Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smothered Pork Chops

I've been making this recipe for a few years, it is so good. It's a great family meal because kids love it too. I usually have all of these ingredients on hand already, so it's a very inexpensive dinner.

Smothered Pork Chops

1 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbs. onion powder
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4-6 pork chops (3/4 inch, bone in, boneless is okay too)
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown (only one minute on each side if using thin cut chops). Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes (3 minutes for thin cut chops) until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Corn Chowder

I love, love, love, this soup! It tastes just like Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder, it is so good, especially on a cold day. You can use potato flakes or pearls in place of the cubed potato, tonight I added potato pearls from my food storage and it worked out great. This recipe is pretty quick and easy, there are only a few ingredients to prep. I would highly recommend making my breadstick recipe (posted earlier this year) to go along with this, they are so good dipped in the soup!

Corn Chowder

4 Tbs. butter
3/4 c. onion, chopped
1 c. celery, diced
2 1/2 c. hot water
2 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed OR 2 c. potato flakes/pearls and an additional 2 c. water
4 c. frozen corn
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper!)
3 Tbs. flour
1 quart 1/2 and 1/2

In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and celery, saute for 5 minutes.
Add hot water, potatoes, corn, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, only 15 minutes if using potato flakes.

Whisk the flour into 1 c. of the half and half. Add to soup. Add remaining half and half. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. I like mine pretty thick, you can correct the consistency with more potato flakes, or more water if it is too thick.

This soup freezes well, just add more water when reheating it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No Bake Cookies

Hey everyone! I know these look like little piles of poo, but they're actually cookies! And yummy ones too. So for those of you who have known me since middle school (Mara!) you know that I used to make these all of the time. Every Sunday in fact, and my mom would get so mad when I would use all of the oatmeal! My four year old loves helping me with these.

No Bake Cookies

1/2 c. butter, sliced
1/2 c. milk
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking cocoa
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c. Quick oatmeal

Place butter in medium saucepan on medium heat, when melted add in milk and stir. Add sugar and baking cocoa, whisk together and turn heat up to high. Let come to a rolling boil and turn the timer on for 1 minute (very important it only boils one minute!) Continue stirring. When minute is up remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla, stir until smooth. Stir in oatmeal. Let sit 2 minutes to let the oatmeal soak up some liquid, then drop by spoonfulls onto wax, or tin foil lined plates. Place in freezer or refrigerator until hard and cool, about 1/2 hour. Makes about 24 cookies.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Banana Nut Muffins

I had my heart set on making my Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread today, but my husband requested Banana Nut Muffins instead, so, because I love him so much, I acquiesced and made the muffins. I got this recipe from Tyler Florence (Food Network). I made half of the batch plain banana nut, and the other half I added chocolate chips. It is now 10:45 at night and I am eating both of them, yes, I am sacrificing my waistline for the sake of this blog :) Yum, these are really good, really moist, just like mini banana breads. Next time I will definitely sprinkle extra chopped pecans on top. I think I like it without chocolate better, but if you want to add chocolate, try mini chocolate chips instead of the regular size. Thank you Tyler Florence!

Banana Nut Muffins

2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 overripe bananas
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. pecans, chopped
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips, Optional

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly butter, or place muffin papers, in 2 muffins tins.
In large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for about 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Spoon about 1/4 c. batter into each muffin cup, filling it up about 2/3 of the way. Give them a tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Bake until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Serve warm with butter or at room temp. Makes 24 muffins.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Easy Chimichangas

Thanks Carolyn for this great recipe! These chimichangas are so easy to make, and I usually have everything on hand already so it's a great meal to make when I'm in a hurry to get dinner on the table! If you wrap them individually in aluminum foil, they also freeze well. Just reheat in the microwave. I usually don't like canned chicken, but it works out great with this recipe and you can't even tell the difference.

Easy Oven Bake Chimichangas

3/4 c. salsa
3/4 c. sour cream
2 cans chicken (I buy it from Costco), or 1 1/2 c. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 c. shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
2 Tbs. butter, melted
10-12 flour tortillas

Combine salsa, sour cream, chicken, cumin, chili powder, and 1 cup of cheese in a large bowl, stir until thoroughly combined. Place filling into the middle of each tortilla, sprinkle 1 c. of cheese over filling and roll up tortillas. Brush with butter, and sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas (if you can't tell, I like them really cheesy). Bake at 400 for approximately 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!