Monday, November 23, 2009

Philly Steak and Cheese

1 lb. beef sirloin, thinly sliced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1/2-1 green pepper, sliced
Cream cheese

1. In a fry pan on med-hi heat, cook meat, mushrooms, and peppers until meat is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender.
2. Spread cream cheese on bun. Add desired amount of beef onto bun. Enjoy!

Notes: This is a little different than the traditional Philly cheese and steak sandwich, since we used cream cheese and added mushrooms. This recipe was inspired by a sandwich I had at a restaurant once. I think it would be tasty with the buns toasted.

*To make homemade buns, follow this recipe. Instead of placing dough in bread pan, divide dough (for 1 loaf) into 6-8 balls. Place on greased baking sheet and bake until golden on top.

Cabbage Buns

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
Bread dough, rolled out (enough for about 1 loaf)

1. Brown ground beef, cabbage, and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Cut bread dough into about 4-inch squares. Place a spoonful or two of beef and cabbage mixture in center of dough square. Pinch corners together and seal edges, making sure that no beef mixture will seep out. Place on greased baking sheet seam side down.
3. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top and bottom, about 10-15 minutes.

Notes: These are a little difficult to photograph, but they are really tasty! If making your own bread dough, you don't need to let it rise before rolling it out. See also: Russian Cabbage Pie

Tater Tot Casserole

1 c. frozen peas
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 c. shredded cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
Tater tots

Layer peas, ground beef, cheese, soup, and tator tots, in order given, in 9x13 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until heated through and the tater tots are golden brown. Serve with ketchup, if desired.

Notes: These amounts are approximate. I just kind of threw all these ingredients together. This is a recipe from John's mom. She just told us what she used to make it, but didn't give amounts.

Dijon Chicken

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 c. breadcrumbs
2 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley (I used dried)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degree. Lightly spray pan large enough to hold chicken breasts in.
2. Whisk together Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Place breadcrumbs in a pie pan or on a large plate.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spread mustard mixture evenly over both sides of each chicken breast. Coat chicken completely with breadcrumbs.
4. Place chicken in baking pan. Bake about 10 minutes on one side. Turn over and bake another 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. If chicken browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Remove from oven and garnish with parsley.

Notes: I liked this recipe. However, I think it called for way too many breadcrumbs, and not quite enough mustard. I found the recipe here.

Oma's German Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef
6 slices of bread, wet with water and squeeze out
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 eggs
2 cans evaporated milk
2-3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Water added to milk to make desired amount of gravy
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar

1. Mix beef, onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and eggs. Form into meatballs. Brown meatballs in skillet (see notes) and drain fat, but leave any beef "crumbs" for flavoring the gravy.
2. Remove meatballs from pan. Make gravy by adding cornstarch to milk and water. Cook in skillet until thickened. Do not boil hard, or gravy will curdle! Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar and vinegar to gravy. Add in equal amounts if more is desired to flavor to your liking.
3. Add meatballs to gravy and serve over mashed potatoes.

Notes: This is my great-grandmother's authentic German recipe. The potatoes really complement these meatballs and gravy. I had a hard time getting the meatballs to hold their shape. I saw a meatball recipe that suggested chilling the meatballs for an hour before cooking them, so perhaps that would help them hold their shape. I made half of this recipe and we had enough to feed four, plus enough for 2 the next day. We had company the night I made this and they had to go back for seconds.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

1 lb. (or 2 cups) green split peas
6 c. water
1 lb. lean ham
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 c. diced celery

1. Rinse peas and sort out bad and foreign objects. Place peas in 4-quart saucepan with 6 cups water. Bring to boil and simmer 2 minutes with lid tilted. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
2. After 1 hour, dice ham and celery and add to peas. Add onion powder and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Notes: A nice soup for a change. It was tasty with saltine crackers.

Beef Skillet Supper

8 oz. egg noodles
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1 can corn, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. shredded cheese

1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Brown beef and onion. Drain.
3. Add tomato sauce and water; mix well. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes.
4. Add noodles, corn, salt, and pepper and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until heated.

Notes: We got this recipe from John's mom. We used whole wheat noodles, which were tasty, and only used 1 pound of ground beef. We would have liked a little bit more of a tomato flavor, but it was a tasty meal.

Oriental Chicken Salad

1 c. canola oil
6 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
3 dashes tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp. sesame seed

3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
2 small heads iceberg lettuce
4 green onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, cut diagonally
2 small cans mandarin oranges
1 pkg fried wonton strips

Blend all dressing ingredients except for sesame seeds. (It works well to put them into a small jar with a tight lid and shake it up well.) Add sesame seeds. Mix all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing.

Notes: To make fried wonton strips--buy wonton skins in produce section. Cut squares into strips. In pan with enough oil to cover, cook on medium-high heat until strips are brown, then drain. This will only take a few seconds. We only did half of this recipe and it was enough for us to eat dinner, plus lunch the next day. We didn't use a whole package of wonton skins, so we have a lot in our freezer to use later. They were a fun addition to the salad. I found the recipe here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Creamy Chicken Chowder

Water (plus chicken bullion, if desired for more flavor)
Diced potatoes
Chopped carrots
Sliced celery
Chopped onion
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 can cream chicken soup
Chicken breast, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup flour
2 cups milk

1. In a large pot, cook chicken and vegetables in enough water to cover ingredients. If desired, add more chicken bouillon to make flavor stronger. When done cooking you should have about 3 cups broth.
2. In separate pan, melt ¼ cup butter. Add ⅓ cup flour and mix.
3. Stir in 2 cups milk and stir until thickened over medium-high heat.
4. When just starting to boil remove from heat and add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the can of cream of chicken soup.
5. In the pot of broth and vegetables, add the cheese sauce and stir until well mixed. Soup is great with fresh bread and a garden salad.

Notes: This comes from Brittany's family cookbook. Very tasty!

Tinfoil Dinners

ground beef

There aren't really any specific directions for these - you can pretty much make them however you would like. We sliced the vegetables and shaped the ground beef (which can be seasoned to your liking) into patties. We then wrapped a patty and veggies in 2 layers of aluminum foil, which was sprayed with cooking spray, and cooked them in the oven (400 degrees) until the vegetables were tender and the meat was done, which took about 50 minutes. Each dinner had its own aluminum foil wrapper.

Notes: These, of course, are also great when cooked in the hot coals of a campfire. Make sure tinfoil is wrapped tightly and any openings are on the top, as juices will leak out during cooking otherwise. I like to top mine with barbecue sauce.

Spicy Orange Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 T butter

2 T brown sugar
2 T vinegar
1 C orange juice
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. dried basil
1 small can mandarin oranges (optional)
ground ginger (optional)

Combine flour, salt and pepper in bag. Shake chicken pieces until coated. Brown on both sides in butter in skillet over medium heat. Drain off fat. Combine sauce ingredients and add to skillet. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until tender. Optional: add drained mandarin oranges and heat about 5 minutes.

Notes: This recipe comes from a blog called This Week for Dinner. On that blog, the author suggested cooking chicken and sauce in a covered skillet, but tipping the cover a little to thicken sauce towards the end of the cooking time. She also makes 1.5x amount of sauce, but we tried that and ended up with too much sauce. We also tried the ginger, and may have added too much. I suggest skipping the ginger or starting small and adding to taste. Overall we thought this was pretty tasty, and we'll likely try it again.