cafewigglesworth

Archive for the ‘Meals’ Category

The Comeback of CafeWigglesworth

In Meals on October 24, 2016 at 4:25 am

sorry_im_late_gold_food_container

So, it’s been over 2 years since the last blog post. The funny thing is that I actually write for 2 other blogs now (one as a contributor and the other as the owner), so I am not too sure why I haven’t been able to get my stuff together to write here more often.

I thought to come here last night while I was working through my meal plan. I have meals planned out through mid-December and I thought it would be a great way to get on track here at CafeWigglesworth.

Tonight for dinner, we are going to have Rice and Beans, using almost the same recipe I had shared a few years ago. The only difference is that I will be using a different rice (Basmati) . Tomorrow, the plan is to have leftovers for dinner, which means I will have enough time to work on blogs posts for the recipes we haven’t shared here.

I’m excited to be “back” and I am hoping to be more active here. Keep an eye on the blog!

Happy 2014!

In Meals on January 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

It’s nearing the first evening of 2014 and we are having LEFTOVERS for dinner! We made lentil soup last night- mostly because I love lentil soup, but also because eating lentils on New Year’s Eve is supposed to bring good luck! I’m assuming that eating it the next day brings even more good luck.  I’m hoping to really get back into the swing of things as far as updating this blog and sharing recipes and pictures. Our oldest, who is now 6, got a really neat Discovery Kids baking set and loves being in the kitchen as much as ever. Our youngest, who is 20 months, loves doing whatever her oldest sister does so she is often in the kitchen helping in whatever way she can.

I adore spending time with my girls, sometimes at the expense of doing anything else. The time goes too fast and I don’t want to look back wishing I spent more time with them.  I love that they are interested in something that will serve them for a lifetime! So, when the 6 year old recommends having a cookie contest or the 1 year old wants to stir the cake mix I smile and let it happen 🙂

Rachael Ray’s “Grandpa’s Braised Beef”

In Meals on March 13, 2013 at 3:22 am

Rachael Ray's Grandpa's Braised Beef

As usual, a home run with a Rachael Ray recipe! We modified it slightly and that recipe is below. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did 🙂

You Need:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 onions, very thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced

4 pounds bottom round roast

sea salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

dried thyme

5 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 325°. Pour a thin layer of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to sweat, until very soft and very light caramel in color, 20 minutes

Season the beef with the salt and pepper, to your taste. Place in a large Dutch oven (we used a Bean Pot*) with the broth

Arrange half of the onions over the top of the meat and then season with the salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Arrange half the potatoes over the onions and drizzle with olive oil. Top the potatoes with half of the tomatoes and their juices and season with the salt and pepper. Repeat the layers, ending with the tomatoes as the top layer.

Cover the Dutch oven and roast the meat in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

*If you are not sure what a bean pot is, it’s basically a ceramic dish that is like a “slow cooker” for your oven. They are very versatile and I love mine. If you’d like more information, you can check out my friend Cindy’s Celebrating Home Website .

Chicken Piccata

In Meals on March 10, 2013 at 4:05 am

 

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This meal is probably one of the most simple to make, yet it tastes pretty darn amazing. Tonight, we served up our chicken piccata with some left over spaghetti and veggies that we heated up in a skillet on the stove as the chicken was cooking.

 

You Need:

1 pound chicken breast tenderloins

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or if you’d prefer to go gluten free, you could use the substitutes listed here: http://www.csaceliacs.info/gluten_free_flour_formulas.jsp)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

 

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large freezer bag. Add the chicken, 2-3 pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, begin to melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Drizzle the chicken with lemon juice and serve with your choice of sides.

Pizza Pork Chops

In Meals on March 7, 2013 at 2:54 am

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This is the second time we’ve made these pork chops. At first, the idea may sound kind of gross, but I promise you the taste is pretty great! It is sort of similar to chicken parmigiana minus the chicken and the parmigiana 🙂

You Need:

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 4 oz each and 1/2 an inch thick)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

cooking spray

2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce (we used the kind with mushrooms added)

16 slices of pepperoni

1 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, brown the pork chops on both sides (about 4 minutes each side).

Pour the sauce over the pork chops and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the pork chops simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, turning once.

Top each pork chop with pepperoni and cheese. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for about 3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt over the top.

We served ours with spaghetti, broccoli, and a biscuit on the side. It would probably also taste pretty great on a grinder roll!

Portuguese Soup

In Meals on February 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

close enough to portuguese stew

Photo courtesy of youngfoodies.com

I said it on facebook, and I will share the sentiment here: I should really be sending Rachael Ray a thank you card for sharing such awesome recipes! I did not snap a photo of the soup we made, but this picture looks pretty darn close. This is hands down one of the best soups I have ever eaten in my life and I think it really might just pass Lentil Soup as my absolute favorite!

Rachael’s Recipe:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 lb Spanish chorizo, diced (I think we used closer to 1 lb)

2 carrots, chopped (I used a handful of baby carrots)

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs celery from the heart, chopped (we did not have celery on hand, just left it out)

1 red Fresno chile, seeded and chopped (I did not happen to have a red Fresno chile on hand, just used a plain green pepper)

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 russet potatoes (we like potatoes here, I used 4 small-medium potatoes)

2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups of water

1 small bunch of kale, stemmed and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I used a dash or two of ground thyme since we had no fresh thyme on hand)

1 large bay leaf

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and let it render for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, chile, and salt and pepper to taste and let it sweat out a few minutes partially covered (I did an additional 3-4 minutes). Add the potatoes, stir a couple of minutes more, then added the stewed tomatoes, breaking them up a bit with a spoon .

Add the garbanzo beans, stock, and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the kale, thyme, bay leaf and some black pepper. Bring to a bubble, reduce to a simmer and cook 30-40 (I did 40) to thicken. Adjust the seasonings (did not need to) and serve.

Black Bean and Barley Soup

In Meals on December 30, 2012 at 4:10 am

So, I did not take a picture of this one. To be quite honest it was a spur of the moment, ran out of “real groceries” kind of meal. Thankfully, it was delicious and even our 8 month old enjoyed some!

You Need:

8 cups beef broth

1 cup pearl barley

2 (15 1/2 oz cans) black beans, rinsed and drained

A handful of baby carrots, sliced

1 onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, sliced

Pour the broth, barley, and black beans into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, onion, and celery and bring to a second boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes or until some of the broth is soaked up and the vegetables are tender.

Irish Stew

In Meals on March 18, 2012 at 4:04 am

I have to start by saying, this is not a picture of the stew we made this evening. I was so hungry when dinner was finally ready, I had to dig right in and did not think to take a picture before I ate. Then, dinner was so delicious, there were NO LEFTOVERS! So, this photo is from the website http://cbsop.com/recipes/irish-stew/ since it was the closest I could find to what our stew looked like!

 

You Need:

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour, divided

1 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

4 cups reduced sodium beef broth

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

t teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoons water

 

1. Place 1/3 cup flour in a large zip style plastic bag. Add lamb, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.

2. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Brown lamb in batches, removing and setting aside once browned. In the same pan, saute the onions in remaining 1 Tablespoon oil until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add broth, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the lamb to the pan and bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the meat is tender.

4. Add the potatoes and carrots; cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

5. Add seasonings and Worcestershire sauce to the stew. Combine the remaining 1 Tablespoon flour with the 2 Tablespoons of water  in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and bring to a boil, cooking and stirring for another 2 minutes, or until thickened.

Rice and Beans

In Meals on March 8, 2012 at 4:32 am

I love the heat the Cajun seasoning adds to this dish, and I often use more than the 1 teaspoon called for in the mix. If you are not a fan of  spicy foods, you can omit the Cajun seasoning, but I highly highly (yes I wrote that twice deliberately) recommend trying it with at least the teaspoon the recipe calls for!

 

You Need:

1 bag boil in bag brown rice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 pepper (we usually use green, but we only had yellow on hand), seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound reduced sodium boneless ham steak, trimmed of visible fat and cut into strips or cubes

15.5 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (my favorite by far is Cajun’s Choice Creole Seasoning, we add it to other dishes including mashed potatoes and mixed vegetable dishes)

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

 

Cook the rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the ham and cook, until it begins to brown, 4-5 minutes. Add the beans and Cajun seasoning; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through, about 2-5 minutes. Add the broth and cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, about another 2-5 minutes. When the bean mixture is complete, serve it over the rice and enjoy!

Italian Skillet Chicken

In Meals on March 8, 2012 at 3:53 am

We, well my husband and I, love this recipe. My daughter, who is 4 and pretty picky, not so much!

 

You Need:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots or about 8-10 baby carrots, chopped

4 celery stalks, sliced

1 pound skinless/boneless chicken breast tenderloin, cut into strips trimming all visible fat

14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally, until the begin to soften, about 10-12 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about 5-8 minutes, the chicken at this point should look like the outside is cooked, but will not be cooked all the way through. Stir in the tomatoes and seasonings. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an additional 10-15 minutes,  allowing  the flavors to blend and the chicken to cook completely.

You can eat this as is, or serve it over pasta or rice.