Tag Archives: dinner

Real Dinner… Husband Homemade

Ever see those photos and blogs of the amazing stay at home moms and their fantastically cleaned houses? You know the ones I’m talking about… not a speck of dust, everything neatly put away, children eating from fine dinnerware laden with a plethora of brightly colored vegetables, everyone neatly dressed, hair finely combed… admit it, you know what I’m talking about…. it’s lifestyle porn at it’s finest… or worst… but I digress.

Admittedly at times I am envious of those moms (until I read this post). It’s so true, we don’t know what is happening behind the scenes in anyone’s blogs, Instagram or other social media accounts.  Heck if you could see me now you’d see snack crumbs across the table, clean laundry folded on the pool table, kid dishes and tupperware containers strewn across the kitchen floor… and this is within my current unmoving view.  I have a vague idea on what is for dinner tonight but things may change as the day progresses.  At least I’m thinking about it in the morning instead of 30 minutes before dinner time!

Unfortunately, there are times the hubby gets home and I have no inclination what we are having for dinner. Thank the good Lord above my fabulous Mr Salisbury knows how to cook! I’m pretty good at making meals and fabulous with baking but 75% of the time I need a recipe. Not my man! Give him an idea and he makes a meal (albeit usually without vegetables, but my kids won’t eat them anyway). The kids wanted enchiladas for dinner and bam a little under an hour later we have a scrumptious enchilada plate akin to eating out! Rice, refried beans and his personal touch of chipotle sautéd  onions. He seasoned and cooked up some chicken for the enchiladas as well.  Dinner was delicious!! Nights like these I’m so glad he knows how to cook and is willing to come home from his day job to help me out around the house.

This is my plate of food. After I started eating it I decided to take a picture to share with you all. It was that good! Everyone should be so lucky to have a partner like I do!

Almost Tia Rosa’s Enchiladas

A few months ago I purchased some Wildtree products and have used most of them except this bottle of enchilada sauce. We usually make our enchiladas with green sauce and this is red so it has been patiently waiting in my cupboard.

image

The kids have been asking for enchiladas and I had chicken set out so today was the day. I have our regular green sauce but when cooking the chicken I used a Southwest Chipotle seasoning and cooked them on the electric skillet. This changed the whole enchilada! (See what I did there, I’m punny).
Normally I boil chicken for enchiladas, I know boring. Grilling chicken will keep it tender and juicy.

While cooking up the chicken Tia Rosa came to mind and dinner was whipped up in no time! Here’s what I did and the recipe I used.

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 c shredded mozzarella
1 bottle Tia Rosa’s enchilada sauce
2Tbsp Southwest Chipotle seasoning
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or any you prefer)
8 tortillas

Slice chicken breasts in half to make them thinner and quicker to cook. Season both sides of chicken and place on warmed and oiled skillet. Cook on each side for 6-8 minutes. When chicken is cool enough, shred it.
In a bowl combine shredded chicken, 1 cup of sauce, and 1 cup of cheese.
Put about 1/3 cup of mixture into each tortilla, roll it up and place it seam down in a casserole dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until completely warmed and cheese is melted.

My kids were either starving or excited for enchilada night because they served themselves and ate it all up. Half the pan was gone before I could get a picture for this blog post.

image

These are not my usual enchiladas but they are delicious. If you have an aversion to spicy food, try a different seasoning for your chicken as the sauce does have some kick of its own.

Will I go back to red sauce enchiladas? Probably not but I will embrace Tia Rosa because we like a little kick in our food.

If you’d like here is the recipe on the back of the bottle. I didn’t make mine exactly like this so it is “almost” Tia Rosa’s enchiladas.
image

Seafood Gumbo

Many years ago I was given a recipe for gumbo and was able to be in the kitchen with a family of southern women as they made it. I recall no one seemed have the exact measurements or same recipe. There was chicken in the gumbo but not on the recipe. Improvise.
Over the years I’ve misplaced the actual recipe but a few things have always remained the same. Use fatty bacon, frozen okra, and seafood. Everything else is fair game.
Originally the recipe had bacon, onions, okra, bell peppers, green onions, andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp and crab (imitation and legs) along with water, canned tomatoes and seasoning.

I have a hard time finding the same sausage anymore so most times I make gumbo without it. Last night was no exception. I so haven’t written down the exact recipe but I’ll share with you how I made it this time.

1lb fatty bacon (if you don’t have kids or men walking thru the kitchen eating pieces of cooked bacon you can use less)
Flour
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 green onion (all of it) chopped
1 green bell pepper
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 10oz pkg frozen cut okra
2lbs cleaned peeled cooked shrimp
2 snow crab leg sections (about 8 legs)
1 pkg imitation crab meat
1 1/2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked

Fry up the bacon and save the grease. Place bacon in plate to the side. Chop all your vegetables set them aside.
In a large pot poor most of the bacon grease and warm it up. In frying pan cook up okra, set aside.
In pot with grease, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time mixing in with the grease to create a roux. When roux is thick and tan (not dark brown, don’t burn it) add all vegetables except the okra. Saute and coat the vegetables in the roux. Yum!
Vegetables will begin to smell delicious and become translucent, at this point add the tomatoes and 2 cans of water, more if you want it thinner. Let the vegetables cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add all meat; chicken, bacon, shrimp, crab and okra. Add any seasonings you like such as parsley, oregano, bay seasoning, etc. I only added bay seafood seasoning. Cover and cook on medium-low for 30 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!

image
Vegetables cooking in the roux
image
Finished gumbo

I usually wouldn’t use actually crab legs with the kids but I had some in the freezer. It’s a bit messy but delicious!
What are some things you’ve put in your gumbo?

Baked Not Fried

Admittedly, I love fried food but I’m trying to make my delicious fried foods delicious and healthy (ok healthier).  Don’t get me wrong, I love my fruits and vegetables but some of them need an extra boost for my and my family’s tastes. So when we got an eggplant in our vegetable share I went looking for something tasty. I found a few recipes; eggplant parmesan, ratatouille,  and a few vegetable bakes. I decided to keep it simple and do fried but baked eggplant.

I started with this recipe and went from there. I started by sweating the eggplant. I also did not need or use as much of the breadcrumbs as the recipe suggested. They turned out pretty good, even the picky kid eaters ate them.

Notes for next time: slice eggplant thinner and also increase the baking time slightly for a hopeful firmer outcome.

Baking the eggplant over frying was a definitely healthier choice than frying. It is always great when I can get the kids to eat their vegetables!

Conference Rolls

In my last post here I posted about some of our traditions, one of which is conference rolls. I end up cursing and thanking my mother for this splendid treat every time I make it. They are THAT good. I decided it was time to share this goodness with all of you as well.

First you need to find your favorite roll recipe. I have a few from a recipe book I like to use and can share it if you want me to but really your favorite roll recipe will work. Mix up the dough per the directions and set it aside to rise the first time. Although I would like to make a suggestion, when you are mixing your dough and you are about to add your eggs, crack them into a separate bowl first. This way if you accidentally get a bit of shell in there, you won’t have to be digging around in all of your ingredients for that little bit of shell. This is my baking tip for today.

20141005_110451[1]

Ok so you have mixed up your dough and put it into a bowl big enough to let it double in size as it rises.

20141005_111744[1]My second tip when it comes to rolls/bread is to make sure to spray your bowl with a light coating of non-stick spray. This will make it SO much easier to get the dough out when it is time. As you can see from my picture above, I forgot to do this. See the dough sticking to the bowl? Ya that’s fun to get out. Anyway, set your dough in a warm place and leave it to rise, double in size. After it has risen ONCE take out the dough and use half of it to roll out like you would for cinnamon rolls.
20141005_140434[1]
Make sure you have plenty of counter space and flour it up. Your surface needs to be clean, smooth and then “dirty” it up with flour before rolling this bad boy out. Then comes the fun part, TOPPINGS!
Now you can make these rolls into anything your imagination dreams up. One year I did chicken rolls with pesto sauce. SO delicious. This time I made “original” (ham, cheese and onion) as well as pizza rolls. I will show you the process with the “original” conference rolls.
20141005_140545[1]
Roll that half of the dough out (it doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangle) then cover it from corner to corner and side to side with ranch dressing. For this recipe it HAS to be Hidden Valley’s Original Ranch dressing, no substitutes, no dry packet mixes, no light versions. The real, whole fat, complete original ranch! Just do it!20141005_140827[1]
Then spread that stuff out, covering all the dough. After I took this picture I decided it needed a little bit more, so I added a little bit more.
20141005_141541[1]
Spread some cheddar (or in this case colby) cheese to cover the ranch up. Corner to corner… you get the idea. Now at this point I should probably mention I did have the help of my husband and eldest daughter in the prep department. Normally I do this all myself, but they were both great soldiers in my quest to make conference rolls today. The cheese came shredded. Normally I’m all about buying the big block of cheese but please save yourself the time when making these rolls and buy the cheese and ham shredded and diced or at least cubed.
20141005_141836[1]
Mmmm diced green onions… delicious flavorful goodness. Pile those on corner to corner… well almost, don’t go completely to the edge with the rest of the toppings or you will have overspill. No bueno. 
20141005_142044[1]

Next add the diced ham. We usually use diced ham from the store but found a great, couldn’t pass up deal on cubed ham and AJ diced it up for me the night before. 20141005_142714[1]
Now roll that bad boy up starting with the end furthest away from you. Roll it towards you keeping it even and rolling carefully so as not to rip the dough. When it is in a log take a serrated knife and cut rolls about 1 inch thick. Depending on how warm your house is and your roll recipe you can preheat your oven now. Those who know me and my house know I can preheat my oven to warm up my house and hope it gets warm enough near the oven. I found a simpler method. But I’m getting slightly ahead. Place your freshly cut rolls onto jelly, cookie, whatever kind of shallow, non-stick baking pans you have. (If you don’t have non-stick make them non-stick)

PLEASE leave space because these bad boys are going to grow. I’m not talking cookie space and growth, I’m talking you only let your dough rise once and now you are going to let it happen again so these bad boys need lots of growing space, space. (My grammar friends please let my run-on sentence be, I’m trying to.)

OK now you set those sheets on a flat surface where it is warm. For me that’s my kitchen table with my space heater. Cover the rolls lightly with towels and let the yeast do its magic, again. **This is why it was very important to only let your dough rise once. 20141005_155547[1]
(sorry for the poor photo quality I was about to put these in the oven)
See how much they’ve grown! Just like kids. Put these bad boys in the oven according to your recipe’s directions or 375 for 12-15 minutes. 20141005_162133[1]
The cheese will melt, the ranch will keep the ingredients and dough moist and you will devour these. But let them cool off slightly before attempting to put them in your mouth please! Done and delicious!

What about the other half of the dough recipe you ask? I’m glad you asked…. 20141005_184127[2]20141005_184113[1]
Pizza rolls! You can also make another batch of original rolls but I told my family I would make pizza rolls this time. Since AJ diced pepperoni, cooked and crumbled sausage I decided I probably should. Here they are, cooked and ready. For the pizza rolls I used momma’s spaghetti sauce instead of a pizza sauce because 1) it was all I had on hand 2) I already had it on hand pre-made in the freezer 3) it gave the rolls a little bit of a spicy kick. (If you can’t read my old blog a. ask for an invite b. I will eventually post that recipe here).

Where was I? Oh yes.. spread dough with spaghetti (or pizza) sauce, cover in mozzarella, top with crumbled sausage and diced pepperoni. Make sure you stay light on the sausage as it is heavy and will poke holes in your dough. We don’t won’t overspill or leakage of any kind here. Bake and enjoy.

Not Your Mom’s (or Grandma’s) Meatloaf

I’ll admit meatloaf night was not one of my favorite growing up. After years of avoiding and never really making it, AJ has come to request it quite often.Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind making things he requests, I love it in fact. However meatloaf has never been something I want to improve upon. Looking back, I think it all comes down to one thing…. ketchup. Every time we had meatloaf there was a thick layer of ketchup on top, not tomato sauce or paste, ketchup. I know sometimes a cheap quick fix is needed. But ketchup on meatloaf with a bunch of onions (I did NOT like onions as a kid) was not my idea of a good meal.

Back to the present… Tonight I suggested I was going to make a casserole with the ground beef we have in the fridge, he kept saying, “Oh you’re making meatloaf, great idea!” I took his oh so subtle hints and decided to make meatloaf.

Once I opened the fridge I found all these tasty ingredients: ground beef, onion, some mozzarella, an Italian cheese mix, salsa, hot sauce, eggs, ooo and bacon as well as some panko crumbs. I also noticed a partially used zucchini/green squash (hidden vegetables!). (Not pictured onion and panko crumbs). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Begin the mixing process (I tend not to measure things when making things up but I tried to do that today for you).20140929_165336[1]20140929_165342[1]

AJ is more of a spicy, hot, white cheese, bacon and jalapeno on my burger type person, okay so am I normally, but since I’m pregnant I’ve had to take my spicy down a few notches. If you like spice add some chopped jalapenos or your own hot sauce. You can also use whatever bbq sauce you have around the house for your own tastes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Ingredients
1 pkg (mine was 1.4lbs) ground beef (or turkey)
2 Tbsp Torchbearer Sauces Honey BBQ Sauce*
1 Tbsp Torchbearer Sauces Chipotle BBQ Sauce *
1/4 c Aunt Jan’s garlic salsa*
1/4 zucchini shredded (about 1/2 c)
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 c panko or bread crumbs (start on the light side and add more as you mix if you feel you need it, I only used 1/4 c)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c 1/2 c shredded 5 cheese Italian cheese blend
1/2 c 3/4 – 1 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
8 pieces bacon
additional cheese for topping if desired

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except the bacon. I add a few ingredients to the meat at a time to make it easier to mix and completely combine. When the mixture is ready to form, top it with bacon. I put my bacon on the top in a lattice to keep it tucked in and make it pretty 🙂  (forgive the blurry phone photo and poor lighting in my kitchen)
20140929_172132[1]
You can also just cut it and put it inside your meatloaf, but come on bacon goes on top of the burger! Okay so does the cheese, now as I’m writing this I know I need to put a topping of cheese on 5 minutes before it is done cooking. (Yes it is cooking as I write this.) So since I am putting bacon all over and around this bad boy I put it on a rack inside of a jelly roll pan covered in foil to keep the grease/fat off of the loaf as it cooks. The foil will help protect my pan as well as make it easier to clean up. Make sure to tuck the bacon around and under the loaf.
20140929_172338[1]

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of cheese the last 5 minutes to give it that real cheeseburger look.

I served this up with some homemade french fries. We have some left for lunch leftovers tomorrow. The kids really liked it. The little picky one even ate and liked it. AJ said the only thing he would change would be to put some bbq sauce on top when I added the cheese.  I could taste the spicy and know if I wasn’t pregnant I would add more heat. It may also need more cheese inside (or just a different kind of cheese), so I updated the recipe to show what I would do next time with the same cheeses. It was still very good. TIP: If you like your bacon crispy cook it longer.

20140929_183326[1]
Note the black is on the foil
20140929_183552[1]
Hot sliced meatloaf

*Torchbearer Sauces and Aunt Jan’s did not provide free product nor endorse this recipe. We purchased their products at the Pocono Garlic festival.