Tex-Mex Lasagna

I tried another recipe from Cooking Light, Tex-Mex Lasagna. The kids all gave it a resounding thumbs down. The little girls liked the noodles (no surprises there) but it was too runny and I thought it lacked flavor. I have other recipes that we like better, like the chicken enchiladas we’ll have later in the week.
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I think I’ve exhausted the Cooking Light recipes I want to try for a while and will move on to a different cookbook on the shelf.  There are plenty to choose from!

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My Favorite!

I must have picked up the bug Thing 2 had last week that developed into a double ear infection for her.  I was down with a fever Monday and am now coughing and hacking 😛

Yesterday, I made a non-traditional chicken and rice soup for myself with what I could scrounge up — chicken breast soaked in soy sauce and wine, box of chicken broth, onion, garlic, ginger slices, more soy sauce, parsnip, carrot, celery, partial bag of frozen mixed veggies, leftover basmati rice, and a little whipped egg.  I was too tired and lazy to take pictures and make a pretty post out of it.  Thing 2 declared it looked disgusting and she wasn’t about to eat it, then she decided she’d just have a little bit and then decided she wanted seconds — but make sure you put in more than the first time!

Last night for dinner I made chicken breast, oven roasted potatoes and a bag of frozen mixed veggies.  If you buy Meijer brand frozen vegetables, you get a blend of corn, peas, carrots and green beans; if they are Wal-Mart or Freshlike brands, you also get lima beans.  The freezer has been stocked with a lot of Meijer brand for a while but the last time I bought stuff, Freshlike was on sale so that’s what came home.

As we began our dinner, Thing 1 perked up and grinned, “Lima beans!  My favorite!” and proceeded to eat all the lima beans out of her serving before touching anything else.

Thing 2 asks, “Lima beans? Where?”  Then, spotting them on her own plate, starts pulling them out and announces, “Yum! Lima beans are my favorite too!”

Thing 4 is all about ‘Me Too’ so she figures out what they are getting and picks up a lima bean and says, “Yum! Yima beans. My favorite!”  Then holds up a green bean and wrinkles her nose — “Yucky.  Me not like these.”

I told Thing 2 she ought to start calling green beans her favorite and then maybe Thing 4 would eat them too (she has never liked green beans, starting back in that mushy food stage to the present).  A few minutes later Thing 2 says to Thing 4, “Yum! Green beans are my favorite too!”  Thing 4 handed her several green beans from her plate, “Here!”  She may go along with the crowd for a while, but the girl knows her mind when it comes to green beans!

Leftover Tuesdays #2

David at Cooking Chat started a wonderful event called ‘Leftover Tuesdays’ and Rachel is hosting the second one. I can’t wait to see what everyone cooked up!

I make pork loin about every other week and it’s a good source for leftovers. Sometimes I shred it for BBQ sandwiches or add green chile sauce for burritos, for example. This week I was intending to make a garlic filled Twice Cooked Pork, but plans often go astray. Instead, I made another fairly common meal for our house that I, ever so creatively, call ‘Meat, Beans and Rice’.

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There are a number of different permutations of this — ground beef, chicken, or pork for the meat, for example — but it typically has kidney beans, onions and tomatoes in it and corn makes a frequent appearance. Here’s this week’s method:

Three slices of cooked pork loin, torn into small chunks

1 can green enchilada sauce

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans

1 (15 oz) can corn

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

3 green onions (b/c I didn’t have any yellow ones but had these on hand)

cumin

oregano

2 cloves garlic, crushed

I put the pork in a pan and covered it with the green enchilada sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes before adding the beans and corn. I let that simmer a few more minutes before adding the tomatoes and seasonings and then let it simmer until the rice was done. I also made some guacamole to go with it. The Husband had a little sour cream and cheese on top of his.

Canned Cassoulet

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Today we’re having ‘blizzard conditions’. These are the views from the upstairs window and the front door. I hate snow. So, it seems like a perfect time to stay inside and make a little soup. I call a soup a ‘canned soup’ when I open cans to make it — not just a can of Campbell’s condensed crud.

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From my limited understanding, a cassoulet means meat (frequently sausage) and slow cooked beans. I hadn’t heard about the pork skin before. This is what I made today:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
3 large carrots, quartered and chopped
4 chicken Italian sausage links (I took the ‘natural pork casing’ off b/c, frankly, I’d rather eat plastic than pig intestine), quartered and chopped
chicken/vegetable broth
2 (15 oz) cans northern beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
liberal serving of red wine (I’d guess 3/4 – 1 c.)
basil
thyme
black pepper
sea salt

I sauteed the onions and garlic in the olive oil and added the sweet potatoes, carrots and sausage. I dumped in the beans and what was left of a box of vegetable broth and some chicken broth to cover the solids and simmered it for an hour or so. Then I added the tomatoes, wine and seasoning and let it simmer for another hour or so.

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Thing 1 thought it tasted a little less spicy (and therefore less tasty) than it smelled and suggested the addition of a few splashes of Tabasco to each bowl. It was a great suggestion. It was perfect then!

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Think Spring!!

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