Wednesday, December 31, 2008

miniature bacon and swiss quiche

I have used this quiche recipe for years, but we always seem to have way too much leftover.  My crew does not seem to like leftovers, so I end up throwing some away.  So, this time I decided to make smaller versions so that the 'left over' ones could be frozen for future use.  

Instead of using the usual 9-inch pie shell, I purchased Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations, flattened them out and cut into squares.  I then fit them into my large-sized muffin tins (6 to a tin) and pressed them around until it made a little shell.  I adjusted this recipe and poured the custard into the muffin shells and cooked them for about 20 minutes.  Surprisingly, they actually turned out pretty good.  So good that we only had two of them leftover!  Unfortunately, those two were eaten the next day so I did not get to test out how they did frozen.  I guess I will have to give it another try sometime soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

shrimp and grits for Christmas!

One day last week Chef D suggested Shrimp and Grits for our Christmas Day meal.  He had ran into a friend from church who shared that this menu was a Christmas family tradition and that got his taste buds yearning for Shrimp and Grits.  I tracked down the friend and got her recipe and then compared it with a few others I found on the internet.    Chef D and I finally decided to use a combination of them all and create our own.  We used this recipe as a base, but adjusted it slightly by adding leeks and green bell peppers.  I left out the cheddar cheese to allow everyone to choose whether or not they wanted plain grits or cheese grits with their shrimp sauce.  In the end, I felt it definitely needed the flavor of the cheese, as shrimp sauce was kind of bland.  It was not bad, but it just was not special.  We will probably try a different recipe again someday.

I chose a family favorite, fresh fruit with mint-balsamic tea, to accompany the shrimp course.  It has been several years since I prepared this fruit salad, but it will not be that long before I make it again.  It was just as delightful as I remember.

I also decided to try out a new, easy roll.  We had these new place and bake rolls from Pillsbury -- crescent rounds.  The whole family was pleasantly surprised with their taste and texture and we will probably have them again sometime.

A few weeks ago we purchased some yummy sticky toffee pudding to serve to our Tuesday night Bible Reading group.  Chef D decided to try to recreate it using this recipe and served it for dessert.  He topped it with a little whipped topping and we were good to go...DELICIOUS.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

menu planning monday 12.22.08

It looks like I won't be cooking very much this week with all holidays activities on the schedule.  May you all have a blessed week celebrating the birth of our Savior.

: Grilled Ribeye Steaks with baked potatoes and a tossed salad; Holiday Baking: Molasses Cookies and Butterscotch Crispies (both Family Favorites)

Tuesday:  Staff Christmas Party at the Carter's

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  No dinner at church, but I am still apprehension-free since we will be eating a Christmas Eve buffet at Barb's after the candlelight service.

Friday:  Traveling to Florida to see my folks

Saturday: Tyler Florence's Steak Fajitas for the grown-ups and Taco Bar for the kiddos

Sunday: No Hospitality Sunday - someone else has decided to have a Hospitality Sunday of their own and invited us over for lunch after church:)

I am so grateful to have found the OrgJunkie website this year!  Please go check out all of Laura's great ideas and the other menu plans that are posted each week:)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

menu planning monday 12.15.08

I feel like I barely cooked at all last week, with all the holiday gatherings on the schedule.  I am happy to report that this week looks more like a regular week.  

Monday:  This will be a busy day, including picking up my daughter from college and bringing her home for the holidays.  In her honor, we will have one of her favorites, Chicken Noodle Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Tuesday:  Crockpot Honey Mustard Shortribs with mashed potatoes and tossed salad (probably the crockpot berry cobbler dessert that is on the shortribs link, too!)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Dinner at church will be roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, salad and dessert.

Thursday: Barb's Crockpot Fajitas (I'll use boneless chicken thighs) with Tijuana Kitchen Rice (we loved this the first time I made it)

Friday:  Kid's Choice Night of hamburger, tater tots, and cole slaw.

Sous-Chef Saturday:  I'll pitch in to help Chef D after I get home from taking Lauren for our annual Christmas Mother-Daughter outing at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Hospitality Sunday: Chef D's Chili (we didn't do this last week as planned, so we will try one more time).

Thank you for checking out my menu this week!  Don't forget to look at all the great menu ideas at OrgJunkie:)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

menu planning monday 12.08.08

Last week was a great week for cooking 'warm your heart and body' foods.  I have also decided to be a copycat (thanks to Amanda for this great idea) and create Hospitality Sunday, since we want to begin inviting others to join us for our after church mid-day meal on Sundays.  Today Chef D made a scrumptious beef stew that we left in the crock pot during church, then we invited some 'friends like family' over to share it.  

So, here is our plan of menus for this week:

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes for the boys; grits and eggs with sausage patties and biscuits for the grown-ups)

Tuesday:  Bourbon Chicken over rice with a tossed salad; German Chocolate Tarts (I am going to adjust this recipe by using small tart shells to make mini-pies) for our Bible Reading Group snack.

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Our dinner at church this week will be beef stroganoff, green beans, salad and dessert.

Thursday: I have a bonus apprehension-free day! Friends have invited us over for a snacking supper and to help our children make ornaments to take to our Nursing Home visit on Sunday.  

Friday: We have a Sunday School Class Christmas Party and will be taking Crawfish Puffs (recipe to come) and an ornament to play dirty Santa.

Sous-Chef Saturday:  Again I leave it up to Chef D to tell me what he needs me to do:)

Hospitality Sunday: Chef D's Chili

Thank you for checking out my menu:)  You can find many more menu planning ideas at OrgJunkie!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

comforting AFW

Yes, the cool days of winter are quickly approaching.  You know what I am talking about -- those cold winds that seem to cut straight through your coat.  Today was just that kind of day.  Good thing we had a comfort-food-filled Apprehension-Free Wednesday today!  Tonight's meal at church was soup, salad, and dessert with grilled cheese sandwiches for the kiddos:)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a few quick reviews

As always, Sharla's Tortilla Soup was a hit on from all viewpoints. I even had one of the ladies from the potluck go back for seconds with the comment that this was the first time she had tried avocado. I love this soup and how easy it is to make.

However, the Chicken and Rice Casserole was not as big of a hit, at least on the home front. Both Chef D and I agreed that the cheese just did not fit with the flavor combinations. I will probably try it again sometime without the cheese.

Unfortunately, I loved the brownie cups way too much. Two of our fellow bible reading group members decided to bring dessert also, so I ended up with several of the brownie cups leftover...and I have very little self-control in limiting how many I eat!