Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spiedies (spee-dees) are a marinated meat sandwich that originated in a town called Binghampton, NY, right next to the PA border.  (For you "Office" fans, I noticed that Scranton, PA isn't far from there).  Anyway, a friend of mine recently made these and they were really good.  And so versatile.   We  marinated the pork over night in a vinaigrette with lots of herbs in order to produce a flavorful moist meat. Then we cooked it on the grill and ate it from a hoagie bun.  It was the perfect summer dinner.   I'm grateful to my friend for introducing them to me.  I think they will become a regular in our dinner rotation.
Click here for printable recipe.

Post by: Jen


1 c olive oil
3/4 c red wine vinegar
1/8 c sugar
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp marjoram             OR 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (same thing as these four ingredients)
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp oregano

2 lbs meat cut into 1" chunks (chicken, pork, turkey, or lamb)
skewers, soaked in water if they are wooden
Hoagie buns


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except for the meat and buns.  Mix well. (as you can see, my friend and I actually doubled the recipe to feed a crowd)
 Reserve aside 1/4 c of the marinade (to use later when serving)
 Cut up your meat into 1 inch chunks that can be skewered later.

Place the marinade (NOT the reserved marinade) and the meat in a gallon zip baggie and knead it so that all the meat is covered.  Place in a bowl (just in case) and put in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day... 
If you are using wooden skewers, place them in a pan of water for at least 1/2 hour before grilling.  (That way they won't catch on fire!)  Thread your meat onto skewers.  Grill over med high heat.  Turn after about 5-8minutes.  They should cook about 10-15 minutes.  ( or less depending on how hot your grill is)
 Remove from grill when the meat is cooked through (juices run clear)
 Place the meat on the skewer inside a hoagie bun.
 While holding the meat in place with the bun (kind of acting as your hot pad), remove the skewer from the meat, while leaving the meat in the bun.
 You can line the bun beforehand with lettuce or tomatoes.  Drizzle a little bit of the reserved marinade over your meat in the bun if you desire. Eat right away while the meat is hot and juicy.


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Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I love waking up in the morning already knowing what I'm going to make for dinner that night.  It not only gives  me a chance to do some of the prep work early in the day, but I also invariably get excited about what I'm cooking that night.    As I mixed together the spices for this Indian curry dish,  I found myself drooling even before I'd cooked a thing.  By the time I was done cooking this aromatic, super creamy (but dairy free), and  deliciously flavorful dish, I was ready start eating straight out of the pan.   Although it was a bit too "weird" tasting for a couple of my younger kids, those of us over the age of 10 totally devoured it.  In fact my husband even went so far as to start questioning me about when I would blog about it.  He knows me too well that if I don't blog about a recipe that it gets forgotten and this is one he did not want forgotten.  :) 

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book  
Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Lara.

The ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ginger
1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (take care not to touch the seeds)
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil, chopped
Hot cooked rice


EARLY PREP (if you like cutting down on the prep time during the dinner crunch, this part can be done early in the day):  Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl stir together the curry powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and ginger.  Sprinkle spice mixture over chicken.  Stir together and refrigerate until ready to use.    You can also chop the onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers if desired. 

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers and stir together.  Saute for 3-4 minutes, then remove onion mixture from pan and set aside. 
Add an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil and chicken to hot skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to low and cook 8-10 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside. 
In a small bowl combine coconut milk and cornstarch.   Pour into hot skillet and cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. 

Return chicken and onion mixture to skillet.  Stir together with coconut milk to combine. 

Stir in fresh basil and cook and stir about 2 minutes more. 
Makes about 4-5 servings.  Serve over hot rice. 


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Menu 8/27 - 9/2

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Alleluia!  It's my first official menu since the week our lives got turned upside down 8 months ago!    My son is getting ready to start his senior year and life is feeling almost back to normal again.   This menu is filled with a mix of old favorites and some new recipes to try! 

Monday--Honey-Lime Enchiladas--made with pork instead of chicken
Lion House Cornbread

Tuesday--Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese (new)

Wednesday--Chicken Pasta Salad--a family favorite

Thursday--Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps (new)

Friday--Homemade Bruschetta Pizza

Saturday--Chicken Crescents Makeover

Sunday--Philly Cheesesteak Rolls (new)


Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!


Pizza Casserole

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We may still be in the dog days of summer, but my brain is already starting to look forward to fall cooking.  Usually I try to avoid turning on the oven too much in the summertime, but this casserole recipe caught my eye for the summer garden vegetables that it calls for--zucchini and peppers!  Between the cheese and the very cool looking breadstick design on top, my kids were in love with this meal and gobbled up every bite of their veggies!  I used a homemade breadstick recipe (that I've included below), but you could also just use a tube of refrigerated breadsticks to make it super easy to prepare.  

Recipe Source:  Recipe . com

Look at all that cheesy yumminess! 
Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Lara. 

The ingredients:

1 pkg. (12-ounces) chicken sausage, cut into rounds
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 red, yellow, or green peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium size zucchini, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cans (14-1/2-ounces each) diced tomatoes, DRAINED
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used a little less than this amount)

1 tube (11-ounces) refrigerated breadsticks (see below for the recipe for the homemade breadsticks I used)

In a large frying pan, cook sliced chicken sausage on medium-high heat until golden brown and cooked through (if not already fully cooked).  Remove sausage from pan and set aside. 

Add olive oil to same pan over medium-high heat and saute onion and sweet peppers for about 5-minutes.  Add zucchini and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until barely tender.
Add DRAINED tomatoes, sausage, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.  Cook for 5-7 minutes or until liquid is mostly cooked out.  Add 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese. 
Spoon half of the tomato mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. 

Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. 

Add remaining tomato mixture.  Arrange breadsticks on top in lattice pattern, trimming to fit.

Sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan  cheese and the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until breadsticks are browned and filling is bubbly. 

BREADSTICKS (if not using pre-made breadsticks)
3/4 cup hot water
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbs. yeast
1-1/2 - 2 cups flour (I used half white, half whole wheat)

Mix hot water, sugar, oil, salt and 1 cup of flour together.  Add yeast and remaining flour until dough barely pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Knead (in the mixer) for 5 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out to rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  With pizza cutter, cut dough into 8-10 breadsticks. 

Allow to sit while preparing the rest of the casserole.  When ready to use, carefully place breadsticks in lattice pattern over the top of the casserole, trimming if necessary.  Proceed with baking directions as listed above. 


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Tropical Mango Smoothie Popsicles

Friday, August 17, 2012

I love making these popsicles using V-8 fusion because not only do my kids get the extra fruit but the juice also has some veggies in it. Without any added sugar, corn syrup, or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives these are popsicles you don't have to feel guilty feeding to the kids.  Plus they  taste amazing!

Come back to Recipe Shoebox each day this week for a fun new Frozen Treat recipe! 

 Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Mika

The ingredients:

1 mango, chopped
1 banana
1 peach, peeled and chopped
5-6 strawberries, destemmed
1/2 cup  lowfat yogurt
3/4 cup V-8 Fusion Peach Mango
5-6 ice cubes

Mix all in the blender until smooth then pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4 or more hours. If you want you could double the yogurt and juice amount and you can drink it as a smoothie while you wait for the rest to freeze.


*I also found these cute little packets of fruit puree for only a dollar at Harris Teeter. They are purely fruit with nothing added. They had 4 or 5 different fruits to choose from.


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Coconut Limeade Slushie

Thursday, August 16, 2012

  If you're looking for a cool, refreshing drink for a hot summer's day then look no further than this  super easy tropical treat!  This drink recipe caught my eleven-year-old daughter's eye and became her special addition to our dinners several times this summer.  The lime-coconut flavor is fabulous and would be perfect as a drink for a summer party!  Enjoy!

Come back to Recipe Shoebox each day this week week for a fun, new Frozen Treat recipe.  

 Recipe adapted from:  Chef in Training
Click here for printable recipe.
Posted by Lara.

The ingredients: 

3 cups ice
1-1/4 cups cream of coconut (found in the alcoholic drink aisle, although it does not contain alcohol itself)
1/2 cup +  1 Tbs. frozen limeade concentrate (do not dilute)
1/4 cup water


Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. 
Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy! 


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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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