Summer Sippin’ (Dinner for Two Week 8)

Lunch: Snowball Peaches, Green Salad with Balsamic Salad Dressing, Papaya or Guava

Dinner: Hamburger Casserole or Beef Bake, Bell Pepper or Artichoke, Mint Iced Tea Cooler or Lemonade Slush

Balsamic Salad Dressing

Combine 3/4 cup of tomato juice, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, an envelope of Italian salad dressing mix, and 2 tsp of sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Store in the fridge.

Salad suggestion: Leaf lettuce and red cabbage with carrots, grilled asparagus, a can of drained mandarin oranges, chopped or dropped cherries, and cranberries

Snowball Peaches

Beat 2 packages of softened cream cheese and 2 Tbsp of apricot preserves in a small mixing bowl until blended. Drain a can of pineapple tidbits. Stir 1 cup of pineapple into cream cheese. Drain 3 cans of peach halves and place peaches cut side up on a lettuce-lined serving platter. Fill with cream cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tortilla Beef Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of cream of chicken soup. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of crushed tortilla chips in a greased shallow baking dish. Top with beef mixture, a jar of salsa and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 more cup of crushed tortilla chips. Bake 3 minutes longer.

Hearty Hamburger Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of ready-to-serve chunky vegetable soup and set aside. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Spoon half into a greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, and remaining stuffing. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

Mint Iced Tea Cooler

Steep 3 peppermint-flavored tea bags in 7 cups of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Pour tea into a pitcher or large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of cranberry juice and 3/4 cup of pink lemonade concentrate. Cover and refrigerate overnight (so flavors can fully blend). Serve over ice.

Lemonade Slush

Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp of partially thawed lemonade concentrate, 2 Tbsp of milk, 1 1/2 Tbsp of water, 1/8 tsp of vanilla, and a drop of yellow food coloring in a blender. Cover and process. Crush 2 ice cubes. While liquid is processing, slowly add crushed ice. Process until slushy. Serve immediately. Enough for one serving.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

2 pkgs of cream cheese

Leaf lettuce

Red cabbage

Carrot

Asparagus

3 bell peppers

2 artichokes

 Cherries

Cranberries

3 guavas

Papaya

Fresh mint

Cranberry juice

Tomato juice

2 1/2 lbs of ground beef

2 lemonade concentrates (one pink and one yellow)

Can of ready-to-serve chunky vegetable soup (19 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of pineapple tidbits

Can of mandarin oranges

3 cans of peach halves (15 oz each)

Salsa (16 oz)

Apricot preserves

Package of instant stuffing mix (6 oz)

Peppermint-flavored tea

Italian salad dressing mix

Tortilla chips

Yellow food coloring

Balsamic vinegar

[Also needed: milk, vanilla extract, sugar]

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Week 34 – Bonus Recipe!

Shopping List:

Can of apricot halves

Orange juice concentrate

Pint lemon sherbet

4 chicken breasts

12 pepperoni slices

Mozzarella cheese

Can of pizza sauce

Fresh parsley

4 hamburger buns

Can of pineapple slices

Cheddar cheese

Mushrooms

Lemon

[Buy a half liter of milk this week. Also needed: peanut butter]

 

Breakfast: Muffin

Lunch: Sandwich and a glass of lemon water

Dinner: Chicken, rice, and sauteed mushrooms

Dessert: Apricot drink

 

Frothy Apricot Drink

(This recipe yields 4 cups of drink. Only make what you can drink so I would recommend quartering or halving the whole recipe)

Place a can of apricot halves with juice, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Add a pint of lemon sherbet. Cover and process just until combined. Pour into glasses and drink immediately.

 

Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten 4 chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Place 3 slices of pepperoni and 1 slice of mozzarella cheese on each. Roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks. Place in a greased baking dish. Spoon pizza sauce over roll-ups.

Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and top with 4 more slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley.

 

Peanut Pineapple Bun

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a hamburger bun, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread with peanut butter. Place a pineapple slice on the bottom half and a slice of cheddar cheese on the top. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Place cheese-topped buns over pineapple.

 

[Over the last couple months I had come $3-$7 under budget on each grocery trip. Instead of spending it on additional items, I put it away in a jar until I had enough to buy the ingredients for these delicious muffins! It costs about $30 total, but I had a lot of leftover ingredients to use for other things later.]

 

Healthy Carrot and Apple Muffins

Preheat oven to 375°F and line standard-sized muffin pan with muffin cups. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 6 oz of yogurt, and 2 tsp of vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of quick-cooking oats, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 tsp of baking soda, 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of salt until thoroughly mixed. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until all ingredients are evenly moistened. Stir in 3 peeled and grated carrots, 2 peeled and grated apples, and 1/2 cup of dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, and cherries).

In a small bowl, use a pastry cutter or fork to press together 1 Tbsp of cold butter, 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp of flour until crumbly. Add 2 Tbsp of oats, 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds, and 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, and press together until they form a uniform crumbly mixture.

Fill each muffin cup almost to the top with batter.  Sprinkle a spoonful of the topping over each muffin.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.