Saturday, January 17, 2009

In search of new ideas!

Every once and a while we all hit a slump in our menu. At least I think I am not alone in this. I have seen other people try having people send them recipes and they promise to try all of them and then their family picks a winner. I think it is time I give this a try! We or I am feeling like we are eating a lot of the same things to often. I love to try new recipes and like to cook. So if you email me or leave your recipe as a comment I will try it and my family will pick a winner. The winner will win a fab prize. Don't ask what it is because I haven't decided yet. While I was injured Allison brought us a wonderful Turkey thing with Cranberries and Swiss cheese! This is what brought this idea back to my mind. Anyway there are a few rules. My kids are NOT picky eaters!!! They love just about everything I make in fact people who know then know that they will beg me to buy asparagus, artichokes, and cheer when I buy broccoli! (Weird I know! In fact I saw my oldest when he was 2 push a bowl of Ice cream away to eat SALAD!!!! NOT MY KID!) Anyway The only rules are NO guts! I don't eat liver, heart, toung any of those kinds of things! And I am not a fish eater. About as far as I go with fish is a tuna noodle casserole, and MY (which is also my mom's!) clam chowder. Other then that I don't do fish. Larry and the kids love fish but they only get to eat it when I am not home or we are camping. Even then he is instructed to not cook it in the house and clean it up (throw evidence away OUT SIDE!) before I get home. So please no fish and no guts! Other then that we will try it! I do have to tell a cute story about this. I have a friend who did this and she posted the winning recipe and we tried it! It was this Thia Chicken with Spaghetti Noodles. We LOVED it! My kids were telling me that it was 100 million thumbs up they loved it then Larry said "I like the peanut butter in the sauce." The instantly told be they hated it and they didn't want to eat anymore (they were already on seconds or thirds!) So now every time I tell them I didn't put the peanut butter in it and they love it! I think they just thought it was weird that I put peanut butter in their dinner! They love peanut butter on sandwiches and celery!!! Weirdos! Anyway! I can't wait to hear your ideas and try them! Oh and don't feel like you have to only suggest "kid" food. I don't believe in that! My kids eat what ever I fix and like it, or go hungry. They are use to it and love EVERYTHING! Good luck!


Alli said...

Well it's not new, but I know your kids like it and I don't think it's one of your regulars.
We'll call it Southwestern Chimichangas.
2 chicken breasts, shredded (or canned chicken works too)
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cups monterey or pepper jack cheese (cheddar works too, just a milder taste)
1 cup fresh spinach chopped (frozen works too)
1 green or red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2-4 T chili powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1-2 T cumin (half as much as the chili powder)
1 T lime juice
1 t. salt
20 tortillas
enough oil to shallow fry in

For faster prep time, put everything but the chicken, beans, corn and cheese in a food processor. Add chicken, beans, corn and cheese. Mix well and roll into flour tortillas. They can be frozen at this point for a quick meal later, or shallow fry them till brown on both sides. Use a toothpick to keep it together if necessary. For a healthier option, they can also be broiled in the oven till crispy.

These aren't nearly as good without the dipping sauce though, so here's the recipe for it:

Avocado-Ranch Sauce
1 avocado
1 cup ranch dressing
2 tsp lime zest or lime juice to taste

smash avocado and mix together. The lime zest really gives it a great flavor, but since I don't often have limes on hand, when I buy one, I zest the whole peel and freeze it for later use.

Mo said...

I don't know if you are making one of my old family favorites, but I haven't made it in awhile, and I am craving it. I don't know if I ever told you that I remember the very first time I made it. We were getting ready to move to Prineville after only being active in the church for less than a year. We wanted to invite our great Bishop and his wife to dinner and I sat down with my Betty Crocker cookbook and found this recipe. Brave of me to make it for company the first time!

Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2 lbs steak (tender cuts) cut about 1/2 in thick
2 TBSP butter
1 1/2 c. beef broth
2 TBSP ketchup
salt & pepper
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 med. onion, chopped
3 TBSP flour
1 c. sour cream

Slice steak in strips across the grain. It is easier if it is partially frozen.

Cook beef in butter in a skillet, stirring, until brown. Reserve 1/2 beef broth and stir in remaining broth to the cooked beef.Add ketchup, salt and pepper and garlic. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10-15 min. until beef is tender.

Stir in mushrooms and onion. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes. Shake reserved broth and flour for thickening and stir into beef. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in sour cream and cook until hot. Serve over noodles. YUMMM

The Gatherums said...

Herb-Crusted Chicken Piccata

4 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, flattened evenly
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice

On a dinner plate or pie plate, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and pepper.
Dredge chicken in breadcrumb mixture and set aside.
In a skillet, melt half the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet when cooked and keep warm. Add broth, lemon juice, and remaining butter using a wire whisk to get everything up off the bottom. Cook 1 minute and spoon sauce over chicken.

The Gatherums said...

I loves these rolls. I just got this cookbook for Christmas and this was one of the first recipes I tried. Yummy.

Lion House Dinner Rolls

2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (instant or non-instant)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, shortening, or margarine
1 egg
5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour

In large bowl or electric mixer, combine water and milk powder; stir until milk dissolves. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 2 cups flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand). Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff (It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour).
Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about one tablespoon of vegetable oil all around sides of bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so it is covered with oil. (This helps prevent dough from drying out). Cover with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.
Scrape dough out onto floured board. Turn dough over so it is floured on both sides; gently flatten to about 1 inch thick. With rolling pin, roll out to a rectangle about 18 inches long, 8 inches wide, and ¼ inch thick. Brush with melted butter. With pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut dough in half to make two strips about 4 inches wide. Make cuts through strips of dough every 2 inches, making about 18 pieces of dough.
Starting with short end, roll up one piece of dough, with butter on the inside. Place roll on parchment-lined pan with other short end down on the paper. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Be sure all rolls face the same direction on baking pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light to medium golden brown. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter. Makes 1 to 1 ½ dozen rolls.

Helpful Tips for Making Rolls
Always add flour gradually and keep dough as soft as you can handle. A soft dough will produce a lighter roll.
It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour called for in the recipe—add only enough flour to make dough manageable.
To shorten dough's rising time, use one of these methods:
1) When dough is thoroughly mixed, oil bowl and cover dough with plastic wrap. Fill sink or larger bowl with about 2 inches of hot water or enough water to come about half or three-fourths the way up outside the dough bowl. Place bowl of dough in bowl of water and allow to rise until double in size.
2) Just before mixing dough, turn oven on lowest possible temperature. Place a pan of hot water on bottom oven rack. When dough is thoroughly mixed, place in oiled bowl. Cover dough with plastic wrap; place in oven. Turn oven off, shut oven door, and allow dough to rise until double in size, about 50 to 60 minutes. Shape or cut into desired rolls. Place rolls on greased or parchment-lined pans and allow to rise until double in size. Bake according to recipe.
Brush top of rolls with butter when first taken from oven.
How to consistently make attractive, good-tasting rolls? Practice! Practice! Practice!