Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple Flax Muffins

I made these Apple Flax Muffins today and they were excellent. I did change things a bit from the recipe, because I had too much applesauce leftover from my crockpot adventure last week, so I substituted the four cups of apples for four cups of my crockpot applesauce. Since I hadn't made the muffins the other way, I can't comment on how it affected them, but these muffins came out moist and delicious. The kids loved them, and so did I. The recipe was easy - I think I whipped these up while the kids ate lunch.

I religiously bake all my muffins in my Pampered Chef stoneware muffin pan. I bought it years ago at a Pampered Chef party and have never looked back. It bakes so well, and I swear the muffins taste better. They are so moist and perfect on the inside, with just a slightly firm and crispy outside and bottom. LOVE IT.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stress-buster peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Really had a bad day and need to dive into a plate of hot, steaming, melt-in-your mouth cookies?

Check out my very favourite cookies here.

Week of October 26, 2008

When planning a menu for the upcoming week, one should always include all seven days. Last week I omitted Wednesday. Whoops. I couldn't believe it when I checked my computer for Wednesday's dinner and found it blank.

Last week's chicken chili tacos were EASY and delicious. Thing 2 gobbled them up, and Thing 1 picked at his a bit. They were great and we had lots of leftovers for dinner (on Wednesday) and a couple lunches. The baked ziti was also very good - and very filling. I made so much I froze enough for at least two more dinners. Everyone ate it so I think I'll be making it again. I think I overdid it on the ground beef and went too easy on the cheese - it didn't have enough tang for my liking, so I'll play with it and adjust it a bit next time.

I'm trying a couple of Beth's recipes this week that I've had my eye on for a while - both are pasta with sausage in them, but it just so happens that I have a ton of sausage I need to use up so I'm going to do both in the same week anyway.

Sunday: Quick Meat Sauce and pasta, salad and garlic bread, birthday cake!
Monday: Leftovers or dinner from freezer/turkey soup
Tuesday: Dinner out for David's birthday
Wednesday: Pasta with Sausage and Mushroom Sauce
Thursday: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Friday: Cheddar-Topped Shepherd's Pie
Saturday: Pizza

I'm anxious to try the shepherd's pie because although I have been making shepherd's pie for years, I have yet to perfect my recipe or find one that I am truly in love with . . . I'm holding out for Martha so we'll see what she comes up with. The picture in my EveryDay Food Magazine was divine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crock Pot Applesauce

Just a quick mid-week update!

I made the pot roast on Sunday - it was to die for! Paul loved it and even David ate some and like it. It couldn't have been any easier, so that means I will surely make it again.

I also tried this crock pot applesauce recipe that I found at Beth's and it turned out so well! I had a bunch of apples and wasn't motivated enough to make a pie, so I made the applesauce. So rich and delicious, the cinnamon adds such a wonderful flavour. It was good timing as I had run out of my nine-month-old's applesauce anyway.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week of October 19, 2008

You may notice I *missed* my Menu Plan Monday entry for last week. Thanksgiving being on Monday and having a houseful of guests sort of threw me for a loop. So no meal plans last week, but I had tremendous success cooking a delicious turkey soup from the 22 pound turkey I had cooked.
With a turkey carcass that large, I made A LOT OF soup. The stock came out so rich and flavourful, I simmered it for most of a day, then drained it all and added veggies, spices and lots of shredded turkey. We will be eating this for months to come!!! I threw in some potatoes this year to make it a little extra filling, and they added the perfect touch.

All the meals I made for our guests seemed to be a hit. The Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken was easy and doubling the recipe easily fed 12-15 people plus lots of leftovers. The turkey and stuffing were amazing too, and my husband's cousin Anne did basically all of the side dishes. We were a good team and we fed about 17 people . . . who all left satisfied and pretty darn full.

Here's my menu this week:

Sunday: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Monday: Meal from the freezer (we have quite a few from last weekend!)
Tuesday: Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos
Thursday: Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa
: Baked Ziti
Saturday: Pizza or take-out

Baked Ziti
I got this recipe from my mother

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce (or we use home-made)
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain.

2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, simmer 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and then remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, or until cheese melts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week of October 5, 2008

Last week's Hurried Goulash was well-liked at our house. My husband said it was one of his new favourites and that I could make it "any time" for him.

This week is a little crazy for me, as we have family arriving for the long weekend. Not only is it Canadian Thanksgiving, but we are getting Thing 3 baptized next Sunday (along with her cousin) and will have loads of family visiting, needing to be fed. I'm hosting dinner on Friday at my house, so I wanted to try an easy slow-cooker meal that I could make with few problems and that would feed a large group. My sister-in-law is vegetarian, so I need to come up with something that I can also make for her at the same time. Any suggestions?

I'm also doing the Thanksgiving turkey for Sunday, and I made this exact recipe last year and it turned out amazing.

Monday: Leftovers from freezer
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wednesday: Quesadillas
Thursday: Something easy like pizza before family arrives tomorrow
Friday: Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken
Saturday: Indian Food
Sunday: Roast Turkey