Monday, August 29, 2011

Pork Chops

Pork Chops are a delicious quick fix for dinner. At the request of a long time friend...these are for Rachel!

Marinated Chops
1 Tbl Soy Sauce
1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbl Brown Sugar
2 Tbl Ketchup
4 Pork Chops (trimmed)

Mix soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oil, lemon juice, brown sugar and ketchup. Place chops in an oiled baking dish and spread 1/2 marinade over chops. Bake @350* for 30 minutes. Turn chops over and spread remaining marinade over them, bake another 20-30 minutes.

Baked Chops
1 Tbl Season Salt
1 Tbl Garlic Powder
4 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Eggs (beaten)
1/4 C Flour
1/2 C Milk
1/3 C White Wine
2 C Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
4 - 6 Pork Chops (cut of your choice)

Pat chops dry and season with season salt and garlic powder (pepper if you like) to taste. Drag chops thru flour then dip chops in egg mixture, cover with breadcrumbs. Put oil in skillet and heat on medium, fry chops for 5 minutes each side (until they start to brown). Transfer chops to a baking dish. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Whisk together, soup (do not dilute) wine and milk, pour over chops after 30 minutes of baking. Cover with foil and bake another 30-40 minutes. Serve over white rice and add a veggie side or two...super good supper!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meat and Potato Meals

Cottage Pie

I learned this from a dear friend on Sunday that "Cottage Pie" has beef, "Shepherd's Pie" has I am a Tennessee Farmer's daughter, I firmly believe that God gave us Sheep for Sweaters - NOT for dinner! Keeping that in mind, here is my spin on a one dish meat and potato meal!
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef (brown into crumbles and drain)
1 onion (chopped) or 2 Tbl Onion Flakes if you prefer
1 can Corn (whole kernel - drained)
1 can English Peas (drained)
1 can Diced Carrotts (drained)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup beef broth (store bought is fine)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (hope I spelled that better than I say it!)
2 lbs Potatoes (peeled, chopped, boiled and drained)
While those potatoes boil, saute the onion in 2 Tbl butter (if using onion flakes, omit this step). Add onions to drained vegetables. Brown beef into crumbles, add salt and pepper to taste along with Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Let the liquids reduce for about 10 minutes while beef continues to simmer. Mash cooked potatoes with butter, add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Mix beef and vegetables, add to greased baking dish. Top with potatoes and bake for about half an hour at 400*. Pop the broiler on for the last 3 or 4 minutes to lightly brown the potatoes for a pretty presentation. If you really like to pack in the veggies, add chopped celery to the onions and saute them too. Use the veggies of your choice - it's YOUR dinner!

Pulled Pork

Super simple, and freezes wonderfully for a quick sandwich dinner on a night when you are to busy to breath!
1 Pork Loin
salt and pepper
BBQ Sauce of your choice
Yep, that's it! Season the pork loin with salt and pepper (rub it well by hand). Place pork into a large crock pot, cover with water (don't wash off the seasonings) and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. You'll know it is done when it falls apart when you try to turn it with a fork. Remove pork and shred it with a fork (use a light touch or you'll have chopped pork! It will be THAT tender!) Taste to see if you want to add additional salt and pepper (I always do). You can serve it plain or add your favorite BBQ Sauce. I prefer to only sauce what I am serving immediately. I like to freeze the left overs plain. Those left overs make awesome pork nachos for game night!

Sweet Potato Fries

Now I know that not everyone is a Sweet Potato fan but these fries are really good and you'd never guess it's a Sweet Potato except for the color. The vitamin content is amazing and very low fat!
5 Sweet Potatoes, slice length wise or crinkle cut with a crinkle cut knife for cute shapes that kids like (and does a dandy job at holding ketchup)
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1/4 c Seasoned Salt
1/8 c Garlic Powder
1/8 c Black Pepper
1/8 c Paprika
Mix all spices together. Toss potatoes in Olive Oil until lightly coated. Dust potatoes lightly with spice mixture, place on a greased cookie sheet (leave plenty of space between them) and bake at 450* for about 20 minutes (until golden). Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Never Fails Pot Roast

1 large Beef Roast (ask the butcher to trim the fat off as much as possible)
1 parcel Celery
3 lbs Potatoes (new or Idaho)
2 lbs Baby Carrots (I like a lot of carrots)
Season Salt
Extra Large Baking Bag (Turkey size)
Peel and chop potatoes. Wash and chop celery. Baby carrots are ready to go so just wash and drain them well. Rub roast with season salt and pepper (rub with hands). Place in the center of the baking bag in a large roasting pan. Surround roast with vegetables. Add 4 cups of water (careful not to pour directly on meat as it will wash off the seasonings). Add salt and pepper to the veggies and tie as directed on baking bag package. Poke holes in the top of the bag as vents. Bake for 3 - 4 hours at 325*. Your house will smell heavenly and the left overs (not that we ever have any of this left over) makes a great Beef Stew. Just chop the bites small and add some beef stock for a second dinner. Serve with fresh baked bread and it's all over but the compliments!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Italian Hoagie Sandwich

For a lovely friend that grew up in Pennsylvania...this is a nostalgic favorite posted specially for Sally!

2 TBL Red Wine Vinegar
1 TBL Oregano
1 TBL Olive Oil

Mix very well and set aside.

4 Lg Hoagie rolls or Sub rolls, slice horizontally, leave seam intact
Mayonnaise (optional)
*All meats, cheese and veggies must be very thinly sliced.
1/4 Lb. Prosciutto (or Baked Ham)
1/4 Lb. Capicola (Spicy or Pepper Ham)
1/4 Lb. Mortadella (or Garlic Bologna)
1/4 Lb. Sopresatta (or Salami)
1/4 Lb. Provolone Cheese
1 Small Onion
1 Large Tomato
1/2 Bell Pepper
Pickled Peppers (Hot if you like them)
Shredded Lettuce

Hollow out the center of each roll (you'll need the room for all the stuffings!)Spread each half roll lightly with mayonnaise if you like it. You don't have to use mayo if you are not a fan. Starting with the bottom roll, layer two meats then one cheese. Top with onion, tomato, bell pepper, pickled peppers then lettuce. Drizzle with the vinegar mixture. Heat in oven for 5 min on 250* or serve cold if you prefer.

Personally, I'd butter the rolls lightly and toast them before starting to build my on earth can butter on a roll be wrong?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Simple Sunday Supper

Sometimes you just need to keep it Simple! Quiche, Ceasar Salad and Chocolate Croissants.

Quiche Lorraine
12 Large Eggs
2 c Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
2 Deep Dish Pie Crusts
1 lb Crisp Bacon
2 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Whip eggs until well blended, add cream and spices. Crumble bacon into bottom of pie shells, cover with cheese (divide each evenly between the two). Pour egg mixture over in the pie crusts. Let filled crusts sit for 10 minutes then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until center is completely set at 350*.

You can change up the fillings and keep the basic egg and cream base. Ham and broccoli with Swiss cheese makes an excellent quiche. Use all veggies from the garden and pair it with a blend of mozzarella and jack cheese. Be creative and enjoy!

Serve with a Ceasar Salad and Chocolate Croissants for dessert.

Chocolate Croissants
1 tube Crescent Rolls (refrigerated)
3/4 c Mini Chocolate Chips (milk or dark)
Powdered Sugar

Divide the sections for the rolls as directed. Add mini Chocolate Chipsthen roll up (careful....those chips will want to wander) and bake as directed on the package.
Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Light but Devilishly Delicious!

Switch the chocolate chips for berries or even jam (just a dab) and it is still just as wonderful!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Peppermint Bark

YES, I know it's August...but when the newest "daughter" asks for something, a Mom's got to do it!

12 oz white chocolate chips
24 crushed peppermint candies
1 tsp vegetable oil

Melt white chocolate in the microwave with 1 tsp vegetable oil (do NOT substitute olive oil) Cook for 30 seconds, stir well and you'll notice the chips start to melt. Heat for an extra 30 seconds and stir well again...this may be enough to get you a smooth chocolate base or you may need to heat it an additional 10 - 15 seconds..stir until not over cook!

Spread in a well grease baking dish (spray it liberally with cooking spray). Pour in chocolate to a 1/4 inch sheet. I use an 8x8 dish and this does nicely for this amount of bark. If you increase the recipe, use a larger dish.

Top immediately with crushed peppermints, you may want to tap them down into the chocolate so it doesn't fall off (why waste the yummiest part?).

Place in the refrigerator (or freezer if you are in a hurry)until the chocolate sets completely. Flip onto a chopping board and then break into sections!

I like "two tone" bark. I do a layer of milk chocolate or dark chocolate first, let it sit in the freezer for 15 minutes then add the layer of white chocolate then the peppermints...I like the combinations of dark and white chocolate the best.

You can substitute crushed Oreo cookies instead of the peppermint or practically any hard candy, cookie or chopped candy bar of your choice to make this your personal holiday favorite. It also makes an inexpensive and attractive gift!

SALSA Time!!!

Everybody Dance...

The hubs harvested a bountiful basket of tomatoes tonight...a sure fire hint that he's ready for some homemade salsa! This is a basic recipe to make yummy use of your tomato crop...there are a wide variety of options that I'll list at then end...the degree of heat is completely up to you!

6 large ripe tomatoes (diced)
1 medium sweet onion (finely chopped)
1 bell pepper (seeds removed and minced)
8 oz green chilies chopped (with juice)
3 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 Tbl olive oil
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Combine the base ingredients, sample and see how you like the flavor. If you prefer extra heat, add 4 oz chopped jalapeno peppers.


I prefer 1 bunch of chopped green onions to white onions
15 oz black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 large avocado (peeled and diced)
chopped cilantro if desires(I must admit, I am not a fan)
2 Tbl fresh lime juice (love this to make it taste incredibly fresh)
Tabasco Sauce (to taste for added heat)

You pick the options that you prefer...and be sure to write down your combinations as you proceed....there is NOTHING worse than making the best salsa of your life and not knowing what you put in there!

I never met a nacho I didn't like! Salsa along and Enjoy!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grant's Birthday Favorites

As it's Grant's (aka, Moose or Thing #2) are some of his favorite Mama Moose dishes!

Baked Spaghetti
1 box spaghetti noodles
2 lbs ground beef
1 large jar of Ragu Spaghetti sauce (We like the flavored with meat version)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Boil and drain noodles, brown and drain ground beef. Mix noodles with ground beef, spaghetti sauce and soup. When well blended, add 1 1/2 c shredded cheese, add to large baking dish. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and let melt in oven for another 5 minutes. Let this sit for 10 minutes before you attempt to serve. A carbohydrate Bomb but OH SO GOOD!! Serve with a tossed salad and Spice Cake for dessert (add the appropriate number of candles atop the cake depending on how grown up your birthday boy is at the time:)!!!

Sausage Bread
This is an excellent make ahead breakfast for times when you have a house full of overnight guests.
2 loaves frozen bread dough (thaw completely)
1 lb county sausage (brown into crumbles, drain and cool)
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Flour your work surface, roll out one loaf of dough at a time. Spread in 1/2 the sausage crumbles on each loaf, top with a cup or so of mozzarella cheese and roll into a log. Place on a well greased large cookie sheet or in a greased loaf pan and bake 20 minutes in a 350* oven. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, since and serve. You may let this cool completely then roll in saran wrap and refrigerate until breakfast. Sounds so simple but is soooo delicious.

Monkey Bread
This is not a cinnamon, sweet Monkey Bread...someone must have "Monkeyed" with my recipe:)
2 cans refrigerated biscuits (quarter each biscuit)
1 dozen eggs
1/2 c milk
1 lb bacon (cooked, drained and diced)
2 c Velveeta shredded cheese
1/2 stick butter
salt and pepper

Spray a bundt pan liberally with cooking spray. Whip milk and eggs together (salt and pepper as you wish). Layer ingredients in this order: Biscuit wedges, 2 pats of butter separated and spread around the pan, bacon pieces, 1/4 c Velveeta - repeat layers again, top with a final layer of biscuit wedges and cheese on the top. Pour egg and milk mixture over the layers and let the dish sit for 15 minutes. Bake at 375* for 45 minutes or until completely set. I test the center with a skewer to make sure it has cooked through completely. Place a serving tray on top of the bundt pan then flip it over and (hopefully) the pan will slide off easily revealing a lovely breakfast bundt! We have this on Christmas morning as it is easy to make ahead and re-heat in the morning and has a lovely presentation.

This is a unique combination of recipies but then again...."Nobody Loves Their Moose Like His Mama Do"!

Cajun Creations

2 boxes low sodium chicken broth
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 box long grain wild rice
1 lb skinless smoked sausage (sliced)
1 lb smoked ham (diced)
1 lb shrimp (deveined, tails off)
1 parcel celery (sliced thin)
2 lg green peppers (diced)
1 lg red pepper (diced)
1 bunch green onions (seperate greens from onion bulbs)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced onion
2 Tbl Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbl black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Slice Sausage and add to bottom of stock pot with a little EVOO to brown. Chop Ham and add to stock pot to brown. Slice celery (very thin), slice bulbs of scallions and dice peppers. Place veggies in skillet on medium heat with some EVOO (or butter if you prefer) to "sweat" the veggies until they start to tender.

Add 3 C chicken stock (1 box) to sausage and ham mixture after about 10-15 minutes of browning. Add seasonings, minced garlic, minced onion. Stir in one can of Rotel tomatoes and one can of tomato paste. Bring to a boil and add celery, onions and peppers. Add remaining box of chicken stock, another can of Rotel tomatoes and the other can or tomato paste and bring back to a boil. Add rice and let cook on a low boil for 30-40 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook another 15 minutes on medium boil. Add chopped greens of scallions at the last minute and serve.

Red Beans and Rice
2 pkgs instant white rice
1 lb kielbasa, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove chopped garlic
2 (15 ounce) cans canned kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare rice and set aside. Brown kielbasa, pepper and garlic until veggies are tender. Add beans, tomatoes and spices...simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over prepared white rice.

Fried Corn
3 cans sweet corn (drained)
1 stick butter
salt and pepper
It can't be any simpler than this but the browning of the corn brings out such sugary'll be glad you tried this.

Drain Corn and place in a large skillet with 1/2 stick butter, season with salt and pepper and a heavy pinch of sugar. Fry the corn over medium high heat. As the butter soaks in, you'll have to add a pat or two more to keep your corn cooking. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the majority or the kernels are lightly browned. Ummm....good!

Corn Bread
Okay, you can cheat and use a box mix if you really is pretty tasty. But if you want to go all out, here is my Mama's recipe.
2 cups white cornmeal (use yellow if that's what you have on hand)
2/3 cup flour
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (omit if you use regular milk rather than buttermilk)
1 beaten egg (2 if you like really fluffy corn bread)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk (more or less)
3 to 4 tablespoons of bacon drippings (you can substitute cooking oil)
Pre heat oven to 400* Mix dry ingredients then add wet ingredients. Pour into well greased dish or iron skillet and bake 25 minutes. Keep an eye on it if using an iron may cook faster!