Shortcuts and Time Savers: Weekend Meals

Happy Hump Day! It may be Wednesday, but Ms. Foodie is already working for the weekend…

Ms. Foodie prefers quick and dirty for the weekend–that’s meals, not… get your mind out of the gutter!

As much as Ms. Foodie loves food, and loves the kitchen, I don’t want to spend all weekend there. So easy, one-dish meals, particularly ones that can be planned ahead of time, are always on the list. And as always, I’m not opposed to using other recipes as my launch pad.

My friend Terri Gibson posted this Pizza Casserole recipe on her Facebook page, and I immediately snagged it so that I could make it on Saturday. It looks complex, but like Pizza, it is sooo easy to prepare, and can even be prepared the night before, placed in the refrigerator, and cooked the next day. That might even be preferred, as the flavors get to merge and meld to make this already flavorful dish even better!

Pizza Casserole Collage

The original recipe is from Jinkyfer on her WordPress blog, “Recipes that Look and Sound Good“.  Jinkyfer doesn’t play, and all the recipes had me drooling. The only thing Ms. Foodie adjusted was the cook time. The recipe calls for 25 minutes, but I like my pizza and cheese crispy, yet gooey, so 45 minutes was a better measure.

For Sunday, AllRecipes.com was my go-to site, and Cheesy Pork Chop Casserole was on the menu. No measuring, no mixing, just real easy fixing, as the commercial goes. The most time took was peeling and slicing the potatoes–otherwise, gravy!

Desserts are also packaged into my weekend (unless I get a particular craving during the week), and this Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting from “Life’s Simple Measures” Blog could not be resisted.  Like the Pizza Casserole, it is extremely easy, even down to the Browned Butter Frosting. Ms. Foodie miscalculated on the Powdered Sugar, so I just added a bit of cornstarch to help the thickening.

Banana Bars Collage

Turned out beautiful, and the taste was scrumptious! It was moist and light, yet had that denseness that I love in Banana breads.

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What’s for Dinner: Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Happy New Year! Ms. Foodie is winding down the holiday excess with some lighter fare, and then a cleanse. Yes, even Ms. Foodie believes in resetting the system every once in a while in order to keep it working at its optimum. My enjoyment of food and its blessings are even more attuned after a cleanse–but I digress….

In preparation for the cleanse, Ms. Foodie whipped up three soups: a green vegetable soup, and vegan potato soup for the three days of strictly liquid, then one for tonight’s dinner.

Delish was the go-to site for the recipe, as Ms. Foodie doesn’t always feel inspired on her own. The ingredients were simple, and in store, and save for having to puree in a food processor, took little effort to prepare.

With a garnish of bacon and a dollop of sour cream, Mr. Foodie and my night was made.

Here’s to a year of good eating!

Comfort Breakfast: Grits with Parmesan Rock Fish and Seaweed

Ms. Foodie has been feeling a bit under the weather, so comfort foods are in order not only for nourishment, but for pampering.

Grits are my go-to breakfast comfort food. Ms. Foodie had some leftover Parmesan Rock Fish, so that added some protein and flavor, while Seaweed flakes added some chew and spice.

Along with some Peppermint Tea with LOTS of honey, and Ms. Foodie is feeling better already!

Ground Pork, Orzo, Artichoke Hearts, and Carrots tossed with Gorgonzola Cheese. Sometimes, I impress myself… #foodie #ieatthereforeiam #kitchencabinetcooking

Ms. Foodie surprised herself with some Kitchen Cabinet Cooking magic.

Comfort Food: Skillet-seared Salmon with Browned Butter Pasta and Peas

So three quarters of this meal involves butter and cheese: Comfort food much? NEVER too much. #foodie #ieatthereforeiam #comfortfood #fallmenu

What’s Brunchin’?

Ms. Foodie loves breakfast casseroles, and they’re so easy to make!

This one is chock full of Ground Turkey and Kale, accompanied by Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic and breadcrumbs. Some Cumin, Black Pepper, and Cilantro, along with fresh Basil, Thyme and Oregano added just the right savory flavor, then I filled it with six eggs mixed up with sour cream and sprinked on some Sharp Cheddar Cheese. We love our cow!

But you can easily healthy it up with 2% milk or a non-dairy base. You can also substitute egg whites or a vegan-friendly alternative. Potatoes are a good thickener.

And it makes great leftovers!

 

Kickin’ Turkey Tacos

So Ms. Foodie is still hot to trot… for spicy foods, that is!

This recipe is more in line with Southwestern, than Mexican cooking, with a Foodie twist, of course. I started by sauteing Mushrooms, Kale, Green Onions and Garlic in Chicken stock to create a nice flavor base. Then I crumbled Ground Turkey into the mixture, and seasoned it with Cayenne, Chili Powder, Sea Salt, Cumin, Coriander, Cilantro, Thyme, Basil and a bit of Lemon Juice.

I let that simmer along for 30 minutes or so, while I chopped up Vine-ripened Tomatoes and Avocado for topping.

 

 

 

 

 

Surrounded by warm flour tortillas, with Trader-Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend, Sour Cream, and their wicked Fire-Roasted Salsa to complete the package–all I can say is… Smokin’!

Succulent and Spicy Chicken Breast

Summer has finally come to Los Angeles–can you tell Ms. Foodie is thrilled? Not. But, it does give the opportunity to be ingenious about using the stove top or the crock pot, instead of turning on an oven–God forbid.

So instead of roasting the two breasts I had defrosted for dinner, I rubbed them down with a combination of Olive Oil, Thyme, Rosemary, Cilantro, Pepper and Celery Salt, then slapped on a bit of Tapatio for good measure. I placed them in my lovely covered Calphalon skillet over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, andVoila! Chicken breast that are succulent, spicy, and pretty darned delicious!

With leftover rice in the store, I re-heated it, chopped some Kale, and mixed it all together with Trader Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend. A hearty–yet healthy meal in less than 45-minutes.

Summertime, and the living is easy!