Homemade “Beef” Helper

On busy school days with hockey, cheer, barn chores and so on, you can still make a great homemade hamburger helper without a box in about 30 minutes if not a little less.

Last night was one of those nights and with this meal, everyone was happy!

You can see how I made our homemade hamburger helper on my facebook page here:  Homemade Hamburger Helper

Pork Rollups

These pork rollups are delicious and so easy to make.  Kids love them as it’s a change from pork chops.

This is the same way we do chicken rollups substituting the pork for the chicken.

If you buy a pork roast you can slice it yourself or ask the meat department of the store (or butcher) to slice it thin for you.

Pork
1 box stuffing mix mixed with 1 1/4 cup water
1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/2 cup water

Pound out the meat slightly, place a tablespoon of the stuffing mix in the center and spread it. Roll up the pork and secure with a toothpick.

Layer a little of the soup mix on the bottom of the casserole dish. Lay the rolls on top and cover with the remaining soup mix.

Cover and bake at 350 approximately 40 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.

Serve with some homemade cranberry sauce and a veggie! YUM

You can see more pictures of how we make ours on my Facebook page here:  Pork Rollups

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

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I think goat cheese makes all things better.  I could probably eat it in my breakfast cereal and like it.  This dish is SUPER simple and so fantastically delicious.  The creamy goat cheese blends so well with the tartness of the sun-dried tomatoes.  You will be impressed!

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The ingredients are simple.

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Preparations could not be much easier.

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Once cooked and goat cheese added it becomes a creamy taste of heaven!

I feel like I always say this but for as simple as this dish is, it’s so impressive you will amaze your family and friends.  This mixture is served in a lot of our local restaurants for triple the price it will cost you to make it for a family of 4.  Give it a try!

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

4 thin chicken breasts cut into cubes (approximately 2 cups)

½ jar sun-dried tomatoes chopped finely (and ½ the oil and seasonings from in the jar)

Goat cheese crumbles (measure to your taste per dish)

5 Tbsp garlic flavored oil or olive oil

3 cloves minced garlic (approximately 2 Tbsp)

1 cup chicken stock or broth

16 oz box of pasta (penne is great for this dish)

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions

Heat 3 Tbsp oil and brown and cook the chicken until done

Once cooked add the chicken stock and garlic and bring to a boil

Turn heat off and add the sundried tomatoes with ½ jar of the oil and seasoning and 2 Tbsp garlic/olive oil stirring immediately to heat through

Serve over pasta and top with crumbled goat cheese

TIPS:

Stir the goat cheese immediately after putting on the pasta and it will melt and make the pasta creamy

You can also add chopped kale or spinach to this dish wilting it with the chicken stock.

Rice A Roni Meatballs

My friend shared this recipe with me.  This is a quick, delicious and very easy meal for busy weeknights.  I added a few more ingredients than she did and this is a recipe you can adjust and add things you like to it.

You can find more pictures and the recipe on my Facebook page here:  Rice A Roni Meatballs

Pork Medallions (super easy dish)

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It’s a balmy night here with the humidity waiting on the rain.  I had a pork tenderloin out and decided to make pork medallions (which is a fancy term for the tenderloin sliced into 1 inch thick slabs).

Such an easy dish to make and very impressive for serving friends.  I don’t use a recipe but will tell you how I make them and you can follow along without worry of making sure it’s perfectly measured!!

tenderloin season sauce medallionschives

Season the tenderloin with about a tablespoon of sesame oil (or olive oil/garlic oil etc), salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Pork Tenderloin (about 2 lbs)

Chives (grow your own indoors or out they are super easy to grow!!)

Butter, garlic powder, beef bouillon cubes, salt/pepper, sesame oil or other oil, parsley flakes (optional)

Cut into medallions (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick) and let sit for about 20 minutes

In saucepan measure 1 3/4 cups water with 2 beef bouillon cubes and boil to dissolve the cubes

Add 1 tablespoon butter and let it melt stirring frequently

Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 3 Tablespoons of water and stir to dissolve

Add cornstarch mixture to hot simmering broth slowly stirring the whole time

Add 2 Tablespoons chives and parsley and stir to thicken.  Set aside on low

Grill Medallions until no longer pink inside (about 5 minutes each side on medium heat)

Cook rice

Serve Medallions over rice with the sauce and extra chives on top.

We had ours with out homemade freezer applesauce (I will post recipe for that when I make more to replace our stock).  Applesauce should never be purchased it’s so easy and so much better making it yourself!!

applesauce cookies

For dessert I threw together these chocolate chip macaroon cookies before the kids got off the bus.  These are super easy (4 INGREDIENTS) and the recipe is here: coconut chocolate chip macaroon cookies

 

Chicken Scampi

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This is a favorite at our house and so quick to make.  I never follow a recipe but will list how I make it and as always, you do not need to follow this perfectly.  You can adjust to your taste.

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5-6 thin boneless chicken breasts (or regular pounded thin)
 Approx. 5 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil (or regular)
1/3 cups white wine (any kind you have is fine I use pinot grigio or chardonnay)
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken broth
2-3 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
sprinkle salt/pepper

1 box angel hair pasta (or any pasta of choice)

Heat oil in skillet

place chicken and cook through (about 4 minutes per side if thin)  Remove and cover with tin foil when done

add wine to skillet and use spatula to scrap all the browned bits from skillet

let cook down about 3 minutes and add butter

let cook down again about 3 minutes and add chicken broth and remaining ingredients. 

cook approximately 5 minutes while cooking angel hair pasta. (you can add more broth if it cooks down too much)

Immediately serve pasta with chicken on top and spoonful of sauce from skillet

season with salt/pepper (you can add parmesan cheese also)

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Fast, easy, delicious!!!

 

 

Homemade Chicken Fingers (teaching kids to cook)

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I was raised helping at mealtime.  Whether it was setting the table, getting the napkins out, making the salad, or cooking.  There was always work to be done and no reason why a child should not help.  I firmly believe it’s a LIFE skill every child should be taught and asked to participate in from the moment they can walk and comprehend.  The skills I learned are invaluable to me.  They taught me responsibility, organization, accountability and most importantly pride.  I was proud to put something on the table I helped make or made on my own.  I remember at a family party when I was around 7 years old at my grandparents asking if I could make a “carrot” salad.  My grandmother said go ahead but don’t waste anything.  So I peeled those carrots, sliced them into thin rounds, put a little oil on them (vegetable as that’s what we used back then), a dash of vinegar, salt, pepper, and sprinkle of sugar.  They were hard, oily and not that great but everyone tried them and my grandmother said over and over again how wonderful they looked and how pretty the salad made the table and how happy she was that she could rinse the leftovers in water and steam them for another dinner.   I was proud!!

My kids are expected to help in the kitchen (girl loves it, son I have to force most of the time), especially if I am making something they love.  Chicken Fingers is one of those foods. 

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not sure why the bird face but whatever

My daughter (yes the one who just turned 12 and is posing like a freak) had the job of breading the chicken.

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I cooked them in light grapeseed oil

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looking good

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sons job to put hot sauce mixed with melted butter on and set table

I like my chicken fingers “Buffalo” style which is Franks hot sauce heated with a little melted butter and shaken or drizzled onto the chicken.  Man of the house, son and myself eat them that way dipped in blue cheese.  Daughter eats them plain.

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A little side of garlic butter noodles and raw carrots and it’s a go!!  Everyone’s happy.

 

Chicken Fingers

6 – 8 thin sliced chicken tenders (you can use thin breasts or pound down regular breasts and cut them into slices

Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Panko bread crumbs (any style)

Oil for frying (you don’t need to submerge them just enough oil to cook both sides and keep the pan lubricated)

egg

milk

Dip the chicken strips into the egg and then milk and then coat with bread crumbs.  Cook approximately 4 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through.  Lay on papertowels and cover with tin foil while making hot sauce.

HOT SAUCE

Depending on how hot you like your sauce you can adjust the amounts.  I use approximately 1/3 cup of hot sauce and 3 tablespoons butter.  You can add more butter if it’s too hot or less if you want them spicy.

Serve with celery and carrots sticks and a side starch.

**Chicken fingers are expensive in a restaurant.  This meal is a money saver when you make it at home!!**

 

 

Mini Meatloaf and Rainbow in a Pan Veggies

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This is a wonderful homemade meal on the fly.  The meatloaf is fun for the kids to help make and it’s super tasty.  I do not make a starch with it because there is stuffing right in the meat so you just need a side veggie and dinner is on the table!!

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mix beef and stuffing and press into pan

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put a little pasta sauce in a dip in the middle

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bake and then top with cheese and set in oven to melt (this is something the kids love to do as you can see)

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little tasty cups of meatloaf!!

My kids call this veggie side “rainbow in a pan”.  Super easy and pretty too!!

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zucchini, summer squash, orange and red pepper, snap peas

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sprinkle a little panko crumbs on for the extra texture

Mini Meatloaf recipe (this is adapted from the Kraft website)  HEAT oven to 375°F.

Take 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix

1 cup water

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 small jar spaghetti sauce

grated mozzarella cheese

Mix all together in a bowl. Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Makeindentation in center of each with back of spoon; fill with spaghetti sauce (or you can use Ketchup or alfredo or even BBQ sauce).

BAKE 30 min. or until meatloaves are done (160°F).  Sprinkle on cheese and bake 5 min. or until melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Rainbow in a pan recipe:

Slice zucchini and summer squash thin

julienne style slice the orange and red peppers

Clean snap peas

Using a saute pan add 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil, add veggies and cook until soft.  Sprinkle with panko crumbs and let sit for 2 minutes off of heat.  Serve