What’s for dinner next week??!?! (A few Pinterest picks!)

Standard

Last post I talked about “meal planning”, a friend asked about  a 1 week meal plan. I really liked that idea, I have done it one other time ~ them promptly forgot about it! I was going to try to make it something I did occasionally. Whooops!!! Let’s try it again!!

I will include a grocery list as well.  THIS post will be unique, FULL of Pinterest recipes, have you heard of Pinterest? HAHAHAHAAHAHA. Right?!?!? It is pretty cool. Here is favoritefamilyfoods Pinterest page.  Most of the below recipes will be new for my family ~ some unique and some pretty basic ones! Sound fun?? I will update recipe successes and fails in a few weeks! (You too!! Let me know what you try!)

Here are 6 meal options and a few extra nummies!! Happy Cooking ((and baking!!!)) Sunday noon is not included in here. Sunday night is usually leftovers or nachos or pizza, so that is also not included. I do not always use all 6 meals I plan for, as we might have a leftover sporgazboard night!!! (OR time gets away and suddenly grilled cheese in on the table. It works.) That extra meal(s) will just roll to the next week!

Let me know if you are cookin’ with me next week!!! Or EVEN just picking a few things to try! Either way LET’S have fun!!!

The Extras~
Loaded M&M Cookie Bars
Shredded Wheat Snack Mix
The Best Cinnamon Swirl Bread ~ I am planning on making a half batch. (For lunches or breakfasts.)
Cinnamon Rolls (for Sunday morning)

Meal Option #1
Baked Chicken Fajitas
Butter Baked Rice
Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry  (honest, not sure if the kids will like this….I might have good ol’ can of green beans too!! ;) )

Meal Option #2
Chicken Marsala
Potatoes (prepare as your family enjoys!!)
Roasted Broccoli

Meal Option #3
Parmesan Meatloaf
Pasta?!?!? to serve under the meatloaf?!?! Maybe. Not sure yet.
Salad (Subbing in mandarin oranges for the strawberries)
Naked Pizza ~ (great name! HA!!) I am thinking I am going to try it with dried seasonings (NOT fresh basil), more my families style.

Meal Option #4
Cheesy Ranch Chicken
Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

Meal Option #5
Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese
Cheesy Garlic Fries In Foil

Meal Option #6
Pepperoni Pizza Loaf
applesauce or salad

THANKS to those who shared some of these recipes with me! :) Looking forward to trying them out!!! 

~Now the grocery list. You will have to let me know if anyone uses this, or finds it helpful. REMEMBER, YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE MOST OF THIS STUFF IN YOUR HOUSE. Don’t be scared by its length!

~ IF making the full batch of bread, you will need 18 c. flour JUST for that. Keep that in mind.

~ Forgive me if I have forgotten anything. I have tried hard not too.

~ I did not add applesauce or salad ingredients to go with the pizza roll. So add that if you want too!

~ A little heavy on the chicken this week….it was on sale!!! :)

*GROCERY LIST*

 ~”STAPLE” ITEMS
thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic salt, oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, basil, Italian seasoning

olive oil, oil, butter, cornstarch, sugar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, flour (A LOT, if making the full batch of cinnamon bread), powdered sugar, yeast, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, mayo, hot sauce, honey, ketchup, mustard, soft spread butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice

~PANTRY ITEMS
pasta sauce, bread crumbs, 1 env. Italian dressing mix, 1 env. Ranch dressing mix, 1 env. taco seasoning, Ranch dressing, Marsala wine, 14 oz.(ish) beef broth, 14 oz. (ish) chicken broth, Ramon noodle pkg, walnuts, long grain white rice, 8 oz. sliced pepperoni, 1 can mushrooms, 1 can mandarin oranges (if not using strawberries), picked pepper rings, small can black olives, 15 oz. diced tomatoes, 4 oz. can diced green chilies, tortillas, whole wheat bread, Oreos, M&M’s (1/2 c.), can of black beans, tortilla chips, 15 oz. pizza sauce, spoon size shredded wheat, popcorn, pretzels, mixed nuts (or peanuts)

~MEAT
about 4 lb chicken (boneless skinless chicken), 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb. ground turkey

~FRIDGE ITEMS
1/2 c. Italian cheese blend (or mozzarella would be fine), 2 c. shredded mozzarella, 2-3 c. shredded cheddar, 8 sliced cheddar cheese (or 1 more c. shredded), fresh Parmesan cheese, sour cream

~FROZEN ITEMS
corn, Rhodes bread dough, vanilla ice cream

~VEGGIES and FRUITS
fresh mushrooms, head of lettuce, head of Romaine lettuce, green onion bunch, strawberries (if not using mandarins), 2 limes, 3 green peppers, red pepper, 2 onions, cilantro bunch, 1 or garlic bulbs, head of cauliflower, head of broccoli, fresh basil (if using), fresh chives (if using), 4 Roma tomatoes, 2 avocados, 1 lb red potatoes, potatoes (whatever you use to make your mashed potatoes + any extra ingredients needed for those!)

LETS TOUCH BASE IN A FEW WEEKS AND TALK ABOUT THE ABOVE RECIPES…….. :)

Cinnamon Rolls with Ice Cream Caramel Sauce

Standard

food 102

How about some warm cinnamon rolls on a cold morning? Sound good?!!?!?

You can make these, rise them, bake them and EAT them right away OR you can prepare the dough the day before you want to eat them, roll it, cut it and CHILL it (before the 2nd rising) ~ THEN just before you go to bed, put the cold cinnamon rolls on your counter to rise overnight. (Be sure they are well covered, so they do not dry out and DO NOT pour the caramel sauce over, till morning.) ((Also, if your house is warm (summer-time) they NEED WAY less time to rise, just keep that in mind! Or they will morph to the size of Texas before your very eyes, you will wake up to find dough oozing out from under the plastic wrap and lid. Odd sight for sure.)) When you wake up in the morning, warm (if you made the day before and chilled) the caramel topping up (just till warm!), pour over and bake them!  OR cover, chill overnight and put in a warm oven in the morning to rise, takes a bit longer when they  are cold ~perhaps 45 min. to 1 hr. ~ just keep your eye on them! OR bake the day before, as they re-heat really good.

THAT was QUITE a paragraph. Sorry, hope it made sense!?!?!?!!!

When they come out of the oven, you can flip out onto a pan, slightly bigger than the one you baked them in OR just leave them in the pan they baked in ~ up to you!! Good either way!!

Cinnamon Rolls with Ice Cream Caramel Sauce
1 c. warm water
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
2 1/4 tsp. yeast

Swirl~ 
1/4 c. soft butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 TB. cinnamon

Ice Cream Caramel Sauce~ 
1 stick of butter
3/4 c. vanilla ice cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar

Glaze (opt.)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 TB. milk, or more as needed to get to a glaze consistency

Ice Cream Caramel Sauce~ Combine the ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, stirring often. Take off heat and let cool slightly.

Glaze~ Combine ingredients and set aside till serving time.  

For the Cinnamon Rolls~ Place dough ingredients in your bread machine, in the order listed. (OR mix/knead by hand or use stand mixer, they all work great!) Set to dough cycle. When it is complete take the dough out and roll to a 12″ x 16″ (about) rectangle. Spread with the softened butter. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over top. Roll up nice and tightly, cut into slices (about 1″). Place slices in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Cover, let rise till doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Pour WARM (not hot) sauce over rolls. Bake @ 350º for 20-30 minutes. Let cool a few minutes. Serve, drizzled with glaze AND enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Hull PRCS Cookbook.

Roasted Broccoli

Standard

food 087

Broccoli? That green vegetable? A “favorite family food”? Yep. Just try it this way, it is surprisingly good. My WHOLE family eats this…..without complaining.

Roasted Broccoli 
head of broccoli
olive oil
lemon juice
salt & pepper

Cut the broccoli up into florets, spread out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (a few TB’s is good), drizzle with lemon juice (1 TB. or so), sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toss. Roast @ 425º for 15-25 minutes ~ tossing once.  You want them to be tender yet with a slight crunch, not mushy. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Standard

food 117

SO. There are 2 kinds of people in the world. Those who plan their meals in advance (menu planning a week or more ahead and their meals are made (or prepped) WAY before the dinner hour) and there are those who can whip together fabulous meals within minutes of thinking them up (at 5pm mind you). I fall into the first category, I want to be able to be like those in the 2nd category BUT if a day turned out differently then planned or if I just plum forget to plan a meal, I wander. Wander down the hall, wander to the cookbook cabinet, help with homework, change my socks, wander back to the kitchen, get sidetracked by wonderful stories of the day from the kids, open the fridge. You, know, doing everything but making dinner. Usually I will figure out a cookie to make sometime soon, or I will just stand and eat peanut butter. No closer to getting dinner on the table. A thought! There is the rock hard chicken in the freezer that would be really good to cook up real quick, uh hum. It stays there. (Another bite of peanut butter with chocolate chips on top this time.) I think of the jarred pasta sauce, noodles and bread under the broiler we like. Could use some meatballs or something with it.. (Now…. I may be getting plenty of protein from the peanut butter I am eating…..but that is only me.) Moving on.  Frozen pizza. Got it. Applesauce. Excellent. Dinner. Nothin’ wrong with a frozen pizza here and there!!!!

This meal fits right into the “make ahead meal makers” out there. Make it the day/night before you need it, make it the morning of ~ or HEY!!! ~ you can EVEN make it JUST before you NEED to bake it, those of you who are good at that!! Awesome.

This meal along with a few others got me out of a dinner rut! Ever have those??

Enjoy this casserole, it is kid friendly because it has really simple delicious flavors. Leftovers re-heat good too!!!

ON a side note. Way back when, when I started this blog, I was looking forward to “chatting” about food with you all!! I STILL want to do that, BUT I seem to be the only one chatting. ;) SO don’t forget to tell us about things your family likes or things you have tried ~ perhaps off of Pinterest??? Tell us IF we should or shouldn’t try something!! Tried and true recipes are the bestest!!!  I know many of us are not “commenters” ~ but hey! Shoot me an e-mail  ~ favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com ~ and tell me about it there!!!  :)  I really do want to hear from you guys. :) I have been wondering if I should keep this blog going……does anyone read? Try things? There are so very many fabulous blogs out there. I just wonder………

Oh, yah, back to the recipe!!!!  Pretty sure I saw it when I searched for “easy dinner ideas”. Recipe came from Julie’s Eats & Treats ~here is the recipe with a few of my extra notes! Enjoy!!

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole 

1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded (I used about 2 heaping cups)
6 oz. box of Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. minced onion flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the rice according to package directions. (I like to cook it a few minutes less than the instructions say.) Combine all the ingredients together, pour into a greased 9″ sq. pan. Bake @ 350º for 30 minutes, if it is cold bake it closer to 45 minutes. Serve with a veggie and ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats & Treats.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Standard

This is the time of year were we get to eat LOTS of appetizers! YUM!!! Appetizer meals are the best!! Just top it off with a sweet treat or 8 and there you go! A lovely meal!  ;)   These mushrooms are simple to throw together and really good. I do not like mushrooms, but I did eat one and didn’t EVEN cringe!!!! ;)

What are your favorite appetizers to serve/make/eat? My answer? THEM ALL!!! HA!!!

food 100

Stuffed Mushrooms 

1-2 (8 oz.) container whole mushrooms
1/2 c.- 3/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c.- 3/4 c. mayo
3 oz. pkg. bacon bits or cooked and crumbled bacon

Wash the mushrooms and pull the stems out. Disguard stems. Mix together equal parts of mayo and Parmesan, add bacon. Stuff the mushrooms with the mayo mix. Bake @ 350º for 20 minutes, drain and ENJOY!!!

Thanks Stacy for this recipe, found in Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor, Vol. II.

“Fannie Mae” Fudge & some other Christmas Yummies

Standard

food 117

Fudge is a Christmas goodie must ~ at least over here. To be honest, fudge is another one of those recipes that I have messed up on a lot.(THO I have stuck with this recipe for years now because it has worked for me EVERY TIME! High fives!!)  One time I tackled fudge, (it was too late in the day to start something like that) and it was wasn’t  hardening up ~ so in the middle of the night, practically (9 pm), I called up my friend who said “anyone can make this fudge.” Ha. Not me. She couldn’t help me, it just wasn’t going to work. Another recipe I tried ended up to be fudgy looking sand. Not good.

This recipe comes from my Aunt Sheryl, which alone should tell you it is great.  Not sure of the original whereabouts (perhaps food.com?) It is  fun recipe to make with kids. Have them count out the marshmallows, dump in the chocolate and stir (my favorite part is to stir and stir and see the fudge just sorta form……). Don’t forget the licking the bowl clean part! (another favorite of fudge making!)

Some things about this fudge~
* First off, I have no clue what Fannie Mae fudge tastes like, so DOES this taste like it exactly? Not sure!  But I would enjoy hearing what you think of it!!
* Aunt Sher says to use 1 stick butter and 1 stick margarine ~ and well I usually do follow that, cause I like to listen, this year I did not have margarine on hand ~ so I used all butter. It was just as good!! Aunt Sheryl, why do you like to use 1 stick margarine and 1 stick butter?? Does it cut better? Taste better? Just curious, both ways taste GREAT!
* Cutting the fudge, can be tricky. Take your time, don’t rush and pull it cause it will not be pretty then. I use my Pampered Chef paring knife and wipe it off a lot, to keep it clean. I like to cut when right in between cold and room temp.
* You do not need to line your pan with foil, but I like do because then you can lift the fudge out of the pan and put on cutting board and cut. Cut away the slanty/rugged edges and make some nice little squares. (Edge scraps are great to eat by the way.) If you choose to put directly in the pan a with no foil, just be sure to grease the pan.

“Fannie Mae” Fudge 
4 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
25 large marshmallows
2 oz. square of unsweetened chocolate
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz. milk chocolate chips
1 c. nuts, totally optional

In a large pan mix the sugar, butter, margarine and milk. Bring to a boil, be sure to stir it quite often. (Don’t forget about it or you will be in burned trouble.) Boil for 2 minutes. Take off heat and add vanilla. Next add the marshmallows and stir till melted. Then add the chocolates (1 kind at a time). Stirring till it is all melted, it will thicken up as you are stirring, this IS my *favorite part!!! (Add the nuts at this point if you so choose.) Pour into a foil lined (grease the foil) 9″ x 13″ pan. Chill to set. Lift fudge out of pan, cut and ENJOY!!!!

Here are a few more Christmas goodies!!

food 113

food 115

Oreo Balls! I am sure you have heard of these before and even made them. Funny thing, Aunt Sher also shared this recipe with me! Another fun one for the kids, have them roll the balls (you should perhaps dip, as the Oreo balls will melt if they linger to long in the melted chocolate!) and sprinkle with sprinkles. ((Aren’t sprinkles fun? One of my favorite things for sure!Three cheers for sprinkles!!))

Oreo Balls
14-15 oz. pkg. Oreos
6 oz. softened cream cheese
almond bark
sprinkles

Crush the Oreos finely and mix with the cream cheese. Chill. Roll into balls. Chill. Dip in melted almond bark, I melt in double boiler. Start with 6 cubes maybe, may need more or it may be too much. Never can tell with these things. When balls are still wet, not set, sprinkle with sprinkles!!!! Let set, either on counter or fridge.

Or you can dip in melted chocolate. You can also top with crushed candy canes, not sprinkles. Use your imagination and have fun!!

ENJOY!!!

Misc. 008

Peppermint Chex Mix you say? Yep! You should try it! Melt some almond bark add some crushed candy canes and pour over some Chex cereal (start with a little, you can always add more). Stir well, then pour onto a wax lined cookie sheet and let set till hardened, break up and eat!

Misc. 009

Did you melt too much almond bark?? Did you crush too many candy canes?? Have no fear!! Make Peppermint Bark!  My mom makes this most every year, so it has special memories for me. Melt your almond bark, stir in your crushed candy canes and pour out onto a waxed lined cookie sheet (as thick or thin as you like) and let set to harden and break up. Enjoy! Yum!

What is your favorite goodie to make during the Christmas season?? What is your favorite to EAT!!! :)(My answers ~ To make, Fudge. To eat,  Peanut Butter Balls.) I would enjoy hearing from you all!! :)

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE UPDATE ON THE OVERNIGHT PIZZA DOUGH / CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA POST! THANK YOU FOR READING!

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

Standard

Brrrrr. When the weather is chilly, than soup is on the menu!!  This one was liked by everyone, which, to tell you the truth~ surprised me!!! I thought that there would be an issue with the “green stuff” BUT there wasn’t.  Enjoy!

food 078

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup 

12 oz. Italian Sausage links (I used the Aldi’s turkey sausage)
1/4 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB. olive oil
2 (15 oz.) cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14 oz.) chicken broth (or about 4 c. water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
*14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
dash of garlic powder
4 c. chopped kale
black pepper to taste

Take the sausage out of the casings and roll into little balls, bite size ones. Place in a large soup pot, add the water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes (covered). Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes till meatballs are cooked through. Take out and set aside.

Heat the oil in the same pot, add the garlic and onion and cook till tender.  Add the beans, broth, undrained tomatoes, oregano, basil and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and kale, simmer till kale is tender (this does not take very long, 5 -10 minutes).  Season with pepper, if needed.

* Can use a can of Italian Style diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz.) in place of the regular diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and garlic.

ENJOY!!

Recipe from Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor~ Vol. II.