Monday, March 21, 2011

This Week's Menu

Monday: Chicken & Bean Casserole

Tuesday: Swiss Steak
Potato Salad
Green Beans

Wednesday: Quesadillas

Thursday: Rachel!

Friday: Fish

Saturday: Tuna Casserole

Friday, March 18, 2011

Caper Chicken

In this house, we love capers. Adding them to a recipe usually makes it an instant hit.

For those of you unawares as to what capers are, they are actually the salted and pickled bud of the caper flower (which is a lovely flower). They add a nice little tart bite to dishes and I love them, especially with chicken. Hence my sharing this recipe with you.

The ingredients:
Olive oil; 3-6 chicken breasts (depending on how many people you are feeding); 1 C. cream; 3 Tbsp. capers; 3 Tbsp. caper juice; 3/4 tsp. oregano; salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by heating the oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken on both sides (about 2-3 minutes each side).
Move the chicken to a baking dish. In the same large skillet, add the cream, capers with their juice, oregano and the salt and pepper. Bring this all to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. Bake the chicken for 45-60 minutes, basting the chicken occasionally with the sauce.
Done! (Sorry this isn't prettier, but sometimes things out of the oven aren't very pretty.)
We ate our caper chicken with rice and green beans.
This chicken was soooo juicy!! And the cream sauce was yummy! I didn't have enough capers and we'll definitely be making sure I have plenty the next time I make this dish. Everyone liked it and it was simple yet very yummy. My favorite kind of meals.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011



It's that time again.

Time for me to tell you about a produce item that might seem intimidating and peer pressure you to purchase it on your next grocery run.

I'm so bossy.

But, I am the first born. It's my birthright to be bossy.

I'd like you to meet Mango.
Elisabeth asks me to buy mango all the time. I have a couple of times and then forgotten to actually cut them up to eat them and then they go rotten. It's tragic. This time, I made sure to eat this mango pronto.

Mango are a beautiful fruit, but I knew nothing about them. So, I googled "how to eat a mango" (cause I'm cool like that) and learned a couple of new things.

1. Mango should not be rock hard when you purchase them nor should they be too squishy.
2. Mango have a pit in the middle of them much like a pineapple. You can't just cut them down the middle like an apple.
3. Mango are yummy (or so google told me).

So, first, take that mango and cut it almost down the middle. You'll end up with 3 pieces, two sides and the middle that's the core or pit. You'll know if you hit the pit because your knife will protest cutting it.
Take one side and make cuts through like a checkerboard, making sure not to go through the mango skin.
Then, push the mango up from the bottom skin part. It'll look like this:
Trim off the chunks you have made with your checkerboard pattern and serve.
Holy crap, mango is delicious. Google was so right. Both Elisabeth and Julia ate them like candy (which they are...they're the candy of nature...sorry, I'm a dork). They are sweet, but not as sweet as pineapple. I really enjoyed the taste and now wonder why I hadn't tried fresh mango sooner. I've eaten dried mango and drank mango smoothies, but have never just bought a fresh mango. Well, that will be changing and at 2 for a $1.00 at the stores, I shall be purchasing more while they are in season.


Monday, March 14, 2011

This Week's Menu

Monday: Perfect Roast Chicken
Roasted potatoes
Lima beans

Tuesday: Creamy Shrimp Rolls
Carrots and celery

Wednesday: Burritos

Thursday: Corned Beef & Cabbage
Soda bread

Friday: Pizza
Cottage Cheese

Saturday: Peanut Flavored Ginger Beef with Vegetables

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Week's Menu

Monday: Caper Chicken
Green Beans


Wednesday: Quiche

Thursday: Kim? Me? I need to find out whose turn it is to cook.

Friday: Oven Roasted Onion Soup

Saturday: PW's Marinated Flank Steak
Baked Beans
Potato Salad

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strawberry Pizza

Did you know that Evan hates strawberries?

It's true.

He hates the look of them, the smell of them and lord help you if Evan accidentally gets a taste of strawberry. (note to self: mixed berry yogurt does, in fact, have strawberries in it, so do not buy it for Evan's lunches.)

Since Evan is such a freak of nature, I don't make a lot of strawberry desserts, even though I do happen to lovelovelove strawberries.

That's why it's taken me so long to actually make this recipe. But, I bought some fabulously beautiful strawberries for a fantastic price at the store and decided it was time to try this strawberry pizza recipe out.

The ingredients:
Crust: 1 C. flour; 1 C. sugar, 1 stick of butter.
Filling: 8oz. cream cheese; 1/2 tsp. vanilla; 1/2 C. sugar; 1/4 tsp. lemon juice.
Topping: 1 C. mashed berries; 4 Tbsp. sugar; 1 Tbsp. corn starch.
Rest of strawberries from the pint cut up for top of topping.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Let's begin with the crust.
In a small bowl, pour in the flour, sugar and butter.
With two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is crumbly.
(Dear family, I want a pastry blender badly. I hate cutting butter into things and feel a pastry blender would help simmer down part of the hatred. A pastry blender would make a FANTASTIC gift for me for my birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas or "I love Virginia so much I just feel the need to bestow gifts upon her" Day. Thank you.)

Press the crust mixture into a 10inch. pizza pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
Mmm...yummy. The crust is basically a giant, flat sugar cookie.
Allow the crust to completely cool. While it is cooling, start on the filling. In your mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice.
Beat the ingredients until very fluffy.
Now for the topping. Take a cup of strawberries and mash them up.

Then mix the mashed strawberries, sugar and corn starch.
Microwave for 3-3 1/2 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Now, take the rest of those strawberries and slice them. (Seriously, how can you not think strawberries are beautiful?! Evan has something wrong with him.)
Now, take the cream cheese filling and spread it evenly over the cooled crust. Take the strawberry mixture and spread it over the cream cheese layer.
Finally, take those strawberries and decorate the top however you feel. Cut the dessert as you would a pizza (hence the name).
I served this dessert at Thursday dinner with my friends Kim and Rachel and their families.
This dessert was flipping fantastic!!!! Very rich but perfectly sweet. It was a hit with everyone (except Evan, of course). This is something I would definitely take to a brunch or a party. Way too much for just one family to eat, but enough to share with others.