Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ding Dong Dinner

I don't know...just go with it.

Since you are dying to know whats on the menu this week, here goes.

*Meatloaf w/ bacon on top- Homemade mac' n chz- veggie

*French Dip Sandwiches- Corn on the Cob

*Fish Tacos- Black beans and Corn

*Cream Cheese Chicken- Rice- veggie

*Birds in a Nest- Bacon- Fruit

And since I KNOW you are gonna say next, "How do you make_____"
I will also give you some recipes, cause lets face it folks...thats how I roll.

Fish Tacos:
I got some grilled garlic fish at Aldi.
Figure I'll add some black beans, lettuce, fresh salsa, cheese, a squeeze of lime, sour cream, throw them in a tortilla shell, and we'll call it a day.

French Dip Sandwiches:
Again, at Aldi, I got some French Dip meat ( It was a special item in their special freezer case. I think you have to be special to get it.)
Also got some French Baguetts at Aldi, and some Muenster Cheese.
Gonna heat the meat and au jus. Gonna toast the bread. Gonna top the bread with meat, au jus, and cheese. Gonna pop that in the oven until the cheese melts.
While I'm doing that, I'm gonna put some corn on the cob in a pot for about 5 minutes.
Yep, thats what I'm gonna do.

Cream Cheese Chicken:
I got this recipe years ago from Danae Haskins. I make it a little differently I think, but its still GOO-OD, and EA-SSSY!

4 frozen chicken breast
1 packet of Italian Dressing Seasoning OR Ranch Seasoning
2 cans Cream of Mushroom ( I use low fat)
1 -8oz block Cream Cheese ( again, low fat)

Put the FROZEN ckn breast in the crock pot ( That is the genious of this recipe, you can use frozen chicken).
Sprinkle seasoning packet on top.
Pour Cream of Mushroom in.
Cube (or just break off in really messy pieces like I do) the cream cheese.
Add to the top.

Cook on low 4-6 hours, stirring every once in a while.
MMM and another MMMMMMMMM.
Serve over Rice and there you have it.

Homemade Mac 'N' Cheese:
( I also make a different version in the crock pot, but Master Logan has requested it this way this week)
(This is the famous Bonnie Preslar way to do it)

2 cups Elbow Noodles (Cooked and drained)
2 cups Milk
2 Tbls Butter
2 Tbls Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard ( this is my addition to the recipe cause it just adds a little zip)
3 Cups Cheese (Sharp Cheddar and Colby is what I use)

Make a white gravy by melting the butter, and whisking in the flour to make a "rue".
Slowly whisk in the Milk. Stir until thickened. Add S & P, and mustard.

Now, I do things a little differently, cause I have found that my family likes it best this way.
I add 2 cups of the cheese to the gravy, and let it melt.
Then I add the noodles and stir around.
Pour it into a greased casserole dish and add the other cup of cheese to the top for a yummy crunchy top.
Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes.
Serve it to your family and let them think you are Queen of the world.

Birds in a Nest:
I'm going to make some homemade bread. Then slice it into medium size pieces.
Next I will lightly toast it.
After that, I am going to heat my electric griddle.

Actually, I am going to plug it in, and electricty and a little heating element are going to heat it.

I will then, melt some butter.
While my butter is melting, I will cut holes out of my toast.
I shall then, add the toast to the afore mentioned skillet.
In each hole, I will crack an egg.
I will let the egg set until it looks like I like it.
While it is setting, I will take the pieces from the holes that I cut out approximatly 7 minutes ago, and I will add a little butter and cinnamon sugar to them.
Oh yeah, thats gonna be good!

Somewhere during that process I will have fried up some bacon, and cut up some fruit.
Then I will put it all on a serving platter, and bring it to the table, where my family will be anxiously awaiting their Birds in a Nest with bacon, fruit, and Cinnamon treat!

And there you have it. Ding Dong Dinner.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Little Impromptu Chinese Dumpling

No, we didn't adopt a Chinese kid! (Although I am certainly not opposed to the idea)
This morning we were enjoying a nice rainy Saturday morning, watching Kung Fu Panda, when it hit us that we NEEDED some Chinese Dumplings. How it could occur to us when we've never actually HAD them, well I really have no idea. I guess it was just the site of PO the Panda and his master tossing a bit of cartoon Dumpling around, that got our mouths salivating a little bit.

How sad that we are inspired by cartoons, but alas....we where.

Thankfully we have this great thing on our computer called "Google". So we "Googled" and found THIS great cooking website with a post about Chinese Dumplings. COMPLETE with pictures I might add. This is always helpful when you've never made something before.

Husband decided that we must have them and so off to Wal-Mart I must go.

I have to tell you, it was a lot of fun all of us doing this together. There was lots of chopping involved, as well as deveining of shrimp...and we all know what that REALLY means! Yes, Lana MAY have been freaking out just a little.

Stacy worked on the dough. He's a cute little dough boy ;)

MMMM, this is ours simmering in the pan...

And the finished product....

OH YAY, and how about a little Teriyaki Rice and a Fortune Cookie to go along with it.

And what was my fortune today might you ask?
"Yours will find true love soon."
Really? Yours will? Yours what?

Of course, in the continuation of rainy day movie day, we had to have the PERFECT movie for Chinese Dumplings..
That's right folks, a little Karate Kid II!

~Sigh~ I sure did like me some Ralph Machio back in the day.

OK, a few tips if you too feel inspired to make Chinese Dumplings.

1. We did the pork and shrimp filling- I used mushrooms (minced) instead of the water chestnuts.

2. The dough on this recipe site uses only half of the filling. We got 16 dumplings out of it and I froze the other half of the filling for another day.

3. You only use 1/2 a lb of ground pork, so I froze the other 1/2 lb for another day as well.

4. We made Teriyaki rice to go with it. I discovered that rice that you cook for a long time and NOT minute rice, is the best for this. I just added some Teriyaki sauce and it was really good. I like it when my rice sticks together. It makes me a little giddy.

5. You have to have Fortune Cookies. Have to. Non negotiable. I'm thinking Homemade Fortune Cookies might be my next big endeavor.

You might recall that we had another Chinese Food Night a while back. I never liked Chinese as a kid. It's nice to that my kids like it and that we can have fun making it together.

Linking to Todays Creative Blog! Check her out!