Sunday, April 27, 2008

Heading out of town...

Sorry I've been remiss in posting the last few days...and we've had some yummy dinners, too! The boy and I are heading to San Diego in about an hour with some friends, so I won't be cooking again until Friday. Well, I'm making dinner there one night but won't have access to post. So when I get back (or maybe a few days after I get back), I'll get caught up on all the good stuff I've failed to post since I don't know when.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pork Chops and Swamp

It had been a loooooooooong time since we've had this, and it sounded so good to me. It's one of my favorite dinners. Really any time there are mashed potatoes involved, I'm a happy girl. My brother and I started calling the sauce "swamp" when we were little, and it stuck.

Pork Chops and Swamp
4 pork chops (I like boneless but you can use bone-in)
1 packet Lipton Noodle Soup

Spread each side of the pork chops with mustard, then dredge in flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add pork chops. Brown on each side. Sprinkle one packet of noodle soup in pan around the pork chops (not on the pork chops). Add water to pan to about the top of the pork chops. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring "swamp" and adding more water as necessary.

Serve with mashed potatoes using swamp as gravy.


Like I said in my last post, I think I'm going to start making double swamp (two packets of soup mix) because the boy and I heart it so much. Here are some pictures from the last time I made it if you want a step by step guide of how to do it and how this all works.

I kind of want to have it again already...


Did y'all think I've disappeared off the face of the earth? Almost. Not really. I went to start making the chicken spaghetti for dinner last Friday and felt really sick, a combo of allergies and morning sickness, which in my case is actually afternoon sickness. My beloved husband said why didn't I go lay down instead of making dinner, he'd eat at the friend's house he was going to later, and he'd make a hot dog for the boy. God bless good husbands!

Saturday night we went to the Diamondbacks game, so no dinner here. I was going to make this on Sunday night, but it was a really beautiful day here, and the husband decided he wanted to grill. He went and got brats and cooked those up for us. I tried my hand at making my mom's onion rings and failed miserably. I think I used the wrong kind of onions. Monday night I was going to make this but decided I'd rather have Pork Chops and Swamp (recipe will be posted after this). So we did. And it was awesome. I think I need to start making double the amount of Swamp because the boy really likes it, too, and there were barely enough leftovers for me to enjoy yesterday. The husband doesn't like Swamp. I almost called everything off when I found that out but then realized it meant more for me.

So we arrive at Tuesday night, and I FINALLY made the darn chicken spaghetti. It was yummy. Although it would have been yummier had I remembered to add in the chicken stock when I was stirring up all the ingredients. Oops. Definitely would have been better with that. The way it came out was a bit dry...the husband said it was like we were having leftovers a few days later that had kind of dried out. I'll definitely make it again...I love me a good casserole.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti

Here's another recipe from my new favorite website, I was going to make a chicken enchilada casserole but then saw this recipe and realized most of the stuff for that could go into this instead. Plus I forgot to buy tortillas, so it all worked out. And it will give us leftovers for lunch over the weekend!

Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil.)


I had some shredded chicken in my freezer, so I'm just using that instead of cooking chicken for it. And I forgot to buy pimentos, so I'm going to cut up some roasted red peppers. I really don't know how they're different.


The chicken dish was awesome!! It was somewhat time consuming, but it was really yummy. It took quite awhile to cook, but silly me didn't cover the pan while it was simmering. I think that would have sped things up quite a bit. Also, next time I make it I would take out some of the bacon grease instead of leaving it all in the pan. It kind of overpowered the sauce.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chicken Bourguignon

I have to say that I am SO EXCITED for this dinner. My awesome sister-in-law Tracie sent me this recipe four years ago when they were living in Switzerland for a year. She got it from a cookbook they bought once they moved there and said it was one of their favorites. It kind of got lost in my email recipe folder, and I just recently came across it again when I was organizing four years worth of recipe emails. Hey, at least I finally got around to organizing!! Don't judge me.

Anyway, I read the recipe and started drooling all over my keyboard. I vowed once chicken legs went on sale I'd make it. Then what happened? Chicken legs were on manager's special the next time I went grocery shopping. Woo hoo!! I love when the stars align in my favor. I've had them in my freezer for a couple weeks now and was going to make this last week, but then we were all sick. I know, I know...why did I hold on to them for so long when I was so excited to make it? I have no answer. But I'm making it tonight and CANNOT WAIT!

Chicken Bourguignon

4 chicken legs w/ thighs attatched
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup cubed thick raw bacon
1/2 bottle white wine
1 small can whole tomatoes, cut up
4 cups chicken broth (add enough to almost cover chicken)
1 whole branch of rosemary
1 whole branch of thyme
2/3 small jar of pearl onions in vinegar, drained,washed
chopped parsely to garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper the chicken. Saute in large skillet with butter till brown. Remove chicken and keep warm. Throw away fat.

Saute bacon in same pan till cooked well. Add mushrooms and stir. Add wine and simmer till liquid is reduced by half.

Add tomatoes and juice from can and let cook 5 minutes. Add broth, and herbs and let slowly boil. Rinse onions and add to sauce. Place chicken back in sauce and simmer slowly for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Remove herb branches, season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with parsely (optional). Serve with steamed rice.


Oh how I wish I had a Le Creuset dutch oven to cook this in!! I don't think my 3.5 quart enamel pot will do the trick. Sigh. Life will go on, I suppose.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to try this???


The fritatta was okay. I liked other ones I've made better. I did forget to add in the melted butter, but I don't know how much difference it would have made. I'm not a big egg fan to begin with, so for me to like an egg dish it has to really wow me. Maybe with more green chilies it would have been better. I don't know. It's probably not one I'd make again but only because I have other fritatta recipes I like better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Green Chile Frittata

We are finally back in the land of the living!! Took long enough. The boy is still kind of fighting the virus, if he has milk he throws up again. Yuck. I'm still hovering between sick and well. Sometimes I feel great, othertimes I feel sick again. Food is a bit of an issue, too. A lot of stuff still doesn't sound good, so it was really hard to come up with dinner ideas for the week...especially since I was still sick when planning them.

So tonight I think I'm going to try this recipe I found on for Green Chile Frittata. There are a couple things on my menu plan for the week that sound better, but I'm missing a couple ingredients. This doesn't sound stellar to me right now, but I don't have many other options. Hopefully by dinner time it will be more appealing.

Green Chile Frittata
10 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
1 (16 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the green chile peppers, cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, and melted butter. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly, and cut into small squares.


I think I'm going to cut it in half because I don't need a whole 9x13 pan of this. It said it makes 10 servings which is way too many anyway. We'll see how it turns out. I hope it starts to sound better to me because it sounded really good when I first came across it. I don't know what we'll have with it, I can't think that far ahead right now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Unfortunately I've come down with the same stomach bug that the boy had earlier in the week. So, no dinners here for awhile...unless you count saltines and Gatorade.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chili Cheese Tortilla Wraps

Have you guys missed me? Sorry I've been MIA! My dinner plans last week got a big messed up, then Friday night my mom kept the boy so the husband and I could have a date night, and Saturday night we went to my uncle's and he grilled us ahi tuna steaks. I love my uncle. I don't remember what we had Sunday night, so it couldn't have been anything too spectacular. I did bake a chocolate cake. Oh! We had grilled pizzas. Last night we had some Trader Joe's chicken burgers (thanks, Jen B!) that were just a throw-on-the-grill-and-heat.

I had originally planned on having this for dinner tomorrow night, but I don't feel like cooking tonight, so a crockpot dinner is the perfect solution. Plus the boy was up for several hours in the middle of the night puking his guts out, so I'm tired and a shortcut dinner sounds pretty darn good. By the way, if you know why kids always get sick in the middle of the night and not, say, in the middle of the morning, I'd love to know why that is. Thankfully this hasn't happened too many times. And also thankfully, my wonderful husband went in to work late this morning so I could go back to sleep for awhile after having spent a few hours with a puking kid sitting on my lap in the middle of the night.

Chili Cheese Tortilla Wraps
1 16-oz can nonfat refried beans
1 8-oz package nonfat cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
1 4-oz can diced green chilies, drained
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup nonfat shredded cheddar cheese
4 98% fat free flour tortillas

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine refried beans, cream cheese, chilies, and green onions in slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours or high heat for 2 hours, stirring once or twice during cooking. If cooking on low heat, increase to high. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheesse and sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over top. Warm tortillas. Spoon bean mixture into tortillas; roll and serve immediately. Can be served with tortilla chips instead of tortillas.


Guess I'd better get this thrown together. I'm ashamed to admit (okay, not really) that I have a sink full of dirty dishes from yesterday. I ran the dishwasher Sunday night then forgot to empty it yesterday. When it came time to do dishes after dinner, I wasn't motivated to empty it then, so they stayed sitting in there and the dirty dishes festered in the sink. If I don't work on it now, I hate to see what it would look like tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Moo Shu Pork Pockets

We have this new market near our house called Freash & Easy. I heart it very much. Apparently it's originally a British market, and they've recently expanded to the US. It's a lot smaller than a regular grocery store, but they have a lot of organic foods, meat without preservatives, etc. The prices are ridiculously low--which is good for a single income family like us! My friend Heather found out that at 10:00 each morning they mark down meat that's still there from the previous day (because there aren't any preservatives in it), then again at 3:30 I think it is. I was there around 5:00 a couple weeks ago and scored big time--a pound of veal cutlets for $5 and a pound of ground pork for $2! I almost had a heart attack when I saw the veal. I love me some veal. Yeah, yeah, it's so inhumane and wrong...but have you ever eaten it? Lordy mama it's good. My brother thinks it's so good because it's so wrong to eat it.

Anyway, we don't have ground pork very often, but when I do buy it, I always make this recipe with it. The husband and I love Moo Shu, and this is a great way to have it at home. I made a Weight Watchers Moo Shu one time, and it was okay, but I seem to remember it requiring a lot of chopping of things. This you just throw most of the stuff into the patties and grill 'em up. It's from one of Rachael Ray's first cookbooks.

Moo Shu Pork Pockets
1-1/2 pound ground pork
1 can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 gingersnap cookies, ground in food processor
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 egg
1 cup hoisin sauce
6 large (12-inch) flour tortillas

Shred up a pile of your favorite raw vegetables or
2 cups shredded cabbage
Shredded carrots
Fresh bean sprouts
Thinly sliced scallions

Combine the pork and next five ingredients in a bowl. Form mixture into patties. Heat a large, nonstick skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Grill patties approximately five minutes per side.

Heat tortillas on a nonstick surface over high heat for 30 seconds on each side. Paint the tortillas with hoisin sauce, leaving a 1-inch rim from edge. Pile shredded mixed veggies in center of tortilla and top with cooked pork patty. Fold the tortilla up on all four sides and wrap burger in a square package. Invert pork pocket and cut on diagonal.


I'm only using a pound of pork, so I'll scale everything back a little bit. The gingersnap cookies in it give it a neat little crunch and spice. I think I'm going to cook them on the grill outside, too. Then I have one less pan to clean. I'm hoping my pork defrosts in time because I forgot to get it out earlier. I don't like defrosting meat in the microwave...some of it always ends up cooking and gets gross. Not sure what we'll have with it, I think some rice and I'll see what I have in the way of frozen veggies.