Saturday, June 08, 2013

Menu Time: June 10th - 14th, 2013

It's heating up out there so more grilling and chilling on this week's menu. There's a craving for lasagna at our house and nobody wants the oven on so i'm venturing out and trying a crock pot lasagna recipe. 

Has anyone out there tried one of these before? Super great? Utter failure?

Crockpot lasagna (I'll start with this recipe but mostly wing it and a salad.

We'll be at a baseball game, yeah! There's nothing wrong with hotdogs for dinner every once in awhile.

It's designated grilling night at our house. I'll grab whatever looks good at the meat counter and veggie bin at Sprouts on the way home. This week i'm going to make a lemon, herb, butter sauce to pour over the top of things.

Zucchini soup and grilled cheese. We've been making this soup for years, I can't believe I never posted the recipe.

Grilled pizzas are a great way to finish off any leftover random meat/grilled veggies from the week. Pesto, chicken, grilled green beans and feta? Beef, potato, roasted peppers and cheddar?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Essentials: Pancakes

pancakes on the griddle

I. Love. Pancakes. Partly because I grew up eating them (Mom and Dad!), partly because I can think about pancakes and 15 minutes later be eating them and partly because they are infinitely customizable based on what's in the house.

Making pancakes from scratch isn't hard if you have a few things on hand and personally I think they are better then the ones from a box.

Makes 8-12 pancakes (enough for 2 adults, scale up as needed)

Dry ingredients
1 cup flour ( I like 1/2 cup each AP and whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

Wet ingredients
1 egg
1 cup milk (8 oz)
2 tbsp oil or melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients up in a big bowl (they should only fill it half way up or you'll have flour everywhere later, trust me . . i've swept up plenty of flour throughout the years). Mix up the wet ingredients in a different bowl then dump into the dry stuff and stir just a couple times. Lumps cook themselves out and chewy pancakes aren't good eats, so just mix enough to get everything incorporated.

Now crank that griddle up to a medium high heat. We use an electric one and depending on what's getting mixed in/added i'll go between 350 and 400. Now get a cup of coffee and walk away for 5 minutes or so, let the griddle get hot and let the batter rest.

After your 5 minute coffee break spoon batter onto the griddle in the size you like, I generally go for about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake but you could go crazy and make one giant pancake, just don't call me to help clean up the batter that flies everywhere when you try to flip it over. Once you see bubbles starting to form in the batter peak under one to see if it's browned the way you want and flip it over. A minute or so on the other side and you are ready to eat.

Mix ins
This is where things can get interesting. It takes a little extra time but is worth it in the long run. Here's a quick list of some popular mixins at my house.

Blueberries - I just throw a handful of frozen ones onto the cakes as soon as they get onto the griddle, they defrost but don't break up that way.

Chocolate chips - add on the griddle or into the mix when stirring it up

Banana nut - Mash a banana up and mix into the wet ingredients, chop a handful of walnuts, almonds or pecans up and mix into the batter. A sprinkle of cinnamon doesn't hurt either.

Bacon - Cook up some bacon on the griddle to your liking before starting on the batter. Lay a cooked strip into the batter after you pour onto the griddle. Don't give my name to the cardiologist.

What are your favorite mix ins for pancakes?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Menu Time: June 3rd - June 7th, 2013

It's supposed to be warmer this week in the Denver area so we're doing a fair share of grilling again but we'll be pulling the crock pot out for the rigatoni this week.

There are some great deals in the local ads this week, a couple of things on my shopping list are;

Sprouts - Cherries are in season and made the list and baby back ribs for only $2.99 a pounds are making it into the freezer for another week.

Safeway - Country Style ribs make an easy pasta sauce with a big can of tomatoes. Strawberries are $1.50 a pound this weekend so get 'em while they are good.

Monday - BLATs
What's better than a BLT, a BLT with Avocado on it of course.

Tuesday - Rigatoni and pork sauce, green salad
This is probably my favorite pasta sauce from the crock pot and is easy to throw together in the morning during breakfast.

Wednesday - Sous Vide and grilled short ribs, grilled potatoes, celery and carrot slaw
I was the lucky recipient of a Sous Vide supreme a few years back for Christmas and this is one of the best things to come out of it I think. Ruhlman had a great blog post on other ways to cook short ribs a few years back.

Thursday - Grilled chicken tacos, quinoa, black bean, tomato, corn salad
Quinoa is a great quick addition to dinner around here and I often toss in what ever random veggies or beans we have in the fridge to liven it up. 

Friday - Brocoli, red pepper and beef stir fry