Clapping On The Down Beat

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Meal Plan 4.4.12 April 4, 2012

Filed under: Hot Deals,Meal Planning,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 10:03 PM

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I had class again tonight and learned lots of important food safety rules.  I will share a few here:
  • Leftovers are good for up to 7 days.  HOWEVER before you eat them they should be heated to 160 internal temperature before consumed again.  For example, I have leftover chicken that I want to make chicken salad with.  For safety sake, I should heat the chicken up again to 160 internal temperature, let the chicken cool and then chop to make chicken salad.  DO not mix hot food with cold ingredients.  Food should all be close to the same temperature when mixed.
  • The TDZ (temperature danger zone) is 41-135 degrees.  Food needs to be kept out of the range as much as possible.  This is the temperature bacteria like to grow in.  Your fridge should be set below 40 degrees because it is opened and closed a lot and that effects the temperature.
  • Cooked food has a 4 hour window before it is no longer safe to eat.  If you make a large Easter buffet and the food is cooked and set out for a total time of 3 hours, your leftovers only have 1 hour left to be pulled out, reheated and eaten.  Cold food like potato salad, cut vegetables, ect, has 6 hours.
  • Watch for cross contamination.  In the fridge, eggs and raw meats should be on the lowest shelf.  When preparing foods try to have separate, even color coded cutting boards and other items to prepare raw food with.
Have you heard the news on “pink slime”?  It has totally grossed me out.  I went to Whole Foods today to buy some beef cubes for my ragu (spaghetti sauce) specifically because I know they buy local grass fed beef and butcher in house.  They had signs all over the counter explaining this and I asked the butcher if it was because of the pink slime media coverage.  He said yes.
Here’s a link to Jamie Oliver’s Food revolution that started the whole thing.  Watch out, it may turn your stomach.
Ok, now you may not feel like even thinking about food.  BUT, it is important to be informed about where your food comes from and what you are putting into your body.
Lots of sales on traditional Easter dinner foods.  Ham, beans, yams, flowers……
Here are a few great recipes I tried this week:
Chicken Bundles
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 4 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
  • 3 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk, dill, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in the chicken, celery and onions.
  • Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into 12 rectangles, four from each tube; place on a greased baking sheet and press the perforations together. Spoon 1/2 cup of chicken mixture into the center of each rectangle. Bring edges up to the center and pinch to seal. Brush with butter; sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
MONTEREY CHICKEN

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce ( I use Bull’s Eye)
1/4 c. real bacon bits
1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained (canned with green chilies added)
sliced green onions
pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with pepper. Grill chicken until no long pink (we used our George Foreman grill) and place on baking sheet covered with foil. Top each chicken breast with one tablespoon bar-b-que sauce, 1/4 c. cheese, 1/4 c. tomatoes, green onions and one tablespoon of bacon bits. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

BUTTER-PECAN SWEET POTATOES

8 medium sweet potatoes (5 lbs.), or one per person
olive oil
course salt
2 T. butter, cut into small pieces
2 T. light brown sugar
1/3 c. pecan pieces
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise; slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil (we brush it on both sides); season with salt.  Transfer half the potatoes to a second baking sheet; cook both sheets until potatoes are tender, tossing occasionally, 25-30 minutes.  Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, pecan pieces and cayenne pepper, dividing evenly. Bake until sugar is carmelized and hard, about 10 minutes. Toss gently; serve immediately.

PENNE PASTA WITH CREAM SAUCE
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) dry penne pasta
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded Italian-style four-cheese blend
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, adding sun-dried tomatoes to boiling pasta water for last two minutes of cooking time; drain.  MEANWHILE, COMBINE evaporated milk, cheese, basil, garlic powder and pepper in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.  ADD pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to cheese sauce; stir until combined.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders
24 Sara Lee Dinner Rolls

24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy seed sauce
1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

hot cross buns

1 cup currants or raisins
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 scant tablespoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, well beaten with a teaspoon of water
hot cross bun frosting (recipe follows)

1. Place currants in a small microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 1 minute, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together flour, cinnamon, instant yeast*, and sugar. Pour in milk, egg yolks, melted butter, and salt. Scrape down the bowl if necessary, and knead for 10 minutes, until dough is sticky and elastic. Drain currants or raisins, and mix into the dough.

2. Turn dough out onto a well floured board and knead a few times. Shape into a ball, and place in a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.

3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 13×9 inch baking pan, or two 8×8 inch baking pans. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, and shape each piece into a ball. Cover with a buttered piece of plastic wrap, and let rise for 20-30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush each bun with egg wash, and use kitchen shears to cut a cross into the top of each bun. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until buns are shiny and golden. Allow to cool for several minutes. Place frosting in a disposable pastry bag, and cut off the tip to make a 1/4 inch opening. Decorate the buns.

hot cross bun frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and mix together until smooth. Add more cream or sugar as necessary to achieve desired consistency.

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