Friday, January 28, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thursday was all rainy and snowy here. So the kids and I were kind of trapped inside all afternoon. We tried a few different indoor activities but finally settled on my favorite...coloring.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
One week down! I feel like the one week mark is crucial. If you can make it for a week you are set. So I rounded out the week with a meal that is probably a bit controversial. Soup from a packet. It was not really cooking from a recipe, but it was something different for dinner which I think was my only rule. You guys can tell me if you think this was a cop out. But seriously, it was Friday night! Usually we just order pizza or go out so this a big deal for me! We had Bear Creek Minestrone Soup mix. It comes in a bag/packet and you add water and whatever else you want to the soup. I added a little ground turkey and diced tomatoes. It was delicious and a perfect ending to a busy week. Oh and just so I wouldn't feel like a total loser I whipped up some yummy cornbread to go along with it. So there's your homemade for the night. Good old fashioned buttermilk cornbread. You can crumble it, dip it, or eat it plain... it is mmm mmm good!
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP shortening
Preheat over to 450º. Melt the shortening in a 9 inch round iron skillet in preheating oven.
In a large bowl, stir the cornmeal, salt and baking soda together. Stir in the egg and buttermilk.
Remove skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet , stirring the melted shortening into the batter.
Bake in the preheated over for 30 - 40 min. Remove from the oven when top is brown and it feels firm to the touch. Turn out on to a serving plate and serve immediately with butter. Yum.
One awesome thing about this challenge is that the weekends are so exciting for me. After cooking all week I was ready for a couple of nights off, and Steve couldn't say no to my requests to go out for dinner since I had slaved over the stove all week! Guilt-free dinner out... Priceless! I haven't made it to the store to do my big shopping for this week. So Steve had to get out in the snow last night to make the emergency run to the grocery. Not for milk or bread like all of the other weather crazed Memphians, but for the ingredients for tonight's dinner. I was not letting a little snow blow my cooking challenge. Thanks hubby for braving the white stuff all in the name of saving your wife from internet embarrassment.
Friday, January 7, 2011
I took a day off from the blogging. That part is going to be difficult to keep up with, but the challenge is not cook everyday AND blog everyday. So I will spend my time and energy on the cooking and blog when I can. Wednesday was Easy Beef Lasagna day. This meal is always good but afterwards I started to get bored with this and thought about stopping. You can probably guess that I have never been good at keeping New Years Resolutions. I get bored easily. Anyway, I had a few friends give me some encouragement telling me that I had actually inspired them to get out of their dinner rut. So that inspired me again... (I am a people pleaser and really thrive on compliments. I should get an app that will say "great job!" and applaud for me every time I need it. Does that exist? It should, people like me would LOVE it!)
Back to the food... So Easy Beef Lasagna recipe came from my friend Amanda who always has it together. Seriously. She is a doctor and has two kids and cooks every night and is annoyingly thin and her house and kids are always spotless. I get exhausted just thinking about it. Whew. That was hard. Thanks Amanda!
Easy Beef Lasagna
3 cups ground beef, cooked, drained (I used ground turkey)
26 oz your favorite pasta sause
15oz ricotta (I used part skim)
1/2 cup parmesean
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 lasagna noodles (the NO COOK kind)
Mix beef and pasta sauce
Mix parmesean and ricotta in a small bowl
Grease a large baking dish
Layer it up!
1/3 beef sauce mixture
1/2 parm/ricotta mixture
1/3 beef sauce mixture
1/3 beef sauce
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 min to 1hr. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Bonus: Make a double recipe and freeze one!
Last night I tried out another new recipe from Real Simple. Steak Fajitas. Fabulous on every account! Super quick, super easy and super delicious! (and I think it was pretty healthy too. bonus!) This a great make-ahead meal. Just mix everything and throw it into ziplocks and toss it in the freezer. You can take it straight out of the freezer and put it in in a skillet and it will be ready in 10 to 15 minutes! I have no pictures because we ate it too fast. You have done it again Real Simple. If I had that applause app it would be going crazy for you right now!
Make Ahead Steak Fajitas
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (I only had green on hand because they are cheaper. Turned out great.)
1 jalapeno, seeded (if desired) and thinly sliced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp hot sauce
4 quart size ziplock bags
In a large bowl combine the steak, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, chili powder, hot sauce, and 3/4 tsp salt. (Oh and I added a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the mix just because I love it.) Divide evenly among 4 bags. (or if you are making it right away and don't want to divide the servings just dump it all in a gallon size ziplock and put it in the fridge until your ready to cook.) Freeze until ready to cook, up to 3 months.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil (use 1 tsp per serving). Empty the frozen contents of the bags into the skillet (use 1 bag per serving). Cook, covered, stirring occasionally to break up the ingredients, for 10 min. Raise the heat to med-high and cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender and the steak is cooked through, 2 to 6 min. Serve with warmed tortillas and salsa and sour cream. Yum!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Last night I tried one of the Real Simple recipes that got this whole ball rolling. Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Romaine Salad. The recipe boasts that it is quick and kid friendly which it perfect for the Summys! Well, I think it would have been quicker and more kid-friendly if I had planned my day a little better. We were all a little worn out after grocery shopping, rushing to and from Amelia's ballet class and then dragging the kids to a store to pick up some jeans that I ordered (super important!). By the time we got home it was close to 5:30 and natives were getting restless. Note to self: When this challenge is over and I make this again (I definitely will make it again since Steve and Amelia gave it two thumbs up) I will do some prep work ahead of time just to make the cooking go a little more smoothly. But I must say this is my first time to use cornmeal and buttermilk to bread chicken and it was GREAT! Very crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside!! Loved it!
So for one of the "first timer" recipes this one was a success and I am getting more excited about challenging myself in this way. Now if I can just figure out how to do this AND keep up with the rest of my life. (PS. All my Christmas decorations are still up....taunting me.) Thank you Real Simple - for keeping it real and simple.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Romaine Salad
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup cornmeal
Kosher salt and pepper
8 chicken cutlets ( about 1 1/2 pounds)
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream (reduced fat)
1/2 tsp honey
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced
Place 3/4 cup of buttermilk in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk (letting any excess drip off), then the cornmeal, pressing gently to help it adhere.
Heat 3 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Cook half the chicken until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Wipe out the skillet. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, honey, the remaining 1/4 cup of buttermilk, and 1/4 tsp salt. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce and bell pepper with the dressing. Serve with the chicken.