Friday, May 19, 2006

Works for Me Wednesdays

I just discovered "Works for Me Wednesdays" on several blogs and now I'm addicted. Check it out and get some great tips on all sorts of household stuff!

Picture and a tip

I made the Pad Thai again last night so I thought I'd pass along a picture to go with the recipe. My own variation this time was chicken only and no bean sprouts.

Along the lines of Sara's post earlier asking about frozen meal ideas, I have this tip. I hate touching/cutting up raw meat so when we fixed Thai last time I had Nathan chop up enough chicken pieces for two meals and froze the second half of the meat. All I had to do last night was dump my ziploc bag of thawed chicken pieces into the pan, add the other ingredients and I was done. I loved how easy it made my cooking which means Nathan will probably be chopping lots of meat next time I go shopping. :-)

You could also do this for Chicken Fajitas. Freeze your chicken pieces with a dash of lime juice and some spices, with a second bag of frozen green peppers and onions. Dump it all in a skillet and saute until done. Serve in soft shells with taco toppings.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stuffed French Toast

This is not a low-fat recipe but it is a yummy treat.

Stuffed French Toast

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans (you could use other nuts)

At least 14 slices of bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cans of fruit, any kind, I used apricot, about 15 oz each, home
canned is fine, just no melon or grapes

8 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I thought it would have been good with
almond or half vanilla and half almond, especially with the apricot, or
if you used cherries)

1/2 cup butter, melted

Open cans of fruit and drain in a strainer.

Heat butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a microwave bowl for about
2 1/2 minutes, stir to completely melt butter and mix everything up.

Spray or butter a large pan (I should have used an 11 X 15, rather
than the 9 X 13 I did, but you can squish them tightly once they are
wet with the egg mixture). Pour the syrup in the bottom of the pan and
sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

Lay out the bread slices. Spread softened butter on one slice of
bread, top with well drained fruit (berries or pineapple can be
crushed). Spread butter on a second slice of bread and use it to cover
the bread with the fruit. Cut this sandwich in half and place it in
the pan on top of the syrup mixture. Make the rest of the bread into
sandwiches like this, cut them in half and put them in the pan. You
can crowd them, but don't overlap the bread.

Beat the eggs with the sugar, cream and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Pour this over the bread in the pan. Press down firmly on the bread
with a metal spatula. You want to soak all the bread.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and let it stand on the
counter for about 20 minutes (or you can put it in the fridge overnight
and bake in the morning). Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Take off any plastic or foil. Melt the third stick of butter, drizzle
it over the top of the sandwiches. Bake the french toast at 375
degrees, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the top has browned.
Let pan cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pad Thai

Nathan randomly picked out this recipe for dinner on Saturday. Low and behold it was easy to make and very yummy! We made it with chicken and shrimp, but I want to try it chicken only and stir fry veggies only. I think any combination of meat and/or veggies would be tasty with the pasta and sauce.


Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people!)

• 1/2 pound uncooked linguine
• 3/4 cup tomato juice
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
• 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips/bite size pieces
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 pound bean sprouts, rinsed and drained (optional)
• 1/3 cup sliced green onions and tops
• 1/2 pound cooked baby shrimp, rinsed and drained
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
• Lime wedges (optional) (I added a dash of lime juice to the sauce instead)

1. Cook linguine according to package directions, omitting salt; drain.
2. Combine tomato juice, lite soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in hot wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry 1 minute; remove.
4. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same pan. Add garlic, bean sprouts and green onions; stir-fry 1 minute.
5. Stir in linguine and cook 2 minutes, or until heated through. Return chicken with shrimp, cilantro and tomato juice mixture. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens.
6. Serve with lime wedges.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Freezable Recipes

In anticipation of The Bigness of Pregnancy In Summer, not to mention a third child, I'm realizing I'd do well to have meals already on hand. I don't know many freezer-recipes, though. You can eat only so much lasagna, after all.

I'd love some meal recipes, or even just freezable components ("Pasta freezes. Rice doesn't. Jello is a total loss.")

As a completely irrelevent side note, I tried Sarah's Irish Stew recipe. It was marvelous.

-- SJ

Monday, May 01, 2006

Help needed! Birthday menu ideas

OK, so it's DOB's birthday on Sunday, and I'm trying to come up with a birthday menu. He said for me just to come up with a new menu and a new dessert--or at least a new combination.

So I'm looking for something:
1) A little different
2) EASY--the ducklings don't know what a birthday means yet. ;-)
3) Must involve meat. We have gotten in touch with our inner carnivores and decided our metabolisms need meat.
4) Goes well with blueberry muffins, because that's the one thing I've thought of thus far.

Oh, and I have to decide by Wednesday morning, before I go grocery shopping. (Although if an emergency arises, we do live across the street from the grocery store right now.)