Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chicken Fried Pork

This was like real comfort food from Cracker Barrel. Great for a cold rainy night like today has been. You can also make this with boneless chicken if you are not a pork eater.

For the milk gravy I did add more milk to thin it a bit more and I added more pepper and a good amount of onion powder to the gravy.

Chicken Fried Pork

1 1/2 pounds of boneless pork
1 tbs of water
1 egg
28 saltine cracker squares, crushed (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Milk Gravy (below)

  1. Beat water and egg with wire wisk
  2. Mix cracker crumbs and pepper in shallow bowl
  3. Dip pork into egg mixture and then in cracker crumbs
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium to high heat
  5. Cook pork in oil for 3-4 minutes turning once till brown on the outside and slightly pink in the center
  6. remove pork from skillet and keep warm
  7. Make milk gravy and serve with pork

Milk Gravy

Drippings from pork and vegetable oil

1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of milk

  1. Stir flour and salt into pork drippings. Cook over a low heat stirring constantly to loose brown particles from skillet until smooth and bubbly, then remove from heat.
  2. Slowly pour milk into skillet, stirring constantly. Heat to a boil over a low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Boil and stir for 1 minute, then serve.

Homemade Donuts

We are working moving to making most of our meals/food from scratch. My kids have been asking for a dunkin donuts for 2 days so I promised them we would make donuts today. I was surprised how easy they were to make and the kids loved them.

Easy Do Donuts

1/3 c. sugar (Iused a bit less since I was doing a glaze with them)
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
2 tbsp. melted shortening (I used 2tbs of oil instead)
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

  1. Combine milk, egg, shortening or oil.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and add to above.
  3. (I rolled mine out as thin as I could then used a circle cookie cutter to shape and the cap to the oil to cut the hole in the center)
  4. Gently drop donut into hot 365 degree oil and cook til nice and brown
  5. Drain on paper towels.
  6. You can while they are still warm shake in paper bag with confectionery sugar or granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon or I made my own vanilla glaze (recipe below)

Creamy Glaze
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powered sugar (I used a bit less and they were plenty sweet)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water
Heat butter until melted; Remove from heat. Stir in powered sugar and Vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency.

Chocolate Glaze
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water
4 oz milk chocolate chips or semi- sweet chips
Heat butter and Chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted; remove from heat. Stir in powered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency

Monday, November 24, 2008

Homemade Bread (In bread machine)

Why I am waiting to get my own breadmaker my nice friend offered to let me borrow hers. I was so excited and made a loaf right away. It came out ok but I started with a white loaf and we usually eat whole wheat so I tried this recipe today. It came out perfect.

No more store bought bread for us. It is so easy to make my own bread why buy a loaf with a ton of additives and preservatives?

This is for a 2lb loaf and I used the regular setting

1 1/3 cups water
2 TBL butter or oil
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (I actually use slightly less even for 2 lb)
4 cups flour (I mix 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 bread flour)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Remember to use a scoop to scoop your flour into the measuring cup & use a straight edge to drag across the top to level. Don't mash or tamp flour down into cup

Friday, November 21, 2008

You know you really like cooking when....

everything you want for Christmas is a cooking item.

We are getting a whole new set of pots and pans. Our current set is almost 10 years old from our wedding.

I am getting a bread maker. More then likely before Christmas because it is to hard to find any breads without too much junk in them. Plus I would like to make fresh bread for the holiday's.
I decided on this model based on its excellent reviews

Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker

I decided after my sister showed me this crockpot that I needed to have one. It seems so much more useful with 3 different size inserts but only one lid. Plus they nest into each other.
I saw this for less than $40 at walmart.

Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Slow Cooker with 2-, 4-, and 6-Quart Crocks

I have had my mini food chopper since I was married almost 10 years ago. It finally cracked so I need a new one. I use this often, usually for hiding veggies in things for my son. The only thing I disliked about my old one was it was a 2 cup, so this time I picked a 3 cup size.

Black & Decker EHC650 3-Cup 2-Speed Food Chopper

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pork with Creamy Dijon-Wine Sauce

This is a recipe that looks and taste's fancy but is very simple. Easy for a quick weeknight one pan meal or for company. My son is VERY picky and eats this.
You can also add mushrooms to the sauce or make this with chicken, shrimp or scallops.

Pork with Creamy Dijon-Wine Sauce

1.5 pounds of Pork Chops
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup white wine (I use white cooking wine)
1 cup cream
2 tbsp dijon mustard

Cut pork into 2 inch slices, heat 2 tbsp butter in pan.
Cook pork in butter, then remove.
Add onion to pan and cook until soft.
Add wine. Cook 3-4 minutes, until sauce is reduced by half.
Add cream and dijon mustard. Cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Once thick, remove from heat and add remaining butter while still stirring.
Top pork with sauce. (I added pork back into pan, reheated and coated it with the sauce).

This is my husbands plate for when he comes home from work, I put some extra sauce on the side for if he wants to dip his broccoli

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who needs Jello pudding??

I bought some Jello brand chocolate pudding to make pudding pie with my kids. Well imagine my surprise when I just happen to look at the box and see Red, Yellow and Blue dye in the ingredients !! Why in the world do they need to put dye's in pudding is beyond me.
So we made homemade pudding...which was even better then Jello brand and was not as hard as I thought.

Creamy Chocolate Pudding

5 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee (I did not use either and it tasted fine)
2 cups low fat milk (can use regular milk, if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Place mixture in a medium saucepan.
  3. Stir in just enough milk to create a smooth paste.
  4. Gradually mix in remaining milk.
  5. Cook over medium heat and stir slowly and constantly until mixture thickens and starts to boil. Let it boil another 30 seconds or so, gently stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from the heat and gently stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour pudding into 3 or 4 dessert dishes and chill until set, about 4 hours

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fluffy Old Fashioned Pancakes

I prefer to make pancakes and waffles instead of buying frozen. I made these for the kids this morning and they really enjoyed them.
I also added some ground flaxseed meal to add some fiber. It can be added to any baked goods unnoticed. You can usually find it in most food stores.
Any homemade batter can always be premade and put in the fridge to use later in the week. Or for those who think this takes too much time check out the cool Batter Blaster below.

Fluffy Old Fashioned Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
  4. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot

Batter Blaster

I saw this product and thought it was a neat idea. Organic pancake and waffle mix in a aerosol container (similar to whipped cream container).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

This is another wonderful recipe that I sneak veggies in and the kids have no clue. I do not add the chocolate chips or nuts, I just serve each piece with some whipped cream on top.
This is a hit with kids and adults

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (see easy recipe below so you do not have to buy any)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups flour (I use whole what flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated (I use my mini food processor to make it super small and make sure you squeeze any excess water out of the grated zucchini)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts
  1. Cream butter then add oil and sugar; mix.
  2. Add next 8 ingredients; mix well. Fold in the chips and nuts by hand.
  3. Put in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until done

Substitute for Buttermilk

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar

Combine ingredients and let stand 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, mix together well and use as buttermilk in any recipe!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Everything Cookies = more fiber

My son wanted to bake this morning on his day off from preschool. I was limited on what I had so I tried this recipe because I had All Bran extra fiber cereal and most of the other ingredients (I did not add the coconut or pecans). It was nice that this was a one bowl recipe so it was less dishes for me to clean. I also only made 1/2 the recipe because who needs 53 cookies?? So I just cut all the ingredients by half.

I like to use All Bran extra fiber cereal when I make some treats for the kids to add some extra fiber to their diet why at the same time giving them a tasty treat. BUT I noticed this morning when I looked at the label it contains HFCS so I will be getting rid of the box and trying to find a more natural bran cereal to cook with

Everything Cookies
53 cookies

1 cup applesauce (I use Motts Natural, no sugar added)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup oats
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-bran cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Mix all ingredients together and drop onto light greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 350

My son said these were the best cookies ever (I am sure that really means best for now !!). I thought they were good for cookies with lots of fiber.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Quickest Swedish Meatball Recipe

These are super easy and my kids love them. We usually serve them over brown rice or whole wheat egg noodles with a salad or green veggie on the side. You can use turkey meatballs or even make your own.

The Quickest Swedish Meatball Recipe
  1. 1 package frozen meatball
  2. 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (you can mix and match the soups; like cream of celery, cream of chicken, golden mushroom soup, etc)
  3. 8 ounces sour cream
  4. 2 teaspoons reduced/low sodium soy sauce (can use regular but it tends to make it too salty)

Place all ingredients in a crock pot.
Cook on low for at least 5 hours

This is my daughters plate, not mine

Monday, November 3, 2008

Green "Enchilada" Chicken Casserole

6-8 servings

4 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 teaspoons Taco Seasoning (I use mild for my kids)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives, optional
7 ounce can Green Mexican Salsa
4 ounce can chopped green chiles
6 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped (optional)

  1. Grease an 11x7" baking pan.
  2. Put the chicken in the pan and toss with the taco seasoning to coat.
  3. Soften the cream cheese and whisk well with the chives and green sauce in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir in the chiles.
  5. Pour the sauce evenly over chicken. You can mix it in if you like, but it's not necessary.
  6. Top with the cheese.
  7. Bake at 350ยบ 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the green onions.
    Do not freeze

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Easy Apple Dumplings

These are so easy and always a favorite during apple season (and beyond)

Easy Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples (see notes below)
Cut apples into 8 slices each (see notes below)
Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll
Place in a 9 x 13 greased pan.
Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.
Add vanilla to butter mixture, stir, and pour over apples.
Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Can be served with ice cream
Note :I use this neat apple corer and slicer. It is great because it does it all. My kids also love to eat apple slices