Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Orange Ginger Pork Chops

Man, I've been grilling out A LOT lately. I just keep coming across these yummy marinades, so....hopefully you too like to grill in the summer.

Now I know the ingredient list looks long, but a lot of the items are things already in your pantry.

1 tsp ground ginger OR 4 tsp minced fresh ginger (you know I like fresh ginger....remember, buy a root & peel it and keep it in your freezer. Grates easy AND isn't wasted AND is there when you need it)
1 garlic clove, minced (I buy a jar of minced that you keep in the refrigerator. 1/2 tsp = 1 clove. Again, always there when you need it.)
1 tbls canola oil
1/2 c sherry or chicken broth (we used chicken broth)
1/4 c honey
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tbls sesame seeds
1 tbls grated orange peel
3/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 bone-in pork loin chops
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbls water

In saucepan, cook ginger and garlic in oil for 1 minute; remove from the heat. Stir in the broth, honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds, orange peel and hot pepper sauce. Mix well. Pour 1/2 c into a small bowl and set aside. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add reserved marinade. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.

Drain and discard marinade from the pork. Coat grill rack with nostick cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat for 4 minutes. Turn; baste with sauce. Grill 15-20 minutes longer or until juices run clear, basting occasionally.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Zesty Honey Mustard Chicken

I have to admit, I only thought this recipe was "okay". However, my husband and my six year old LOVED it. My husband actually ate two whole pieces. AND said it was a definite make again recipe. He hasn't been too crazy about a few of my recipes lately, so I feel that his enthusiasm warrants a post. Hope you like it as much as he and Peyton did.

1/2 c mustard (I used Dijon)
1/2 c honey
1 tbls salt free seasoning blend (I used Mrs. Dash original)
1 tbls Worcestershire
1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut in half (or chicken breasts, which is what we used)

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients; mix well. Carefully loosen the skin of the chicken; spoon some of the mustard sauce under the skin.

Coat grill rach with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Place chicken skin side up on grill rack. Grill, covered, over indirect heat for 20 minutes. Turn; grill 20 to 30 minutes longer or until juices run clear, basting occasionally with remaining mustard sauce. Remove chicken skin; cut into serving size pieces. (We just used skinless breasts, but the glaze still gave the chicken a lot of flavor.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are sooooo good. I like to pretend that because they have oatmeal in, that they are good for me & my cholesterol!

1 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 c oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butterscotch chips (however, I use about half the amount)
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (however, I use about half AND use milk chocolate)
1/2 c walnuts, chopped (I omit these since 2 family members to not "eat things with nuts in")

Combine sugars, butter, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chips and walnuts. I make them "Monster Sized" using my large Pampered Chef cookie scoop or about 1/4 c per cookie. (I tried to show you how big they are by placing the cookie on a regular sized napkin for reference. Big cookie, right?) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust time accordingly if making normal sized cookies.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

I am a follower of the blog "Leca, Unplugged". Last week, she had a guest blogger from "Smashed Peas and Carrots", another awesome blog. Her timing couldn't be more perfect. Her Strawberry Upside Down Cake post was published the same week that we went strawberry picking. Peyton wanted to make it.

Here's the link:

The fun thing about this post was that she took pictures of each step, which made it really easy for a 6 year old to "read along". Peyton was able to make the entire recipe with very little help. It was a great bonding time in the kitchen. We took the cake along to family movie night at church. Everyone LOVED it. Thanks Aleca & Maggie!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicken Pesto (or shrimp) with Asparagus

The original recipe calls for shrimp, but the hubby doesn't like shrimp. So, we've changed it to chicken and it is still super duper yummy, although the lemon juice in the sauce probably compliments the shrimp nicely.

8 oz spaghetti noodles (cooked, rinsed, and drained)
1 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 c lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
3 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb chicken breast cut into pieces (or shrimp)
one bunch of asparagus

Place basil, lemon juice, garlic, 1 Tbls oil and salt in food processor. This is your sauce. SOOOOO easy, right?

Meanwhile, brown your chicken & saute your asparagus in the remaining oil.

Toss chicken, asparagus, & spaghetti with sauce. Sprinkle some Italian blend cheese on top and voila!

Mexicali Chicken

Originally, this recipe is supposed to be eaten as is...however, I served it as a filling for tortillas with shredded cheddar cheese. I really like it. It is not spicy, so if you are looking for something with a little kick, you'll have to made additions.

cooking spray
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 (14 oz) Mexican style stewed tomatoes (I used stewed tomatoes w/green chilies...is that the same thing???)
1 1/2 c water
1 c rice (I used instant)
4 tsp instant chicken bouillon or 4 cubes

Cook chicken over medium-high heat in cooking spray 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Eat as is OR serve on tortillas w/shredded cheese like we did.

Dutch Pancake w/ Buttery Apples

Oh man! This is soooooo good. I think I've found my new favorite breakfast food. Believe it or not, I got this out of a Sesame Street cook book called "C is for Cooking". I changed it up a bit and it is YUMMY!

2 eggs
1 tsp oil
1/2 milk
1/2 c flour
2 tbls sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbls butter
2 large apples, peeled and sliced
brown sugar
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan.

Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Beat eggs together with oil and milk until smooth.

Add flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir until a smooth batter forms. Pour the batter into the greased dish.

Bake the pancake for 10 minutes. Reduce teh heat to 350 degrees. Bake until the pancake is very puffy and lightly browned all over, about 5 to 8 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon & brown sugar (about 1/4 c). Saute, stirring often, until the apples are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Wait until pancake shrinks down, and pour apples over the top. Dust with powdered sugar if you like (we didn't).

Slice and serve.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And the winner is...

And the winner of my 50 post giveaway is "Tom". I gave each entry a number and used www.random.com to pick a random number for me.

Thanks for all your comments and encouragement. Once I post 100 recipes, I'll try another giveaway.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hot Taco Dip (not spicy)

My bridal shower was a "recipe shower". Everyone was supposed to bring a favorite recipe and an ingredient/kitchen item used to prepare it. My sister sent this recipe along with a pizza pan. It is soooo good. This is another recipe that whenever I make it, someone asks for it. Oh, and by "hot", I don't mean spicy. It is baked in the oven, so "hot" refers to temperature.

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
8 oz sour cream
8 oz bottle green taco sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Brown beef w/some salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion (if desired). Drain. Add taco seasoning and beans.

Spread onto greased pizza pan.

Mix sour cream w/taco sauce. Spread over meat mixture. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

Grilled Pork Chops w/ Parsley Buttered Potatoes

Was making my menu/grocery list for the week and came across this recipe. Just a few ingredients, but they were really good.

1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
4 bone in pork loin chops (we actually used boneless)

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Pour marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork chops; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

If grilling the chops, coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat OR broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

I served with corn on the cob and parsley buttered potatoes.

For the potatoes:

1 small bag baby red potatoes
1 stick butter
fresh parsley (about a handful chopped)
1 chicken bouillon cube or granule equivalent
1/2 c water

boil pot of water & add potatoes
meanwhile, in another pan, melt butter with water, parsley, & bouillon
boil until slightly soft
remove & quarter
add to butter sauce, cover & simmer until potatoes are completely done

Shortcut Stroganoff

My mom found this recipe on the label of a Campbell's Soup can. The first time I made it was in 1999, and we still enjoy it.

1 tbls oil
1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 c water
2 tsp Worcestershire
3 c uncooked corkscrew pasta
1/2 c sour cream

cook beef in oil
add soup, broth, & water
add Worcestershire and pasta
heat to a boil
cook over medium 15 minutes or pasta is done
add sour cream
heat through

Easy Chicken and Rice

When Derek was in Vet school, we got to be really good friends with another newlywed couple. When Alex would be on externship, we'd have Susan over for dinner and when Derek was on externship, they'd have me over for dinner. She made this recipe once when I was over. Delicious!

6 oz box of Uncle Ben's white/wild rice mix (Long Grain-not fast)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 c water
2 large chicken breasts
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
butter or margarine to drizzle

mix rice, cream soups, and water
spread in greased 9 X 13 pan
place breasts on top
sprinkle with Lipton soup
drizzle with melted butter
cover with foil
bake 1 hour

I served with fresh green beans sauteed in olive oil w/minced garlic sprinkled with a little garlic salt & refrigeratored buttermilk biscuits.

*Note: It was a bit salty, so next time I will use the "Healthy Request" soup which is reduced fat AND reduced sodium.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I've always failed at quick breads. This is the first recipe I've managed not to ruin. Really easy, really good. It will be a nice, quick breakfast for Peyton to "eat and run" while on her way to the bus stop for summer school.

1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 + 1/8 c sugar
1/4 c oil (I use canola)
1 large egg
2 large bananas, mashed
1/2 c chocolate chips (I use milk)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease (2) 6 X 3 X 2 loaf pans. In large mixer bowl, beat sugar, oil, and egg. Add bananas. Beat in dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips gently. Pour into loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My 50 post giveaway! Woot! Woot!

I've posted 50 recipes! Can you believe it? It's been a lot of fun and has made my time in my kitchen enjoyable once again. I love hearing people say "Hey, I tried ______ . It was so easy and everyone loved it!", etc. In honor of making it this far, I'm going to jump on the "giveaway" bandwagon.

Here's what you get:

An egg slicer-slices hard boiled eggs beautifully. Also great for strawberries and mushrooms. I LOVE mine and think everyone should have one.

A cookie scoop-this is one of my favs in the kitchen. (I actually own two sizes; standard and monster style.) I used to rarely make cookies because I hated balling the dough. I'd be anal about making each the same size as to not have over done/under done due to size discrepancy. It took soooo long...until I found my scoops. They make cookie making super quick and easy (and they are all the same size). Now I make cookies a lot more.

Pampered Chef's Spring/Summer Cookbook 2010-these mini cookbooks have easy recipes that look really pretty. I usually don't make them for just my family, but always look so "fancy" when entertaining.

Regular AND mini muffin liners-I ALWAYS use liners for muffins, cupcakes, mini brownie bites (see previous recipe for brownie bites with amazing frosting), mini muffins...because it makes clean up of your tins so easy. I picked some really fun patterns.

I also may pick up a few items while I am out this week, but this is what I've collected so far.

*UPDATE: Here's 4 more items to add to your loot!

CORN BUTTERER-We eat corn on the cob like once a week in the summer. This is THE MOST amazing invention. We LOVE ours. You stick 1/2 a stick of butter (or margarine) in one end and the other end is rounded out with a little gully for your corn. Rub it up and down your cob for perfect butter distribution. So awesome. Whenever someone is having a Pampered Chef Party, I usually buy a few to through in with wedding/shower gifts. This one is not "Pampered Chef" but I can't see why it will be any different.

MINI GRATER-So, at least 1 of my recipes calls for fresh ginger (Restaurant Style Chinese Chicken). This grater is perfect for grating fresh ginger root. A little container snaps onto the bottom to collect your shavings. Use for fresh nutmeg, chocolate, etc.

GRIPPER PADS-I am really wimpy. I wouldn't be able to open a single jar if it wasn't for these sweet gripper pads. I keep one in my trunk for the gas can and one in my bathroom for beauty products.

FUN STRAWS-With summer year, you may be making my "Sunrise Smoothie" or "Chocolate Banana Shake". If you have kids, they'll dig the fun straw. Or, use for a summer party, or just enjoy them yourself.

Now, the giveaway will close this Friday at midnight and I will choose the winner probably on Saturday. I will mail out the winner's package on Monday.

Here's how to enter.

A) Become a follower AND

B) Leave a comment under this post regarding

1) your favorite way to "keep it simple" in your kitchen AND/OR

2) recipes that you've tried from my blog and you/your families reaction to them AND/OR

3) tell a friend about me and have them mention your name

Any questions, you can ask as a post and I'll get back to you. Good luck everyone.

Chicken Carbona

We LOVE this recipe. I got it from my sister years ago. I'm beginning to think it should be Chicken "Carbonara", but "Carbona" is what my sister wrote. By "doctoring up" jarred sauce, it is ready in no time. It tastes so "rich". Easily one of my all time fav pasta recipes.

1 Tbls oil
4 boneless chicken breasts cut into pieces (I usually do less meat, usually two breasts)
4 slices of bacon
1 c frozen or fresh peas (I use frozen)
1/3 c chicken broth
1 jar Alfedo sauce
pasta of your choice, cooked and drained (we usually use bow tie for this recipe)

brown chicken in oil, remove
cook bacon and peas together
add chicken broth and cook for 1 minute
add sauce & chicken
boil over high
reduce & simmer
add pasta & heat through

We always like to top with a little shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, asiago...)

NOTE: Tonight, I also added some fresh mushrooms. I sauteed them with the peas & bacon. A delicious addition... We served it with a Caesar Salad Kit & Crescent Rolls

PS-Stay tuned, my next post will be a "giveaway" in honor of me posting my 50th recipe. Details on how to enter coming soon.


These are delicious. I got this from my sister a few years back. An easy hot sandwich, a nice alternative to sloppy joes or burgers, AND you can freeze them and make them directly from the frozen state.

1 pound ground beef
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp basil
10 soft buns (we usually only get 6 buns, but I use fairly large buns....still, doesn't 10 sandwiches out of 1 pound beef sound a bit skimpy on the meat?)
1/2 tsp oregano
2 T grated parmesan cheese
sliced or shredded mozzarella

(I was thinking today that black olives and/or mushrooms would be good mixed in too! I'll have to try that sometime...if you decide to try it, please add as a comment so my followers know if it was hit or miss. Thanks!)

brown meat, drain
add everything else except mozzarella
put mixture on buns
top with mozzarella
wrap individually in foil

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or freeze

to make from freezer, heat to 350 degrees for 40 minutes

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


My friend Kristen @ www.kristen-foodismyfriend.blogspot.com shared with me this awesome recipe for super easy salsa. Because everything is whipped into a blender/food processor/magic bullet, it is not "chunky" (which is why my kiddos LOVE it). Peyton would NEVER eat something with chunks of tomatoes in it. Most salsa recipes that I have come across require TONS of chopping of a million different veggies (multiple types/colors of peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc). But not this one...whip everything together, hit a button, and TA-DA! Hey, just trying to "keep it simple"!

2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 jalepino (seeded)
1 garlic clove
2 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls cilantro leaves
1 Tbls lime juice]
1 Tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

put all ingredients in food processor, blender, magic bullet, etc. and voila!