Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

I like to have my dinners for the week planned in advance. It simplifies my life and guarantees that I have everything I need to make dinner for the week. I even have a board in my kitchen where I list the menu plan! Just call me OCD :)!

Sunday: Baked Ziti from The Girl Who Ate Everything

I love this blog, she has so many great recipes. I also love pasta way too much (as my waist line will attest to).

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound Italian sausage ( or ground beef...I like sausage better)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce ( I used one Garlic and Onion and one Sausage)
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced ( 9 rounds)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain. 
2. In a large skillet, brown onion and sausage (or beef ) over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, 1/2 sauce mixture, Provolone cheese, sour cream, remaining ziti, remaining sauce mixture and then mozzarella cheese. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. 
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted. You may want to cover it for the first 20 minutes with foil and then let the cheese melt and brown for the last 10 minutes.

Monday: Zesty Italian Casserole from The Girl Who Ate Everything

The great thing about casserole is they can be made the day ahead and just put in the oven when you get home.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup spaghetti sauce
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Recipe Creations (or Crescent Dinner Rolls pressed together along the perforations)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 1/2 or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.Unroll dough over cheese mixture. In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.Bake at 375°F. for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Tuesday: Jambalya:  My own recipe

Jambalya is a favorite of the boys that I live with (my boyfriend and my brother) and my own recipe.

1 package Zatarain's Jambalya Mix (I have tried the Jambalya with Cheese and the  Jambalya Pasta, but the original is the best)
2 and 1/2 cups water
2 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 pound smoked turkey sausage

1. Brown the smoked sausage in a medium fry pan
2. Bring water and oil to a boil
3. Add rice mix and browned meat
4. Return to boil
5. Cook on low for 25 minutes

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken: My own recipe

This is an easy favorite of everyone I've ever made it for.

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (16oz) of your favorite BBQ sauce

1. Add the chicken to a slow cooker
2. Add water to just cover the chicken
3. Cook on low overnight (8 hours)
4. Drain the water from the slow cooker 
5. Using a fork, shread the chicken into strips. The chicken will be extremely tender and easy to shread. Be careful, chicken is hot!
6. Cover chicken in 14 oz of BBQ sauce
7. Cook on warm all day (7-8 hours)
8. Serve on buns for sandwiches with extra reserved BBQ sauce

Thursday: I have a party to attend
Friday: Leftovers

Even with all the yummy cooking, there is bound to be leftovers and I hate to let food go to waste. I usually have one leftover day a week.

Saturday: Another party night

Dessert: Martha Stewart's Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

These are really rich, but really awesome. The Oreo on the bottom makes them easy to make, and blending with my KitchenAid mixer makes these simple and delicious.

42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

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