Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food and the New Year

So we have been married for almost a year now, and man time sure does fly. I was thinking back to our wedding day and I cant believe how many details are still so clear. I wish I could relive that day over and over again. It truely was the best day of my life to date.

I have recently taken a step back in my life and looked at how I have performed as a wife and the head woman in our household. Sure I do the cleaning and the laundry and the grocery shopping, but the area that I seem to lack in is cooking. When we first got married I was excited to be able to cook for more that just one person and to be able to use the many recipes that I have collected over the years. I did good for the first few months, and then it died. I got a job that didn't end at 5 at night Monday through Friday and worked crazy hours. Needless to say my husband ended up eating a lot of whatever he could find on nights when I was working or even when I was home and was too tired to put something together. He has been good to prepare some meals, he makes some killer good fried chicken and pork chops. I am thankful that he is ok with not having a meal on the table when he gets home from work, that he is ok with eating sandwiches and leftovers etc. But beginning a new year I decided that this all needed to change, for the better!
I still work nights and odd hours, but only three days a week. My goal is to have leftovers for those nights when we cant eat together and other good things on hand that we can throw together if necessary. I have spent hours upon hours pouring over blogs and recipe books trying to find recipes that will work for our crazy schedules and my picky palate. The other day I made a massive shopping list, scoured the ads and planned a menu for two weeks of new recipes. We went grocery shopping yesterday and made our first new meal last night. It turned out well and my husband told me it was a keeper recipe. Score one for me!!!
I have had a few requests to post those recipes and to start a food blog. It sounds like a good idea, but lets be honest, I dont know if I can handle two blogs at the moment. So for now I will post the recipes here and see how it goes. My goal is to post the recipe and thoughts the next day for those to see. Hopefully I can stick to that goal. And readers, let me know what you think too! I would love to know who is reading my blog.

For dinner last night I made a something that I found of the Betty Crocker website called Super-Easy Chicken Manicotti. I didnt take a picture of my finished product so I found a picture of it on their website. It looks soo good!

Super-Easy Chicken Manicotti

1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen organic pasta sauce (any variety)
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 lb uncooked chicken breast tenders (not breaded)
14 uncooked manicotti shells (8 oz)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
Chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Spread about 1/3 of the pasta sauce mixture in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
Sprinkle garlic salt on chicken. Insert chicken into uncooked manicotti shells, stuffing from each end of shell to fill if necessary. Place shells on pasta sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce evenly over shells, covering completely. Cover with foil.
Bake about 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink in center and shells are tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil.
Makes 7 servings

*** So a few side notes, I only made half this recipe since it me and my husband wont eat it all.
I did not use the pasta sauce that they used, I just used a simple Hunt's Spaghetti sauce with Garlic, and it turned out great!
I started out with my chicken frozen and by the time I made the dish it was mostly thawed, but I had a hard time fitting it in those little shells. I ended up cutting the chicken into pieces and putting them in that way, and it still turns out just fine. Make sure to really coat the chicken as well as it will give it more flavoring.
Overall I give this dish a 8 out of 10. It could use some more flavor, but that is something I plan to do next time. A good weekday meal for busy people!

Now onto dessert! My favorite all time thing to make! I can not tell you how many blogs I follow on baking and how much time is spent drooling over the things that are posted and then bookmarked to make one day. The one that I made last night was super easy, and incorporated two of my husband's favorite things, brownies and Oreos. So I decided to give it a try. *** Even if you dont think you can bake, you can totally do this one!**

I found this recipe on a blog called Picky Palate. A perfect site for me, since I am super picky sometimes! The actual link is this: You should totally check it out!

Brownie Covered Oreos

1 Brownie mix (or use your own brownie recipe)
1 package Oreos
White chocolate, melted for drizzle, or Wilton White frosting pen works great
White nonpariels Sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Leave in mixing bowl. 3. Dip Oreos in brownie batter then place in bottom of cupcake tins that have been generously sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until brownies are cooked through (doesn’t take long).
5. As soon as you remove, take a plastic knife and run along edges, (this is VERY important so you get the cookie out with brownies not stuck to pan
6. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove drizzle with melted white chocolate or the Wilton White icing pen, sprinkle with nonpariels and EAT! Enjoy

Makes entire package of Oreos

*** On the original blog she posted what pan she used and hers look more like little cookies, mine they turned out like flat muffins, but I am not complaining. I just used a regular sized muffin tin. Make sure to WELL grease the pan each time, they do stick. I also was cheap and did not buy the sprinkles of the white chocolate to drizzle. We had some cream cheese frosting that we just spread on top to add some more flavor. I am also too cheap to buy the name brand Oreos, so I made mine with the off brand, Duos, and they worked just as well.

I give this recipe and 10 out of 10. It does take some time as you can only cook 12 at a time, but it is totally worth it. When I make them again I want to try another flavor of Oreos. one with mint or something.

Again I didnt not take a picture of mine, but I think her's look better anyway, so I borrowed a picture from her blog.

Try these and let me know what you think
From our family to yours,

** Image found on Google

1 comment:

kels&murr said...

i love getting recipe ideas from other people. i too have contemplated about just making a blog to post recipes. thanks for sharing your yummy ideas- i will be trying them for sure!