Saturday, November 14, 2009

Most Frequent Eats?

I'm trying to add more variety, when I get a chance, into our meals. I've found quite a few excellent recipes on and my sister gave me a few of her kid friendly stand by's. What are a few of your favorite or most frequent meals? Not necessarily the recipe per se, unless you think it is spectacular, but just a general title or idea.

Tonight I made, this Alfredo sauce from cooks (,1855,140166-232207,00.html) that I served with some penne left over from last night mixed with bacon bits and broccoli. Everyone loved it and there were no left overs. It was as good an easy as advertised. I used milk instead of half and half.

The other night I made chili served with sour cream, shredded cheese, and Frettos (sp?, the corn chips). Again, no left overs. We spoon fed the twins to avoid a compete mess. I can't find the recipe I used as a base, but was basically ground beef cooked with sweet onion and a mild chili packet (McCormick I think) mixed with 2 cans of Italian seasoned tomatoes (because that's what I had) and maybe that's it.

I've made ground beef stroganoff a few times. From, I read through several recipes and printed two that I kind of combine.

From my sister, I got an easy backed Ziti recipe along with a chicken pot pie one. I also got one that she calls Chicken Roll, where you chop chicken and mix it with mayo, cooked broccoli, cheese, and maybe a few other things/spices, and wrap in cressant rolls that I've only made once so far, but was good. Also, a tater tot casserole that I think R loved and Max/N were luke warm to cold over.

I made chicken/cheese enchiladas last week that were a big hit. Again, I pulled from a few different recipes from and altered based on what I had/like. I did both green and red sauce, but think I will stick to just green the next time.

I attempted Spaghetti Carbonara (noodles, egg, Canadian bacon or bacon, Parmesan, basil). It wasn't horrible, but I need a better or actual recipe as I was using a few from cooks and from memory from a friend and didn't have everything.

Before trying to expand, it was just basics like meatloaf, baked chicken served with rice or noodles, sausage served with rice or noodles, pork chops served with rice or noodles, spaghetti, lazagna (frozen), PJ Sandwich (since Max can't take to school about once a week it is served for either breakfast or dinner or a weekend lunch). About once a month I'll do mac n cheese with tuna salad (one the side, not mixed). Occasionally a crock pot roast. I'm sure there is more.

I'm trying to get a list of about/at least 30 standby recipes that are relatively easy/simple to make that I can rotate. Ideally, plenty left to freeze so I can actually cook about 3 times a week (one week night, weekends) and pull from the freezer the other nights.

What works for you/your family or is a fond childhood dinner?


Cindy said...

One thing I used to love that, for some reason haven't made for Noah yet, is lemony chicken wings. My mom used to pour a bunch of soy sauce and lemon juice (from lemons) in a bowl and add brown sugar. She would pour these all over chicken wings and bake it until the sauce was all nice and thick and sweet. I imagine you can also add bbq sauce, onions and lemon rinds to the pan while it's cooking. Oh, and water too so you don't use a huge amount of soy sauce. It was my favorite non-southern food dish.

I also, lately, have been making a crock pot chicken dish that consists of: frozen skinless chicken breasts, one Lipton Onion Soup Mix packet, one 16 ounce tub of sour cream (regular not low fat), half of a large bottle of Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dressing, one white onion chopped in large pieces, 2 pieces of elephant garlic cut in thirds, and a whole carton/can (I can't remember the ounce size...sorry) of lower sodium chicken broth and finally a little pepper and poultry seasoning. I through it all in the pot at the same time and cook it for 6 hours on high. It comes out nice and creamy. It's good over rice. Noah is a very picky eater but he has eaten some on occasion.

Cindy said...

Oh, and I made the above chicken dish today. Last time I made it I didn't have the sour cream so I just used a whole bottle of the salad dressing. This time I felt like it needed "something" so I added half of a stick of butter (spread out over many, many servings, it's not that many extra calories/fat) and that's what it needed.

Also, I received a good crock pot roast recipe that is really easy. Just put the roast in the pot and 2 packets of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and enough water to cover the meat. Cook it overnight for 6-8 hours on high and it's done!

Right now I am working on finding good and easy Chinese food recipes. I am trying to cut back on dining out.

Anonymous said...

Check out's Menu Plan Monday. It's great. Hundreds of folks link to it and list their menus for the week. it's interesting to see what other people eat for dinner. the bloggers range from gourmet to plain to vegan, etc.

HOA Mgr Lady said...

Uhmmmm I'd recommend crock pot everything. Get yourself a crockpot cookbook. I just bought another crock pot at Target. They are having a hot sale on several different kinds. More than one ios good. I needed something smaller than 4 qts and larger than 1 Qt. so I got a 3 Qt. Less than 20 bucks! Books? You can find them (Usually) used at any goodwill or salvation army store and once you get into the groove you will know instinctively just what to crock. A crock pot is a family's best friend up until... uhmm make that forever. Also great crock pot websites.

Nina said...

Awesome Ham dip (very good with toasted mini bagels) and kids loved it.

• 3 cups ground fully cooked ham (I use turkey ham from Stop&Shop)
• 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
• 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
• Assorted crackers

Nina said...

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon


Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Active: 30 mins

Makes: 8 servings

By Regan Burns

Poor cabbage has a bad rap and we can’t figure out why. Prepared this way, it’s savory and delicious—a fabulous side dish.

What to buy: Red cabbage is classic in this dish, but our preparation method will work with any cabbage variety.

Game plan: You can make this dish up to one day ahead; it gets better as it sits.

For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and substitute low-sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

This recipe was featured as part of our Moktoberfest story.


1 medium head red cabbage
6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut a V-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.
Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and most of the fat has cooked off.
Add onion and stir to coat in bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until onion softens and edges begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add cabbage, stir to coat it in bacon fat and cook until cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and mustard.
Deglaze the pan by adding cider vinegar and scraping the pan with a spatula to incorporate the browned bits into the sauce. Add chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer cabbage, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and soupy and bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If cabbage begins to look dry, add more chicken broth or water.

That's from -- they seem to have very good recipes. I usually add just a tiny bit of vinegar and 2 cups of apple sauce.

Nina said...

My favorite recipe of this summer

Broccoli Slaw
Adapted from Kitchn & Smitten Kitchen/sassyradish
2 heads broccoli
1 apple (Fuji or Gala are perfect for this)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh peppermint leaves
Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Shred the broccoli in a food processor, using the grater disk (the attachment with the smaller holes, not the one with long, thin blades). I prefer to use all of the broccoli: stems and the florets – the stems give the slaw some crunch and texture. I only chop off the stem ends, but everything else goes into the slaw. In a large bowl, combine the shredded broccoli, apple, currants, cranberries, red onion, almonds and mint.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Allow to sit for 30 minutes (or an hour in the fridge) so the flavors can mingle.

Nina said...

one more recipe, which turned out great!

Roasted butternut squash

Pierce butternut all over with a knife and microwave for 1-2 min.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender.