Sunday, March 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday — March 9th-15th

Last week when I made the Pioneer Woman's Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwiches, I failed to tell you the side I would be making with it. I failed to tell you any of the sides I'd be making all week, but that's beside the point. I made PW Onion Strings, and let me just say, that is one of the most wonderful things I've ever made in my life.

Now I must say that with it being fried and me not eating much fried food on a regular basis, I felt a little sluggish afterwards. Of course it could be the fact that I'd probably eaten the equivalent of an entire onion all by myself, again beside the point.

I also have a stove that is not closed in on top. I don't even know if they can make a gas stove and close it in without putting grates across it. Would it blow up? The oven doesn't. I'm digressing. There is a point there though. The clean-up from the Onion Strings and Marlboro Man Sandwiches was quite extensive.

So by the time Wednesday rolled around, Crispy Chicken Fingers weren't looking so good to me, plus I wanted a day off before I greased myself up again. I won't plan multiple fried foods in a week ever again! We had enough of the sandwich meat for those who wanted leftovers anyway, and I fixed the pickier people Kraft Mac & Cheese. It's a pantry staple at our house. I buy it at Sam's Club in bulk in a 15-box pack.

Everything got bumped a day, so now I have the Beef and Noodles I planned for Friday for this week. Here are the cookbooks and a new Taste of Home specialty recipe magazine I will be using this week. I'll show you the recipes at the bottom of the post if they aren't linked somewhere else.

Monday — Beef and Noodles.

Tuesday — Swiss Chicken Casserole from the Southern Living 1990 Annual Recipes. Every single one of my kids loves this.

Wednesday — Country-Style Pork Loin from Taste of Home. This is a new recipe for us.

Thursday —Cheesy Potato Pie from the Busy Mom's Cookbook. This is like a breakfast casserole. I tweak it a bit, so when I show the recipe I'll include my changes. We love this! So did my father-in-law when he visited us.

Friday — Cheesy Sausage Penne from Taste of Home. This is also a new recipe for us. I'm trying it this week and then a Cavatini from Lora next week.

Saturday — Beef Stew. My BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) leader made this for me right after Buddy was born when we lived in Baton Rouge. It was so delicious. I tweak this recipe just a bit, but only slightly. It is absolutely fantastic!

Sunday — Eat out since we ate in all week again!

Swiss Chicken Casserole
from Southern Living 1990 Annual Recipes

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 (4x4 inch) slices Swiss cheese (I just cover the entire top with Swiss cheese, and I think they are rectangular slices)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (of course I use butter!)

Arrange chicken in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk; stir well. Spoon over chicken; sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over crumbs; cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

Cheesy Potato Pie
from The Pampered Chef Busy Mom's Cookbook (with my tweaking)

1 medium onion (sometimes)
2-4 T vegetable oil
1 large package frozen hash browns, can also use Southern-style, but I have trouble finding them
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I usually use one of the Kraft 8-oz shredded mix packages)
1 pkg bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop onion. Heat oil in a large skillet — I use a 12-inch family size one — over medium-high heat. Add onion and frozen potatoes to pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs with milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir in cheese.

Pour egg mixture over potatoes and stir gently. Sprinkle bacon on top. If you are using an oven-safe skillet you can place it directly in the oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until eggs are set. If not, transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole, which is what I usually do even though my skillet is oven-safe, and bake until eggs are set. It usually takes a little longer than with the skillet; just watch it closely.

Beef Stew

2 generous T olive oil
3 lbs stew meat
2 garlic cloves
8 cups very hot water
2 T salt
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 dashes cloves (I live on the edge and do three or four a lot)
1 jar pre-peeled pearl onions, drained
1 bag of baby carrots (sometimes I use two)
Your potato preference, peeled and cubed (if I use russet, I would do probably five or six medium-sized)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. My pan is an 8-qt pan. Add stew meat. Brown on all sides, keeping cubes turning (use tongs). Don't hurry. It should take about 20 minutes.

Next add the garlic using a garlic press for the two cloves of garlic. Then add the water, salt, lemon juice, sugar, Worchestershire Sauce, pepper, paprika, and cloves. Cover and gently simmer for 2 hours. Stir now and then to prevent sticking, about every 20 to 30 minutes. When meat is done add the vegetables — the jar of pearl onions, drained, carrots and potatoes. Simmer 30 minutes to an hour longer until everything is tender.

To thicken the stew, pour 1/2 cup cold water into a shaker, then add 1/4 cup flour. Shake hard to blend. (You could just stir in a bowl if you didn't have a shaker.) Push meat and vegetables to one side of the pan the best that you can. Stir in flour mixture slowly. Cook and stir until gravy thickens. I will make the flour mixture a second time if it needs to be thicker, because I like my stew thick.

This makes a lot of stew. We usually have plenty for leftovers for lunch and dinner again.

For more great menu ideas, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie.


Betsy said...

Yum...I don't blame you one bit for eating your share and more of the onion strings!

Your swiss cheese/chicken dish...I used to make that all the time! I'm not even sure why I stopped. I'll have to dig that recipe out again. I'm sure it's been 10 years or more. It's very, very good!

Lora said...

I'm the same way with those onion strings~I eat as soon as I take them out of the pot! SO GOOD!

I did see your comment on the mahi mahi, but I'd forgotten--thanks for reminding me. That's very similar to how I usually prepare fish except I bake it instead of frying it. I don't have any Mrs. Dash, but we love Old Bay Seasoning or Lemon Pepper. I think that's what I'm going to do. It's so easy and fast!

I know what you mean about the stove top cleanup~it's a pain, but sometimes worth it:)

MomE said...

I have to say I'm in total awe of you and your detailed menus and recipes. I make a menu to shop by each week...but this just blows me out of the water! I'm trying out all sorts of stuff you're posting...thanks!

Laura said...

Your recipes sound awesome!! Thanks for the offer to host as well, I really appreciate it!

Hope you are having a great week!


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