Sunday, October 24, 2010

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 6

Alright, I know I've been slackin' lately with my meal plans. But thanks to some inspiration from the Totally Together Journal and a pretty decent routine at home, I'm back in the Meal Planning Saddle! My new job has me home in the evenings, so Ryan and I eat dinner together most nights. Here's what we've got going on!

This week's plan is:

Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
  **I made a pretty basic Pot Roast in the Crock Pot. I won't lie, I didn't love it. I don't think it was the recipe, I think I just don't love Pot Roast.  
  **I got 2 roasts in one package, so I think next week I'll cut one up and turn it into Texas Chili. 

Apple Raisin Cake for Bible Study
  **We alternate who brings dessert to Bible Study. This week I took a Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix, and added all of the miscellaneous ingredients to make it into an apple spice cake.   
  **This was my all-time favorite cake recipe back in my gluten full days. I had high hopes for a fall dessert with this GF cake mix!
  **Besides the fact it was raw in the middle, it was a huge success! All of the ladies said it was good enough to share with gluten free and gluten full, alike! 

Corn Risotto with Rotisserie Chicken
  **I hate having frozen vegetables in my freezer. It seems I buy them for a specific purpose, and then never finish the bag, and then they get freezer burned, and you wind up with 6 half-bags of veggies that get thrown away. So in an attempt to use up the corn in my freezer, I stumbled upon this recipe for Corn Risotto
  **You people should know that making risotto is not nearly the pain people make it out to be. I found a great step-by-step tutorial at this blog, and it was well worth the few minutes stirring!
  **With the coupon I had for a Rainbow Foods Rotisserie Chicken, this was a pretty simple, well rounded meal!
  **I'm excited to try other risotto flavors in the future!! 

Homemade Pizzas
  **We ended up synchronizing dinner plans with Erin and Richard this night. So it turned into something of a pizza extravaganza. 
  **We each had our own pizzas with our own toppings on them. We ended up with tons of extra pizza, but nobody was disappointed!
  **I love making pizza so much, I think everybody should do it once a month as a family! Talk about a Money-Saving-Family-Fun-Night! 

Cabbage Rolls
  **I used the filling from the Nye's Pollynaise Room recipe, and the sauce from the Emerill's recipe. And then I changed it a little... these are my thoughts... 
  **You should know that we REALLY liked these. The flavor is there, but there's some things I would change in the technique.
  **I don't want to eat something bad enough to let it cook for 2 hours in the oven, after spending an hour trying to put it all together. That means, the raw rice you used as a binder won't cook all of the way. Next time I will use raw oats (like in the Quaker Oatmeal Meatloaf recipe) and then bake them for just an hour.
  **The recipe originally called for a lot of greasy meat: beef, sausage, pork, bacon. I had 3# of frozen beef, 1# of frozen spicy Italian sausage, 1# of frozen ground turkey. I used equal parts of turkey and sausage. There was a lot of flavor and good texture, but it wasn't too greasy since the turkey is so low fat. I'd use a similar mixture again! I do think you could use any combination of ground meat you have, but I think the sausage is key in bringing the flavor.
  **They're a little intense to make. You have to mix the filling, and steam the cabbage leaves without tearing them, and then stuff them, and make the sauce, and then bake them. They could easily be made and assembled and then put in the fridge for tomorrow, which is probably how I'll do it next time. 
  **The last thing I'd do differently, would be to pour 1 cup of chicken stock over them for baking, and reserve the sauce to top them once they're done. The yummy Emerill's sauce got too diluted while baking. 

Bon Appetit!