Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken {or Tuna} Noodle Salad

There is one point on which my husband and I do not agree (okay, so there's a couple, but really, not very many!). 


He hates it. I enjoy it. 

I grew up on tuna- my mom LOVES it! She eats it almost every day, on crackers, on sandwiches, in salads...her mom also loves it, so I guess it's hereditary. 

However, even though my husband grew up eating tuna casserole (and I did not...hmmm...maybe we've got something there), he does NOT like tuna. So, like a good wife (haha) I do not force him to eat it. 

However, this summer I've had a craving for my mom's tuna noodle salad. The perfect summer meal, it doesn't require an oven, requires minimal preparation and uses simple ingredients you probably already have. The only point my mom and I disagree on is the temperature. She likes to serve it while the noodles are still warm- I like to make it ahead of time so it will be chilled. 

Anyhow, back to the problem. Tuna. I decided to make a compromise. I'd make the salad, but substitute canned chicken for the tuna! Hardly anybody can tell the difference between chicken salad and tuna salad anyway, so why not? Hubby will be happy not to have to eat tuna and smell that fishy smell in the house and I can have my salad. :) Yum!

Chicken (or Tuna) Noodle Salad
serves 4-6

1 pkg. spiral noodles (or shape of your choice)
1 large can of chicken (or tuna), drained
about 1/2 cup chopped celery
about 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise, or more to taste
2 TB mustard, or more to taste
salt and pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large serving bowl.
Add remaining ingredients to noodles and mix thoroughly to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, cover and chill.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spiraled Squash and Potato Bake

Don't you just love yummy beautiful food? Some foods taste delicious and look awful, and sometimes foods don't live up to their looks in the taste department. This pretty dish, however, is a winner on both counts. It looks lovely, veggies curled in a lovely spiral, and tastes fabulous as well.

The idea for this side dish has been floating around Pinterest for awhile, and I think it's actually called a "tian" or something like that, and includes tomatoes. I used golden potatoes, zucchini, and yellow crook neck squash in my version, but I have a feeling experiments involving summer squash, sweet potatoes, red potatoes and/or tomatoes, would be awesome!

Spiraled Squash and Potato Bake
serves about 4 as a side

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a med. yellow onion, diced
about 2 golden potatoes, sliced thin
about 1 med. zucchini, sliced
about 1 yellow squash, sliced
shredded Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over med. heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until fragrant and transparent, a few minutes.
Lightly grease a pie pan or other round dish. Spread onion and garlic mixture on bottom of pan.
Arrange vegetables in pan, layering in a fairly tight spiral, alternating potatoes and squash. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, and cover with foil. Bake about 35 min.
Remove foil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake another 25-30 min. or until browned and potatoes are tender.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meals for a Month {Aug-Sept}

I can hardly believe that by the next time I write a menu, it will be almost FALL! The summers just speed by the older we get, don't they? I for one have thoroughly enjoyed the long, warm days and all the beautiful little delights (I refer you to my last menu post!). And I plan on squeezing every memorable moment out of the last days of sparkling sunshine that we get! When you live in a place that can have snow on the ground 6 months or more out of the year, you learn to appreciate summer!! This menu is a little disjointed because we have several events breaking things up...this week is Pend Oreille County fair week and since the church has a booth, our meals will be a mix of fair food (hopefully only once) and quick portable or cold things I can take with us. The following week, we'll be visiting my parents in Oregon for a few days- my grandparents are home from Africa for the summer and visiting my folks. I haven't seen them in 2 years, so I'm really excited about that! When we get home, we have a two day mini conference for our mission organization at a nearby camp! Whew! It's going to be a busy next few weeks, and it all starts today! I'm just going to take a deep breath and hope I'm ready for it! :) Hope you have had a beautiful summer!

Week 1 (Aug. 14-18)

Entree: Double Bean Burgers with Avocado Cream
Side: Watermelon and Chips
Side: Fruit

Entree: Chicken Noodle Salad
Side: Grapes?
Fair Food
Entree: Sloppy Joes
Side: Chips

Week 2 (Aug. 21-25)

Side: Garlic Bread

Gone to OR

Week 3 (Aug. 28-Sept. 1)

Mini Conference
Side: Rolls

Side: Fresh fruit and veggies
Entree: Pork n' Penne
Source: Taste of Home Cookbook

Week 4 (Sept. 4-8)

Entree: Chicken Orzo Skillet
Source: Taste of Home Cookbook
Entree: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
Entree: Country BBQ Chicken
Side: Red Potatoes
Source: Taste of Home Cookbook
Entree: Pizza
Side: Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Entree: Turkey Burgers

I also would really like to try some different frozen desserts this month- I got a gelato cookbook from the library and I am intrigued to try something like that!

Monday, August 13, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Are you ready for a KitchenJoy original pizza??

If you can use Thai peanut sauce, strawberry jam, and refried beans in place of traditional pizza sauce (not all together, of course!), I thought, then why not barbecue sauce??! I have seen it done before and it always sounded good, so I decided to give it a try.

I baked some chicken with a special Dean's BBQ seasoning, shredded it, added some scallions, tomatoes, and garlic (oh, and don't forget CHEESE), and there you have it! A fantastic and different pizza to shake up the old routine. Yum!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
a KitchenJoy original recipe
makes 1 pizza

1 recipe pizza dough
about 1/3 to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's!)
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded, seasoned to your liking
shredded cheese (enough to cover- your favorite variety!)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
grape tomatoes, sliced

Prepare dough as directed. Preheat oven to 500.
Spread crust evenly with BBQ sauce. Top with chicken, followed by cheese, scallions, garlic and tomatoes.
Bake 10-12 min. or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Cool slightly, then slice and serve! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Is your garden overflowing with summer squash yet? We didn't plant any this year, but I have bought some zucchini at the store and find myself wishing we had! Zucchini is such a wonderful vegetable and can be used in a variety of ways- it soaks up flavor so well! The latest way I tried zucchini was to put in rice!

Grated into thin strips, the squash practically melts into the rice, and combined with cheese and flavored with broth, this perfect summer side bears a strong resemblance to creamy risotto. It is also an eye-pleaser, being a delightfully bright green!

Cheesy Zucchini Rice
adapted slightly from Buns in My Oven
serves about 4

1/2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 TB butter
1 med. zucchini, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
splash of milk, if desired

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over med. heat. Add rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice, stirring often, until it just begins to turn golden.
Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15-20 min or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat and add butter, zucchini, cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Cover and let sit 5 min.
Stir again and add milk if desired.
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