Making Dinner: Recipes for Sept 3 – Sept 9

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Another week gone by already, can you believe it? I’m grateful for the time passing quickly, though. As I seem to get larger and more uncomfortable every day, the weeks passing means I’m that much closer to giving birth to the little dude!  I was more diligent about taking pictures this week BUT my pictures of food look HORRIBLE. Really. It makes the food look like crap. So I’m going to post the only picture that did turn out, which happens to be one I took on my iPhone, go figure.  Any one have any tips on taking good photos of food?

Here was the meal plan for the week:

September 3 – 9

Friday: The Keg for dinner – yum!
Saturday: BBQ Chicken, cucumber salad and baked potatoes with Apple Crisp for dessert
Sunday: Beef dip
Meatless Monday: Homemade Mac & Cheese
Tuesday: Eat out
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We pretty much stuck to the plan except we had dinner at my parents house on Monday night, so meatless Monday shifted to Tuesday and we pushed the pulled pork sandwiches to this week (tonight actually!)

Follow the link for the recipes and reviews…

Saturday’s meal was yummy, BBQ Chicken with baked potatoes and cucumber salad.  The chicken and baked potatoes don’t really have recipes, we just slathered on some BBQ sauce and plopped the chicken on the grill until it was cooked through. For the baked potatoes I rinsed them well, pricked them with a fork a few times, rubbed some olive oil on them and sprinked some salt and then popped them into a 400 degree oven for about an hour or until done. The Apple Crisp I made is one I’ve done a few times and it always comes out really well (and is so easy to make)

The cucumber salad is a recipe my husband has been making for a long time and in fact, it’s a recipe that I don’t even know. He has to tell me what to put in it every time. He’s not home at the moment so I can’t ask him what’s in it.  I’ll edit this post next week with the recipe but I’ll also add it as a new post so you don’t miss it!

Maple Apple Crumble

via: AllRecipes

Ingredients

  • 5 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place the apples in an 8×8 inch baking dish. Pour the maple syrup over the apples. In a bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the flour, salt and oats. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, until golden and bubbly and apples are tender.

Additions/Substitutions/Review
The ONLY change I make to this is to add a dusting of cinnamon to the apples before you add the topping AND to add a bit to the topping as well.  Something about apples and cinnamon, they are just wonderful together!  We enjoyed this for a few days (including breakfast the next day! Indulgence!) and it reheats beautifully, even in the microwave if you are impatient like a certain husband I know…

Sunday’s beef dip was really yummy. I found a great deal on a Sirloin Tip Roast at the grocery store and it worked perfectly. You don’t necessarily have to buy that type of roast, just get whatever is the best deal and then Google how to cook it properly. Here’s how we did our roast and beef dip…

Roast Beef Dip

by: dohdums.wordpress.com

Ingredients

  • small roast (ours was just a few pounds and it worked for the two of us for dinner one night and leftovers the next day)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a few glugs of red wine
  • 1 container of beef broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 good rolls
  • butter
  • garlic powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix a few heaping tablespoons of Dijon mustard and the minced garlic and spread generously over the entire roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Brown the outside of the roast on your stove top, then add a few glugs of wine and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes (note – I cooked my roast in my big Le Creuset pot and it works really well)
  4. After 15 minutes drop the temperature of the oven to 325 and cook the roast for 28-30 minutes per pound or once the internal temperature reaches about 145 for medium. Watch the liquid in the pot to make sure that it doesn’t go dry. If the wine has all cooked away, add water or some beef broth (or heck, add some more wine!) (don’t turn off your oven yet!)
  5. Allow the roast to sit, covered in tinfoil for at least 10 minutes.
  6. In a saucepan, saute the diced onions until translucent then add the beef drippings and reduced wine from the bottom of the cooking dish.  Add your container of beef broth and let simmer for a few minutes, tasting and adjusting seasoning as necessary (note – I like to get the low sodium beef broth as it allows me to control the saltiness of the dish)
  7. Split your rolls and spread butter evenly on each side.  Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and place in your oven that you remembered to leave on until tops are golden and bun is heated through. If you are impatient, you can brown these under the broiler but be careful, they burn quickly!
  8. Slice your roast as thinly as possible and place on a roll. Serve with some of the broth ladled into individual bowls.

These are yummy with some dijon mustard spread on them too. I like mine with caramelized onions.

Meatless Monday’s meal got shifted to Tuesday as we were invited over to my parents house for dinner. The mac and cheese was yummy, quick too, which was good since we had to get to the maternity ward tour we had booked!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

via AllRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch paprika

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.
  3. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve.

Additions/Substitutions/Review
I have made this meal a thousand times so I don’t really use a recipe any longer, but this is pretty much exactly how I make mine EXCEPT –

  • make sure to cook your roux for a few minutes to get the raw flour taste out
  • I like to thicken my roux and remove it from the heat before adding the grated cheeses just so the sauce doesn’t split. Make sure you do this slowly.
  • I don’t bother browning my breadcrumbs on the stovetop, that’s what the oven is for! I melt butter in a bowl in the microwave, mix in the breadcrumbs and combine until there are no lumps then I top my macaroni with it.
  • I don’t usually add paprika.

Wednesday I was invited out for dinner at the last moment and the husband had a bunch of errands to run so we each did dinner on our own. Taco’s were moved to Thursday and they were yummy! I’m not going to include a recipe here, just pick up a pound of ground beef, hard or soft shell tortillas and a package or two of the mixed taco seasoning and follow the directions on the package. We tend to go with Old El Paso brand.  We topped our tacos with grated cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, homemade guacamole (1 avocado, 1 minced clove of garlic, half a lime squeezed, salt and pepper – EASY!) and salsa from the jar.

Here’s our taco buffet (note – iPhone photo so excuse the quality..)

So, another week down and another meal plan successfully (for the most part) executed.  Meal plan for this coming week will be up shortly.  Have you started meal planning yet?

Click here to download my weekly Meal Planner & Grocery List sheet.

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