Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inspiration from the Produce Aisle!

Although I enjoy cooking, too often the planning, shopping and preparing, not to mention the cleaning, becomes a chore and is not so enjoyable. Lately, I have felt very uninspired and uncreative, and I've felt like our meals have shown that. This week began not much differently, except that it was so hot on Tuesday when I went shopping that I just went right to the produce area and loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies. Thus, my week was born and we have had a week of salads and sandwiches.

The best part, it has been one of those weeks that I have done well thinking ahead and prepping extra to make the following days a little easier. Yeah. 

Tuesday - Grilled steak, peppers and onions sandwiches with salad
I shopped, came home and prepped fruits and veggies for the week and marinated steak and chicken breast. 

Wednesday - Make Your Own Tacos
I cooked some bacon and grilled some chicken breast first thing in the morning.
Make you own tacos: sliced grilled Chicken breast, avocado, tomato, Corn & Chili Salsa (trader joe's), black beans, sour cream and salad

Thursday: Sandwiches
BLTs (Bacon that I cooked Wed) &/or chicken and apple salad (reserved some chicken breast from Wed), black bean salad (beans, avocado, tomato and corn & chili salsa - all leftover from make your own tacos), roasted baby potatoes

I'm not sure what we are having tomorrow, but I boiled the baby potatoes (white, red and purple - so pretty) and then roasted half for Thursday's dinner. The other half I chopped and put a little olive oil and vinegar on and am planning to turn into a potato salad to accompany something, probably grilled.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

4th of July Party

To celebrate my 14-year-old son's birthday he wants a "Hot Dog Extravaganza"! So we'll borrow the menu from our "Franks N Stein" Halloween Party! Of course we'll have the ketchup, mustard, hot dog relish, Saurkraut, bacon and cheese.

One of my old time favorites: Spicy Onions (sautee sliced onions cut in half, once they are soft, add in tabascco, ketchup, salt and pepper, I don't measure just shake and taste. Should be well coated but not to saucy, simmer until desired tenderness and sauce consistancy. Sometimes, I also add a bit of cooking wine to them:)

The Chicago Dog (which we experienced last summer when visiting my brother)
mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomato slices, pickle spear, Sport Peppers (imported from Chicago), and a dash of Celery Salt on a poppy seed bun (we could not get these in NY)

Thai Dog: Thai peanut sauce, diced cucumbers and chopped scallions.

Chili Dog: mustard, homemade chili, chopped onions and nacho cheese.

Of Course we have to have my homemade Baked Beans (my neighbor Kathy's recipe):
1/2 pound Bacon, browned and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped and browned in 1T bacon fat
In crockpot, combine 2 large cans of B&M Baked Beans, 1 can Kidney beans, 1 can Butter Beans. Add bacon and onion. Then stir in 1/2 C ketchup, 1/4 C molasses and 1 t dry mustard (Coleman's). Original recipe also called for 1/2 pound of browned ground beef or turkey, I have never felt it needed it. Cook until heated through.

We'll wash it down with Beer and Root Beer! And finish it off with Carvel Ice Cream cake:) HAPPY 4th of JULY to all!!