Angie Gets Organized

This is why I'm trying to get organized...for my family. I am a strong believer in family meal time, but I know that without a little planning, it will be hard to keep us all together. It will also be easier to spend money foolishly on prepared foods or fast food. I love trying out new recipes, so this is my site to pass on recipes, while also organizing them into a meal plan. I hope it helps you to keep your family together. I would love to hear what others are having for dinner, or see a new recipe or two! Feel free to leave me some feedback in the comments least then I would know someone is reading this!

It's not gourmet...just good food!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Menu

Welcome to the New Year! I'm still a little sleepy since 3 of the 4 kids managed to stay up past midnight...thanks to a kind neighbor who invited us over! No seriously, we had a great visit with them and lots of laughs playing "Apples to Apples". But now, it's time to get back on track for an organized year. The new menu is made, and after looking it over, seems to contain a lot of Mexican dishes. So, sorry to those of you who don't like Mexican...but my family loves it! Hopefully you will get some good ideas of new things to make...we'll try a few new things together. If they are good or bad, I'd love to have comments. I DO NOT like to pass on bad recipes, so I'd rather prevent culinary disasters from hitting someone else's house if possible!

Jan 1-8:
1. Leftovers: sorry, Saturday is my leftover day...although, this is New Year's, so if I can get out to get a pork roast, I might make pork and sauerkraut!
2. Country Gravy Beef & Pasta Soup: I found this recipe in an advertisement in a Paula Deen Magazine. It is meant for layering in a jar as a've seen those, right? Well, they seem quick enough, so I'm going to try two of them this month! This one combines 1 lb. browned ground beef, onion, and celery with 2 Tbsp. beef bouillon granules, 1 package Country Gravy Mix (found in the gravy aisle), 1 package Brown Gravy Mix, parsley, 3 cups uncooked small pasta (any variety), 7 cups of water, and one can of diced tomatoes. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5-7 min until pasta is tender. How simple is that?? I hope it's good. As an option, you can add 1 cup frozen peas or greenbeans. I'm not sure if I will till I see how it looks.
3. Chicken Bruschetta: (from the Kraft magazines) Combine 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 box Stovetop Stuffing mix (6 oz.), 1/2 c. water, and 2 cloves garlic in a medium bowl. Place 1 1/2 lb. diced chicken breasts in a 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. basil and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Top with stuffing mixture and bake 30 min at 400 degrees.
4. Burritos: store-bought or homemade. I make mine with 1 lb browned, ground beef, 1 can refried beans, and 1 jar salsa. Combine ingredients, add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Place in tortillas and roll up. You can eat immediately, or bake them in a casserole dish with more cheese on top. Save the leftover fillling for Friday's meal.
5. Baked Ravioli, garlic bread: Layer frozen ravioli, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and ravioli are heated through (about 25 min.).
6. Ham slices, fried potatoes
7. Mexican Pizza: use the leftover filling from the burritoes to make a fast pizza. I spread the leftover filling on a store-bought pizza crust (the ones in the can). I top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 20 min (or until crust is starting to brown and cheese is melted). I serve a slice with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream on top.
8. Leftovers
Jan. 9-15
9. Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes
10. Chicken Tetrazzini: (a Campbell's recipe) Cook 8 oz of spaghetti and drain. Combine two cans of cream of chicken soup with one soup can of milk. Add cooked diced onion, if desired. Add cooked spaghetti to soup mixture. Add 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and 2 Tbsp. dried parsley. Toss lightly to coat spaghetti, heat through.
11. Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-ups (Taste of Home): Cook 1 lb. ground beef, onion, and chopped bacon (6 slices) in a frying pan; drain. Add 8 oz. velveeta cheese, stir until melted. Flatten a jumbo biscuit (from a "Pillsbury" can) into a 5 inch circle. Spoon 1/3 c. of the meat mixture onto the biscuit. Fold the dough in half and use the end of a fork (the tines) to crimp the biscuit dough shut. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 min or until golden brown. Serve with a mixture of ketchup and mustard. These are basically like hotpockets, so you could put any filling in them you want, but I love bacon, so this one is for me. You can also freeze these for quickie lunches later.
12. Country Gravy Chicken Soup (Paula Deen Magazine): another quick meal "from a jar". This is meant to layer in a jar and be given as a gift, but the recipe is so quick, I had to try it. One Package Country Gravy Mix (in the gravy aisle), 2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules, minced onion and celery, parsley, 3 cups uncooked egg noodles, and 8 cups of water. Combine in large pot, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and add 1 10 oz can of cooked chicken or 1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken. Cover and simmer 5-6 min or until noodles are tender. Could also add frozen peas to this as an option.
13. Creamy Ham and Noodle Casserole (Taste of Home): 3 cups tricolored spiral noodles, cooked. Sautee a handful of onion and celery in butter till tender. Stir in 1 can cheddar cheese soup and 1 soup can of milk. Add 2 cups cooked, diced ham (leftovers, or you can buy diced ham in packages at Walmart). Toss the cooked pasta with the soup mixture, place in greased 9x13 casserole dish, top with crushed Ritz crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min. This is a make-ahead recipe as well, so you can freeze the casserole for later use.
14. Chicken Nuggets and boxed macaroni & cheese
15. Leftovers
16. Meatroll (from the back of the Jiffy Mix box): my mom made this for us when we were kids, and I get hungry for it every once in awhile...kind of like "Spam"...only I don't ever make that! You can use any type of meat in this, but I have always had it with ground beef, so I'm going to stick with that. Brown 1 1/2 lb ground beef and onion in a frying pan; drain. Add salt and pepper to taste. In separate bowl, mix 2 cups Jiffy Mix (I'm sure Bisquick would work as well) with 1/2 cup of milk. Combine into a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle (9x12). Cover with meat mixture and roll up (jelly-roll style). Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Slash top several times to vent. Bake 20-25 min at 400 degrees. Serve with gravy (mom usually used a mixture of leftover beef gravy and tomato soup--sounds weird, but was delicious!). You could use brown gravy if you don't have any leftover beef gravy.
17. Pork BBQ sandwiches, baked beans: I'll cook boneless pork chops in the crockpot and then add BBQ sauce after shredding.
18. Stuffed French Toast and Bacon: Spread two slices of thick bread with strawberry cream cheese spread. Top with bananas or blueberries (or any fruit, if desired). Put bread together, like a sandwich. Dip in egg mixture (standard French toast mix of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla). Fry in buttered pan (like a grilled cheese). Serve with syrup and powdered sugar.
19. Chicken Tucson (Meals for a Month): Spread 1/2 cup salsa in bottom of 9x9 baking dish. In separate bowl, combine 2 cans drained and rinsed black or pinto beans (or combination), 2 cups cooked chicken, and remaining salsa (from a 20 oz. jar). Place 3 tortillas on top of the salsa in the baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat tortilla and chicken layers. Dollop 1/2 cup sour cream on top and another cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 min.
20. Brown Gravy Patties: make hamburger patties out of standard meatloaf recipe (meat, egg, onion, salt/pepper). Brown patties on both sides in a frying pan. Add 2 packages of brown gravy (mixed with water, according to package directions). Simmer the patties until cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes.
21. Sandwiches or Hoagies
22. Leftovers
Jan. 23-31
23. Ham and Bean Soup with hushpuppy muffins: Hushpuppy Muffins (Southern Living): Combine 2/3 cup cornmeal, 1/3 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt in mixing bowl. Add handful of diced onion, 1/3 cup milk, 1 large egg, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into greased miniature muffin pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 min or until golden brown.
24.BBQ Beef Tips over Rice: Roll 1 lb. beef tips/cubes in mixture of flour/salt/pepper. Brown in small amount of oil in skillet. In a crockpot, combine the following: the browned beef, 1/2 c. diced onion, 1 tsp. EACH salt, paprika, and mustard, black pepper to taste, 1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce, 1 cup ketchup, and 1 Tbsp. EACH lemon juice, vinegar, and brown sugar. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours. I usually double the sauce ingredients so that we have more to put on our rice.
25. Chicken Parmesan over spaghetti: I will probably just use chicken patties instead of breading chicken breasts. This is my quick version.
26. Porcupine Meatballs: Mix 1 lb. ground beef, 1/2 cup rice (regular or instant), diced onion, 1/2 tsp. celery salt, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, and salt/pepper and 1/2 cup water. Shape into meatballs. Brown in a skillet, drain if necessary. Pour 15 oz. can of tomato sauce and 2 tsp. worchestershire sauce over meatballs. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 min (add extra time if using regular rice). Add water if necessary. This dish can also be baked (place unbrowned meatballs in baking dish, cover with sauce and bake at 350 degrees 45 min covered/15 min uncovered.)
27. English Muffin Pizzas
28. Taco Chili (Taste of Home): 2 lbs ground beef (browned), 2 cups water, 1 can refried beans, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can chili beans, 1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can stewed or diced tomatoes, 1 cup salsa, 1 envelope taco seasoning, 1 can black olives (optional). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 min. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheddar cheese. I like to serve it with crushed tortilla chips as well.
29. Leftovers
30. Pancakes and Eggs
31. Honey Apricot Chicken (Taste of Home): 4 boneless chicken breasts (cooked in oil in skillet). When cooked through, pour following sauce over chicken: 3 Tbsp. apricot or peach preserves, 2 Tbsp. orange juice, and 4 tsp. honey. I like to add a little ginger to mine. Cook for 2 min until heated through.