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Easy Recipes & Monthly Menus

May 5th, 2006

Tuna Macaroni Salad - @ 02:03 pm

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Almost every other Friday growing up my mother would serve the family this tuna macaroni salad. With six kids she loved this standard; it was easy to make, filling, relatively inexpensive, and best, we all gobbled it up. Note that I have attempted to make this salad with a lettuce other than iceberg lettuce and it just doesn't work. Iceberg has a high water content and a firm enough structure to hold this salad together, so it really is the best option for this salad.

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart water

1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped red, orange, and or yellow bell peppers, seeded and de-stemmed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, packed
2 cans of tuna, if buying from Trader Joe's get the tuna packed in olive oil (do not drain), if not, get tuna packed in water, drain the water out and add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil.
2 stalks of celery, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4-1/3 a head of iceberg lettuce, sliced first and roughly chopped into 2 inch long strips
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika (we use sweet Hungarian)
Fresh ground pepper

1 In a saucepan, add 1 cup of elbow macaroni to 1 quart of boiling water with an added teaspoon of salt. Simmer either covered or uncovered for about 10 minutes until the macaroni is just a little more cooked than al dente. When ready, remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water.

2 While the macaroni is cooking, assemble the other ingredients. In a large bowl mix the green onion, bell peppers, parsley, tuna, celery and lemon. Fold in the iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise until well mixed. Add the paprika. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.

Eat up. This salad does not make good leftovers as the lettuce will eventually get soggy.

Serves 4

Source: http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/001615tuna_macaroni_salad.php


May 1st, 2006

Chicken Cacciatore @ 07:14 pm


This is an unbelievable recipe.  The flavor is extraordinary.  I could just eat the sauce like soup.

4 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.


April 25th, 2006

Easy Chicken and Biscuits @ 03:45 pm


1 can cream of Celery Soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1 c milk
1/4 t dried thyme leaves
1/4 t pepper
4 c cooked cut-up veggies
2 c cubed chicken, turkey or ham (maybe even a combination!)
1 package (10 oz) refridgerated buttermilk biscuits

1. In a 3 quart shallow baking dish mix soups, milk, thyme, pepper, veggies and chicken.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot

3. Stir. Arrange biscuits over chicken mixture. Bake 15 minutes more or until biscuits are golden brown.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf @ 03:43 pm

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This recipe is not low fat, but it is really high in taste! The bread on the bottom of the pan really does soak up a lot of the fat though. Be sure to throw away the bread before you serve it!

1 pound ground beef
1/3 tsp each garlic powder, black pepper, and salt mix
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 cup grated Cheddar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (recommended: Lawry's)
2 slices white bread
Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together, except the bread slices and Sauce. Shape into a loaf. Line a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan with the bread slices. Place meatloaf on top. Bake loaf for 45 minutes. The bread absorbs the grease and should be discarded after loaf is removed from oven.

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
Chopped onions, optional
1 bunch fresh parsley leaves, chopped, optional
Heat the soup and milk over medium heat; add the cheese. Add the chopped onions and parsley to the sauce, if desired. Pour Sauce over the meatloaf or pass at the table.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese @ 03:42 pm


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Ham & Pasta Skillet @ 03:36 pm

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YUM! I love the combination of the broccoli cheese soup, mstard and ham. It really is SO unbelievably good and it is REALLY fast and easy.

1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell's Condensed Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 c milk
1 T spicy brown mustard
1 (10 oz) frozen broccoli cuts (2 cups)
1 1/2 c cooked ham strips
3 c cooked medium shells macaroni (about 2 c uncooked)

In a medium skillet mix soup, milk, mustard, and broccoli. Over medium heat, heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add ham and macaroni and heat through.

Sweet & Sour Slow Cooker Chicken Curry @ 03:34 pm


If you can't find mango chutney, I add 2 cans of pineapple instead.

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large green pepper(s), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large vidalia onion(s), sliced
14 1/2 oz stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp curry powder, or more to taste

Place chicken, pepper and onion in a slow cooker; top with tomatoes.

Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over chicken mixture, cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours. Yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups per serving.

Taco Soup @ 03:33 pm

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This recipe is a HUGE hit with anyone who tastes it.

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Chicken Broccoli Divan @ 03:30 pm


1 frozen package (10 oz) or 1 lb fresh broccoli spears, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (or turkey)
1 c Condensed Broccoli Cheese Soup or Cream of Chicken SOup
1/3 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 T dry bread crumbs (I like panko bread crumbs)
1 T butter, melted

1. In 9-inch pie plate or 2 quart shallow baking dish arrange broccoli and chicken. IN small bowl mix soup and milk and pour over broccoli and chicken.

2. Sprinkle cheese over soup mixture. Mix bread crums with butter and sprinkle over cheese.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot.

Country Chicken Casserole @ 03:21 pm


1 can Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
1 can Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
1 c milk
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t pepper
4 c cooked cut-up vegetables
2 c cubed chicken
4 c prepared herb seasoned stuffing

1. In 3 quart shallow baking dish mix soups, milk, thyme, pepper veggies and chicken. Spoon stuffing over chicken mixture.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot.

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