Sunday, January 1, 2017

Meal Wrap Up for 2016

Happy New Year's everyone. Welcome 2017. Despite my ridiculous overspending the last week of December, we ate some delicious and relatively healthy meals, plus the added treats, rich dishes, and meals out. I'm using today, New Years day, to wrap up my menu, and start an inventory and planning for January, week by week. This summary takes us from Saturday, Christmas Eve, to New Years Eve. I won't share every meal as we ate a lot of leftovers, and fend for yourself breakfasts, using up eggs, cheese, and assorted bits of vegetables and meats in omelettes. DD1 and I ate a lot of salads, and all nibbled on cheese, crackers, veggies, and assorted other finger foods. I'm only indicating things I actually made. Those indicated with *, recipe is below, but take the term recipe loosely. They are more a guide-do your own thing with any of the foods. 

December 24th: Ginger Ale basted ham, Italian Meat and a second Vegetable Stromboli*, Italian cheese  crescent puffs. (buffet at my sisters)

December 25th: 7 Layer Salad* (brother and sister in law served lasagna), Two more Stromboli's, one meat, one veg.

December 26th: Chicken Parmesan* over spaghetti, another Stromboli, meat and veg this time.

December 27th: Roasted Turkey breast,  peas, mashed potatoes and gravy. (DD1 went home on Tuesday morning)

December 28th: Sirloin steak, garlic bread, leftover potatoes.

December 29th: DS made salmon, with garlic toast and roasted zucchini.

December 30:  Three Cheese Tortellini soup*, with the last of the ham not put in the freezer, a few handfuls of spinach salad cooked into it. Hoagie sandwiches, using the last of the salami. Pictures below and I know, I could really use new cookie sheets. (DS went home on Friday night)

December 31: Another pot of soup, this one chicken wild rice (No recipe-used cheat bag of soup mix.). 

DH and I went to my sisters and DD1 had a couple friends stay over and  ate soup, pizza's, and anything else they felt like having. I brought cheese, crackers, flatbread appetizer, using up the odds and ends in the fridge( spinach, pepperoni, mozzarella, and beverages over to my sisters. Another sister is hosting a New Years day open house and I'm heading there later. I've made more pumpkin bread and will bring the last of my truffles, and BBQ bacon wrapped cocktail hotdogs. In spite of my overspend, we enjoyed our week from Christmas Eve to New Years immensely. We won't be eating this decadently for another year, and will go back to humble soups, stews, and hot dishes, some of which were worked into the menu last week, but with a bit more pizazz. How did your end of year fair in the kitchen?

Coat pre-made pizza dough or flattened crescent roll dough with light olive oil.  Sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasoning. layer with your fillings.  I used Salami, peperoni, and provolone on one, spinach, black olives, and provolone on second.  Last one I made had salami, pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, and olives. Roll tightly like a jelly roll, crimp seams.  Lightly brush olive oil over top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 375 for 18 minutes, then watch to add minutes as needed until golden brown. Slice in small little spiral discs, and serve with marinara for dipping.

7 Layer Salad:
Use any lettuce/greens.  I used a mix blend with bib lettuce, radicchio, and romaine, in a glass 9" by 13" pan, or large clear glass bowl. then layer veggies of your choice. I had the following layers. Cucumber, broccoli, snow peas, and shredded carrots. Top with dressing, then top with shredded cheddar cheese. Add Bacon crumbles on top if desired. It really can be more than 7 layers-depends how much you want. Such a pretty salad.
Dressing: dissolve 2 TBLS sugar in 1 1/2 TBLS apple cider vinegar.  Add a  lot of fresh ground black pepper to taste. Stir in 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise. My daughter thought had much dressing, so I might reduce everything by 1/3 , or leave 1/3 off for others to add as they would like more.

Chicken Parmesan:
Mix 1 cup bread crumbs, 2-3 tsps garlic powder, 2-3 tsps Italian seasoning 1 tsp ground pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in a brown paper lunch bag.  In a separate bowl, take 6 pieces of boneless chicken, I used thighs, about 1 and 1/2 pounds worth, coat lightly with olive oil. Shake three at a time in the bag to thoroughly coat, then place in a baking pan. Pour residual bread crumb mixture evenly around chicken. (this makes sort of a garlicky stuffing that tastes really good!. Bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes. Top with a slice of provolone or mozzarella. Put bake in oven to melt. Serve with pasta of choice and marinara sauce.

Tortellini Soup:
Saute an onion in a TBLS of butter. Add a small diced carrot and celery stock if desired for added veggie flavor. Add 5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to a light boil, with 3-4 stock cubes, so broth is extra rich, cooking until carrots and celery are soft if added. Add two packages of refrigerator three cheese tortellini. Cook through about 5-7 minutes. Add pepper  to taste. Add  cups of whole milk. Liquid ingredients can vary depending on how much broth to pasta ratio you like.  Add more broth and milk as preferred-no rules in my kitchen. Turn down to a low simmer, add any additional  ingredients. I added cubed ham,  a cup +, and a few handfuls of spinach, which wilt down pretty quickly. Simmer for at let 15 minutes, stirring frequently, to meld all the flavors, before serving. Easily keeps warm in a crock pot.

Cheater soup using pre-made tortellini from Aldi's and vegetable broth.
I really need to improve my food staging, but it was delicious.

Before baking and mozzarella on two sandwiches. DD1 and I shared.


  1. We also ate well over the holidays. We did takeout pizza & appetizers on Christmas Eve, soup & garlic bread + desserts on Christmas. We keep the food light as we have a big beer tasting.

    For the rest of the days, it was: shrimp risotto, crab cakes, spaghetti & meatballs, sausage risotto, and last night we had takeout PF Changs. Tonight we're making steak & potatoes. Yum!

    Happy new year!

    1. It is special when enjoyed on occasion, and now we'll be back to humbled menus.

  2. I'm going to try the stromboli - there are whole wheat pizza crusts at my local grocery store. With healthy toppings I'm sure we could get two meals out of it that are economical and nutritious! Thanks!

    1. Easily the stromboli could stretch got lighter appetites and big loaded with bulky veg. I've not seen whole wheat dough but that would be a nutritional boost.


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