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That’s a Wrap… And Next Week’s Menu

I don’t know why I don’t make more wraps. I love sandwiches (even though I don’t eat cold cuts or cheese myself) and could eat one every day, no problem, and wraps a great alternative. They make a great lunch, or even a great dinner, and what’s even better is that you can put just about anything in a wrap. You can use any kind of fish, poultry, meat, vegetables or condiments, it’s really up to you. Today I made just a simple Tuna Wrap, so you can really vary this in so many ways.

Simple Tuna Wrap

1 5 ounce can solid albacore tuna packed in water, drained

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 rib celery, diced 

2 flour tortillas

1/2 cup mixed greens

2 slices red onion, chopped

2 slices tomato, seeded and chopped

4 slices English cucumber, sliced into sticks

1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and cored, sliced into sticks

Place the tuna in a bowl and crumble and mix until it is fine. Add the mayonnaise and celery and mix until well blended. Place one tortilla on a plate and lay some greens down the center of the tortilla. Scoop about half the tuna on top of the greens. Add a portion of the onion, tomato cucumber and pepper on top of the tuna, spreading evenly over the middle. Fold the tortilla, folding in both sides, then fold the top half of the wrap to the center and then fold the bottom half to the center. Repeat the process with the second tortilla. Slice the wraps in half and serve.

This easily made two large wraps, one for me and one for Michelle. You can add so many different things to this sandwich, like using sliced chicken, turkey or shrimp or a seafood salad instead of tuna, adding things in liked crumbled bacon, sliced olives, bean sprouts, avocado, toasted nuts, radishes, fresh herbs, or some crumbled hard boiled egg. The choices seem endless. You can also perk up the mayonnaise by adding some chopped garlic, paprika or some chili powder.

We do still follow our weekly meal plan even though things have been crazy around here with work lately. This week’s menu is:

Sunday: Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus

Monday: Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday: Warm Chicken Salad

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday: Pub Style Burgers

Friday:Sizzling Shrimp With Garlic

Some of these things I have made before so I will try to do some variations along the way. If you want to follow along or make your own meal plan, here is the planner I use: family_meal_planner. As always, if you have any questions, comments or recipes of your own, please feel free to send along a comment.  Enjoy a nice relaxing Sunday and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Lunch, Meal Plan Menu, Sandwiches

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Leftovers

What do I do with all these leftovers from the St. Patrick’s Day feast? It may seem like a daunting task, but an easy thing to do with some of the items is to make breakfast for dinner. my family loves Corned Beef Hash, and it’s very simple to make. I use my cast iron frying pan for this one. It helps put a great crust on the hash, which is the best part of the hash, if you ask me.

Corned Beef Hash

1/2 stick butter

2 cups small diced yellow onions

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 1/2 pounds corned beef, cooked and diced

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, blanched and diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet or cast iron frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and corned beef. Continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, pack the mixture firmly into the pan. Place the pan in the oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a crust forms on the bottom of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve.

You can use the leftover corned beef and any leftover boiled potatoes you may have to make this dish. It goes very nicely with eggs over easy or poached eggs. Another use for any leftover boiled potatoes would be to make some home fries, which would also go well with the corned beef hash. if you don’t have any leftover potatoes, I have included making the potatoes in the recipe itself.

Home Fries

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the bowl (without removing the plastic wrap) to re-distribute the potatoes every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, transfer the potatoes to a colander, and drain thoroughly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, distribute them evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until the potatoes are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes to ensure even browning and add the onion to the skillet. Continue cooking, turning the potato and onion and mixture every few minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

If you want to make the home fries a little spicy, you can add some red pepper and jalapeno to the pan with the onion, and then toss in some chili powder, cumin and cayenne for a little kick. You could also add some paprika to the dish instead for some flavor and color.

I am using the leftover Colcannon and simply making some Colcannon Cakes. I form the leftover Colcannon into cakes, much like you would make potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes, and saute them in some butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Turn after about 5 minutes to make both sides a golden brown, and they are all done.

You could also saute the leftover cabbage with some onion, salt and pepper and have it that way, or you can make another dinner out of it on its own and follow a recipe I previously posted for cabbage and noodles.

Finally today, I have next week’s meal plan all set and I think it’s a good one. If you want to follow along and use your own meal plan for laying out your cooking and shopping plans, you can print out a meal plan right here:family_meal_planner.

Monday – Chicken and Dumplings in the slow cooker. This is our slow cooker meal this week.

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs. Since we didn’t get to it last week, we’ll try again this week.

Wednesday: We have two recipes for our meat-free day of the week, Cheese Ravioli and Macaroni and Cheese.

Thursday: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday: Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice, and Corn

Saturday: We won’t be home Saturday, so I have that down as a free day right now.

It should be a good week of dinners; none are too labor intensive and all should be tasty. If you have any questions or comments or there is a recipe you would like to see or one you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, visit my Facebook page or send me a message on Twitter. Until tomorrow, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu, Potatoes

 

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Setting the Plan for Next Week

Well it took a little bit, but we finally have a meal plan for this coming week. I think we picked out some good stuff. There’s a few new meals, a few things we have made before, and, of course, a St. Patrick’s Day feast. here’s what we have to look forward to this coming week:

Monday: Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes (this is a slow cooker meal, and promises to be delicious)

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs (which I have made before on the meal plan)

Wednesday: Chicken Stir Fry with White Rice (which I have also before on the plan, but I may mix this one up a bit with ingredients)

Thursday: Cream of Broccoli Soup (this is our meat-free meal of the week this week)

Friday:Artichokes with Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp (this is our seafood meal of the week)

Saturday: It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so of course we’ll be having Corned Beef, Cabbage, Boiled Potatoes, Irish Soda Bread, and I’ll also be making a Grasshopper Pie, Irish Coffee and some Black and Tans. It should be quite a feast!

Sunday: We are planning Breakfast for Dinner, using leftover corned beef to make Corned Beef Hash, along with Eggs and Pancakes.

It promises to be quite a good week for meals. I didn’t have to do too much shopping this week for food since we already have all the makings for the stir fry, the spaghetti and meatballs and the broccoli soup. I did have to buy the short ribs, the artichokes and the shrimp, and of course the corned beef and cabbage, but that was pretty much it. We are trying to be better about using what we have on hand in the pantry, cabinets,freezer and refrigerator to cut back on the food bill each week. It has worked well so far, and sticking to the meal plan menu makes that easier because we tend to buy only what we need and nothing more. If you want to start your own meal plan, you can use the same planner I use, which is right here:family_meal_planner

Tomorrow will be the Braised Short Ribs meal in the slow cooker. It tastes and smells delicious and it’s not a tough meal to make, so check back in tomorrow to see what’s in it and what it’s all about. If you have any questions, comments or recipes you might like to see, please let me know.  Hopefully everyone had a great weekend and enjoy your meal this evening!

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Meal Plan Menu

 

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It’s Guys’ Night In, Next Week’s Meal Plan, and a Chicken

Michelle is away on a business for a couple of days, so that kind of puts the meal plan on hold for a few days until we get settled again. Sean and I are having guys’ night in tonight, which means ordering pizza, playing video games and starting a puzzle we bought. It should be a lot of fun to just hang out for the night and have a good time and not worry about cooking for the evening. It’s nice to do that once in a while. We did go over next week’s meal plan, so here it is:

Sunday – Fish Tacos, Pineapple Salsa, and Vegetable Slaw

Monday – Beef Stew (this will be our slow cooker meal for the week)

Tuesday – Bacon and Chicken Ranch Quesadillas, Rice and Guacamole

Wednesday – Lentils with Rice and Sautéed Onions (this is our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday  – Sesame Chicken Stir Fry with Fried Rice

Friday – Fish – seeing as how it is Lent, we thought we would try to do fish on Fridays for the next several weeks. I won’t know what I am making until I go to the fish market to check out what looks good and is on sale.

Saturday – Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli

I try to make a roasted chicken every couple of weeks so we can both use the carcass to make stock and use the leftovers for lunches. It works out really well for as far as both go, although I also keep some chicken drumsticks in the freezer to use to make stock as well if I need to in a pinch. if you’d like the recipe for making the stock I make, I had posted it in an earlier blog, but you can get it right here.

Since I am not cooking anything tonight, I thought I would still post a recipe that might be good for everyone, and since I have been talking about chicken, I got this recipe in my email today from Mark Bittman, the author of “How to Cook Everything.” It’s a nice roasted chicken recipe, and to top off our week of one pot meals, it is a one pot meal, roasting vegetables and lentils with the chicken.

Chicken and Lentils

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts

1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped or grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup chopped tomato (canned is fine; include the juices)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch fresh cilantro or parsley sprigs, tied together with kitchen string

Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1 cup dried brown or green lentils, washed and picked over

Put the oil in a deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown it well, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary; the process will take 10 to 15 minutes. (You can skip this step if you like; heat a tablespoon of oil and go directly to cooking the onions.)

When the chicken is nicely browned, remove it from the skillet and turn the heat down to medium. Pour or spoon off all but a tablespoon of the oil. Stir in the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato, coriander, and some salt and pepper. Add 4 cups water, along with the cilantro or parsley bundle, cinnamon sticks, and lentils. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender.

Discard the herb bundle and cinnamon sticks and return the return the chicken to the pan, skin side up. Cover and continue to let the mixture bubble gently until the chicken is cooked through, another 10 to 20 minutes; the chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155-165°F. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve. (At this point, you may let the dish sit for a few hours or cover and refrigerate for up to a day before re-heating and serving; you may have to add a little water to thin the sauce a bit.)

This dish goes nicely if you serve this with rice, warmed pitas, or any crusty loaf of bread. If you want to follow Mark Bittman on Facebook, you can check him out here, or try his website here to sign up to get recipes every week.

As a final note, the latest issue of Bon Appetit has some great recipes in it and some St. Patrick’s Day ideas as well (it’s never too early to start thinking ahead. You can check them out at the link to their page that I have listed on the right, or you can just click here to go and see what’s new or even subscribe to the magazine (it’s one of my favorites). That’s all I have for today. Time to get on with Guys Night. Sean has already starting playing one game, and the pizza guy is here, so I will be back tomorrow. I’m not cooking tomorrow either, but I will be back with some “guy” recipes that Sean and I like. Have a great night!

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Meal Plan Menu, Poultry

 

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Saturday’s Leftovers and Next Week’s Plan

Today is a day we had marked to use for leftovers and we do have some things left from the week. Tonight for dinner, we are going to have hot open-faced pot roast sandwiches on some bread from Rockland Bakery with some mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s all left over from last night’s meal. We’ve done a good job with any other leftovers this week, with Michelle bringing stuff for lunch all week, so there really isn’t too much left to anything with tonight other than what we had yesterday.

So that leads me up to next week’s meal plan. We’ve decided to go with all one pot meals this week to try to make things easy for clean up, and we’re also going to use the slow cooker twice this week to try to ease things as far as time for cooking. I am going to try to start using the slow cooker on Monday’s meal, since this seems to be the busiest day of the week for me with everything that goes on around here. This week, however, I will be utilizing leftovers from Sunday’s meal to make Monday’s meal. So, here’s the plan for this week:

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower, and Turnips

Monday – Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday – Chicken Marsala (this one is done in the slow cooker)

Wednesday – Black Bean Stew (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday – Jambalaya

Friday – Beef Stew (also done in the slow cooker)

Saturday – We are marking as a leftovers day. Saturdays, for us anyway, often seem ideal as a leftover day since we usually try to just relax all day long, or we’ve done chores all day long and no one feels like thinking about meals or cooking.

The Shepherd’s Pie on Monday will use any leftover lamb from Sunday as well as the leftover turnips. The Chicken Marsala on Tuesday is a slow cooker recipe that I’ll be using, but you can also make it traditionally. I thought it would be fun to try it in the slow cooker and see how it comes out. The other meals are great one pot meals to make, even if the Jambalaya requires quite a bit of prep work as far as cutting and chopping. Thursdays also seem to lend themselves well to our seafood meal of the week since I often have the time to get fresh seafood on Thursday mornings. Some of the ingredients I am using this week are a little out of the norm for what you may have around the house, such as the lamb for the shepherd’s pie (if we weren’t having it on Sunday, I wouldn’t be making it at all), Marsala wine for the Chicken Marsala, andouille sausage for the Jambalaya, and black beans for the Black Bean Stew. Other than those items, I didn’t have to shop for anything that we didn’t already have around the house, really bringing the shopping bill down for this week, which is great. If you want to use the same meal plan layout that I follow, you can get it here:family_meal_planner

That’s about all I have to post for today. It’s been a pretty lazy day for me other than the shopping I did, so I think I’ll get back to lounging for the rest of the day :). If you have any questions, comments or recipes that you might like to see, please let me know. Any and all input is appreciated. I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend so far and have a great Saturday night!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Meal Plan Menu

 

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Calling For Some Cauliflower Soup

After last night’s elaborate meal (which was very tasty by the way; there’s not much left in the way of leftovers- a little bit of soup and steak, that’s it), we get back to an easier meal today. Today’s Cauliflower Soup is our meat free meal of the week and promises to be quite delicious. This recipe is very easy and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients to it. You can make it in about 30 or 40 minutes as well, so it works well as a mid-week meal when things can get busy.

Cauliflower Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups chicken broth

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp. paprika

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until nearly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and cauliflower, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Using a food processor or blender, process the soup to a smooth puree. Return the soup to the pan. Place over medium heat, stir in the cream and re-heat to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the paprika and serve immediately.

This recipe doesn’t make a lot of soup (this one serves 4), so if you want more, you can always double the recipe. You could also easily use broccoli in this one instead of the cauliflower, if that’s your preference. The biscuits we made the other night would go well this meal, or a nice salad of some mixed greens to add to the soup and fill out your meal. Either would go well with this dinner.

Wow, that was a really quick entry today. One pot, quick cooking and easy clean up – just the way I like it! Tomorrow’s dinner will be Oven-Fried Catfish with rice and an Herbed Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette. I plan to go to get the fish in the morning tomorrow, so hopefully they have catfish, or we’ll be changing up the meal tomorrow night with a different fish. We also be talking about the meal plan for next week tonight, so hopefully I will be able to put that up as well. If you would like your own meal plan to follow, print out the one I use right here:family_meal_planner. We’ll be making some good hearty meals over the next few days as we have Pot Roast on Friday and Roast Leg of Lamb on Sunday, so make sure you check in for those. They are going to be good. If you have any questions or comments or something you would like to see a recipe for, please leave me a not here or feel free to send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com. I hope you all have a wonderful day (it’s a little gloomy here in New York today, but not cold) and enjoy your meal, whatever it may be, this evening!

 
 

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This Week’s Meal Plan

We made it home from Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival was lots of fun and we had a great time visiting everyone, but we are all pretty tired tonight, so they’ll be no cooking tonight. Tonight we rely on the delivery of Planet Wings to feed us. They have good wings and burgers and we don’t have to leave the comfort of our home to enjoy it, so that’s what we are going with today. if you want to check out Planet Wings, you can visit their website here. We did, however, go shopping and have the meal plan in place for this week. Since it is going to be a bit chillier this week, we are going with two soup dinners for the week to war us up:

Monday: Chicken and Rice Soup

Tuesday: A special Valentine’s Day meal: Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons, Rib Eye Steak with Red-Wine Sauce, Spinach Sauteed with Pine Nuts, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes (I know, a dessert! Well it’s a special occasion)

Wednesday: Cream of Cauliflower Soup (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday:Oven-Fried Catfish with Potatoes and an Herb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Friday: Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Saturday: We have down as a leftovers day.

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Roasted Potatoes, Carrots

You’ll need a few things that you may not normally buy to make some of these recipes, like the Riesling wine for the onion soup, cocoa powder for the chocolate cakes, pine nuts for the spinach, champagne vinegar for the vinaigrette, catfish, and leg of lamb. We’re doing some entertaining this week since Sean is off on Friday, we’ll entertain for Sunday dinner, and Valentine’s Day will be a special weeknight meal, so we do have some more labor-intensive recipes this week, but none of them are very difficult or time consuming. Even though the pot roast takes several hours to cook, once it’s prepared, it pretty much takes care of itself, and you could do it in a slow cooker if you prefer. You’ll also need lots of chicken stock this week since we are really making 3 soups, so if you had a chance to make some of your own stock, you’re in luck. I’ll have to make some more stock of my own to cover everything for the week.

Well, sorry, it’s a short post today, but I am tired from all the driving (it’s a 4 hour trip back from Saranac Lake) and I am going to eat some wings 🙂 Tune in tomorrow to start off the week with a nice, simple recipe of Chicken and Rice Soup. if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, please do! I look forward to any input at all. Have a great night and we’ll start cooking again tomorrow!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu

 

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Jennifer Probst

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