Sunday Dinner Musings

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Sunday dinner means a lot to me. It’s not just my memories of dinners when I was a kid but its the memories I know I am making for my family today that motivate me to make a pot of sauce on a Sunday. Last year I posted “Musings While Making Sauce”

My son was home for the weekend and along with a Sabres game with his dad we gathered family and friends for a dish of macaroni.

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Sunday dinner is the extra effort meal. Sunday dinner does not need to be sauce and macaroni but in the middle of the winter it was a natural choice. I think that any dish that takes a few more minutes and you would not have the time nor the effort left in the tank after a long work day to prepare is a worthy Sunday dinner meal.

My mother often used to make a rib roast or roasted chickens on the oven rotisserie.

Sunday dinner smells good. I love how the house smells during these cooking sessions and sometimes for days after. If you make something with bacon it’s a gift that keeps on giving for days to come.

Sunday dinner is not complete without dessert. I talk a lot about how my mom used to bake every Saturday and how I remember watching her bake pies. I have some sort of a pastry deficit but still give it a try when peaches are in season.

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I baked a red velvet Bundt cake from a box cake on Sunday. To make it Sunday special I creamed on brick of cream cheese and about 1 cup of confectioners sugar. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and slowly added half and half (I didn’t measure but I think it would have been about 2-3 tablespoons) until the frosting was creamy. I put it on the cake by heaping a spoonful on the top and gently guiding it down the sides. It looked pretty and tasted amazing…

…just like Sunday dinner should…

Let’s talk some more about Sunday dinner. Please feel free click the email link below and give me your story. What do you cook? Who is at the table?

When the meal is special and you’re surrounded family and friends, any day is Sunday. I know folks who work in different service industries who have Monday evening Sunday dinner.

Yesterday I invited my family and as is usual custom in our home there were a few friends I had never met before they came to my home.

That is why I would like to write a book titled “If It’s Sunday Dinner, We Must Be Family.”

Have a yummy day!

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Ground Beef Skillet: It’s Chili / Mac & Cheese!

This post originally appeared May 3, 2012. Since then it has gotten more hits than any other cooking post I have put up.

The beauty of this recipe/non-recipe is that when you make it you realize you can change it any way you like. Cook with me and you will learn how to rely less on the written recipe and more on your taste and the taste of the folks who share your food.

 

Please let me know if you make this and how it came out. Feel free to post pictures on my Facebook page.

May 3, 2012

Unnamed but good. Silly name, but that’s what it’s called in our house. The original recipe was on a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. By the way, its macaroni and cheese not pasta and cheese, right? So why do we call it pasta? I dunno!

Anyway…

I cannot find the original recipe cut from the box but if I recall, you brown ground beef, add onion and canned tomatoes. Meanwhile you cook the macaroni. Add the cheese packet and cooked macaroni, canned corn and voila, dinner! My husband “named” it and the “unnamed” stuck.

Well, I haven’t purchased macaroni and cheese boxes since my son was in 9th grade and decided to dedicate himself to swimming and fitness. It paid off for him but denied me some good quick junk food. Ah…the perils of parenthood!

I avoid as much food with ingredients not in their natural state as possible (dried cheese powder?) so I decided to make my own version of this ground beef skillet.

Sauté a chopped onion with a little olive oil in a large skillet and add a few cloves of garlic (I use more than a few but that’s just me) coarsely chopped and stir.

Add 1-2 pounds of ground anything. I like beef but you can use any ground meat. If you do not want to use meat, sauté mixed mushrooms and add more beans. Yum!

While this is browning, put a large pot of water on to boil. Cook 8 ounces of any kind of macaroni being sure to add the longest cooking first. I like to use leftover macaroni and really like the look of the different sizes in the pot.

Once the meat is cooked through add a jar of salsa (we like medium heat), a can of corn, a can of beans (any kind you like) and a small can of tomato paste. Cook through until it has a smooth almost creamy texture. If it is too thick ladle a scoop of the water from the macaroni to get the consistency you like.

Add a bag of cheese to the mixture. I like the cheddar three cheese blend with cream cheese.

Drain macaroni and stir into the meat mixture. Enjoy!

Have a yummy week!

** Ingredient List

1 – Onion, chopped

2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced

1-2 Lbs Ground Anything (Beef, Turkey, Lamb etc) or a mixed variety of mushrooms.

8 oz (1/2 Lb) macaroni

1 – Jar Salsa, small

1 – Canned Corn

1 – Can beans

1 – Tomato Paste, small

2 – Cups Shredded Cheese Blend (preferably with Cream Cheese)

If I Were 8…

20121018-163415.jpgIf I were 8 years old I would open my lunch box (metal, of course…before they were retro) with the thermos that was easily broken (I should know…once when being bullied on the bus I whacked my metal lunch box over a kids head…shattered my thermos and got into a little trouble for hitting him…in the 60′s girls didn’t hit anyone, let alone boys!).

Anyway, back to lunch

I didn’t eat peanut butter and jelly, period. I also didn’t eat hot dogs but that’s another blog. Instead, mom made me

20121018-163537.jpgcream cheese and jelly.

And, not just any jelly…the best sandwich of all was cream cheese and

20121018-163819.jpgorange marmalade on

20121018-164135.jpgWonder Bread.

What I wouldn’t give for two slices of soft white bread right now…I know it’s not good and I cannot eat soft bread anymore but that doesn’t make me miss this nostalgic lunch any less.

What did you love to open your lunch box and find?

Have a yummy day!

Checkerboard Pastry Tart

Any fruit combined with cream cheese and lemon curd base will make a tasty and pretty tart!

http://www.puffpastry.com/videos-and-tips Check out these clever videos from Pepperidge Farms. This will give you great tips on how to use the puff pastry dough. My one hint is that you let it sit for 40 minutes then work with it. If it gets too soft it becomes unmanagable.

Checkerboard Pastry Tart

1 Box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (2 sheets)
1 Large Egg (beaten)
8 Ounces Regular Cream Cheese
¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Jar Lemon Curd (or homemade about 1 cup)
2-3 Cups Berries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Decide what serving platter you will use prior to rolling out pastry dough.

Lightly flour a cutting board and gently unfold one pastry and roll it into desired size rectangle to fit serving platter.  The less you handle it, the better. Watch the Pepperidge Farm video for tips. Put dough on parchment lined baking sheet.

Beat egg. Roll out second piece into the same size as first.  Cut according to the chart.

Using the egg as glue, brush egg on the bottom crust where you will place the top piece. Place the pieces on top according to the chart. Pierce generously with fork.

 

Bake about 15 minutes until golden brown. It may puff up but will fall when cooled. Cool on rack.

 

Place on serving platter.

 

Mix softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Put heaping teaspoons of mixture in alternating squares.  Use a knife or spatula to shape into the square. Repeat the same process with the lemon curd in remaining squares. Top with berries.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Using a pizza cutter cut into squares on platter. I use a plastic cutter so I do not damage my platter.

Have a yummy day!

JudeTheFoodie.com