Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day: The Backcounter is Back from vacation

Reflections from the Backcounter

A vacation is a wonderful way to recharge the battery and refocus priorities. I truly needed to get away and probably would have benefitted from an off planet trip but settled for off continent. We have just returned from London and it was an amazing experience. We were fortunate enough to rent an apartment in central London and with the exchange rate so unfavorable to the US dollar, it was very appealing to cook in and save our limited funds to see all the sights and enjoy our experience there. We had a lot of fun shopping in the grocery stores in London. My kids really enjoyed Whole Foods and the Food court in Harrods. The eggs at Whole Foods were all free range and displayed in a big bin allowing customers to hand pick each egg. Of course for those with heartier appetites, ostrich eggs were an option!
Happy Father's day to all the Dads. We are celebrating with our favorite Father's Day meal, baby back ribs on the BBQ. It is a very hot week in the southwest so I am sure we will take a dip in the pool. If you have always wanted to try smoking ribs but were not sure how to do it, check out this video from BBQ web . I prefer to make them in the oven and then finish them on the gas grill
Menu for the week follows:



Menu Week 14


Mashed Potatoes
Green Salad
Apple Pie
Bow Tie Lasagne ( My mothers recipe)
Green salad
Garlic Bread
Bow Tie Lasagne
1 pkg bowtie pasta
1/2 lb bulk pork sausage (hot)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lg chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water (can substitute 1/2 c water for 1/2 c red wine)
1/4 t each rosemary, baisl marjoram, oregano and pepper
1 1/2 t salt
2 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed ( 10 oz packages)
2 c sour cream
1 c grated or shredded parmesan cheese
Crumble and brown meats in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Saute until soft but not brown. Blend in tomato sauce, paste, water and spipces. Simmer slowly uncoovered until reduced to about six cups. (about 30 minutes). Drain an dsqueeze all water out of spinach. Combine noodles with meat sauce and let cool. Spread 1/2 of this mixture over the bottom of a shallow casserole dish. Scatter 1/2 of the spinach over the noodles and dot evenly with 1/2 the sour cream and sprinkle with 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Repeat layer of meat, noodles, spinach and sour cream. Top evely with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for 40- 50 minutes until heated through and lightly browned on top
Green Salad
Corn bread muffins
Armenian noodles
Green Salad
Spicy black bean soup
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1 4 oz can diced mild green chilies
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T chopped jalepeno
1 T ground cumin
2 15 oz cans black beans, undrained
2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
8 T chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream
Tortilla chips
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin. Saute until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans with juices and broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender,. Return puree to same pot. Mix in 6 T cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips and cilantro.
Steamed broccoli
Long grain and wild rice mix

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