Monday, January 14, 2013

Some recipes I tried last week

 I have really been enjoying trying out the various recipes I have been finding on Pinterest, different blogs as well as in my cook books. I don't usually get stuck in the old stand by rut, but sometimes that really is just too easy to do. It's quite amazing what you can do when you do all your meal planning for the week on Monday. If I brainstorm on that day (which happens to be today and  yes I am done already ;) ) that sets up my whole week to win. I know exactly what I'm going to make (I always find that part the hardest) and I know the ingredients are on hand. I've also been baking a lot more and making sure to include the kids when I do's a whole lot messier of course but they sure have fun. My goal is to do an afternoon bake (cookies, muffins, cake...this weeks will include homemade breakfast bars) 2-3 afternoons a week. This provides lots of extras for Chris and Ella's lunches, and is much better than anything you buy at the grocery store.

I love using the crock pot for dinners. It's easy to put everything together in the morning and any dishes you use in morning prep are washed and out of the way by the time you sit down to dinner in the evening. That just leaves a few supper dishes which is much nicer to face that a mountain of them when all you want to do is relax and digest for a bit.

This weeks crock pot meal was Beef Stroganoff. It turned out delicious and I will definitely be making it again.

Here is the recipe:

Crock pot Beef Stroganoff

2lbs of beef stew meat cut into 1/2in pieces
2 cans of condensed golden mushroom soup from Campbells, don't use cream of mushroom.
1c chopped onion
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
14oz beef broth
8oz white mushrooms cut to whatever size you prefer
salt and pepper to taste

4oz room temperature cream cheese
1/2c sour cream

Egg noodles or rice

In the crock pot combine the beef, soup, onion, sauce, broth, mushrooms and salt and pepper. It will look like this:

Cook on low 5-6 hours. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream about half an hour before serving. You will need to stir every 10 min or so to really break up the cream cheese.

You can serve this over rice or I used egg noodles. I cooked the noodles and then added them directly to the pot. I let them sit and mingle with the flavours for about 20min before serving.

It turned out really delicious.

Something else I tried this week that I hadn't had before was Quinoa. It is a hard little ground grain (sorry I didn't take a before cooking picture) that cooks fairly quickly and you know it's done when you can see the little white circles around it. I thought it smelled like musty feet when it was cooking but when I put everything together as a salad the dressing really made all the difference. It was very tasty. I just used the recipe on the back of the box.

After cooking:

Salad ingredients with dressing:

All mixed up and delicious:

I served the salad as a side dish to Chicken in Basil Cream:

Here is the recipe:

Chicken in Basil Cream

1/4c milk
1/4c bread crumbs, I used panko crumbs
1lb boneless, skinless chicken brsts sliced lengthwise 
3Tbsps butter
1/2c chicken broth
1c heavy cream
1 tomato chopped quite small
1/4c fresh basil minced
1/2c parmesan cheese
1/8tsp pepper

Heat skillet over medium high heat
Place milk and crumbs in separate bowls
Dip chicken in milk and then coat with crumbs
Add chicken to skillet with about half the butter for approx 5min
Add remaining butter, flip chicken and cook for another 5min
Remove chicken and keep it warm
Add broth to skillet and bring to a boil
Stir in cream and tomatoes and cook for about a minute
Reduce heat, add basil, cheese and pepper
Cook and stir until heated through
Serve chicken with sauce poured over it

Another tasty dish!

And finally, as an afternoon bit of baking with the kids I made this condensed milk cake, it's beyond easy and since I didn't change the recipe at all I used the picture directly from the website I found it on and you can follow the link to see how to make it for yourself. :)

We had it with a little whipped cream and a touch of raspberry jam.

I'm off to grocery shop for this week!

 Let me know if you try any of the recipes and what you think of them. Would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

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