Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 13

I'm afraid this is not going to be the most exciting of posts. But to appease my mildly OCD personality, I have to post ! This is my 13th consecutive week of planning, posting and (for the most part) sticking to a menu !!

We were supposed to have Trin's Chicken Casserole but we ended up having Chinese Take Out !

Chili ( from the freezer ) and cornbread

Sandra's Crock Pot Split Pea Soup with Donna's Biscuits

Dinners cookin' now !
Mustard Roasted Chicken with/veggies
Roast Potatoes
Donna's Biscuits

Crock Pot Greek Lamb and Spinach Orzo

Spaghetti ( sauce in freezer )

Leftovers or Tuna Mac

I know that I promised to post a few recipes TWO WEEKS ago in Edition 11 ...
I'll get to them this week I hope !

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 12


Don't know how well you'll be able to read my menu this week.
It was a little experiment in GIMP.
So ... last week, on Thursday, we didn't have leftovers.
I ended up making lasagna since Rory's brother Rog was here for a few nights.
Rory experimented with making a curry in the crock pot last night.
It was good but we've thought of a few things we'll do differently next time we try.
And we WILL try again.
The Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff is one of Sandra's recipes.
I can't wait to try it out tomorrow night !!
My crock pot recipe contest finishes this week ...
so hurry and enter if you are interested !!

Trin's Chicken Casserole


Ever wonder what to do with those leftover bits of roast chicken ? Ok ... so we don't normally have as much as you see on this chicken ... usually it's really just scraps. But for the sake of the chicken photo ... I'm keeping this one !!

Years ago, my friend Katrina gave me this recipe passed on to her by her mother in law (if I remember the story correctly.) It's simple and yummy. I've modified mine a bit ... because, well, because that's what I do !!
Preheat oven. 180C/375F

What do you need ? Chicken that you've picked off of the bones. A bit of bacon. A potato. 1/2 an onion. Some flour. A package of chicken noodle soup mix.

Cook the bacon in a frying pan til desired state of crunchy or non crunchy-ness. Add onion. Sautee til desired tenderness. Add chicken and sprinkle with flour.

Cook a couple minutes ... just to get it all mixed in with the flour. I think the flour acts as a thickener when you cook it in the oven.

Throw all of that from the frying pan into a casserole dish. Add uncooked, diced potatoes.

Sprinkle with chicken noodle soup mix.

Cover with water.

Cook in oven ... 30 minutes ? 45 minutes ?
If you cook it longer, it becomes less soupy.
Sometimes we want soupy.
Sometimes we want not so soupy.
We play it by ear.
Serve with lovely fresh crusty bread.
Or don't.

This week I served it with roasted cauliflower.



Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 11

Ok people this is going to be quick. I had hoped to be able to spend some time blogging today but it just didn't happen that way !! So, what's on the menu this week ???

We had friends over for dinner.
We BBQ'd hamburgers.
I made Tuna Mac ( recipe will be posted later in the week on Simple Beauty blog)
and this potato salad.

I made this up.
It's a Chimichanga Casserole.
I'll be posting the recipe later in the week.

I did a roast chook in the rotisserie.

We had an easy chicken casserole. Recipe to follow later in the week.
(and possibly a recipe for a crock pot chicken stock)
I've got it cooking in my BRAND NEW slow cooker, I'll post a recipe if it's good.

Tuesday :
Spaghetti out of the freezer, probably.

Wednesday :
Might do egg curry again. Made it last week and Jono reckons it's his second favorite meal !
Recipe ... you guessed it ... to follow later in the week !!
I'll post this one to my Simple Beauty blog as well ... not overly "healthy" !!

Thursday :
Two Minute Noodles

** Edited later because I forgot to send you over to Org Junkie's place for more ideas !!**

Frutto della Passione

During the Ultimate Blog Party, I met Joanne. She visited me over at Simple Beauty. I had to go over and say hello back and I looooooved what I found at Frutto della Passione !! You can read all about her in her THIS IS ME section but I'll give you an intro ... she's a Canadian living in Italy who loves to cook ! (and eat, I dare say !)

Anyhoo ... todays post cracked me up ! You've got to go read it !! It's called Enough is Enough.

Go !
Now !
Read !

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 10

I started this post yesterday ... MONDAY ... but wanted to add some new photos.
Still not going to be able to do that again today, so should have just posted yesterday !

Friday :
Didn't feel like pizza this week ! Sometimes we get "pizza'd out" !
Had homemade Sushi instead. It was delicious !

Saturday :
Hamburgers and Corn on The Cob.

Sunday :
Quick Quesadillas
Just threw some shredded mozarella between two flour tortillas,
"cooked" in sandwich press. SUPER EASY !

Monday :
I did a roast chicken in the rotisserie.
I'll post a few photos later in the week ...
Made a yummy salad.
Lettuce, tomato, black olives.
Topped with asparagus, spring onions, carrots and garlic
cooked for 20 (?) mins in hot oven.
Pine Nuts.
Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar - drizzled sparingly on top.

Tuesday :
Spaghetti - sauce from freezer !
I need to make some more freezer meals.
So convenient and easy especially when life is busy !

Wednesday :
Egg Curry
Mom's Chutney

Thursday :
Not sure yet. Probably left overs ...
or something I rummage around in the cupboards to make.
I'll let you know if I come up with something good !

I'll be making a batch of this Salsa this afternoon.
I'll keep some of it in the fridge but it makes heaps so I'm going to freeze some too.
I might make the chutney this afternoon as well.
It's always better if it sits for a bit.
I'll post that recipe once I make it and get some photos ...

Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - Edition 10

I'm feeling like soup lately. So two really great ones made it onto the menu this week. Well, one is technically called a chili. I got both the Hearty White Bean Chili and Maui Black Bean Soup out of one of my newest cookbooks "The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook" by Tosca Reno. I highly recommend this book! It is packed full of delicious healthy recipes! One of my go-to cookbooks for sure!
Bonnie's Cajun-Spiced Fish made it to this weeks menu AGAIN! It's just that good, and oh, so easy!
I'll be back later to post the Chicken Satay recipe!

Check out I'm An Organizing Junkie for even more menus! Over 200 every week!

New Burger Photos

So ...we had burgers again on Saturday night.
I don't like the photo I took last time we had them.
I can't decide which one I like best.
Help me out ya'll.
Which one is better ...


Soup and Oatmeal Pancake Recipes!

We has "soup" weather a few weeks ago so we had soup!! Two really good ones I wanted to share and then I'm posting a recipe my sister in law gave me for oatmeal brown sugar pancakes. They are DELICIOUS! My husband said he doesn't care if I never make the regular kind again.

First the pancakes.
I always double this recipe and we have a few left over for the next day.
(PANCAKE TIP FOR YOUNG CHILDREN We use a pizza cutter to cut up the kids pancakes. It makes quick and light work of it!! Once you've tried it you'll never go back :). )
Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

10 T. oats (I use the quick oats)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 T. vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (I never have buttermilk so I just use milk)
(I usually add 1 T. of lemon juice - don't know why)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the egg, oil and milk together in a small bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. You may need to add a bit more milk to get the right consistency - so they aren't too thick to pour onto the griddle.

Spinach, Orzo and Chicken Soup

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in cubes
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch of cinnamon
32 oz. chicken broth (I think I just used 4 bullion cubes and added 4 cups water)
2/3 cup orzo pasta
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 cups baby spinach
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
lemon wedges

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat Olive oil in 4 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until lightly browned; remove to plate. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic, and saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add spices and stir for one minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Add chicken, bring soup back to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Divide spinach among 6 bowls and ladle hot soup over spinach. Garnish with parmesan and lemon wedges.

This last recipe is one I got years ago from Top Secret Recipes. I subscribed to their emails years ago and from time to time one comes up that I really like. This has been my favorite. I don't have a picture of it - but I didn't want that to stop me from posting! This is their version of:

TGI Friday's Black Bean Soup

2 T. vegetable oil
3/4 cup diced white onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 T. minced garlic
4 15 oz. cans black beans
4 cups chicken stock (again I use chicken bullion cubes + water)
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I never use this)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp HICKORY flavored concentrated liquid smoke (A MUST!!!! yummmy)

shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese blend
chopped green onion

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly (or "sweat" as it's called), for 15 minutes or until tender. Don't brown the veggies. While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and drain and rinse. Measure 3 cups of the drained and strained beans into a blender with 1 cup of chicken stock. Puree until smooth. When the veggies are ready pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken stock, and every other ingredient in the list to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer 50-60 minutes.

Some notes of my own :)
I never cook it as long as 50-60 minutes. I don't think it's necessary especially if the veggies are arlready tender. I don't like the veggies too soft!
Cooking it that long may help it to thicken but I've never been patient enough to wait that long. Sometimes I have tried to thicken it a tiny bit with a cornstarch mixture or more pureed beans.
Try it and see what you like best!

Australian Roast Veggies - with a Bonnie Twist


We loooooooooooove veggies done this way !
Super easy. I had some ham steaks in the freezer. Pulled them out to serve with the veggies.
Just heated them up. Made Mom's Pineapple Sauce.

For the veggies :
Cut up whatever you like and lay on baking paper lined cookie sheets ( or baking dish ) I usually do one tray of potatoes and one tray of the rest, since the potatoes take longer to cook. What have I got there ? Potatoes. I slice them about 1/2 an inch thick. Pumpkin. (you could do sweet potato) I do largish pieces. Carrots. I half them and then cut the halves lengthways so thy are flat on one side. Onions, peel and chop in half. Garlic, cut off end but leave in skin. They just pop out once cooked ! ( but if you cook them without the skins, they will burn ) I lay them flat ... not overlapping at all. I rub with olive oil and cook in a hot (180/200 C) oven. I usually do the potatoes for about 15/20 minutes before putting the other veggies in. Then do the rest til they are done. (maybe another 20 minutes but you'll have to play, depending on your oven !!)

The greens. This time I just threw garlic, onion, asparagus into some sesame oil, added bok choy at the end with some soy sauce. Once wilted, I added a bit of balsamic vinegar and pine nuts. Delicious !

Some times I serve the veggies with a bit of Allioli ...

Allioli (from all i oli, Catalan for "garlic and oil", Spanish Ajoaceite from "ajo y aceite" or Alioli) is a typical paste of the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Catalonia. It is made by pounding garlic with olive oil and salt in a mortar until a smooth texture is obtained. It differs from Proven├žal aioli in that it does not use eggs, although normally a small quantity of egg is added to allow a faster and easier mixing. The mix of eggs, oil and garlic is pejoratively referred as mayonnaise with garlic.

An easy way to make it ... a big blob of mayo with a spoon full of crushed garlic ( I use the stuff in the jar for this quick easy Allioli !! )

And now ... I must go start the day. It's Friday ... grocery shopping day ! Need to get my menu planned and my list made !!

Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - Edition 9

Some of these may seem familiar. One meal (Veggie Burgers) is a carry-over from last week. I'll let you know how they are.
Tonight is a good-'ol comfort food night. Home-made shells & cheese. SO very fattening, but OH SO YUMMY! It's o.k. to be bad sometimes!
Tuesday must be an easy quick meal. Hence the Cajun-Spiced Fish AGAIN! It's so fabulous! You really should try it!
The Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps with Potstickers are two new recipes for us. They sound so delicious and in the footage I saw on that episode they look pretty easy to make as well. Will let you know!
I believe I put the Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, & Salmon on the menu another time. (I just looked back and found that it has been "planned" two other times! ha! Maybe I'll actually make it this time!) This recipe was prepared on the same episode of Everyday Italian as the Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach featured on my menu for February 4th.I promised to let you all know how they were...They were DELICIOUS! Heaven-in-your-mouth yummy! I felt like I was at a snooty expensive restaurant with every bite! FABULOUS! My husband even comment on how delicious they were and he really does not like cream cheese, or goat cheese! I WILL make these again!
Sundays are usually spent hanging out with friends, so I have deemed that "Lu-Dinner with friends" day! (Lu-Din·ner;
noun: late lunch/early dinner)

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 9


I know, I know, it's a pretty boring menu this week !! But ... I've managed to keep my grocery budget under $150 this week ! My goal was $100 but considering I normally spend $270 a week, I'm happy with under $150 !!! Since it's such a lame-o menu, I decided to give you a little tip.
If you are in the States, or are not really into good olives, this probably won't matter to you. In the States, I'd buy these and be done with it.

But here, the best black olives are these ... and they don't often sell them pitted in my Woolies. So ... I either have to buy yucky pitted olives or pit these myself !! I used to try and cut the seeds out ... took forever and was a PAIN !!! But then I learned how to do it this way ... can't even remember where I learned it now.

So ... you need a big knife. Push the flat bit of it on the olives. Oh wait, you can't really see it all that great in this photo ... let me show you another one !

There, that's a better angle. (It's hard to take photos of yourself !!) Now, push down on the olive. The seed will stop you once you've reached it.

The olive will now have split and you can just pull the seed out of the middle.

Yep, it's that easy.
Hope you all have a great week. I hope to post a few recipes soon. Oh, last week, we had Khrista's lemon spaghetti ... delicious !! You've got to try it ! The vegetarian lasagna wasn't the best. I'll do it again though because I think I know what the problem was. AND then, I'll post it ...