Feb 10, 2012

Week 5: Downward Slope

After you make it halfway through, shouldn't it be easier? This week wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but it wasn't storm clouds and puddles either. Just kind of one of those blah weeks. By Thursday the week started looking up though and I think I'll be just fine next week (once we get past that nasty V Day :) ).

Since it was the Super Bowl, we just snacked on Super Bowl food. This included wrapped lil smokies (smokies wrapped in crescent rolls), a fruit plate, a veggie tray, barbecue wings (Tyson's in the freezer section), and potato chips and onion dip. And we watched the BBC Pride and Prejudice while we ate. (Darcy won! I was rooting for him the entire time--it got sticky in the middle when Wickham intercepted, but Darcy performed a second half comeback and successfully threw Wickham off his game before coming in for the winning TOUCHDOWN!)

We had one of my favorite soups for Monday's dinner; Chicken Noodle! This recipe is adapted from the old (around 1980) Lion House cookbook. We had "good" bread with it, La Brea Country Sourdough (you can get La Brea breads in the bakery section of most grocery stores here in the Salt Lake Valley).

Chicken Noodle Soup
(I just cut up whatever looked right)
2 cans chicken broth (about 4 cups)
Cut up veggies and put in pot with broth. Cook until veggies are tender. Then add:
2 cans cream of chicken soup (this is really what makes the soup. I have a hard time eating clear chicken noodle soup now.)
1 large can chicken (you can also use fresh chicken, obviously, but this is a lot easier)
1/2 bag of Country Pasta noodles (you can use whatever kind of noodles you want, but these taste homemade)
salt, pepper to taste

Heat through and enjoy!

We had hamburgers (grilled by the Dad-man), steak fries, apples, and oranges. I added some avocado to my burger. We actually switched what I had planned since the parentals were going to the temple.

This is the meal I had planned for Tuesday, and switched, but I should have switched it to Thursday since Mom and Dad were going to the tax specialist and this takes a while to cook. We had top-stuffed pork chops and a spinach salad with blueberries, mandarins, and almonds. I was going to put poppyseed dressing on (because that would have totally rocked the salad), but we didn't have any, so instead I used raspberry vinaigrette.

Top-Stuffed Pork chops
4 pork chops (I used two since there is just the two of us)
3 cups bread crumbs (I used the rest of the stuffing from week 1's crock pot meal--I'm pretty sure it wasn't 3 cups, but then I was only using 2 pork chops, so it worked out)
2 T chopped onions (we had a little bit on an onion left in the fridge, so I used that)
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 a stick)
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp sage (I didn't use this since the stuffing mix was seasoned)

Brown chops (I didn't do this; it takes extra time and is only for the flavor). Cook the chopped onions in butter (I didn't do this either [it's almost like I didn't even make the same recipe], instead I just stuck the onions and butter right in the stuffing mix). Combine ingredients. Place pork chops in pan and put stuffing mix on top. Pour 1 can cream of mushroom soup mix with 1/3 cup water over the stuffing. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour at 350.

This week's new recipe was mostly just a new food, though I did make a sauce to go with it. We had potato and cheddar pierogies with a sour cream and chives sauce. Not too bad, but when I asked my dad if he would want them again, he said something to the effect of "uuhhh, they aren't my favorite" which we all know means "no." :) I don't think I'd mind so much though. Consequently, Thursday was the day I felt the best all week. Part of that might have something to do with the catching up I did with a good friend on the way home.

For our crock pot meal this week we had Herbed Mushroom Round Steak. Oh yum. It smelled so good when I walked in the house. I did cook for a bit more than the recipe says and Mom says she put a little water in when she got home from work. So keep that in mind. I put it together Thursday night, and we just had peas to go with it.

Herbed Mushroom Round Steak
2 lb round steak (3/4" thick) (I used a sirloin steak because it was in the freezer. It worked really well though)
1 T oil (I didn't use this and you'll see why later)
2 med onions, sliced (In case you haven't noticed, I LOVE onions. I use them a lot.)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced, or 2-4 ozcans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp dried crushed oregano
1/4 tsp dried crushed thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups hot cooked noodles (I used egg noodles)

Trim fat from meat, cut into serving sizes, brown in oil (I skipped the browning. Again, it's only there for the taste and it takes time). In crock pot place onion slices and mushrooms. Place beef on top. Combine in bowl soup and herbs then pour over meat. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5. Serve over noodles.

Tomorrow we will be having tortellini (left over from last week's soup) with left over Prego and probably a salad of some sort. (UPDATE: I made a spinach salad with apples, blueberries, and chopped walnuts with pomegranate blueberry vinaigrette).

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