Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Re-use Recipes

Today I'm writing about a way I re-used some of that salsa I made and a way to use up some of that garlic butter I made.

First, the garlic butter. I had about 4 Tablesponns left about 2 weeks ago, so about 5 days after I originally made the garlic butter (don't ask me why it's taken me so long to write this post!). My husband wanted mashed potatoes for dinner, which he doesn't get often because I hate peeling potatoes. So, I compromised and made smashed potatoes--where there is no peeling
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Smashed Garlic Potatoes for Two
2 medium-large Maine Potatoes (or any kind of potato you like. new potatoes or red potatoes are nice for this recipe)
4 Tbsp Garlic Butter (link to recipe above)
3-6 Tbsp milk (I used skim)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut potatoes into quarters and boil until slightly tender (about 10 minutes). Drain in colander. Smash with peels in a bowl by hand (use a potato masher or a fork). Add remaining ingredients (only 1-2 Tablespoons of milk at a time). Mash the way you like them. Serve piping hot!

Hubby's Rating:
Love it! I can't go wrong with mashed potatoes, but like I mentioned...I hate peeling potatoes! If someone has a solution for me that doesn't involve instant, I think we'll try it!

My Take:
Very good! If they were red potatoes, it would have been VERY close to the same potatoes you get in those big chain restaurants! Do those chefs hate peeling potatoes too?

I have lots of salsa on hand at the moment. I had a container in the fridge that needed to be used before we went on vacation, I had 1 chicken breast begging to be used and I had a few veggies here and there. So, I went to a favorite.

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken (With Rice) (adapted to feed 2 people with minimal left overs)

1 large chicken breast half, skinless, boneless
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 Tbsp flour
1 jar salsa (in my case I used about 2 1/2 Cups medium, chunky salsa)
1 Cup frozen corn
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 Cup shredded mexican style cheese (optional)
dollop sour cream (optional)

Combine taco seasoning mix and flour. Coat chicken and place in slow cooker (with remaining seasoning mixture). Top with salsa. Cook on high for 4 hours. Turn to low and add peppers, onions and corn. Cook for 2-4 more hours. Serve over white rice with tortilla chips if desired.

Recipe Adapted from Taste of Home Cookbook--Fast Fixes with Mixes.

Hubby's Rating:
I've been making this recipe for several months now and he always likes it! Like it!

My Take:
I've tried this with different salsas, different veggies, etc. I think with this recipe, the key is to keep it simple. You can cut your chicken into bite sized pieces before cooking, you can use a pork roast instead and then shred it, you can make it all vegetarian and use beans. This recipe is very versatile and we love it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vacation is over!

I didn't post for a bit because it was vacation time for me! I meant to post before vaca to let everyone know I would be gone, but time got away from me. So, for this week, I'll skip the weekly installments of What I Wanna Try Fridays and Snack Time Saturdays.

Last week for Meatless Monday we had Zucchini Parmesan. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but I was willing to try it! It was really simple, really cheap and really good! The cheesy gooey-ness of it satisfied me and the "meaty-ness" of the zucchini satisfied my husband.

Zucchini Parmesan

2 large zucchini, thinly sliced (into coins)
1 package fresh mushrooms, diced
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can tomato paste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onions, mushrooms and zucchini. Saute until zucchini is almost tender and onions are translucent. Add garlic and saute several minutes longer. Meanwhile, mix spaghetti sauce and tomato paste. Drain vegetable mix, then add to 9X12 Casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the shredded cheese, then spaghetti sauce, then rest of shredded cheese. Add grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

recipe adapted from

Hubby's Rating:
Like it. He isn't a huge fan of vegetables, so getting a Like it out of this dish is good! He hates eggplant and despises eggplant parmesan. He also isn't a big fan of chicken parm, so I knew I was pushing my limits with this one!

My Take
I liked this too! It isn't something I'd want every week, but having it a couple times while zucchini is in season would be nice! It's different and the zucchini is substantial enough to make this a main dish. If you're having dinner and you want to stretch it, maybe add eggplant or chicken? Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread and you're all set!