Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Menu?

I think if I cook one more casserole, I may scream. There was one week recently where everything I cooked required a greased 9x13 and a can of cream of mushroom.

I go this route because I am not gifted in the culinary arts. I mess things up regularly and even though I follow recipes, they never turn out the way that they should. So casseroles end up being my modus operandi for dinner most nights because they are pretty much no-brainers.

But not anymore! I can't do it. Spring is here. I wear skirts and flip-flops. Asher goes barefoot. The grass is green. The flowers are blooming. The pollen count is up. Now is no time for heavy meals.

But now what? What do people eat that isn't hot and full of cheese? I need help. I need some fresh, cool, springy-like recipes that meet the following criteria:

1. A slightly above-average monkey should also be able to make it.
2. It must not have any ingredient that I cannot a) pronounce b) find at H.E.B. and
c) afford.
3. It must have meat because I am married to a committed omnivore.

So, please, please, please email, comment, or write me a long, thoughtful letter on your personal stationery either giving me a recipe or directing me to the appropriate website. I will be most grateful and I will never forget your kindness to me and my family.

I thank you all.


Cheerios said...

hilarylarson said...

emailed you

adrienne said...

do you and the carnivore like artichokes and mushrooms? i have a yummy artichoke chicken recipe that is served over rice that was a big hit with the fam recently. no creamy soups. or cheese!

Rebecca said...

I feel the same way.

We had shish kabobs(sp?) one night...very good and healthy.

We also make grilled pizza pretty often with grilled chicken and grilled veggies(onions, peppers,etc.) We also like BBQ chicken pizza with BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce, chicken, mozzarella cheese, green onions.

Becca said...

I want your casserole recipes. That's about all I have time for these days!! Good luck with the spring cooking.

Jamie said...

thanks for the inout everyone!

and yes, adrienne, mushrooms and artichokes have both been "okayed" so I would love your recipe

Becca--i have the Southern Living Busy Mom's Weeknight Favorites cookbook which is FULL of casserole recipes if you want to borrow it. I won't be using it for a while :)

mandycrowell said...
This is the best resource on the web I have found. Some of my favorites are a chicken and wild rice soup, apple glazed porkchops, and some really good crock pot recipes..

I also have a good recipe for cranberry glazed chicken tenders and rice with mushrooms and a little garlic, and a great chicken spaghetti recipe.
In addition, I have some favorites of the family with a porkchops
(or beef tips) n rice recipe, a roast in the crock pot dish, plus one I came up with myself for cornish hen. (all of them are very easy to do, inexpensive, and our friends and family love em!)
Just email me if you want the particulars on any certain type of dish..I have good ones for pretty much any type of meat, 'cept doesn't really go for it, plus it scares me a little!

Jamie said...

mandy--i'd love to get your cranberry chicken recipes--that sounds really good!

mandycrowell said...

Hey Jamie, here are some of my favorite recipes, involving cranberries, and preserves. Don't be afraid to experiment either..if you prefer one type of dried fruit or preserve over what's in the recipe, try it out. Many substitute wonderfully! Also, if you serve over brown rice and choose lean meat, many are pretty low in fat!

Carmelized Chicken with Cranberries(we like alot of the sauce with our dish, so I actually double the orange juice, vinegar, and brown sugar to make more!)
5 tbsp Orange juice
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove minced (for ease, I use the pre-minced garlic you find in the glass jars in the produce dept. of grocery stores.)
4 skinned and boneless chicken breasts (or you can use two packages of chicken tenderloins like I prefer)
4-5 tbsp brown sugar
1 small onion chopped
1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries (depends on how many you want..I use the whole bag!!)
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1-2 tbsp green onion minced (optional)

1.Combine the first 4 ingredients in a gallon ziploc. Seal and chill for at least an hour. (I like to chill for half a day to really seal in the flavor) Remove chicken, but leave the mainade.

2.Begin cooking your rice.

3.Cook brown sugar in a large nonstick skillet over med-high hear, stirring constantly, 4 minutes. Add chicken, and cook about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Add marinade, onion, and cranberries. Cook, stirring and turning chicken often, about 10 minutes or until chicken is fully chooked. Remove chicken to a bed of rice in a cassarole dish. Pour the remaining mixture in the pan over the chicken and rice, then stir. Let stand about 3 minutes and then serve. You can sprinkle the green onion and sesame seeds at this time over it if you wish.
*One note. If you don't like rice, you can just make the chicken with the sauce poured over it and serve with m. potatoes or new potatoes!*

Pan-Seared Pork Chops w/ Molasses and Cranberries
Plum Sauce
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 c fat-free less sodium chick broth
1/4 c dried cranberries
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon grd black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grd coriander
3 plums, pitted, peeled and chopped
4 6oz bone in center cut pork chops ~1in thick
1. Heat oil in med saucepan over med. Add onion, saute until tender. (don't burn) Stir in broth, cranberries, vinegar, molasses, 1/4 salt, 1/4 pepper, coriander and plums. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 min until thick.
2. Heat large skillet over med. Coat w/ spray. Sprinkle rest of salt/pepper on chops. Cook chops 2-4 min/side depending on thickness. (don't overcook). Remove chops. Pour sauce into skillet and heat getting brown bits into sauce. Pour over chop. Garnish w/ parsley if wish.

Simply Roasted Pork (and so easy)
1/2 c Apricot, or apple preserves (I recommend Polaners)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 3lb boneless pork loin, trim excess fat if too much
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Place preserves in small saucepan over med for 10min to melt.
3. In small bowl combine all dry ing's and rub over pork. Place pork in 6x9 baking dish.
4. Bake 30 min.
5. Brush 1/2 of preserves over pork and bake 10min. Repeat.
6. If have thermometer pork is done at 160. Or it's done when middle is barely pink. Let sit a few min's and slice. (special note: the original recipe says to bake in roasting pan, however, pork dries out quickly so I bake in regular pan so the roast sits in it's juice and stays s. Husbands tend to like the juice as extra sauce as well!)

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