Menu Plan: May 7th to May 12th

This Week in Food

Seasoned Chicken Breast in Pita Pockets wtih Hummus

Chicken breast was seasoned garlic & onion powder, salt & pepper, pan fried in a cast iron skillet on both sides till nicely brown, covered and finished in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan to cutting board and cut up in bite small pieces. Add   enough water to the pan to de-glaze (getting all the yummies from the bottom of the pan). Put chicken back into the skillet to absorb all the liquid, then remove to serving bowl.

We generally do pitas buffet style. There was bowls of cut up lettuce, tomatoes, celery, and so on – whatever is to your liking, as well as a garlic/chick pea hummus.

Cut the pitas in half to create pockets, spread some hummus on one or both of the insides, then fill pita with your choice of fillings.

Just salad dressing works well too.



Pan Fried Pepper Steak with Stir Fried Peppers & Rice



Star of the Week:

Tacos With Fresh Salsa

Beef Tacos & Toppings

 Tacos are always a huge hit at our house and so simple to make! They can easily be prepped and on the table in 30 minutes if your meat is thawed. Choices of meat are varied too. I’ve seen ground beef, chicken or pork and even fish used, though we almost always use beef since it’s our family’s favorite.

For the toppings, besides lettuce & extra-old white cheese, we’ve traditionally used just chopped onions & tomatoes; however, fresh salsa can’t be beat! Sour cream is an incredible, although fattening, addition.

When making fresh salsa, it is well worth buying vine ripened tomatoes, or better yet , from your own garden!

For those who find white onion too strong, use a red onion, or a sweet white onion. Green onions can also be used.

Taco Meat

2 lbs ground beef
1 med. Onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 to 1 ½ cups salsa
2-3 tbsp. taco seasoning

Directions: Start browning ground beef in pot over medium-high heat, as a bit of fat is released, add onions and taco seasoning. When almost all pink is gone, add garlic. When cooked through, add salsa and heat through.

Fresh Salsa

Fresh Salsa

4 medium vine ripened tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ to 1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped


Sirloin Tip Steak with Salad

Sirloin Tip Steak with Pepper Stir Fry and Rice

For an excellent tutorial on cooking steak, please view the video below on youtube. I do not by any means endorse this particular chef, Gordon Ramsay,  but this particular video is clean and very easy to follow and duplicate the results.

How to Cook a Steak

The Stir Fry Ingredients:

Stir Fry Ingredients

White onions; green, yellow, red & yellow bell peppers; snow peas in pod.


Pork Loin Steak with Applesauce & Salad


Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes & Oven Roasted Carrots

Roast Beef

I started the roast by searing all sides in a hot skillet with a bit of grape seed oil, then putting it in a 300F oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers desired degree of doneness. A simple web search on “beef internal cooking temperatures” will get you charts on the right internal temperature to suit your family.

Menu Plan: April 30th to May 5th

This Week in Food

Pan Fried Salmon Filet, Potato Flowers & Roasted Asparagus

Salmon Fillet

I decided to put a coating on the Salmon, but it really wasn’t necessary and detracted from this wonderful fish. It really only requires salt & pepper, or a coating of flour/salt/pepper mix is nice too.

Roasted asparagus has now become our favorite way of cooking it. No flavour loss and easy to do!

The potato flowers are great fun for kids of all ages to put together!

Potato Flowers

Had some fun making these and they were even a hit
to the two little darlings who don’t care for Stove Top Stuffing Mix.

The potatoes were sliced about 1/4 inch thick, laid out in the pattern of a flower on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (for ease of removal and clean up).

Next, sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper, minced onion, then grated cheese (your choice – we used extra old white cheddar, but I’m thinking Pepper Jack cheese would be really yummy!)

For a yummy crust, I sprinkled it with leftover Stove Top Stuffing Mix, but cracker crumbs or seasoned bread crumbs (finely chopped) would work too.

After cooking, add a sprinkling of fresh chives from the garden, or finely minced green onion tops.

Roasted Asparagus
Recipe Copyright 2005 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
Asparagus:1 pound medium asparagus
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Sauce:1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Spread the spears in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roll to coat thoroughly. Roast the asparagus until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes, giving the pan a good shake about halfway through.

Hollandaise Sauce: Meanwhile, put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.

Put the butter in a small microwave proof bowl and heat in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is really thick blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water to loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.

Plating: Spread the roasted asparagus on a serving platter. Grind a generous amount of pepper over the top.

Cook’s Note: This recipe can be easily doubled. If you double the recipe, be sure to place the stems on the baking sheet so that the tips are pointed toward the center, and the bottoms are pointed out, toward the edges of the pan. Since the tips are thinner than the stems, they tend to cook faster. However, when roasting, items at the edges of the pan cooked more quickly than those in the center. Taking the time to lace them this way helps the asparagus cook evenly.



Beef Burgers with Salad

Tips: Use fresh bread for your breadcrumbs. Chop roughly, then crumble into meat by rubbing between the palm of your hands so the bread is crumbs, not chunks. I like to use whole wheat and ½ slice per pound of meat. Use 1 egg per pound as your binding agent. Seasoning is whatever suits your fancy! I personally love cumin, coriander, onion and garlic powder, and salt & pepper. However, simple is often the nicest: garlic & onion powder with salt & pepper. I usually add about a ¼ cup of finely minced onion per pound and even a couple tablespoons of sauerkraut per pound too. Finely chopped spicy banana pepper rings, or some other pepper can be a mouth watering addition too! Use your imagination! Ground beef is so versatile! All this works great for meatloaf too. Have fun experimenting!



Star of the Week:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Angela’s Brocarkraut Slaw & Salad

We had this for supper on Wednesday, but also for lunch on Thursday. Served on white crusty buns on Wed., and sourdough bread on Thursday. The Slaw was perfected on Thursday. It was so yummy! For the pulled pork, we had to use a mix of on-hand BBQ sauces, but the overall flavour was apple, and one of the ingredients was the listed PC brand Apple Butter BBQ Sauce.

The name “Brocarkraut” is a mix of the slaw’s main ingredients: broccoli, carrots & sauerkraut, and all agreed that is was fantastic!

Besides tasting incredible, the best part of this dish is how easy it is to make! The meat can be prepped the night before with the dry rub, then placed in the slow cooker mid-morning to be ready for supper.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

2-3 lbs Pork Loin
Basic Dry Rub
Apple Butter BBQ sauce (President’s Choice is quite good)

Place seasoned pork loin (dry rub recipe is below) in slow cooker and cover meat completely with BBQ sauce. Finish with meat fat side up.

Turn on high and cook 4-8 hours, adding more BBQ sauce to keep meat moist.

Once the meat pulls apart easily with a fork (fork tender), pull the loin completely apart using 1 or 2 forks. Do this in the slow cooker as the meat will blend back in with the wonderful cooking juices! Add more BBQ sauce if needed to make the meat thoroughly moist, but to your liking. If it cools down too much and you want to serve right away, put it in a pot on the stove and heat through. If you won’t be serving for a bit yet, put the cover back on the slow cooker and let it finish heating through. A half hour should do it.

Once the pork is to your liking, put on bread of your choice (sour dough is soooo yummy!) along with some homemade slaw and enjoy!

Basic Dry Rub

– Courtesy Alex Garcia, foodTV network (minus the fennel – as my husband doesn’t care for it)

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2 bay leaves


Combine all ingredients except the tenderloin and grind in a spice grinder. Cover the tenderloin with the rub and marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.

Angela’s Brocarkraut Slaw

2 medium size carrots, peeled and shredded – about 2 cups shredded
1/2 to 1 cup peeled & shredded broccoli stems
1/2 to 1 cup sauerkraut
4-6 banana pepper rings – minced (to taste – we buy the big jar at Costco) – can be omitted
1/2 to 3/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. Grainy mustard

The sauerkraut and banana peppers are placed on paper towel and patted to remove a lot of the moisture, as I like to use apple cider vinegar with pork, and I want that flavour to come through rather than the original pickling liquid.

Mix all the ingredients together, preferably to let sit overnight for the flavours to develop. Excellent on pork or beef, but have not tried it on chicken.



Rescued Flop of the Week:
Shredded Steak Tacos

This is labelled as “Flop of the Week” as my husband, who LOVES ground beef tacos and will eat 4 to 6 of them, did not like the texture of  the shredded steak. The darling wouldn’t say anything though, till I pressed him on it. He disliked it so much he actually “forced” 2 tacos down, and stopped. However, he did say that the flavour was really good, just not the texture. So, this might not be a flop for some people, but if my husband doesn’t like it, it doesn’t get made again – at least not when he’s at home to eat it. I will put in his honest comments later. Our girls  will get a good laugh out of it as they will be able to imagine their father saying it.

The Rescue: Leftovers were still used and thoroughly enjoyed as taco flavoured beef sandwiches with the Brocarkraut Slaw, so it wasn’t a total flop!

Sirloin tip steak

2 – 28 oz / 796ml cans of diced tomatoes
1 – 12 oz can of tomato paste
Taco seasoning

Coat steak in Taco seasoning and place in slow cooker. Cook on high 4-6 hours, or until meat is so tender it pulls apart easily with a fork.


Linguine with Tomato & Meat Sauce

This was an easy one as it was left over sauce taken from the freezer. Top it off with home-made garlic bread or salad for a full meal!


Roast Beef, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower with Roasted Asparagus

"She… worketh willingly with her hands." Proverbs 31:13