Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops

Who doesn't love some good ol pork chops? This is a quick and easy meal you will surely enjoy!

  • 1 c uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick (about 2 lb)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 can (18.5 oz) Progresso Vegetable Classics French onion soup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • Make rice as directed on package.
  • Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook garlic and pork chops in oil 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until pork chops are brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In small bowl, mix soup and cornstarch. Pour over pork chops; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.
*Sometimes I use boneless pork chops to cut down on the cooking time*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

This meal takes no time to put together and goes great with a side caesar salad!

  • 1 (10¾ oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • ½   green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and divined
  • 1 pkg wild rice
  • 2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper

  • Cook the rice according to package directions minus ¼ cup water.  Let cool.
  • Bring 2 cups water and ½ tbsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute.  Drain immediately and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1½ cup of cheese, shrimp and vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9 inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11x7 inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. 
  • Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining ½ cup cheese. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Helpful Tips

  • An easy way to check to make sure your spices are at their best is to simply open the container and take a whiff. The scent should be immediately identifiable. If it's not, it's time to replace the spice.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Gift

My Valentines gift! He did good, real goooooood! :)

Grilled Lemon and Garlic Asparagus

Asparagus! I didn't eat them when I was a little kid, matter-of-fact.. I didn't start eating them until 2yrs ago! Now I can't believe I've been missing out on this wonderful veggie for so long! I have several different ways I like to enjoy my asparagus and this is one way.

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Trim asparagus.
  • In a small bowl, combine oil, paprika, garlic, and lemon zest and stir with a fork.
  • Place asparagus in a casserole dish and pour mixture over asparagus. Toss until evenly covered.
  • Place in grilling basket. Cook to desired tenderness.  
  • Season with salt and pepper when finished grilling.

*Alternate method if you do not have a grilling basket: Lay asparagus side by side and pierce on 2 wooden skewers to form a raft. Place rafts on the grill and brush with oil mixture.

*Also you can bake this in the oven. Line seasoned-oil coated asparagus on a foiled cookie sheet and bake on 350 degrees until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Helpful Tips

  •  Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of french-fried potatoes.

Old-Fashioned Sawmill Gravy

I love me some biscuits and gravy, morning, noon, or night I could eat breakfast anytime! My mom would make a big breakfast every Saturday morning which Sawmill Gravy was always on the table. This Sawmill Gravy recipe is sure to be a pleaser at your table too!

  • 12 oz Jimmy Dean maple pork sausage (you will use the dripping from the sausage)
  • 3 Tbsp ap flour
  • 2 c whole milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ blk pepper
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings in skillet. (If you don't have at least 3 tbsp of dripping add bacon drippings or vegetable oil to equal 3 tsbp, if necessary)
  • Add flour to skillet, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Cook for 5 to 7 mi, whisking constantly until gravy is thickened.
  • Stir in sausage, salt and pepper.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce

I made this for dinner last night and OOmmgg! it was better than Olive Gardens! It was so creamy! This is a very easy sauce so you could have dinner whipped up in no time!

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 c half-n-half
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1½ c shredded Parmesan cheese

  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are tender. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add flour and cook whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually add half-n-half whisking constantly. Cook for 8-10 minutes whisking constantly or just until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Add cheese, stir until melted and smooth.
  • Serve with pasta, veggies, chicken, or seafood.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cheesy Enchilada Soup

This Cheesy Enchilada Soup will satisfy your tummy if you are craving Mexican food and don't want to go out for dinner.
Sometimes I will switch up the meats I use. Instead of hamburger meat I use chicken.
I plan to have roast chicken the night before and save the left over chicken for this soup dish and it turns out so good!

  • 1 1/2 lb ground hamburger meat (or you can use chicken )
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning (dry)
  • 2 (15oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (10oz) cans enchilada sauce
  • 1 (16oz) can chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15oz) can great Northern beans, drained
  • 1 (15.25oz) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • green onions (chopped for garnish)
  • cilantro
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Garnish: sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro
  • Tortillas
*I like to slice fresh avocados and eat with this meal
*While the soup simmered, I cut up tortilla strips. Once tortillas are fried place a few in the bottom of the bowl, pour your soup over and then garnish with more! You can use crushed tortilla chips in place of tortilla strips if you want to skip this step. But if you don't mind a little extra work, then thinly slice a couple of flour tortillas. You won't regret it!

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook hamburger meat, onion and taco seasoning over medium heat until beef is browned and crumbly, drain well.
  • Add tomatoes, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, cumin and salt. Brig to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, add beans and corn, simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Heat 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and drop the tortilla strips in to fry (in batches). When they are golden brown, remove to drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
  • Add cheese to soup, stirring until melted.
  • Garnish with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meringue Swirl Kisses

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature1 1½ c superfine sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 oz chocolate, very finely chopped
  • In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy.
  • Add in cream of tartar, and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Very slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, sprinkle in sugar. Keep whisking until stiff peaks form, and sugar is dissolved.
  • Whisk in vanilla and cocoa powder. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees, and place oven rack in the center position.
  • Transfer the meringue to a very large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe stars onto two parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 90 minutes, until dry but not brown. Turn off oven and prop open the oven door.
  • Leave the meringues in the cooling oven until the it is completely cool.