Monday, July 12, 2010

Mission Possible

The challenge for the week:
Make a meal plan (mission completed)
Set a $75 grocery budget for the week & pay only in cash (slightly over budget by about $5.04)
Make 5 new recipes (20 to Try from July 2010 issue of Better Homes & Gardens)

Apple Bacon Burger - Recipe #1 (Saturday July 10th, 2010)
For the burgers, mix 1/2 lb Italian Sausage (I just used basil chicken sausage because it was on sale) and 1/2 lb ground beef and 1 cored and finely chopped Granny Smith apple (no need to peel).  Shape into burgers (I also added a little Salt & Pepper) and Grill.
Make a tangy-sweet spread by stirring together 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp Dijon style mustard, and honey to taste.  Slather on toasted bun and top with burger, additional thin slices of green apple, and crisp pieces of cooked bacon.  We also added cheddar cheese and avocado. 
The verdict: 5 out of 5 stars.  This burger was amazing!!!  So easy, and moist, probably from the pieces of apple.  And the pieces of apple were such a nice little crunchy surprise in every bite.  I highly recommend this burger for any summer BBQ feast.

No Cook Peach Ice Cream - Dessert (Saturday July 10th, 2010)
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
2 1/2 fresh peaches pitted and chopped
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c half & half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
In large bowl, mix together eggs & sugar until smooth.  puree peaches in a blender and stir 5 cups of puree into egg mixture.  stir in cream, half & half, vanilla and salt and mix well.  Pour into freezer canister or ice cream maker and freeze.  

Later in the week I will post some pictures of us with our Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine.  But for now, drool over this:
The verdict, 3 3/4 out of 5 stars.  Let me preface this by saying that any no-cook ice cream recipe is going to pale in comparison to a cooked ice cream recipe.  You will just never get that rich, custardy taste from no-cook.  But with that being said, no-cook is a ton easier to make, especially with little ones under foot.  This recipe was simple and easy, and the peach flavor is less intense the next day after freezing over night.  There are fresh little bits of peach mixed in which are superb!  I have 3 more ice cream recipes to share with you guys this week including strawberry and fig, so be on the look out!

Salmon & Ravioli - Recipe #2 (Sunday July 11th, 2010)
Cook 1 9 oz package refrigerated cheese ravioli & drain.  Meanwhile, rinse 2 6 oz salmon fillets and pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook salmon over medium heat until salmon flakes easily.  Remove salmon and keep warm.  Add one 6 oz package of baby spinach to skillet and cook until just wilted; remove from skillet.  Melt 2 tbsp butter in the skillet with 3 slices garlic cloves.  Halve a lemon and squeeze juice from 1/2 into the butter and garlic and warm through.  Divide salmon, ravioli and spinach into 2 plates and drizzle warm butter mixture over dish.  Top with shredded Parmesan cheese
The verdict: Divine!  5 out of 5 stars.  So easy and simple, why didn't I think of this?  I'll be honest, I winced a little when I saw the refrigerated raviolis, being that they remind me of our newlywed days and they were about the only thing Art knew how to make.  Needless to say, 24 year old working kids didn't yet have many skills in the kitchen, so we ate a lot of these raviolis!  But I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and I tell ya, the spinach with the salmon and the warm lemon garlic butter just elevated refrigerated raviolis to a whole new level!  And the best part?  I had this recipe cooked and plated in about 25 minutes flat.


  1. I'm doing the cash thing, too. I'll let you know how it goes!

  2. 1. I'm VERY impressed with the grocery budget.

    2. That hamburger looks so delish...going to make that one for sure!

  3. I think you have challenged me... I could spend a wad on food! And the salmon & ravioli, wow. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. i love the burger recipe! sounds so good and looks fantastic too. i'm a horrid cook, mainly cause i don't like to do it, but i really want to change that and maybe these recipes can help. maybe. i'm seriously really bad.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I need new ideas! Those dinners look awesome!

  6. I think I'll try those burgers for Charlie's birthday party this weekend. Thanks for the idea!

  7. All of these recipes sound devine. I am not very good at grocery budgeting, or meal planning for that matter! It would probably really make life easier though!!

  8. LOVE meal planning... your recipes look YUMMY. I like snagging new one from Rachael Ray.

  9. Way to go with the $75! I am impressed and convicted! Thanks for the new recipes. I really appreciate them.

    PS, I fixed my e-mail thingy. :)

  10. Ha Ha, so THAT's why you had Granny Smith Apples lying around.... :)
    Cool challenge mama!

  11. Thanks for the recipe inspiration, Andrea. I love to try ones you recommend. These burgers look great!

    We recently made a new recipe that we loved - Chicken and summer vegetable tostadas. I loved them with the green salsa - a bit less for the kids if too spicy. They liked them rolled up in a burrito or soft taco, while I loved the crunch and variety of having it as tostada. A bit of sour cream cooled it for the kids as well. Maybe you'd like to try it, if you're not overloaded with all of your new recipes already!


  12. oh i wanted to try that salmon dish too... you got me motivated! i have the cuisinart ice cream maker and WE LOVE IT! we mostly use it with low fat yogurt and fresh fruits so i don't feel too guilty:)

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