Monday, February 8, 2010

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 2/7 and 2/14

Well, this week and next I'm going to be blissfully absent from my own kitchen. Not that I mind cooking, you know I don't, but it is very nice to take a break from it now and then. And it's especially nice to be taking a break from cleaning it, which I really do mind doing. But, I'm happy to prepare a menu for my faithful readers (thank you!) And, if there's anyone close by who wants to trade cooking for cleaning...well, you know where to find me. ~D.D.

Monday: Stuffed Pork Chops, steamed broccoli, crusty french bread

Stuffed Pork Chops
4 Pork Loin Chops, 1 1/4" thick
1/2 lb pork sausage (or turkey sausage)
1 C. onion, chopped
1 cup cornbread, crumbled and dried
3/4 C. shredded apple
2 t. fresh thyme, minced, or 1/4 t. dried thyme
1/3 C. apple jelly
1/3 C. apple Juice
1 1/2 T. lemon juice

Cut a slit in each chop with a sharp knife, the length of the fat side almost to the other side, but not all the way through. Refrigerate chops while preparing stuffing. Cook sausage and onion in large skillet until sausage is brown, drain well. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Return to skillet and and stir in cornbread, apple, and thyme. Spoon 2 T. of apple juice over stuffing mixture and toss to combine. Spoon 2 T. stuffing into each pork chop pocket, use toothpicks to secure stuffing in pockets. Set aside remaining stuffing. Place chops on a rack in a roasting pan. In small saucepan combine jelly and lemon juice. Cook over low heat and stir until jelly melts. Brush chops with glaze and bake, uncovered, in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. Brush chops again with glaze, and add the remaining stuffing around the chops. Return to oven for another 20 minutes.

Tuesday: Raspberry-Balsamic Glazed Chicken, Wheat Cous Cous (commercial, such as Near East), Spring Salad

Raspberry-Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Wednesday: Taco Soup, corn bread (Thanks to Joanna, one of the meal swappers, for this recipe!)

Taco Soup
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 package taco seasoning
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can ranch style or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can tomato sauce
1 can hominy
Brown hamburger and diced onion together. Drain. Add all other ingredients and simmer.

Thursday: Tilapia with Cilantro Butter, baked sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus


Friday:Broccoli and Double-Cheese Calzones, salad


Saturday: PIZZA NIGHT (of course!)

Sunday: Creamy Cajun Shrimp Linguine, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad


One of my favorite ways to make garlic bread is to make the bread from scratch first (which is super easy and only uses about 4 ingredients). If you aren't a bread baker, buy bakery-quality french bread. Slice it in half lengthwise, and spread thinly with plain fat free yogurt. (I know it doesn't sound appetizing, but take my word for it.) Dust with garlic powder--a little goes a long way. Toss a light sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan over the bread, and bake at 350 for 10 min. Then turn the broiler on for 2-3 min or until nicely browned on top. Easy, tasty, and relatively low in fat!

Monday: Hearty Beef and Potato Stew, Commercial dinner rolls


Tuesday: Kung Pao Chicken, Rice, commercial dumplings

Kung Pao Chicken

Wednesday: Spinach Salad with spiced Pork and Ginger Dressing, commercial flatbread (another one of CookingLight's Dinner Tonight features...looks great!)


Thursday: Out to Eat, Take out, or Leftovers (You know, back when we lived in Mississippi, we lived on Dover Drive. Our neighbors from another street liked to call us Leftover Dover, because we ate leftovers every few nights. They didn't. We've stayed in contact with them and I'm happy to report that they, too, now eat leftovers regularly. They admit it's a great time and money saver.)

Friday: Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy, breadsticks, salad


Saturday: Pizza Night!