Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sample!!

Ok followers!! (all 4 of you!) Today is my first official day on the blog! Yesterday was more of a test run! So far so good!

Just a brief overview of how its going to work.  Every Sunday I will post my menu for the week. I will write the full recipe on Sunday. When I cook the meal, I will write the changes I make to each recipe. I will pick 4 recipes to make throughout the week. I wont decided the day's I'm going to cook them for the simple fact the sometimes you plan a meal in advance and when the day comes to cook it, it no longer sounds appealing. I have left two days for left overs, and one day for date night of course! Monday will be my shopping day. I have also decided to do Fun Fact Friday's, where I will give a random culinary fact. This will be a fun way for me to expand my knowledge in the kitchen and pass that on to everyone else! I will also be doing a Sweet Saturday, I am a primary teacher for the CTR 4 and well we all know how much kids LOVE treats, so I'm going to spoil my class a little and give me something extra to blog about! One more goal is to try at least one new recipe a week.

If anyone has any fun ideas that you think would add to my blog leave a comment, or email me at Same thing goes for any special requests or things you would like me to try! I am open to any and all ideas to make this blog an exciting experience for both myself and my readers!

disclaimer: 70% (probably more) of the time I have no idea what I am doing! There will be fails and flops, and I may not do things the way a culinary professional might do them. Also, healthy foods will be common, but I can't guarantee my recipes will be low in fat. There may also be mistakes in my writing, spelling, and grammar. Hey its life, and I'm not perfect! :)

Now that we got that all out of the way lets move on to the fun stuff!

My menu for the week:

Homemade Mac & Cheese:  This recipe is Bren's mom's homemade mac & cheese. I haven't tried this recipe before so this will be my new recipe for the week! I'm excited (and I hope I dont screw it up!).

3 cups elbow mac
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheese
1 tsp salt

Boil mac in salted water until tender
While mac is cooking make the sauce.
Mix all ingredients except cheese. When the sauce gets
thick, mix in two of the three cups of cheese (save the
last for the top). Bake @ 375ºF for 25-30 Min.

Chicken Bundles: This one is out of my Cookin With the Crazy Lady, cookbook by Trish Jenkin (former chef at the Manti House Inn). This is one of my favorite recipes and was a common meal our first year of marriage. Its been a while since I've made it so I figured what better recipe to start this blog with!

6 oz. cream cheese
4 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
2/3 chopped mushroom
1/2 cup chopped celery

2 pkgs crescent rolls
4 tbsp butter (melted)
seasoned bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk

Cream together cream cheese, butter and pepper. Stir in chicken, mushrooms and celery. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Roll each one slightly with a rolling bin to make them a little larger. Put a heaping spoonful into the center of each roll and roll them into bundles. Seal any openings. Dip each roll into melted butter and then roll them in bread crumbs. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375ºF for about 20 minutes. Heat soup and milk together and serve as gravy for the bundles.

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri:  This is Bren's choice, and he will be making this one (but never fear I will still blog about it). This recipe came from the Men's Health Magazine. Bren makes this one just for the simple fact that its on his BBQ (and his BBQ is his baby. Plus he's much better at BBQing then I am). This is a common appearance on our table as well.

12 oz flank, skirt, or sirloin steak
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh full leaf parsley
1 bunch scallions
3 tbsp red-wine vinegar

2 tbsp water
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried red-pepper flakes
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. To make the chimichurri sauce, mix the vinegar, water, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper. Whisk in the oil. When everything's blended, whisk in the parsley.
2. Preheat a grill or grill pan on high. Season the steak with salt and pepper and place it on the hot grill. For medium rare, cook it 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140ºF. Trim the roots from the scallions and add the entire bunch to the grill. Just after you've flipped the steak. Cook the scallions until they're lightly charred, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Drizzle the steak with the chimichurri, and serve it with the grilled scallions.

Eat with a scoop of pinto beans or black beans and hot corn or tortillas. Makes 2 servings.

Skillet Fiesta Chicken & Rice: This recipe is from my Campbells 1-2-4 Dinners. I make this one often. Not only is it good, but its quick and easy.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbells Tomato Soup
1 1/3 cups uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1 ounce)

1. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until browned. Set chicken aside. Pour off fat.
2. Add soup, water and chili powder. Heat to a boil.
3. Stir in rice. Place chicken on rice mixture. Sprinkle chicken with additional chili powder and cheese. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken and rice are dine. Stir rice mixture. Makes 4 servings.

Dinner tonight was simple and quick. I didn't have much to make so I had to hunt around my kitchen for something. We ended up having Birdseye Oriental Stir Fry (freezer section), with chicken.

Bren and I LOVE chicken so you will see it on this blog often!

I cubed and cooked the chicken in peanut oil in my wok. I sprinkled a little bit of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper for a little flavoring. The stir fry has its own sauce so I didn't want to take away from that.
After the chicken was cooked I threw the stir fry in and followed the directions on the package.

Over all it was pretty good, probably not my favorite meal but quick and easy (which I like). My only complaints were: there were way too many carrots in there. I like carrots, but they brought it to a whole new level. I ended up taking half the carrots out and there were still a ton left. Also the water chestnuts. Honestly, does anyone like water chestnuts? They seem like a waste of space and a sorry excuse for food.

here is a picture of the final product.

Thanks for checking back! Hope you are as excited about my new blog as I am!!
Until Tomorrow!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 1 Saturday- Healthy Request Chicken Mozzarella.

Check it out! My first day with this blog and I've already cooked something! Dinner tonight came from my Campbells 1-2-3 Dinner recipe book. I had noo idea what to cook and the meals in this book are pretty basic made from staples usually kept in every pantry. So naturally this was the first place I looked. My choice for dinner tonight was based solely on a meal I knew I had all the ingredients for (so I wouldn't have to go shopping thank goodness!) 

The Recipe:
 Healthy Request Chicken Mozzarella

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato Soup
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano leaves, crushed.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
4 cups hot cooked corkscrew macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked), cooked without salt.

1: Place chicken in 2-quart shallow baking dish.
2: Mix soup, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Spoon over chicken and bake at 400ºF. for 20 minutes
or until chicken is no longer pink
3. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Remove chicken.
Stir sauce. Serve with macaroni

In truth I actually really liked this recipe. It was the first time I had tried it and it was pretty good. And it was SUPER easy! Which wins major points in my book! Of course I made a few of my own changes to it. Straight Campbells soup is pretty bland. So I added a full teaspoon of Italian seasoning in stead of half. I stuck to the book measurement of garlic powder (i dont like to have too much garlic it can be over-powering and tends to give you bad breath if you have too much). But looking back I probably would have added maybe a little bit more garlic powder. I also added a tiny bit of dried cilantro and parsley (dried as well). Not sure if that added to the taste because I didn't put very much, but over all it tasted pretty good. One last thing I added was a pinch of onion powder. I probably would have added a little more of that as well. I also substituted the plain mozzarella for shredded Italian blend cheese, as well as the cork screw macaroni for wheat spaghetti (not may favorite but its all we had).
Instead of waiting to add the cheese after the chicken was cooked. I added a little bit to the sauce. Though I wish I would have had some Parmesan (the kind in the green can) to mix in. I think that would have added a little more flavor to the sauce. I did sprinkle some on top after the timer beeped on the oven. I turned the oven off and kept the chicken in there to melt the cheese on top. (note: I cooked the chicken for 30 min instead of 20 because I'm paranoid to under cook my chicken and the chicken breast I used were pretty thick)
After I drained the pasta I removed the chicken from the pan (as requested in the recipe) and mixed the pasta with the sauce left over. There isn't a ton of sauce left but it was the perfect amount if you mix the noodles with it before you serve it. I then put the chicken back on top (just because it looked nice that way) I would have served it with some vegies but the only ones we had just didn't seem like they would go well with this dish.

Bren liked it and Anna LOVED it. She couldn't get enough of it. It was her first experience with spaghetti and I think it was a hit.  This is definitely a recipe I will use again. 
Pictures below! 

The finished product

MMMM!! Anna LOVED her spaghetti

Thanks for checking back! I've been thinking of some fun idea's to do with this new blog and maybe if I get enough followers I just might do a give away once my blog is a little bit more established! 

Until Tomorrow!

The Beginning

I know what you're thinking right now. "WHAT! Chantal is really starting another blog? She never updates the one she already has!!"

But it is true, I am starting a new blog. The reason being? I HATE cooking, I hate everything about it. The preparation, the time spent, the cooking its self, and most of all the SHOPPING! Oh how I hate shopping of every kind, grocery shopping as at the top of my hate list. For dinner at my house we usually go out to eat, Bren cooks, or its fend for yourself. Occasionally I will cook. But it's not often

I was recently awakened by a comment Bren made about one of his co-workers offering to bring him dinner every night (she is appalled by "this generation's women and their lack of homemaking") At first I was extremely offended and mad even. Mad that Bren had brought up the fact that I don't cook very often and mad that she had the nerve to tell Bren that she would be cooking for him. Then I was mad at myself, after all, I am the wife here. I am the one slacking on my duties at home and in the kitchen. My excuses are weak at best "but I HATE cooking", or "I work so when I get home I'm too tired to cook", or "we never have food in the house so I CAN'T cook anything."

So I will be blogging about my journey to being a better cook and actually cooking. I am hoping that I will be able to stick to this one. I have a few goals here, first off to actually cook and hopefully I will eventually like it, second I am hoping to be better at blogging, and third I would love to have a following. Maybe if I get enough followers I will actually blog.

My inspiration is from several other sources. One of them is the movie Julie and Julia, if she can blog about cooking, so can I. Also from one of my favorite blogs Kari was in my ward in Rexburg and she is amazing at blogging and I LOVE following her blog. As well as Jordana, a friend of mine from high school. I am a recent convert to her blog. And I cant forget Jess, a friend I used to work with. There is something about the simplicity to Jordana's blog, the intricacy of Kari's blog, and the fun in Jess's blog that just draws my attention to them. They are all fantastic at captivating my attention and I am constantly finding myself coming back to their blogs for more. 

Here is the plan. Every Sunday I am going to write out a menu for the week and post it on this blog. Monday after work I will go and buy all of the groceries needed for each meal. Now I am debating as to whether or not I should post every night after dinner or if I should do a recap on Saturday. What are your thoughts

I will be using recipe books, because of my lack of creativity. The books that will most likely appear in my blog and on my table will be Cookin' With the CRAZY lady by Trish Jenkin (former chef of the Manti House Inn) and the Campbells 123 Dinners. As well as Recipes found online If you have any recipes you love and aren't too crazy or any books that you live by please post them in the comments

I will of course have nights that I don't cook, say Bren wants to cook something or BBQ and of course our weekly date night. I will probably still blog about these nights. Pictures of the meals may or may not happen. What are your thoughts on pictures? Note- my child will more than likely make appearances on this blog, she is the STAR of my other blog.

This is where I need YOUR help. I am TERRIBLE at keeping to my goals, don't believe me? Check out my other blog my posts are few and far in between. Hopefully I will be able to be a little bit better a blogging on both of these blogs. I need your encouragement please please comment. Post your own ideas, recipes, tricks, anything

Well I think this post has gone on long enough. Welcome and tomorrow I will get into the good stuff!