Saturday, October 15, 2016

Week 340 Menu

Sunday: Husband cooks Blue Apron meal (roasted chicken & maple sweet potatoes)
Monday: Lentil chili in slow cooker
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner burritos
Wednesday: Baked pasta (with leftover chili)
Thursday: Blue Apron, Part Deux
Friday: Daughter's birthday....her choice
Saturday: Out

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week 339 Menu

Sunday: Baked mac and cheese casserole (ATK recipe) and buttered peas
Monday: Pumpkin muffins and broccoli
Tuesday: Chicken noodle soup and crusty bread
Wednesday: Burgers on the grill and green beans
Thursday: Pizzas
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Naan Bread

I love making bread. Whole wheat sandwich bread, hamburger buns, focaccia: I love to make it. Naan is great because it only takes one rise (AKA takes less time to make!). It is a GREAT accompaniment to chana masala or another Indian dish. It also makes a great flatbread pizza! But, that assumes you can keep your hands off it long enough to put toppings on it.

The bread doesn't take long to make, but I found the bottleneck is how big your griddle is to cook them up. My griddle is standard issue and can cook 2 small pieces or one large piece at a time. So, make sure you have a buddy to help you roll out the pieces or plan ahead with time if you're working alone.

Naan Bread

1 teaspoon active dry yeast 
3 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons melted salted butter, for brushing on finished naans

1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 3/4 cup warm water. Let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, flour, and salt. Set aside.

3. Add the yogurt and olive oil to yeast mixture and whisk to combine. 

4. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix the dough together with a fork. When the dough comes together, knead gently into a ball (the dough will be slightly sticky). Knead as few times as possible to form the ball.

5. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.

6. Dust your work surface with flour. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and cut into 6 equal portions, dusting with more flour as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. 

7. Warm a large cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into an oval shape about 1/8-inch thick (it should be about 9 inches x 4 inches). Pat off any excess flour.

8. Gently lay the dough in the dry skillet and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom is golden and blackened in spots, a few minutes. Flip the naan and cook about 1-2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots. Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

9. Note: To keep the cooked naans warm, place them in a 200°F oven. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag and reheat in a 350°F oven wrapped in foil.

Chana Masala

I fell in love with chana masala when we went to our local Indian restaurant in Illinois. So, I went to one of my go-to blogs for a chana masala recipe. Smitten Kitchen did not fail to deliver! I usually serve the chana masala over rice. However, in my rush making making dinner tonight, I forgot to make the rice. In a panic, I made some elbow noodles and served the chana masala over them. No harm done. It turned out great.

The spices in this recipe are a bit numerous and fussy. I made up a "chana masala" blend that I keep in my pantry. Now I use it for chana masala, quinoa, and rice pilaf when I'm in the mood for an Indian flavor. I also whipped up some naan bread while the chana masala was simmering on the stovetop (I had planned ahead for that one!). And, voila! We had the perfect meal!

Chana Masala
from Smitten Kitchen

 2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two.
3. Add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas.
4. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Week 338 Menu

Sunday: Chana masala over rice & naan
Monday: Spiralized Mexican sweet potato casserole
Tuesday: Individual pizzas
Wednesday: Zoodles & meatballs
Thursday: Meatball subs on pretzel buns
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Week 337 Menu

Sunday: Out to dinner with Babas...with birthday cake to celebrate Grandma and Shelby's birthday!
Monday - Tuesday: HAMILTON IN CHICAGO!
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast)
Thursday: Dry rub ribs in the slow cooker and sweet potato/kale saute
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Week 336 Menu

Sunday: Grilled chicken and Spiraled root vegetable casserole
Monday: Pumpkin muffins
Tuesday: Mac & cheese and green beans
Wednesday: Grilled chicken and curried quinoa salad with apples
Thursday: Baked sweet potato (in slow cooker) with BBQ sauce and blue cheese
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out