Sunday, September 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday September 29

Come on in and see what's on my menu for this week.

If you want to join in with your own menu or take a look at all the other ladies participating, head over to Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Monday 29th 
 Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls, Juice  
Lunch: Tuna Sandwich, Squash  
Dinner: Yummy Beef Bake (Didn't make it last week) 
 Tuesday 30th  
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Coffee, Juice  
Lunch: Crab Salad  
Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner 
 Wednesday 1st  
Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins, Milk  
Lunch: Soup, Yogurt  
Dinner: Going out for Chinese   
Thursday 2nd  
Breakfast: Mini Waffles, Apple Juice 
Lunch: Grilled Bacon and Egg 
Dinner: BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes   
Friday 3rd  
Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes, Orange Juice 
Lunch: Chicken Salad 
Dinner: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo  
Saturday 4th  
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls  
Lunch: Mini Pizzas  
Dinner: Sheila's Chicken Enchiladas
  Sunday 5th  
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Sausage  
Lunch: Late breakfast no need for lunch 
Dinner: Grilled Bratwurst, Homemade Potato Salad

Portuguese Cookies (Biscoitos)

There's nothing like biting into a buttery cookie that is filled with strawberry jam. While baking up cookies to fill up the cookie jar this weekend, I came across an old portuguese recipe for just plain cookies, nothing fancy about them.....but I had to give it a little kick, so I made sandwiches with strawberry jam oozing out from inside. YUM!

These are the kind of cookies I remember my greatgrandmother making at home.

Portuguese Cookies (Biscoitos)

3 cups of flour
2 tsp. of baking powder
3/4 cup of butter ( melted)
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
Melt the butter and put aside to cool off. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl.
Add the flour and baking powder mix well. Add the butter slowly and knead. Let this sit for awhile to rest.

Flour pans then shape dough into small balls. Place them on a cookie sheet spaced around an inch apart. Press down gently with your fingers to make them into a disc.

Bake them about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smothered Chicken!

Another hit from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. This one reminds me a lot of a chicken recipe that I created back in South Africa, using green peppers and heavy cream. It's a slight different version but very similar and it's just comfort food at it's best. 


Smothered Chicken 

1 T. oil 
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped 
1/4 c. green pepper, finely chopped 
1/4 c. celery, finely chopped 
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs 
3/4-oz. pkg. mushroom gravy mix 
12-oz. can evaporated milk 
Heat oil in a skillet. Saute vegetables over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Add chicken; cook for 6 to 7 minutes per side until golden.

Blend together gravy mix and milk; stir into skillet. 

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. To serve, spoon gravy from pan over chicken. Makes 4 servings. 

 NOTE: I cut my chicken breasts into bite size chunks to make it easier for the kids to eat, instead of leaving the full breasts as the recipe calls for.

Granny's Fudge!

Great recipe from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. 


Granny's Fudge
4 1/2 c. sugar 
5-oz. can evaporated milk 
3 6-oz. pkgs. chocolate chips 
1 c. butter, melted 
1 c. chopped nuts 
1 t. vanilla extract 
In a large saucepan, bring sugar and milk to a boil; continue cooking for 7 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, except vanilla. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 
Spread mixture into a greased 8"x8" pan; let cool. Makes about one pound.

Garlic Swiss Steak!

This is a great meal, serve with some mashed potatoes and you got yourself a wonderful comfort food.


1/3 c. all-purpose flour 
1 t. salt 
1/2 t. pepper 
1 1/2 lbs beef round steak, cut into serving-size portions 
2 T. oil 14-oz. can stewed tomatoes 
1/2 c. onion, chopped 
1/2 green pepper, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
Combine flour, salt and pepper; sprinkle over steak and pound into both sides.
In a large skillet, brown steak in oil over medium heat; transfer to a lightly greased 13"x9" baking pan. 

Combine remaining ingredients; pour over steak. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pizzeria Pot Pie!

I'm a huge fan of the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks and as a matter of fact, I collect them. I know that I can always find a simple, quick but delicious recipe on there.

This is from the Autumn Cookbook and the kids love it.


1 lb. ground turkey sausage (I use maple sausage)
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms (I use a small can, drained)
1 c. green pepper, chopped
14 1/2 oz. can chunky pizza sauce (I couldn't find it at the commissary so I used a 15 oz bottle of normal pizza sauce)
2 c. biscuit baking mix
1/4 c. milk
1 egg, beaten (I just add it whole)
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese

Brown sausage and onion in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in mushrooms, pepper and pizza sauce;

spoon into an ungreased 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.

Stir baking mix, milk, egg and cheese together until dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times (I just kneaded mine in the bowl).Pat into a 9-inch circle; cut into 6 wedges.

Arrange wedges over sauce mixture.

Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until crust is golden.
Serves 6

5 minute Chocolate Mug Cake!

There's days that you're too sick to fix a meal, nevermind a dessert. I got it in an email about a year ago and deleted it without even trying LOL But I'm glad my friend Veronica resent it to me this past week.


4 tablespoons cake flour (That's plain flour, not self-rising.) 
4 tablespoons sugar 
2 tablespoons baking cocoa 
1 egg 
3 tablespoons milk 
3 tablespoons oil 
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) 
A small splash of vanilla essence 
1 coffee mug 
Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.Add the egg and mix thoroughly. 

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla essence and mix again. 

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Menu Plan Monday September 22

Come on in and see what's on my menu for this week, Laura asked us to focus on family favorites, so let's see what I come up with.

If you want to join in with your own menu or take a look at all the other ladies participating, head over to Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Monday 22nd
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls, Juice
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato
Dinner: Garlic Swiss Steak

Tuesday 23rd
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast
Lunch: Tuna Mayo Sandwich
Dinner: Goblin Good Turkey Burgers

Wednesday 24th
Breakfast: French Toast, Juice
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Smothered Chicken w. mashed potatoes

Thursday 25th
Breakfast: Mini Pancakes, Apple Juice
Lunch: Lean pocket, Yogurt
Dinner: Yummy Beef Bake

Friday 26th
Breakfast: Cereal, Milk
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: Spaghetti w/ garlic bread

Saturday 27th
Breakfast: Sausage Biscuits
Lunch: Chili Dogs
Dinner: Slow cooker Bayou chicken

Sunday 28th
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Sausage
Lunch: Late breakfast no need for lunch
Dinner: Feijoada c/ arroz (Portuguese beans)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

There's days that as much as I love cooking, I just don't feel well enough to be in there, so I love having my crockpot handy for these times.

This is a great recipe, kids LOVE it.



3 lbs chicken, cut up in pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
6 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon celery powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Cooked spaghetti

Place onions in bottom of crock pot. Add chicken pieces.

Stir all the other ingredients together. Pour over chicken.

Cook on low heat 7 to 9 hours or high heat for about 3 to 4 hours.

Serve over spaghetti. What I do, is cook the spaghetti and then drain it and add it to the crockpot, mix it all well and serve.

Cookie Caramel Pudding!

One of the most common portuguese desserts is Pudim de Caramelo and I can tell you right now that every portuguese housewive has at least one or two versions of this recipe. This is a different take on the pudding, it's perfect for those days when you need a great dessert but don't want something elaborate. 


10 Maria cookies or you could use Vanilla Wafers too 
2 cups of milk 
4 eggs 
10 teaspoons sugar 
For the caramel: 
1 cup of sugar 
Place the sugar in a small pot on medium heat and cook until you get a brown colored syrup. Pour into a fluted pan and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients in a blender and pour over the caramel in the fluted pan. Bake at 350º in a water bath for about 40 minutes. 
Let cool down completely and then unmold onto a serving dish. Place in refrigerator and serve cold.

Tuna and Bean Salad!

Growing up we often had this as a quick midweek lunch, it's so easy to make and really good. It always brings back memories of my greatgrandmother, of sitting at the kitchen table eating while we chatted and laughed. The great thing about this salad is that you can make it just for yourself or you can double or triple the ingredients to serve more, as needed. 


Tuna and Bean Salad
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 
1 can tuna in water, drained 
finely chopped onion, about a tablespoon or so 
salt and pepper to taste 
olive oil and vinegar to taste 
Mix garbanzo beans and tuna in a small bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

I love meatloaf, it's definitely a comfort food in our home, though I do make it the normal way, sometimes I turn to this recipe when I'm in the mood for a more gourmetish (not even a word I'm sure LOL) meatloaf.

I don't really have a recipe for it, it's just the way I've made it since forever.


1/2 cup crushed saltines or bread crumbs if you don't have the saltines around
2 pounds ground meat (beef, sausage, turkey or a mix)
1 egg
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
cheese ( can kind, I use swiss cheese slices and some shredded colby & monterey jack)
some ketchup for the top

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray loaf pan with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together meats, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, onion, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Don't over mix, just mix with your hands until everything is combined well.

Split meat mixture in half.Place half in the pan. Layer with the cheese slices and the shredded cheese.

Top with second half of the meat mixture, then go around the edges and make sure you seal the meatloaf to keep the cheese inside.

Pour tomato sauce over the top and then bake for about 60 minutes or until meat is done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crockpot French Dip!

Nothing says comfort food like a big juicy sandwich with chunks of shredded beef and dripping with goodness. YUM! Another one from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. 


3-lb beef rump roast 
2 c. water 
1/2 c. soy sauce 
1 t. dried rosemary 
1 t. dried thyme 
1 t. garlic powder 
3 to 4 whole peppercorns 
1 bay leaf 
6 to 8 hoagie rolls, split 
Place roast in a slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except rolls; pour over roast. Cover and cook on high setting for 5 to 6 hours, or until beef is tender. 
Remove meat from broth; shred with a fork and keep warm. Strain broth and skim off fat; discard bay leaf. Spoon shredded meat onto rolls and serve with broth for dipping. 
Serves 6 to 8.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Creamy White Chili!

Dinner tonight is a chicken chili, it's a recipe from one of my Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks which I absolutely adore.

Let me tell you this was SO good, a huge hit with the family, my kids both had second helpings, my husband had THREE helpings and then there was fighting over who got the leftovers tomorrow LOL


1 T. oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, chopped
14-oz can chicken broth
2 15-1/2 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 4 oz. cans chopped green chilies
1-1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano
8-oz container sour cream
1/2 pt. whipping cream
10-oz. pkg. corn chips
8-oz. bag shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and onion. Saute until chicken is cooked through; set aside.

Combine broth, beans, chiles and seasonings in a large soup pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
Add chicken mixture; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add sour cream and whipping cream; mix well. Top with corn chips and cheese. Serves 8.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday September 15

Come on in and see what's on my menu for this week. I'll be posting the recipes as I make them during the week, so come on back for any that caught your eye :)
If you want to join in with your own menu or take a look at all the other ladies participating, head over to Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Monday 15th 
Breakfast: Toast with Strawberry Jam, Juice
Lunch: Chicken Salad
Dinner: Creamy White Chili

Tuesday 16th
Breakfast: Raisin Bran Cereal, Cinnamon Coffee
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato
Dinner: Crockery French Dip

Wednesday 17th
Breakfast: Eggs in a Hole, Juice
Lunch: Chicken Soup
Dinner: Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Mash. Potatoes, green beans

Thursday 18th
Breakfast: Buttermilk Waffles, Apple Juice
Lunch: Cheese and Ham Sandwich, yogurt
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Friday 19th
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: Pizzeria Pot Pie

Saturday 20th
Breakfast: Sausage Biscuits
Lunch: Cheesy Dogs
Dinner: Garlic Swiss Steak

Sunday 21st
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Sausage
Lunch: Late breakfast no need for lunch
Dinner: Goblin Good Turkey Burgers

EDIT: Many of you have requested the recipe for the Pizzeria Pot Pie, so here it is :)



Pizza Crust Dough:
2 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp instant yeast

8 ozs mozzarella cheese
4 cups of simple tomato sauce(recipe is at bottom of page)
8 ozs button white mushroom
8 ozs ham or sausage

4 ovenproof cereal bowls


1. Mix all the ingredients for the pizza crust dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Oil the dough and leave in a covered bowl to proof until double.

2. While the dough is proofing, prepare the simple tomato sauce, cut or shredd the mozzarella cheese, clean mushrooms with a damp kitchen towel and cut ham or sausage into bite size.

3. Grease the cereal bowls and line with the mozzarella cheese, add in the mushrooms and ham/sausage and top with the simple tomato sauce.

4. When the pizza crust dough has doubled it's size, punch down and divide into 4 portions and make them into balls. Roll ball out to a size 1/2 inch to 1 inch bigger than the cereal bowl. Cover the bowl with the dough.

5. Repeat with the other 3 balls and leave to proof. In the mean time, preheat oven at 425 f.

6. Put in hot oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until dough is brown.
7. Remove from oven and flip pizza crust on to serving plate and remove the cereal bowl.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Molasses Oat Cookies!

The weekend is when I sit in the kitchen and bake up a dozen or more cookies for the cookie jar. My cookie jar is ALWAYS full and it's not store bought cookies, though there's nothing wrong with those, I do use them when I have a really busy week and don't get around to the kitchen.

If you happen to visit my house and look in the jar you're bound to find goodies like Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Butter Cookies, Oatmeal and so on.

This afternoon is no different than any other, I've been in the kitchen baking and this time I made Molasses Oat Cookies. They're SO good!

Makes 3 to 4 dozen Credit: Gooseberry Patch Autumn in the Country

1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 c. quick cooking oats, uncooked
1 c. raisins

Combine shortening, eggs, sugar and molasses in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.

Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add oats, raisins, mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Menu Plan Monday September 7

Come on in and see what's on my menu for this week. Last week I tried a lot of new recipes from Marie and I absolutely loved them all, I don't think there was one that the family didn't enjoy :)

If you want to join in with your own menu or take a look at all the other ladies participating, head over to Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Monday 7th
Breakfast: French Toast, Juice
Lunch: Cheeseburger, Veggies
Dinner: Heavenly Hot Ham Buns

Image: A Year From Oak Cottage

Tuesday 8th
Breakfast: Cereal, Milk
Lunch: Tuna Salad
Dinner: Slow Cooker Snappy Meatball Heroes

Wednesday 9th
Breakfast: Eggs in a Hole, Juice
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato
Dinner: Beef Curry


Thursday 10th
Breakfast: Pancakes, Apple Juice
Lunch: Cream of Chicken Soup
Dinner: Steaks w/ Mushroom Sauce

Friday 11th
Breakfast: Biscuit Donuts
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits

Saturday 12th
Breakfast: Waffles
Lunch: BLT Sandwich
Dinner: Padre Island Shells

Sunday 13th
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Sausage
Lunch: Late breakfast no need for lunch
Dinner: Oven Beef Stew

Image credit: A Year From Oak Cottage