October 29, 2009

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1.25-oz.) package chili seasoning mix
1 (12-oz.) can beer
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Toppings: shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend, finely chopped red onion

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in beer, and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into 5 1/2 qt. slow-cooker; stir in corn and next six ingredients until well blended. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.
This was a fantastic recipe! DH absolutely loved it. My husband isn't all that fond of leftovers, but he does eat what I put in his lunch box. With this meal, he ate it for lunch and then asked if we could eat what was left for dinner that same day! Wow! That's a HUGE compliment coming from my husband!
Makes enough for 6, through the recipe claims 4. We definitely got more than 4 servings out of it!

Print Page

Santa Fe Foldover

This meal is from Betty Crocker's Cooking for 2. :)

1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup very hot water
1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup chunky salsa
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/3 cup chopped tomato
sour cream

1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat over to 375*F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, stir Bisquick mix, cornmeal, and very hot water until a soft dough forms. Place on surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix, gently rolling to coat. Shape into ball; knead about 5 times or until smooth. Roll dough into 10-inch circle. Place on pizza pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together beans and salsa; spread over dough to within 2 inches of edge. Sprinkle with onions. Fold edge over. Sprinkle cheese over beans.
4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.

Things I did differently: I added a small chicken breast to the mixture that was chopped finely and cooked. I also cooked the chicken with a bit of diced onion; I did not use green onions. I also added some chopped fresh baby spinach to the mixture. Then baked as directed.

This recipe was good but lacking in bold flavor. Next time I'm going to add some seasonings to it. The dough would also work well for a lot of other fillings, so I might use this idea again to just empty out some leftover stuff from the fridge. By itself it was enough to fill up two adults. :)

Print Page

October 26, 2009

Tally Time!

Before I forget, here's what I spent the past two trips for groceries.

10/16 I went by the commissary ($62.73), Smith's ($2.49), and Fresh & Easy ($3.87). I saved $8.45 with coupons. Total spent $69.09. This trip included buying candy for Halloween.

10/23 I went by the commissary ($83.21) and Smith's ($11.97). I saved $9.25 with coupons. Total spent $95.18. This is for two weeks worth of groceries. I will need to go by a store next weekend though and pick up three items. I didn't want to get them too soon and have them go bad.

While I spent more on 10/16's trip, I hit my target of $50 per week on this last trip!

If I didn't have the commissary, I'd probably spend more time each week examining the weekly ad and making more of a menu based on their good deals. I also would probably up my spending goal to $60/week. It's a bit more expensive out in town. At the same time, I'd probably buy more off brand items (commissary just has name brand). I'd might even spend a little more time hunting down coupons and pairing them with the weekly ad. I'm definitely grateful for the commissary being slightly lower in prices at this base!

October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons butter
½ onion (or one small one), diced finely
1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups homemade)
½-1 cup milk (or heavy whipping cream)
Kosher salt
White ground pepper
Cook rice according to directions.
Melt the butter in a large sauce or soup pot. Cook onion and chicken until onion is clear and starting to brown and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Add chicken broth and pumpkin to pot. Cook on medium until you notice soup is thickening. Add rice to soup whenever rice is ready. While soup is thickening, add ½ teaspoon white ground pepper, ½ teaspoon parsley, ½ teaspoon thyme, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Stir well. Taste. Add more if necessary. Add salt if needed (may need some if using low sodium chicken broth). Once soup is thickened, add ½ cup milk. You may need to add up to ½ cup more depending on taste and how thick it is.

Yummy! I loved it! It's very filling. DH and I both had a big bowl of it for dinner. We have enough left overs for use to both eat this again. So this serves 4! Not to mention this is was so quick to cook that I'll probably use it as a week night meal in the future. That makes me happy.
This recipe makes a soup with a lot of rice. We like it that way. If you are not into a lot of rice in your soup, cut the rice in half.

October 21, 2009

Menu: Oct 23-Nov 5

October 23rd – 29th

Friday dinner: Pumpkin Soup (I'll post recipe after I figure out what version I'm doing!)

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Rise-and-Shine Waffles (from an iPhone app; will post later)

Saturday dinner: steak bites, smashed potatoes, and green beans

Sunday breakfast/lunch: leftover waffles/leftover chicken

Sunday dinner: Homemade Pizza (I'll be honest and admit that I don't precook my crust and it still turns out fine, just not as crisp. DH is having pepperoni and I'm having tomato and spinach)

Monday dinner: Santa Fe Fold-over (from an iPhone app; will post later)

Tuesday dinner: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili (found this in Southern Living magazine)

Wednesday dinner: southwestern chicken sandwiches and squash (marinating chicken breasts in a mix of salad dressing and hot chili sauce, grilling them and serving on whole wheat bread with melted cheese, baby spinach, and sauce made of mayo and chili sauce)

Thursday dinner: Fish Sticks and mixed veggies

(make spicy bean salsa for a Halloween party we're attending Friday night)

October 30th – November 5th

Friday dinner: Red Beans and Rice w/ Smoked Sausage

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Macaroni and Cheese

Saturday dinner: spicy chicken and rice with broccoli (I'm making this up based on a restaurant meal)

Sunday breakfast/lunch: Whole-Wheat Blueberry Muffins (from an iPhone app)

Sunday dinner: Baked Potato Soup (THE BEST EVER!!!)

Monday dinner: leftover Potato Soup

Tuesday dinner: Velveeta Spinach and Pasta Dinner (following my revised version)

Wednesday dinner: Easy Chicken Pot Pie for 2 (from an iPhone app)

Thursday dinner: chicken and cheese quesadillas

October 20, 2009

Pork Burgers

1 lb lean ground pork
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients. Grill as normal.

Original recipe included 1 tablespoon of lime peel, but I don't have limes right now. Didn't miss it. Recipe also called for serving it on french bread with red onion.
These were good. DH gave me a look like I lost my mind, but it was a great use of the leftover ground pork I had. I served our burgers on toasted whole wheat bread.

Print Page

October 17, 2009

Muggle Cookies (aka, basic pumpkin cookies)


1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
2 cups flour - all purpose
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2: Cream sugar and shortening.

Step 3: Add vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin.

Step 4: Sift dry ingredients.

Step 5: Add remaining ingredients - mix well.

Step 6: Use teaspoon to drop cookies on cookie sheet.

Step 7: Bake 10-12 minutes.

These are great, moist cookies! Do note that they are cake like in consistency. I ran across this recipe and just couldn't resist them Saturday night!
If you're like me and don't keep shortening around the house, replace it with softened butter.

Print Page

October 15, 2009

Menu: Oct 16-22

Friday dinner: Spaghetti squash w/ chicken and spaghetti sauce (DH won't eat it without some sort of meat)

Saturday breakfast/lunch: Baked oatmeal

Saturday dinner: pork burgers, zucchini, and pasta side (found a recipe for the burgers and I already have ground pork in my freezer, so worth a try)

Sunday breakfast/lunch: leftover baked oatmeal

Sunday dinner: Baked chicken nuggets, veggie steamer, and leftover pasta side

Monday dinner: taco salad using ground turkey

Tuesday dinner: Salmon, rice, and veggie steamer

Wednesday dinner: frozen pizza

Thursday dinner: tortellini with fresh vegetables

October 06, 2009

Pumpkin and Lasagna Florentine

1) I attempted making my own pumpkin puree. To say that it was frustrating is an understatement. Asked on a forum for help. Will attempt again. Till then, I'm not about to share any knowledge. lol.

2) Had the Lasagna Florentine tonight. It's not great, but it's not bad either. DH said it was too spinach-y. Remember he hates spinach; he just puts up with my love for it. I didn't find it great either, but it was edible. Good idea for using up that box that was in the back of the pantry. I'm sure it would be better if it didn't use Hamburger Helper which has never been known for it's great taste. ;)

***PUMPKIN UPDATE 10/15***
I am happy to announce that I was able to make my own pumpkin puree without hassle last weekend. While I was at home visiting family, I gave it another try. This time I cut it up and threw it in a crockpot (no extra water or anything). I put the crockpot on high and forgot about it for awhile. Once I remembered it, I checked on it. When it was tender with a fork, I took it out to cool. The skin came off A LOT easier. I won't say that it's a task done in a minute or two, but I certainly didn't feel like killing anybody. Major step up! I used a processor to puree it. The results made for some wonderful pumpkin muffins (followed pumpkin bread recipe), pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin pie. Score! :)