Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekly Menu for March 1

Hi everyone!!! Welcome to this week’s menu!

Back from vacation and ready to go. Sorry for the delay in the publishing of this week’s menu but when we arrived back from vacation, we found that one of the many glaciers atop the roof of our house had come crashing down and took out the cable line on the way. No phone and no computer … still felt like vacation!

As Spring approaches – and yes it will be here soon, I promise – it is time to start thinking about subscribing to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We have done this the last several years and it is wonderful! Not only are you eating fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies but you will end up saving a ton of money!!! I am still eating the peppers from last season that we froze and we just finished the corn. Check out the link on the side of my blog – – and look up CSA and find the one closest to you by entering your zip code.

This week we have another tasty menu. I mean seriously – my mouth is watering! Hope you enjoy the recipes and the savings! Here it is:


Pork Lo-Mein
Sesame Bok Choy

Pork Lo-Mein – adapted from Cooking Light

½ lb. of spaghetti
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
1 T. sesame oil
1 cup of sliced red bell pepper
3 boneless pork chops, cut into strips
½ small pkg. of mushrooms sliced
¼ cup of chicken broth
¼ cup of teriyaki sauce
1 T. of chili garlic sauce

Cook pasta according to its directions. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions, bell pepper, pork and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes. Combine the chicken broth, teriyaki and chili garlic sauce and add to the pork mixture. Add the pasta and toss to coat.

Sesame Bok Choy

1 T. of sesame seeds
1 t. sesame oil
3 cups of sliced bok choy
1 t. soy sauce

Toast the sesame seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Remove the seeds. Add the oil to the pan and the bok choy and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.


Roasted Chicken
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Broiled Asparagus

Roasted Chicken – Double Duty

2 whole chickens – roasting or fryers – this depends on the size of your family
2 T. olive oil
Poultry seasoning
4 sprigs of fresh sage and thyme (or 2 t. of dried sage and thyme)
2 onions, quartered

Remove and discard giblets from chicken; rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub chickens with olive oil. Place onion and fresh herbs inside the cavity of each chicken. (If you are using dried herbs, sprinkle on the outside of the chicken.) Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

If desired, tie ends of legs together with heavy string. Lift wing tips up and under chicken. Place chickens, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. (Some people like to cook theirs breast side down. Just be sure to turn it breast side up for the last ½ hour of cooking so they can get nice and browned.) Bake according to the package. Usually, a 4-5lb chicken will cook at 375˚ for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until juices run clear or a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180˚. Please adjust the cooking time to the weight of your chicken. When in doubt – just wait for the built in timer to pop! This can be found in the breast of the chicken.

Also – pop the potatoes in the oven for the last hour. Let the chickens rest prior to serving.

Serve one roasted chicken and cover and refrigerate the other for later use.

Prepare the asparagus while your chicken is resting – be sure to keep your chicken covered with foil while the asparagus is in the oven so it stays warm.

Broiled Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 T. of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus. Spread out on a jelly-roll pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (I prefer Kosher) and pepper. Toss so that the asparagus is evenly coated. Lay flat and place under the broiled for about 5 minutes until the asparagus has crisped a little.


Beef Vegetable Soup

Beef Vegetable Soup

2 lbs. of chuck roast, cut into stew size pieces
1 T. of olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Large cans of tomato juice or V8 (I use V8 because it has that much more flavor and vitamins)
4 large potatoes, cubed with or without the skin
1 large onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
1 bag of frozen cut green beans
2 cups of frozen corn
2 cups of frozen peas
2 cups of diced carrots

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef and onion and sauté until the beef is brown on all sides. Add the tomato juice and cubed potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the remaining veggies and simmer for as long as it takes for the beef to be tender and the potatoes to be done. I usually make this up in the morning or at lunch and let simmer for most of the day.

For a kick, season with a little hot sauce!

***Veggie Option **** - skip the beef!


Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)
Refried Beans

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde – adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup of chopped onion
¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1 t. of minced garlic
1 (7 oz.) bottle of salsa verde
2 cups of shredded cooked chicken (Leftovers from Tuesday Night)
1/3 cup of cream cheese
8 flour tortillas – taco size
Cooking Spray
¼ cup of shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack (depending on your heat index)
½ t. of chili powder

Preheat oven to 425˚

Combine the first four ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Combine the chicken and cream cheese in a large bowl. Stir in ½ cup of the salsa mixture and reserve the rest. Spoon about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up. Place the tortilla seam-side down in an 11x7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Pour the remaining salsa mixture on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese and chili powder. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.


Asian Salmon Sandwiches – Could also try with chicken
Cucumber and onion salad

Asian Salmon Sandwiches – adapted from Cooking Light

1/3 cup of rice vinegar
¼ cup of minced shallots
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. of minced ginger
1 T. of minced garlic
3 T. of soy sauce
1 ½ t. of wasabi paste
4 salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
4 T. of mayo
1 t. of wasabi paste
1/3 t. of grated ginger
½ t. of rice vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 cups of fresh spinach
4 ciabatta rolls, split

Combine the first 7 ingredients and put ¾ cup of the mixture into a zip-lock bag. Add the fish to the bag and marinate for about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining shallot mixture.

Combine mayo and the next 5 ingredients. Set aside.

Prepare broiler. Remove the fish from the bag and place it on a broiling pan coated in spray oil. Broil for about 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish and the broiling pan. Add the ciabatta rolls until just browned. Take the reserved shallot mixture and combine it with the spinach leaves. Assemble the sandwiches by coating one side of the ciabatta roll with the mayo, top with the fillet, and then add the spinach. Add the other half of the roll and enjoy!

Cucumber and Onion Salad

1 English style cucumber, sliced
½ of a red onion sliced thin
Rice vinegar
Salt and pepper

Combine the cucumber and onion. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle vinegar until it suits your taste. This should be done before you prepare the fish sandwiches.

And now here is your shopping list:


Bunch of green onions
Red bell pepper – GE special
Small pkg. of mushrooms
Bok choy – need 3 cups sliced
4 onions
Asparagus – GE special
Sweet potatoes
4 large baking potatoes
Spinach – GE special on bagged spinach
Cucumber - English Style, seedless
Red onion

Ciabatta Rolls – Costco’s are the BEST!!!

Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Sesame oil
Teriyaki sauce
Chili garlic sauce
Soy sauce
Diced tomatoes
Salsa verde – Green Salsa
Refried Beans
Rice vinegar
Wasabi Paste

Chicken broth
Sesame seeds
Olive oil
Chili powder
Cooking Spray
Poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
Tomato Juice or V-8 – 2 large cans
Hot sauce
Brown sugar

Frozen Foods
Bag of cut green beans

Meat Case/Butcher
Boneless pork chops – GE special B1G1 Free
2 whole chickens
Chuck roast – 2 lbs. – GE special B1G1 Free

Cream cheese
Flour tortillas – taco size
Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese

Bread /Cereal


Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

on vacation

As it happens I have had it with the snow and got out of dodge looking for a little sunshine and warmth. We found a little of both. Yep - on vacation with my incredible family! Look for a menu next week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The American Cancer Society - 2010 Relay For Life of Mt. Lebanon:

The American Cancer Society - 2010 Relay For Life of Mt. Lebanon:

Many of us have been touched by cancer. Please consider donating to my cause - I am participating with a team in the Relay for Life. Raising money for a cure!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly Menu for February 15

Hi everyone!!! Welcome to this week’s menu!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Hope you are enjoying this day with the people you love.

Great menu this week with Olympic size savings! Sorry I couldn’t resist! I just love the Olympics and we can’t wait to see Shaun White unleash his latest moves! USA … USA

We are entering the Lenten Season and kicking it off on Fat Tuesday! This is one of my favorite recipes for Jambalaya! My hubby and I visited New Orleans during Mardi Gras many moons ago and it is one of our favorite cities. Feel free to add the chicken and shrimp with the sausage. It is amazing! As far as the Fish Fry Fridays go – I know many of you hop from church to church each Friday and sample the Fish Sandwiches. Try this week’s at-home-healthier version. I think you will like it! AND we serve it along with our favorite cole slaw!!! Put the slaw on top of the sandwich. YUM!

Hope you enjoy the recipes and the savings! Here is this week’s menu:


Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Marsala Sauce
Wild Rice

Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Marsala Sauce (adapted from

2 pork tenderloins
4 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. of olive oil
2 T. of Butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup of Marsala wine
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 cup of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350˚. Coat tenderloins generously with 4 T. of mustard.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloins on all sides and transfer to a 9x13 baking dish coated with spray oil. Bake for 20 minutes – turn and continue cooking for an additional 20 minutes or until desired doneness.

Remove pork from the oven, cover with foil and let rest. Meanwhile, melt butter in the skillet used to brown the pork. Cook the onion in the butter until soft. Stir in Marsala, mustard, and cream and cook until the sauce is reduced by half.

To serve, slice pork and spoon sauce over the meat.



Jambalaya (recipe adapted from Southern Living)

1 lb. of smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1 T. of Canola Oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup of chopped celery
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t. of Cajun seasoning
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup of chicken broth
¼ t. of thyme
¼ t. of ground red pepper (optional)
3 cups of hot cooked rice
1 cup of sliced green onions
Hot sauce to taste

Heat oil in large Dutch oven or large pot. Add sausage and cook, stirring constantly until browned. Remove sausage and set aside.

Add onion, pepper, celery and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in the sausage, Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, broth, thyme and red pepper. Cook until heated through.

To serve, place cooked rice in a bowl and top with the Jambalaya. Sprinkle with green onion slices and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.

**** Variations: to make this dish even more authentic, you could add chopped cooked chicken breast or shrimp or both.


Penne with Olives and Capers

Penne with Olives and Capers- adapted from Cooking Light

1 T. olive oil
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup of pitted kalamata olives
1 ½ T. of capers
Salt to taste
1 lb. of cooked penne
¾ cup of parmesan cheese
3 T. fresh basil

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers. Season with salt, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and basil.


Cuban Sandwich
Onion Roasted Potatoes

Cuban Sandwich – our favorite sandwich!!!

One package of hoagie rolls
Leftover pork – sliced thin
½ pound of sliced ham – we like Ham off the Bone from GE
Jar of Claussen Pickle Stackers – These are fabulous for sandwiches!!!
Brown Mustard – spicy if you like it
1 lb. of Swiss cheese slices – or provolone

Open each hoagie roll and split into 2 pieces. Spread mustard on the inside of both pieces. Top each side with cheese and layer one side with pickles, sliced pork and ham. If you have a Panini Press use as directed. If you do not, simply place sandwiches on hot griddle or large skillet and press firmly with large spatula or heated iron skillet (I call this the homemade Panini Press). You can also use a brick covered in foil. The idea is to flatten the sandwich and heat it through so that the cheese melts and the meat is warmed. ****TIME SAVING TIP **** warm the meat in the microwave prior to assembly. This will speed up the cooking process and get dinner on the table even quicker!

Onion Roasted Potatoes

1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
4 medium potatoes cut into chunks
1/3 cup of olive oil

Combine all in 13x9 pan – bake at 425 for 35 min or until golden brown. Stir once or twice during cooking.


Cajun Catfish Sandwiches
Cole Slaw
Carrot Sticks

Cajun Catfish Sandwiches – adapted from Cooking Light

3 slices of bacon
½ cup of cornmeal
2 t. of Cajun Seasoning
4 Catfish fillets

Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve 2 t. of drippings in the pan. Save the bacon for another use. (Crumble in your eggs the next day!)

Combine cornmeal and Cajun seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge the fillets in the cornmeal and place in the skillet with the bacon drippings. Cook 5 minutes per side or until the fish flakes easily.

Tangy Cole Slaw (adapted from Cooking Light – it is our favorite!)

1 pkg. of slaw mix
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add the mustard mixture to cabbage mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and chill for 20 minutes. Stir before serving.

I love that this ONLY has 2 T. of mayo!!!! Use reduced fat for an even healthier version!

And now here is your shopping list:


Asparagus - GE special
2 Onions
Green pepper
Green onions
Carrots - GE special
Slaw mix
Salad - GE special

Pitted kalamata olives (1/2 cup)
Parmesan cheese
Hoagie Rolls
½ lb. sliced ham – we prefer Ham off the Bone - Lots of Specials on ham at GE
Sliced Swiss cheese – or provolone

Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Wild Rice
White or brown rice
Cajun seasoning
Petite diced tomatoes – 3 cans - special on GE tomatoes
Chicken broth
Penne - Special on GE brand

Dijon mustard
Brown mustard
Olive oil
Canola oil
Marsala cooking wine
Ground red pepper
Hot sauce
Crushed red pepper flakes
Lipton onion soup mix
Rice wine vinegar
Whole grain mustard

Frozen Foods

Meat Case/Butcher
Pork Tenderloins – GE special
Smoked sausage – GE special on Eckrich
Claussen Pickle Stackers
Catfish fillets - GE special

Heavy cream

Bread /Cereal


Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekly Menu for Feb. 8

Hi everyone!!! Welcome to this week’s menu!

Well – what can I say – I was very happy to have the leftovers this week as we were pummeled with 20” of snow! The lettuce wraps, potato soup and the skins have been wonderful to munch on after we came inside from shoveling, playing, shoveling, walking, and did I mention shoveling? YUM! I love how everything reheats so nice and can be reinvented so my kids and hubby aren’t saying “This again?”

This week I had a little input from my big boy who is celebrating his 6th birthday. He LOVES the cheddar sliders that we are serving up on Friday night! I hope you enjoy this week’s menu. It is full of wonderful tasty dishes that are pretty simple to make, which should translate into a saner dinner hour for you and your family! We can hope – right?

Here is this week’s menu:


Chicken and Artichokes
Rice (brown or white)
Steamed Green Beans

Chicken with Artichokes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup flour
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
1 t. paprika
4 T. of butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of chicken broth
½ cup of white wine
¼ t. dried rosemary
1 (14 oz.) can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained

Preheat oven to 375˚

Melt butter in a large skillet. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture and then brown in the skillet on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet and season both sides with paprika. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Put the artichokes on top of the chicken in the dish.

Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté. Add the chicken broth and sherry, deglazing the pan; season with rosemary. Pour the sauce over the chicken and artichokes. Cover with foil and bake for 30. To serve, pour the sauce over the rice - YUM!!!


Beef Bourguignon
Egg noodles

Beef Bourguignon

1 T. olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-pound) boneless beef roast (bottom round or chuck – whatever you have on hand) trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary – ½ t. of dried
1 t. chopped fresh thyme – ½ t. of dried
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf

Heat oil in a large skillet. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in the skillet. Place browned beef in a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low all day. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

To serve, place the Beef on top of the noodles.


Shrimp Arrabbiata
Tossed Salad

Shrimp Arrabbiata

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp
½ cup of finely chopped onion
¼ t. (or more) crushed red pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz.) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 T. parsley (2 if using fresh)
1 ½ t. basil

Heat oil in a large skillet and add the shrimp stirring frequently until it has turned pink. Remove the shrimp and keep warm. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper to the skillet and sauté for four minutes. Then add the tomato paste and tomatoes (with juice). Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the sauce and season with the parsley and basil. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

This makes enough sauce for ½ box of linguine (4 servings) – double if you need a larger amount.


Chicken Tortilla Soup
Cheese Quesadillas

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 T. of oil
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch strips
1 (15 oz.) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 cup of diced onion
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 T. of chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
1 T. cumin
1 T. of coriander
1 T. chili powder
½ cup of chopped cilantro
64 oz. of chicken broth
4 corn tortillas, 2 fried in oil whole and 2 cut into ¼ inch strips and fried

In large stockpot heat oil. Then add chicken. Let cook, stirring occasionally until brown, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers and garlic. Stir in tomato mixture to stockpot when chicken is browned. Season with salt and pepper and let cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Then add cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro. Add stock and bring to a boil and break the two whole tortillas in to pieces and place in the stockpot. This will thicken the soup. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Garnish with the fried tortilla strips on top of the bowls of soup.

To fry the tortillas, cover the bottom of a pan with oil and heat. Place a tortilla in the oil and wait until it begins to bubble. Flip to the other side and then transfer to plate with paper towel to drain. Do the same thing with the strips. Salt the strips as soon as they are transferred to the plate.


Cheddar Sliders
Sweet Potato Fries
Apple Slices with Caramel Dip

Cheddar Burger Sliders

¼ cup of plain bread crumbs
1 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef – whichever you prefer)
½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
½ small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
12 slider rolls – mini hamburger buns

Combine bread crumbs, turkey or beef, cheese and onion in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix together. Form 12 small patties (think big meatball and then flatten it). Throw them on the grill or fry them in a large skillet with a little oil. These are small so cook time is quick! 

Sweet Potato Fries

4 large sweet potatoes
1 T. Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into long strips (like French fries). Toss with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay out flat on a jelly roll pan and bake at 450˚ for about 15-20 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper while they are still hot if desired.

Yummy and delectable tip – dip the fries in the caramel sauce – truly sinful!

And now here is your shopping list:


Mushrooms – GE special
Salad – GE special
Garlic – lots!!!!!! Consider buying a jar of the minced variety – or two!
Carrots – GE special
3 onions
2 jalapenos
4 large sweet potatoes
Apples – Caramel dip

Slider rolls – Pepperidge Farm

Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Rice – brown or white
72 oz. Chicken broth (only 8 if you are not making the soup)
Beef broth
14 oz. can of artichoke hearts – quartered if you can find them
Pkg. of egg noodles
Box of linguine – GE special on San Giorgio
Tomato paste – 1-2 cans
3 cans – petite diced tomatoes – GE special

Salt and pepper – kosher salt preferred.
Olive oil
Bay leaf
Crushed red pepper
Chili powder – GE special on McCormick chili spices

Frozen Foods
Green beans

Meat Case/Butcher
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (another lb. if making the soup)
Beef roast – 2 lbs. – chuck or bottom round – GE B1G1 Bottom Round Roast
Uncooked shrimp – 1-2 lbs. depending on how many servings – GE special
Ground beef or turkey – 1 lb.

Corn tortillas - taco size
Flour tortillas
Cheddar cheese – GE special on Kraft

Bread /Cereal
Bread crumbs – plain

White wine
Red wine

Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!