Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Lots of flavor and tenderness are in these marinaded pork chops.  I marinaded them overnight but it would also work to put it together in the morning so they are ready for after work during the week.

Teriyaki Pork Chops

2-3 pork chops 
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce

Place all the ingredients in a quart size plastic bag that can seal.  Place in refrigerator overnight or for 4-8 hours.  Grill, fry or bake pork chops.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Caramel Apple Pie

The last burst of summer hit yesterday along with temperatures that were edging up towards 90°.  It was cooler this morning so a much better time to bake and I had gotten some beautiful apples.  Is anything better than caramel apples?  Mine are in the form of a pie this time.

Caramel Apple Pie

1 deep dish pie crust, baked per package directions
4 apples (mine were large so if smaller 5 or 6)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water


1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cold butter

Peel, core and slice the apples into even slices into a large saucepan.  Add in lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook un til soft.  Stir in cornstarch that was mixed in the cold water to thicken the juices.  Pour into the baked pie crust.  In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients and place on top of apples.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.  Cool on a rack.  When cool top with 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

There was a lot of peanut butter in the house for some unknown reason so I wanted to find a good home for at least some of it.  And what could be better than in a cookie?  I happened to have an open bag of peanut butter chips on hand too, along with some Rice Krispies for a little crunch factor.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 cup Rice Krispies
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Cream together butter and sugars.  Mix in peanut butter and vanilla.  Add in flour, salt and baking soda.  Fold in the cereal and peanut butter chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours.  Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350°.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mexican Stromboli

I was watching tv the other day and saw a stromboli with pepperoni and mozzarella oozing out and it made me realize that it's been years since I made one.  I happened to have more ground beef than pepperoni on hand (plus everything else that screams Mexican food) so I decided to make this great weeknight meal or football watching treat for a group.  Plus I had my own taco seasoning and refried beans on hand (recipes below).

Mexican Stromboli

1 can pizza crust dough
1 # extra lean ground beef
4 tbsp taco seasoning 
2 tbsp green chilies
6 oz Mexican shredded cheese
1 cup refried beans

Cook ground beef.  Drain off any excess grease.  Add in 1/4 cup water, taco seasoning and green chilies.  While the ground beef is cooking, spread out pizza dough and let it come to room temperature.  Spread out the refried beans evenly over the dough.  Top with the ground beef mixture and then with the cheese.  Carefully roll up the dough and place on a greased baking sheet.  Heat oven to 370°.  When heated, bake the stromboli for 20 minutes.  You may think that it's ready to go at around 15 minutes but the inside needs the additional time to finish cooking.  Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with your favorites.  I used sour cream and salsa.

Taco Seasoning

I usually double this recipe

1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp  oregano
1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp salt

Place in a sealable plastic bag or container that's airtight and mix well.

Crockpot Refried Beans ~

2 cups pinto beans
1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
2 dried chile chipotle
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 cup V8 Juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rinse and clean pinto beans and soak overnight in 6 cups of water.  Put in crockpot on high with onions, garlic and chile chipotle on high.  Cook for 8 hours occasionally stirring and adding liquid as needed (the V8 juice and water).

When the beans are soft, mash and add cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper.  Freeze in 1 cup containers for future use.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beer Cheese Soup

I don't believe you could live in this area of the country and never had beer cheese soup or at least seen it on a menu at many restaurants.  I would always have it when visiting a restaurant that was in the Fargo mall served with croutons.   I made some pumpernickle croutons out of the bread I made yesterday.

Beer Cheese Soup

2 tbsp butter
2 carrots, sliced thin (or you can dice them)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup beer
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
8 oz cheddar, shredded
4 oz swiss cheese

Melt the butter in the bottom of a dutch oven or very large saucepan.  Add in carrots, onions and garlic and cook until tender.  Stir flour into the vegetables when they have softened.  Pour in chicken stock, milk and beer.  Add the dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauces.  Heat completely but do not bring to a boil.  Stir in the cheeses.  Keep stirring until completely melted.  Serve hot.   

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pumpernickel Bread

One of my favorite breads is pumpernickel.  I finally bought some rye flour and decided to try my hand at it and it turned out fantastic!  I could have made two separate loaves but I've always wanted to try baking bread in my dutch oven.  It was almost overflowing but that's ok.  I plan to freeze some for future stuffing and making some croutons from it.  

Pumpernickel Bread

4 cups bread flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp dark cocoa
1 3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp canola oil

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in warm water, molasses and canola oil.  Stir with a wooden spoon until completely mixed.  Turn out on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.  Put dough in the dutch oven after you've added some canola oil or place back in your mixing bowl that has been oiled.  Turn dough over so all sides are oiled and cover with a clean towl.  Let rest until dough has doubled in size (approximately an hour).  If using two pans, remove from bowl and cut in half and place in greased bread pans.  Preheat oven to 350°.  When the oven is ready, place dutch oven or pans in and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread 1 tbsp softened butter on top.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ABC Quesadilla

What does the ABC stand for?  Apple, Bacon and Cheddar.  A fun and easy to make snack or sandwich for kids of all ages.  You do not need a quesadilla maker either, I made this in a regular frying pan so maybe it's time to create some more cupboard space and donate mine.  I did use a mandoline for extra thin slices.  I think I could have made 3-4 quesadillas with one good sized apple.

ABC Quesadilla

1 large apple, I used a Gala but any apple will work, cut in thin slices
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 flour tortillas (you can use whole wheat)

Place 1 flour tortilla at the bottom of a heated frying pan.  Sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese on top.  Circle apple slices on the cheese completely covering the tortilla.  Sprinkle the bacon bits and remaining cheese on top and cover with the 2nd tortilla.  Cook until lightly browned and cheese hs melted.  Carefully turn over and lightly brown the 2nd side.  Remove from heat and plate.  Cut into 6 pieces.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Bundt Cake

It's been quite a long time since I made a bundt cake.  I've seen quite a few bundt pans advertised lately so I thought it was time I dragged mine out from the back of the cupboard and made this Fall inspired cake.

Cinnamon Apple Bundt Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup apple juice 
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, apple juice and vanilla.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.

Place 1/3 of the mixture in a greased and floured bundt pan.  

1 1/2 cups diced pared apples
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle one half of the mixture evenly over the cake batter in the pan.  Add another 1/3 of the batter, top with the remaining apples and then cover with the remaining batter.

Bake for 1 hour at 350°.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a plate.  Let cool an additional 45 minutes before icing.

Cinnamon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

Monday, September 15, 2014

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

The cold season has begun.  Understandable since the temperature outside drops to almost freezing and then up to the 70's.  I just returned from a trip home where my mom loaded me up with a lot of frozen squash so I had to do some creative rearranging of my freezers and in the process took out some turkey and corn that I had frozen for later use...later is now.  

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

8 cups chicken stock
1 cup carrots, sliced thin (I set my mandoline at 1/16th)
2 tbsp celery flakes
1/3 cup rice (white or brown)
1/2 cup barley
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp rolled sage
2 cups turkey, diced or small pieces
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup milk
2 dashes hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the chicken stock to a low simmer.  Add in carrots, celery flakes, bay leaf, parsley and sage.  Let cook for 20 minutes before adding in rice and barley.  Add in turkey and corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes before stirring in the milk and hot sauce.  Taste before adding in salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baked Chicken Breasts

I think there can never be too many chicken recipes and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare chicken breasts.  I've had some Old Bay seasoning needing to be used so I created this chicken dish which you can make on a weeknight or for Sunday dinner.

Baked Chicken Breasts

Place in a plastic quart size bag that you can seal ~

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup milk
2 dashes hot sauce

Let marinade for a half hour.

Flour dredge ~

1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Slice up 1/4 cup unsalted butter and place on the bottom of the pan.  Dredge the chicken breasts on both sides and place on top of butter slices.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350°, turning halfway through.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sausage Pockets

I'm always looking for something new to take for breakfast on a work day.  I'm not a cereal person since milk at an early hour just isn't as appealing as my can of Coke eye-opener.  So this means that I need something that is on the go that will usually be eaten at my desk.  

I had bought some Texas rolls bread dough and thought about the many things I could stuff those with to make a portable breakfast sandwich.  Bacon and cheese would be good and I will probably try that next without eggs since I'm not really a fan and I'm not sure how well they would freeze.  So I went with breakfast sausage in that lovely pepper gravy.  You do need to drain off most of the gravy or else it would seep out no matter how well you tried to seal the edge but there's enough there to keep it moist.  You could add a little bit of shredded cheddar on top of the sausage.  Wish I had thought of that at the time...

Sausage Rolls

20 Texas rolls bread dough, allowed to rise completely
1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, cooked
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage.  When cooked, stir in flour until the sausage is coated.  Gradually stir in milk.  Let thicken and season to taste.

Roll out bread dough with a rolling pin into round circles.  Place approximately 2 tbsp of sausage mix (if it's still runny, drain off excess gravy) in the center of the dough.  Pull up edges of the dough and crimp all edges.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  When all 20 are done, place in a pre-heated oven to 350° and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Brush tops with butter when done.

You can freeze these for later use.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Chicken Poutine

It's the opening weekend of the NFL and a co-worker suggested that it would be a good time for poutine.  So here is the chicken poutine that I made for the Sunday games ~

Chicken Poutine

Fries ~

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a small bowl.  Mix spices in a separate small bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over potatoes.  Toss in spices and make sure the fries are evenly coated.  
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°.

Gravy ~

2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
2 dashes hot sauce

Whisk together chicken stock and flour.  Add in the hot sauce and heat until it thickens.

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (approximately 1 cup)
6 oz mixed cheddar cheese curds

Place baked french fries at the bottom of an oven ready pan.  I used a pie pan and it worked great.  Top with shredded chicken and cheese curds.  Return to oven for 5 minutes to a raised temperature of 400°.  Remove from oven and top with 1/4 cup chicken gravy.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

Hotdish is a variety of casserole which typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/or frozen vegetable, mixed with canned soup. The dish is popular in Minnesota and North Dakota.  Wisconsin hotdish typically adds an amount of cream and cheese to the mix.  Hotdish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at communal gatherings such as family reunions and church suppers. (From Wikipedia)

My definition is much shorter - comfort food.  They also forgot that it's easy to put together especially after work.  My recipe does not have canned soup since I do not buy that and prefer to make my own and freeze it for those days that you either do not feel like cooking or have a cold.

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked
1 cup Orzo, cooked per instructions on box (about 10 minutes in boiling salted water)
3/4 cup Colby Jack shredded cheese
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook chicken in a small frying pan with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Add in minced garlic right before it's completely done and cook for another minute.  Cook Orzo and drain.  Put in a greased casserole.  Add in peas that are cooked or thawed if frozen, cheese and cooked chicken breast pieces.  Stir in milk and spices.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Rice Pudding

Fall means apples and my tree was loaded this year.  I was thinking of new ways to use some and since I was in my comfort food mode...rice pudding has always been one of my favorites.  I decided to add a little more cinnamon to the mixture and substitute apples for the raisins.  It only takes one apple so there's more apple recipes that will be coming in the near future.

Cinnamon Apple Rice Pudding

3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk, scalded (heated to 180°)
2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp vanilla
1 dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided

In a large greased casserole, combine eggs, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, sugar and salt.  Gradually add in scalded milk (tempering).  Stir in rice and raisins.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg on top.  Set the casserole in a large pan and pour in hot water until it's 1" deep.  Bake at 325° for 90 minutes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Italian Round Steak

I have always made round steak the same way.  It was comfort food, especially in the fall in my family.  Mom would make it with mashed potatoes, squash and sliced tomatoes.  This represented a Sunday dinner when growing up.  Loved it then and I still do.  I bought some round steak (and squash) fully intending to recreate this meal.  Well...I got a little sidetracked in the kitchen.  Not the first time, nor the last I'm sure.  But I came up with a nice new recipe that would go well on pasta or rice more than mashed potatoes.

Italian Round Steak

1 1/2# eye of round steak, thin sliced
8 oz tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup onions, minced
1/2 cup green pepper, small diced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Flour mixture to dredge steak in ~

1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut round steak in small, serving size pieces.  Mix the above 3 ingredients together.  Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.  When the pan and oil is hot, dredge the steak on both sides and place in the pan.  Lightly brown on both sides before putting in the crock pot.  Add the smashed garlic cloves, green pepper and onions in the pan and lightly cook before adding to the crock pot.  In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, sugar and spices.  Pour over the round steak.  Cook on medium low for 8 hours.