MJ Monday: MJ’s Movies-What’s Cooking?

I’ve seen this movie only twice, but that doesn’t stop it from being my favorite Thanksgiving movie of all time.

It is the story of four ethnically different families preparing for  then participating in Thanksgiving dinner.  As one reviewer said, “There’s stress, there’s food, and there’s stressing over food.” The ensemble cast is wonderful.

My favorite part is the variety of textures. Textures in stories matter a lot to me, and this movie sets the tone for each of the cultures by using textures.

I’m truly surprised the movie isn’t better known.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Meals–Sloppy Joes & Sweet Potato Fries

This is a simple meal my family always enjoyed.

Preheat oven, then bake frozen sweet potato fries per the package instructions.

While that happens, make the Sloppy Joes:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  1. Brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat. (If you want you can add green bell pepper and/or chopped celery at this stage, but I don’t know why you’d want to).
  2. When the pink is gone from the meat and the veggies are tender, drain.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve on a roll of your choice, along with the sweet potato fries.

 

MJ Monday: MJ’s Meals-Chicken with Accessory Vegetables

Ingredients: 

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • Sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • garlic, minced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2 jar deli sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1 jar vodka sauce
  • 1 box rotini pasta

Cover the bottom of a heavy kettle with olive oil and slowly “melt” the sliced onions, cooking until they are limp and translucent.

Start the pasta water. Once it’s reached a full boil, cook the pasta per package instructions, drain and reserve until “sauce” is complete.

 

Add the chicken and garlic, cooking over medium heat until there is no pink left in the chicken.

Add the rest of the vegetables to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the jar of vodka sauce and heat thoroughly.

Add the cooked pasta and mix well.

Serve with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Meals–Fall Dinner

I’m going to share the recipes for one of my family’s favorite fall meals.

The first recipe is one I found on line. My adult son likes it so much, he makes it for himself in his bachelor apartment.

The chicken recipe originally started as a butter advertisement in a magazine that my friend Robin shared with me, but has gradually morphed into something else. This is one recipe my daughter begged for when she was at college. I’ve served it to almost everyone who’s come to my house for a meal. It has been my “secret” recipe for years. I’m sharing the bare bones. Yes, I give measurements, but I mostly eyeball the general proportions.

SERVES 4

  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed Keebler Onion Toasteds*
  • 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS dried basil
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Melt the butter
  3. Combine cracker crumbs, Parmesan, basic, oregano, garlic powder.
  4. Dip chicken in melted butter, then coat with crumb mixture. (Reserve leftover melted butter)
  5. Place chicken in an ungreased glass baking pan
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes
  7. Add apple juice,  green onion, parsley to reserved melted butter.
  8. When chicken i s golden brown, pour the butter-apple juice sauce over the chicken and bake for another 3-5 minutes.
  9. Serve with sauce spooned over the chicken.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • Chopped fresh chives also work well in the sauce
  • I usually melt more butter, because my family really likes the sauce over the chicken.
  • The Keebler Onion Toasteds are crucial to the success of the recipe. If you opt for another type of breadcrumb, add onion powder to the crumb mixture.

 

 

MJ Monday: MJ’s Meals-High Protein Wraps

I recently made a new kind of wrap my husband says is better than the one I posted last month. He likes the moister version.

I started out with a high protein flat bread…

 

 

 

 

 

I spread 3/4 of it with roasted garlic hummus…

 

 

 

 

 

Added good deli turkey over half…

 

 

 

 

 

Layered whole baby spinach leaves atop the turkey…

 

 

 

 

Added strips of roasted red pepper…

 

 

 

 

 

And starting from the filled end, rolled tightly, then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Another grab and go meal.