Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Salsa Shrimp Soup

I got this from Parenting magazine a few years ago. It's so easy. I have modified it. It's quick. It's also not too fiery for children if you use mild salsa.

1T Oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz. chicken broth (you can use veg.)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup salsa
1 can corn,drained
1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled
1 avacado, diced
2 T fresh chopped cilantro
2/3 cup crushed tortilla chips, lime and green onions for topping
I also like to add 1/2 to 1 cup cooked rice

Saute garlic, onion, shrimp in oil. Add all ingredients thru cilantro (including rice if you want). Top with chips, & avacado.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

breakfast & lunch ideas

Tired of cereal? Bored with sandwiches? Here's a list of ideas for breakfasts and lunches for children. Does anyone else have ideas? Please post.

1. Happy english muffins (toast english muffins, mix cream cheese with dried fruit bits and nuts -like sunflower seeds or pecans, spread on muffins) (nuts-older children only)
2.Oatmeal with various toppings for kids to choose
3.Sister Schuberts yeast rolls with sausages (yeah-and try not to eat them all yourself!)
4.Pancakes/waffles and various toppings (these can be made in large batches on the weekend and frozen to use as needed during the week)
5.Toast with peanut butter and banana
6. Quiches (All you need is pie crust, six eggs, 1cup milk for basic recipe-add anything else you want. I let mine cook in the oven with the dinner the night before and just microwave the next morning. We like melon on the side)
7. Mini quiches without crust (use muffin tin and let the children put in what they like-cheese, ham, etc.
8. muffins-make ahead and freeze

1. Pizza dogs (slice open hotdog buns, and hotdogs lengthwise, top with ketchup, shredded cheese, onion etc.)
2. cheese toast strips with marinara sauce for dipping
3. party tray with cheese cubes, crackers, lunch meat, grapes, avacado slices, veggies & dip etc
4. spaghetti squash with pesto or marinara (just cut squash in half and get out seeds with a spoon, cook in oven until tender -maybe 45min-1hr-then scrape out spaghetti-like strands with a fork & top with sauce-we never have leftovers!)
5. edamame as a snack or part of a meal (these are in freezer section, quick to prepare, and my kids love to pop them out of their shells into their mouthes-yummy!)
6. tomato soup with toppings (you remember the commercial-"Campbell's tomato soup-possibilities!" -its true. We like goldfish crackers, parmesan cheese... you can also put in a can of veg-all for a quick vegetable soup)
7. jazzed up turkey sandwich (i've let my kids put a little jelly on their turkey sandwich instead of mayo-it's remniscent of turkey with cranberry sauce)
8. english muffins with crab and cheese (use jar of "old english cheese spread by kraft"-heat imitation crab meat and jar of cheese in small saucepan and place on toasted english muffin-for adults, I add sauted celery, mushrooms, and onions)
7. quesadillas (tortillas, cheese, canned corn, and leftover ham is popular at my house. just construct like a sandwich then zap in microwave 30-45 seconds and cut with a pizza cutter)
8. little chefs salads (iceberg lettuce, raw veggies, cheese, ham or turkey or bacon, avacado, saltine crackers and ranch or honey-mustard dressing)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

I just made this last night and it was a hit. Very moist, easy and delicious. I made it with a side of couscous.

4-6 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
1 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespooons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
4 ounces goat cheese or feta, crumbled

preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Prepare 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil to measure about 12 by 15-inches. Fold in half crosswise to crease, then unfold. Divide the spinach among the 4 foil sheets, placing it in the center of the bottom half.

Lightly coat both sides of each chicken breast with oil, then season with the Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Place one chicken fillet in the center of each spinach portion.

In a medium bowl, combine the onions, tomatoes, olives, garlic, wine, basil, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and stir to combine. Pile the tomato mixture on top of each chicken breast, spreading to cover evenly and allow any liquid to puddle around the chicken. Top each portion with 1 ounce of cheese.

One at a time, fold the top of the foil over the chicken, and starting at the corner, fold the edges of foil over to tightly seal, each fold overlapping the previous one. Place on the grill, or if using the oven, place the packets on a baking sheet and bake until the packages puff and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cut the tops of the packets open with a small, sharp knife. Serve immediately either in the foil packets, or by removing the chicken, toppings and sauce to dinner plates.

This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse. I changed only a few things.
Episode#: EM1E44Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved