Monthly Archives: May 2008

Menu Plan Monday


This is my first week to post my menu plan!! Since none of us eats lunch at home, I will just be posting dinners.

Monday- Tater Tot Casserole (recipe later in the week), zucchini corn saute

Tuesday- some sort of chicken in the crockpot- I will update when I find an inspiring recipe

Wednesday- Church

Thursday- Salisbury Steak, mashed potatoes, some green vegetable

Friday- Steak for the adults, chicken for the kids, grilled veggies, garlic toast

Hopefully, each day I will have a recipe posted for you along with pics, likes and dislikes, and the grade from the Insanity Cooks family.

For more great menu ideas, go check out Laura’s blog, the home of Menu Plan Monday

Family Favorites

My friend Mary turned me on to this recipe several months ago and it has quickly become a staple at our house. It is super easy and cheap, plus the kids and Big Daddy all love it. I served it last night with the leftover veggies from Monday nights meal. Here is the recipe:

HAMBURGER STROGANOFF
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 tbs. butter or oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream soup (mushroom or chicken)
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream, optional

Heat the oil or butter and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the meat and brown, then drain of any extra fat.

Add the soup, water, salt and pepper and heat through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream if you’re using it.

Serve over rice or egg noodles.

I had a roll of ground turkey in the fridge, so that it what I used. I have made this recipe several times with both ground beef and ground turkey and it is GREAT with either one. I used less onion than called for and probably a bit more garlic. We prefer the egg noodles, but it is just as good served over rice. I normally put the sour cream in, but if you leave it out it won’t be the end of the world. I always try to keep the ingredients for this meal on hand for nights that we are rushed or I am too tired to cook. It is fast and easy. The ingredients are pretty cheap and I put it way up there on the list of meals that satisfy without breaking your food budget. This meal gets an A+++ from us here at Casa de Insanity.

Back in the kitchen tonight

Wednesday is my night off in the kitchen, but tonight I will be back at it. I will keep the contents of tonights meal a secret until I can write about them in detail tomorrow. I will have another cheap and easy recipe to share. I have been so hungry today, so I have been thinking about all the things I want to cook in the near future. This past weekend, we were watching an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Bobby was going to challenge a guy that makes Eggplant Parmesan. As soon as I can get to a produce stand this weekend, you better believe that will be in my meal plan somewhere. This is a dish that I already love to make, but now I can’t get it off my mind.

There are so many great food blogs out there in blogland. I have been trying to spend some time this week visiting around and have found lots of great bloggers and lots of good food. One of the things I hope to bring to you next week is Menu Plan Monday over at I’m an Organizing Junkie. I have had a blast looking at everyone’s meal plans and have gotten lots of good ideas. This is a great blog and I hope you will go on over and say hi.

Photos coming soon

I know you can’t very well have a food blog if you can’t show pictures of your food. I have been out of batteries for my camera (putting of a trip to the dread Wal-mart) but last night I was able to find my rechargeable batteries. Hopefully next time I cook I will be able to show off what we made. There is no cooking as Casa de Insanity tonight as the kind ladies at church will be preparing our meal. Having Wednesday night dinner at church is a good night off for me as well as a fun time to get to visit with friends. Tomorrow night though, it is back to the stove.

Squash Casserole

Monday night I was feeling particularly domestic, so I had no problems with the meal plan. I had set a rather lofty goal for myself and luckily my mood fit the food. This was my pre-determined dinner:

grilled chicken breasts
mashed potatoes
purple-hull peas
squash casserole
cornbread

First the confession. These were pre-seasoned, boneless, skinless chicken breasts that came from Angel Food. I may or may not have used instant mashed potatoes (I will never tell). The peas were straight from the freezer section at Kroger. They usually run good sales on frozen veggies and I always try to keep plenty on hand. I did put some salt and a couple pieces of bacon in the peas while they cooked to add some flavor. Cornbread is easy at my house. Cornmeal, one egg, and enough buttermilk to get it all mixed up. I never measure when making cornbread. For me, that takes the fun out of it. I always make my cornbread in a cast iron skillet, and I have one that is just for making cornbread. All I really had to do was mix up and bake the squash casserole, so here is what I did.

I bought some great looking squash at a local produce stand over the weekend. I found an easy recipe for squash casserole that was not too ingredient intensive and got to work.

EASY SQUASH CASSEROLE

2 c. yellow squash, chopped
1 c. grated cheese
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter
1 med. onion, chopped
14 Ritz crackers
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion and squash until tender and drain. Add milk and beaten egg to squash and onion mixture. Mix cheese, butter, and 7 crushed Ritz crackers and add to mixture. Add salt and pepper. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle other 7 crushed Ritz crackers on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

MY COMMENTS
This casserole was super easy to make and was a big hit even with the kids. I feel that mine needed a bit more salt but that could be because I eye-balled the amount instead of measuring it out. I have a fear of adding too much salt which often leads me to under-salt things. Big Daddy said he would like to see a bit more cheese and more crackers next time. I love the quickness of this recipe though. It was not too stressful to come home and fix after a full day of work. This recipe gets an A+. I am going to continue searching recipes however for what I feel may be the ingredient that really makes this casserole sing.

Fajitas and Margaritas: A Mother’s Day Fiesta

Sunday night for Mother’s Day, we cooked an easy supper of steak fajitas. Big Daddy and the kids had already taken me out to lunch, so I agreed to participate in the cooking of supper as long as it was no-stress. (And it helps that I was also bribed with the promise of tequila) The April menu from Angel Food Ministries contained a pound of beef fajita strips and a pack of corn tortillas. I found a really simple recipe on the internet and got to work. I bought an onion and some tomatoes (not in the recipe, I added this) at one of our local farmers markets. I had to go to the grocery store to get some bell peppers and limes. The recipe did call for exact measurements on the ingredients but I sometimes don’t like to follow the rules. Here are the ingredients and then I will talk about what I did. This is a low-carb recipe and while that was not my original intention, cutting carbs is always a good thing, correct??

Fajitas- Chicken or Beef
INGREDIENTS:

* 1.5-2 lbs skirt steak or other beef or chicken easily cut into strips
* 1 medium onion, sliced, or 15 medium scallions (green onions) – same amount of carb!
* 2 large Bell peppers, sliced – two different colors is nice
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 2 Tablespoons oil

I prepared one bowl of marinade for my veggies and one bowl for the meat. I sort of eyeballed the ingredients cause I am dangerous in the kitchen like that. Instead of using lime juice, I squeezed the juice of a medium sized lime into each bowl. I dumped the steak strips into one bowl and let them sit for a few minutes while I chopped the onion, peppers and tomato (again an addition by me). Big Daddy handles the grill at our place, so at this point I turned the meat over to him while I let the veggies marinate. He cooked the meat in a non-stick griddle pan on our grill over medium-high heat. When the meat was done (our desired doneness was well-done as the kids were eating this also) he transferred the meat to a platter and then cooked the veggies in the same pan. When they started to get soft, we added the meat back to the pan and let the meat heat back through. I heated up the corn tortillas and opened some corn chips and salsa and we were ready to eat.

THE VERDICT:
This was a big hit. When I told my husband that I needed soy sauce for the fajita marinade, he looked at me like I was crazy. I assured him that the author of the recipe said she got the idea from a cook at a Mexican restaurant. We agreed that this was indeed the perfect marinade as the soy sauce gave the meat just the right amount of saltiness.

THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENT NEXT TIME:
I enjoy tomato in my fajitas so I think I would add more next time. Also, we are sure that we would prefer flour tortillas over the corn but hey, we used what we got in our food box. Also, next time I will try harder to remember to get the sour cream out of the refrigerator and put it out on the table. I am anxious to try this marinade with chicken. Overall, this recipe got an A++ from my family. Oh and the big pitcher of strawberry margaritas was the perfect final touch to end a great Mother’s Day!!

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