Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pork Stew with Rotini

We tried the Pork Stew with Rotini from Company's Coming book "One-dish meal" (page 68)

Also if you notice my pictures aren't that great these past couple of days it is because I can't find my camera and have been using my blackberry to take pictures :( pray for it's safe return!

I really like this dish but would make some modifications next time.  Also I did fry the pork off in a  frying pan but then threw everything in the crockpot instead because I don't have a lid for my large frying pan AND I didn't have a dutch oven yet...however I have solved that problem :)

I would like to introduce my new kitchen friend. I got it on sale at Canadian Tire today ($49.99 at 50% so I am happy although I would never ever pay full price for anything from there again because this very item was on sale 65% off in the beginning of January...)  I am very excited and can't wait to try this!

Pork Stew with Rotini

Ingredients (my modifications are in italics)
  • Oil
  • 1 lb. Pork roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt & Ppepr
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Tomato Juice
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 medum zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2" think pieces
  • 3 cups Rotini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp basil
1. Oil in non-stick frying pan. Add pork and saute until it has some nice color. I also make sure that I coat it with some S&P to flavor before cooking and browning. (about 4 minutes)
2. Throw everything else EXCEPT the pasta until the crockpot. Then add the pork.
3. Turn on low and look cook all day.
4. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve supper add about 1 cup of hot water to the slow cooker and add the pasta. Stir well and cover until pasta is tender.

I use a 3 quart crock pot to make this and I served this with Polenta instead of bread to help with the tomato sauce on the plate and it was delicious!

Garden Vegetable Frittata

So I decided to try Garden Vegetable Frittata from Company's Coming 30-minute weekday meals (page 83).

I leave it up to you but the comment has been made that this is an glorified omelette!

Garden Vegetable Frittata
  • Oil
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini (peel on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto (i used a new President's Choice product as was impressed)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup grate Asiago cheese (or whatever is on hand)
  1. Heat some oil in a non-stick the medium frying pan on medium high heat.
  2. Reduce the head to medium and add the Zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper, and green onion.
  3. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until all liquid is gone 
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Beat eggs, pesto and pepper with wisk in a medium bowl until well combined.
  6. Pour over the vegetables.  Stir well and spread egg mixture evenly in pan.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes until bottom is golden and top is almost set. the remove from heat.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese and broil for about 4 minutes until the frittata is set and cheese is golden.
Before doing this make sure you have an oven safe frying pan that you are using!

Picture of the Day - February 7

Friday, February 6, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 6

So this is a new PC product that I have brought home and decided to try.  seems interesting - fresh and chopped for you. Just keep it frozen.  I will update and compare it to the tubes!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 5

So OUCH - I suppose I should not be allowed to use sharp objects!

I was trying to cut C's pictures out for her birthday and it was a little tough...I pressed a little to hard and *SNAP* I look at my finger and I have a blade stuck in it OUCH! Then I proceeded to get blood on the carpet downstairs...had to find tweezers upstairs while not leaving blood everywhere. Moral of the story - leave these things for someone else to do that is less accident prone these days ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black Bean Soup and Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Black Bean Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies (I use a few diced pickled jalapeños - it's cheap!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chili (I remove the seeds to cut the heat)
  • 1-tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 red pepper diced 
  • 1 to 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips 
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Taco Seasoning
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. 
2.  Add onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, celery and red pepper. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. 
3. Add beans with juices and broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. 
4. While the soup is simmering brown the ground beef and break it up. When it is browned mix it with the Taco Seasoning. Add the beef to the soup once it is pureed.  
5. Puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender. Return puree to same pot. 
6. Mix in 6 tablespoons cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Add the frozen corn and cooke for a few minutes longer.  
7. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. 

Ok when pureeing in  a blender I have an important..... lesson for you - don't use the high speed. Rather use a slow speed and pulse until it is well pureed. ALSO I would take the little piece out of the top of the blender. if not you are likely to suffer the same fate as me .... being covered in yummy soup and having your kitchen covered in yummy soup.

Here is the soup all mixed and pureed.

We also added some frozen veggies at the end to kick up the veggie and health factor!

We also had Monte Cristo Sandwhich (taken from RR on Food Network  however I use a different black bean soup recipe.
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly or: chili sauce, tomatillo or tomato salsa, taco sauce – whichever you have on hand
  • 8 slices honey baked ham, from the deli counter
  • 8 slices Pepper Jack cheese, from the deli counter
  • 8 slices smoked turkey, from the deli counter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Spread bread with a light layer of pepper jelly then build sandwiches using 2 slices each of ham, cheese and turkey per sandwich. 
2. Beat eggs with milk and 2 teaspoons hot sauce and season the eggs with a little salt. 
3. Heat a griddle pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in skillet. 
4. Dip each sandwich in egg coating and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side to melt cheese and warm the meats through.

This is the spread I use and I LOVE it. I also is really good on wraps with ham and cream cheese!

However some people in our house do not like this and prefer a sweet chili sauce.


Picture of the day - February 3

So I kept seeing the commercials for these on TV and never really wanted to buy them. However, I needed cilantro for one of my recipes and the store was plum out. My only option was the tube or go to another store.... since they were on sale I ended up buying one.

Well I would probably keep some of these in the house for herbs that I'm likely to use infrequently enough that buying fresh is counter productive. This particular tube is good for the next two months so that is good in my books.

I still prefer fresh herbs however I definitely will consider these in the future!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 1

Meal Plan -February 1 - 7

Here is the plan for the week!

Sunday: Black Bean Soup, Grilled Monte Cristo Sandwhiches 
Monday: Pubhouse Halibut, Rice, Broccoli, Peas
Tuesday: Pork Stew with Rotini
Wednesday: Garden Vegetable Frittata with Tuna 
Thursday: Polenta Wedges, Tilapia, Broccoli & Beans
Friday: Spaghetti, Meatballs, Corn & Broccoli 
Saturday: Salmon Steaks, Rice, Beans and Broccoli

Picture of the Day - January 31

This is the little girls new bed...hard to take a picture as it is a big bed in a smallish room....

But the cool part you can see reflected in the mirror - it's the Castle (or fort depending on the day) under DD's bed.  It now has Red LED Rope Light under neath and her toys.  what a great bed!

Easy Jell-O Cheese cake

Easy Jell-O Cheesecake
  • 1 pkg Jell-O (in the desired flavor, and we use Sugar Free)
  • 1 pkg of Cream Cheese
  • 1 tub of Whip Cream
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs or Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  • Sugar (or splenda)
  • Butter
Crust Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cover the bottom of the dish with about 1/4" or more of the cookie crumbs. (I use an 11x13 cake pan).
3. Sprinkle sugar over the cookie crumbs until there is a thin coat over all of the crumb. I use more for Graham Cracker Crumbs and much less for Oreo cookie crumbs.
4. Melt some butter (start with 1/4 cup) and then pour over the mixture. Stir until well mixed. Add butter until all of the mixture is moist, clumpy but not wet. 
5. Pack the crust down with a fork or flipper until well packed and solid.
6. Place the crust in the oven for 5-10 minutes, remove and let it cool.

Filling Directions
1. Add the package of Jell-O to 1 cup of boiling hot water.
2. Put the Jell-O into the fridge until it gets a soupy consistency. Don't let it set and it can't be liquidy.
3. Mix the package of cream cheese with the Jell-O. (easier if the cream cheese is at room temperature).
4. Once the Jell-O and Cream Cheese is thoroughly mixed fold in the tub of whip cream.
Place the final mixture over the crust.
5. Put the final product in the fridge over night. 

If you want to add a little more to the final cake then you can add fresh fruit to it.

What I do is add about 1/4 of the filling to the pan first, or until it thinly coated. Then I add some fruit (thinly sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries). Then I add the rest of the mixture.