Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Leeks

This recipe came from the Everyday Foods magazine (remember, I subscribe to the magazine, so we're trying the recipes, if it's good, I'll post it). This recipe is really easy, tasty, and fast!! We will DEFINITELY be adding it to the rotation.

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples and Leeks

2 pork tenderloins (around 1 lb. each)-we only ate one, but I'm excited for the leftovers
2 Tbs. oil
Salt and Pepper
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
3 gala apples (I used pink ladies because I couldn't find galas at Walmart), cored and cut into 1/4" slices
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. red-wine vinegar (which I amazingly didn't have and so I had to use white wine vinegar)

Heat broiler with rack set about 4" from burner. Rub pork with 1 Tbs. oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Broil until pork registers 145 degrees or about 12-17 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes (temp will rise about 5 degrees while resting).

While tenderloin is broiling heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender (it took about 5-6 minutes, depending on size). Add apples and cook, tossing, until just beginning to soften, 3-4 mintues. Remove from heat and add vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Stir to mix and serve with pork.

It's GOOD!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I have several recipes for cinnamon rolls, but I always return to this one. It's a little more time consuming, but well worth it!

Cinnamon Rolls

Pan on Stove:

1 tsp. salt

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup shortening

1¼ cup milk

Stir all above ingredients on med-high or until shortening is melted and add to ingredients in large bowl.

Large Bowl:

1½ cups flour

1 Tbs. yeast

On side:

1 egg

2 cups flour

Once shortening mixture is added to bowl of flour, add egg and beat for 3 minutes at high speed. By hand stir in 2 cups flour to make soft sticky dough. Grease hands and knead dough. Shape into a ball and place lightly greased bowl. Spray top with Pam and cover. Put bowl into oven and let rise until doubled (usually 1½ hours). Punch down and roll out. Spread melted butter onto dough. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top of dough. Roll length-wise and use dental floss to cut. Place on lightly greased pan and cover with saran wrap. Let rise another 30-45 minutes and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden on top. Frost when slightly cooled.

Cinnamon Filling:

2½ Tbs. melted butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

I usually make a little more filling, but that's because I LOVE the filling.

Whole Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

I got this from Everyday Foods. There are a few others I will be trying out of that magazine and if they pass the "Brian" test, I'll put them up. I used to make whole roasted chicken all the time, but when the rotisserie chicken became so cheap, I stopped. I honestly think I like roasted chicken better. And Brian loved the skin on this chicken because it was so crispy. And it was really easy to make! It's a great fall/winter dish.

A whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
salt and pepper
fresh thyme and parsley
2 leeks (white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and then crosswise)
baby carrots
small red potatoes
olive oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 450. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff with fresh thyme and parsley (I was out of thyme so I just used parsley). If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use dry and mix it with the vegetables instead of in the chicken. Take olive oil and toss with leeks, carrots, and potatoes. Place chicken in roasting pan and arrange veggies around (I just put all the veggies in first, then the chicken breast down on top). Add water. Roast chicken until it's golden brown and juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg, about 1-1/2 hours. Or thickest part of thigh hits 165 (be careful not to hit bone).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

My FAVORITE dish at Thanksgiving!! I could eat the whole pan! In fact, sweet potatoes, rolls, pie, and cranberry sauce is the reason I show up for dinner! Oh yeah, and corn...and stuffing. Okay, most of the dinner except turkey and green beans.

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

2½ pounds sweet potatoes

½ cup sugar

½ cup milk

¼ cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. vanilla


¼ cup butter, melted

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

¾ cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Boil the sweet potatoes till done, then peel and mash with all of the above ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with the topping and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Roast Beef with Cabbage, Squash, and Carrots

So I recently subscribed to the Everyday Food magazine. It's the size of a Reader's Digest, but has some good recipes. They have a section which has a week full of meals. I tried the Roast Beef with Cabbage, Squash and Carrots at Brian's request. While it wasn't my absolute favorite (I thought it was better the next day), Brian, Dalin and Ellie LOVED LOVED it! Which surprised me, since I usually don't serve cooked cabbage and butternut squash, like, ever. So, perhaps your kids might too. Try it out. It's really easy.

Roast Beef with Cabbage, Squash, and Carrots

2 lbs boneless top loin roast (I just used...something, I can't remember, but it was fine)
salt and pepper
1 medium (about 2 lbs) of butternut squash, peeled, halved and sliced 1/2" thick
3 medium carrots, sliced into 3" lengths (I just used baby carrots)
1 small red cabbage (about a pound), cored and cut into wedges
4 sprigs of thyme (you can use dried)
2 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Season beef with salt and pepper, and place fat side up in a shallow roasting pan. Toss remaining ingredients together, add salt and pepper to taste. Surround beef with vegetables and roast in oven until squash is tender and beef is medium-rare, about 40 minutes. Tent beef loosely with foil for 10 minutes after it's done.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb

This was an adventure for me. Last week Brian brought home a 4 lb. boneless leg of lamb from Sam's Club. Okay, huh. What do I do with this hunk of meat? I've only had lamb once in my life (I'm not counting the gyro I had last year) and it was when I was young. I remember not liking it, but hey, I was what, ten? So, I looked up some recipes, choose one and roasted the lamb this evening. While it's still not my favorite meat, the kids LOVED it! Ellie had 3 slices, Dalin had 4, even Scott ate more than one bite!! Brian thought it was nice and mild, and he really liked the gravy. It was very tender (even though I overcooked it, I think. I just roasted it until it looked done, and I'm not ready to eat medium rare lamb) and moist. So, if you're feeling adventurous, try out some lamb.

This recipe is from Everyday Foods

1/2 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4-7 lb. leg of lamb (boned, rolled, and tied-which I didn't do, I just treated it is a normal roast)

In a blender puree olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to make a paste. Rub paste all over lamb. Roast at 400 for 2 hours or until desired doneness. *I started it out at 400, but downed it to 350 for the last hour or so.

Pan Sauce:
Drippings from lamb
1 cup water (or red wine)
1 cup chicken broth or stock
salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients to the bottom of the roasting pan, get all the browned bits up and transfer all of it to a sauce pan. Boil and reduce, about 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve with lamb.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cheesecake Dessert

I haven't made this dessert in YEARS. I got a craving for it the other day and decided to go ahead and make it. I couldn't find the pie dough in tart size, and I was too lazy to make a pie crust, so I just made a graham cracker crust instead and put it in a 8x8 and it turned out just as delicious. It's so simple to make and a tasty alternative to real cheesecake (not to mention less time consuming)!

Cheesecake Dessert

Frozen tart shells

Cherry pie filling or blueberry pie filling

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

8-9 oz. cool whip

Prepare individual prepackaged, frozen tart shells according to package directions, cool, and fill with cream-cheese filling and top with desired fruit. I use either cherry or blueberry pie filling - you just buy it in the can. Filling: Cream together 1 (8 oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Then fold in an 8 or 9 oz. container of Cool Whip.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple Crisp

I ate an apple every morning for breakfast during my senior year. I appled myself out and ever since then, I don't really eat them. However, this pregnancy, I find myself wanting to eat apples again. And since the apple season is upon us, I'm going to kick off the season with some apple crisp. I get my new oven today (long story, it's on my other blog if you want to read it), so I'll post a picture as soon as I make it. I am going to experiment substituting some of the sugar with brown sugar for a more caramely flavor. I'll let you know how it works.

*I used 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and I loved it!

Apple Crisp

4 cups sliced (or diced) apples

¼ cup orange juice or 3 Tbs. lemon juice

1 cup sugar

¾ cup flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ cup butter

Mound apples in a buttered pie dish, sprinkle with orange juice. Combine sugar, flour, spices and dash salt; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp. Serve warm with cream (not whipped) or vanilla ice cream. Serve 6.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sharon's Potato Salad

With Fall coming on and all the reasons to make potato salad cooling down, I thought I'd post my favorite one. While I love my mom's, I love my mother-in-law's more (don't tell my mom ;)

Now, before I get a bunch of comments (wait, has that ever happened?), there are no quantities, you'll have to decided how much of each you want. Just eyeball it. Usually I do one potato (and you always do the same amount of eggs as potatoes) per person. But, sometimes not.

Sharon's Potato Salad

White Rose or Russet potatoes (rose are a bit firmer, but I like the earthier flavor of the Russets)

Boiled eggs (same amount as potatoes)


Green onions




Dab ketchup

Salt and Pepper

Boil eggs and potatoes; let cool and peel and chop (I actually peel the potatoes before I boil them, even though you're not "supposed" to). Chop remaining ingredients into bite sizes pieces. Add mayonnaise and mustard and a dab of ketchup and mix until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Chill.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I'm telling you, over the years, Brian has taken things that I just DON'T like and has made them delicious!! He modified this recipe from Emeril Lagasse and it's fantastic, I think I ate at least 3 servings throughout the evening. I couldn't help it (well, I probably could, but didn't)! It has quite a bit of garlic, but I'm a garlic lover and I thought it was a PERFECT amount!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes-Brian's Version

1 head roasted garlic
2 lbs. potatoes, skinned and diced
1/2-2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup or so of heavy cream
salt and pepper

How to roast garlic:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the garlic on a pie pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Squeeze or remove the garlic cloves from the head and place in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic until smooth.

Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Place the potatoes back in the pot and return to the heat. Stir the potatoes, constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat. Add the garlic and butter. Using a hand-held masher, mash the butter and garlic into the potatoes. Add enough cream until desired texture is achieved. Add salt and pepper.

These are so good, that I'm eating some for breakfast. He also made a modified recipe of Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, which were equally as good. I'll post that recipe later.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pumpkin Banana Bread

I'm not a big banana bread fan, it's okay, I'll have a piece here and there. I had some bananas that needed to be used and I didn't feel like normal banana bread, nor did I want to make banana cream pie (which I actually really like). So, I thought I'd try pumpkin banana bread. It's pretty darn good. I got the recipe off the Libby site, the people that make the canned pumpkin.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 medium) very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

PREHEAT oven to 350ยบ F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, bananas and vegetable oil in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love this soup! I just had a big bowl tonight (even thought it was like 115 today). It is a cream soup, and not a broth soup, which is great in my book!

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cubed, cooked chicken breast
1 Tbs. chicken bullion (I actually just use about a cup of chicken broth)
Chopped onion, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and celery (I don't like celery, so I never add it)
Cooked rice (opt.)
8 oz. velveeta
1 can evaporated milk
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2-1 can rotel (I use original, which has the perfect amount of heat for me)
grated cheese (usually Monterey Jack)

Pretty much, you just want to mix it all together (and anything else that sounds good), add some water, and simmer until the veggies are tender. I fry up some flour tortillas, cut them into strips and serve them on top of the soup (actually, I personally put them on the bottom of my soup bowl, then ladle on the soup). Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes with Caramel Sauce

So, I don't like chocolate. Except for this cake! Brian made it a couple of weeks ago and it is THE BEST chocolate cake I've ever had! He got the recipe from Everyday Foods on PBS. It's really not hard at all. The most time consuming is making the caramel sauce and that takes under ten minutes. Mmm, it is so worth it!

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more, room temperature, for ramekins
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for ramekins
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
caramel Sauce for serving
whipped cream, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 6-ounce ramekins, then coat lightly with sugar, tapping out excess. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave until melted, about 1 minute; stir until smooth. (Or melt mixture in a heatproof bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, yolks, flour, and salt; add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Fill each ramekin three-quarters full with batter; place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  3. Bake until center of a cake is soft but not wet when pressed, 27 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Serve cakes warm, topped with caramel and whipped cream.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup sugar over medium-high until melted and brown at edges, 3 minutes. With a heat-resistant spatula, pull melted sugar toward center until all sugar is melted and caramel is deep amber in color, 3 minutes more.
  2. Immediately whisk in 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (take care as mixture is extremely hot and will bubble).
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream.
  4. Pour into a heatproof container and let cool. (To store, refrigerate, up to 3 weeks.)

If you've made toffee before, making caramel is pretty much the same. Brian burned the first two batches, then I took over and made perfection ;) You don't want to make it dark, since sugar burns VERY quickly. If making the sauce is too intimidating, you can always use store bought caramel, it's still good!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Make Your Own Rice Bowls

This is my latest brainstorm on fast, healthy meals. And everyone gets to make it how they like.

Start with cooked rice - hot or room-temperature (I made brown rice).

Fill your bowl about half full, or scoop a good-sized amount on a plate.

Set out bowls containing various ingredients and let everyone put what they want on it. The beauty of this is that you can just use what you have at the time and it only takes minutes to get everything on the table. Some suggestions:

Cooked meat - beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, bacon, whatever. Save leftovers from another meal so you don't have to cook it that night.
Shredded cheese
Soy sauce
Sweet Chili sauce
Italian salad dressing (one of my son's LOVES it)
Matchstick carrots, cooked or raw
Angel hair cabbage, cooked
Zucchini - grated or cubed, cooked
Sweet peppers
Jalapenos or serrano, diced small
Cream cheese (sounds weird but it was great)
Sushi grade fish (like tuna or salmon)
Sushi ginger (oh, I love that stuff)
Mushrooms - cooked
Kale - diced into teeny, tiny pieces
Peas - cooked
Steamed asparagus
Green beans
Nuts - crushed, peanuts, almonds or cashews work best

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Honey Lime Enchiladas
from Sisters Cafe

1.5 lbs pork or chicken, cooked and shredded
1/3 c honey
1/4 c lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
equal parts mixed together of:
mozzarella cheese, shredded
cheddar cheese, shredded
flour tortillas

Mix together sauce ingredients then add to shredded pork or chicken. Let the sauce soak into the meat for about 30 minutes. Lightly spray 2 pans with non-stick baking spray. (I usually use one 9x13 and one 9x9 but it may vary with how thick you stuff your enchiladas - okay now it's me, Heather, not the original writer of the recipe; I used one 9x13 pan and ran out of chicken.) Pour green enchilada sauce into pans to coat the entire bottom. Fill tortillas with shredded meat and desired amount of cheese. Roll and place in dish. Pour remainder of sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle more cheese on top - don't be stingy! Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then turn on broiler and place enchiladas nearer the top of oven. Let it broil until cheese is slightly brown and crispy.

One of my children is an avowed enchilada hater and he ate a whole one. The 3-yr-old who "hated it because it wasn't brownies" ate half a one. Everyone said they really liked it even though it was a little too spicy (mainly because my husband bought 'medium' green enchilada sauce instead of 'mild'.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Tortellini Salad

This recipe comes from Sisters' Cafe. I didn't have all of the ingredients and it still turned out great. I used half of the double pack of tortellini from Sam's Club. It seems to me like it was more than just 9 oz. Oh well, you can judge it.

Summer Tortellini Salad
Submitted by Amy ~

1 pkg. (9 oz.) uncooked refrigerated cheese-filled
tortellini(You can also use dry tortellini. Barilla has a yummy four cheese and Costco has really good tortellini as well)
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (I use the equivalent of baby carrots instead)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley (or 4 tsp. dried parsley if you don't have fresh...fresh is always best of course, but dried works fine too)
1/2 cup home-made or you're very, very favorite ranch dressing (I tend to skimp a bit on this measurement but 1/2 a cup isn't too much, just trying to be healthy:)
Parmesan Cheese - to taste
*Option - I have added left over Rotissere chicken to this and really liked it

tortellini according to package directions, drain and rinse under cold running water. Place tortellini in a large colander and set aside. Meanwhile, slice zucchini. chop carrot(s). Cut tomatoes in half and slice green onions. Snip parsley, if using fresh. Add vegetables to tortellini. Poursalad dressing over salad. Grate parmesan cheese oversalad. cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Yield: 6 servings