Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's gonna be a good eating week!

With the change in the weather comes a change in my cravings. I find myself drooling over salads and lighter fare, and shelving the soup and casserole recipes of winter. Let this week's menu entice you to dust off that patio furniture, refill the gas tank in the grill, and dine al fresco!

Sunday: hamburgers with homemade buns, marinated tomato salad (see last week's post for recipe), fruit salad, and roasted potato wedges

Monday: OUT to eat

Tuesday: Carne Asada wraps, spanish rice (such as lipton) make extra meat and peppers for a later meal

Wednesday: Shrimp Risotto with Arugula and Toasted Garlic, crusty french bread

Thursday: Carne Asada Nachos

Leftover meat and veggies from Carne Asada Wraps
1/2 bag tortilla chips
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups preshredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
1 med. tomato, diced
1 bag Shreds
1 c. sour cream
1 small can sliced black olives
jalepenos, optional

Heat leftover meat and veggies in microwave for about a minute. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with cooked, leftover Carne Asada meat and vegetables. Top with cheddar or mexican-blend cheese. Sprinkle black beans over cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until meat is hot and cheese is melted.

Top heated nachos with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Dot with sour cream. Sprinkle olives over the top. Serve outside, if desired.

Friday: Oriental Chicken Salad

1 lb chicken, grilled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 bag coleslaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
2/3 C. Newman's Own Light Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
1 C. crisp chow mein noodles

In a large bowl, combine chicken, coleslaw mix and green onions. Drizzle dressing over salad mix and toss to coat. Divide chicken salad onto 4 plates, top with oranges and noodles.

Saturday: Pizza Night! Grilled Pizza, spring salad, grilled garlic bread:

Cooking pizza on the grill is easy and delicious. It's one of our favorite outdoor meals.

First, decide what kind of pizza you like. My personal grilled favorite is pepperoni, roasted red bell peppers, and asiago. Next, prepare the dough. I've never tried this with refrigerated pizza dough, like Pillsbury, but I'm sure it would work. Another convenience dough that would work is frozen bread dough, thawed. I prefer homemade because it's easy and tasty, and I can control the consistency to my liking. I can also alter the flavor if I want an herbed dough or garlic dough or something along those lines.

Homemade dough:
Pizza Dough
1 1/3 c water (tepid)
1/4 c. olive oil

3 1/2 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt

2 t SAF yeast or 2 1/2 t. bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in mixer bowl, liquids first, yeast last. Mix with dough hook on 1 or 2 for 10 minutes or until dough ball is tacky to touch but doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Spray dough ball and inside of bowl with cooking spray, turn to coat all sides of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in warm, draft free place to rise 40 min.

freeze dough ball, or shape dough and make pizza.

makes 2 thin 12", 1 14" deep dish

Once the dough is ready, or while it is on the last 10 minutes of its second rise, preheat the grill on high. Prepare your pizza ingredients and tools on a tray:

1/2 cup olive oil and a pastry brush
1 jar pasta sauce, or 2 cups homemade (I prefer pasta sauce to pizza sauce as it has more flavor), large spoon
1 C. roasted red peppers
1/2 c. pepperoni
2 cups (or more or less depending on your preference) mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded asiago (or parmesan)
Pizza Peel (not required but it sure makes the process easier)

I prefer to roll out my dough inside, then bring it out, but you can roll it out outside too, on a cookie sheet.

Reduce grill heat to med-high. Brush one side of a pizza round with olive oil. Carefully place the dough, oil-side down, directly on the hot rack, avoiding known hotspots. Close the grill for 3-5 minutes. If you don't know your grill, you will want to peek at the dough often to make sure no spots are charring. A little black is good, but you don't want to eat coal. When the dough is brown, brush the top with olive oil. Using your pizza peel, flip your pizza. While the bottom side is cooking, arrange your toppings, sauce first, then mozzarella, meat and veggies, and finally asiago. Close the grill another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Using your peel, remove from grill. Let stand 5 minutes, then cut and serve. I usually have to do two pizzas, so I cook them one at a time.

If you're making grilled garlic bread too, thickly slice a loaf of fresh french bread, homemade or otherwise. Butter each side, lightly, and sprinkle with garlic powder and dried italian herbs, if desired. Place on top rack of grill while pizza is cooking. Check frequently, when bottom is browned, turn over. When both sides are browned, remove from heat and keep warm.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Have I Been?

A long hiatus from Dinner Diva! We have been eating, I promise, and I've even been planning and cooking. I just haven't been blogging. Speaking of eating, I have 47 pounds of Easter Candy to give away before I turn it into 97 pounds of excess Diva. Any takers?

Sunday: Grilled Steaks, Marinated Tomato Salad, Roasted Potato Wedges, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Marinated Tomato Salad:

3 Cups tomatoes (yellow and red cherry work best)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 english cucumber, diced

1 C. Olive Oil Vinaigrette (any brand)

3 T. feta cheese

Mix tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with the vinaigrette. Marinade several hours in refrigerator. When ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Monday: Sweet Orange Salmon, Garlic-Roasted Asparagus, Brown Rice Pilaf

Tuesday: Flank Steak and Asparagus Stir Fry, rice

Wednesday: leftovers or frozen entree from meal swap

Thursday: Chicken Nuggets, Steamed Corn

Friday: Spaghetti, bread, salad

Saturday: Pizza Night