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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Saturday Brunch: Grilled Cheese with Carmelized Onions and Bacon from “The Stores”

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Ms. Foodie has been a travelin’ fool lately, and that means the kitchen Stores have gotten waaay low. But, ever resourceful, Ms. Foodie found something to start off my and Mr. Foodie’s day. With the help of Potato Bread, some Cheddar-Jack blend shredded cheese, some bacon I had stashed in the freezer (defrosted, of course), and a bit of carmelized onions, we had our brunch!

Mr. Foodie gets to go to a game, and Ms. Foodie plans to get in her Yoga later this afternoon, so this will just keep the energy flowing until I can scrounge through The Stores for dinner.

Happy Saturday!

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!

Sunday Dinner: Prosciutto and Artichoke Heart Pizza

Ms. Foodie decided to experiment with a more dignified version of the Hawaiian pizza.

Trader Joe’s pizza dough makes for a wonderful crust, and Ms. Foodie used their Garlic and Herb flavor.

Instead of tomato sauce as a base, I used Olive Oil, Red Onion, and Parmesan. Then covered it with roughly chopped Artichoke Hearts, and dotted the crust with rolled slices of thin Prosciutto.

Once that was done, Ms. Foodie blanketed the base with Mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Basil and Parmesan.

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The results: Very light, extremely delicious.

Sunday Dinner: Herb-crusted roasted Pork Loin with Simmered Cabbage

Say what you will about Paula Deen’s recent troubles, the woman can throw down. Ms. Foodie pulled her recipe off of the Food Network’s website and coupled it with a Food.com recipe for Simmered Cabbage.

Ms. Foodie served it all over Jasmine Rice, and was quite please about the way this turned out!

Eating Out: The Oinkster’s “Nick Offerman” All-American Burger

It’s been a rough week, and as much as Ms. Foodie loves to cook, even I need a night off sometimes. It was also the last day in October, and I had yet to try the Burger of the Month at one my favorite burger joints, The Oinkster.

Mr. Foodie and I were not disappointed in the “Nick Offerman” All-American Burger: Shaved Ham, Gruyere, hot n’ sweet Mustard, Mayo and house-made Pickles on top of a Beef Patty and stuffed in a Sourdough Bun.

Despite the list of ingredients, it was quite light, and always tasty. Ms. Foodie approves, and The Oinkster continues to not disappoint!

Saturday Night: Chili Lime Meatballs accompanied by Browned Butter Noodles with Parmesan and mixed Vegetables

Ms. Foodie had a packet of Chili Lime seasoning in her store, so I decided to whip up some Ground Pork Meatballs with Red Onion, then create some sauce from some of the seasoning using Orange Juice and Honey.

With some Browned Butter Egg Noodles, Parmesan and mixed Vegetables as a side, the evening meal was Yumdilitious!

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.

Big Food for the Big Game

CIMG0371Ms. Foodie is by no means a sports fan–I just use any excuse to cook and party! SuperBowl Sunday is the perfect day to trot out some new recipes, or put a new twist on the old ones.

Ms. Foodie kept the nibbles few and simple: Potato Chips, Baby Carrots, Celery Sticks, and Toasted sliced mini Baguettes.  They were the perfect complement to the AllRecipes.com Garlic Feta Dip and the Egg and Avocado Salad found on the Never Homemaker site.

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Ms. Foodie liked this particular Egg Salad because of it’s simplicity and flexibility. Of course, changes were made: Ms. Foodie rarely does Mayonnaise, when Miracle Whip tastes better; and Salt and Pepper should always be to taste–a pinch just doesn’t do the trick.

CIMG0367But enough of the nibbles, it’s always the main event that gets me really excited!

Ms. Foodie has fallen in LOVE with Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili sauce, so she decided to sauce up her Pork Spare Ribs with it! I first seasoned the Ribs with some Sea Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Cayenne, then poured on the TJ’s Sweet Chili sauce (about half of the 10 ounce bottle for 12 ribs), sliced some onions to cover the ribs, and put the mix in a crock pot for about six hours.

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Once the Ribs were sufficiently succulent,  I placed them in a pan, basted them with the rest of the bottle of Sweet Chili sauce, then baked them uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

CIMG0374Ms. Foodie paired the Spare Ribs with my favorite Jasmine Rice–Man, were they tasty!

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That got us through two halves of the game, so for halftime, Ms. Foodie whipped up some sliders. Easy to do with pre-marinated Ground Beef, mini buns from Trader Joe’s (love that place!) and some sliced Cheddar.

I mixed the Ground Beef with chopped Onions, Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Cumin, Basil, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Probiotic Yogurt. Ms. Foodie set the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours to meld these flavors. It also helps me form the mix into little balls, about an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter.

CIMG0378In lieu of a grill, I lined a pan with aluminum foil, then cooked them in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While the Burger Balls were cooking, it gave me time to prep the mini buns by cutting the Cheddar Cheese slices in quarters, and putting those mini-slices on each side of the bun.

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Ms. Foodie placed the prepped buns in the oven midway through the Burgers cooking. Once the Cheese was melted, everything comes out, and the Sliders are ready to be put together.

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No matter who wins the game, these SuperBowl goodies make for a victorious feast!