Monday, February 13, 2012

Cowboy Stir-fry (aka Hobo Dinners)

Well it has been a while. I hope to get on track with actually doing this regularly.... and with photos! For now, I wanted to share a recipe that has evolved over the years. When I was growing up, my mom made Hobo dinners. Hobo dinners start with a hamburger patty, onions, sliced potatoes and other veggies all wrapped in a foil packet, placed in a 10x13 dish and baked until the hamburger meat and potatoes are done. I adapted this recipe and now we call it Cowboy Stirfry.

You will need 2 green bell peppers, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 medium onion and hamburger meat. The amount of hamburger depends on your family. Make as many hamburger patties as you need to feed your family (you'll want to make them fairly thin), season them with cavendars and set aside. Slice the onion and peppers and place them in a 10x13 baking dish. (I ditched the foil packets a few years ago because they made for more prep work and cleanup and didn't really change the turnout of how this cooked at all.)

Place the hamburger patties on top of the peppers and onions. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes. The time depends on how long it takes for your hamburger patties to cook thoroughly.

While the meat and veggies are cooking, prepare white rice. I use Minute Rice so I usually wait to fix it until I think we are getting close on the rest.

When the meat and veggies are done, remove from the oven. BE PREPARED... the fat from your meat will be the juice that helps cook your veggies. You will want to immediately remove the meat and veggies from the fat and juices and serve over rice. If desired, add soy sauce and you are done.

This is a crowd pleaser at my house. Even my picky eater will eat the meat. I usually have to fix a side of green beans for him but that is not required if you aren't raising a picky eater.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

Monday was Salsa Chicken night (or Does your Chicken Dance if you are 8). I used 2 lbs of chicken breast for mine. That left me with plenty of leftovers to make dinner for night two... Salsa Chicken Enchiladas.

During the cleanup Monday night, I took the leftover chicken and half the leftover salsa and placed in a mixing bowl. The chicken was cooked so tender it easily shredded in the bowl. After shredding it I added 1 cup of sour cream and mixed. Then spread the mixture on flour tortillas, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and roll. When they are all rolled up, I placed in a 13x9 baking dish and covered with the rest of the leftover salsa and sprinkled with more cheddar cheese. The whole process took me less than 10 minutes. I topped the dish with aluminum foil and placed in the refrigerator.

So Tuesday night, all I had to do was pull out the enchiladas, throw in the oven at 350 and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese was melted. The last 5 minutes I took off the foil to let it brown on top a little.

NOW - the disclaimer. When I do the fridge-to-oven deal with a glass dish - I usually put the dish in the microwave for 30 seconds or so just to warm the glass. Then I put it in the oven BEFORE I turn it on. That way the glass warms slowly along with the oven. I had a glass dish break in the oven years ago so this is my way of trying to prevent that from ever happening again. Trust me... it is NOT a pretty sight to see your food and glass all in the bottom of your hot oven. It is a "hot mess" and not in a good way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Does your Chicken Dance?

My youngest is a picky eater. The boy won't eat RICE for goodness sakes. He isn't a pizza fan, won't touch anything I call a vegetable and only eats dinner if it sounds like fun. At my house - this dish is called "Does your Chicken Dance?" He likes that. He will eat that. He will not eat it if called by it's real name.... Salsa Chicken.

This one is easy. You need a crock pot, 1-2 pounds of Chicken breast, and a jar of salsa. That is the entire recipe. SIMPLE! In fact, I usually take the frozen chicken out of the freezer and put it in the crockpot, pour on the salsa and turn it on low. I leave home around 7 am and we eat this when we get in - this week it was at 8pm.

Sometimes, just because I want to be different, I add a can of Rotel. Not required, but I like Rotel. It is a staple at my house. Bread, Milk, Rotel.

To make it a meal, I cooked some of the Lipton Sides Spanish Rice (just add water -12 minutes to cook in the microwave) and threw a bag of the Steamer's frozen corn in the microwave for 4 minutes.

And don't tell my youngest child this... but it is just regular corn. I have to call it sweet corn to get him to eat it. If it is just regular corn he doesn't like it. But he'll eat 2 helpings of sweet corn. :) Lord help me if he ever catches on.

About Me

I am a busy mom with two very busy children. I work outside the home 40-50 hours a week at my full time job. I also have a photography hobby that keeps me busy shooting and editing portraits at least 6-10 hours a week.

In addition to my own schedule, my boys (ages 14 and 8) have their own time demands. My fourteen year old plays on a competitive travel baseball team on weekends, a recreational league baseball team during the week, and runs track at his school. We replace track and baseball with football and more baseball in the fall. My eight year old plays league baseball and takes Martial Arts lessons two days a week.

This is where you say "She's nuts." Now I know there are many of you out there with more children and who are just as busy or more so than me. You say to yourself - "So what makes her special?"

Between my kids' schedules and mine, we are rarely home long enough to have a home cooked meal. In fact, last August we spent over $900 on eating out for a family of 4. Maybe you have that kind of money for your food budget every month....and if so I hope you have money for a maid, too. I want one. I beg for one. She just won't come unless I pay her. But I digress.

After choking on the realization we spent that much, I realized I had to come up with another way. My trial and error in finding things my family loves that take little to no prep and are ready to eat within 10-20 minutes of getting home will be your reward for following me here. I am no Ree Drummond, but if your family struggles like mine.... I hope I can help you find balance in your life, too.

God Bless!