Monday, December 17, 2007

RS Birthday Dinner Menu

Last March, I was put in charge of planning the Relief Society Birthday Dinner. Because of the program, it was to be a four-course meal for sixty people. I was given a budget of $100. Did I stay under my limit? The answer is no. I spent 52 cents more. I will admit, though, that it was meatless. But with these pretty babies, no one noticed.

Course one--Fruit Kabobs
You know, skewers and fresh fruit. Grapes and apples in two colors, pineapple and melons.

Course two--Dinner Salad
Lettuce, shredded carrot, grape tomatoes & cucumber slices. Oh, and my famous "Rancher Bob" dressing.

Course three--Lasagna Rollups
Super-impressive and very easy. Rhodes' roll on the side brushed with olive oil & garlic salt.

Course four--Strawberry Shortcake
Purchased angel food or pound cake, topped with strawberry sauce and whip cream.

Now here comes January. That means another RS dinner to plan (and again in March). Spaghetti is off limits because the boy scouts do that in February. If you have any super ideas, leave them in my comments box, otherwise, we may have a repeat potato bar...

The Frills

The "Icing on My Cakes"! Most of these will not actually be icing and also not preferable as accompaniment for cakes.

Fakin' Amazing Sauce:
1 c. hot pepper sauce (like Frank's)
2 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. corn syrup
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. corn starch

Mix hot pepper sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and corn syrup together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Mix corn starch and water to make a slurry and slowly pour into sauce pan while stirring constantly to your desired thickness. Stores in the fridge for hmmm...let's say a month? We actually have used it older than that. Pretty much everything in it is a preservative.

I named this one when I was 15, so it's a bit corny, but so good and worth the effort. It's best for crowds as it probably isn't good after 2 weeks and it makes 2 quarts.
Rancher Bob Dressing (Buttermilk Ranch)
1 qt. mayonnaise
2 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 Tbs. each black pepper, MSG, onion flakes
1 tsp. each salt, garlic powder, parsley flakes
Mix in a pitcher and chill overnight. It's best to mix a little buttermilk at a time into the whole quart of mayo. It makes it smoother. Also I put in a lot more parsley that I dried myself. Watch for my garden blog coming this spring!

Teriyaki Sauce:
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. sugar (or splenda)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. olive or sesame oil
1 Tb. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger
Mix & keep in the fridge. Use to marinate, baste or cook chicken in. Add a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, stir-fried, and you're done!

Save room for the best part!

And here I stash my favorite desserts!

Dole's Strawberry Sauce:
1/2 c. orange juice
1 T. cornstarch
2 c. frozen strawberries, quartered
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. marmalade (opt.)
Mix in a large sauce pan. Heat all to boiling & thickened. Cool and serve chilled. Fresh berries work also, don't leave out the OJ and I have never used marmalade (but I did use apricot jam once and that was fine).

Another RS dessert--super moist and a little bit lite, too!
Pineapple Orange Cake:
18 oz. box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
11 oz. can mandarin oranges
1/2 c. oil
Blend with a handheld mixer for 3-5 minutes. Bake in a greased 9x13 dish at 325* for 45 min. Cool completely.
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 oz. box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
12 oz. lite whipped topping, thawed
First, scoop off 1/2 c. of the pineapple. I know that sounds odd. The original recipe called for a 16 oz. can of crushed, which I have never found or maybe it was that I didn't want to pay for two 8 oz. cans...Now blend all ingredients on low for 3 min. Frost cake and store overnight in the fridge. Fruit in cake is kind of a thing for me, huh?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Menu 2

Listed is Curry Chicken and I don't really use a recipe, just whatever is on hand and some curry paste. Use your favorite recipe or click the link to see about how I do it.

Apple Pork & Sweet Potatoes

Peanut Butter Satay Chicken

Stuffed Meatballs

Cabbage & Kielbasa

Curry Chicken

Grocery List:
Apple juice concentrate (1 qt.)
Bag frozen green beans
Bag brussel sprouts
Bag frozen cauliflower

2 cans tomato sauce
Curry paste
Coconut milk

3 lg. sweet potatoes
2 yellow onion
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 c. green onions
bag cabbage

2 lb. pork roast
4 lb. chicken breasts
1 lb. gr. Beef raw
1 lb. kielbasa

Instant rice

NSA creamy peanut butter
Italian seasoning

What the heck is Kielbasa?

I sent this recipe to several friends for a recipe exchange and every one of them came back with, "What on Earth...?" So here it is: Kielbasa. Found by bacon and packaged meats. $2.44 at Walmart. We pick turkey, but they're all good.

Cabbage & Kielbasa:
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. kielbasa, in 1/2" pieces
16 oz. bag coleslaw
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. each garlic powder, cumin
hot pepper sauce (I use EXACTLY 12 dashes...)
Saute peppers and onion in oil. Add all else and turn until cabbage is wilted & hot throughout. About 10 min? I also like to brown the kielbasa first. I have these ingredients on hand at all times (fresh or frozen), it is my favorite 15 minute meal and my children ask for it every night anyway.