Weekly Meal Plan - September 5th through September 11th

>> Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm BACK! After eight days in beautiful Southern California (with lots of yummy, rich food), I am so ready for some home-cooked meals. And I can't wait to get back in the kitchen! Here's what I'm planning for this week:

Crockpot Ribs (I'm going to tweak the recipe a bit and if it's an improvement, I'll post it!), Revolutionary Mac & Cheese, Roasted Broccoli

Greek Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries


Roasted Vegetable Stromboli

>> Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This post marks an important day for Baking & Eggs - my sweet, wonderful, fantastically generous husband bought me a fancy SLR camera for my birthday, which means that this post will be the last one with horribly lit photos! Now if only I can figure out exactly how to use it...

Yesterday I baked three loaves of banana bread and a batch of peanut butter and nutella cookies (be still my heart!), so when dinner time rolled around, I was ready for something packed with healthy veggies. I used what we had on hand and it was delicious! I love a meal that tastes great and lets me clean out the fridge! Andrew wasn't happy when he found out it didn't have any meat, but once he tasted it, he admitted he didn't miss the meat at all.

Also, I think you could easily mix up the veggies and cheeses a bit to fit your tastes (or to clean out the random bits of this and that in your fridge). I'd like to try it again with asparagus, broccoli and grape tomatoes with some goat cheese thrown in. Yum!

Roasted Vegetable Stromboli
a Baking and Eggs original

1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
pizza or spaghetti sauce, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, arrange zucchini, squash, bell pepper, mushrooms and onions on a baking sheet. Sprinkle seasoning, salt and pepper over top. Drizzle veggies in olive oil and mix with hands until all veggies are evenly coated. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Keep oven preheated to 400 degrees.

Spray a second baking sheet with nonstick spray and lay the pizza dough out flat. Spread the vegetable down the long center of the dough. Top with the three cheeses. Wrap one side over the vegetables and cheese, followed by the second side. Pinch the ends together to close. Brush 1 tablespoon on olive oil over the top of the stromboli. Using a sharp knife make a few slits on the top to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and lightly browned. Serve with pizza sauce on the side for dipping.


Scooter's Spaghetti Pie

As a self-proclaimed lover of anything pasta, I knew I had to make this recipe when I first spotted it on Pinterest. It looks like a simple, classic spaghetti casserole with a fun layer of cream cheese and veggies thrown in to spice things up a bit. Oh, and it's topped with French Fried Onions!

While I'm sure the original recipe is to die for, I wanted to try to 'healthify' it a little bit. I substituted whole wheat pasta, low fat cream cheese, replaced butter with olive oil and added a shredded zucchini. Also, I've never cooked with Fried Onions before - I didn't even know where they were located in the store! I was pleasantly surprised that my grocery store sold an all natural French Fried Onion option, so I didn't have to feel guilty about serving my family something packed with tons of preservatives. Bonus! But of course, they are still fried...but every little bit helps, right?!

Also, this recipe made enough for two pies, one to eat for dinner and one to freeze for later. Double bonus!

Sccoter's Spaghetti Pie
adapted from Salad in a Jar

16 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, shredded
1 8-oz package low fat cream cheese
1 lb ground turkey, bison, or beef
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 large jar (26.25 oz) of spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 6-oz can French Fried Onions

Cook pasta one or two minutes shy of al dente. Drain.

Spray two deep dish 9-inch pie plates (or one 9-x-13-inch pan) with nonstick spray. Divide the pasta evenly between the two plates.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, and cook until softened and translucent. Add zucchini and cook 1 more minute. Lower heat and stir in cream cheese until just melted. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.

In a large pan, cook meat over medium heat. Drain grease. Stir in Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute. Add spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese and let cook for a few minutes. Pour sauce evenly over the cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove pan and sprinkle with French Fried Onions. Return to oven and bake 5 more minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

* If you're freezing half, let the casserole cool completely (do not bake or top with Fried Onions), wrap tightly with foil and freeze. If the casserole is defrosted, bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes, or until heated through. If it is still frozen, bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. Sprinkle Fried Onions on top and cook 5 more minutes.


A Few New Appetizer Recipes

>> Monday, October 17, 2011

My dad has owned an antique persian rug shop for almost 30 years and he has finally decided that it's time to retire. For his retirement party, I volunteered to make a few appetizers to go along with the traditional cheeses and pates. Here's what I did:

Next time I'll make this when ruby red grapefruits and blood oranges are in season for a larger visual contrast between the different citruses - but it still tasted great as is!

Delicious and simple since the recipe uses store bought puff pastry! I used sweet orange and grape tomatoes.

I wasn't sure how the bourbon would taste with the grapes and goat cheese, so I opted to copy something a restaurant here in Austin does. I marinated the grapes in balsamic vinegar and it provided the perfect mix of tang and sweetness with the creamy richness of the cheese and the crunch of the nuts. They turned out fantastic and were the first to go at the party!

This recipe was good, not great, and it needs some tweaking. The only reason why I'm posting it is because I think it has potential to be great with a few switcharoos.


Paula Deen's Banana Pudding

My friend Molly made the best banana pudding for her daughters' birthday party. Living in the south, I've sampled many a banana pudding recipes, but this one was the winner by a mile. I made it myself within a week of gobbling up Molly's. I served it when we had friends over (in total there were 4 adults and 2 kids) and we ate the entire pan of it! I lost count after I had three servings! So beware, this is a deliciously addictive dessert that must be served to a really large group lest you eat the entire thing yourself!

I apologize for the lack of a photograph but I think I must have accidentally deleted it. Boo! But let's be honest, my photo-taking skills are lacking so it probably wasn't a good one anyway :-)

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding
recipe found here

1 12-oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk
1 5-oz box instant French Vanilla pudding
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine milk and pudding mix and blend well. Using another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture. Add cream cheese mixture to pudding mixture and stir well until blended. Pour over cookies and bananas and cover with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter and Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

>> Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Now that fall has finally made it's way to Texas (you know, highs in the 90s rather than the 100s), I've started busting out the pumpkin recipes. Yesterday afternoon I wanted to make a quick and easy dessert and I found this recipe for a pumpkin cake with only two ingredients - spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. I'm not sure what my problem is but I am absolutely unable to follow a recipe as written; so I followed some reviewers modifications and came up with an awesome recipe that has a lot more than two ingredients!

Don't even think about skipping the frosting because it makes the cake! I'm not even a big frosting fan, but I could not stop myself from licking the bowl clean. Delicious! The bourbon adds a nice taste in the background without being overpowering or boozy.

On a side note, it makes more frosting than you'll need to frost a 9-x-13-inch cake. I took the easy route and made a sheet cake, but next time I think I'll make it as a layer cake.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter and Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from AllRecipes.com - here and here

for the cake
1 18.25-oz spice cake mix
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

for the frosting
3/4 cup butter, divided
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons good quality bourbon
4 cups powdered sugar (you may need more or less sugar depending on the desired sweetness and consistency)
2 tablespoons whole milk, optional

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, add cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Stir well to combine. Gently fold in nuts. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of your cake pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.

For the frosting, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is caramel in color and giving off a nutty smell, about 10-15 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup butter. Pour browned butter over and let sit for 2-3 minutes. The heat from the browned butter will soften the cream cheese and cold butter. Add the vanilla and bourbon and mix until smooth. (Mine looked a little curdled at this point, but after several minutes of mixing, it came together beautifully.)

Add sugar, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Add milk if it gets too thick.

When the cake has cooled, smooth the frosting over it and serve!


Three Healthy Lunch Ideas

>> Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Being a stay-at-home mom, I'm in and out of the kitchen all day long. But often times 3:00 will roll around and I will realize that I haven't had much (or anything!) to eat that day. In an effort to eat regularly - that's a good thing, right! - I'm trying to bookmark easy and fairly healthy lunch ideas. Here are a couple that I've made in the past few weeks that I enjoyed and thought I would pass along.

{White Bean and Guacamole Wrap}

White Bean and Guacamole Wrap
adapted from Eating Well - serves 4

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup prepared guacamole (or make your own)
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
4 whole wheat tortilla or sandwich wraps

In a food processor, pulse beans, chili powder, salt and pepper until mashed. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil.

Spread 1/4 of the bean puree, 1/4 of the guacamole, 1/4 of the shredded carrot and 1/4 of the cucumber slices on each tortilla. Roll up and slice in half.

{15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta}

15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta
adapted from Oh She Glows - serves 2

6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, juice and lemon zest, for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
black pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a food processor, pulse avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt, basil and olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy.

Toss sauce with hot pasta. Garnish with reserved lemon zest and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

{Mac N Cheese with Zucchini}

Mac N Cheese with Zucchini
a Baking and Eggs original

6 oz whole wheat short pasta (I used cavatappi)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz American cheese
1 zucchini, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, stirring often, until sauce begins to thicken. Lower heat to medium-low and stir in cheeses. Cook until cheeses have melted. Stir in zucchini and toss with pasta.


Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP