Patience is key, young grasshopper

I pinned this recipe a year ago… ONE WHOLE YEAR! My intentions were to make it for St. Patty’s Day (last year) and clearly I never got to it.  This year I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity.  Don’t cringe at the thought of corned beef and cabbage egg rolls, I know it sounds strange but it was really good – mind over matter, people.

Instead of doing the usual slow cooker corned beef over cabbage, which there is nothing wrong with … but since I’m on this cooking adventure I just had to try these egg rolls.  We opted to bake instead of fry – a great step to a healthier alternative.

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I cooked the beef on Sunday in my slow cooker while we took a day trip to the San Marcos Outlets, Cabela’s, and Salt Lick – which has THE BEST pork ribs. Anyway, back to our holiday dinner. Prep the meat a day beforehand, you won’t be rushing around the day of! The day of: sauté thinly sliced cabbage and onions; boil potatoes (to turn into mashed p’s) … that’s it! I used the leftover egg roll stuffing to make “sides” – nothing goes to waste in this house! Egg rolls are really easy to make and then a 1000 Island dipping sauce, yum! Think of it – a reuben uses 1000 Island so why not for these?  Some of the egg rolls were: beef/cabbage/cheese and beef/cabbage/mashed p’s/cheese. LIGHT spray the wrappers with cooking spray, put in the oven at 400 for 20-ish minutes (or until the wrappers turn golden brown). Remember, everything is cooked already – you’re just crisping the rolls. I had leftovers for lunch yesterday and dipped them in ketchup. I love ketchup, like really love ketchup. It was our wedding favor after all!
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So I know I said I’d be visiting our favorite dishes from here on out but I have to brag about this one because it was the best version to date.  Cheeseburger Pie – which is Josh’s request 100% of the time when I ask what he wants.  We kept having issues with the “crust” so I looked on the interwebs and found a Betty Crocker version; other than Martha, this is a woman I can trust when it comes to fixing disaster recipes.  I had definitely been using too much Bisquick mix.  Also, I added mushrooms, onions, and hamburger seasoning (thank you Bolner’s), oh and topped the “casserole” wish shredded swiss cheese before pouring the mix – cook that baby at 400 for 25 min. BEST CHEESEBURGER PIE SO FAR! I’ve been making it for 4 years now – it just goes to show that recipes take time to perfect.

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Use an actual pie dish for the perfect portions.

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This week’s line up in no particular order:* copy cat Panera broccoli and cheese soup with pork chops (covered in caramelized onions) – I’ll let you know how the soup turns out
* spaghetti and pork/quinoa meatballs
* chicken cordon bleu pizza (using a Bisquick crust) – new recipe, I will blog about it
* grape tomato/shallots with ravioli + salad
* Shakshuka over rice + bread for dipping (Friday/our Lenten meal)

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I have not abandoned you…

My daily routine has been nothing close to normal which explains why I have been scarce on posting.  I have however made some pretty tasty meals (and 1 near disaster, lol).  Here’s a peek at the last 2 weeks, I’ll include recipe links under each photo description. After the holidays my goal is to be back blogging 2x each week, with better updates of our diabetic eating adventures and life changes to being healthier.

IMG_4608   Good ol’ Martha is back at it … baked shells with winter squash

Of course I couldn’t find winter squash puree like the recipe calls (hunted 4 stores) for so I had to put some elbow grease into this dish and dice up my own squash. What a pain. I thought to myself “I am not making any more recipes that call for squash”… peeling and dicing it took FOREVER.  I used the amounts in Martha’s recipe and ended up with enough for 2 fairly large casserole dishes. That was actually okay because I now have a fridge that can hold leftovers. Delish, filling, seasonal, comfort food, hearty, vegetarian … I’d absolutely make this again!

IMG_4631 Ain’t nothin’ wrong with buying dinners prepared by your local grocery store.  Now that we live near a fancy ‘HEB Plus’ we have a lot more to choose from. The seafood counter is 10x better than our previous HEB.  Josh requested seafood burgers and I added Maryland style crab cakes plus vegetable couscous.  If I recall those were bruschetta salmon burgers – O.M.G.  Everything you’d find in bruschetta (tomato and basil) + salmon.  The vegetable couscous was made by yours truly from a diabetic cook book – pick your favorite veggies and add them to couscous. It couldn’t be easier.  I’ll be buying crab cakes from the store again too; being from the East Coast I was satisfied with what Texas had to offer as their version of “Maryland style” crab cakes.

IMG_4632  Again, store bought pre-marinated beef kabobs.  Yeah I was a bit lazy that week. Actually, no I wasn’t! I decorated our house for Christmas, had a dress rehearsal at my school, had 1 studio recital, finished unpacking our last 5 boxes … and purchased a living room. I wasn’t lazy. So, kabobs + leftover veggie couscous. Easy dinner!

IMG_4660 This is my happiest meal yet … I made it on Wednesday with Josh’s help. I had him home for 3 dinners this week; I am one lucky wife 🙂 His sister had actually pinned a similar recipe but when I clicked on the photo that annoying alert came up “this link might contain nudity”. What? A picture of a chicken breast? Haha. Anyway, the link was removed so I just Googled “mini chicken pot pies” and found this little gem!  From start to finish, dinner was ready in 35 minutes.  I purchased chicken tenders for easier prep and a can of peas/carrots. These would be so cute for a pot luck, they fit in your hand and are not messy! Once they cooled you could pick them up to eat, no fork needed.

IMG_4673  Yeah, remember that whole “I’m not making any more butternut squash recipes” comment? HA! After going a few times to Panera and having their Autumn Squash Soup I insisted on trying to make my own. Round 1: blah. Round 2: I won! I purchased 2 large squash which made enough soup for an entire week. Again, my fridge holds plenty of leftovers 🙂 thankfully that gave me an opportunity to improve the flavor.  Sadly, round 1 was a Marta recipe … I don’t know what she was thinking but it had ZERO flavor.  I then searched for a copy of Panera’s version – there are quite a few bloggers out there that devote their time to copying restaurant favorites and posting the outcomes.  So round 2 was thanks to this chica;  well sort of. I added honey, cinnamon, and curry that she suggested – I already had a decent base so didn’t feel the need to add milk/cream or apples. WOW what a huge difference those spices made and holy cow it was sooooo freaking good. I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance around my (huge) kitchen.  If you want a creamy base then add cream or milk, but those are diabetic no-no’s and I don’t feel my taste buds missed it.

IMG_4674 Ah, a classic…stuffed pork chops.  I might have blogged about these already but whatever. Blue cheese and cranberry stuffed pork chops. Easy. Done and done. You can stuff a pork chop with anything!

I do have other meals that I made but WordPress doesn’t like video files I guess … or at least won’t allow them on a free site. Oh well, I shall describe them!
1) vegetable tostadas which turned in to vegetable tacos, lol. Saute zucchini, mushrooms, and scallions – layer that on a tortilla and top with feta cheese and your favorite salsa. Super simple yet a incredibly filling dish. I added chorizo and queso fresco stuffed jalapenos as a side. Yes, Martha’s tostada recipe calls for the veggies being grilled … well an “arctic blast” came through Texas and it seemed silly to start up the grill. The stove worked out just fine.
2) curry chicken. Martha, you redeemed yourself from that bland soup. A year ago I would have turned my nose to curry but I wanted to test it out in my own kitchen to see if I’d like it, I’ve heard good things about “curried” foods. Oh man, it was so tasty and not really all that spicy – that was my biggest fear. I used a lot of curry, in my opinion and Josh said he could taste all of the flavors, we both loved it!  I cooked up some brown rice and stirred it in the pot of chicken curry, let everything sit for a few so the rice could absorb all of that yummy-ness.

I think that’s it… my last 2 weeks.

This week: chicken bombs + baked beans and a salad; gouda/spinach stuffed pork chops + green beans and mashed p’s; standard spaghetti + garlic knots; steaks + sweet potatoes and a salad.

Have you started thinking about the week of Christmas? I HAVE, I HAVE! My family is coming!!!!!!!!! Time to show them my new found love for cooking.  Of course we’ll be hitting up a few restaurants but what is planned: chicken marsala + garlic mashed p’s; lasagna roll ups + pork/quinoa meatballs; and for Christmas DRUM ROLL >> SURF & TURF! Salmon filets, crab cakes, scallops, beef tenderloin and a few veggie sides.  LOVE IT!

OH! MY NEAR DISASTER MEAL! I found this pork tenderloin marinade and let’s just say I won’t be making it again. Blah flavors. Honey, lime juice, and garlic.  No more needs to be said about that meal.

Feel free to follow me on instagram MRSDLH50 … my pot pies were “liked” by TLTFOOD – season 2 winners of the food truck race on the food channel. HOW COOL!!! HA!

useless sous chefs

useless sous chefs

Sous Chef Ella – on the couch.
– she approves of everything I throw away

Sous Chef Geno – on the blue blanket
– he sits ON my feet, we need to work on his begging skills

Sous Chef McLane – in Ella’s pink bed
– he’s not the brightest most of the time, but he keeps watch on all kitchen activities from his castle (under the dining room table)