Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Recipes and Leslee's Review of #36

For next week I am choosing Menu #36. It has Deep Dish Pizza, Baked Buffalo Wings, and Wedge Salad. 

I ended up making this meal last week and it was very good. I ended up cooking the Wings and Pizza on different nights because it seemed like a big undertaking for one night, but the wings were not too hard so it would have been manageable. The wedge salad was delicious. The dressing was easy to mix together although a bit strong on the blue cheese. I am not the biggest fan of blue cheese so I might not make this dressing again but I liked the salad part of the recipe.

For the pizza I followed the recipe without any changes. The dough was easy to handle so instead of rolling out each pan I just stretched the dough to fit in the cake pans. I liked cooking them this way. It made for easy clean up:) Everyone loved the pizza and Sean said it tasted similar to Pizza Hut. 

 I bought a bag of frozen wings at the store and let them thaw a bit before drying them and flouring them. I stuck the baking sheet in the freezer for just a bit before the next step. I dipped some of them in just butter for the more sensitive kids and the rest with hot sauce and butter. They turned out great. Everyone gobbled them up especially Knox! He couldn't get enough and kept asking for more. I think he enjoyed eating meat off the bone:)

Hope you guys enjoy this meal as much as we did! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rutter Kitchen- Menu #3

This was Dana's week to choose the menu, so she was excited to cook:)  We started out with the Creamy chicken Lasagna.  Dana fixed this dish and I helped with the prep work.  We followed the recipe and for the noodles we used the ready to bake noodles.  We pre-soaked them in warm water and that worked really well.  We also used rotisserie chicken for the chicken.  We decided to double the recipe so we decided to do an experiment in how we assembled the lasagna.  One dish we did how they suggested and the other we did how we usually assemble lasagna with the sauce then the noodles then the mixture.  It works better following their way ;)  It was simple to make and it baked in 45 minutes.  We all liked the dish and the leftovers are almost gone.  The cream cheese does give it a richer taste.  I would probably like it even better with ricotta or cottage cheese instead.  Next Ashley fixed the Caesar Salad Supreme.  She followed the recipe by mixing up the dressing and then set that aside till we were ready to eat, then she finished assembling it.  We did find the dressing to be a little strong, but it was fun to try.  Jacki had good suggestions with using less garlic and adding some milk to thin it out. If we make it again, we will try that.  We all fixed the Cheesy Garlic Texas Toast.  Very simple and quick to make.  I think this was the favorite recipe for most of us & that we will fix this recipe again.  All in all we thought that it was a very tasty meal :) Also, we thought that all three recipes went very well together.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jacki and Nika's Meal 3

I am visiting Nika and family so we made this menu the other night for dinner. The creamy chicken lasagna was easy to prepare thanks to the jarred spaghetti sauce. I microwaved three chicken breasts and then shredded them while still warm in the Kitchen Aid mixer. Slick! I prepared the lasagna earlier in the day and stored in fridge until dinner.  We all liked it and the leftovers have been really good.  The Cheesy Garlic Texas Toast was also really tasty and easy to make with preshredded cheese.  The Caesar Salad Supreme didn't go over as well due to the dressing.  It was just too strong. I would recommend less garlic and some milk to thin it down.  A good meal though!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rutter Kitchen- Menu 50

 Dana and Johnny fixing the casserole

Ashley making the cookies 

We fixed all three of the recipes tonight and they were all pretty simple to make.  We followed the recipe for the Cheeseburger Casserole except we doubled the recipe.  We only used 1 onion and we used regular sharp cheddar cheese.  Ashley got the carrots ready and we put the casserole and the carrots in at the same time.  That did  slow the cooking time down, but I only have one oven, so it worked out fine.  After the casserole was done, we left the carrots in for 5-10 minutes more and then they were done.  While those dishes were cooking, Ashley mixed up the cookies.  She followed the recipe except that she used butter flavored Crisco in place of the butter.  They don't get so flat when you do that.  The dough was very tasty! I'm glad that I read the reviews before we fixed the cookies, so we did as Tarin suggested and left the cookies on the tray till they cooled.  That took care of the caramel problem.  We all liked all three of the recipes and I'm sure that we will fix them again.  The casserole and the carrots are great as leftovers.  I'm with Jacki on the name of the Cheeseburger casserole, but it still tasted really good ;)  The recipe that surprised all of us, was how tasty the carrots were.  I've never used honey to sweeten them, as I've always used brown sugar.  They were so good and not too sweet.  Everyone liked the cookies, especially the dough :)   

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jacki's Meal #50

Everyone here seemed to like this meal! I really liked the cheeseburger casserole but I think the name is a little strange for it. I prepared it as directed. I used the 2 cups of dry pasta and that seemed like the right amount. Very easy to make and I agree that it is a good make ahead meal.  The carrots were very good too. I must give credit to my mom though. I prepared the casserole this morning and put it in the fridge and put the carrots in a bag with the olive oil. She cooked the casserole and finished up and cooked the carrots too. Excellent job! Thank you! The cookies tasted really good but were a little flat. I think I would use shortening next time in them or half shortening and half butter. Maybe a little more flour? My first batch stuck to the pan really bad and were just pieces by the time I got them off even though I greased the pan. For the next pan I really sprayed the pan well and they were better. I used the bag of little caramel pieces in the baking section - easy peasy.  Good meal. I would make all this again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Leslee's Meal #50

We had the cheeseburger casserole last night for dinner and it was a hit. I wasn't sure what to expect from the name, but once I started assembling the ingredients I knew it would be delicious. As Tarin did in her review, it would really easy to make this ahead of time and bake it at dinner time. I didn't make any changes to the recipe and we all liked it. I do think they miss printed the amount of pasta to use. They say 2 cups or 6 oz but I am assuming they meant 16 oz. The carrots were also delicious. They were easy to make and I just put them in the oven with the pasta and they turned out perfectly. I also made up the cookies last night as well. I made them gluten free by using a flour mixture in place of the regular flour and they turned out really tasty. The dough was delicious as were the cookies. I cut up my carmels into smaller pieces before mixing them into the dough. I think that you can actually by bits of carmel now but my little local market didn't carry them. Now for the picture. I swear I took one last night with everything all plated up and pretty, but I can't find it! So I snapped a quick picture when I heated some up for lunch!

Tarin's Menu #50

Last night I had a photoshoot that started at 5 so I was worried that if I didn't start something ahead of time either the kids would a) have cereal for dinner or b) have fruit snacks for dinner. So luckily the Cheeseburger casserole was in the plans!

I put it all together over lunch time, let it cool and then covered it with foil and wrote instructions on top. And guess what? I came home and there was barely any leftover for me! So I guess this was a win. The only changes is that I used my own homemade tomato sauce so it wasn't very chunky, I omitted the onion, and used bear meat instead of beef. (Also I did make the carrots on Sunday night and forgot to take a picture but I really liked them!)

Now watch out because these aren't really cookies...they might be crack. I am not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies but I couldn't stop eating the dough and then these were delicious warm and the next morning. I used a 1/8 cup size scoop and they were the perfect size. There are only a couple things I would change for next time. 1) Leave the cookies on the tray until they are cooled...the caramel was too heavy for the cookies so when I tried to transfer them to the cooling rack all the caramel bites dropped out the bottom of the cookies. 2) Along that note, I might cut the caramel bites in half, they were just too big for these cookies, but I love the flavor so I wouldn't cut them out completely.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

menu 50

Let's do Menu 50 this week because the cheeseburger casserole sounds awesome :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jacki's Meal #22

We had this meal on Thursday and we all enjoyed it. My parents joined us for the festivities.  Let's start with the Monterey Chicken, shall we? I used thin chicken breasts which saved time and sautéed them in a pan instead of grilling. The pan method worked fine but I think grilling would add a nice flavor. It was fast to assemble the toppings on the chicken and we really liked the flavors. Next up - the Honey Lime Fruit Salad. Another win with everyone.  Nice combination of fruit and easy to put together. And last but not least, the Graham Cracker Monster Cookies. These were really tasty and reminded me a lot of magic cookie bars. Next time I would add butterscotch chips too. We also had baked potatoes with the meal to add a little heft. My mom made these and they were perfect. Overall a satisfying menu!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rutter Kitchen- Menu #22

All three of us were able to cook this menu, so that was fun. I was in charge of the Monterey Chicken and I decided to cook the bacon the day before and then I also pan grilled the chicken breasts and thighs several hours before we started cooking.  That was a big help so there wasn't too much left to do with that dish except prep the toppings, assemble & broil.  I followed the recipe and it went really well.  Ashley was in charge of the Honey-Lime Fruit Salad.  She followed the recipe and she used all the fruits that it called for.  She did double the recipe and that was good as we didn't have much left over:)  She did add the Poppy seeds and that was kind of fun to taste.  The lime zest does offset the sweetness of the honey, so that works really good in this recipe.  It was a simple recipe and the prep work was the time consuming part for her, which didn't take long.  Dana was in charge of the Graham Cracker Monster cookies.  She also followed the recipe and it was also pretty simple.  She used a food processor to grind up the graham crackers and then was able to use the stand mixer to finish mixing up the dough.  We were curious how the cookies would turn out without eggs, but they were very tasty!

 This is my plate. Its a bit messy as I'd already been eating when I realized that I had forgotten to put the chopped tomatoes and green onions on the chicken.  They really added great flavor to the chicken dish.  We also served baked potatoes with our meal. We decided to fix the Slush from menu #1 and it tasted really good with this meal.
The cookies turned out really well and tasted great!
  I think all these recipes will be ones that we will fix again.  Especially the Monterey Chicken.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Leslee- Meal 22

This chicken was delicious and easy to make! We had soccer the night we ate this so I grilled the chicken a little earlier and then broiled it with the toppings when we were ready for dinner. For the fruit salad I just used what fruit I had on hand; grapes, bananas, apples, and pineapple.  The honey and poppy seeds were a nice little addition as well. I made the cookies a few days later but they didn't turn out too well. very flat. I probably needed to add more flour and I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder! The kids and Sean tried them anyway and said they had a good flavor.  Nika said her's turned out well so don't let my experience scare you off:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rutter Kitchen- Meal #1

Ashley and I were very excited to start the new cookbook! We've scanned the book and have seen lots of menus that we are ready to try.  I started the Chicken recipe earlier in the day in the crock-pot and followed the recipe.  Very easy.  I had fixed the sauce the night before and also cleaned the chicken thighs so everything was ready to go.  I don't do a lot of crock-pot cooking so was worried that we might not like how the chicken turned out.  No worries as we really liked it.  The meat was very moist and the sauce was very tasty.  We fixed rice and also some noodles and both were very good with the meat and sauce over them. 
 Ashley fixed the Sweet potato fries.  Unfortunately I cut most of the fries up thin and didn't mention about cutting back on the cooking time and some were burned.  We were able to eat some of them and they had really good flavor.  I want to fix them again and watch our cooking time :) I also forgot to take a picture as you can see.
I think the star of our meal was the Strawberry Lemonade Slush.  So easy to fix and I actually had all the ingredients.  I fixed it the night before like the recipe called for.  We used sprite as the lemon lime soda and the Slush was so tasty.  I plan on fixing it again :)
I think that Ashley and I would fix this menu again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Meal- menu 22

I am excited to have a chance to pick one of the meals from the cookbook this week.  We are going to go with menu 22.  This is a fruit salad, monterey chicken and graham cracker monster cookies.  


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Jacki's Meal # 1

Ok I was tempted to report that my meal went just as planned but it didn't and it was my fault. I cooked the chicken in the crockpot which worked out well although a little overdone since we got home later than planned. Since it was so saucy the sweet potato fries were an odd paring but I also made some rice for my husband. I over cooked the fries (go Jacki) and I needed more fries for the amount of seasoning. Mine were way too salty. The drink was scrumptious but again, I messed up but I made it work. The store didn't have the frozen lemonade so I just used powdered. The blender didn't work after I dumped everything in so I dumped it all into a bowl and stirred to mix and then removed the unmelted ice cubes. It wasn't slushy but still really good. The only soda I had that remotely resembled lemon lime was an old outdated Fresca that we brought with us in or cooler from our Virginia move!  It tasted pretty good in the drink! The chicken made good leftovers. I want to make the fries again and do them right because I love sweet potato fries! I would make all of these recipes again.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dana 's Kitchen Meal #1

I'm late publishing this. Meal one I cooked at my house. We really love it! I used the noodles below and it complimented the chicken nicely.  I felt the sweet potatoes were an of combination with the chickens. But they were very tasty. I cut them into medallions instead of like fries. The turned out great.  I also had 2 helpers. To those who have not seen James. Here he is!!!! Johnny loves his new Lil brother (If u can't tell by the pic.) Also, and added bonus; i had to post a pic of Great-Grandma Burrows meeting James for the first time. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Nika’s Meal 1


Tonight we had our inaugural meal from the cookbook.  I had to improvise in a few areas because I didn’t have everything the recipes called for, but the other option was to wait longer to make the meal and procrastination never ends well for me.   Also, I have to say the recipes were easy.  I did almost the whole thing holding a baby and using my other hand to prepare/cook and had a 2 year old and 4 year old helping me. 

We only had 1 sweet potato so we did a mix of russets as well.  The cornstarch gave them a nice crispy coating and everyone liked them.  We will do that again. 

before cooking…


One of my helpers is really into taking pictures.  This can be done holding a baby, do not worry!IMG_2057

For the special drink I needed to double it because I had 6 thirsty people to feed.  I didn’t prepare ahead of time to blend the ingredients and freeze so I just left everything frozen plus added the water and soda and blended it up and it was perfect.  So delicious.  My husband said he would be fine drinking it every night. 


I had some frozen turkey meatballs to use up.  I thought they would work fine since I was out of chicken and they aren’t really seasoned or anything.  I simmered the sauce on the stove and thickened it right away, omitting  the crockpot altogether and since the meatballs were precooked just heated them and mixed with the sauce.  They were really good and were well received by the family.  I have one tip on the spices.  Sometimes spices can be a bit pricey at the regular grocery store and I usually buy them at one of several bulk stores we have nearby but this time I just needed to get them quickly and I discovered that in the Mexican aisle of our local grocery, which does not have a very large hispanic section, there were tons of spices in plastic bag type packages instead of jars.  They are about 1/4 of the prices of the spice aisle and the ones I got were very tasty and great.  Just a tip for you. 


I forgot to take a picture of the meatballs until I cleaned up so here are some leftovers.  The sauce was dark and thick and sticky and would go great on lots of types of meat or even veggies and over rice.  I didn’t end up adding the sesame seeds because I didn’t have time to toast them and usually they don’t taste like anything unless they are toasted.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Leslee's Meal

Last night I made the chicken and drink. I decided to serve it over rice so I still need to try out the sweet potatoes another night. I decided to cook this later in the day so I cooked it in a pan instead of the crockpot. I added the sauce to the pan first, cooked for a few minutes and then added the chunks of chicken. After the chicken was cooked through I added in the cornstarch and let thicken. This worked well.
The recipe is somewhat similar to a teriyaki chicken recipe we make a lot so my kids really just thought this was that. Everyone enjoyed it though!
I did make a few changes to the drink prep as well just because I didn't plan ahead enough:) I mixed up the water, ice, lemonade, and strawberries and then stuck it in my deep freeze for about an hour. This made it pretty slushy so that was perfect. The kids and I really liked this drink! Really whats not to like, but it was a fun addition to dinner!