgot to take a picture to put on here! Anyway. . . I LOOOOOOVVVVVE Peanut Butter Pie. . .I make it a bit different every time depending on what I have on hand but here is how I made it today:

The recipe for 2 pies:

8 oz cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
18 oz jar peanut butter
1/4-1/2 c. sugar
2- 4 serving size boxes instant vanilla pudding mix (1 cup if using bulk)
2 1/2 c. milk

Optional additional ingredients-

Cool Whip

a few tbl additional peanut butter and some powdered sugar. . .

With your mixer and a large bowl, combine the cheese and sour cream until well blended. Add the Peanut Butter and sugar and beat until smooth and the sugar is dissolved (you can start with 1/4 c and add more at the end if you think it needs it). Then beat in the dry pudding mix until dissolved. Add the milk 1 c. or so at a time until all is mixed in well. Beat on high until fluffy. Divide in half and spread into 2 pre-baked pie crusts (or graham cracker crusts or just eat it!). If you would like a little garnish on the top you can spread the whipped topping on and then. . .

Place your additional peanut butter with a half cup or more powdered sugar. Cut the peanut butter into the sugar with a fork until the combination is crumbly. Then you can sprinkle a bit of this on top of the whipped topping or, if you don’t have any whipped topping on hand, sprinkle it right on the pudding mixture.

Refrigerate for a period of time if you and the family can keep your hands off it. Store any leftovers (like there will be any. . .ha) in the fridge too. This is very rich so you can probably squeeze 10-12 pieces out of each pie if necessary. . .

Amanda

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April 27, 2011

Nachos

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:22 am

This is one of those recipes that is for those evenings when you come home and say, “what am I going to make for supper!” and look in the cupboard and realize the only thing slightly close to a quick meal is a bag of tortilla chips and they’re stale. .. Well, they don’t have to be stale but this is a great way to use them up when they are!

The Recipe:

Tortilla Chips- enough for a thick layer of them on a cookie sheet
Shredded Cheese- enough to sprinkle on the chips- the more the better

Any of the following:
Ground Beef- browned
Leftover beef or chicken- shredded and re-heated
Salsa
Taco Sauce
Lettuce
Sour Cream
Black Olives
Onion
Tomato
Cilantro
Lime juice

Sprinkle that cheese on the chips and melt it in the oven on broil (this only takes a minute or two). Place a pile of this gooey, chewy mess on each plate and pass the other ingredients around the table for a fabulous fiesta styled dinner! Enjoy!

Side note- I love the new lime flavored tortilla chips and Doritoes but I do not recommend these for this recipe. The flavoring burns quite quickly. If all you have are flavored tortilla chips, do not turn the oven to broil. Instead bake them in a slower oven (300-350^) for a longer period of time until the cheese melts. Check them at 5 min. and then every 1-2 minutes thereafter until it’s melted.

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April 26, 2011

Susan’s Chicken Casserole

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 7:27 am

Yet another use for those boiled eggs has been received from my friend on Facebook (she’s a friend in “real” life too- lol)! Thanks to Susan Cook, you can use up 6 eggs in one dish!! Here you go!

The Recipe:

‎6 c. cooked chicken pieces,
6 boiled eggs (chopped)
1 can sliced wather chestnuts,
1/4-1/2 tsp. dried chopped onions,
1 pkg. slivered almonds,
2 cans cream of chicken (celery or mushroom) soup,
1 cup mayonnaise,
2 tsp. lemon juice,
3 cups minute rice.

Mix and place in 9×13 pan. Top with crushed rice chex. Bake at 350* for 30 min. YUM!

Amanda

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

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