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!

Angus Burger with Mushrooms, Kale and Green Onion–it’s What’s for Dinner!

Ms. Foodie turned the page on another epicurean year, and decided to celebrate with some good, old-fashioned American fare… with a bit of international twists.

I started with yummy 90 percent lean Angus Ground Beef, and spiced it up with Turmeric, Thyme, Cilantro, Garlic and Basil. I chopped up some Green Onion, Kale, and Mushrooms. After adding a dash of Teriyaki marinade, mixed it all together.

While those flavors were melding in the fridge, I peeled and sliced Russet potatoes, then used a basting brush to cover them with a mixture of Olive Oil and grated Parmesan/Romano Cheese. After baking in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes to an hour, they were beautiful and crisp.

I formed the Angus Beef into thick patties and slapped them on the George Foreman grill. Mr. Foodie likes his medium well, but I like mine to moo a bit!

I served it up on a toasted bun, and garnished the Burgers with Muenster Cheese, Avocado and Tomato–just what the doctor ordered! Well…

I washed it down with a full-bodied Full Sail Amber Ale. Mr. Foodie had some bootleg beer he got from a friend–sssh! Don’t tell anyone…

 

What’s for Dinner?: Chicken Loaf

So for Ms. Foodie’s reemergence back into the kitchen, I decided that meat and potatoes was in order–but I skipped the meat.

Ground chicken makes a wonderful substitute, and instead of the typical tomato-based loaf, I lavished the poultry with French Onions, bread crumbs, egg, sour cream, and mushrooms. Then, I spiced it up with Cumin, Tumeric, Garlic, Pepper, Fresh Basil, Sage, Cilantro and Tarragon.

After 45-minutes at 350 degrees, you have a flavor extravaganza that is savory, and yummy to the tummy!

And what’s a loaf without a baked potato? I generously spread the butter and sour cream–but you can be as healthy as you want to be… or not!

 

More fun with Chobani!

So Ms. Foodie made good on her promise to whip up a recipe using Chobani Greek Yogurt. I took 6 oz. of the plain flavor and made a zesty marinade for our chicken breasts last night!

It’s only me and Mr. Foodie, so I used the six ounce size of the yogurt to cover two breasts, and even had some leftover marinade after coating the chicken. But, if you use more breasts, you can double, triple, quadruple the recipe–you decide…

I threw in three teaspoons of Olive Oil, 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger and Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder, 1/2 teaspoon of Minced Onion, 1/4 teaspoon of Rosemary, and a 1/2 cup of Lime Juice.  After mixing all the ingredients into the yogurt, I used it to coat the breasts on both sides, then let them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes while warming up the broiler.

At 500 degrees, the chicken flash cooks, but the lovely yogurt coating holds in all the flavor–no dry breasts on this watch.  Lots of taste with a bit of zing!

But here’s the best part: I refrigerated the leftover yogurt marinade and stirred it into eggs this morning to make myself a Ms. Foodie Omelette.

This is back to pure Kitchen Cabinet Cooking, because everything was already in the store: two eggs, some leftover roasted turkey breast, and Roma tomatoes.  And with all the flavors packed into the yogurt, who has to season?

I also had some potato salad with dill in the fridge, so it accompanied the Omelette, along with Sourdough toast.

Mmmm Good!

Thanksgiving Dinner Recap

It’s been a while since Ms. Foodie posted any good dishes!  I was so geared toward Thanksgiving and prepping all that good food, that the everyday food prep got put on the back burner.  My apologies.

Compliments of my dear sister, who flew in from the artic Midwest to spend Thanksgiving with us in the beautiful and measureably warmer West, I have some mouthwatering pictures of the Thanksgiving dinner spread–and what a spread it was! 

The turkey was obviously the center of attention.  I marinated it in Olive Oil, Rosemary, Ginger, Sea Salt, Ground Pepper and Thyme, then stuffed it full of my specialty kitchen-sink dressing.  The second meat course was a lovely Applewood smoked Ham in a Mandarin Orange and Brown Sugar glaze, and for my non-meat eating friends, Salmon basted in Olive Oil and minced onions.

And those lovelies were accompanied by Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Candied Yams and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  Friends brought a host of other sides, including homemade Cranberry Sauce and Vegan Collard Greens.  Then we topped off our evening with a dessert of Peach Cobbler and French Vanilla Ice Cream.

The leftovers were even more stupendous, and the turkey and ham supplied the makings for some wonderful new dishes.  Stay tuned for some delicious recipes for the Holiday Season!