Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pecan Pie

3/4 cup of dark Karo syrup
3 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of pecans
pinch of salt

1.  Cook pie crust according to package.
2.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
3.  Beat all ingredients (minus the pie crust) well and bake 40 minutes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberry Apple Pork

Recipe from:  Simply Made with Love
Cook Time: 8 hours 
Total Time: 8 hours 
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 

1 (3 to 4 lb) boneless pork loin roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped (I didn't peel them and they were still delicious)
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Place roast in slow cooker; rub all over with the minced garlic.
2.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours. Pork should be about 160° when fully cooked.

This pork was absolutely delicious.  It had a sweet flavor and it just melted in your mouth.  I served it with mashed potatoes, green beans and blueberry muffins.  

If you're looking for an easy weeknight meal, give this Cranberry Apple Pork recipe a try!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghostly (or Pumpkin) Peeps Fun

{recipe via}
Graham Cracker Crust
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 graham crackers, crushed
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
brownie mix (and ingredients to make them)
mini chocolate chips 
PEEPS® Ghosts or Pumpkins

1.  Combine butter, graham crackers, sugar and salt.  Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of a well-buttered 8 x 8 pan~ the scarily perfect size for 3 rows of 4 marshmallow ghosts.

2.  Bake crust 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

3.  Pour your brownie batter on top of the graham cracker crust and bake according to recipe/mix directions.

4.  Add a layer of chocolate chips during the last 5 minutes of baking.

 5.  Place your PEEPS® Ghosts on top your chocolate chip/brownie layer and broil very briefly.

6.  You can also add chocolate chips for the eyes and noses.  


Monday, October 15, 2012

Bruschetta Chicken

Recipe from:  The Daily Dish

For the chicken:
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 Italian-style bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil, separated

For the topping:
- 1 plum tomato, cut into cubes (I used cherry)
- 1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Dash of dried basil
- Dash of salt & pepper
Optional: fresh basil, for topping

1. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the topping (except the fresh basil), cover, and set aside.
2. With a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken into thin pieces. 
3. Prep your dredging station by combining the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on a small plate.
4. Then heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.
5. Coat each chicken breast in the bread crumb/cheese mixture, making sure both sides of the chicken are covered.
6. Place the coated chicken in the large skillet, and brown on one side for about 5-7 minutes. Then flip each chicken breast over, and add the last tbsp of olive oil to the pan. 
7. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until fully cooked on both sides.
8. Remove the chicken from the skillet and drain over a paper towel to soak up any of the extra olive oil. 
9. Plate and spoon the bruschetta topping over each of the chicken breasts. Optional: Top the chicken with a bit of fresh basil.

**Shari at The Daily Dish always has the best recipes.  I had chicken thawing and I needed a recipe.  When I saw her post, I knew this is something I had to make. It was easy and delicious.  It makes a great weeknight meal. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apples in a Bag

1 small apple (Fujis and Jazz are my favorite)
1 packet of sweetener, or a spoonful of sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
 Small handful of raisins, optional

1.  Peel or don’t peel apple, core and slice or dice. Place in freezer-quality plastic zippered bag along with remaining ingredients. Seal bag and shake well to mix ingredients.
2.  Reopen bag just a touch to vent. Microwave on High for 2 minutes– longer if you use a big apple.
3.  Carefully (it will be HOT and steamy) open bag and pour over plain or cinnamon-sugar pita chips, flour tortilla chips, oatmeal or ice cream or just enjoy alone.

Italian Chicken, New Potatoes and Green Bean Bake

3-4 raw chicken breasts
new potatoes
green beans (fresh or canned)
1 package of Italian dressing mix
1 stick of butter

 1.  Place chicken breasts, new potatoes, green beans in a 9×13 dish. Sprinkle with a packet of Italian dressing mix and then top with a melted stick of butter.
2.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe fromHow Sweet Eats 
Recommended byHeart on the Homestead
8 large whole wheat tortillas
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375.
2.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low-medium. Add sliced onions with a pinch of salt, and let caramelize until soft and golden – about 10 minutes. While onions are cooking, dump enchilada sauce into a bowl and whisk in your favorite BBQ sauce until combined.
3.  Add shredded chicken to onions with BBQ seasoning and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly.
4.  Pour in about a half of a cup of enchilada/BBQ sauce mixture, and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup colby cheese. Stir until mixture comes together and turn off heat.
5.  Pour a drizzle of enchilada/BBQ sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with 1/2 + of chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish.
6.  Dump remaining enchilada/BBQ sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

**This tastes as good as it sounds.  It was ridiculously easy and a great recipe to add into the rotation.  We will be having this again! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Roasted Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes

Recipe from: Classy, Southern Wife 
4 boneless pork chops
1 packet ranch dressing/seasoning mix
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
½ onion, sliced
3 red potatoes chopped into bite-size pieces (I used 5 because mine were tiny)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix the ranch dressing and olive oil in a bowl.
3. Dip pork chops in dressing mix to coat on both sides and lay in a greased baking dish.
4. Top with potatoes, onions and red pepper, and then drizzle the rest of the ranch mix on top. (I made extra because I love marinade.)
5. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes until potatoes are crispy and brown. (mine had to go a little longer because my oven is slow)

**This gets a two thumbs up all around.  It was delicious and easy to make.  We will be making this again.

Blueberry Banana Pie

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup sugar 1 baked and cooled
9-inch pastry shell (bake ahead of time)
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup blueberry pie filling
1 cup whipped topping, such as Cool Whip
¼ cup fresh blueberries (OPTIONAL)

1.  Combine cream cheese and sugar; beat at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. 2.  2.  Spread evenly in bottom of crust.
3.   Arrange banana slices on cream cheese layer.
4.  Spread pie filling over bananas.
5.  Top with whipped topping.
6.   Add fresh blueberries on top and chill until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator.
**The name and the thought of this delicious dessert does not do it justice.  It was absolutely delicious!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Slutty" Brownies

Recipe from:  According to Jax
I'm not really sure why they're named "slutty" brownies, but they are sinfully delicious!  These are a MUST make! 

Brownie Mix, prepared with water, vegetable oil, and egg as directed on box
Chocolate Cookie Mix, prepared with butter as directed on package
1 package Oreos

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare cookie mix as directed on package
3. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package
4. Spray cupcake pan with non-stick spray, or line with cupcake liners
6. Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of each cupcake tin, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies.
7. Top the cookie dough mixture with one Oreo cookie. Press down firmly.
8. Pour the brownie batter on top of the Oreo layer and make sure it's evenly layers on top.
Fill to about 3/4 full.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
10. After it's cooled, serve with ice cream and enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Easy Strawberry Crumb Pie

It's as easy and as delicious as it sounds.  This pie was a HIT at our house!  Yum!
 Recipe from:  Keeping Up with the Joneses
1 refrigerated pie crust (I used a regular graham cracker crust...see the crumbles??)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
6 cups (2 pounds) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp grated orange zest (or 1/8 tsp valencia orange peel, from the spice section) OMITTED

1.  Bake pie crust according to package directions. Allow to cool.

2.  Prepare the crumb topping: Combine the 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and the oatmeal in a small bowl and toss to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

3.  Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch and toss to combine. Spoon the strawberry filling into the prepared piecrust and spread the crumb topping evenly over the top of the filling. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until filling is bubbly and crust and crumb topping are golden brown.

Italian Chicken

 I'm embarrassed to admit, but it's been a long while since I was in the kitchen.  Blame it on the summer heat, just pure laziness or whatever, but I had no motivation for cooking.  That was until I found this recipe on Pinterest
{My picture didn't do it as much justice as the original}

4-5 Roma Tomatoes (all of the Romas looked bad so I opted for Cherry Tomatoes)
1 can Artichoke Hearts
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Basil to garnish

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Core and chop about the  tomatoes.
3.  Thinly slice two cloves of garlic.
4.  Drain a small jar of artichoke hearts.
5.  Place all ingredients in a bowl and pour in a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a generous amount of S&P, a teaspoon of sugar, a couple tablespoons of flour.
6.  Place the tomato mixture in with the boneless skinless chicken breasts.
7.  Bake until the chicken is almost done.
8.  Take the almost done chicken out of the oven and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
9.  Place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the vegetables are caramelized.
10. When you pull the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle some fresh basil on top and the heat of the dish will wilt the basil.

The Verdict:
It was oh, so yummy!  I let Fred add the cheese and he added a little too much, but it was delicious.  The meal was very quick and easy to make.   I served it with the veggie noodles and a salad.  Not bad for a weeknight meal.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jalapeño Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken

Recipe from: My Life as a Mrs.

For the Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) lowfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of cayenne
5-6 hot pickles jalapeno slices, finely chopped

For the Chicken:
4 chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 - 2 pounds total)
1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
1 cup low fat buttermilk (I used Ranch dressing)
1 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne

For the Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:
Mix ingredients together (adding additional buttermilk until desired consistency). Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Chicken:
Preheat oven to 375º. Place an oven safe cooling rack in a large jelly roll pan and spray with non-cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, salt, and cayenne. Pound out chicken breasts to roughly 1/2" thickness and add to buttermilk mixture (toss to coat well).

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated.

Place into oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until cooked through (cooking times vary based on chicken thickness and actual oven temperature). Serve hot with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

**This was super yummy and a little spicy.  The crispiness was a nice addition! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book It

If you're a college student or you know someone who is, this post is just for YOU! I wanted to let you know about an awesome website that will save you a ton on next semester's books.  I sure wish this had been around when I was in school.

It's called... 

Here's how it works:
  • You can save 40-90% off of campus bookstore prices - for example, if you wanted to rent the Living Ethics by Michael Minch, Christine Weigel textbook, the campus retail price is $118.95, but with Campus Books, it can be your's for $16.87. 
You just saved yourself 86% on one book!
  • There's also free shipping (both ways)
  • You can highlight in the book! big perk!
  • They have flexible renting periods
 I love this not only because you save money, but because you're not stuck with those old textbooks that the school won't buy back.  Yes, I even still have some of mine from college.  

If you or someone you know is a college student, tell them about Campus Book Rentals ASAP!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pesto Cheese Bread

Rather than just have the same ole cheese toast with dinner, I decided to experiment with a healthier version of your regular pesto cheese bread.
My version of pesto cheese bread:

1 Ororwheat Sandwich Thin
1/2 tbsp. pesto sauce (per 1/4)
slice of tomato 
sprinkle of cheddar and swiss cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400.
2.  Slice bread.
3.  Spread pesto.
4.  Top with tomato and cheese. 
5.  Bake 10 minutes or until brown 

Sweeter Green Beans

Want to give your green beans a little more flavor?
Just add 2 tbsp. of brown sugar per can of green beans!  

Just cook the green beans as stated on the can and you've got a delicious side. It's really that easy and yummy! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Recipe from:  The Daily Dish
- 10 lasagna noodles, cooked
- 10 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with a paper towel
- 1 (15 oz) container of part skim ricotta (I used the Sorrento brand)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 (32 oz) jar of tomato sauce, for topping
- 10 tbsp of part skim shredded Mozzarella, for topping
-1 lb. spicy Italian sausage 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cook lasagna noodles and brown sausage
3. Take a 9 x 13 baking dish and place 1 cup of tomato sauce at the bottom. Spread the sauce around evenly.  
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, and pepper all together. 
5. Lay a piece of wax paper out on the counter and lay out the cooked lasagna noodles (making sure they are dry).  
6. Take 2 tbsp of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly across the noodle. 
7. Starting from one side, roll the noodle carefully and place the seam side down onto the baking dish.
8. Repeat this process with the remaining noodles. 
9. Place about 1/4 of a cup of sauce over each noodle in the baking dish (or until the top of the noodle is covered in sauce)
10. Then also top each roll up with 1 tbsp of the shredded mozzarella. 
11. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes (or until the cheese melts). 

**We loved this recipe.  It was so yummy!  Fred even requested that it be put "in the rotation".  I served it with salad and bread. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Italian Pork Chops

Boneless pork chops
1 family sized can of Campbell's tomato soup
1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 tbsp. oregano
1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning (can omit)
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

*I even put my pork chops in frozen and they were still ready. We also like to use some of the remaining sauce on our pork chops and rice.  Yummy!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad

Recipe from:  Columbia Restaurant

4 cups iceberg lettuce, broken into 1 1/2" × 1 1/2" pieces
1 ripe tomato, cut into eighths
1/2 cup baked ham, julienned 2" × ⅛" (may substitute turkey or shrimp)
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, julienne 2" × ⅛"
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green Spanish olives
2 cups “1905” Dressing (see recipe below)
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce®
1 lemon

Combine lettuce, tomato, ham, Swiss cheese, and olives in a large salad bowl. Before serving, add “1905” Dressing, Romano cheese, Worcestershire, and the juice of 1 lemon. Toss well and serve immediately. Makes 2 full salads or 4 side salads.

“1905” Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
⅛ cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad Dressing Preparation:
Mix olive oil, garlic, and oregano in a bowl with a wire whisk. Stir in vinegar, gradually beating to form an emulsion, and then season with salt and pepper. For best results, prepare 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerate.

**AMAZING!  This salad comes from my favorite restaurant in the Tampa Bay area.  It tasted just like it does in the restaurant.  I am so happy that now I can have it whenever I want it.  

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Recipe adapted from: C+C Marriage Factory

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or chicken)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast/chicken. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast/chicken with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

**This was a HIT!  I didn't have a pork tenderloin so I improvised with chicken and it was delicious.  We're definitely keeping this recipe.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Recipe from: How Sweet It Is
1 pound pasta (I used orecchiette)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks (I used our left over shredded buffalo chicken from here)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
4 ounces freshly grated monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
for garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.  Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
3.  While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in grated cheeses and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
4.  Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine, I used a round 4-inch deep dish) with non-stick spray. Add pasta and chicken, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with gorgonzola, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Recipe from: My Kitchen Apron
3 lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle Frank's Wings Buffalo Sauce
1 packet Ranch Dip Mix
2 TBSP butter (I left this out)

1   Put frozen chicken, wing sauce, and ranch dip mix into slow cooker.
2.  Cook on low at least 6 to 7 hours
3.  Using two forks, shred chicken and return to slow cooker.
4.  Add butter.
5.  Cook on low for an additional hour.
6.  Serve on hoagies.  

**This was delicious.  I have some leftovers and I've been looking for something else to make with it.  It was super easy and we will be having this again.  Enjoy!