Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Sunday

Diving right in...

Coconut Chicken Chili
{via Iowa Girl Eats} Evs claims this meal topped everything I made last week.  He's ranking it amongst his All-Time Favorites.  This makes me proud as a peacock on two accounts... (a) it's spicy, and (b) it's practically curry - both being elements that the hubster naturally shies away from.  But just look at this happy kid...
Dinner Time!
Yep.  This one's a keeper {man and chili}. Modifications: I used lite coconut milk as suggested by Iowa Girl Eats.  I also let the whole shebang simmer for about an hour... soup/stew/chili is just always better the longer is cooks, yes?  I ate mine over whole wheat Israeli cous cous, while Evs went with white rice.  I'd say this is more like 5 or 6 servings {rather than 4}.

3 Cheese Chicken Florentine!
This looks insane, right?  In a good way?  And there are 111 glowing reviews of it on Cooking Light, see 'em all there?  Yeah, well consider my high hopes deflated.  This was fine.  {ETA: It was actually better reheated for lunch the next day.} It does cleverly hide a bunch of veggies {I used broccoli instead of a mushrooms and chopped up an entire bell pepper + the onion and the 3 cups of fresh spinach} and it sure does appear to be a delicious vat of {healtheir} mac-n-cheese... but it's just... not the bubbly bowl of unicorn farts I was anticipating.  Bottom Line: There are way tastier casseroles in my recipe arsenal and I wouldn't bother with this one again. 

Modifications: Aside from my veggie alterations, I used 8 oz of low fat ricotta mixed with some milk and Parmesan {in the food processor} instead of the cottage cheese {cannot stomach it}.  I did not add the 1/2 c. of milk {I think it would have been entirely too runny}. I used the meat from an entire smoked rotisserie chicken.  Needed garlic.

Taco Soup + Cheddar Pepper Wheat Bread
So, here's the skinny.  I'm a pretty big proponent of spending money on high quality food.  I buy free-range, hormone-free, preservative-free, low-pasteurized, high-animal-treatment-quality, organic, local, seasonal whatever {within reason} because it's important to me to eat consciously and conscientiously.  Just a personal decision. 
Delish, preservative-laden soup
But some days, Sister just needs to make some friggin' easy-ass soup, even if it requires 7 cans and 2 pre-packaged spice packets... Can I get an AmenHallelujah!  I have no clue where this recipe came from... I emailed it to myself back in June of 2009 and it still sits in my recipe folder, cryptically sourceless.  All I know is it makes one helluva big crock of preservative-ladden yumminess.  NO JUDGMENT. 

- 1 lb lean ground beef 
- 1 large onion
- 1 can Rotel 
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 2 cans green chiles {Hot Hatches, if you can find them... or, bonus points, chop up some fresh roasted ones}
- 1 can corn {bonus points: Mexicorn, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
- 1 package of taco seasoning {I like spicy}
- 1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch (again, I like the spicy kind}
- 1.5 c. water

Brown and crumble beef in large stock pot or Dutch oven.  Drain fat.  Return to pot.  In a food processor, pulse onion and Rotel together.  Add to pot with beef.  Add contents of all cans and packets.  Add water.  Bring the entire shebang to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer as long as you can stand it - at least 1 hour.  {My recipe says you can make this in the crock pot... first brown beef, then add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours... I've never done it this way, though.}  Poor yourself some eco-friendly, organic wine and drink your yuppy guilt away while you enjoy a hot, steaming bowl of Awesome.  
Baking: Shit Happens
We enjoyed Taco Soup with this bread... which made me feel better about my Aluminum-Can-Filled Recycle Bin of Shame... until I got too antsy and removed the bread before it had settled and cooled a bit.  Oh well.  Still delicious. 

Hoisin Pork with Crunchy Peanut Slaw

No photos as I was frantically rushing around in preparation to host Supper Club after locking myself out of my car at the dry-cleaners and waiting 75 minutes {Note: that is 60 minutes longer than the "15 Minute Service!" I was promised} for some guy wearing skinny jeans and looking an awful lot like Borat to rescue me with his pop-a-lock.   But it was just as yummy as before!  This time I served it over white rice instead of using tortillas to make wraps.   Easiest crockpot recipe ever.

Funfetti Cake Cookies... Whatever happened to the actual funfetti frosting?
Get in my belly

This weekend, my mixer was busy whipping up more soft pretzels and cake cookies {funfetti cake mix this time... although what ever happened to the real funfetti frosting?  All the "funfetti" in the icing aisle is plain ol' vanilla frosting with rainbow chips to sprinkle on top... that is not the same, amigos}.  We can't get enough of these pretzels and the cookies are just fun!  I usually have one and pack the rest up to send with Evs to work {the cookies, not the pretzels... those are gone by the time Monday morning rolls around}.   


  1. I love your Menu Sunday reviews! Those pretzels look delicious and considering that you've posted about them more than once, I think I'm going to get up and make them RIGHT NOW.

  2. Love that you tried the cookie recipe with funfetti cake mix!! I want to experiment with all kinds of cake mixes now!

  3. My cooking food philosphy is very similar to yours, but I just adore Taco Soup. If I use grass-fed beef it evens out the ranch packet right? :)

  4. We do the same recipe for Taco Soup only with Ranch-Style Beans instead of Black Beans. I love how easy it is (even if it does have a ton of sodium and all that canned preservativeness).

  5. Oh, and I've found the Rainbow Chip icing (which is I think what you mean instead of Funfetti--the one with the colored chips mixed in the icing, right? Funfetti is the one with the chips separate on the top of the icing canister.) at Wal-Mart here in Dallas, but nowhere else. Rainbow Chip icing is sacred in my family, its the most requested for birthday cakes!

  6. @Meagan - Thank you so much for the tip! I have yet to see the Rainbow Chip (what I call "funfetti"... guess I need to amend my jargon!) at any grocery store in Dallas... Must make a trip to Wally!

  7. I have a taco soup recipe that is almost identical to yours. Came from my mom, so it must be a TX thing. I always make it with venison, it makes me feel better throwing in something free range (ok, and then I feel fancy despite the seasoning packets).

  8. I was going to make a comment similar to Meagan's. Here in SC, I can only find Rainbow Chip icing at Bi-Lo. Not Publix, Ingles or anywhere else.

    I don't got to Wally around here's almost the second level of hell.

  9. Keep these sunday posts coming! You and your hubs eat the same kinds of food we do so you're making my weekly shopping easy! Tonight I have the Steak Salad you made last week in the looks so good and the Thai Peanut is tomorrow night! Thanks so much!!


happy little comments!