Monday, December 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday December 22

Happy Monday everyone, this is what's on the menu for this week. As always remember that some days I switch meals around or end up not making them if something comes up, but for the most part I stick to everything on here INCLUDING breakfast and lunch.

Monday 22nd
Oatmeal, Toast
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Impossibly Easy Taco Pie

Tuesday 23rd
Breakfast: Crepes with Cinnamon Sugar
Lunch: Hotdogs
Dinner: Smoked Sausage Alfredo Pasta

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Wednesday 24th
Breakfast: Mini Waffles w/ Blackberry Syrup
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets w/ homemade potato chips
Dinner: Christmas Eve Dinner - Shrimp Turnovers, Fried Chicken, Bacon Ham and Sausage Loaf, Chips and Dip, Portuguese Cookie Cake, Tronco de Natal (Portuguese Chocolate Christmas Cake)

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Thursday 25th
Breakfast: Christmas Tree Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Bacalhau A Gomes de Sa - Codfish Gomes de Sa Style

Friday 26th
Breakfast: Cereal, Orange Juice
Lunch: Ravioli, Chicken Soup
Dinner: Breaded Ranch Chicken w/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Saturday 27th
Bagels w/ cream cheese
Cheese Pizza
Beef Stew w/ potato dumplings


Sunday 28th
Bacon, eggs, sausage
Corned Beef Hash
Grilled Steaks w/ Pepper Sauce and Fries


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bifanas - Pork Sandwiches

One of the most common food items on a Portuguese item will be the Prego or Prego no Pao, which is a steak sandwich usually served with fries or salad. It's delicious and it's so easy to prepare.

But then you get the pork version, or the Bifana, and these you will see on many restaurant menus too, it's the kind of meal you would order for lunch and let me tell you, the garlic and wine and all that yumminess together makes for an amazing sandwich.

So here's how I make mine....


Pork loin chops or pork cubed steaks (you need at least one for each person)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
bay leaf
white wine
Portuguese Rolls (or any other roll that is thick and doughy)

The whole trick to getting that wonderful taste is to marinate the meat for at least a whole day before you cook it. You can do it overnight or first thing in the morning so you can use it for dinner, the longer it sits in that marinade, the tastier it will be.


I roll mine up and put them in the tupperware bowl and then pour about 1/2 cup of white wine over. Cover it up and place it in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to cook, add some olive oil to a skillet and then add the pork steaks, top with some butter and fry until cooked through and nice and brown.




Once they're cooked, slice your bread rolls in half and then take them and dip them into the drippings in the pan.

You don't want to cover the bread, just get a little of that tasty sauce on them.


Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with some homemade fries or salad.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leona's Whipped Short Breads

Another great recipe from Marie at A Year From Oak Cottage, honestly if you've never visited her blog you don't know what you're missing. I've made so many of her recipes and they're all keepers.

I didn't add the cherries to mine, I kept them plain because we're not cherry lovers here at home.


*Leona's Whipped Short breads*
Makes about 36

What can be easier than dumping everything into a bowl and then beating it together? Low on effort, but mighty big on flavour. Use the best butter that you can, these are well worth it.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
To decorate:
bits of candied cherries and fruit
icing sugar to dust over the finished cookies

Pre-heat your oven to 180*C/350*C. Line two baking sheets with some parchment paper and set aside.

Place the butter, flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and then turn on your electric mixer. Beat for 10 minutes. At first it will seem all lumpy and you won't be able to imagine them ever being a cookie, but persevere. After a bit they turn into a lovely silky mass.

Drop by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart. Decorate the top of each blog with a bit of candied cherry or fruit.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and scoop onto wire racks to finish cooling. Dust with some icing sugar just before serving.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies!

I got this recipe from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.

These came out SO good, if you're a chocolate peppermint fan you will enjoy these.


Lovella - Mennonite Girls Can Cook

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee. . or water
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons crushed candy canes
Cream the butter with the sugar.
Add the egg and the vanilla and beat well.


In a small bowl, combine the hot coffee and the cocoa and stir until no lumps remain.


After it has completely cooled, add to the sugar mixture.


Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.


Add the chocolate chips and the crushed candy canes.


Drop by a small ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.


Bake for about 8 minutes for little cookies at 350. The shiny spot in the middle of the cookie should have gone dull. . .but don't wait longer than that to remove them from the oven.

Melt 1 cup each of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

Put the melted chocolate in a zip loc bag or cake decorating bag and cut a small hole in the corner to squeeze the chocolate onto the cookie as shown.

Sprinkle a little bit of crushed candy cane on top of each cookie while the chocolate is still melted.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen small cookies

Monday, December 15, 2008

Muddy Buddies or Monkey Munch!

One of our favorite snacks and the recipe is right on the back of the Chex Cereal box, but if you've never noticed it or tried it, you don't know what you're missing.

You may have heard it mentioned on the Jon and Kate Plus 8 show, Kate makes it for the kids all the time.

So here we go....a quick and easy snack and I'm thinking wrapped in some pretty paper and tied with a ribbon would also make a cute gift.


Muddy Buddies
Origin: Chex Cereal
Yield: 18 servings (1/2 cup each
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 15 min

● 9 cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®, Wheat Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)
● 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
● 1/2 cup peanut butter
● 1/4 cup butter or margarine
● 1 tsp. vanilla
● 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.


In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.


Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.


Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Easy Stuffed Peppers!

We love stuffed peppers here but usually I don't have a lot of time to make them, so I always turn to this quick and easy recipe that I cooked up one night.


4 green peppers
1 lb maple sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1/2 cup wine
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

In a skillet, cook sausage until brown, add the seasonings, the tomato and the wine. Simmer for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and add a little water if it gets too dry.

In a pot bring the peppers to a boil, cook for about 6 minutes or until tender but you don't want them mushy or too soft....make sure there's still some bite to them.

Cook the rice separately, then in a big bowl, mix the rice with the meat mixture.

Stuff the peppers and sprinkle with shredded cheese, spread the remaining rice on the bottom of a baking pan, place the peppers on top and bake in a 375º oven until cheese is melted.


Vanilla Caramels!

Alright ladies, here's the deal, remember those yummy caramels I made last year?

I've had a few of you try them out and then email me and tell me that even though they're delicious they turned into toffee instead of caramels. I wasn't quite sure at first why on earth that would be happening to you guys, so tonight I made a batch and ended up with hard toffee as well.

The only thing I can think of is that I may have cooked them on too high a heat when it's supposed to be slowly cooked over low or medium heat for 15 minutes or until it reaches a temperature of about 248º F.

I'm still going to keep the other recipe and needless to say this toffee that I ended up with is NOT going to be thrown out because it's just that good, but I am in search of a different caramel recipe and found one that I'll be trying tomorrow. So here it is for you, if anyone else wants to try, if you do, let me know what you think.


Vanilla Caramels

2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup condensed milk

1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup butter or fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cook sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and milk together in a saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until temperature is 248 F., or until mixture forms a firm ball when tested in cold water. Remove from heat, add butter, salt, and vanilla and mix well. Pour into a greased pan. When cold remove from pan, cut in cubes and wrap each caramel in wax paper.
Recipe from a 1953 cookbook

Menu Plan Monday December 15

Happy Monday everyone, this is what's on the menu for this week. As always remember that some days I switch meals around or end up not making them if something comes up, but for the most part I stick to everything on here INCLUDING breakfast and lunch.

Monday 15
French Toast
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Take out

Tuesday 16th
Breakfast: Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal
Lunch: BLT's
Dinner: Bifanas (Pork Sandwiches) w/ Fries

Wednesday 17th
Breakfast: Blueberry Waffles w/ Blackberry Syrup
Lunch: Beef & Cheese Chimichangas, Salad
Dinner: Shepherd's Pie

Thursday 18th
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast
Lunch: Egg Rolls, Veggies
Dinner: Crockpot Beef Curry


Friday 19th
Breakfast: Cereal, Orange Juice
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas
Dinner: Spaghetti w/ Bacon

Saturday 20th
Bagels w/ cream cheese
Cheese Pizza
Enchilada Chicken Soup

Sunday 21st
Bacon, eggs, sausage
Chili Dogs
Sloppy Joes


Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Mini-Chip Butter Crisps

Monday, December 08, 2008

Portuguese Roasted Potatoes

Super easy way to make potatoes, perfect to serve with my Portuguese chicken or roast or steaks or whatever you please.


Portuguese Roasted Potatoes

5 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks
salt and pepper
garlic powder
3 Tbsp. flour
olive oil

Wash and cut the potatoes into small chunks. You can peel them first or leave the skin on, I actually prefer the skin on, makes it tastier to me.


Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder, flour and olive oil. Toss everything together to coat well.


Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a 450 º oven (you can cook them at 375 degrees too if you have the time, I was in a hurry so I needed them done fast LOL) for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Frango Estufado - Portuguese skillet chicken

Another family favorite, I mean this one really makes me think of home. There's something about cooking chicken infused with garlic and onions and die for.

So here's how I make mine, remember that I eyeball everything I rarely ever follow a recipe unless it's something I'm trying for the first time.


Frango Estufado - Portuguese Skillet Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
5 Tbsp. butter
1 cup white whine
salt and pepper

In a skillet melt the butter, add the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper.


Chop the garlic cloves and add to the skillet, next add the wine and onions


and cook on high until the chicken is brown on both sides....


turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about an hour. Keep an eye on it and add water as needed so it doesn't dry out and burn.


You want to have a nice gravy left over.

Serve with Portuguese roasted potatoes.

Menu Plan Monday!

Breakfasts are usually cereal, toast, scrambled eggs, sausage biscuits, muffins etc.

Lunch is just for me and hubby while he works swing shift, so we usually just have leftovers or a sandwich.

For more menus, head on over to Laura at "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

MONDAY 8TH - Frango Estufado (Portuguese Chicken)

TUESDAY 9TH - Slow Cooker Cubed Steaks

WEDNESDAY 10TH - Rolinhos de Salsicha e Queijo - Sausage and Cheese Roll ups

THURSDAY 11TH - Spaghetti

Spaghetti Bolognese - Carbonara

FRIDAY 12TH - Stuffed Green Peppers

- Pork Roast and Potatoes

SUNDAY 14TH - Breakfast for Dinner