Archive for the What's for dinner Category

Cheese Fondue

Posted in What's for dinner with tags , , on March 21, 2010 by tamishields

This week’s secret ingredient:

This is leftover beer from a party my sister had that she and bro-in-law aren’t drinking. So, she donated it to the cause. My first thought was…I don’t even like beer. My second thought was…FONDUE!

We lived in Chicago for the first 9 years of our marriage. When things got to points where we needed to talk, we’d escape and treat ourselves to The Melting Pot. Many of the decisions we have made about our future were made over a pot of hot melted cheese, or vegetable broth. So tonight, in honor of hard decisions that call for 2 hour long dinners, I made beer based cheese fondue.

To make cheese fondue the only real trick you need to know is that you have to add some flour to your cheese BEFORE you add it to your hot liquid base.

For tonight’s fondue, I poured a bottle of beer into a pot, turned the stove on medium heat and added a tsp of fresh chopped garlic. While the beer was heating, I shredded some cheddar cheese we had leftover from lunch then added some colby jack preshredded cheese to it. In all about 2 cups of shredded cheese. I then tossed the cheese with about a tablespoon of all purpose flour. (The flour keeps the cheese from clumping and thickens the beer). At this point, if the beer is hot you can add in the floured cheese by the handful. After each handful, stir the pot quickly and from the bottom (burnt cheese ruins everything!). After that handful has melted, add the next until all the cheese is in, or until you get the consistency you want. In the end, the cheese should coat the spoon but still drip a little. You can always add more cheese, but you’ll have to do some magic to take some out so add in small amounts! Once you have the desired consistency, top with some salt and pepper and serve. We love our cheese fondue with fresh bread from Harry’s and apples.

6 bottles of beer on the counter, six bottles of beer…one was used, in a cheese fondue…now 5 bottles of beer on the counter.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

If you have any ideas on something I can cook this week with beer…I’m listening!


Dinner #5 Buffalo Chicken Dip

Posted in What's for dinner with tags on March 19, 2010 by tamishields

I LOVE Buffalo Chicken Dip. We have a bag of Lime Tostitos and I was thawing some chicken so, what could be better than some hot dip?

Tonight I pan fried some chicken: lightly breaded it with crushed fried onions, salt, pepper and a little flour. After cooked, keep chicken on stove, sprinkle on a package of Hidden Valley Ranch powder dip mix. Add in an 8oz block of cream cheese and about a 1/2 cup of sour cream. Cook until creamed together. Put it all in an oven safe dish, top with grated cheese and bake at 350 for about 25 min (till cheese is browned). Then, dig in!

The onions really helped give a little extra flavor! I am coming to believe that fried onions make a great breading!

Bring it!

Posted in What's for dinner on March 18, 2010 by tamishields

Tonight we’re ordering take-out. I am going to attempt to put fried onions in home-made bread later tonight but it won’t be ready till long after dinner. I’m beat and out of ideas for tonight!

I am however, looking for suggestions on what ingredient you’d like to see me try to use. My sister has already called next week with some beer she and bro-in-law aren’t drinking.

Got an idea? Bring it on people…give me a challenge! Saturday’s I’ll post the options you have suggested that I may have a snowballs chance in you know where of pulling 5 meals from, let you vote and Sunday’s I’ll announce the food item for the week.

Bring it!

Dinner #4: Dirty Rice with black eyed peas and cornbread

Posted in What's for dinner with tags , on March 17, 2010 by tamishields

Today was another long day. Work until 4:30 then to Mom’s to make her some soup and check in on her. (She has bronchitis and is staying home tomorrow to hopefully get better!) Then home around 6:30. So, it was another quick meal night.

For the main dish I followed the boxed directions for Zatarain’s New Orleans style Dirty Rice Mix (30 min meal from a box). I did not add ground beef, I added a can of black eyed peas instead.

Of course you can’t have a rice based meal with black eyed peas and not make cornbread! (We do live in the South!) So I made cornbread. Not your everyday run-of-the-mill cornbread but cornbread with…you guessed it: fried onions!

2 cups White Lilly self-rising cornbread mix
1 egg
about 1 1/2 c. of buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I added 1 1/2 TBSP white vinegar to regular milk…let it sit for 5 min and you get clumpy sour milk…YUM)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
1/2 cup of crushed fried onions

Heat your oven to about 425, and grease your cast iron or muffin pan.
Mix all ingredients together and  pour in. Cook for 20-30 min till browning on top.

Tonight it was served with a Mango Smirnoff Ice in the bathtub with Andy Stanley’s Choosing to Cheat.
Absolute perfection!

Happy Cooking!

Dinner #3- Chicken Stuffed Crepes

Posted in What's for dinner with tags on March 16, 2010 by tamishields

Tonight, I got home late, had lots to do and many phone calls to return so dinner was fast…kind of. I decided to take an already thawed chicken breast, chop it into tiny pieces, and pan fry it with butter, salt, pepper and a little flour. From there we decided to add some peppers (yellow and red) then crush the fried onions, add a little lime juice and garlic then saute. Once everything was cooked, I sprinkled the top with feta and put the lid on while I made crepes.  That softened the feta a little.

If you have never made crepes before, they are VERY easy. 2 eggs beat, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 TBSP of oil. Mix it all until there are no more lumps, let it rest for a bit then pour batter into whatever pan you usually make pancakes in. You cook much like a VERY thin pancake but don’t need to flip. When they are brown on the one side, you can lift out of the pan and set aside. When they are first finished, they see hard but will soften after a min so they are more pliable. I will admit that I have a crepe pan that I bought when we were in France a few years ago but all the cookbooks say you can use any pan.

We use crepes for all kinds of dishes. Very fast and easy “bread” that will hold just about anything in place.

So, here’s dinner #3- Chicken Stuffed Crepes. My favorite of the fried onion meals so far!

Happy Cooking!

Dinner #1 with Fried Onions

Posted in Uncategorized, What's for dinner with tags , on March 14, 2010 by tamishields

Tonight Adam decided he wanted paella. So instead of chopped fresh onion, fried onion went in. It was pretty good. I made some crepes to go with it. Not the greatest picture, but it’s  paella…not a pretty dish to make.

Because I didn’t cook it, I’m going to have my first guest blog post…kind of. I’m going to invite my husband over to my computer so he can tell you how he made the paella. (All I did was cut some carrots.)

Paella is a one pot dish.  I used this recipe as a rough outline.

I made a paste of Thai Chili paste (about 2 tbsp) and 1/4 tsp of Paprika and Turmeric.  Then you brown the chicken with a little olive oil and the paste.

Once browned, set aside the chicken. Then sauté the vegetables in order of cooking time (roughly the order of hardness).  I used what we had, carrots, frozen green peppers, frozen corn, fresh garlic and the crispy onions.  Then add broth and rice. You want roughly two cups of liquid to one cup of rice and a longer cooking rice is better.  I used Thai Coconut Curry Broth to change up the flavor and because that is what we had.  Then I added in a can of tomato sauce.  The recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, but neither Tami or I really like tomatoes, so I always use sauce.

Then cover and simmer.  Check to make sure you have enough liquid and stir regularly.  It is easy to burn the bottom of the pan.  We ended up adding the rest of the broth and about a cup of water by the time the rice was done.  Once the rice is almost done add the chicken and paste back in and simmer for a couple more minutes.

You can add almost anything.  It is an easy dish that takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on what you put in it.  It is easy to make a ton and you want to make sure you have a large enough pan to cook it in.

So, that’s the recipe. Of course there will be leftovers for lunch tomorrow but tomorrow night, it will be back to some creative meal using these fried little onions.

Oh, to finish off the meal, I made pina~colada cake! Coconut cake mix with pineapple juice instead of water with a cream cheese frosting! YUM!!! I’ll blog my cake secrets another time.