Menu Plan Monday

It has been a while since I have planned for the week.  I am attempting to find out which way works better for me.  With the planning, I am able to select a book to cook from during the week.  When, I don’t plan, I end up making anything that appeals to me.  I am doing this backwards.  Since I am off for the summer, I should be free and easy with my plans and during the school year, I do need that schedule.  

At least, this week, I am planning my menu and from there, I will make decisions, as what to do for this month.  I selected Hadassah Everyday Cookbook for my recipes.  I admit, it is fun, to pick for a whole week.  I can sit for a long time, flipping through the recipes, selecting the ones that are most appealing, at that moment.  Here goes.

Sunday – Cilantro and Cumin Burgers with Thyme Roasted Root Vegetables

Monday –  Quasado with Grated Beets with Toasted Almonds

Tuesday – Spinach Peppers and Mozzarella Pizza with Ginger Sesame Broccoli

Wednesday – Goat Cheese Quesadilla with Sweet Corn with Lime and Chili Butter

Thursday – Spaghetti and Parmesan with Fried Egg

Friday – Sesame Seed Chicken with Caramelized Onion Rice (or Quinoa) and Tomato Stew

Saturday – Miso Ginger Salmon with Colcannon

Linked to Organizing junkie

Bibimbap

Bibimbap (비빔밥, Korean pronunciation: [pibimp͈ap̚][1]) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed meal” or “mixed rice”. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating.[2] It can be served either cold or hot.”  Wikipedia

I have read the word but had no idea what this could be.  The recipe from a magazine called, Bitavyon for Bibimbap appealed to me so much, I could not wait to make it.  My husband had a meeting after work and we were not going to eat until about 10 PM so I had plenty of time to make the dish.  The recipe, I used called for grilled vegetables and meat but I made them in almost dry cast iron pan and they cooked beautifully.

I finished making the dish an hour before my husband was due home so I put it in the oven, except for the eggs.  When the man walked in the door, I put the oven up high and dropped two eggs on the vegetables and chicken (which I subbed for the beef, in the recipe).  I let it cook until it looked like it had partially solidified.

I adjusted the amount of ingredients for the two of us and we finished it up, although the man ate most of it.  I used a basmati rice that came with dried vegetables in it, so we picked up some more veggies, along the way.  This had such a beautiful selection of vegetables and they are supposed to be separate on the rice.  That worked until I had to remove a portion from the pan.  I used a large cast iron pan which is quite heavy and to be effective, I had to leave it on a burner and remove the food.  It did not stay the way, I would have liked it, for purposes of the picture but was fine.

I am going to include photos of some of the steps so you see how it was set up.  I had fun making this.

1 red pepper

2 cups spinach

1 cup grated carrots

1 large zucchini, sliced

4 scallions, cut in three sections, each

1 pound of chicken cutlets, sliced

1/2 cup Korean barbecue sauce (the best)

2 baked eggs

2 cups cooked rice with vegetables

In a large cast iron pan with almost no oil, cook red peppers until the start to blacken.  Remove from pan and put aside.

Add zucchini and scallions to pan, cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Put aside.

Add chicken slices to pan and cook for about 3 minutes a side.  Check for doneness.  Remove from pan.

I sprayed the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, at this point.

Add rice to pan.  (recipe calls for a homemade seasoned soy sauce, at this point.  I eliminated this because the Korean barbecue sauce had plenty of flavor and I did not want it altered.)

Arrange the red peppers, zucchini, spinach, scallions, chicken and shredded carrots on top of rice, separate from each other.  I added the grated carrots in several places.

Drizzle with Korean barbecue sauce.

Drop eggs on top and place in oven until it is cooked the way you like it.  I left mine for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Korean Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons low sodium gluten-free soy sauce

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Use or store in refrigerator.  Delicious.

My husband has not “kvelled” over a dish like he did, over this one.  He absolutely loves it and I am sure, there are going to be requests for this, again and again.

This is linked to

All the Small Stuff        Pennywise Platter Thursday         Frugal food thursdays         Tastetastic Thursday           Full Plate Thursday      Friday Food

Creamy Sliced Potatoes

Recently, I got a mandolin, not a fancy one.  This is a  handheld one that works very fast and does have a protecting piece to use when you slice.  I love to use it because of the speed.  If I am slicing an English cucumber which is quite long, it take about thirty seconds.  Granted, I move quickly but it allows for that.  It has proven to be a time saver and a work saver.  It is also fun to use.  (as long as you don’t cut yourself)

The original recipe, I thought I was making, called for hash browns.  Chopping potatoes is not what I consider fun so I opted to make a slice potato dish.  Once, I deviated from that original recipe, I threw it away, and followed my instincts.  I firmly believe, it is hard, to ruin a potato dish.

Off, I went to play with my new toy.

Creamy Sliced Potatoes

4 potatoes, sliced thin

1 medium onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup organic vegetable broth

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add potatoes and onions and cook for 10 minutes, mixing every two or three minutes.

Add the soup and black pepper and cook for another minute or two until soup is hot.

In a bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese and cheddar.  Add to potato mixture and continue to mix until cheese has melted.

Make sure the liquid has cooked out.

This has a nice creamy consistency and good flavor.

 

Three Cheese White Pizza with Spinach

Although, we are on summer vacation, I decided to go into work today, to go through some new books, for my class.  I spent a few hours there, went shopping and came home exhausted.  I am not used to putting in the work time, I guess.

I really didn’t want to cook and checked out the refrigerator.  I found some leftovers which I planned to let hubby have.  The light went on and I remembered the mini gluten-free pizza crusts, I had gotten, last week.  Why have leftovers when we can have Three Cheese White Pizza with Spinach?  How foolish would that be?  Nothing much easier than pizza when the crust is already made……

I had printed up a recipe from Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen which she just posted, yesterday.  You should go over there and see her photo of a whole pizza opposed to my minis.  She has a lot of good recipes to check out, as well.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light, June 2012.

I almost always have fresh baby spinach, in the house, but today, I didn’t so I used frozen.  It probably, is not as good, but the frozen did a great job of subbing for the fresh vegetable  and was delicious.

Three-Cheese White Pizza with Spinach  (adapted)

4 mini gluten-free pizza rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large shallots, sliced

2 cups baby spinach or 4 cups frozen spinach

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 

2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

On a baking sheet, lay out mini pizzas.

Place shallots in olive oil in a large skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes. Add 4 cups spinach; saute 2 minutes. Set aside.

Combine cheeses in a bowl.

 Spread cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned.

Top with spinach; bake an additional 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven and take a big bite.

This is linked to Gluten Free Recipe Linky   What’s Cooking Wednesday @ The Kings Court IV;  Lil’ Luna Link Party @ Lil’ Luna   Recipe Box Linky @ Bizzy Bakes; Whatcha Whipped Up @ DJ’s Sugar Shack;  Real Food Wednesday          Beyond the Peel  Gluten Free Wednesday       Cast Party Wednesdays  Works For Me WednesdayGood Recipes Online

Life’s Challenges

I came across this piece of wisdom and it got me started thinking.  Life may be beautiful but life is hard.  Life is filled with challenges and meeting them is not always easy, no, it is rarely easy.  For me, attitude is what makes or breaks me when I am given a challenge.

A challenge can be big or small.  Right now, my challenge is that the size of my font is not working properly and I can’t seem to get all the words the same size.  This is a little challenge and while it is frustrating, it is not important.  I am sure it came along, at this point, to prove something but I am not sure what.  Perhaps, it is that we meet challenges throughout our day, every day.

I have lived many years, thankfully, and in that time, all kinds of challenges have come my way.  The ones, I remember are the big ones.  The little ones disappear almost as quickly as they come along.  Even though my font size may be failing, it does not change my life.  Bigger challenges can and do change the direction of the path, we choose to take.

How we deal with a challenge determines how much effect it has on us.  I talk to myself, all the time, when I have one of these biggies.  I tell myself, I can do it.  I can pull through.  If I say it enough, I start to believe it.  It does not just happen.

When I was younger, I was a quitter.  If something hard came along, I would run.  One can’t go through life like this.  We miss out on too much.  Not only that, there are challenges, there is no running away from.  Illness, death, layoffs, pain, financial problems, all have to be dealt with.

I lost a dear friend because she didn’t deal with it.  At the age of 39, she had a lump on her breast and she was afraid to go to the doctor.  When she finally did, it was too late and the disease had spread throughout her body.  She died at that young age.  If I tell you, this was a sharp woman, one who loved life and lived a Godly life, you must be surprised.  How did she make such a choice?  I don’t have the answers.  She seemed so brave to me.  She was one of those people who inspired me and this seems out of character but there is a part of me that believes, she was so busy helping everyone else, perhaps she just didn’t allow herself the time to take care of herself.  I don’t know but I do know, I have to learn from her.

Side bar:  I just fixed the font size.  I won this challenge.  May God give me the strength to win others that come my way.

I believe that what happens in life has a purpose.  We may not see the purpose or ever discover it, but it exists.  We all know instances where the purpose is revealed after the incident and we know our attitude turns around.

Take the businessman, on his way, to close a multi-million dollar deal that is going to turn him into a wealthy human being.  It is a bright sunny day and off he goes to the airport to fly to New York to sign the papers.  He has until 1:00 PM or he loses the deal.  As he gets to the airport, he sees his plane pulling away.  He begins to curse and blames the airline.  He is in the middle of the airport, screaming at everyone, making all feel uncomfortable.

A few minutes later, it is announced that the plane he missed, went down, and there were no survivors. Now, he is happy and thankful that he missed that plane.  What a shame, he could not sit back and accept what life had given him, in the first place.  No, it is not easy but nothing was accomplished by his being unpleasant.

This is a subject, I could write about for hours but I am not going to.  Let us pray that we all have the strength to meet our challenges and come out the victor.  If you have words of wisdom, please share them, with us.

Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It was a hot day and I knew, I was going to be in the kitchen for several  hours, preparing for the Sabbath.  It meant making fish, chicken, side dishes and salads.  Dessert was going to be cold or from the freezer.  I did not plan on baking.  I got around using the oven except for one item.  Cholent is made in a crock pot.  The chicken was cooked on the barbecue.  Most foods were made in the microwave or did not cooking.  I did pull out the frying pan and a sauce pan for short periods of time.  The bottom line was that I did not heat up the kitchen very much.

I was stymied with what to do with a sweet potato.  Of course, the beauty of the sweet potato, is you can bake it, put on a pat of butter and enjoy it. Simple and delicious is the way to go.  Of course, it can be candied but I find, it is usually sweet enough by itself.  I do love mashed sweet potato and started off on that path.

It was over 90 degrees in the sun and my kitchen didn’t feel much cooler and I didn’t want to use my oven.  I microwaved the sweet potatoes whole, for 8 minutes.  I would have baked them after I finished shaping them but again, it was not worth using the oven so I fried them in a smidge of margarine.   What is a smidge?  Just a little bit…..

Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

1 pat or margarine

1 tablespoon honey

8 dried apricots

1 tablespoon olive oil

____

Microwave whole sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes until completely cooked.  Since each microwave is different, the timing may be different.  Stick a fork in the potato at about 5 minutes and see how it is.  I would check it every minute, after that, until the fork goes in easily.

Peel the sweet potatoes and mash them with the margarine and honey. Mash well.

Make a two-inch ball out of some of the sweet potato and while you are rolling it, push a dried apricot inside.  Place in a frying pan with hot olive oil.  Do the same with the remaining sweet potato.  Brown lightly on each side.  If you are not dealing with hot weather, I suggest baking this in the oven.

Serve plain or with a little maple syrup.  I was thinking of adding chopped scallions and I will try that, next time, I make these.

This is linked to  Friday Favorites
See Ya in the Gumbo       Mop it Up Mondays        Inspire Me Monday        Mealtime Monday        Gluten Free Recipe Linky   

Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday    Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training       Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chocolate Dream

This can be put into a chocolate crust but I like desserts better than pie so I  made this dessert to delight in, every spoonful.

Chocolate Dream

Ingredients:

1    cup semisweet chocolate chips                                                                                              
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon hot water
3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa

Method:


When you remove, the almost melted chocolate, stir until it is smooth.  
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a the microwave or on the stove.

If it needs additional microwave time, put it back for only 5-10 seconds.  

Stir again.  Continue until smooth. 

Combine coffee granules and water in medium bowl. 

Add sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract; stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Stir in melted chocolate until smooth.
Beat cream, powdered sugar and cocoa in small mixer bowl until stiff peaks form.
Gently mix this into other chocolate mixture.Refrigerate or freeze, depending on your preference.  It is wonderful frozen as it melts in your mouth.  It is creamy when it is refrigerated.  

This is linked to What’s Cooking Wednesday                    Tastetastic Thursday         Full Plate Thursday      Something Swanky

Rice Salad for a Change

There are certain salads, we fall back on, a tossed salad, potato salad, macaroni salad and cole slaw.  Nowadays though, salads have become exciting with the addition of mango and avocado and the hot peppers.  The look of salad is new but sometimes, we want that traditional potato or macaroni salad.  What happened to rice salad?

We visit friends, go to organizational dinners and weddings and I don’t remember seeing rice salads, exciting or plain.   I am back to making rice salads.  This one is not exciting but it serves its purpose.  It has those good vegetables in it.  I would put more in, next time.  It would go well with a spicy dish.

Rice Salad For a Change

Ingredients:

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1 small carrot, grated or minced
  • 1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar (I used garlic flavor)
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Preparation:

Toss prepared vegetables together in a  bowl.
In a small bowl with the vinegar, drizzle olive oil while whisking, to emulsify the liquids.
Add to vegetables; cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Add cooked, cooled rice; add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate until serving time. Serves 4.
This is linked to Summer Salad Sundays      Foodie Friday

Blueberry Crumble

I asked my husband to bring home blueberries from Costco, days ago.  As each day went by, I thought of all those blueberries and what I was going to do with them but nothing happened.  I am rational and did not want to lose these beauties so I decided to make a Crumble.  Crumbles are basically the same and this one is no different.  They are usually good and this one is no different.

Blueberry Crumble 

I found the recipe on delish.com and made a few changes but basically this is it.

English: A pack of blueberries from a organic ...

English: A pack of blueberries from a organic farm co-op program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries , or other fruit
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 tablespoon(s) orange juice
  • 1 cup Crumble  (below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
  2. Toss berries with sugar, flour and juice
  3. Place in a casserole or pie plate and cover with the delicious crumble.

Ingredients for Crumble


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup  brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup(s) brown rice flour (your choice)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

  1. Combine oats, nuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Drizzle oil over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.  Place on top of berry mixture.
This is linked to Mop It Up Mondays              Mealtime Mondays           My Meatless Mondays       Slightly Indulgent Tuesday