Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Pantry Cleanout-Week 2 Menu and Recipes

Happy Monday y'all! I pray you had a great, restful weekend? Our was productive, yet fun with moments of peace thrown in for sanity :)

So as I begin week 2 of this experiment, I thought I'd start off by reviewing how last week went. I feel pretty good in summing it up as 'So far, so good!' We stuck to our menu, and ate the dinners listed for my Week 1 entry. However, we did have one breach yesterday when my truly darling husband surprised the children and I with lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant after church. This is a big event for our family, since eating out is definitely not a centsible choice! We rarely eat out, so when my economical husband suggests such a luxury, I definitely jump at the chance. (When we paid off our final debt, we took our kids out to McD's and a movie, and you would've thought it was Disneyland with all the excitement. The phrase " day ever..." kept pouring out of their mouths!) So, yes, I eagerly caved in and accompanied my family to a lovely lunch yesterday. I will wholeheartedly and gratefully admit it!

Okay, so now let's jump into Week 2, which actually began with last night's dinner. Here's my line-up for the next 7 days:

Sunday-Crockpot Corned Beef with carrots, fingerling potatoes, and applesauce
Monday-Chicken and Dumplings, Green Salad
Tuesday-Omelettes, English Muffins, Canned Pears
Wed-Bible Study (Baked Potato Bar)
Thursday-Fettucine Alfredo with fresh pasta, grilled Chicken, and broccoli
Friday-Orange glazed chicken over rice with snow peas (pre-made, frozen dish from costco)
Saturday-Parmesan Crusted Halibut, Chicken flavored rice, and salad

The Recipes

Crockpot Corned Beef
1 corned beef brisket and pickling spices (if wanted)
1 cup beer or chix broth
1 cup water
vegetables of choice, cut into chunks (i.e. cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes)

Rinse and lay your brisket in slow cooker. If you desire to use spice packet, then cut it open and sprinkle over brisket. Surround with veggies. Pour over the beer and water. Cook on low 8 hours. Very tender and flavorful!
(We used some fingerling potatoes and carrots from our garden. I did have some cans of beer left over from making our slug traps during the summer.)

Chicken and Dumplings
8 cups of broth (or equivalent water and bouillon)
3-4 chix breasts, cubed (or other chicken/turkey meat to use up)
1 clove minced or pressed garlic
black pepper to taste
2 cups baking mix (bisquick or equivalent home-made version)

Put the broth in a large dutch oven or pot. If using raw chicken (as opposed to left-over cooked), then I put the cubes into the broth. Add garlic. Bring to a boil until cooked through. Skim off any fat that may come to the top.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, measure baking mix. Pour in milk until mix becomes a thick paste. When the chicken is cooked, drop dough by large spoonfuls onto the top of boiling broth. When all the dough has been used, reduce heat and cover. Do NOT clean the dirty dough bowl yet!!
Simmer 3 minutes. Remove lid, and using a large slotted spoon, try to flip dumplings as much as possible. Re-cover and let simmer 3 more minutes. Remove lid and give a gentle stir. Now take some more milk and pour a little into the dirty dough bowl. Using a rubber scraper, scrape off the remaining dough and mix into the milk to make a thin roux. Pour this into the pot and stir through. Let simmer a few minutes to thicken the broth.

Alfredo Sauce
1 Stick unsalted butter
1 cup shredded/grated parmesan
1 minced or pressed garlic clove
half and half or cream
salt/pepper to taste

Put butter and parm in a saucepan. Melt together over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant-just a minute or so. Slowly pour and stir in the cream until desired consistency is reached. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve over pasta, chicken, veggies. etc.

Parmesan Crusted Halibut (or any whitefish. The original recipe was actually for catfish!)
3 halibut steaks or small fillets
1 stick melted butter
2 sleeves finely crushed ritz crackers
1/2c grated parmesan
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 dash cayenne pepper (if desired)

In a microwave pyrex pie plate or equivalent, melt butter. On a paper plate (I prefer for easy clean-up) mix ritz crumbs, parsely, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with EVOO or spray with cooking spray. Dip steaks in butter and roll in crumb mixture. Lay on baking sheet, evenly spaced. Bake at 400 for 20 min. Pull tray out and sprinkle with parmesan. Return to oven and bake 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

Flavored Rice
This is so easy! Make your rice as you normally would, but substitute water with flavored broth (or equivalent water/bouillon). I use cicken and beef. I also really like the tomato chicken caldo bouillon that is made by Knorr, but found in the hispanic section of the store.

Well, I'm off to get my kids a schoolin'! I pray you have a wonderful, glorious week that is full of God's love and peace.

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