Friday, April 10, 2009

Dinners times two

I am continuing to be good about following my menu plan. Here is picture of the Wed. night meal. It is mini meatloaves with broccoli. Use any meatloaf recipe and make it in little patties instead of the loaf pan. The broccoli is steamed with cashews and raisins added the last few minutes and garnished with grated fresh parmesan.
Thursday night we had sweet and sour pork, fried rice and lima beans. I know some don't like lima beans but we do and it is almost a tradition to serve when I do pork. They are seasoned with Cavender's Greek Seasoning. I make regular basmati rice earlier in the day. Then when it is cool I use it for the fried rice. The Sweet and Sour Recipe is pretty easy.
I use a pork tenderloin. Cut up into small bits..... and marinated in a mixure of Soy Sauce, cooking sherry and a bit of ginger powder. 1/4 cup soy, 1/8 cut cooking sherry and a t. of ginger powder. You can vary this to taste. Don't let sherry or ginger overpower.
Let pork marinate in this for several hours. Can be in refrigerator.
Then mix 2 eggs, 2 T. of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of flour. You can increase this is you are making for more than two people.
Dump the pork and the marinade into the coating mix, cover the pork well and deep fry.
I use Sweet and Sour sauce from LaChoy.

I will take the lazy way out tonight and have a pizza from Schwan"s.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Snow, Red Sox and dinner

I woke up this morning to see snow on the ground when I looked out the window. Not a good thing. But now it has about all melted so not big deal I guess..... just the minor mental depression I felt when I saw it.

The good news is the RED Sox finally got their opening day and they won 5-3. Beckett looked great as did Pedroia. He hit a home run his first time up.

Last night's meal was a family favorite Pasta Dish. A few years ago when we were visiting our son we had dinner at a restaurant called the Town Dock in Rye, NY. This was the dinner Bill chose to have and he liked it so well we decided to try it at home. That was a couple of years ago and we still love it.

We haven't really named it, just call it Penne with sausage and mushrooms. There is no written down recipe. I usually just wing it but the basic things are

Penne Pasta
Shitaki Mushrooms (sliced in thin strips)
Roma Tomatoes (chopped finely)
Spinach (I use Baby spinach and chop finely)
Italian Sweet Sausage
Fresh Grated Parmesan

I usually cook up about 3/4 cup of the Penne for the two of us. (about 15 minutes) And meanwhile, in a frying pan I crumble the sausage and add garlic and cook until done. Then I add the mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. Cook until spinach is limp and they are all blended.
Then, when Penne is done I drain it and add to the mixture in the frying pan. And finally serve with a topping of fresh grated parmesan.

With this recipe I always serve what we call Patti bread. A friend of our named Patti introduced us to this recipe.

Patti Bread:

Slice Italian bread, as many as desired.
Melt butter in a dish and dip each slice in the dish about 1/2 way down, to soak the bread on one side.
Sprinkle with seasoning.... you could use Italian seasoning but I use a McCormick seasoning blend called BASIL and GARLIC.
Put the coated slices on a cookie sheet and put under the broiler until they brown nicely. You much watch carefully that they don't burn.

For us this is a great meal.

Success at Dinner!!!

Last nights dinner was a huge success. First Bill said it looked like "haute" cuisine. Then he said he loved it and what favor could he do for me in return for preparing such a yummy meal... (well he didn't use the word yummy) and then today he said to make sure I didn't lose the recipe!

Here is a picture of what it looked like prior to serving. I have to admit it was excellent.

Here are links to the recipes if you wish to prepare the dishes yourself.

First is the recipe at the website for
Pepperidge Farm® Herbed Chicken in Pastry

Then here is the recipe for the Spinach and Roasted Potatoes. I could not find it on the website so this is the copy I found in a magazine.... forget which one. If you click on it, it will make it larger and more readable.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday.... a new thing on my blog

I know.... I haven't been here lately. We were away for a couple of weeks and since coming home time just seems to fly by.
We went to a Nascar Race down in Bristol TN, which was a FUN time even if my favorite race car driver didn't win.

Then over to Chesapeake, Virginia to visit with good Navy friends from when we used to live there. More fun, including a great meal at a restaurant on the Inland Waterway.

I loved being in the land of REAL stores. I didn't boost the economy too much there but I did find some things I have been wanting. There certainly aren't many places to shop around here.

But on to this menu thing.
My daughter does it on her blog and she got the idea from another blog called I'm An Organizing Junkie. That is a great blog for menu ideas and recipes.

Back in the day, when I was working full time at my job at the Television Station I used to do something similar every Sunday. I would make out a tentative menu for the week and make a grocery list from it. Then on Monday, I would stop off at grocery store on the way home. I would leave notes on frig if something needed to be done before I got home.... like putting potatos in the oven. It worked well. Since I now work from my home it doesn't seem quite as necessary though I still have been doing it on a small scale.

I love to get out three or four cook books and look through them and see what inspires. I also print off recipes from the web if I find something that sounds good. That is what will start this week.

Monday: Pepperidge Farm Herbed Chicken in Pastry
Spinach and Roasted Potato Salad ( A recipe from Sargento)

Tuesday Penne Pasta with Sausage
Patti Bread ( a recipe I once got from my friend Patti)

Wednesday: Zesty Mini Meatloaves
Broccoli with Cashews/Raisins (From Today's Diet and Nutrition Magazine)
Margie Bread a recipe (I got from my friend Margie)

Thursday: Sweet and Sour Pork
Lima Beans
Pork Fried Rice

Friday: Pizza... from Schwanns.

Saturday: Steak
Onion Clusters

I will try to post a couple of the recipes as the week goes on.