Weekly Menu for March 1st thru 6th

Happy Friday!  I’m not sure how your week was but mine seemed to be a bit more nuts than usual.  Last week I told you about all the new March magazines I was receiving, and since the week was so busy I only got thru two of them and only had time to test one of the recipes I flagged.  You are going to be so happy though, because the one I tested, ROCKED!   Along with that rockin’ meal, we have a really great variety of proteins and flavor profiles this week.  Times like this make me feel very happy that I’m not a picky eater, or more importantly a boring eater.  I have known people to eat the same 7 meals on the same days of the week, or those who eat chicken at every meal.  I just don’t get it, there is so much great food out there!  (Disclosure in a hushed announcer voice - If you know someone who fits into the above category, you should send them this blog, it’s your foodie duty.)
Speaking of March, we have St. Patty’s Day this month.  Since I’m not Irish, green is my least favorite color and I tend to eat more of the potatoes during the Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes meal (when we have been invited to such a shindig in the past), I can’t say I will be the one providing any inspiration if your wanting to celebrate the 17th in a big way.  Although in my opinion, March does bring us one of the best days of the year in my book; daylight savings time begins!  Gone will be the days of feeling like you want to go to bed at 5:30 p.m., you somehow just seem to have more energy, the kids can stay outside longer, (wink wink) and I don’t know about you, but for me, when that extra hour comes back into play I get excited! Woo hoo!  I’d never make it in Alaska!
Last week I asked you how you liked the new layout?  Well, don’t get too used to it, this template isn’t working out as I would like so the background will most likely change, but you will still be able to just click the title of the recipe to access it.  Throughout the week I’m sure I will continue to tweak the site, so please email me at mydinnerplaybook@aol.com with any suggestions, recipe ideas, or how...ha!  You thought I was going to say; “how I can take over the world with my blog”, well not this week, I’m a bit on the tired side, however I’d still love to hear from you. Also, don’t forget about my goal of having 100 followers, sign up today 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

This is a meal that gets made every so often, or at least often enough that it has made into my BBB (big blue binder).  This recipe is a kid friendly meal because of the pasta and cheese; but as the commercials say, it’s Mom approved because it has spinach cleverly disguised in it. 
Quick Meal 2
I’m sure you have noticed that most of the meals I post are hardy meals that have many flavors and components; and with many them I seem to only add a small salad as a side dish.  Well, this salad is the whole meal with no need for a side kick and the flavor components are just as satisfying.  For those of you who like black beans and want to up the fiber intake for the day, throw them in, they will compliment the dish nicely.

Got Some Time - Meal 1
Remember when I told you that I’m not a big seafood eater but try to make fish recipes so that the family gets those Omega-3 fats into their diets?  Well, it’s time for another one.  Tilapia is a great fish for those who really don’t like “fishy” fish. Those of you who just love seafood won’t understand this, but those of you; like me who aren’t the biggest fans of fish will.  The flavor of the fish is very mild and with the added couscous and seasonings, I’m thinking it’s a dish you will like and be able to say you ate something healthy.     

Got Some Time Meal - 2
This recipe is a BBB favorite.  I found this recipe in the Williams-Sonoma magazine about four years ago and it’s a recipe that we all love and a great way to add some zing to your chicken.  In fact, it is such a great recipe that I’ve even made it for company.  I find that most times I don’t need a starch and I usually just add asparagus or a side salad.  This recipe instructs you to use toasted bread crumbs but I find that Panko bread crumbs work just as well and save time.

Got Some Time Meal - 3
I’m going to be honest with you, meatloaf isn’t one of my favorite meals.  I know that it’s what people would call a staple in American cooking but my thinking is; if I’m going to have a big chunk of cooked ground beef, I’d rather it be in the form of a burger.  This week a request has been made for a good recipe and in the past when I’ve been asked to make a meatloaf, this is the one recipe I turn to.  I’m sure the reason I like this version is because it’s stuffed with ham, bacon and cheese.  If you feel the same way I do  about meatloaf I’m sure that after trying this recipe your perspective of it will change.  If you do not have a meatloaf pan, which is a rectangle dish that has an insert in it to catch the grease I highly suggest that you get one.  They are inexpensive and your meatloaf doesn’t sit in a pile of grease.

Pass the Wine; I got all the time - Meal 1
Taadaa, the big finish. This is the rockin’ recipe I mentioned in the beginning.  I found this recipe in my March issue of Food Network Magazine and the picture looked so good, I had to try it.  After reading the recipe thru I was a bit shocked that 3 sticks of butter, yes I said three, was used just for the crust, but it was sooooo good and flaky.  When you look at the time on the recipe you will understand why it’s in this category, but I have to say it didn’t take as long to assemble as I thought it would.  I used my food processor for the apples and potatoes and it shaved off lots of time.  Also, I chose to use ham because the mortadella (môrtəˈdelə|noun a type of light pink, smooth-textured Italian sausage containing pieces of fat, typically served in slices) just looked weird to me and since I was already going to be using 3 sticks of butter I just couldn’t do it. This dish was a hit and the combination of the apples with the potatoes was delicious. Although the next time I make this recipe (it has already been requested again) I’m thinking I will double the ham portion, as it did get a little lost.  This certainly is a dish you need to make this week.

Grocery List: 3/1 thru 3/6

Lemons, 2
Flat Leaf Parsley
Garlic Bulb
Thyme, 2 sprigs
Onion, 2
Red Onion, sm, 1
Red Potatoes, 4 large (1 1/2 lbs) 
Gala Apples, 2
Spring Mix, 1
Red Bell Pepper, 1
Seedless Cucumber, 1
Avocado, 1
Tomato, 1
Rigatoni, 1 lb
Couscous, 10 p\oz box, 1
Slivered Almonds (1/2 cup)
Sun Dried Tomatoes, (1/4 cup)
Bread Crumbs, Fresh or Panko (5 cups)
Tortilla Chips
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Worcestershire Sauce
White or Apple Cider Vinegar
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Tilapia Filets, 4 (8 oz. each)
Pancetta, 6 oz.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, 5
Ground Beef, 2 lbs
Steaks, 2, your choice of cut
Baked Ham, 8 slices
Mortadella or Ham, thinly sliced, 5 ounces
Ricotta Cheese, 1 lb
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Fontina Cheese, 6 oz.
Provolone Cheese, 3 oz.
Cheddar Cheese Slices
White Cheddar Cheese, 10 oz.
Heavy Cream, small
Unsalted Butter, 3 sticks
10-ounce pkg frozen spinach, 1
Corn, 1 cup

Steak Salad

Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Jo Davison
1 pkg Spring Mix Salad
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 sm red bell pepper, sliced
1 seedless cucumber, sliced
1 Avocado, diced
1 Tomato, Lg, diced
1 Red Onion, sm, sliced
1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
2 Steaks, your choice of cut
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Heat a sauté pan on high, add 1 tbs of olive oil**.  Season steak with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika, on both sides.  Sear each side for 1 minute.  Place steaks on a cookie sheet and place in oven and cook to desired doneness.  Example: 1 inch steak, bake 11 - 15 minutes for medium.  When steak is done, remove from sheet and allow to rest for 5 to 7 minutes.  After steak has rested, slice and create 4 portions.
In the same sauté pan, add the corn and bell pepper and sauté for just a couple of minutes to absorb the steak flavors.
In a large salad bowl combine the salad mix, cucumber, tomato and onion.  Add 1/4 cup of dressing and combine well. Separate mixture into four equal parts on the plates.  Top each plate with chips and corn mixture evenly. Add the steak slices and avocado to finish.
** Steaks can be grilled on an outdoor grill.  Coat steaks with olive oil and season before grilling.