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Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's for Supper? Fresh Fall Flavors Menu #3

Our family loves this time of year. This time of year brings with it crisp, cool air, beautiful foliage that blushes as Autumn kisses it, football games, apple orchard trips (with apple cider and apple doughnuts!), pumpkin patch visits, hot coffee and warm blankets to enjoy sunrises and sunsets ... and so much more!

This menu, I focused on drawing out some of my favorite foods (soups, hearty meals), but focused on keeping them "lighter". Fresh, vibrant flavors are prevalent in each meal; however, these meals are quick to prepare so you can spend time with your favorite people enjoying your favorite fall activities. Soak it up - Winter is just around the corner ...

Meal #1:
Hungry Chick Chunky Chicken Soup (Courtesy of Hungry Girl 1-2-3)
Spinach Salad with Balsamic
Rustic Loaves

Meal #2:
Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Broccoli
Garlicky Green Beans

Meal #3:
Turkey Burgers
Oven Fries
Cottage Cheese and Crudites

Meal #4:
Chicken Paprikash Stew
French Loaf

Meal #5:
Baked Meatballs with Zesty Marinara Sauce and Penne
Margharita Salad
Garlic Bread


Friday, September 10, 2010

Crazy ... Chicken Bread Head?

My youngest son is an aspiring chef. I just know it. At 4 years old, he is my right hand guy in the kitchen. Tonight, while we were preparing our meal, he was right there with me - helping make an ordinary Friday night into a really fun time. I love sharing my passion for cooking with my boy ... I love our time together as we laugh, tell stories, and help each other.

My little helper has dubbed this dish, "The Craaazy Chicken Bread Head" I like it ... What do you think?

The Craaazy Chicken Bread Head (aka Crescent Wrapped Drumsticks) serves 4
8 chicken drumsticks (skin removed and discarded)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (tonight we used a honey-barbeque sauce)
8 oz tube of crescent rolls
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet and add the BBQ sauce, stirring to combine. Add the drumsticks and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning occassionally (or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees). Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Separate crescent rolls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning. Wrap dough around the drumstick; place seam side down. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 13-15 minutes, until golden.

DELICIOUS! Thanks to my willing helper!

Cheeseburger Chowder

I have a well-stocked pantry and I know how to use it. This recipe is almost entirely comprised from a pantry-based ingredient list. I love the simplicity of this meal ... and the fact that I can make it in about 20 minutes or so. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of this chowder, they will be better the next day (like most stews/soups/chowders are).

I always double this recipe - because otherwise there would not be enough to serve our family. In fact, there is no picture of this chowder right now, because there were no leftovers. It fed 4 adults and 5 kids well though.

Cheeseburger Chowder (serves 4)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 can condensed cheddar soup, undiluted
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup frozen hash browned potatoes, shredded
4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 T. taco seasoning
1 T. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp chili powder

Brown beef and drain. Add seasonings, chilies and onions and heat until you start smelling the spices heating up. Stir in the canned soup, milk, and frozen hash browns. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes (or so) until heated through.

**We garnish this chowder with corn chips, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions, and sour cream.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So Good ... You May Just Cry

I am still laughing as I write this ... Seriously!

Tonight for supper, I was in the mood for soup. I saw I had a head of broccoli that I needed to use this week - so I decided I would make some Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup for my supper tonight (and still make the planned casserole for my boys to enjoy).
Well, the soup got done before the casserole. So, as I was pulling it out of the oven ... my youngest child walked into the kitchen, looked at the table and saw my bowl of soup and immediately started to wail. Big tears were forming in his eyes and he was crying, "I don't want to eat that supper, Mommy!"

After assuring him that he did not have to eat the icky green soup, I plated up the boys' meals. They were very relieved to find on their plates, one of their absolute favorite meals - Taco Crescent Bake. They cleaned their plates in no time... and I enjoyed my soup (which was only 126 calories).

Savor the flavor - and the time with your families...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's for Supper? Fall Flavors Menu #2

This week, as I was planning our menu, I was drawn to family favorites ... some of the best recipes that had made it to my treasured burgundy recipe binder. I believe that some foods can create timeless memories, reminding us of days gone by, good friends, loved ones, priceless experiences from our yester-years. These are a few of our favorites ...

Meal #1: My first-born's favorite soup ... and one of my "go-to" freezer friendly meals.
Cheeseburger Chowder
Garden Salad
French loaf

Meal #2: Received rave reviews from my dear husband ... who requested having these weekly.
Crescent-Wrapped Drumsticks
Italian House Fries
Mandarin Oranges

Meal #3: A recipe from Mother - who assured me these were the BEST meatballs in the universe.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Garlicky Green Beans
Garlic Bread

Meal #4: The first meal I made after having my first-born.
Taco Crescent Bake

Meal #5: Received the ultimate compliment from my father-in-law: "This is even better than KFC!"
Chicken Pot Pie