Weekly Menu for March 8th thru 13th

So what is everyone doing with all of their extra time now that the Olympics are over?  Catching up like me?  I have to say that I’m a huge sports fan; (GO AVS!) and I was glued to the TV for most of those two weeks, anything that had to be done in the evening didn’t get done.  My to-do list and my sleep was severely affected but oh well the Olympics only come around every two years, plenty of time to catch up on the to-do list and sleep.
Since my goal is to have no repeat recipes in the first three months of my blog I’ve had to search all available resources in my home and in doing so I feel this weeks meals are a great compilation. We have five different ethnic backgrounds and a different protein with every dinner.  I love when a week works out this way, variety is definitely the spice of life. 

I was able to change up the layout a bit and feel it’s finally getting to the place I’d like.  A few reminders for the newbies;  you can  click the title of any recipe to access it and if you are interested in a blank grocery list sheet formatted for Excel, send me an email and I’ll send one off to you.  It saves lots of time in the grocery store. As always you can email me at mydinnerplaybook@aol.com with any suggestions, recipe ideas or blog tips! Are you shy? My blog is receiving over 700 hits a week but there are only  21 followers showing up on “My really cool people” slot.  What’s going on? Sign up today to help reach my goal of having 100 followers and send this blog off to family, friends and strangers!  As always, have a fabulous week!
Find this weeks Grocery List here
Quick Meal 1

While I’d like to think that I’m a lover of all food cuisine; the truth is that are “types” of food that I’m not fond of.  You already know how I feel about seafood and I have to say that you won’t find me entering a Chinese food establishment.  Chinese food is just one of those types of food thats not my cup of tea, no pun intended (wink, wink). To give my family additional options, and the fact that they do like Chinese food, I do what I can to incorporate or find alternatives that work for all of us.  This recipe got a place in my BBB (Big Blue Binder) a few years ago and enters the picture when my family needs to get away from all of my heavy, cream based and stuffed recipes.  Now I’m not sure how “authentic” it is but my family likes it and it’s about as far as I plan to venture.
On a side note, one of my close friends is in Beijing right now for 5 weeks and has been blogging about her trip.  When she has described the food I know I’d never survive a vacation there unless I was able to pack a suitcase full of food from the States.  Here is a sampling of some of the options she had before her at a local diner she decided to eat at one night; snake, donkey meat, fried duck blood, intestine, preserved pig face, turtle side meat and claws, fish head soup, and the worst was, Fried Fish Bowl which is a large heaving bowl of fish “bowel”!    I think I’ve made my case. :)

Quick Meal 2
Chicken Fajitas in the quick meal category?  Yes, I think when people see that there are so many plates and ingredients set before them in a restaurant, they feel that it would take forever to duplicate at home.  Not so, once you get going on the chopping, you will be enjoying this meal in under 30.  Kids really seem to like this one as they get to fill their tortilla with all the ingredients they like.  Enjoy.
Create individual quesadillas with the leftovers.  Place chicken over 1 tortilla, top with cheese and veggie mixture and finish with a tortilla on top.  Cut in half, place in a wax paper sandwich bag and freeze.  When reheating nuke for 1 minute and enjoy. 
Got Some Time - Meal 1
This recipe was a recipe I had on my list last week from one of my March subscriptions to try before posting it.  Well I finally got around to it and I have to say it was very tasty, easy to make and everyone gave it a thumbs up.  You will see two recipes posted, one for a Perfect Marinara Sauce and the other for the Vodka Sauce.  To create the Vodka sauce you will need to make the marinara sauce first.  While I can’t say the Marinara was as perfect as they described, it was a good base for the Vodka sauce along with being easy and quick to make.    I of course had to top mine with Parmiagiano-Reggiano and throw some garlic bread into the mix.

With the leftover marinara you have I’d suggest freezing in two separate containers and using as the sauce for your homemade pizza’s.

Got Some Time Meal - 2

I like to add turkey recipes to the mix every now and then to not only save on the grocery bill, but to also take a break from the same ol’ regulars of chicken, beef and pork.  This recipe was torn out of a Rachael Ray magazine a long time ago and gives me a different way to use ground turkey since I’ve only come up with my Thanksgiving in a Pan recipe.  I’ve not only served this dish over wide egg noodles as suggested, but mashed potatoes and rice as well, my advise, use whatever you have on hand.  
Create individual shepherds pie’s with your leftovers.  In a 6 cup muffin pan add a double layer of cupcake liners (do not use foil ones) crumble meatballs on the bottom of each, top with a spoonful of mashed potatoes, add leftover sauce, sprinkle with cheese and sprinkle a few breadcrumbs over each of them.  Cover with plastic wrap or wrap each one individually. Nuke in microwave until thawed when you are ready to enjoy.

Got Some Time Meal - 3
It’s time for a steak!  While most of my steak dinners seem to turn into “Pass the Wine; I got all the time” meals because of the time involved in creating all the components. By the time I make the baked potatoes, the sautéed mushrooms, the grilled veggies, the bread, and the salad I’m tired.  This is why I’m fond of this recipe because I get my steak dinner without the hassle.  This recipe is not only quick but it’s tasty, satisfying and you truly feel like you got the complete steak dinner. 

Pass the Wine; I got all the time - Meal 1
During the week of February 22nd I posted a Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage recipe that was created by the Neely’s of Food Network.  I chose to post the recipe because it was tasty and quick.  While on a networking site that I post my menus too I was told by this lovely woman from Louisiana, that the recipe wasn’t authentic nor was it a New Orleans food as was my thinking.  While she not only provided me with a quick history lesson she also very gracious provided me with some “authentic” Louisiana recipes and this is one of them.
Facts I learned quoted from Titus:
“Dirty Rice is not a New Orleans food, it is Cajun, which many people do not know is the exact opposite, it also uses organ meats as the meat part.”     Ewww, definitely do not want this recipe!
“The only rice dish we [those from Louisiana] really have that has sausage in it is Jambalaya.”
For this recipe Titus’ comment was:

“The Cajuns of South Louisiana often included andouille and oysters in a holiday gumbo. Normally, a sack of Gulf oysters would be purchased the day before the celebration. Half would be opened for the gumbo, and the other half would be eaten immediately with a dash of hot sauce. Serve this gumbo on Christmas Eve, and you will be duplicating an age-old bayou tradition.”
I want to not only thank Titus for sharing this recipe along with two others that will be posted down the line, but for setting my thinking straight.  Just another example of how food really does bring people together.  Enjoy!

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