Creamy Rice, Chicken & Spinach Dinner
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Creamy Rice, Chicken & Spinach Dinner
Friday, May 30, 2008
Today was actually a good day. I left work a couple of hours early - my oldest son was having his Elementary School graduation. He will be in the 6th grade next year and will move to Junior High. I was happy, sad and am terrified for him to go to Junior High. My husband surprised me by getting off early as well and showing up at the graduation. Since I was at the graduation, my Father was the one who had to pick my Mother up from work (we normally ride home together) and my younger son from daycare. I left for the graduation at 515pm, my Father left about 530pm. We all returned home around 7pm. From 7pm until around 1030pm or so we are just puttering around the house - living our lives. Somewhere around 1030pm, my oldest son came and told me that he overheard a conversation my Mother was having with someone on her cellphone. He said that my Uncle was dead. It was another hour or so before I heard anything. I was outside and my Father came out - visibly upset. He began to cry and told me that my Uncle had shot himself. To some extent my Father was pissed off - none of us were home when the police came by to inform him around 6pm. We were unable to receive phone calls because our phone has been giving a busy signal (gotta love digital phone service). It wasn't until another Uncle's girlfriend/wife got to her home and got my parent's cell phone numbers - that she called.
The upsetting part for my Father was that he saw this coming and there was nothing that he could have done to stop it. He told me that my Uncle had started telling him where he kept things (collectibles) and how much they were worth. It seems that my Uncle became depressed after my Grandmother passed away 2 years ago and then got worse after one of my Uncles went into the hospital and had a horrible time (dying and being revived a number of times) before finally passing away some time in January (2008). During all of this time my Uncle also began to have health problems including horrible migraines which ended up affecting his vision. He did not want to go to any doctors and obviously did not want to go on living.
While I know that people have heard this and said this a number of times when a family member has passed, but I truly believe that this is all for the best. It will be difficult for my Father and my Uncle (the only family member he has left) as they now start the task of cleaning out 50yrs worth of stuff from my Grandmother/Uncle's home.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The first one comes from http://dinnersforayear.blogspot.com
Barbecue Mini Meatloaves
about 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85/15) and ground turkey or use all ground beef
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup crushed potato chips
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup barbecue sauce plus extra to slather on top
2 tablespoons mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form meat mixture into 6 mini loaves and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes and then slather each mini loaf with barbecue sauce. Continue baking mini loaves an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until loaves are cooked through.
Remove from oven and serve.(I used 2 lbs of ground beef.)
These were really good! I ended up using 2 lbs of ground beef, but didn't adjust the amount of other ingredients that I put in. While the flavor was really good - I kept thinking that it could have used more spice. I am a big fan of meatloaf anyway, but this was super yummy! I absolutely loved the barbcue sauce in place of the usual ketchup. Low and behold - the family loved it too!!The next recipe I got from http://annieseats.blogspot.com/
Sautéed Mushroom Orzo with Cheese
2 cups uncooked Orzo pasta
3 Tbs. cold butter
2 cups Italian Six Cheese blend shredded cheese (or cheese of choice)5-6 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup mushrooms, chopped1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
Cook Orzo according to package directions.
In food processor combine cheese, 3 Tbs. cold butter, garlic, salt and pepper.
Process until smooth.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt remaining butter or olive oil and saute' mushrooms until tender.
Drain pasta, add to mushrooms and stif.
Gently stir in the cheese mixture. Stir until cheese has melted. ServeI also tried to make homemade bread. I didn't want to spend all of the time mixing and kneading and everything, so I put the ingredients into the bread maker. The only problem - we only had self-rising flour. Once the ingredients were in the bread maker - I put it on the dough setting and waited. When it was done - the dough was extremely sticky and shiny and I knew something was wrong. After prying it out of the pan I managed to get it on a baking sheet and let it sit there to rise. After 45 minutes it had doubled in size, so I put an egg yolk wash on it and baked it in the oven. It came out okay - it was a little dense, but still pretty good.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Photo courtesy of Olive Garden website
1/3 cup Progresso breadcrumbs (herb flavor)
1/4 cup canned minced clams (drain liquid)
1 Tblsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tblsp. shredded Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tblsp. chicken broth
12 medium white button mushrooms with stems removed
3 Tblsp. butter, melted
2 Tblsp. minced red bell pepper
2 to 3 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley
(both the bell pepper and the parsley are solely for apperance and don't make a difference in the taste and can be left off)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Combine breadcrumbs, clams, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese and garlic in a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together. Add the chicken broth 1 tablespoon at a time and stir after each addition with a spoon. Keep the stuffing fluffy by not over stirring.
3. Fill each of the mushroom caps with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the stuffing (depending on the size of the mushroom). Keep the filling pretty loose but make the top surface flat to support the sliced cheese. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms in a shallow baking dish with the stuffing facing up.
4. Use a brush to dab melted butter over each mushroom. Add enough so that the butter trickles down the sides of each mushroom and rests in the baking dish. Pour any leftover butter into the dish, then scoot the mushrooms next to each other.
5. Sprinkle minced red bell pepper over the tops of the stuffed mushrooms.
6. Arrange the slices of cheese over the mushrooms. Tear the slices to cover all of the mushrooms leaving no stuffing uncovered.
7. Back the mushrooms for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 meduim russet potato
2 cups chopped kale (spinach works well too)
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (does not make it too spicy)
1. Combine the broth and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 inch slices, then quarter the slices and add them to the soup.
3. Add the kale.
4. Grill and saute the sausage. When cooked and cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Add the sausage to the soup.
5. Add the spices and let the soup simmer for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as an appetizer.