Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crockpot Cranberry Ribs

I bought too much food for Thanksgiving, and we ended up having about a third of the company we usually do, since there was a big snowstorm that week.  I've been happy to find a couple of recipes that have helped me use up the extra ingredients!  This used the cranberry sauce and applesauce.  I'm glad that they won't be sitting in the pantry for a year, and then end up unusable!  These ribs really did fall off the bone (and back into the crockpot).  They were really delicious!

Crockpot Cranberry Ribs
from Misoginger

4 lbs pork ribs (take the membrane off the back)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray.  Cut the ribs into individual ribs and place them in the crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to coat the ribs.  Turn crockpot to high and cook at least 6 hours.  Remove ribs and set aside on a platter.  Skim the fat from the sauce.  Remove the sauce from the crockpot.  Pour half the sauce over the ribs and reserve the rest for dunking the ribs.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Red Velvet Cheese Ball

I call this the Murder Ball.  Because it's red and stains everything, and it will probably kill you.  I obviously don't make this for just the two of us sitting around the house, but it's fun to trot out for parties.  I like to serve it with Nilla Wafers, and graham crackers are good, too.

Red Velvet Cheese Ball 
from Taste and Tell Blog

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup red velvet cake mix
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add cake mix and sugars and beat again until smooth and combined.  Mix in a handful of chocolate chips.  Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and use your hands to shape it into a ball.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, wrapped in the plastic.  Put chocolate chips on a plate.  Remove the cheese ball from the wrap and roll it in the chips, coating evenly.  Serve with graham crackers or Nilla Wafers.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cornbread Casserole

Someone brought this to my Thanksgiving last year and it was a big hit.  I've made it a couple of times since, and it does not disappoint.  Super easy and feeds a crowd!

Cornbread Casserole
from Recipe Lion

1 can whole corn
1 can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup melted margarine
1 package (8.5 oz) Jiffy corn bread mixture
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 300F.  Drain corn and combine all ingredients.  Pour into casserole dish.  Bake 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

I've made mac and cheese a bunch of different ways, but this is probably my favorite.  It's really easy, quick and can feed a crowd.  I served it as a side for Thanksgiving and we were pretty disappointed that we didn't have much of it leftover the next day.  It's easy to double the recipe, which I'll have to keep in mind next time!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
adapted from Paula Deen

2 cups elbow macaroni
4 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper

Boil macaroni for 6 minutes.  Drain.  In a medium sauce pan, (I use the same one) mix butter and cheese and stir until cheese melts.  In a slow cooker, combine cheese mix, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper.  Add macaroni.  Mix together.  Set slow cooker to low for 2 1/2 hours.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Salmon Teriyaki with Asparagus

I can't believe I've never posted this before!  It came from the same Men's Health article that had the recipes for Thai Red Curry with Beef and General Tso's Chicken.  This salmon is delicious!  I always ask the guy at the seafood counter to take the skin off the salmon so I don't have to mess with it.

Salmon Teriyaki with Asparagus
from Men's Health

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb salmon, skinned and cut in 1" cubes
Asparagus (or broccoli) and cooked brown rice for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together first 8 ingrdients.  Set aside.  Heat a wok to medium-high heat.  Add oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the salmon and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are just becoming opaque, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and keep warm.  Add asparagus to the wok and stirfry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Return salmon to the pan and stir in soy sauce mixture.  Heat, stirring, for 1 minutes.  If sauce seems too thick, add a little water.  Serve over brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Turkey Sliders with Sriracha and Pepperoni

I love playing around with ground turkey and mixing it up from our usual turkey burgers.  These were really tasty.

Turkey Sliders with Sriracha and Pepperoni
adapted from Call me PMC

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp sriracha
1/4 tsp creole seasoning
1/4 tsp season salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 slices cheddar cheese
18 small pepperoni slices
6 slider buns
lettuce and tomato

Combine turkey, sriracha, creole seasoning, season salt and pepper.  Form into 6 small patties.  Heat a skillet on medium-high and add oil.  When oil ripples, add burgers.  Cook 5 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook an additional 4 minutes.  Do not press on them!  Remove from heat and build your sandwich.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Herb, Garlic & Mustard-Crusted Fillet of Beef

I am SO excited that we just got our quarter cow from the butcher!  Last year we split it with another couple and we ran out during the summer.  This year we kept the whole thing for ourselves and the deep freeze is completely filled.  I can't wait to make more delicious beef recipes!  I cheated and used London Broil and dried herbs, but it was still delicious!

Herb, Garlic and Mustard-Crusted Fillet of Beef
from Cooking Light

1 2 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed
cooking spray
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place beef on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread mustard evenly over beef.  Combine remaining ingredients and pat evenly over beef.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until 145F inside.  Let stand 10 minutes under foil before slicing.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks

It's been a long time since we used our deep fryer and I'm so glad I busted it out for this recipe.  Incredible!  I will make these again and often.

Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks
from Life's Ambrosia

8 oz block of pepper jack cheese
wonton wrappers
oil for frying

Avocado Cream Dip
1 avocado, pitted and removed from skin
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp cumin

Cut the cheese into 1/2 inch sticks.  I think I got 12 out of it.  Place each cheese stick on a wonton and close according to package directions using the water.  Heat deep fryer to 350F.  Fry the cheese sticks in batches and remove to a paper towel to drain.  Sprinkle with salt.  Mix together the Avocado Cream Dip.  Serve cheese sticks with dip.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sausage Cheese Dip

I'm on a quest to find a new football game-day dip.  I found this on the internet and it's just okay.  I will keep looking.

Sausage Cheese Dip
from Never Enough Thyme

Cooking spray
8 oz sausage
16 oz Velveeta cheese
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp pepper

Place a medium skillet over medium heat.  Spray liberally with cooking spray.  Break up the sausage in the pan and cook, stirring and separating the sausage until no pink color remains.  Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Cut the Velveeta into roughly 1" chunks and add it with the salsa to the same skillet.  Stir constantly until the cheese is completely melted.  Add the sour cream, pepper and sausage.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Serve with corn chips for dipping.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

I just love everything made with Buffalo flavor.  This was diet-busting, but I swear I only ate fewer than half of them.  The only adjustment I'd make next time is using shredded cheddar in the taquitos instead of blue cheese crumbles.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
from Chef In Training

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup buffalo sauce
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup blue cheese crumbles, divided (or use shredded cheddar)
12 small flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 425F.  Mix cream cheese and buffalo sauce until well combined.  Stir in chicken until thoroughly mixed.  Place 2-3 tbsp of mixture spread into a thin line onto the center of tortilla.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp of cheese over the top.  Roll up tight.  Place on lightly greased baking sheet and repeat for remaining taquitos.  Once taquitos are arranged on the baking sheet, lightly spray the tops with cooking spray.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili

This was so easy to make, but I have to confess I didn't taste it.  I'm not a big fan of soups or chilies, so I skipped it.  I heard it was very tasty, and all of the leftovers were eaten later in the week.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili
from iFOODreal

5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
3-4 large carrot, chopped (3 cups)
2 cups celery, chopped
2 15 oz cans any beans, drained & rinsed (I used cannelini and kidney)
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 lbs chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
Cooking spray

Preheat large skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.  Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery and saute for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a large crock pot.  Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot, except chicken.  Mix to combine.  Add chicken breasts and push them down to the bottom, and cover with the other ingredients.  Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.  When done, remove chicken, shred with 2 forks, and return it to the crock pot and mix together.  Let chili cook another 30 minutes.  Serve hot.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I was hesitant to commit to a whole week of this dish when I saw it come out of the oven.  It didn't look like much, but actually tastes fantastic.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
from Caveman Keto

3 lbs chicken (breast, tender or thigh)
1 lb ham steak
1 lb Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut chicken into 1" cubes and spread on the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Cut ham into 1/2 cubes and spread over chicken.  Shred Swiss cheese and spread over meats.  In a medium bowl, heat the cream cheese until soft, but not liquid.  Mix in the heavy whipping cream and then pour over casserole.  Mix the whole dish up.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mom's Meatloaf

Well, this is actually a variation of my mom's meatloaf, but pretty close.  I was not a big fan growing up ("The onion pieces are too big!!") but now I love it for warm fall/winter lunches.  I adapted my own recipe this time, thinking I would shake it up.  I usually use regular flavor Cheez-Its, but I thought it would be fun to try the white cheddar flavor.  I was wrong.  I really missed the cheddar flavor, but it wasn't inedible.  I just won't make that mistake again.  When you crush up the Cheez-Its, leave some bigger pieces with the smaller pieces, because it's really nice to bite into a mushy, cheesy bite every so often.

adapted from my mom's recipe, aka no onions

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup (or more) smashed Cheez-Its
2 beaten eggs
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
onion powder and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.  Pour into a 9x5" greased baking dish.  Bake for 1 1/4 hours.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Southern-Style Baked Shrimp

This was SUPER tasty.  I like baking shrimp because it's so easy and you really don't need to interact with it or watch it.  Low calorie, low carb, a little spicy.  You really can't go wrong.

Southern-Style Baked Shrimp
from Flat Belly Diet! Family Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp honey
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the oil, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, garlic, honey, and soy sauce in an 8x8" baking dish.  Add the shrimp and toss gently to coat.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.  Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Delmonico Deviled Chicken

This is probably my second favorite chicken recipe.  It works really well with bone-in, skin-on thighs.  I've tried it with all of the other chicken cuts, and you can see I used legs here.  The best reason for using the thighs is that the flatter surface of them holds the butter mixture better than the other cuts.  I find that when you put the butter on the hot chicken, it starts melting and sliding off too soon.  The butter mixture is the best part!

Delmonico Deviled Chicken
from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken

3 lbs chicken drumsticks, thighs and/or breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat broiler on high.  Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.  Cover a baking sheet in foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place the chicken on the baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven, 6-8 inches from the heat.  Broil for 5-7 minutes a side, until skin is browned.  Remove from broiler and reduce oven to 350F.  Blend butter, mustard, vinegar and paprika and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl.  Place the chicken, skin side up, in a baking dish.  Brush with seasoned butter.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until coating is browned and crisp, and chicken is tender.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bacon Breakfast Muffins

I made these for my breakfasts for the last week and they are incredible.  I packed two for work every morning and they kept me full until lunch.  Plus they're super low-carb, if you eat that way.

Bacon Breakfast Muffins
adapted from Caveman Keto

6 eggs
6 oz heavy whipping cream
1 lb broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
10 slices bacon
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
3 slices cheddar cheese

Cook the bacon until close to done, but not quite crispy (I baked mine at 400F for about 15-20 minutes), drain on paper towel.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a standard-sized muffin tin and place a piece of bacon in 10 of the tins, wrapping it around the outside.  Cut down the broccoli into small pieces and distribute it in each bacon cup evenly.  Whisk together the cream, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and shredded cheddar in a medium bowl.  Pour mixture into each bacon cup evenly, leaving room for expansion.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm.  When they are mostly done, add 1/4 slice of cheddar to the top of each muffin and bake until cheese melts.

"The Best Chili I Ever Ate"

This picture is horrible and I actually did a really bad job of cooking this chili this time.  The recipe calls for the chili to be cooked in a pot on the stove, then transferred to a baking dish.  I've successfully made this in a crockpot more than once, but I don't know what happened this time.  Maybe I didn't get the chili hot enough to bake the cornbread on top.  Instead, the cornbread kind of spread throughout the chili and thickened it up.  From what I was told, it was not very good.  But, you should still make it the right way.

"The Best Chili I Ever Ate"
adapted from Heartland USA Magazine

2 lbs ground meat (I have used venison/beef mix in the past, or just beef, or beef/veal like I did this time)
1 cup diced onions
1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
16 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz tomato juice
16 oz can pork and beans
16 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp chili powder
1 cup grated cheddar
2 cups corn meal mix
15 oz can creamed corn
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

Brown the ground meat in a skillet, drain and transfer to a large pot.  Add onion, tomatoes, tomato juice, pork and beans, kidney beans, salt, garlic powder, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, cream corn, milk and sugar.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Pour chili in a deep 9x13" baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Pour cornmeal mixture evenly over the top of the chili.  Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until cornbread top is golden brown.

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Gravy

I. Ate. Every. Bite.  This was so delicious.  You have to really love blue cheese to want to eat this, and I really love blue cheese.  I cannot wait to make this again!

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Gravy
from LowCarbFriends.com

2 tbsp butter
2 thick-cut pork chops
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 ounces blue cheese crumbles

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the pork chops on both sides with black pepper and garlic powder.  Fry the pork chops in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 20 minutes.  Turn occasionally to brown on both sides.  Remove the pork chops to a plate and keep warm.  Stir the whipping cream into the skillet, scraping up any brown bits of meat stuck to the bottom.  When warm, stir in the blue cheese.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  Pour sauce over warm pork chops.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sweet and Sour Pork

I confess that I've never actually ordered Sweet and Sour anything when I've ordered Chinese food.  So this either tastes the same or better.  Definitely tastes better than what I imagine comes out of the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, especially when you look at the nutritional data!  I couldn't find coconut aminos that the recipe calls for, so I used soy sauce.  The sauce didn't really set up as much as I thought it would, so maybe throwing a little more tapioca flour in would help thicken it.

Sweet and Sour Pork
adapted from A Girl Worth Saving

Battered Pork:
1 lb pork loin, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg white
coconut oil for frying

1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1 cup broth
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup of diced pineapple

In a medium bowl, add the pork, egg white, tapioca flour, sea salt and mix until well combined.  Place the coconut oil in a skillet or wok and heat the oil to slightly splattering.  Drop in the pork and fry until golden brown.  Remove from the pan to a paper towel lined dish to drain the oil.  In the same pan, add coconut oil, diced onion and garlic.  Saute until the onions are translucent and add the broth, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and salt and pepper.  Bring the sauce to a boil and stir.  When the sauce has thickened, add pork, pineapple, tomatoes and bell pepper.  Mix to cover the ingredients with the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zucchini Basil Mini Crustless Quiche

I've been trying to mix up my breakfasts to not be so routine (eggs and sausage).  I am glad I found this recipe so I wouldn't get so bored.  At first I didn't really like it, but I powered through the week.  I added a little horseradish sauce for dipping and I liked it much better.

Zucchini Basil Mini Crustless Quiche
from Living Lou

1 zucchini, grated (I used the food processor)
1 small potato, grated
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a standard size muffin tin with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, potato, ham, cheese, parsley, basil and garlic.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.  Add the eggs and milk to the larger bowl and mix completely.  Scoop mixture in even amounts into the muffin tin.  Fill each cup almost to the top.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until eggs have set.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

Super easy, super fast, super delicious.  I served this over lettuce with the pan drippings as a sauce, but I've also served it over rice and pasta.

Garlicky Baked Shrimp
adapted from Real Simple

1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chicken broth
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a greased baking dish, combine shrimp, garlic and broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, combine butter, panko and parsley.  Sprinkle over shrimp.  Bake 15-18 minutes until shrimp are opaque.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthy Thai Sesame Patties

I could not get enough of this dinner!  It was so good!  I could probably eat it every night.  I love ground turkey and I love this flavor combination.  I also love anything that acts as a vehicle to get Thai Sweet Chili Sauce in me.  I can't wait to make it again!

Healthy Thai Sesame Patties
from Apple of my Eye

5 green onions, chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pkg ground turkey
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the oils.  Mix completely.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  When ready to cook, make about 20 patties with the turkey mixture.  Heat oils in a large skillet.  Add the patties and cook for 10 minutes, turning every so often, as not to burn, until completely cooked and golden.  Serve with a drizzle of soy sauce on top, and Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crock Pot Hamburger Dip

This was a special request for Sunday football.  I made it once before and it was a big hit with a group of guys, and it was appreciated by just one guy, as well.  I'm not a huge fan because I can really taste the ketchup, but I did have a few Scoops-fuls.

Crock Pot Hamburger Dip
from Chef In Training

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
2/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp chili powder
8 oz cream cheese, softened and cubed

In a skillet, brown ground beef with onion and jalapeno.  Drain fat and pour mix in the crock pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Cook on low for 2 hours, or until cream cheese melts and gets hot.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Parmesan Dijon Roasted Cauliflower

If you like roasted cauliflower, you have got to make this recipe.  The cauliflower picks up the flavors and they go perfectly together.  I could have eaten the whole head of cauliflower by myself and I wish I hadn't had to share.

Parmesan Dijon Roasted Cauliflower
from Peace Love and Low Carb

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except the cauliflower, until well combined.  Add the cauliflower to the bowl and toss in Dijon mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.  Spread cauliflower in a single layer on the parchment paper.   Bake on the middle rack for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pineapple Pork Stir-Fry

I've been sitting on this recipe forever, for no good reason except that I'm lazy and I've never wanted to be bothered cutting up the pork.  It's easiest to cut if you put the tenderloin in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  If it looks a little runny, that's because I ran out of cornstarch the day before.  I would like to try it again with the cornstarch.

Pineapple Pork Stir-Fry
from Taste of Home

1 can (8 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks, undrained
3 tbsp cornstarch, divided
1 tbsp plus 1/2 cup cold water, divided
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb), cut into thin strips (cut into medallions, then slice 2-3 strips)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp canola oil, divided
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
1 small onion, cut into wedges
Hot cooked rice for serving

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set aside.  In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp water, garlic powder and 1 tbsp reserved pineapple juice.  Pour into a large resealable bag and add the pork slices.  Turn to coat evenly.  In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne, 1/2 cup water, 1 tbsp cornstarch and reserved pineapple juice until smooth; set aside.  In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, stir-fry pork in 1 tbsp canola oil until no longer pink; remove and keep warm.  Stir-fry the broccoli, carrots and onion in remaining oil until tender.  Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.  Add pork and pineapple; heat through.  Serve on top of rice.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is new for me.  I love switching things up for veggies.  It tasted really good, but I think I used too much oil.  Because of that, it was a little mushier than I think it should be.  I'm going to try it again soon.

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
from Real Mom Kitchen

4 cups of butternut squash cut into 1" cubes (or prepackaged cut pieces)
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place the cut squash on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toss with oil, salt and pepper until coated evenly.  Spread out into a single layer.  Place in the oven and toss every 10 minutes, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes.  It's just one big pile of ridiculousness.  It's really easy and quick to put together, so it's a great weeknight dinner!

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken
from Beyond Kimchee

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp real bacon pieces, crumbled
4 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup grated cheddar
2 green onions, chipped and divided
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  Heat the tbsp of oil in a skillet and saute chicken breasts until browned on both sides.  Transfer chicken to a greased baking dish.  Pour over chicken the teriyaki sauce, then the ranch, then the cheddar, bacon and half of the onion.  Bake 20-30 minutes until cooked through.  Sprinkle with green onions for garnish.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cheesy Sausage Dip

I can't figure out where I got this recipe from (Cooks.com, I assume).  We just know it by heart at this point.  I have taken this to many potlucks and made it for crowds many times and it never disappoints.  The only rule is, you must invite me over to eat this with you!

Cheesy Sausage Dip
adapted from all over the place

1 lb Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 package cream cheese, cubed
1 can Ro*tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 lb sausage
1/2 lb ground beef

Brown the meat in a large skillet and drain.  Pour into a crock pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix.  Place crock pot on High for at least an hour until cheese is melted and hot.  Stir frequently.

Panko Crusted Salmon

I bought salmon this weekend and I was just going to make a boring meal of it by sprinkling Cajun seasonings on it and baking it, but Monday morning, this recipe popped up in my AOL Reader and looked like something I might like.  I was right.  It was delicious.  I love Dijon on salmon and I've posted about it before.  I'll make this one again!

Panko Crusted Salmon
from Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

2/3 cups panko
2 tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb salmon fillet
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a small bowl, combine panko, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Slowly drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil into the mixture and toss with a fork to mix completely.  Place salmon skin-side down on a greased foil-lined baking sheet.  Generously brush the salmon with the Dijon.  Press the panko mixture onto the salmon and completely cover the top.  Bake for 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.

Grilled Cheese Bites

These were a fun weekend treat.  The texture of the panko makes it feel like you're really eating a sandwich.

Grilled Cheese Bites
from Oh Sweet Basil

1 package crescent roll sheet dough
2 oz processed American cheese (I used Velveeta), sliced into 16 squares
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Place the butter in one shallow dish and panko in another shallow dish.  Roll out the crescent dough on the parchment paper and slice into 16 squares.  Place a cheese square on every other crescent square.  Place an empty crescent square on top of the cheese square and carefully seal the edges.  Dip each square in butter, then in the panko.  Place them back in the pan on the parchment.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Rolls

After I saw this recipe I wanted to forget about it because I really try hard not to eat pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.  But I couldn't stop thinking about how delicious it might be.  As it turns out, it's pretty delicious.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Rolls
from Baked by Rachel

1/2 lb shredded chicken
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce, plus more for topping
8 oz ricotta
1 egg
2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for topping
1 cup mozzarella cheese
8 lasagna noodles

Cook chicken using desired method, shred and set aside.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  When oil is warm, add onion and celery.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until celery is tender and onions are nearly translucent.  Add shredded chicken, salt, pepper, basil and celery seed.  Toss to combine.  Add buffalo wing sauce and toss to coat all ingredients well.  Continue cooking until chicken is heated through.  Transfer chicken mixture to a clean bowl and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Cook lasagna noodles according to box directions, drain and lay noodles out on floured surface.  In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles.  Mix well.  Set aside a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread a layer of ricotta mixture on each noodle, then spread a layer of chicken.  Slowly roll the noodle up, tucking in any stray pieces that come out.  Place them in the baking dish.  Lightly drizzle additional buffalo sauce over the top of each lasagna roll.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and additional blue cheese crumbles.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Herb-Pepper Sirloin Steak

Instead of digging all over the internet for a new beef recipe, I found this one in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  I picked a really crappy piece of sirloin, but from what I could taste, it was pretty yummy.

Herb-Pepper Sirloin Steak
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook

1 tbsp ketchup
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of cardamom (optional - I used Garam Masala)
1 1-lb boneless beef sirloin steak, 1" thick

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  In a small bowl, stir together ketchup with all the spices.  Coat both sides of the steak with the ketchup mixture.  Place the steak on the grill and cook until desired doneness (5 mins a side for medium-rare.  To serve, cut into 4 equal pieces.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

This recipe needs some tweaking.  It's good, but not quite right.  You could probably just saute the vegetables and leave out the chicken broth because it kind of makes no sense to me.  When everything is done cooking, plate it and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
3 cups thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers
1-2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F.  Chop the bell peppers into strips.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  In a bowl, mix together 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, garlic powder and oregano.  Brush chicken lightly with olive oil and sprinkle the spice mixture on each side.  Add 1-2 tsp of olive oil to the skillet and add the chicken.  Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes a side until browned.  Place the chicken in the baking dish and put in the oven.  Bake about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Add a few more teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet and add the peppers and rosemary for about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender.  Add the chicken broth and stir, cook for about 5 minutes.  Add vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 black pepper.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Herb-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta

I don't know what possessed me to buy an eggplant at the farmers market last weekend, except that it just called to me.  I didn't have any recipe in mind to use it, but after some internet scouring, I found something that sounded interesting.  It also tasted really good.  I'll have to play with eggplant more often!

Herb-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta
from Bon Appetit

1 large eggplant, cut into 1" cubes (next time I'll also peel it)
4 large plum tomatoes, cored, quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 450F.  Place eggplant and tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet; toss with oil and vinegar.  Sprinkle with 2 tbsp oregano, salt and pepper.  Roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.  Transfer eggplant and tomatoes to a platter.  Sprinkle with feta and 2 tsp oregano and serve.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Grilled Chinese Chicken Kabobs

I think almost every other recipe I make is Asian-inspired.  I just really love the flavors and different combinations.  For this dish, I let it marinate overnight and then I cooked it in a skillet instead of skewering and grilling.  Still really tasty.

Grilled Chinese Chicken Kabobs
from Six Sisters' Stuff

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp dried minced onion
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces

Mix together the first seven ingredients and place in a large resealable bag.  Place chicken pieces in the bag, seal and shake to coat.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours (or overnight).  Remove chicken from refrigerator and thread chicken on skewers.  Discard marinade.  Place skewers on a preheated grill at medium-high heat.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink and has an internal temperature of 165F.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Orange Sauce

Do yourself a huge favor and use jumbo shrimp when you make this.  This recipe got tedious and I almost gave up half way through dredging the shrimp because it was a weeknight and I was hungry.  The orange sauce needs a lot of help.  I found it to be very sour when it should be tangy, in my opinion.  Overall, with a little tweaking, this is has the potential to be really good.

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Orange Sauce
from Herb on Herbs

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
3 egg whites, beaten until foamy

Orange Sauce:
1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp raw horseradish

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Rinse and dry shrimp.  In a shallow bowl, mix together cornstarch, salt and cayenne.  Put coconut flakes in a separate shallow bowl and egg whites in a 3rd bowl.  Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch mixture, then egg whites, then roll it in the coconut.  Place it back on the parchment.  Bake for about 10 minutes, flip and then back another 8-10 minutes.  While shrimp is baking, mix together sauce ingredients and serve alongside.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cinnamon & Chili Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa

Yay, another new way to do pork tenderloin!  And it's not even remotely complicated!  It was so delicious and moist.  You could probably cut the salsa recipe in half - we ate a ton of it and had a lot left over.

Cinnamon & Chili Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

For the pork:
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp salt
2 lb pork tenderloin

For the apple salsa:
2 cups crunchy sweet apples (like Fuji), cored and diced (about 2 medium apples)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a 9x13" baking dish with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.  Whisk together the pork ingredients (except pork) in a bowl and add the pork and coat completely.  Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.  When the oil is hot and rippling, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer the pork into the baking dish.  Bake for 16-18 minutes until the thermometer reads 145F.  Remove the pork from the oven and cover it with foil.  Let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  While the pork is cooking, mix together the apple salsa ingredients.  Serve pork topped with the apple salsa.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Light Jalapeno Popper Dip

It's football season and we haven't had one of our "normal" Sundays yet.  On a "normal" Sunday, I start cooking at 10 am and I don't stop all day.  The last few weekends I've had things to do outside the house, so I have been slacking on my dips and roasts.  The Steelers were on Sunday Night Football this week, so here's what I made.

Light Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 cup light mayonnaise
2 8 oz. pkgs of 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1 4-oz can diced jalapenos, drained
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except cheddar) with a hand mixer.  Spread mixture in a baking dish and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake 20-30 minutes.  Serve with Ritz crackers or tortilla chips.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

I've been hanging on to this recipe until the weather got a little cooler.  I hate to do anything baked in the house when it's warm out.  But I was kind of wrong about the flavor, which is a lot more summer-y than I predicted.  It was good and I made enough that I can eat it for lunches all week.

Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
adapted from The Kitchn

For the chicken thighs:
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup amber beer (I used Coors Light - I wasn't buying special beer to use 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 450F.  Whisk together the honey, chili powder, beer, cider vinegar and olive oil in a mixing bowl.  Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.  Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet and drizzle with remaining marinade.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and they read 165F on a kitchen thermometer.  While the thighs are roasting, make the cilantro sauce.  Combine the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a blender and process.  Serve chicken thighs immediately after roasting.  Spoon any extra pan juices over them and serve with cilantro sauce on the side.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beef Fajitas

We had some delicious beef fajitas at a friend's house the other weekend and I haven't been able to stop thinking about them.  Amid all the chicken we eat, I wanted to add beef to the menu and not be one of our regulars.  This recipe is fantastic!!  I love that you marinate the veggies, as well.  So delicious.  I'm going to have to make it again soon because I still can't stop thinking about it!

Beef Fajitas
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 whole beef flank steak (I think I used a top round or something that didn't look very fatty)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 whole red bell pepper, sliced
1 whole green bell pepper, sliced
flour tortillas, warmed
shredded cheese
sour cream

In a bowl, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and sugar until combined.  Take 2 baking dishes (I used aluminum disposables for easy clean up) and put the sliced veggies in one and the steak in the other.  Pour half the marinade over the steak and the rest over the veggies.  Turn the steak to coat both sides and toss the veggies to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Put the steak on the grill and cook on each side for just a few minutes, and remove .  Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the veggies, with the leftover drippings from the dish they marinated in.  Cook for a few minutes until the onions get a little wilty and the peppers get a little charred.  Slice up the meat and serve with the tortillas, etc!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Coconut Shrimp Curry

I went on a special shopping expedition to the healthy foods store to get coconut oil for this recipe.  I even found another ingredient I had in the back of my mind that I might need, but hadn't sought it out yet.  It worked out very well.  Then I made the recipe and something went wrong when I added the cayenne.  I didn't measure and I ended up making it way too spicy.  I like spicy, but this spice was a little painful.  I might have ended up with nearly 1/2 tsp instead of 1/8.  Definitely measure if you're going to make this recipe!  Don't eyeball it!

Coconut Shrimp Curry
from Healthy Recipes

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (I used reduced fat)
1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a deep, heavy skillet (I used a wok), heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.  Add the onion and 1/2 tsp of the salt and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile. in a small bowl, use a small fork to combine the coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne and 1 tsp salt.  Add the garlic, ginger and seasonings to the skillet.  Cook, stirring, for about a minute.  Stir in the coconut milk.  Bring to a boil.  Add the shrimp and cook, uncovered, stirring gently until coated with the sauce and cooked through.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moroccan Kebabs

I came across this recipe when I was looking for a link to another post I made.  At first I thought it was weird just to lump raw meat onto a kebab stick, but I went for it anyway.  The flavor was excellent, and the meal is pretty healthy.  I halved the recipe from the original.

Moroccan Kebabs
halved from Low Carb Friends

1 lb ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh curly parsley
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

If using wood skewers, soak them in water until you're ready to make the kebabs (mine burned up anyway).  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well with your hands.  Refrigerate for an hour.  Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  Wash your hands, but don't dry them.  Using your hands, gently pack small amounts of the meat around the skewer, forming a 4" sausage shape on each skewer.  Grill until cooked through.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chinese Jalapeno Chicken

Here's another recipe I changed up the cooking method for.  I think I actually made it a lot healthier.  Rather than deep frying the chicken, I used the same cooking method as my General Tso's Chicken.  This was really tasty and we had no leftovers!  I had some gorgeous jalapeno peppers from the farmers market, although you can't really see that in the picture.  I think I overcooked them a teeny bit, but dinner also sat in the wok for a while before we ate it.

Chinese Jalapeno Chicken
adapted from Blog Chef

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Mirin (rice wine)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced (leave the seeds!)
2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp cornstarch.  Spread the cubes out and bake until they're cooked through, about 12 minutes.  Just before chicken is done cooking (1-2 minutes), heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or big skillet.  Add jalapenos and stir-fry for 1 minute, until bright green and tender-crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Add garlic, rice wine, and soy sauce, and stir constantly for about a minute, until heated through.  Add the sugar and stir until the sauce thickens (about a minute).  Add the chicken to the wok and toss to coat.  Remove from heat and add jalapenos and toss before serving.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

I was really nervous about this when I took it out of the oven, because the top looked pretty dry.  However, the inside was cooked PERFECTLY!  I switched up the cooking method from the original recipe, because by the time I took a look at what I was working with, I didn't have 6-8 hours to wait.  I roasted it per the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook meat roasting chart.  I don't love crock pot-cooked meats, so roasting was a better option for me.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
adapted from Julie's Eats and Treats

2 lb boneless pork loin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce

Preheat oven to 325F.  Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Rub the spice mixture over the pork and place in the baking dish.  Pour water over and around the pork loin and roast for 1 hour.  Check the temperature (should be 140-150F) and remove from oven, set aside to rest and bring up internal temperature.  In a small sauce pan, combine glaze ingredients and stir to dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.  Remove pork to a cutting board or serving platter, cut, then drizzle with the glaze.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Orange Baja Shrimp

This is one of our favorite marinades for shrimp.  Last summer the seasoning packets were on sale 10 for $10, and I think I've maybe got one left, since I have been trying to shake up the menu this year (hence this "blog").  The seasoning packet has the two preparation instructions on it, and this is the little one in the bottom corner.  I made extra shrimp with the hope of leftovers...that didn't happen.  This really isn't a recipe - more of a serving suggestion.  You can get creative with it.  I usually saute the shrimp in a pan and sometimes put on a salad with some avocado and tomato, using the pan drippings as a dressing.  This time I put them on skewers with pineapple and red pepper and it was an outstanding flavor combination.

Orange Baja Shrimp
from the back of the marinade pack

1 package McCormick's Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
1 lb shrimp

Mix all ingredients together and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.  Grill or saute until opaque and serve.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Grilled Jerk Pork Chops with Mango and Rum Sauce

Yes. Please. Thank. You.  I made yummy noises through the whole thing and I ate every bite.  The sauce totally makes the dish.  The mango I used was very ripe and it was SO tasty warmed and grilled.  Don't say goodbye to summer yet!!

Grilled Jerk Pork Chops with Mango and Rum Sauce
adapted from Andrea's Recipes

1 tbsp jerk seasoning (recipe below)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1 lb boneless pork chops, trimmed and pounded 1/2" thick
2 ripe mangoes
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup golden rum
2 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt

Jerk Seasoning Mix: (it makes quite a bit, so I'm storing mine in a mason jar until I make this again)
1 tbsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp cayenne powder (depending how hot you want it)
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine 1 tbsp jerk seasoning, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp oil in a medium bowl.  Add pork chops and rub the mixture in.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes.  Cut the mangoes vertically just avoiding the pit and you'll have 2 almost even sides.  Score each side on the mango meat side so that you have 1" squares, but don't cut through the skin.  Brush the scored sides with a little bit of oil.  Heat the grill to medium-high heat and rub lightly with a little oil.  Cook the pork for about 5 minutes a side, until cooked through.  Place the mangoes on the grill, skin side up, when you flip the pork.  They should have light grill marks on them when they're done.  Remove from grill.  With a towel protecting your hand, use a large spoon to remove the mango squares from their skins and place on top of the pork chops.  Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, rum, butter and salt in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Stir in 1 tbsp lime juice.  Drizzle the sauce over the pork chops and mangoes and serve.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Orange Rosemary Chicken

This was tasty, but really dry.  I guess I let it cook too long, but I only had it in for 8 hours.  It fell completely apart when I took it out of the crock pot, hence the terrible picture.  Maybe I'd like it better roasted in the oven.

Slow Cooker Orange Rosemary Chicken
from Paula Deen

1 3-4 lb roasting chicken
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 oranges, quartered, divided
1 medium onion, quartered
4 tbsp butter, softened
Zest of 2 oranges
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 rosemary sprigs
1 head of garlic
3 orange slices

In the bottom of a greased slow cooker, add chicken broth, 4 orange quarters, and onion.  In a small bowl, combine butter, chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, orange zest and marmalade.  Pat the chicken dry and salt and pepper the cavity.  Place the remaining orange quarters, garlic and rosemary sprigs inside the chicken.  Using your fingers, loosen the skin from the meat.  Place half of the butter mixture under the skin and rub the remainder of it on the skin.  Place the chicken on top of the orange quarters in the crock pot and lay three orange slices on top.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dorito Salad

This sounds ridiculous so I just had to try it.  Plus it's only 5 Weight Watchers points, not that I know what that really means, but I figured it was safe and healthy!  This recipe makes a ton, so scale it back for your needs.

Dorito Salad
adapted from Culinary Hill

1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 bag of butter leaf lettuce
1 large tomato, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
French salad dressing (if you like - I used sour cream instead of dressing)

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef; drain well.  Stir in taco seasoning and water; simmer until thickened.  Remove from heat.  In a very large bowl, combine lettuce, tomato and pepper.  Add cheese and beef mixture and stir.  Right before serving, add Doritos and toss to combine.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chili Garlic Green Beans

These were AMAZING!  Usually I just steam beans and toss with butter and dill.  But these are incredible and I very much recommend you make them!  Instead of roasting mine in the oven, I put them on foil on the grill.

Chili Garlic Green Beans
from Oh My Veggies

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp light olive oil
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp lime juice

Preheat oven to 425F.  Place the green beans in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, chili garlic sauce and lime juice.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast about 10 minutes until they start to brown.  Season with salt to taste.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

There's a guy at the farmers market who always has these great little red potatoes.  As soon as I saw this recipe, I couldn't wait to buy up a bunch of them to try this.  SO GOOD!  They don't look like a whole lot, but they are tasty!!  Don't skimp on the salt and pepper.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes
adapted from Deliciously Declassified

1 lb baby potatoes - small sized
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp dried Italian Seasonings
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
lots of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500F.  Wash and scrub potatoes and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Fill the pan with 3/4 cup water and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Place the potatoes in the oven on the bottom rack and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are tender.  Remove the potatoes from the oven and blot the remaining water with a paper towel.  All the potatoes to cool for 10 minutes and coat them with 3 tbsp olive oil.  Once the potatoes are coated in oil, smash each one with a potato masher (I used the bottom of a glass); smash them about 1/3"-1/2" thick.  Drizzle the potatoes with the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil.  Sprinkle on herbs and season generously with salt and pepper (add Parmesan here, too).  Place back in the oven on the top rack for 15 minutes, and then lower to the bottom rack for an additional 20-25 minutes or until well browned and crispy.