Sunday, December 22, 2013

Trifle Cream



We hosted a dinner for lots of friends this past weekend.

I had planned an easy dinner and had pre-made the desserts.

All I would have to do is take the cakes from the freezer and thaw.

That's it!

But!  When I opened one of my cakes, it didn't look pretty.

Oopsie!

What to do!?!?!

25 people for dinner in just a few hours and there's no time to make a brand new dessert!

Trifle!

I'll make a trifle!

I have never made a trifle before!

I didn't really know what cream stuff to put in with it, but I'd figure that out as I went along, right?

My cake was a coconut pecan cake.

Yummy!

I found an easy Martha Steward recipe for a coconut cream filling.

I adapted it only slightly and the result was fantastic!

This is one of those recipes that you'll want to keep around because it's so versatile and easily adaptable to your recipe and only your imagination is the limit to what can be done with it!

I made the cream and cooled it.  Then I took my ugly, but tasty, cake and broke it into pieces, placing a single layer in a large glass bowl, dolloping some of the cream around in a layer, then placing some cool whip on top of the coconut cream.  I repeated the layers and ended with the cool whip on top.  I refrigerated the dessert until it was time to serve.

Trifle Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated)
10 TBSP butter     
1 tsp. extract (flavor depends on what you're needing:  vanilla, coconut, almond, orange, etc)      
4 large egg yolks   

  
Place the condensed milk and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and combined with the milk. 

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and while whisking constantly, tempura them with some of the hot milk mixture.  Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly.  Cook about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 2 days.
**You can add coconut or nuts to this cream mixture when adding the extract, if desired.
** This can be used with any flavor cake or brownie.  I used 2, 8 oz containers of cool whip for my dessert. 



Friday, December 20, 2013

Warm Jalapeno Dip



With the holidays in full swing,

sometimes you need a fast, throw-together-appetizer

for your guests . . .

or dinner for your family!

Sometimes, during the holiday, that's what my family gets to eat for dinner!

Some quick appetizer!
Hey!  Don't knock it!  At least they're getting food!

You may even want to make it for your "family movie night!"

It's that easy!

Warm Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
3-5 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (depends on your jalapeno flavor "want!")
1/2 cup crushed ritz crackers or panko crumbs
2 TBSP melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise together.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and jalapenos.  If you are wanting a bit of heat, leave some of the seeds in your cheese mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs and butter together. 

Place the cream cheese mixture in a small baking dish or pie plate.  Top with the cracker mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until thoroughly heated, bubbly, and golden brown on top.

Serve hot with tortillas chips.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Glaze



Seriously, my kids are getting tired of sweet potatoes!

We are having them at least once a week!

First, it's the season for this great vegetable.

Second, they're $0.25 a pound!

That's practically free!

Yesterday, I was trying to think of a vegetable to put with our lunch and I had one lonely sweet potato left.

One!

What a lonely number!

What can one potato do for a family of 4?

It can make us happy!

I washed it,

cubed it,

tossed it with olive oil,

roasted it,

and then crowned it!
We all devoured this delicious new side dish!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Brown Sugar Glaze
(Slightly Adapted from Pillsbury)

1-3 sweet potatoes, (depending on the number of people you are serving & the size of the potato)**
olive oil
1/4 cup butter                        
1/4 cup packed brown sugar                        
2 teaspoons milk                        
1 teaspoon corn syrup                        
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon      

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potatoes.  Toss with a small amount of olive oil.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast until golden and done.         

While the potatoes are cooking, place the butter, brown sugar, milk, and corn syrup in a pan over medium heat.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Mixture will slightly thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon.  Keep warm until ready to pour over the potatoes.

Remove potatoes from the oven and place in a serving bowl.  Drizzle the syrup mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat. 

Serve immediately.

***The butter, brown sugar, milk, syrup, and cinnamon is enough to cover 2-3 potatoes!  For my extremely large, one potato, I cut the syrup mixture in half and it was plenty!!!     
                        


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pumpkin Dip

Image from Pinterest . . .
we finished our dip before I could snap a picture!

Many years ago, I worked with some ladies from the church we attended.

We started an event called "Seasonal Sensations."

It was a little Winter get together -- just a time to have fun and raise money for mission work.

Here was the hair-brain idea:

invite some ladies in the church to cook and serve samples of one of their favorite holiday dish.

Something easy -- something that's a family favorite!

The event was promoted and tickets were sold --

more than 300 ladies attended that first event!

That was nearly 15 years ago and they're still doing that event.

It looks a little different now, but they're still raising money for missions!

That first Seasonal Sensations, I made a pumpkin pie dip.

I found the recipe the other day after telling my mother-in-law about it.

It had been years since I had made it!

Matter of fact, my cherubs don't even remember the last time we've had it!

This is great to have around for parties, snacks, or dessert!

I serve it with gingersnaps or graham sticks.

If you want to be healthy, you could do pears or apples too!

Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 -- 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 -- 15 0z can pumpkin**
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tsp.cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg



Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl.  Add the pumpkin and mix well.  Add the spiced and incorporate into the cream cheese mix.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well.

Chill until ready to serve.

**If you don't have a can of pumpkin, you can use pumpkin pie filling and omit all of the additional spices except for 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of ginger.



Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Salsa




About a week ago, the Mr. and I headed to the Texas Hill Country for a little get away.

It was a perfect weekend!

We went with some friend;

we shopped,

we ate,

we laughed,

and we listened to great music each night!

One of the places that we ate, served cranberry salsa and chips.

It was phenomenal!

I knew I wanted to make it for the holiday season . . . .

and with 8 bags of cranberries in my freezer, I knew I had enough ingredients!

The minute I see cranberries in the store, I start buying!

There are several great recipes that I like to make during this time of year, and this is one to add to the list!

The Mr. had the recipe on his phone,

but when I started to make the salsa, I didn't have the recipe.

But I remember reading it -- so I just started making it!
I mean, how hard can it possibly be?

While I didn't make it exactly like the recipe, it was pretty close,

and we all devoured it!

Here's the real recipe!  What I love about this is that you can adjust it according to your preference!

Cranberry Salsa

8 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 oranges, with the zest cut off (I only used 1 orange)
2 jalapenos, seeded (I only used one)
2 cups sugar (I only used . . .one!)
cilantro, to taste

**If using frozen cranberries, allow to thaw a bit before chopping, it just makes it a wee bit easier!

In a food processor, add about 2 cups of cranberries and 1/2 cup of sugar and rough chop.

Place in a bowl.

To the food processor, add 2 cups of cranberries, the oranges, without the zest, 1/2 cup sugar and the jalapeno.  Rough chop.  Do not puree; you are wanting texture to your salsa.

Add this to the chopped cranberries in the bowl.  Stir and taste for the sugar content.

Add the remaining cranberries, the cilantro, and any additional sugar, if using, in the food processor and rough chop.

Add to the bowl of already chopped cranberries.

Stir well.

Taste for flavor balance, make any necessary changes that you'd prefer.

Chill for 30 minutes or longer.

Serve with homemade tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or corn chips.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BBQ Green Beans



Today, we cleaned out the freezer.

The big freezer.

The one in the garage.

It needed to be defrosted, which took a good amount of time since it is in the 30's today!

Ice doesn't melt too fast when it's cold enough to freeze!

Along with the defrosting came the Mr. being all productive!

Like making me create a list of all the things in the freezer.

So, I willingly agreed!

As a result, we're having for dinner tonight something from . . .

the freezer!

I surely wasn't planning on having brisket tonight . . .

or tomorrow night,

or the night after that!

I just went to the grocery store yesterday and I clearly didn't buy anything that would be a great side to brisket!

However, I remember Auntie Ronda making a BBQ green bean bundle.

But we're just eating -- not being fancy tonight,

so I took a spin off of her idea and put these ingredients together for our side to go along with our brisket!

BBQ Green Beans

2 cans green beans, drained
1/2 onion, sautéed
oil (amount depends on how big your "half" of the onion is!)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion until fragrant, but not exactly translucent.

Add the drained green beans and the remaining ingredients.

Heat until the brown sugar is dissolved and continue to stir until the ingredients are well mixed and the green beans are coated.

Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by half or until your liking.

Serve hot.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pumpkin Soda Pancakes



Saturday mornings used to be sorta lazy.

Meaning, there was time to get up, have some coffee, and the Mr. would make a "traditional" breakfast, as the cherubs like to tease him about.

But now, we have baseball and ballet and other what-nots that start earlier than I'd prefer

and our lazy Saturday breakfasts have sorta gotten . . . lazy.

But this morning, I decided to make pancakes before everybody scurried off to their activities.

Since both of my cherubs like pumpkin, I decided to do a quick pumpkin pancake.

I've posted before a quick pumpkin waffle and a pancake, but this is even easier!

That's great for a Saturday breakfast!

Pumpkin Soda Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk pancake mix
1 bottle pumpkin pie soda

Heat a pan or griddle with a bit of oil or Pam.

In a bowl, stir together the pancake mix and enough soda to make the batter the consistency it should be.  I used nearly the entire bottle . . .there may have been 2 or 3 drinks left in the bottle.  Stir well.

Drop by 1/4 cupful onto the hot pan or griddle.  Cook until bubbly and "dry" around the edges.  Flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Serve the pancakes warm with maple syrup; but I actually liked it plain!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easy French Dip Sandwiches



I think I have said it before,

but it's worth saying again.

I really like my crock pot!

My cherubs aren't too fond of it!

They say they get tired of crock pot food!
I say you aren't old enough to appreciate a crock pot!

Since there is a small battle that surrounds the crock pot at our house,

I try to make our crock pot meals "worthy."

This recipe has made it's rounds 'round town, but I've never made it until now.

I'm so sad that I've missed out all these years!

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

3-5 pound boneless beef  roast
1-2 envelopes Lipton onion soup mix
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp black pepper
Ciabatta rolls  ("hard" bread absorbs the au jus!)
provolone cheese

Combine the dry soup mix, broth and pepper, pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks on a cutting board.

Place the meat back in the crock pot with the liquid.

Cut the rolls in half.  Top each half with provolone cheese and broil in the oven until the cheese begins to melt.  Top with desired amount of meat and serve immediately.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kim's Chicken Tortilla Soup



I'd call this Six Can Soup, really.

Doesn't that sound more fun?

I think so!

My friend, Kim, is a great cook!

I always love to have dinner with her for two reasons.
  1. She makes it look "souper" easy (a little funny since she gave me the soup recipe!)
  2. It always tastes amazing.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, bothers her!

Well, I know that's not exactly true, because then she'd be a Saint.

She is a Saint, but not that kind of Saint!

But when things do bother her, she doesn't show it like I do!

She's raising three great boys and a husband

and they have a dog named Chief.

"Chief!"  That tells you Chief isn't a tea cup poodle -- Chief is big enough to count as one of the boys.

But I didn't include him!

Why did I tell you all of this?

Because when Kim cooks, it has to please!

She gave me this recipe almost a year ago.

Or at least when the weather was cooler and we were freezing together at the baseball fields.

I couldn't forget it -- it was so easy!

Put these ingredients on your next grocery list and you'll be wishin' you knew Kim too!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 family size can Chicken and Rice soup
1 can tomatoes with green chilies
1 can ranch style beans
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of corn
1 can chicken*
see my note**

Place everything in a large sauce pan and heat thoroughly.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and a squeeze of lime, if you desire.

I served it with cornbread the first night and cheese quesadillas the second!

*I didn't buy canned chicken because I had cooked chicken breasts at home that I shredded and put in the soup.

**We like black beans a whole lot!  So I added a drained can to the soup mix.  It was great!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Crockpot Sweet-Heat Meat

I'd like to say "Beef" in the title,

or "pork."

or maybe even "chicken."

But because this is versatile, I just called it meat.

Doesn't sound appetizing, does it?

I know!

I'm not sure that I would have read much further than the title!

But I'm just saying, that if you'll give this a whirl, you'll be glad that you hung with me!

This can be as spicy as you want.

I like this recipe because it's kind of a sweet heat.

Because my girl cherub is a wimp when it comes to much spice, I kept it easy.

But I will say, I could have easily added an extra toss of the chipotle peppers!

Which!  Let me tell you my most exciting find on the grocery aisle this past shopping trip!

Normally, I have to buy a can of chipotle peppers.

Like this:



I pop the top, use what I need and freeze the rest until another recipe.

But then I found the peppers, chopped, in a jar . . . a small jar, but none-the-less, a jar!
That means I could just use what I need and store the rest in the refrigerator beside the mayonnaise and pickles!
This is GREAT!

I served this meat concoction twice:  once over cheese grits, which I really like, but my boy cherub only rated it a 6.5.  The second serving was over saffron rice with additional grilled onions and red peppers.  That was a hit with everyone!

Crockpot Sweet-Heat Meat

4-6 pounds of meat of your choice (roast, pork shoulder, chicken)
1 onion, coarsely chopped
chipotle peppers, chopped* (amount depends on desired heat)
4 TBSP brown sugar
24 ounces dr. pepper (I used a portion of a 2-liter and just guessed.  No measuring needed)
cornstarch, optional

Place meat in the crockpot, top with the onions, brown sugar, peppers, and pour the dr. pepper over the meat, careful not to over-fill the crockpot!

Allow to cook on low 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. 

Once the meat is done, use two forks to shred the meat.  Leave the meat in the juices and, using a slury of cornstarch and water, thicken the juice by pouring the mixed cornstarch into the meat and stirring well.  The heat from the crockpot will thicken the juice.

This is great to do if you want to serve the meat over rice or cheese grits or mashed potatoes.

OR!  You can leave the cornstarch mixture out and serve the shredded meat in flour tacos with all of the topping options!

*Chipotle peppers are very hot!  They are a smoked jalapeno, usually in an adobo sauce.  A little can go a long way.  I really like the flavor of these peppers!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Hosaf" (Dried Fruit Compote)



I've made reference to our trip last Summer to different European countries.

My prized souvenirs are cookbooks from each country.

I'm not sure, of the 4 cookbooks, which is my favorite, but I surely enjoy the one I purchased while in Greece.

I'll tell the quick story:

We were in an open air market in Greece, searching through antiques and junk.

Along the perimeter of where we were shopping were business.

In typical European fashion, outside one of the restaurants was a young man leaning against the doorframe, as if to summon customers into his restaurant.

When he heard our English, he asked where we were from, as he had studied in the States when he was in school.

That question led to a great conversation and he invited us into the restaurant which he and his mother owned. 

We sampled all sorts of incredible foods that afternoon and when I told him that I would love to have a cookbook because of the great experience we had just had, he showed me the cookbook that his mother had completed; both in Greek and English!

If you're ever in Athens, try Café Avissinia where Ketty and Nikolas are serving incredible Mediterranean food!

This dish, Nikolas served to us with Greek yogurt. 

I also like it with pork or chicken, or even stirred into oatmeal.

Hosaf

1 teacup*dried prunes
1 teacup unsalted, roasted almonds or walnuts**
1 teacup dried apricots, chopped
1 teacup raisins
1 teacup dried figs, chopped
1 teacup dried pineapple, chopped
6 whole star anise or 2 sticks cinnamon
2-3 teacups sugar

Place all of the ingredients, except for the sugar and spices, in a large bowl and cover with water and leave to soak 3-4 hours or overnight.

Pour the fruit and water into a large pan and add the star anise or the cinnamon sticks.  Bring the water to a bowl.  Add the sugar and continue to boil over high heat until the syrup thickens.  This does take awhile.  Stirring often so that the sugar does not burn.

Place the compote into a container and refrigerate.  Serve with yogurt, over pork, or in oatmeal.

*This is how Ketty has the recipe written.  I did use a teacup, because I have several.  However, I think what is important is that you keep the measurements equal.  So if you want to use a 1 cup measuring cup, great!  Or if you want a smaller amount, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup. 

**I used walnuts, as it's what I had on hand.  Whichever nut you use, I would suggest chopping them slightly.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Breast of Chicken with Cream

Hotel in Paris, France


The Summer of 2012, we took the family on a European vacation.

My souvenirs from the trip was a cookbook from each country that we visited.

It has been so fun to make some of the foods that we enjoyed while we were away!

Last week, I used the book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I love this cookbook because it not only has recipes, but it gives the technical information about the dish or the style of cooking. 

It's very interesting to read!

For example, this dish, in French, is called Supremes de Volaille a Blanc.

Doesn't that sound much more interesting?

"Supremes" is a boneless piece of chicken breast.

If the wing is left on the breast, it then becomes a "cotelette."

The breast of a cooked chicken is not a "supreme" but a "blanc de poulet."

Can you believe that I learned all of this from this amazing cookbook?

It will not surprise you that Julia Child is one of the contributing authors for this book.

Which, another piece of information:  Did you know that Julia Child was born in California? 

Seriously! The girl wasn't even French!

Whether you say "Chicken with Cream" or "Supremes de Volaille a Blanc," it won't matter, but you will be saying "YUM!"

Breast of Chicken with Cream

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded out thin)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 oz butter
2 oz chicken broth
2 oz Madeira (I substituted additional chicken broth)
8 oz heavy cream
salt/pepper
lemon juice, as needed

Rub the chicken breasts with the 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the 2 oz of butter in a large pan until it is foaming.  Quickly turn the chicken breasts in the butter, covering both sides.  Place a lid on the pan and allow the chicken to cook, 5-6 minutes.  Check for doneness.  Do not over-cook.

When the chicken is done, remove to a plate and keep warm.

To the pan, add the chicken broth/wine and boil down quickly over high heat until it is getting thick and syrups.  Stir in the cream and boil down again, over medium high heat until the cream has thickened slightly.

Taste the sauce; add salt/pepper and any lemon juice, if needed.

Return the chicken to the pan and ladle the sauce over the chicken.

Serve immediately with a risotto or rice.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Southwest Gravy over Green Chili Cornbread

I really should have planned better!

I made a menu and went to the store.

I planned for some new recipes.

Recipes from cookbooks that I bought while we were on our Summer vacation last year in Europe.

Exciting recipes!

Recipes that weren't cooked in the crockpot.

 . . . and there's the dilemma!

I worked all week!

I put everything in the freezer and revamped our weekly menu!

One night, I created this dinner sensation! 

It's a keeper in our family . . . maybe your family will like it too!

Southwest Gravy over Cornbread

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can tomatoes with chilies
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 tsp. chili powder
cornbread mix
necessary ingredients for your cornbread mix
green chilies

Prepare your cornbread according to the package directions.  Add the desired amount of green chilies to the batter.  Place in the oven and cook according to directions while you cook the meat mixture.

Over medium high heat, cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink.  Drain off the fat.

To the meat, add the can of tomatoes with green chilies, drained black beans, and cheddar cheese soup.  Heat the meat mixture thoroughly.  Add water if you need to thin your mixture a bit.

Slice the cornbread and place in a bowl.  Ladle the gravy mixture over the cornbread.  Top with jalapenos and chopped onions if desired.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sticky Chicken

I wish I had a picture of this to post for you.

But I don't!

Here's our dilemma . . .

we want to eat Chinese food,

But we can't find a Chinese food place we like.

I'm not talking Pei Wei,

although, that's nice fru-fru Chinese food.

We just want noodles, rice, chicken, sauce.

That's it!

I make sticky rice at home occasionally.

It is a gluten rice that makes it sticky.

Get it!  "S.T.I.C.K.Y" rice?

You can take a smidge, smoosh it together into a little ball and it stays.

It's great for dipping in your Chinese sauce.

If you have Chinese sauce.

Which we don't always have.

So we use soy sauce.

But it's not the same.

We want Chinese sauce.

I found this recipe and made it.

I think I've solved our dilemma for Chinese food!
I'll make it at home and be very content!

I got this from a website, but I have absolutely no idea where it came from . . .that was many weeks ago!  I'm very sorry if it came from your site, but thank you, as it's delish!

Sticky Chicken

1/2 cup balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup  soy sauce (use gluten free if needed!)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP ginger, optional
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin (partially frozen chicken is very easy to slice thin)
Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a shallow baking dish and stir until sugars dissolve. Add the chicken and turn to coat well. Cover the dish and chill 3 or more. 

When ready to cook, place the chicken and marinade in a large heavy nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 8-13 minutes, stirring the chicken occasionally. When the chicken is done, remove the meat to a bowl and keep warm.

Increase heat to medium and cook the marinade remaining in skillet until syrupy, stirring occasionally at first, then stirring constantly as the mixture starts to thicken, so that it will not burn.  This will take about 20 minutes or so, depending on how much marinade is in your pan.  Return the chicken to the skillet, coat it with the sauce, and serve sticky chicken immediately!

**While eating, my family decided that sauteed onion, blanched broccoli, and red peppers would be a great addition to this mixture.  Next time!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pasta and Spinach Salad



I'm being very creative with our  meals these days.

That translates to this:  "Wow!  I really need to go to the grocery store!"

Honestly, who enjoys that job?

Going to the grocery store?

I really don't.

I've been in this position before; where I really need to go, but it's gotten so bad, and we need so much stuff, that I don't really want to go.

So I'm challenging myself:  how creative can I be with what we have!

This won!

On Sunday, driving home from church, I came up with this lunch special!

Because this is based on what you have, or don't have, the amounts and ingredients are only suggestions!
Pasta and Spinach Salad

8 oz pasta, cooked
grape tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
onions, sliced
butter
balsamic vinegar
sugar
grilled chicken
Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a small cookie sheet with foil.

Toss grape tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet.  Roast the tomatoes until they are "popped open" and browned a bit.

In a sauté pan, heat a smidge of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil together.  Add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat until golden brown.  Add it 3-5 TBSP, or so, of vinegar and 1-2 TBSP of sugar.  Stir constantly until the vinegar is evaporated and sugar has caramelized on the onions.  Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, add the spinach, grated cheese, and any left over chicken. 

Drain the pasta well.

Toss the pasta and onions with the salad greens.  Top with the roasted tomatoes and drizzle with your balsamic vinaigrette, if desired.  The eat of the cooked pasta sort of "wilts" the pasta, which we like.  My cherubs love wilted spinach (when it's wilted from heat, not from being old!)

We desired.  This was a delicious lunch!



Friday, September 20, 2013

Party Ham Sandwiches

Image from the internet

Years ago, these were called "Party Ham Sandwiches."

Now, they're called "sliders!"

Some people think they have the market on "new" just because they make it smaller!

Not true!

Regardless of what you call these, we call them "Good!"

My cherubs love these sandwiches.

My Mr. loves them too!

Well, I'm not going to lie -- I love them!

But I love them for other reasons than the rest of my family!

I love them for three reasons:
  1. They're easy to make
  2. They make great lunchbox leftovers
  3. They're rarely duplicated when you take them to a party
Those are reason enough to make them!

If this is a recipe that you remember from long ago, treat yourself to an easy dinner!

If this is new to you, you're going to be thrilled!

Whether you take them to a party or serve them at dinner along with a salad, you will be glad you made them!

Party Ham Sandwiches

1 package of 12 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
1 pound shaved ham
8 slices of swiss cheese
1 TBSP spicy deli mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup butter
1-2 TBSP poppy seeds
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Split the rolls in half, horizontally, forming a top and bottom piece

Mix the mayo and mustard together.  Taste to see if you like it -- adjust accordingly.  Spread the mixture on the bottom bread pieces.

Layer the ham then the cheese and place the top of the bread on the cheese.

At this point, if you want to wrap in foil and freeze, you can do that!  Before cooking, thaw and follow the remaining steps!

Melt the butter and add the poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce together.

Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet with a rim.

Remove the top layer of bread and drizzle about 1/2 of the butter mixture on the cut side of the top piece of bread, allowing it to soak in.

Replace the top bread and drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the top of the rolls, allowing it to run over the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and ham is hot.  You want the bread to be toasty, but not burnt.

**I usually bake the sandwiches uncovered until the top is golden like I want, then I place a piece of foil over the top of the rolls and allow the ham and cheese to continue to heat.  I want to make sure the insides are nice and hot and gooey!





Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homemade Salsa II


For my cherub's 15th family birthday celebration, we did a tailgate party and watched the OU game!

We did a ton of fun tailgate food that was really yummy!

One of the many new recipes I tried for that day was this salsa recipe.

We are salsa hounds!

We love salsa!

I will be making this again, for sure!

I loved how easy it went together and how tasty it was!

Salsa II

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, well drained
1 (8oz) can of pickled jalapenos and carrots . . .and don't use the carrots (unless you want to!)
1/4 cup onion
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lime juice

Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

Refrigerate any unused portion . . . like that will happen!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A New Trinket




Every year, when we go to Red River, New Mexico, we always stop at the same places along the way.

One of our very favorite places to stop is Gladstone, New Mexico.  There's only one thing there:  The Gladstone Mercantile.

It is a stop in the road.

Literally!
Gladstone Mercantile - Gladstone, NM

Here's their population sign

5!

There used to be a mercantile store and a post office.

They closed the post office!

The mercantile store is still there.

This might surprise you, but it's family owned and operated!

The lady who runs it doesn't live in Gladstone.

But her parents do!

And their neighbors.

That makes 5!

We always stop to go to the bathroom,

buy a package of homemade cookies,

and my mom always buys a years supply of these pot scrubber things.

The have a ton of homemade goodies and canned goods.

The serve lunch to the local ranchers and serve the vacationers who are onto bigger destinations.

Once the post office closed, the mercantile took over the little room for antiques and what-nots.

That's where I found this treasure!
For $3.00, I just had to have it!

It's an antique metal funnel! 

I put it on my quart jars and it makes filling them so much easier!

I love stopping in Gladstone, and I love my new toy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Buttermilk Pie



One of my favorite pies!

I've been known to ask for this for my birthday; I love it that much!

If you can't get over the name . . .that's OK!

One bite and you'll know that this is one fantastic tasting pie!

There is no hint of a buttermilk taste.

There can't be; there's too much sugar in it!

This is a fantastic, simple, back-to-basics pie that you can't go wrong with!

The only regret you'll have is when it's gone!

Buttermilk Pie

2 cups sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. butter extract** (can substitute vanilla for the butter extract)
1 tsp. white vinegar
sprinkle of nutmeg on top once the filling is poured into the pie shell, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the prepared, unbaked piecrust into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Combine the sugar with the flour.  Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs, salt, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and butter extracts, and vinegar.

Pour filling into the partially baked piecrust and bake in the oven uncovered until brown on top;  about 40 minutes.  Loosely place a piece of foil over the pie and allow the pie to cook until the custard is set; depending on your oven, 10-20 additional minutes.  The foil will prevent further browning of the top while the pie cooks. 

Serve warm or cooled.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pie Crust



I grew up with my mom making pies.

She did the whole thing from scratch:  crust and all.

I'm not sure that she ever really taught me how to make a crust;

I just learned by watching her.

I remember when I was younger, she and my Aunt would tag team pies:

my mom would make the crust and my Aunt would make the filling.

They made a good team!

Making pie crust isn't hard.

It does take a little practice . . .

but who doesn't mind that!

Homemade pie crust is also cheaper than the pre-packaged kind and it tastes so much better.

Plus!  If you have left over pie crust, then you make pie crust cookies!
That's what my mom did when she baked!

The left-over crust scrapes where placed on a pan and dusted with cinnamon and sugar and baked.

That makes "pie crust cookies!"

Pie Crust
(This makes a double crust)

2 cups flour
3/4 cup solid Crisco (shortening)
dash of salt
1/4 cup ICE COLD water

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and add the Crisco.  Cut the Crisco into the flour until it resembles little peas.

Sprinkle the ice cold water around the edge of the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture forms a ball.

Divide the dough in half.  Using one half, place on a floured surface, roll out into a circle about 1 inch larger than your pie pan.  Fold the dough lightly in half and pick up and place in pie pan, unfolding it to fit.

Do not over work the crust or it will shrink when baking. 

Crimp edges.

For Baked Crust:  pierce the crust with a fork once fitted into the pan.  Bake at 425 degrees about 10 minutes.  Fill with cooked filling (cream pies or refrigerated pies).

For Unbaked Crust:  fit crust into the pie pan and fill shell and bake according to recipe.  (Pecan, buttermilk, pumpkin, etc).

This makes a double crust.  You can bake both pies at the same time or you can fit the crusts into the pans and freeze for a later use.

For a Single Crust

1 cup flour
6 TBSP Crisco
dash of salt
2-3 TBSP ice water

Follow directions above.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pimento Cheese Spread




Growing up, I did not like pimento cheese sandwiches.

It seems like that's all I remember from church socials and family gatherings.

Nasty orange filling between two slices of white bread

cut into triangles.

Yuck!

But as I got older, I found I really did like pimento cheese.

But not the stuff found in the container from the grocery store,

but homemade pimento cheese!

Yes!

That's where it's at!

This Summer, I made pimento cheese to take on our vacation.

It was wonderful!

Use it for sandwiches,

or to stuff baby red or yellow peppers

or to make into grilled pimento cheese sandwiches

or to scoop onto crackers.

Regardless of what you think of pimento cheese, you ought to give this a try!

Pimento Cheese Spread

1 8oz package extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 8oz package Monterey jack cheese, grated
3oz of cream cheese (not the whole thing!), softened
1 4oz jar chopped pimentos, well drained
1/2 cup mayo (more or less depending on taste preference)
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, place all of the ingredients and stir.  I add the mayo a  little at a time and stir to get what I'm looking for without overloading on mayo.

Chill until ready to use.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Like Korean Beef



We have been back from vacation for a week now.

I need to go to the grocery store.

We had empty cabinets before vacation;

that's because we had been in NYC for 12 days!

When we returned from NYC, I didn't go to the store because we were leaving for vacation in just 10 days!

Why go buy stuff, right?

I'm not even making this up!

I haven't been to the store since July 2.

We've been living on weird stuff out of the freezer!

It's allowed me to be creative!

I think that's good!

But now, the grocery list is SO extensive, that I don't want to go to the store!

I'm going to have to push that mess up and down the aisles,

lug it onto the conveyor belt to check out,

lug it back into the basket,

to lug it into the back of my car,

to lug it into the house,

then to put it all up. . .

only to later stand in front of the refrigerator that afternoon and wonder, "what's for dinner?"

No!  That doesn't sound fun today!

I'm avoiding it at any cost right now, because guess what?

We leave to go out of town tomorrow!

Serious!

I'll wait until next week to grocery shop!

Until then, here's a recipe I found on 2 or 8 sites!  I honestly don't remember which one I found it on first, but it's on Pinterest too!

I made a very minor adjustment:  added fish sauce and omitted the ginger  . . .because guess why?

I don't HAVE any!

I'd make this again!

I served it with the egg rolls I had in the freezer!

Easy Korean Beef

1 pound lean ground beef
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
 /2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (to desired spiciness)
pepper
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1 bunch green onions, diced
white rice, cooked

 Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger with garlic in the sesame oil.

Drain the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, pepper, crushed red pepper, and fish sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunrise Punch



I have to admit;

I'm not much on "Shower Punch" drinks.

There are many reasons:

One being, I don't usually think they're good.

I guess I'm a shower punch drink snob.

I don't want to be . . .

I try not to be . . .

but it must be my lot in life.

That's one reason why I try not to provide the shower punch when I'm helping with shower.

I know others are punch snobs too!

Are you one, but you haven't admitted it until now?

It's OK -- it's freeing to own it!

However, I did what I try not to do . . . be responsible for the punch at a recent shower.

It was S.T.R.E.S.S.F.U.L!

I don't like to match my punch color to the shower color.

Oh no!

I don't like to have to worry about "serving it slushy."

That takes me over the edge too!

I don't want a punch that creates a foam when I mix it together!
I searched my recipes.

I looked on line.

I considered my favorite punch drinks . . .and decided I really wanted to do something different.

But I needed to get my act together because I was leaving to go on vacation and wanted all my purchasing done before I left town!

After all, we were returning late from vacation and the shower was the next day!

After lots of looking, I decided on this drink!

It's from a blog I occasional peruse called "Our Best Bites."

Here's their link!  http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/07/sunrise-punch/

Sunrise Punch

2 c. pineapple juice
2 c. cranberry juice
1 (11.5 oz.) can apricot or mango nectar (found on the juice aisle, usually at the bottom, in a can)
1/2 c. FRESH lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
2 12-oz. cans ginger ale (or 3 c.)**

Combine pineapple juice, cranberry juice, nectar, and lime juice.
Chill until ready to serve. When ready, you can either mix the ginger ale with the juice mixture or you can mix the drinks 2 parts juice, one part ginger ale. Serve over lots of ice.

**Personally, I preferred the punch without the ginger ale; therefore, I mixed only about 1/2 of the ginger ale amount into my punch (I doubled the recipe).  I thought the ginger ale made it too sweet for my preference.  However, others didn't seem to mind. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buttermilk Poppy Seed Bread



Remember the blueberry bread I made?
Our friend was over and he kept talking about how good it smelled and kept asking if I was baking it for him?
The answer to that was, "NO!"
But then I started to feel sorry for him.
So I baked him a loaf of breakfast bread.
But I didn't have anymore fruit to do the blueberry bread . . .
 . . .and I wasn't going to the store just for some blueberries.
So I made this instead.
It was equally as easy.

It smelled just as good baking!
I think this is a keeper too!
Buttermilk Poppy Seed Bread
 
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon extract (butter, almond, lemon, vanilla . . . your choice)
2 tablespoons poppy seed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare one loaf pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.


In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, extract of choice, and poppy seed; whisk together until well blended. Add flour mixture; stir just until blended.

Pour batter in the loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove pan from oven and let cool about 15 minutes.

Slice and enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Image from the Internet


This is a recipe from pinterest.

It's also labeled as "Starbucks copy kat recipe."  I'm not sure about that claim.

But I know it's good because my friend makes it.

Matter of fact, I like it when my friend makes it and shares with me!

It's just perfect!

The sharing, that is!

I'm making this cake and going to freeze it for an easy "vacation" breakfast.

It will be devoured, no doubt!

That's why I want you to be able to make it too!

And maybe you'll decide to share some with a friend!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen)
½ cup buttermilk

 Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cream butter with lemon zest and the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. 

In a small bowl, mix 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.

Toss the blueberries with the remaining ¼ cup of the flour, and fold in the blueberries into the cake batter.

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, bake the cake longer sometimes it takes patience to allow the middle of this cake to cook!

If you can, allow the cake to cool 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Laundry Soap

I'm sure you've heard all about making your own laundry soap.

It's a novelty.

Well, a novelty these days!

Normally you think of tree-hugging, nut-eating, broom-stick skirt wearing, Birkenstock shoe wearing people as the only ones who would be interested in such.

Not that trees, nuts, broom stick skirts and Birkenstock shoes are bad .  . . but sometimes when they're all put together; well, you know!

Back to the laundry soap making . . .

it's kind of coming back in style to be "in control" of things!
That's probably because the things we need to be in control of  we aren't, so we're choosing random things to "take control of" so that we feel better about being out of control.

Wow!

I think that might be a deep thought to contemplate!

Do I hear rhythmic snapping and "cool man" in the background?

I have been making  my own laundry soap for several months now.

It is cheaper.

But I'm not so sure that it's a huge savings that I'm really able to see in my pocket book.

I've been making it for two; count them . . .two reasons!

  1. The homemade stuff really does clean.  Truth!  My first try out was on stained baseball uniforms . . . and it got the dirt out; untreated!  Now, for true confession:  I still pre-treat because you know my laundry neurosis and I can't stand baseball pants to not be stark white.
  2. It's not hard to do!  I was already adding some of these ingredients to my pre-made, store-bought laundry detergent to "boost" it's power -- so I decided since I'm adding it, why don't I just make my own with it in it.  Made sense to me!
There you go . . .that's my reasons!

Once I got my big batch made, I just bought the ingredients for one batch to have on hand.  When I use about half of my detergent, I add to it with the ingredients I have on hand, then I resupply my stash and it works like clockwork.

Homemade Laundry Soap


1 box Borax


1 box Washing Soda


1-2 bars Zote, grated


1 bar Fels-Naptha, grated

In a large container (I actually line a bathroom trashcan with a trash bag pour the ingredients into it so that I can tie it shut and shake it up to mix it around before pouring it into my box).  Pour the borax and washing soda together and stir around.  Add the grated bars and begin to mix (or shake).  Pour into storage container.

Use 2 TBSP to 4 TBSP per load, depending on size and amount of soil.

You can add essential oil to the wash water when adding the detergent, if you prefer. 

Also, this laundry soap does not make suds, as you might expect, but do not let that scare you.  It's really cleaning!

**HINT:  to grate the bars, I warm them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds to soften just a bit before grating.  I also grate on the large and small hole side of the grater as well as the "slicer" because I like some larger pieces of soap in my mix.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fruit Cocktail Cake

 
Fruit Cocktail!  What's it possibly good for?  Not much except Jell-O cups and this cake!

This is an old recipe . . .been around for years!

You can find it in countless church cookbooks from "back in the day!"

Back when, the recipe would call for "oleo" - - which is the old way of saying "butter!" 

Today, I'm not sure that you'd find it in a newly published cookbook, but that's OK -- it's still good!

Matter of fact, when you make it, there will be somebody that asks for the recipe because they've never had it before and they'll think it's something new!

Don't you love that?

This cake throws together in a flash and is easy enough for your cherubs to jump in and help you!

Fruit Cocktail Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 can fruit cocktail (I used "in it's own juice")

Sauce

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
5 oz evaporated milk (no substitutions)  (this is just a smidge over 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut (I omitted this and doubled the chopped nuts)
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the cake:  mix all cake ingredients at low speed. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 in pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For the sauce:  bring all of the sauce ingredients to a boil in a saucepan for one to two minutes. The sauce is thin, which is great for pouring.  I poke holes in my warm cake and pour over hot cake.
Serve cake warm or cooled; either way, enjoy!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gooey Butter Cookies


Image from Betty Crocker
This recipe is from a librarian friend of mine. 

I've not made these cookies yet, but I may  just make them today!
I'm posting this because:
  1. I trust her; she says they're yummy!
  2. The recipe is easy!  You don't have to measure anything!
  3. These are easy, on-hand ingredients
  4. You can make these cookies cheaper than you can buy some from the store
With the Summer here, and kids home, and company coming, and vacations, this recipe should be an easy, go-to cookie with little effort and great results!
Speaking of vacation, if you pack a goodie basket to carry in the car with you, then you could bake up these treats and store them in a clean, but empty Pringles container as you travel!  Isn't that a novel idea?  They'll be keep safe, won't break, and when you're done, you can toss the can in the nearest trash bin!

If you really want to be creative, you can decorate the outside of the Pringles can with a decoupage road map, or contact paper, or scrapbook paper to make your can more impressive!

But onto the real reason we're here; the recipe!

Gooey Butter Cookies

1 stick butter, softened, but not melted
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients together and roll into desired size ball and dredge through powdered sugar.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until soft golden on the edges without over-baking them!

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Red, White, and Blueberry Chex Mix Treat


It's a 4th of July Celebration!

My girl cherub has been making plans for a week now of things to make; both food and decorations!
She's made the spread sheet, gathered ingredients, secured craft supplies and borrowed some much needed accessories and décor from a friend of hers.

That would be a grown up friend of hers who knows how to throw a party!

Last night, it was like a party company delivery at our house!

The patriotic bunting, baskets, and other goodies were dropped off to help my cherub achieve the best 4th of July party ever!

My cherub found a sweet snack treat on the internet and used the recipe as a guide for her own snack mix.  The jar she is serving it in is one of her entertaining creations too; thank goodness for google!  It's an endless supply of ideas!  She modified that too, and it's worked well!

For the jar, that she's using to serve a patriotic drink in, she dipped the rim in white dipping chocolate then rolled it in red and blue sugar and sprinkles and allowed it to dry.  She has the cutest red and white straws to serve with the drinks!

Now, for the sweet crunchy treat:

Red, White, and Blueberry Chex Mix Treat

1/2 bag of Chex cereal (she used the vanilla corn chex; you can use your favorite)
1  bag of dried blueberries (it was from walmart and it was a small bag)
1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
2 big scoops of craisins (she just used her hands and went by "looks!")
1/2 package of white chocolate coating, melted**

In a large bowl, place the cereal, blueberries, white chips, and craisins.  Stir it around and see if you like the ratio.  If not, add what you want!  That's what she did!

Pour the white chocolate coating over the cereal mix and stir until well coated.  Pour out onto wax paper or foil and allow the mixture to dry.  Break apart and place in serving dish.

Enjoy!

**My cherub didn't want a lot of melting chocolate in her mix . . .. just enough to hold it together without it being too much. If you want more, then by all means, use more!  This is your treat!  Make it how you like it!





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bubble Pizza Casserole

Bubble Pizza

I can't take credit for this recipe or the picture!

Nope!

Pillsbury and my son!

I get e-mails from Pillsbury.

Like almost every day -- it's c.r.a.z.y!

But one day, my cherub was breathing down my neck reading over my shoulder and saw the picture of this recipe.

"Oh momma, that'd be good!"

And being a good momma, I said, "Sure thing!  Whatever you want!"

(Because that's what I say most of the time to him . . .NOT!)

We read the recipe; decided the changes we would make to it and then we got the ingredients the next time we went grocery shopping.

This recipe calls for pre-made meatballs.

Which I really don't like.

For many reasons.

One being texture.

The others -- you don't want to know.

Because truthfully, you probably didn't even care about the first reason!

But what we did is make our own little meatballs.  Here's the link for that!
http://www.karen-proverbs31.blogspot.com/2011/06/spaghetti-and-meat-balls.html

We made the meatballs ahead of time and froze them.

Today, I pulled them from the freezer, popped them in the crockpot to cook and this evening, before ball, I put the casserole together.

While it cooked, the cherubs and I made a salad.

How easy is that?

Very!

That's the answer you said, right?

Bubble Pizza Casserole

1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated original breadsticks (12 breadsticks)                        
1  bag (16 oz) frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs (32 meatballs).  We made our own and made 25 walnut size meatballs.                   
1  can (15 oz) pizza sauce                        
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni   (I used the mini turkey pepperoni and didn't chop!)             
2  tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese                        
2 cups shredded pizza cheese blend (8 oz)  (I didn't have this -- I just grated mozzarella                  

In large microwavable bowl, place meatballs and pizza sauce. Cover; microwave on Medium-High (70%) 5 to 8 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and meatballs are thawed. Stir in pepperoni. Pour over dough pieces in dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining dough pieces over cheese. (If you made your own meatballs, you can totally skip the microwave part . . .unless you cooked then froze . . .) 
Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and dough pieces are no longer doughy. (I baked our for about 30 minutes:  I wanted to make sure the dough on the bottom was done too!).  Sprinkle with pizza cheese blend; bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

**You can add chopped onion, black olives, diced pepper . . . anything you would want on a pizza to this dish!  Make it your own!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cuban Pork

The Mr. had a birthday last week.

At our house, when it's your birthday, you get to pick your birthday meal.

But it's the Mr.

He usually doesn't have a preference.

So I picked his birthday meal.

When I told him, he whinned like a 2 year old that it was "his" birthday meal.

"He" gets to pick!

Really!  Because I had a good  birthday meal all picked out for the Mr.

But NOOOOOOO!

He gets to pick!

He picked his usual:

Creamy Poblano Chicken over Cornwaffles with a salad and blackberry cobbler.

But I hate making blackberry cobbler the way he likes it.

And since his birthday, I've sworn off making anymore cobblers the way he likes cobblers.

Let me make cobblers they way I know how and lets all be happy!

There!

That feels better!

So, since I didn't get to make the Mr. the birthday meal I was going to make for him on his birthday,

I made it a different day.

It was so yummy!

It smelled so great cooking.

And tasted so great too!

Cuban Pork

1 pork tenderloin
1/4 container of frozen orange juice (I just scooped out a frozen amount . . .no need to defrost)
10 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until done. 

Take 2 forks to shred the pork and serve over rice and black beans.