Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fatoosh Salad

The hubby and I tried out a new restaurant a few weeks ago, and one of the items on the menu was fatoosh salad. The fact that the hubby not just tried it but actually liked it was enough for me to want to make it at home as soon as possible!

2 pita breads
8 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 green onions, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons sumac
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Toast pitas 5 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven until crisp and break into bite size pieces

In a large bowl toss together toasted pita pieces, romaine lettuce, green onions, cucumber, tomatoes, mint and parsley

In a blender, combine the garlic, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth

Pour dressing over salad and crumble as much feta cheese ontop of the salad as you like

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grocery Deals

This week the hubby really wanted to go to HEB as he prefers to buy meats there, and we were starting to run a little low so no Kroger this deals this week.
I don't really mind though, as we were out of fresh fruits and vegetables and they are definitely cheaper at HEB and there really wasn't any deals to be had at Kroger that interested me. My total is obviously higher this week, but that's okay.

Shelf: $93.21
Spent: $70.42
Saved: $22.79

5lbs russet potatoes $2.49
2 baking potatoes $1.82
2 sweet potatoes $1.22
5 roma tomatoes $1.48
Cucumber $0.59
Curly parsley $0.79
Fresh mint $1.19
0.43 lb fresh green beans $0.68
Green onions $0.69
3 jalapenos $0.11
Fresh ginger $0.20
2 nectarines $1.53
Pineapple $3.99
2.24 lbs red grapes $2.24
3 red peppers $2.37
Green pepper $0.58
Organic celery $1.29
Romaine lettuce $1.49
Butter $1.94
Country crock $2.27
String cheese $3.68
Kraft singles $1.99 (free after instore coupon)
Shredded cheddar $1.50 (free after instore coupon)
Pie crust $2.29
Flour tortillas $1.79 (free after instore coupon)
English muffins $1.99
Oroweat sandwich thins $3.19 ($2.19 after $1 coupon)
Hamburger buns $0.99
french baguette $1.69
Bread flour $2.99
2 x canned chicken $1.98 ($0.48 after 2 $0.75 coupons)
2 sun crystals boxes $3.98 (free after 2 $2.00 coupons)
Glade diffuser $4.69 ($1.69 after $3 coupon)
2 surf laundry soap boxes $9.38 ($3.38 after 2 $3 coupons)
6 ground chuck patties $5.05
Chuck roast $5.50
Short ribs $5.89
peppered bacon $5.89

See other grocery deals at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Pierogi lasagna, fresh green beans and salad

Tuesday: Armenian beef kebabs, fatoosh salad, hummus and pita bread

Wednesday: Mango chutney short ribs, mashed potatoes and corn

Thursday: Pepsi pot roast

Friday: Going out to eat

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

I just love curry and Indian food, and here's a recipe for one of my favourites:


2 lbs chicken breasts,cubed
1 tbsp. ground turmeric
4 tsp. garam masala
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 2 1⁄2" piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
Kosher salt, to taste
6 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. paprika
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream

1. In a blender puree turmeric, 2 tsp. garam masala, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and 1⁄2 cup water. Put paste into a bowl. In the same blender, puree tomatoes. In a bowl mix 2 tbsp. paste, chicken, yogurt and salt. Marinate for at least30 minutes. Bake chicken at 350 for 20 minutes or until done.

2. Heat butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander and cumin and toast 4–6 minutes. Add paprika and onions, cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add remaining paste and brown for 5–6 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and 1 cup water, boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 6–8 minutes. Stir in remaining masala and chicken. Serve with rice, naan bread and mango chutney.

See other recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Naan Bread

This recipe for naan bread comes from Jeena's Kitchen curry just isn't the same without naan bread and this recipe is quick and simple to make and tastes great!

2 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Sachet instant yeast
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp Salt
1 + 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
drop hot water

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a little well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the oil and yogurt - do not mix yet.

Take the milk and very carefully pour in tiny drops of hot water until the milk is tepid (warm not hot).

Add the milk little by little into the flour mixture until you get a dough - knead very well.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp tea towel or plastic wrap and keep in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Knead slightly and cut the naan bread dough into pieces and roll each piece of dough into an oval shape.

Place naan breads onto a greased and floured baking tray and place into a hot oven at 450 for 5-10 minutes until cooked.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grocery Deals

I did not do as well this week as I did last week, and even though I saved 87% it should have been better, but a number of loadable coupons did not come off and some of my free coupons were entered at the wrong price.

Shelf: $101.91
Spent: $12.58
Saved: $89.33
Pct : 87%

3 x pepsi
10 x fruit20 water
capri sun
kraft dressing
kraft bbq sauce
heinz gravy
3 x libbys canned veg
ritz crackers
ritz crackerfulls
2 x shells and cheese
2 x shells and cheese cups
2 x spam (was free with coupon, so I got it for my dogs!)
3 x beechnut
2 x minute maid frozen novelties
2 x nut clusters
6 x buitoni pasta
4 x old el paso taco seasoning
2 x jello
9 x chef michael canned dog food
4 x chef michael dry dog food
carvers dog treats

We also stopped at target to get the last of the free dog food and some great glade deals. I did 3 seperate transactions, so I stacked the receipts for the picture, but I combined them all for the totals. I made a slight mistake at Target and forgot to hand over one of the peelies for the glade sense and spray so my total should have been around $3, instead it was $5.

Shelf: $97.76
Spent: $5.89
Saved: $91.87

3 x chef michael dry food
3 x chef michael pouches
3 x glade sense and spray
3 x glade candles
2 x glade lasting impressions
2 x glade reed diffuser

See other grocery deals at The Grocery Cart Challenge and The New Frugal Mom

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken fettucine alfredo with fruit salad

Tuesday: Cheesy beef enchilada soup

Wednesday: Chicken tikka masala with rice and naan bread

Thursday: Tacos

Friday: Going out to eat

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Processor Danish Pastries

I have made this processor danish pastry recipe from Nigella Lawson a number of times now. There are quite a few steps to making these but in the end it is well worth the time it takes to make them. These have been a huge hit with the hubby's co-workers and especially with my father in law, I end up making these for him fairly often.

Nigella's original recipe has an almond filling that she makes for the pastries, I made that the first time but even though I really loved the almond filled pastries I found that the hubby and father in law much preferred a cherry and cream cheese filling. I have included the recipe for the almond filling, but my pictures are of the cherry danishes.

Danish Pastry recipe:
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk at room temp
1 large egg at room temp
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices

Almond filling:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons banched almonds, toasted
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg white

Clear glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Sugar glaze:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons warm water

Beat egg, water and milk together, set aside. Put flour, yeast, salt and sugar into food processor and pulse to mix, add the cold slices of butter and process until the butter is cut up, empty into a bowl and add the milk mixture. Fold together, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.

To turn into pastry, let it get to room temp, roll into a rectangle

fold into thirds turning it afterwards so that the closed fold is on your left. Roll out again to a rectangle and repeat the steps above 3 times.

Cut in half, cover and put in refrigerator for 30 minutes

To make the almond filling, toast the almonds, then process with the icing sugar until finely ground. Add the butter then process again, then the almond extract and egg white.
Roll out pastry into a large square and cut into 9 equal squares

Take each sqaure and put a tablespoon of the almond mixture or fruit filling onto the pastry

Bring up the opposite corners and pinch together, then flatten the pastry slightly.
Place on baking sheets and brush with the egg glaze, leave them to rise until they have doubled in size (about 90 minutes)

Preheat the oven to 350, cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the clear glaze heat the water and sugar to boiling and then brush on pastries.

To make the sugar glaze, add the water to the icing sugara little at a time to make a runny icing, when they have cooled drizzle over the sugar glaze.

See other recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grocery Deals

I got 75 items this week at Kroger, spent only $0.28 and saved 98%.

Shelf: $140.47
Spent: $0.28
Saved: $140.19
Pct : 98%

4 x healthy choice frozen meals
2 x edwards frozen singles
2 x sausage gravy
simply potatoes hash browns
3 x keebler cookies
2 x salt and pepper grinders
3 x barilla whole grain pasta
10 x fruit20 water
3 x horizon milk singles
2% milk gallon
crystal light lemonade mix
bayer aspirin crystals 20 count box
Kettle party size bag of chips
kroger yogurt
peter pan peanut butter
kroger 6 pack raisins
english muffins
3 x dial hand soap
2 x beechnut
milk bone dog biscuits
chef michael dry dog food
9 x chef michael double pack cans
6 x mighty dog
2 x pedigree cans
4 x purina one cans
4 x friskies cans
4 x fancy feast double packs
cottonelle 20 pack

See other grocery deals at The Grocery Cart Challenge and The New Frugal Mom

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cajun rice stuffed pork loin with corn on the cob and fruit salad

Tuesday: Enchiladas

Wednesday: Sausage ravioli with alfredo sauce and fruit salad

Thursday: We have our monthly HOA board members meeting tonight, so take out on the way home from that

Friday: Roast chicken with lemony bombay potatoes

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Tex Mex Beef and Potatoes

I saw this recipe in a magazine and I thought the hubby might like it. It's quick and easy to make, and I was right, the hubby did like it!

1 lb ground beef
1 red pepper
1 onion
1 pkg taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup water
4 cups frozen Southern-style hash browns
10 oz frozen corn
1/2 lb velveeta

Heat oven to 350°F.

Brown meat with peppers and onions in large skillet, drain.

Stir in taco mix and water. Add potatoes, corn and velveeta and mix well. Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish and cover.

Bake for 20 min. Uncover and bake for 15 min.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicken a l'Orange

I have been wanting to try this recipe from Melissa d'Arabian frm the minute I saw her make it on her new food network show. I had everything I needed to make it this week and I couldn't wait to try it.

3 skin-on bone-in chicken breasts
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
4 tbs honey
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Liberally salt and pepper the chicken breast halves. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken, skin side only, until brown and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the orange glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice concentrate, honey, and salt and pepper, to taste, over medium heat, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Turn the chicken over and brush each piece with the glaze. Turn the chicken skin side up and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, brushing on more glaze halfway through. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before serving.

English Muffins

The hubby has been eating a lot of English muffins lately, and instead of paying full price for them at the store, I decided to try my hand at making them, turns out they are pretty easy to make and the hubby thinks they taste better than the store bought ones.

There are lots of different recipes out there for english muffins, but I found this one over at The Happy Housewife

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbs softened butter

Combine water, milk, honey, salt and yeast. Add in 2 cups of the flour and mix.
Cover the mixture and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. After an hour add the butter and the rest of the flour.

Dust surface with cornmeal and roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick, and cut into circles.

Leave to rise until doubled, cook on a buttered griddle until they are light brown on both sides.

See other recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Knead Bread

I first made no knead bread over a year or so ago, I don't really know why but I never made it again after that. I really should have though, because firstly this is seriously easy bread to make and secondly it is so good!

3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-18 hours on countertop.

Place the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. Place dough ball into a pot that has a lid, and leave for 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450

Place covered pot in the oven and bake for 3o minutes. Remove lid, return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes to brown the crust.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grocery Deals

Did pretty good at Kroger this week, we didn't need much of anything, so I just went to get a few deals. Ended up getting 43 items for $3.74, saving 94%.

Shelf: $66.74
Spent: $3.74
Saved: $63.00
Pct : 94%

10 x fruit20 water
2% milk gallon
3 x beechnut
kroger peach yogurt
2 x sargento potato finishers
english muffins
mission flour tortillas
mission corn tortillas
kroger 6 pack raisins
2 x french's mustard
french's honey mustard
french's spicy brown mustard
keebler cookies
2 x frosed mini wheats
bounty paper towel
2 x chef michael dry dog food
6 x chef michael canned dog food double packs
3 x mighty dog
3 x dial handsoap

See other grocery deals at The Grocery Cart Challenge and The New Frugal Mom

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Steak with baked potatoes and green bean bundles (the hubby is cooking!)

Tuesday: Sweet corn tamale cakes

Wednesday: BLT's with avocado and fruit salad

Thursday: Orange chicken with crispy potatoes and corn

Friday: Tex mex beef and potatoes with salad

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

The Hubby's Chicken Fried Chicken With Peppered Cream Gravy

The hubby likes to cook and usually does so at least once every weekend. He really wanted to put a recipe up on the blog and so decided upon chicken fried chicken and cream gravy, and I wasn't about to say no, the hubby makes the best gravy, I could eat a bowl of that stuff by itself!

Now, I should warn you that the hubby is not much of a recipe follower, and tends to do things his own way, and the man has never met a spice he didn't like, as you will later see!

I tend to give the hubby a hard time when it comes to cooking, and I'm not even going to mention the 9 hour cheesecake incident! but really I am very lucky to have such a wonderful hubby who loves to cook dinner for me.

Chicken Fried Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Peppered Cream Gravy:
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 tsp allspice
pinch of ceyenne
salt and pepper

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. One thing you should know about my hubby is that he is not afraid to season, so he also seasoned the chicken with ceyenne pepper, all spice, and pretty much anything else he could get his hands on!

First dip the chicken in the beaten egg and then coat in the flour and cornflake mixture

Pan fry until golden brown on both sides

Cream gravy:

Add 4 tbsp of butter and the same amount of flour to a pan

When the butter/flour mixture has melted together and cooked for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste start adding warm milk a little at a time

When the milk has been added and the sauce is smooth, add in the spices

If the sauce is too thick add in more milk (or heavy cream as the hubby did here)

Season with lots of black pepper and the cream gravy is ready!