Sunday, November 9, 2008

November Will Be Eat at Home Month...

One of the most depressing days of my adult life was when I divided my annual salary by the number of hours I actually work and realized I would make more working the same number of hours at my local Wal-Mart. I had a similar feeling last night when I went through this month's expenses and realized we spent $400 or more on groceries this month, and I have only cooked about once per week. Hmmm. I need to cook more. I haven't been throwing that much away, so what is happening? I need to keep better track.

This week...

Monday... Brad's parents left in the morning. We had Monterrey Chicken for supper, with a Taco Rice pouch and some corn.

Monterrey Chicken
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, chicken stock, celery salt, white pepper and white wine. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and well blended, about 10 minutes.

Mix 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese into the thickened sauce mixture, and stir until melted.

In a shallow medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken breast halves in the flour mixture to coat. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned on all sides. Arrange breast halves in the prepared baking dish, and cover with the sauce.

Top chicken breast halves with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Tuesday... Election Day. I made snacks to munch on all day while we watched the election coverage. We also watched "A Series of Unfortunate Events." It was pretty good. I made taco dip, little wieners, chicken curry puffs and crab bites.

Taco Dip
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) package sour cream
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (8oz.) package cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, Colby jack... whatever you want or have...)

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning together. Spread onto a plate or platter. Top with cheese. Let set in refrigerator at least one hour before serving. Serve with corn chips.

Little Wieners
See recipe in "Does Anyone Know CPR" post

Crab Bites
2 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray mini muffing pan with cooking spray.
Divide rolls in half and press into the prepared mini muffin pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, green onions and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon 1 teaspoon of mixture onto dough and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown.

Curry Chicken Puffs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 oz. package) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Bring water and butter to a boil over medium high heat. Add flour and alt and reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously until a ball forms. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Drop by tablespoons full onto a wet, but ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder. fry chicken pieces in the mixture until thoroughly cooked. Cool slightly. Combine cream cheese, milk, salt, sweet curry powder and pepper until creamy. Stir into chicken mixture, and heat until warm throughout.

Remove the tops of the puffs, and place 1 teaspoon of filling on top of bottom. Place top on top of filling. Bake at 375F for 5 minutes.

Wednesday I fell asleep before I could make anything for dinner. Thursday I had... what did I have? I think I had leftover appetizers from election night.

Friday, I made pasta bake. It is delicious, but it makes A TON!

Pasta Bake
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
8 slices (8 ounces total) provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.

In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cans spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes. Mix sauce mixture in with the noodles and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour 1/2 of the remaining spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan. Spread. Place 1/3 of the pasta mixture on top of that. Evenly place the provolone cheese over the pasta. Spread the sour cream over the provolone. On top of the sour cream, add 1/3 of the pasta mix. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pasta. Spread the pasta over the mozzarella. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top of the final layer of pasta. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Saturday night, Brad heated up an UNO's frozen pizza that we bought last week at Aldi, and I had beef stew at my mom's.

I am not sure what I am cooking tonight, but since I have a refrigerator full of food, I am most certainly going to be cooking something.

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