Archive for the ‘dinner’ Category

Grilled Steak Salad

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

The other night we enjoyed some awesome steaks which provided some really tasty leftovers.

Thinly sliced, grilled steak on top of a bed of romaine lettuce and mixed field greens can’t do you wrong. After chopping a tomato and some mini carrots, then topping with croutons I felt this salad was set.

Okay, it depends on your preference.

Toss on a little bit of cheddar and some crispy bacon bits and this Grilled Steak Salad is almost man-friendly…

If there is anyone left unappreciative to the taste of fine, crispy ingredients then a nice dousing of Ranch dressing can be achieved in less than a serving size.

This Grilled Steak Salad truly rocked.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Ah, spaghetti and meatballs…

A very warm and pleasing meal.

My only problem with spaghetti and meatballs is that I have never dished out a serving that is even close to the stomach size of the recipient. Meaning, the pile of noodles is massive, and the need to cover those noodles with sauce is a necessity.

In a way that is what spaghetti is all about though.

A bottomless pit of noodles and sauce…and that’s how I make it.

You can go in feeling like a champion, but no matter if you came to the table ready to eat a horse or not, you will still probably feel a little bit ashamed, seeing as your pile of spaghetti is not decreasing.

This picture doesn’t quite give a proper taste of the humiliating bowlfuls I served to my family, but this was our dinner.

  • Easy Meatballs
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 egg
    • 1 C. breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 C. onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Preheat oven to 375°
    • Combine all ingredients.
    • Roll meat mixture into 1 inch balls.
    • Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 10 minutes on other side.

Prepare these meatballs and add to any sauce you’d like.

No breadcrumbs? Simply toast one piece of bread and crumble and chop if needed.

No fresh onion? 2 Tablespoons minced onion and 2 Tablespoons water equals 1/2 Cup onion.

And a garlic trick for those without a cool Trudeau Garlic Press – use the flat side of a wide knife to mash the garlic clove before mincing.

Tostadas…Straight Up

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Tostadas are a great, fast meal that you can make as simple or as complicated as you want. Either way, everything you may add is probably not complicated at all. So if you or your family dislike tostadas…umm…bummer. I mean, you can add olives, ground beef, shredded meat, onions, diced avocado, fresh salsa, sour cream…yes, the list goes on and on. Shrimp Tostadas? Fish & Slaw Tostadas? Or go out on a limb and make Egg and Cheese Tostadas!?

Tonight I felt a little less gourmet and a little more simple.

Here is the proper way to make a straight up tostada. No funny business people.

The toppings involve shredded lettuce, chopped tomato with some dried cilantro and minced onions mixed in, shredded cheddar, sour cream and salsa.

Much like my method for rolling a burrito, of course my way is right. And it works every time! Check it out -

Toasted shell, ready to go on a paper plate, of course..

Spread with the refried beans of your choice.

The only thing missing is some avocado.

Oops, I Did It Again!

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

It’s official.


We love steak.

This particular one was a New York Strip Steak, bone-in.

When a grilled steak is in front of me sure, I prefer bone-out, but hey I can carve that baby from the bone like a champion.

Like you can see from the picture here..

I added a Perfect Baked Potato and some buttery spinach leaves and no one at the table had a gripe.

“Darn Good” Chili Mix

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

I know chili is pretty easy to make already, but when I was walking down the soup aisle I came across a package that read, “Darn Good” Chili. Perfect. It’s worth a try for the name alone. Is it “Darn Good” or not?

Inside the package was an assortment of beans, rice and seasonings.

No MSGs, no fat, and a pretty harmless-looking ingredient list. So, after adding some water and tomato paste, we will find out how “Darn Good” this chili really is.

Pretty darn good in my opinion. Pretty darn filling as well. And cheap! Apparently this package makes 8 one cup servings. We don’t do it like that at my house, though. So we enjoyed going back to the pot for seconds. You can either semi-satisfy 8 people or completely satisfy 4. You’re choice.

Either way, “Darn Good” Chili is a neat variety of beans and rice that will not disappoint your taste buds or hurt your pocket. (but do add extra spice, if you like it hot…this chili is very mild flavored) And although no one flavor in the mix stood out strongly on its own, the medley of flavors create a “Darn Good” combo. And the package only costed $3.99 plus a can of tomato paste.

Sure, it isn’t the best chili you’ve ever eaten, and I would recommend making homeade chili on most days, but for a camping trip, feeding large groups cheaply, convenience or storage purposes “Darn Good” Chili is the perfect candidate.

Overall, you can’t feel very guilty since “Darn Good” Chili is not unhealthy for you or your family, nor is it costly. Extra ingredients are not necessary for a tasty bowlful, but adding meat could stretch the batch even further. I’m definitely going to stock my cupboard with a couple packages of “Darn Good” Chili, for those nights when I just don’t know what’s going to be for dinner.

In conclusion, I’m going to share with you the only real way to eat a bowl of chili. Alert to the weak-stomached do not proceed…anyone else can see the messy truth here.

Chicken Breasts Baked In Sour Cream

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

There is always room in your recipe collection for another way to prepare a chicken breast. So here’s an easy, delicious and perhaps new way to make those chicken breasts exciting. This recipe takes a little longer to bake, but it is worth the wait.

    • 1/2 stick butter or margarine
    • 1 can (10-1/2 oz) cream of chicken soup, divided
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
    • 3 whole chicken breasts, cut in half
    • Brown chicken breasts in butter or margarine.
    • Place in baking dish with a cover.
    • Add 1/2 of the can of cream of chicken soup.
    • Bake at 350°, covered, for one hour.
    • Combine sour cream with remaining cream of chicken soup.
    • Add drained mushrooms.
    • Pour mixture over chicken.
    • Cover and continue baking at 325° for 25 minutes.

To start off, is the most tasking part of our mission here. Browning the chicken breasts in butter. Not so difficult. I decided not to cut the chicken breasts in half because all three were identically, cool shaped and fat. I just couldn’t. So they took a little longer to brown. (about 10 minutes on each side)

There’s not too many rules here. You could cut the chicken breasts into thirds or ooh pound them thin…stretch the chicken breasts any way you’d like depending on the number of people at the table.

Once browned, the chicken breasts went into a baking dish, and I spooned half of the cream of chicken soup over them, covered the dish and baked for an hour. After the hour, this is what they looked like…

Not that exciting yet? Here is where the goodness kicks in.

I mixed the remainder of the soup with sour cream and mushrooms.

Nope, it’s not dessert…

Spooned all that over the chicken breasts. It makes quite a heap.

Then covered the dish up and finished baking for 25 more minutes.

The outcome was spectacular.

I’d have to say the sauce was my favorite part, so don’t leave any in the pan! It was very rich, almost cream cheese-like, and the mushrooms rocked!

This picture doesn’t do these Chicken Breasts Baked in Sour Cream justice, so trust me and try the recipe for yourself. Yum!

Real Mashed Potatoes

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Making real mashed potatoes is not something to stress over. They are actually a simple and pleasing side dish that should be on the table more frequently than just Thanksgiving dinner.

The two key ingredients:  a Kitchen-Aid Mixer and semi overcooked potatoes.

I love my Kitchen-Aid Mixer. It whips, beats, churns…whatever you like, it will get the job done. Breads, cookies, dips, meringues…the list of possibilities are endless. Although a hefty little investment, every kitchen should have a Kitchen-Aid Mixer. It’s worth every penny.

On to the semi overcooked potatoes. How can you lose? Most of the skins just fall off when pulled on a bit. And the skins that stick? Well just psyche yourself up and dive in. Ooo, hot hot! Yes, but just for a few seconds. Now the potato chunks are ready to be tossed into the mixer.

Into the mixer they go, with already chopped pieces of butter inside the bowl. Instant butter melting action! Pour warmed milk over the potatoes and whip up some mashed potatoes in about a minute.

Here’s the recipe:

  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes
    • 5 large potatoes, cut into thirds and boiled
    • 1/2 C milk, heated
    • 3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • Peel potatoes.
    • Place hot potatoes in bowl.
    • Mix for 10 seconds to mash.
    • Add all other ingredients.
    • Beat for about 1 minute or until fluffy.

Plain old potatoes too bland for your tastes? Here are some simple variations.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Substitute 1 teaspoon garlic salt for salt.

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes – Increase milk to 3/4 cup. Add 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese with milk.

Sour Cream-Chive Mashed Potatoes – Substitute 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream for 1/4 cup milk. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.

This can be as fast or as slow as you want it to be. Overcooked potatoes tend to peel and mash quicker. Adding sliced butter to the bowl before the hot potatoes go in it, further quickens the process. Leave some potato skins on the potato for appearance and/or fingertip appreciation.

Big Ol’ Burgers

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Do you ever get a craving for a huge hamburger?!

I had some ground beef that needed to be cooked and I was thinking hamburgers.

Typically, I just spice and season the patties up really well on the outside.

Tonight, I strayed away from the Grill Mates and seasoned salt shakers.

Tonight, I prepared some really large burgers using Lipton’s Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix.

Why, you ask?

Well, why not?!

The box wasn’t becoming Onion soup or dip.

It was just staring at me endlessly each time I opened the cupboard.

If you are not familiar with the box, here it is… 

I mixed the Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix with the ground beef and cooked the patties on a preheated George Foreman Grill.

The whole process was so quick, it’s not even funny. The tater tots which accompanied the burgers this evening surpassed the burger prep time.

Using jumbo hamburger buns, this is what came of it…

Oh, it doesn’t look that big?! Trust me. This was a massive burger.

There’s even a pretty big tomato slice underneath that meat mass.

Lipton’s Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix would be awesome for a meatloaf, but I wasn’t digging it on this Big Ol’ Burger. I thought it took away from the beefy flavor that I’m used to tasting in a hamburger patty. I really wanted to yank it off the bun and add a pile of mashed potatoes.

Regardless, there are several other things I’d like to try out with Lipton’s Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix. One is making those yummy looking potatoes pictured on the box.

Woo hoo for packages of two!

Review: Campbell’s Supper Bakes – Garlic Chicken with pasta

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Tonight, I’m going to throw together something simple, although I wish I didn’t have to heat the oven up. The weather is getting hot, but we just got our air conditioner repaired so it will have to work extra tonight on behalf of dinner.

I’m thinking something pre-made, by my good buddies at Campbell’s.

There are several varieties of Campbell’s Supper Bakes to choose from if you’ve seen these in the store.

I chose the Garlic Chicken with pasta variety, due to it’s lack of cheese and simple name. Probably a pleaser for all the tastes sitting at the table.

Campbell’s says: Plump and tender rotini pasta cooks at the same time as your chicken, in the same dish. Campbell’s® creamy baking sauce, with a light parmesan cheese flavor and a savory touch of garlic, gives you a deliciously moist, perfectly seasoned supper. A zesty sprinkle-on crumb topping completes the dish.

Susanna says: Supper Bakes was really simple to put together. It called for 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, but I had a package of boneless skinless chicken tenders. No problem. It was very easy to work around this small discrepancy. Nothing that three chicken tenders side by side couldn’t fake. They, in my mind, became one chicken breast and I repeated the 3 for 1 deal for all of the 4 chicken breasts, Perfect! I topped them with the can of creamy baking sauce, covered tightly with foil and baked. After a certain amount of time specified on box, the foil was removed and the chicken breasts were topped with a crumb topping which added a cool crunch.

The flavor overall was tasty. The garlic was not to the capacity to give you monster breath all night, but it was apparent enough to add a nice flavor. The rotini pasta held up very well, which was a big plus for the extended cooking time which I put it through. (never got mushy)

Campbell’s Supper Bakes Garlic Chicken with pasta was low fat with a little vitamin A, calcium and iron even.

If there is a sale, Supper Bakes are a great way to get dinner on the table pretty quickly without a lot of messing around in the kitchen. I’ll try another variety another time, but the Garlic Chicken with pasta definitely passed the challenge…

Check it out for yourself.

Maple Salmon

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Besides being delicious, salmon is an exceptional source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish (salmon) is also a good source of protein and does not have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do.

So tonight I thought I would try baking Maple Salmon…

  • Maple Salmon
    • 1/4 C maple syrup
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper
    • 1 lb salmon
    • In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt and pepper.
    • Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish and coat with the maple syrup mixture.
    • Cover the dish and marinade salmon in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.
    • Preheat oven to 400°F
    • Place baking dish in oven and bake salmon uncovered for 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with fork.

The salmon fillets are marinaded now so into the oven they go…

And 20 minutes later out they come…

Maple Salmon was simple to prepare and quite tasty. The maple syrup adds a nice, sweet flavor to the salmon fillets, while the garlic is making them happy, happy happy! The crispy, dark edges were a bonus.

If I could do it again, I would have grilled the salmon instead of baking it. Mainly because the pan gets pretty crazy with baked on maple madness, not because the outcome wasn’t tasty.

Next sale on salmon I’m going for it…

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