Sunday, June 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's menu went perfectly great until the weekend when we had lots of unexpected things crop up on Saturday and then I didn't get the roast purchased for Sunday. I won't even tell you what we had for dinner on Saturday night, because those of you out there who are health nuts would cringe at the mommy in me that let my kids have cereal for dinner. But we have healthy cereal in the house, and everyone at least half of us had healthy cereal.

The Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix went over fantastic and none of the kids was any the wiser for it. Hubby knew, and he said he could tell a slight difference, but not enough to matter. The great thing about this mix is that it has no MSG, and the Old El Paso packages I was using had MSG, and I didn't realize it before. Here's the recipe that equals one commercial packet (I'll follow with how I make tacos):

1 T chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano powder
1/2 tsp salt

The nice thing about this is that some of these items come in organic versions. I didn't try using fine sea salt, but I will in the future now that I know what the original version of this recipe tastes like and how it compares to a commercial packet.

When I make tacos, I always purchase the taco kits that have taco sauce in them. My family does not put taco sauce directly on their tacos, so I always mix the sauce into the ground beef. Since I didn't buy the taco dinner kit this time, here's what I did:

approximately 2 1/2 - 3 lbs ground beef (we have extra for leftover taco salad), browned
Add to the browned ground beef and simmer until done:
2 taco seasoning mixes (recipe above)
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup Old El Paso taco sauce (I used mild)

I'm not going to share my Lemon Chicken Recipe from last week because the sauce did not come out right. The chicken was great without it, but it wasn't cooked any special way.

A few weeks ago I got this cute vintage apron from the Apron Queen at Rick Rack Attack when she hosted a giveaway for the first 60 of us who posted her button on our sidebar.

Sassy is wearing it for me. You can't see all the cute details, but I'll tell you the one I like the best is the little *x* stitching that is used to hold all the seams instead of regular stitching. It's done in brown on the cute peach and white-checked pattern. It reminds me of cross-stitching that I do. It also reminds me of something my grandma or great-grandma would have worn. I tried to find a picture to post of them in one of their aprons, but I couldn't put my hands on one. I thought since we were talking about food today it was a good time to talk about aprons that keep our clothes neat and clean while we're cooking that food!

This week's menu has my roast plus some of our standard fare. I'm going to include recipes (marked with *) for a few of the items at the end of the post. That said, here's this week's menu, just dinner this time since lunch will probably be mostly leftovers or sandwiches (pb&j, grilled cheese):

Monday ~ Roast in the crock pot
Tuesday ~ *Chicken Spaghetti...this is different from any other I've ever tasted
Wednesday ~ Marinated Grilled Boneless Pork Chops
Thursday ~ *Homemade Chicken Tenders
Friday ~ Fettucine (recipe next week because I follow the box and tweak it...tastes like Olive Garden!)
Saturday ~ Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts
Sunday ~ I'm clueless, but I'll figure it out by then

Chicken Spaghetti:

2 cups cooked & cubed chicken
1 box (16 oz) cooked spaghetti
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can diced Rotel
1 can chicken broth
Shredded Cheddar (I use a finely shredded mix Kraft makes)
Shredded Parmesan

Mix soups, Rotel, and chicken broth. Combine with chicken and noodles. Pour into a 9 x 13 ungreased pan. Cover with shredded cheddar cheese (recipe calls for 8 oz but I use at least 2 cups) and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes or until bubbly around edges. (I actually think mine only takes about 30 minutes.) I think the Rotel gives it a different flavor so it doesn't taste just all "chicken-y."

Crispy Chicken Tenders:

(My husband would marry me again if he could just because of these!)

**Note ~ I buy two large packages of the frozen Tyson chicken tenders at the commissary when I make these and then we eat on them for a couple of days. I have to multiply this recipe by four (except for the vegetable oil) when I make this many, and I cook them in two large square grill pans on the stove to save time.

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (the substitution is to use 1 T lemon juice and add milk to equal 1 cup for each cup of buttermilk I works perfectly when I don't have buttermilk)
1/8 tsp red pepper sauce
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
Pinch cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Combine buttermilk and red pepper sauce in a large bowl. Add chicken; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and cinnamon in another large bowl. You can remove your chicken from the buttermilk and dredge each piece, then place them on waxed paper prior to cooking them, or you can do it as you go and put them in the pan.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until oil is very hot. Cook chicken in batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. I sprinkle them with a little salt while cooking, but this isn't called for in the recipe. Transfer chicken to a cookie sheet and keep warm in a preheated 300 degree oven (I don't do this; I just put them on paper towels to dab out the oil as much as possible).

And when you make these Chicken Tenders, wear an apron, because I always get a grease spot or two on my clothes that won't come out if I don't wear one. See, the apron fit the post!

This week the Organizing Junkie is out of town, so Laura at Heavenly Homemakers is hosting Menu Plan Monday for her. Go check out some other menus and recipes there. You'll find a variety!


Kim said...

Lets here it for the cereal dinner!!! :)
I don't feel so bad now either. Your chicken spaghetti looks very yummy and like you said, different. I think that may have to make it onto my menu plan one of these days!
*smiles* and happy Monday...

Anonymous said...

Your menu looks fabulous! And thanks so much for posting that Taco Seasoning recipe, I've scribbled it down and I'm going to try it next time I make something that needs it =)

The Apron Queen said...

Aww shucks! Thanks for mentioning lil' ol' me. :D Do you mind if I stop by on Tuesday for dinner? I love chicken spaghetti! Enjoy your apron!

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

Kristi said...

My family loves chicken spaghetti. I haven't added it to the menu in quite a while. Thanks for the reminder. Your blog is so cute!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for the recipes! I cannot wait to make tacos again, and try your mix. You've given me some other ideas to try too.

Cherylann said...

Hey, every good mom serves cereal for dinner once in a while :)

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