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Showing posts from June, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Sorry I'm a day late with the menu this week. We made a long trip to Chicago this weekend to take the boy to Northwestern, and I'm just now getting caught up on everything. Because the boy is gone, I'm taking advantage of being able to cook things with seafood and things with "chunks" as Corey would say (a.k.a. vegetables). I harvested my first zucchinis from the garden yesterday, so you will see them as an ingredient in a couple of the meals this week. For more menu ideas see Here's the menu. Enjoy!

Sunday - Eat on the road on the way home from Chicago
Monday - BLTs, Pea Soup, Pineapple
Tuesday - Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes, Salad
Wednesday - Deluxe Divine Chicken Divan, Rice, Asparagus, Salad
Thursday - Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake, Salad, Peaches
Friday - Grilled Scallops with Lime and Cilantro, Grilled Zucchini
Saturday - Ultimate BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potato Salad, Green Beans

Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes

This is a dish I based on a Pioneer Woman recipe, but my version is much lighter (no cream and less oil, and mine has more veggies). This ended up being a fabulous dish! Even the meat-eating hubby loved this meatless dish and even took the leftovers for lunch!

WW Points - 3

1/2 lb. pasta (penne or bowties would be good - I use Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne Rigate - my favorite brand)
2 medium zucchini, quartered
14 oz. diced tomatoes (fresh grape tomatoes or use a can of diced tomatoes)
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chives and basil, to taste
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Start by chopping your vegetables. Cut the zucchini in quarters lengthwise, and then slice into pieces so you end up with “cubes”. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Cut mushrooms into quarters, and dice the onion.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat…

Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake

This one was a little bland for me. If I make it again, I would add a lot more of the spices and probably more spinach.

Makes 6-8 servings

12 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of basil, oregano, parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I use 2 chicken breasts)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook pasta as directed, to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-heat. Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the chicke…

Deluxe Divine Chicken Divan

1 quart chicken stock
1 lemon, zested
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast cutlets (8 cutlets or 4 breasts)
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons plus about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 T butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 pounds, a large bunch, asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends
6 or 7 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup fat free half-and-half
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons, a couple sprigs, fresh tarragon, leaves chopped
2 scallions, chopped


Bring 2 3/4 cups chicken stock, the zest of 1 lemon, and thyme sprigs to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid. Add rice to water, stir. Return the water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cove the pot. Cook 18 minutes or until tender, remove from heat. Remove the thyme sprigs, the leaves will have fallen off in the rice.

While the rice cooks, season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Dredge chick…

Menu Plan Monday

This was an exciting week in my kitchen as my new appliances arrived! I've been a little slow in the picture department lately, but I promise to post some before and after pics very soon. My new countertops got delayed and now won't be installed until mid July. Oh well, at least I have the new appliances to enjoy. This week I will be preparing to send the boy off to Northwestern for three weeks to take an engineering class. I will probably have several "mommy meltdowns" as this is the longest he will have been away from home. I do have several computer workshops scheduled during that time to try to keep myself preoccupied. The hubby also has a work retreat this week that is being held at our house, so I have lots to do this week. The menu is kind of short since we will be hosting the retreat and heading to Northwestern. I have no idea what the housesitter will be cooking (I have a feeling he'll order pizza), so I'll just have to give you a short menu. ;) For…

Menu Plan Monday

We survived last week's hectic schedule, thanks, in part, to our desperation dinner menu. This week I will have a little more time to cook (only one super late day) and we have a tentative camping trip planned. I am excited because my kitchen remodel starts this week. My new appliances come on Tuesday. I will try to post some before and after pictures to share with you. :) Now, on with the menu. For more ideas, go to Enjoy!

Sunday - Grilled Fish with Lime and Cilantro, Corn, Fruit Salad (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and green grapes)
Monday - Salisbury Steak, Day Before Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, Fruit Salad
Wednesday - Pork & Pineapple Kabobs on the grill, Grilled Cheesy Potato Packets, Snow Peas, Salad
Thursday - Chicken Fajita Salad, Savory Mexican Cornbread, Peaches
Friday - Camping
Saturday - Camping

Grilled Cheesy Potato Packets

I only had shredded hashbrowns on hand when I made this, but they worked great.

4 cups frozen hash-brown potatoes (the kind in cube shape) (from 24-oz bag)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (3 oz)

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Spray 1 (18x13-inch) sheet of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.
Place potatoes on center of foil. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with seasoned salt.
2. Bring up 2 sides of foil over potatoes so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
3. Place packet on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 30 minutes, turning once. Carefully open packet; sprinkle cheese over potatoes. Cover loosely; let stand 4 to 5 minutes or until
cheese is melted.

Recipe Source - Betty Crocker

Grilled Fish with Lime and Cilantro

I forgot to snap a picture before we ate this tonight. We used scallops tonight, but it is a great marinade for any type of fish.

2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Fresh fish of your choice
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In shallow glass dish, mix the first four ingredients. Add fish steaks, turning several times to coat with marinade.
Cover; refrigerate 15 minutes,turning once.
2. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade.
3. Place fish on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 20 minutes,until fish flakes easily with fork. Sprinkle with pepper.

Menu Plan Monday - Desperation Dinners

Ok, I said I was busy last week, but this week is a tad bit out of control. I won't rant and rave about my ridiculous schedule, but instead, I will use it as an opportunity to share with you how I avoid eating out on a week when cooking is almost impossible unless you like to eat really late at night (which I do not). This is a week of what I call "desperation dinners". When I know that I am going to have zero time to cook, I rely on convenience foods from the grocery store or items that I might have stocked up in my freezer (which, unfortunately for me this week, is running a bit low). Here's this week's menu of desperation dinners. For more menu ideas that might not be so desperate, visit I should have a more "normal" menu next week, but hopefully you can see how convenience items can keep you away from McDonalds. :) Have a great week!

Sunday - ate at my mom's (who happened to send home some leftovers - thanks, Mom!)
Monday - Stouffer…