Weekly Menu 12/9–12/13

It’s that time of year…. time to cook like crazy.  The weather is chilly, the house is decorated, people are coming and going.  The best thing to do is put your kitchen to work with some meals to cozy up to.

Monday – Boursin Mac and Cheese with Chopped Kale (I’m making this one up as I go.  I’ll post the recipe if it comes out OK.)

Boursin® Cheese - Garlic & Fine Herbs

Tuesday – Roasted Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Beets

Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

Wednesday – Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup (I WILL NOT use Velveeta!  Shredded Cheddar only!)

It's a cheeseburger in a bowl!  This slow cooker cheeseburger soup is sure to please the entire family! #recipe #soup

Thursday – Pork Milanese with Lemon Caper Sauce and Risotto

Picture of Pork Milanese Recipe

Friday – Shrimp n Grits (The Deen Brothers have the best recipe!)

Shrimp ’n’ Grits recipe

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Weekly Menu 12/2–12/6

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Time to gear up for Christmas!  Here is a hearty and satisfying menu for a week full of decorating and shopping!

Monday – Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup

(Image from Food Network)

Tuesday – Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish

Picture of Classic Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish Recipe

Wednesday – Turkey Meatball Stroganoff in the Slow Cooker

Turkey Meatball Stroganoff

Thursday – Pulled Pork Nachos

Pulled Pork Nachos

Friday – Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

Turkey Day Leftovers

What do you do with all of that leftover turkey?  I mean, really, who can eat turkey for the next week and a half until its all gone?  Well, here are some fabulous recipes that I found to make that leftover turkey seem brand new to everyone at the table. 

photo via

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Pumpkin Pasta

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This is a yummy pasta dish using the last of the season’s best: PUMPKIN!  And it is so easy.  This could also be a wonderful side dish on your Thanksgiving table.  Make the sauce and pour it over orzo for a rice like side dish.  Or serve it over mini shells and let the sauce get stuck inside.  This dish is kid approved with two thumbs up!  Enjoy!

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Blue Cheese Bacon Dip

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The relatives are coming!  The relatives are coming!

That is the cry most often heard around this time of year.  What are you going to feed them?  Thursday’s dinner is a foregone conclusion: turkey, stuffing (dressing if you’re a southerner), pecan pie. 

But what about the rest of the time?

This dip is awesome!  I made it the other day and couldn’t stop eating it.  I dipped in pita chips, carrots, corn chips.  It goes with everything.

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Weekly Menu 11/18–11/22

This week, I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.  There are so many talented cooks out there and so many creative recipes.  Several inspired me and with some tweaks, I will be giving them a try this week.

Monday – Pumpkin Alfredo with Bacon (I don’t really like Mac n Cheese so I’m making an Alfredo sauce with pumpkin, but this photo inspired me.  I’ll post my recipe after it is family approved!)

Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese with Bacon

Tuesday – Baked Chicken with Apple and Brussel Sprout Salad (I plan to cook my Brussel sprouts first.)

Wednesday – Root Beer Pulled Pork and Southern Green Beans (pork in the Crock Pot!)

Quick Southern Green Beans

Thursday – Taco Pockets (My kids like tacos so much, I feel like I serve them once a week!  I have got to come up with some inventive ways to eat tacos!)

(image from Pillsbury)

Friday – Shrimp Wonton Cups

Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

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First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!

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** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.

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I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.

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They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!

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I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!

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Weekly Menu 11/11–11/15

Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all who have served!

It is cooling down in the Carolinas!  The high is 45 this week.  Eeeek!  But the menu is sure to warm even the coldest fingers and toes!

Monday – Broccoli and Bacon Quiche (recipe coming soon!)

image via Google search

Tuesday – Stuffed Acorn Squash (I’m going to add a little chopped kale to this.)

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

Slow-Cooker Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Thursday – Meaty Lasagna and Tossed Salad

image via Google search

Friday – Braised Short Ribs and Sautéed Kale

Shrimp, Corn, and Bacon Chowder

I must warn you… this recipe is neither low fat nor lactose free.  But it is good.  And simple.  It is a rich and creamy chowder sure to warm you from the inside out.

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You will need:

3 C. corn – fresh and cut off of cobb

1 small sweet onion, diced

3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced

3 C. milk

1 C. heavy cream

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 strips of bacon, diced

 

In a large pan, add 1 Tbsp. butter and melt.  Sauté corn until just beginning to get tender, appx. 3 minutes.  Add diced onion and salt and pepper.  Continue to sauté until onions begin to get translucent, appx. 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook until pink.

Put cooked corn mixture into a medium sized pot.  Add the diced potatoes.  Pour in milk, cream, and butter.  Butter should be cut into smaller pieces to help it melt faster.  Heat over low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Do not let the chowder boil!  Allow it to simmer for 15 – 20 min.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, cook diced bacon until crispy and set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Serve chowder in a shallow bowl with the bacon sprinkled on top.  Yum!

Weekly Menu 11/4–11/8

Happy November!  I am so excited this time of year.  I want to cook and nest and snuggle with my family.  I want to bust out the Christmas decorations already, but I won’t.  I’ll find other ways to decorate. 

After completing the 31 Days challenge, I am happy to get back to my normal routine.  But I loved every minute of my 31 days and feel so much better for doing it.

Many of the items on this weeks menu are from a cookbook my daughter brought home from her school book fair. It is the Disney Princess Cookbook and is also available through Amazon.  Hopefully this will inspire my little princess to eat more than just pizza and tacos.  And it will get her into the kitchen!  She loves to help me cook, but this time I can let her take the lead!

So, without further adieu, here it the weekly menu.

Monday – Spiral Cut Ham, Tiana’s Southern Spoonbread (pg. 77) and Green Beans

Tuesday – Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids (pg. 37) with Carrots and Ranch

Wednesday – Crock Pot Taco Soup (based on this recipe with my own changes)

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Thursday – Unbearably Delicious Fish Cakes (pg. 62) and Tossed Salad

Friday – Steak Au Poivre – I like Alton Brown’s recipe the best.

Picture of Steak au Poivre Recipe