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Next Week’s Dinners and a Picnic Of a Question

I did most of my shopping earlier today, although I do still need to go out and get a few things still for next week’s meals. We discussed what we want to eat, but we haven’t picked days for anything yet, so it will kind of be hit or miss to see what day gets which meal. I can tell you that I am planning to cook:

Greek Lamb Kebobs, Rice Pilaf and Tomatoes

Popcorn Shrimp

Pork Chops Agrodolce with Herbed Bean Salad

Sicilian Steak

I also have a whole chicken and some ribs but have not yet figured out what I want to do with any of it yet. If you didn’t see the recipe from last night, I can tell you that we loved it and we’ll be cooking it again if you want to check that one out.

On another note, since it is a long weekend for most people and the start of the summer season, a lot of people will be grilling and picnicking now. I have re-blogged a few articles over the fast few days referring to picnics and grilling of you want to check them out. On my other blog, The Office of Iguana Flats, I just posed a question to my readers today that fits well with this cooking blog as well, so I thought I would ask it here as well to give you a chance to answer. The question is:

Since the summer season is upon us, if you were going on a picnic and could go anywhere you wanted, where would you go and what would you bring?

Let’s assume you could go any place you want and bring anything you want. There are lots of places to choose from: beaches, parks, the mountains, a deserted island, your rooftop, the Eiffel Tower,  it could be any place. Somewhere that you can relax and enjoy your picnic with whomever you want, or by yourself if you choose. Think about what you would want to bring – it can be anything as decadent or as light as you like, a nice bottle of wine, some fine cheese, or just some sandwiches or hot dogs, whatever makes you happy. Think about it and let me know. You can answer on here, or on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll also ask some people on Twitter and see if they respond. I’ll post my answer tomorrow.

I know it’s a short blog post today, but we’re just having leftovers tonight from the past week and I’ll be cooking again tomorrow, so check back then and see what I can come up with to eat. I have some good stuff to choose from, so I’ll see which recipe is going to be good for tomorrow (I am leaning towards the Sicilian Steak). Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Cooking, Meal Plan Menu, Picnic Fare

 

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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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This Week’s Meal Plan

So I am going to try to keep things pretty simple for the next 10 days or so by using mostly what we have in the freezer since we are leaving for a trip to Charlotte after that and will be gone for a week. I would rather not buy stuff that I know we’ll end up having some leftovers that will just get thrown away. I rummaged through the freezer this weekend, bought a few staples today, and this is what we’ve come up with for the week:

Monday: Baby Back Ribs in the slow cooker, Homemade Potato Salad, Corn

Tuesday – Homemade Chicken Fingers, Homemade Tater Tots and Broccoli

Wednesday: Meatloaf, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Baked Potatoes

Thursday: I have down for our meat-free day, but we haven’t been able to agree on a meal for the day, so this one is still open.

Friday: Our seafood meal for the week will be Shrimp and Grits

Saturday: We’ll be out for the day, so it looks like a leftovers day for us

Sunday: Pork Roast with Apple Stuffing, Rice, Cauliflower

That looks like a pretty good menu for the week. I’ve never made the tater tots before, so that one will be something different, but it doesn’t look like it’s too hard to do. I was finally able to start growing some of mine own herbs, although it hasn’t been quite warm enough to put them outside yet, but I am just starting to get some growth out of the basil, oregano and parsley, so we’ll see how it goes.

A few of my friends have approached me about things that would like to see me write about, so I’ll be taking on some of that while we are away from home and I won’t be cooking as much. If there’s anything you would like to see written here, recipes you’re looking for, new methods to try, or anything at all, just let me know. I’m open to writing about more than what we happen to be eating for the day. You can leave a comment here, send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com, visit my Facebook page (the link is on the right) or send me a message on Twitter (also listed at the right). I’ll get back to you as soon as I can and I love new ideas, so I am always looking for something new to try or write about.

Well, back to a lazy Sunday. Sean is under the weather today, so there’s nothing set in stone for a meal today; we’ll have to see how everything goes. Check back in tomorrow to see my recipe for the barbecued ribs in the slow cooker. It’s a good one. Until then, enjoy your day and your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Cooking, Meal Plan Menu

 

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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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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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Laissez Faire

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