Golden Game Hens (Dinner for Two Week 26)

Breakfast: Scones

Lunch: Taco Dogs + pears, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon

Dinner: Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken, Golden Game Hens, Mexicali Pork Chops, rice or potatoes, eggplant, endive, asparagus

Spicy Cherry Chocolate Souffles

  1. In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup of dried tart cherries and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Blend until smooth in a blender and return to low heat.  Stir in 2 Tbsp of coconut sugar, 3/4 tsp of freshly ground grains of paradise, and 1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut or regular rum, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly butter four ramekins.  Tap a small amount of granulated sugar into each ramekin, and gently shake so that the sugar coats all edges.  Tap out extra sugar.
  3. In a double boiler, melt 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate, 2 tsp of salted butter, and 3 Tbsp of whole milk over gently simmering water, stirring constantly.  When smooth, remove from heat and quickly whisk in 2 egg yolks.  Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat 2 egg whites and 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Slowly add 2 Tbsp of coconut sugar, beating all the while.  Beat until stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in two batches.  Gently spoon batter into each of the ramekins, filling about 3/4 of the way full.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes.  When they are done they will have risen to the edge of the ramekin or above it, the tops will be beginning to crack, and the centers will still be very moist.  Serve warm with cooled cherry sauce and fresh whipped cream.

Mexicali Pork Chops

Rub an envelope of taco seasoning over 4 boneless pork loin chops. Cook chops in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat about 9 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Golden Game Hens

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Loosely stuff 6 Cornish game hens with a sliced tart apple and a sliced onion. Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Combine 1/4 cup of melted butter and 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Brush over hens.

Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, basting occasionally.

Sweet n Sour Chicken Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions. Cook and cube two chicken breasts. Combine 2 cups of chicken, a drained can of unsweetened pineapple chunks, a jar of apricot preserves or spreadable fruit, a can of cream of chicken soup, and a drained can of water chestnuts in a bowl. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Taco Dogs

Prepare a 1 lb package of hot dogs according to package directions. Place a slice of process American cheese and a hot dog in a taco shell. Top each taco with 3 Tbsp of warmed baked beans.

SHOPPING LIST:

Process American cheese slices (like Kraft singles)

Whipped cream

Scones

3 endives (purple if you can find it)

Eggplant

Onion

Potatoes

Asparagus

Strawberries

Watermelon

Lemon

6 pears

Rhubarb

Apple (Pick a tart variety)

Hot dogs

4 boneless pork loin chops

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

6 Cornish game hams (20 oz ea)

Can of baked beans

Can of unsweetened pineapple chunks (20 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Can of water chestnuts (8 oz)

Jar of apricot preserves or spreadable fruit (12 oz)

Salsa

Grains of paradise

Envelope of taco seasoning

Dried tart cherries

Hard taco shells

Rice

Coconut rum or regular rum

[Also needed: dried tart cherries, butter, soy sauce, vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, olive or canola oil, milk or buttermilk, icing sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, almonds or almond meal]

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Pizza, Burger, and Fries (Dinner for Two Week 23)

Breakfast: Chewy Coconut Almond Raisin Granola Bar, Fruit and Nut Bars

Lunch: Leftovers + cranberries, guava, papaya, grapefruit

Dinner: BBQ Chicken/Veggie Pizza, Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casserole, tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, persimmons

Dessert: Crepes with strawberries

Fruit and Nut Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Coarsely chop 3 cups of dried fruit and 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted nuts until most pieces are relatively uniform in size. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup of flour, 1/8 tsp of baking soda, and 1/8 tsp of baking powder together in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, fruit, and nuts, and mix to coat all fruit and nuts with the flour mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat an egg with 1/2 tsp of vanilla about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir egg into flour mixture until evenly mixed.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Crepes (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

  1. Whisk 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of soy milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 3 Tbsp of melted butter (or nondairy butter alternative). Whisk in 3/4 cup of cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Stir in 1 tsp of lemon zest and 1 Tbsp of poppy seeds. Let batter rest for half an hour.
  2. Four minutes before cooking, heat wide pan (at least 6-7″) to medium high heat. When hot, add a little bit of butter (or alternative) and spread across the pan evenly. Remove pan from heat to prevent smoking.
  3. Stir the batter and pour ⅛ of a cup into the pan. Quickly spread the batter with a tilt and rotate motion or by using a thin spatula to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Return the pan to the heat.
  4. Cook the crepe for one minute, loosening the edges with a spatula as it cooks. When the top of the crepe should looks almost dry, flip it over. Cook the other side for a minute and transfer the crepe to a plate.
  5. Repeat the process until you’ve made as many crepes as you want. Add a little butter to the pan periodically to keep the crepes from sticking.
  6. Serve with sliced strawberries. Mmm!

Chewy Coconut Almond Raisin Granola Bars

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil so that some foil hangs over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp of ground ginger, 1 cup of shredded coconut, 1 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of honey, 1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick) and 1 Tbsp of fresh orange juice. Pour over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork. The mixture will be dry but sticky. Blend together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the honey mixture.

Dump oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. With clean, slightly oiled fingers (or a fork), firmly press the oat mixture into the dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The baked granola will still be soft even after it’s baked, but will harden as it cools.

Remove baked granola from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for about an hour before slicing. Don’t skip this step or it will crumble.

Use the overhang foil flaps to remove the baked granola. Use a large, sharp knife to cut block into 12 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container. Will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and cube one chicken breast. Place a prebaked Italian bread shell crust on a pizza pan. Spread with 2/3 cup of honey garlic BBQ sauce. Sprinkle with a small chopped red onion, cubed chicken, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

Unexpected guests? Cut one of these pizzas up into strips and serve as an appetizer when friends pop by unexpectedly. They are fast to whip up which will give you extra stalling time while you think of what to serve for the main course. Suggestion? Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casserole. See below. 

Game night? Make one or two of these babies with chicken and then one more with no chicken, but load on the interesting veggies instead. I recommend cubed rutabaga, corn, and cubed sweet potato. Kids coming? Make a happy face out of the veggies to make them seem fun. Or lay out the ingredients and let them decorate their own. You’ll be the most happening place in town. 

Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casser0le

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 2 lbs of lean ground beef in a skillet over medium heat and drain. Stir in a can of golden mushroom soup and a can of cheddar cheese soup. Pour into a greased baking dish. Arrange a package of frozen crinkle-cut French fries on top. Bake, uncovered, for 50-55 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST: 

24 oz of mozzarella cheese

Eggs

Soy milk (or other nondairy milk)

Non dairy butter alternative

3 prebaked Italian bread shell crust (14 oz)

3 red onions

3 tomatoes

Butternut squash

6 carrots

3-18 persimmons (depending on size)

Rutabaga

Corn

Sweet potato

Cranberries

Strawberries

Guava

Papaya (1 large or 3 small)

3-6 grapefruits

Lemon

Orange

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 2 cups of leftover cooked chicken)

2 lbs lean ground beef

Pkg of frozen crinkle-cut fries (20 oz)

Can of golden mushroom soup (11 oz)

Can of cheddar cheese soup (11 oz)

Honey garlic BBQ sauce

Old-fashioned oats

Unsalted peanuts

Dried fruit – I recommend apricots, dates, and cherries

Dry roasted nuts – I recommend pecans and almonds

[Also needed: wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, ground ginger, shredded coconut, raisins, sliced almonds, honey, unsalted butter, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, poppy seeds, flour, baking soda, baking powder]

Green Eggs and Ham (Dinner for Two Week 22)

Breakfast: Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake, Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds and Apricots

Lunch: Leftovers + banana, pear, orange, cherries

Dinner: Breaded Pork Chops, Spaghetti Carbonara, Easy and Elegant Ham, red potatoes, sauteed red peppers and red onion

Dessert: Yogurt Tartlet

Breaded Pork Chops

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 cup of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish (like a pie plate). Place 1/3 cup of ranch salad dressing in another shallow dish. Dip 6 pork chops in ranch dressing, then coat in the crumb mixture.

Place in an ungreased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a jar of red sauce in a small pot. Pour over pork chops and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake

Thaw 2 packages of frozen spinach and squeeze dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs into a greased baking dish. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Combine spinach, 3 cups of cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, and 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a bowl. Spread over the baked crumbs. Beat 2 more eggs. Pour over spinach mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yogurt Tartlets

I’ve featured this recipe before on Week 21 in my Year as a Single College Student Series. You can view the recipe here:

https://theshortchef.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/week-21-special-week-5-recipes-for-50/

 I decorated mine with dates, nectarine, and peach slices this time.

Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds, and Apricots

To toast the red quinoa, add 1 Tbsp to a medium saute pan and cook over medium/low heat about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of sliced almonds to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. Almonds will toast in 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of coconut chips to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. When coconut is toasted, transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 6 oz of Greek yogurt to a small bowl. Top with toasted quinoa, almonds, 3 roughly chopped dried apricots and coconut chips. Drizzle with honey and a small sprinkle of sea salt. Flaky sea salt, like fleur de sel works best.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Cook a package of thin spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, dice 10 strips of bacon, and cook over medium heat in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Add 1/3 cup of butter to the drippings. Heat until melted.

Drain spaghetti. Toss with 2 lightly beaten eggs and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Add to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Easy and Elegant Ham

Drain 2 cans of sliced pineapple, reserving the juice and setting aside. Place half of the pineapple in an ungreased slow cooker. Top with a 6 lb fully cooked boneless ham. Drain a jar of maraschino cherries well. Add cherries, remaining pineapple, and reserved pineapple juice on top of the ham. Spoon a jar of orange marmalade on top as well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove to a warm serving platter. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve pineapple and cherries with sliced ham.

SHOPPING LIST:

Parmesan cheese (at least 2.5 cups worth grated)

Romano cheese (1/4 cup worth)

Cottage cheese (24 oz)

Greek yogurt

Plain lowfat vanilla yogurt

Eggs

Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs

Red chili pepper

Red onion

Bag of red potatoes

3 red peppers

Bananas

6 pears

Dates

Nectarine

Peach

6 oranges

Cherries

6 lb fully cooked boneless ham

6 pork chops

Bacon

2 pkgs of frozen chopped spinach

Jar of maraschino cherries (6 oz)

Jar of orange marmalade (12 oz)

Jar of red pasta sauce

Pkg of thin spaghetti (7 oz)

Red quinoa

Dried apricots

Coconut chips

Natural cane sugar

[Also needed: butter, sliced almonds, honey, sea salt, all-purpose flour, oats, salt, maple syrup, lemon juice, seasoned bread crumbs, ranch salad dressing]

Don’t be Corn-fused (Dinner for Two Week 9)

Lunch: Chicken salad, Cherry salad, Cheerio’ square, Amazeing mix, Grapefruit

Dinner: Breaded ranch chicken or Tuna delight, Rice or Noodles, Arugula or Asparagus

After Thanksgiving Salad 

Note: It’s called After Thanksgiving Salad because the original recipe calls for leftover turkey. If you have some, or would prefer to buy turkey breasts instead, go for it, but since chicken is an easy, cheap substitute, I used it instead.

Cook and shred 4 chicken breasts. Meanwhile, hard boil an egg. When finished, peel and mash the egg with a fork in a bowl. Add shredded chicken, 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans just before serving.

Frozen Cherry Salad

Combine a softened package of cream cheese and a thawed carton of whipped topping in a mixing bowl. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling. Drain 2 cans of mandarin oranges. Set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Fold remaining oranges into cream cheese mixture. Transfer to a loaf pan. Cover and freeze overnight.

Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with reserved mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and orange wedges.

Tuna Delight

Combine 1 3/4 cups of thawed mixed vegetables, a can of drained and flaked tuna, and a can of cream of chicken or celery soup in a large pot. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Breaded Ranch Chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 3/4 cup of crushed Cornflakes, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a shallow bowl. Dip 8 chicken breasts in 1/2 cup of melted butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.

Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

A-maze-ing Mix

Combine 3 bags of popped popcorn, a box of Corn Pops, and a package of corn chips in several large bowls. Melt 2 packages of vanilla or white chocolate chips in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Spread in two pans. Cool. Store in airtight containers.

Cheerio’ Squares

Place 3 Tbsp of butter and a package of mini marshmallows in a large glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter until blended. Add 5 cups of Cheerios and 1 cup of plain M&Ms. Mix well. Spoon into a greased pan. Press down gently. Cool slightly before cutting.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cream cheese

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Orange

Arugula

Asparagus

14 grapefruits

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Frozen whipped topping

Frozen mixed vegetables

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken or celery soup

Can of cherry pie filling (21 oz)

2 cans of mandarin oranges

Jar of maraschino cherries

Sweet pickle relish

Peanut butter

Pkg of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz)

2 pkgs of vanilla or white chips (10-12 oz each)

Ranch salad dressing mix

Crushed cornflakes

Cheerios

Corn pops

Popcorn

Corn chips

Pecans

Rice

Noodles

Baking soda

Canola oil

[Also needed: butter, M&Ms, mayonnaise]

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]