Menu 6/25 - 7/1--2010

Another late menu post but I know you'll forgive me when you see how bare it is in any case!! We travelled over the weekend and the boys are not home this week so we are eating leftovers and eggs mostly. In any case, here is what we've eaten/will eat this week:
Friday--Fish Fry at the Family Reunion
Saturday--Family Reunion Pot Luck (I made Chicken N Dumplin's which I meant to blog but forgot to take pictures..I'll do it soon, I promise!)
Monday--boys left with my parents so we ate leftovers
Tuesday--most likely leftovers again
Wednesday--Stupid Chicken I STILL haven't made from a couple weeks ago
Thursday--probably leftovers form Wednesday


Menu 6/18 - 6/24--2010

Well, things have hit the fan around here so Iam glad I didn't post this Friday as usual because it would all be different now!! Friday night we left for a weekend trip to my folks' house and were supposed to leave the boys there for the week but Raley started running a fever so we brought them home with us. So much for our week of eating whatever we could scrounge when we got hungry!!
Friday--We ate sandwiches while driving
Saturday--Mom fixed us dinner
Sunday--I made Pioneer Woman's Chicken Fried Steak for Daddy and Jayme (and the rest of us too)
Monday--we scrounged
Wednesday--Pork and Rice
Thursday--Meatloaf (crockpot recipe) and red potatoes


Menu 6/11 - 6/17--2010

I have no idea what my family will eat tonight since I have some sort of stomach bug today. I do know it will be "Daddy-made" which usually means breakfast. Here are the meals I planned for the week but I haven't put them on a specific day yet. Frankly I hope I don't hurl just from typing this!!
-"Stupid Chicken" and noodles
-Crockpot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
-Lasagna Soup
-BLTs and Fries (regular and sweet potato)
-Pork loin chops and Mac & cheese
-I am going to try a copycat recipe for Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup


Stuffed Shells

This is a recipe I have made after combining two different recipes. One was a vegetarian version, which was delicious but not so popular in carnivorous Chaosville, and the other was a meatball only version that just seemed like it needed a little more "oomph".
The Ingredients:
Jumbo Shell Pasta
Pasta sauce of your choosing
Ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasonings (I used dried Oregano and Basil since I had it on hand, and some Garlic Powder too)
**Not pictured--Shredded Mozzarella and Meatballs

The first thing you may want to do is round up some first rate sous chefs. These are mine and they are not for hire to anyone else...sorry!
Now, put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta and while that is working you can prep the filling. If you need to precook your meatballs go ahead and do that now as well. I bought frozen meatballs and they were heating in the oven while the pasta cooked. In a mixing bowl, blend together the Ricotta, seasonings, Parmesan, garlic and about 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella. This is one of the rare times I don't measure. I just sprinkle them in until it looks right and smells yummy.
When the pasta shells are done cooking, drain and rinse them in cold water to cool them down enough for handling. Even so, this is not a job for my sous chef, so he took the pictures. Scoop a small amount of the cheese blend into each pasta shell.
Then plunk in a meatball.
Put the filled shells in a baking pan that you have sprayed with cooking spray or something similar. I used Olive oil in a kitchen spritzer bottle. You should also put a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish but I forgot this step. When you have filled all the shells, pour the remaining sauce over the dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese. I had enough shells and meatballs but ran low on the cheese filling so the ones in the white dish are the plain meatball kinds with one for Clay that had 2 meatballs in it.
Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 -10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and it looks too good to wait any longer.
This dish is a big hit with the clones! This time I also made some Pillsbury Breadsticks (from the tube). When they were done, I brushed them with a mix of melted butter, parmesan cheese and garlic powder...deelish!
Buon appetito!


Menu 6/4 - 6/11--2010

Happy National Doughnut Day!! Or Donut Day, if you prefer! I think the clones and I may try to make donuts later from a recipe I have using refrigerated biscuits. If they turn out, I bet you will find a post here soon! In the meantime, here is our menu for the week.
Friday--Salmon Patties ( yep, still haven't made them!!)
Saturday--Chicken Fried Rice (Recipe I found in the booklet that came with my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker)
Sunday--Hamburger Salad
Monday--Stuffed Shells
Wednesday--Soft Tacos
Thursday--Stupid Chicken


Summer Cooking Challenge and a Puffed Pancake

It happens every year...The electric bill in April is ridiculously low since we usually run neither the heater nor the air conditioner. The weather is lovely and we have the windows open and fresh air blowing through the house every day. Then it gets closer and closer to May and...on goes the A/C and up goes the bill. Dinner becomes a vicious cycle. I use the oven to cook something which not only costs the electricity to power the oven but the A/C kicks on to alleviate the heat increase thus using more power. So this summer I have issued myself a challenge; I am going to try to use my oven less by using my crockpot and my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker more. I have a lot of recipes for both, but I would love some help from y'all. So if you have a favorite recipe, let me hear about it! Send it to me by e-mail, leave it here in the comments, or even Facebook it to me. If I try it out and it meets Chaosville approval I will blog it and give you the credit!

Now for the recipe for today: Puffed Oven Pancake
I saw this post on This Week For Dinner the other day and I thought it looked so easy and yummy I just had to try it out. The Ingredients are cupboard staples so no trip to the store was needed:

2 Tbsp butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating up, put butter in a baking dish and place inside oven until butter melts.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, flour and salt and beat until smooth. Pour into baking dish.
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until sides are puffy and center is done.
Serve with syrup and powdered sugar
or fruit or whatever you like. Personally, and this is just me, I'm sure...it was screaming NUTELLA!

I will most definitely make this again, but I think next time I will increase the ingredients by half. I think the recipe I used was for an 8 inch baking dish and I used a 9 x 13. I think if I added a little more "batter" then it would be a little puffier and even more delicious. Try it out for yourself and let me know how you like it!