Monday, November 30, 2009

Chinese Honey Ginger Chicken Freezer Cooking

Here is another easy freezer cooking recipe that you can make way ahead of time. Simply follow the directions and freeze. On the day you want to make the dish simply take out the baggie to thaw and follow the cooking directions. It couldn't be any easier.

6 chicken breasts
4 tsp chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 c chives

Combine all ingredients in a freezer container or Ziploc bag. Freeze.

Instructions from Freezer:
Allow to thaw. Pour Chinese style honey ginger chicken into a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve. Great with rice!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Croquettes

Wanna cute recipe for your leftover turkey and mashed potatoes?

I found a really great one that I tried tonight.


1 cup cooked turkey meat, diced
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
(Makes 6 - 8 servings)


In a large bowl, add turkey, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper, 1 beaten egg, mix thoroughly and form into oblong croquettes.

2. In a second bowl add the flour, and in a third bowl the beaten eggs, and finally in a fourth bowl add the bread crumbs.

3. Dip croquettes into flour, beaten egg mixture, then the bread crumbs, and set aside.

4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and fry croquettes, turning occasionally until golden brown. Serve immediately.

5. Heat leftover turkey gravy and serve with the croquettes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Easiest and Best Spaghetti Sauce Ever

Being from an Italian background I believe I started eating spaghetti and sauce while still in the high chair. As I grew up past the high chair I remember standing on a chair to watch my grandmother make it every Sunday.

So as a busy mom with kids I have taken the sauce recipe and made it into a recipe that you can make in 30 minutes so that my kids can also enjoy the same spaghetti staple that I grew up with.

So here is my best and easiest spaghetti sauce recipe.


Olive oil, one turn of the pan
1 - 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes (puree in a blender)
1 - medium onion diced
2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves (you can substitute garlic with a few tablespoons of garlic powder to save time)
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 - teaspoon oregano
1 - teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper


Heat olive oil in large pan over a medium heat.
Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent.
Add chicken stock and cook for about 5 minutes. The stock will reduce in the onion and garlic mixture.
Stir in the tomato puree and turn heat down to low.
Add sugar, oregano, garlic powder (if you did not add garlic cloves).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let the sauce simmer on low for approximately 20-30 minutes.
Add the sauce to cooked spaghetti.
Sauce is enough for 2 lbs of cooked spaghetti.

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Easy Hamburger Garlic Rolls

If you are like me your pantry always has leftover hamburger rolls from dinner the other night. To top that off, my husband does not like to eat day old hamburger rolls. I hated to throw away the leftover bread because it still seems useable.

So last night I decided to turn the rolls into garlic rolls with our spaghetti dinner. Here is how I did it....

Hamburger Garlic Rolls

Preheat oven on the highest setting or on broil.
Place halves of the rolls face up on a cookie sheet.
Spread the rolls with butter. Sprinkle garlic powder and oregano on top of the butter.
Cook the rolls on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown. ***
Serve immediately.

P.S. If you want to go crazy, top the buns with onion or mushrooms or cheese to create more variety.

*** All ovens are different so please monitor the browning process carefully. It is very easy to burn the rolls so keep a watchful eye on them.

Purge Now

It's getting very close to Christmas and there will be new gifts coming. I use these types of holidays to prompt me to go into the closets and drawers with garbage bags in hand to purge everything. And I mean everything! Old papers, clothes that no longer are fit to wear, old shoes, toys, and books. Anything and everything.

It's up to you if you want your kids to participate. I usually don't let mine mainly because if I left it up to them they wouldn't approve of anything being purged and it would be a battle I would not want to fight.

I do my purging when the kids are out of the house or asleep at night. When it comes to toys I don't get rid of stuff that I know they love and play with. It's usually the toys and books they no longer look at and probably would never miss it if I gave it away. The same holds true with clothes though those are easier to explain away because clothes get old and kids outgrow them.

Have fun with your purging and clearing your clutter. It will be a great feeling in the end.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How To Make a Rue for Gravy or Sauce

Do you want to make the perfect gravy or cheese sauce? You have come to the right place. Follow this recipe and video for making a rue and once you get the rue completed you can turn it into any flavorful gravy that you want. If you add cheese to it and macaroni you have a great macaroni and cheese dish. If you add chicken stock and mushrooms you have a wonderful mushroom gravy. The possibilities are endless.

The quality of the video is pretty good but keep in mind that I am video taping and making the rue at the same time so if the camera is a bit shaky please understand this. If you have any questions regarding rue please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Here it is:

olive oil, one turn of the pan
3 pats of butter
3 tsp flour
1 - 1.5 cups of stock or milk (see HINT below)
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter and stir in with a whisk. When butter is melted, add the flour and whisk the flour in with the butter until the flour cooks fully and no longer looks white. The flour might clump up but that is ok. Add the liquid and whisk to incorporate until all the lumps are gone and the sauce starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the sauce is at the desired thickness remove from heat and add to the dish you are making.

***HINT*** If you want to make a milk based rue (for mac n cheese for example) then use milk as the liquid. If you want to make a stock based rue or gravy (like for chicken or turkey gravy) then use chicken stock as the liquid. Enjoy.

Menu Monday - Nov 23

It's Thanksgiving Week and I am so excited. I love Thanksgiving and I love leftovers even more! Here is to a happy and healthy Thanksgiving week.

Monday - spaghetti with marinara sauce, garlic toast

Tuesday - Pizza, salad

Wednesday - sausage and peppers, broccoli

Happy Thanksgiving Thursday - turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding pie.


Saturday - Tacos

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Easy Italian Meatloaf

I made meatloaf the other day and it came out terrible. It was dry and tasteless. I didn't want to put a lot of stuff in it because my kids are really picky about herbs and onions and all that. Surely I can come up with something they would like. I searched all over and found my next meatloaf recipe. I am looking forward to testing it out but from the ingredients it sounds delicious.

Do you have a meatloaf recipe that you love? If so please share!

Easy Italian Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef (leaner is better)
1 4 ounce can mushrooms (reserve juice)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 center cut bacon strips
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add water to mushroom juice to make 1 cup. Fry bacon until crispy, drain and crumble. Set aside.

Combine beef, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, egg, mushroom juice, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. On wax paper, form meat mixture into a 8x12 inch rectangle.

Sprinkle meat with parsley, oregano, basil, thyme and 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Spread bacon, onion, mushrooms and cheese evenly over meat.

Roll meat into an 8 inch wide loaf. Place meatloaf into an 8 inch glass bread pan or glass baking dish.

Bake for 60 minutes. Pour tomato sauce over meatloaf, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Let meatloaf sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Easy Freezer Chicken Tacos

I found this great recipe on a blog in my reader. I am a big fan of make ahead cooking and crock pots. This recipe does both.

In a ziploc baggie, add the following ingredients:

3-1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green chiles (small can)
3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon cumin

Rinse two pounds of boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts and add to bag. Massage bag to combine ingredients well. Seal and freeze.

To Cook: Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Place contents of bag into crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours/high for 3-4 hours, or until meat shreds easily.