Tag Archives: sandwiches

Spicy Beef for Sandwiches

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We need to budget better. This summer has been awesome and we have had extra money to play with, which has funded many an adventure across the PNW with the kids. But school is starting soon, summer is winding down, and we need to start budgeting for a wedding and buying a house. And maybe a baby. You know? Grown up stuff. So, with that being said, Henry suggested I find an online meal planner to help with meals and grocery lists. I settled with SayMmm.  

It’s been fun so far to track recipes and plan weeks ahead what I’m going to make for us. Eating out is my down fall, and I am hopeful that I will be able to cook more, which I love to do anyway, and keep on track. Here is one of the first recipes from my meal planning.  Throw it all together in a crock pot; it’s done when it’s falling apart. I buttered rolls and added muenster cheese and horseradish to our sandwiches at the very end.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound roast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pasilla pepper, sliced
  • 1 packet of onion soup mix
  • several cups of water
  • basil
  • pepper
  • 5 pepperoncinis and some of their juice
  • two handfuls of cherry tomatoes

P.S. I was a little bit afraid to use the crock pot again after leaving it on for a long weekend while we were in Sisters. Here’s the carnage:

crockpot

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Dinner Breakfast Sandwiches (made with love)

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Sometimes the kids are good eaters. Sometimes they are dubious. When I first started making meals for these little people, I had to really sell my food. One night, I made pork chops or something, way back when Henry and I were first dating. “Is this chicken?” one of the kids asked. “Nope. It’s pork.”
“What’s pork?”

Henry, whispered: “Say it’s chicken.”

Jenn: “It’s chicken. And I made it with love.”

From then on, for every single meal I’ve made for them, they always ask if I’ve made it with love. One time, I made chili and put in a can of diced tomatoes. Like clockwork, the oldest asked, “Jenn, did you make this with love?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“Are these pieces of your heart?” She was, of course, referring to the chunks of tomato in her chili. And she doesn’t like tomatoes.

“Yes,” I said confidently.

Henry cut me a look that said: Did you really just tell her she’s eating your heart?

I grinned and she took a bite.

We’re a weird bunch.

Tonight I made breakfast sandwiches with canned biscuits, homemade sausage, muenster cheese, and eggs.

They were cute, filling, and made with lots of love.

Sausage recipe:

  • 1.5 pounds of ground pork
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh sage (minced finely)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (minced finely)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (minced finely)
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes

Mix thoroughly. Form into small patties for sandwiches. Fry. Or use to make sausage gravy with those biscuits. Do whatever. It’s good.

(Adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe)

sandwich sausage

Sunday Morning Menu Planning

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Sunday: 

  • Lunch:   Out.  I think we will take a long walk this afternoon and eat wherever we end up. 
  • Dinner:  Tacos.  Market of Choice has some ground beef on sale right now.   It wasn’t on sale, but I bought some anyway. 

Monday: 

  • Lunch: Soup and/or sandwich
  • Dinner: Leftovers

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

  • Lunch: Hummus, crackers, veg
  • Dinner: Breakfast

Thursday:

  • Lunch: TJ’s convenience lunch
  • Dinner: Out (payday!)

Friday:

  • Lunch: Out
  • Dinner: Wing it
I’ve decided to micromanage my week’s meals a bit more than usual.  What I usually do is make a list of a few dishes on the weekend, cook them, and divvy them up for lunches and dinners and call it good.  The problem I still run into, however, is the temptation to eat out, even when we cannot afford it–even when we have leftovers.  I am so tired when I get home–too tired to cook and leftovers just don’t sound good on some nights.  So, I’d like to start choosing some quick and easy meals that I can cook in minutes on weeknights so that I don’t have any excuses to eat out.

Sunday Menu Planning

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I am feeling completely uninspired on the cooking front these past couple days.  I think this whole week has been uninspired.  I spent my whole vacation waiting for my vacation to happen–and now, here I am: Saturday afternoon.  I need to do chores, cook for the week, and do some lesson planning before school starts on Monday.  Break is, effectively, over.

The recipes I’ve decided to make this week come from, easily, one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This trio of Indian recipes looks really good.  The first recipe is a sour cabbage salad that highlights lemon juice and whole mustard seeds.  I’ve never bought or used mustard in its seed form, but it was cheap at my local supermarket, so I definitely won’t shy from it if it comes up again in recipes.  The next is a simple, yellow daal–and if you recall, I need to use up my grains and legumes, so this recipe looks perfect for that purpose.  Finally, I’ll make a black-eyed pea curry.  I’m looking forward to moving towards a more vegetarian diet again, and I think these three recipes will be a good transition back into meat free meals.

I also plan to make this bean salad, which is used as a sandwich filling.  I think I’ll use a different type of beans instead of garbanzo beans, though, in this recipe.  Garbanzo beans tend to taste like wet dog to me.

P.S. I bought some kimchi from a local Asian foods market in Eugene.  I think they make it on-site. I’ve never had it before.  I’m pretty excited.

Too Busy to Blog (Sunday Menu/Interesting Food Links, News, and Recipes)

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I haven’t had a weekend cooking marathon in about a month.  Instead, we have been eating lots of sandwiches.  And burgers from Wendy’s (still need to explain about my lapse in vegetarianism).

Tonight, I will cook, I think.  I found a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Closet Cooking.  Every recipe this blogger makes speaks to me.  One of my favorite features of this blog is the blogger’s tendency to use one special ingredient in several different ways throughout the week.  Kimchi, for example, was one of his recipes and then many of the following recipes were fusion-type recipes that used kimchi in super creative ways.

There are many more and it’s fun to watch the wheels turn in this blogger’s mind as he tries to repurpose bold ingredients.

When he was on a peanut sauce kick, we saw gems such as:

His fusion recipes are fun, but he also makes a wide range of authentic dishes from different countries as well.  So for every riff on a quesadilla he creates, he also has a recipe someone’s grandma would cook in that given country.

So, tonight I will make his latest recipe:  Tuna and Caper Tomato Pasta.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

In other news, here are the best food links of the week:

The First Meal I Cooked for My Husband or Damn You, Rachel Ray!

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My ex-husband and I met when we were in college in Cheney, Washington.  We dated for two weeks and were married a short five months later.  It was ridiculous, romantic, and dizzying.

I was living in the dorms when we met.  A foodie, even in a dorm living situation, I had a full set of knives, pots, pans, and utensils that I pulled down from my bookshelves on a regular basis to cook for friends.  I invited my future husband to eat a dorm-cooked meal with me and my roommate soon after we started dating.

The only thing I knew about his taste in food was that he loaded everything with hot sauce.  Everything.  Drowned. Drenched. Buried. Flooded.  Soaked.

So, with this limited information, I scoured the Internet for recipes.  At that time, I was a huge Rachel Ray fan.  30 Minute Meals, 40 Dollars a Day…I was addicted to her cutesy food nicknames and the way she talked to her food as she cooked.  “Get into the hot-tub (what she calls her pots or pans), kids!” she’d shriek to her chorizo.  Naturally, her website was the first one I went to and this is what I cooked:  Smoky Orange BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

 

The recipe is simple enough: Grill some chicken breasts and make the smoky orange bbq sauce.

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers (smoky hot peppers) in adobo sauce, found in cans in Mexican foods section
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Basically, all you do is sauté the onion, put the other ingredients into a blender, blend, pour liquid into the pan with the onion, simmer, and reduce.

Now, I’m not one for following directions exactly.  And at this point in my culinary experience, I had never cooked with chipotle peppers before.  Instead of three chipotle peppers, I probably added five.  Or the whole can.  I don’t remember.

I finished the sauce, cooked the chicken breasts, put the sandwiches together, and plated them up for the roommate and the future-mate.  The roommate was a picky (read: weird) eater, anyway.  She used to eat meals that consisted of white rice with sugar on half and soy sauce on the other.  I didn’t expect her to love Rachel’s sandwich.  But I fully expected the boyfriend to love them.  (Especially because I didn’t realize that I turned the sauce into citrus-y, liquid fire.)

He loved them.

With tears streaming down his face, with me quietly cursing the Scoville units under my breath (I told him I could cook! Look at him; he’s weeping!), he ate the entire sandwich and then finished my roommate’s.

He said he loved it.  Still says he loved it.