Saturday, September 19, 2009

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches

I made these with the hope that my husband will microwave one on the way to work rather than stopping at one of those greasy fast food joints. They are super easy... really no recipe needed, but Im gonna give you one anyways.

24 english muffins
24 slices of cheese (any kind really)
24 eggs
24 meats (sausage patties, bacon, canadian bacon.... or none)
butter or cooking spray

1. Toast your english muffins. You dont have to sit at the toaster and do them individually. I just laid mine on a cookie sheet and put them under the broiler in the over for a couple minutes until toasty.
2. Lay muffin bottoms out on counter
3. Add slice of cheese to each muffin
4. Spray or add a little butter to a skillet. Cook an egg around the size of the muffin. If I had thought about it I would have gone to my parents house and borrowed the fancy mold my stepdad uses to make eggs benedict on Easter morning but I didnt. I just cooked mine at the side of the pan and used a spatula push them into a small size. Then I turned them and broke the yolk.
5. Lay cooked egg on top of cheese
6. Cook your meat and add on top of egg. Top with muffin top.

To freeze: Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. Place each wrapped sandwich in a freezer bag (I was able to fit about 8 sandwiches in a gallon sized bag)

To eat: Unwrap frozen sandwich and microwave 1 minute or until heated though.

**Experiment with variations. I made 24 total(8 of 3 different kinds) Egg, Sausage and American.... Egg & Swiss, Egg Sausage and Pepperjack. I basically used whatever cheese was in my fridge. I havent tried bacon because Im one of those gals that prefers crispy crispy bacon... so I figure I can add microwave bacon after microwaving if Im really craving it on the sandwich and I'll only need an extra 20 seconds**

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chicken Gyros

This recipe is SO tasty I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished product before I stuffed my pregnant face with it. Im almost ashamed to admit it, but I actually ate 2 of them for dinner the first night.

Makes 5 (4 serving) meals. Around 20 gyros.

3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T dried mint
1 T dried oregano
1 T black pepper
1/2 T salt
4-5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
20 pitas

1. Mix all ingredients but chicken and pita
2. Cut chicken into small chunks or strips.
3. Dump chicken in the marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours.
4. Saute and cook chicken.

And what would a gyro be without some gyro sauce??

12 oz cream cheese softened
16 oz plain yogurt
1/8 cup of lemon juice
2 t garlic
1 t salt

1. In a mixing bowl add all ingredients and beat until smooth.

** when ready to serve your sauce you may want to add 1/2 a chopped de-seeded cucumber... I always do as it adds SO much to the sauce**

Done for now!

To freeze you will build kits:
1. Divide chicken into 5 packets
2. Divide gyro sauce into 5 packets
(i used my food saver for both)
3. In a gallon size freezer bag add 1 packet of chicken, 1 packet of gyro sauce and 4 pitas wrapped in saran wrap or their original packaging

To serve:
1. Defrost in fridge
2. Preheat oven to 350
3. Wrap pitas in foil
4. Wrap chicken in foil
5. Warm pitas and chicken in oven until hot (about 10 minutes)
6. Stir sauce and add cucumber

**I also like to add chopped tomato and onion to my gyros. I prefer these items fresh, but if you'd like you can add them to the kit**

I seriously want to defrost another packet and make them for dinner tonight... but Im trying to be good and wait til after the baby :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Minestrone Soup

There is nothing like soup on a cold afternoon. This makes a gigantic batch perfect for a large family or for freezing. I got about 12 big steaming bowls out of this. We had some for dinner that night... then lunch the next day. Then I froze 2 gallon sized bags. Each bag holds 4 portions. mmmm mmmm good

1T olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onions
1 1/2 cups of diced carrots
4 cups of chopped zucchini (I peeled mine)
1 1/2 cups of diced celery
1 can cannellini beans (drained)
2(28oz each)cans of diced tomatoes w/juice
4 cloves garlic minced (or cheat like me and use 2t of pre-minced stuff)
3 cups of water
3 cups of chicken broth (if you want vegetarian use all water)
2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup ditalini (or other small) pasta

1. In large pot heat olive oil on medium. Add onions. Saute until lightly browned
2. Add tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, celery, beans and garlic. Stir
3. Add water, chicken broth, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil
4. Reduce heat to low/medium. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally
5. Bring to a boil again. Add ditalini and cook 9 minutes (or whatever the box says to cook the pasta for)

To freeze: Let cool completely (i stuck in fridge overnight) Ladle into gallon sized freezer bags for dinner sized portions or quart sized for individual bowls. To eat just thaw in fridge and reheat!

**I like to sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on mine before eating. Its also good with a bit of chopped fresh basil on top. My husband likes to eat this with a grilled cheese sandwich. I love a big piece of a baguette**

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Broccoli Pesto Pasta

This is SO good! This made 6 very large portions. I was able to freeze 2 meals and have one for dinner that night. Enjoy!

16oz Penne Pasta (I use the barilla whole grain)
2T olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
1 red bell pepper julienned
1 16oz bag frozen petite broccoli florets
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
12oz prepared basil pesto

1. Heat olive oil and cook chicken and peppers.
2. Cook pasta
3. Thaw frozen broccoli squeezing the water out
4. Toss pasta, chicken, peppers and broccoli in a large bowl. Add pesto and parmesan cheese. Mix thru.
5a. If eating now: Heat oven to 350. Add pasta to clear glass dish and bake 20 minutes until cheese is melty.
5b. If freezing for later: Let cook completely. Portion into freezer bags and label. When ready to eat thaw in fridge then bake 350 for 20 minutes.

*** I used an 8x8 glass pyrex dish to bake mine in the oven and sprinkled with more parm before baking.I used a ladle to make sure the portions were even ***


At 36 weeks pregnant I have been cooking myself silly to get my freezer and pantry stocked and ready for baby. I love to cook and I love to entertain but sometimes I just dont have the time to do everything I want to do in my kitchen.

I admit I suffer a bit from "Martha guilt" I want to do it all... make everything from scratch, make dinner EVERY night, do everything as cheap as possible so we can save money.... It wasn't happening. I worked nights(until 2 weeks ago) and often just ate there. My husband is always on the go and would grab dinner out or order a pizza so he didn't have to do anything. (the man so cant cook)

We were tossing SO much money away on convenience food, takeout and restaurants. I refuse to do the math. I do NOT want to know how much we wasted, I just want to change the habits. I have to if I want to stay home with my daughter.

So my adventure begins. Some of my recipes aren't made from scratch. Some of them are. Some of them are perfect for entertaining. Some of them aren't for company but will fill your family up and taste great. Some are super cheap! Some will play double duty for more the one meal. Some are perfect to stock your freezer.

There are more than my own recipes posted here. Some I have swiped from family, friends or various places around the internet. If I know where I got it I will happily link the source. If I don't and I publish one of yours please leave a comment and I will give you credit. I usually tweak a recipe to suit my own needs. If you have a great idea from one of mine, please share it. I love to try new things. I hope you join in my adventure.

The Recipe Chick ;)
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