The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 271 – 277 (Week 40)

October 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’ve all had a perfectly wonderful week, and a glorious weekend!  Here we are at Monday again, I know, I’m behind, but I think you’ll forgive me…

Last week was interesting.  Work was crazy, end of the month always is, but this one was crazier than the last few.  Half our group is new people, less than 3 months in, and the senior coordinator was out for the week, so I became the go-to person.  I know I am approachable, I try very hard to be that way, but I felt like there were whole days where I didn’t get any of my own work done because I was so busy answering everyone else’s questions!  It’s nice to be needed again, but come on…

Anyway, all the family were relatively healthy for a change, knock on wood!  William didn’t miss any school.  Mike missed one day of work, but I think it was more of a mental health kind of day.  James got called in for extra hours at his job, makes for a nice pay check.  I think I need to plan a day off, just for me…

So I did a little cooking during the week, nothing Earth shattering, but some fun new dishes.  Of course, I pretty much HAD to cook considering I spent almost $500 in groceries last weekend.  But it all came in handy, and I got to try out the new recipes!  YEAH!  Looking forward to trying even more new stuff this weekend, trying to put together a plan for what I want to cook, make sure I have everything I need on hand.  Working on trimming down the shopping list, trimming down the grocery budget, and maybe trimming down the family a little!

Anyway, here we go…


Mongolian Beef

1/2 lb beef tenderloin, thinly sliced against the grain

1 Tbsp corn starch

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp honey or agave nectar or sugar

1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry

2 Tbsp water

3 green onions, cut into 1″ pieces, green part only

1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil or canola oil

Stir together soy sauce, honey, water and wine.  Set aside.

Heat oil in pan over medium heat.  Dredge the beef in corn starch, shake off the excess.  Add the beef to the hot pan and quickly saute until lightly browned.

Add in garlic and ginger, saute for a few seconds.  Add the sauce you set aside earlier.  The sauce should quickly come to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook until the sauce thickens and glazes the beef.

Toss in the green onions at the last minute, mix, and serve!

Adapted from a recipe I found on cHow Divine

Sorry, I didn’t get photos, but then mine didn’t look anywhere near as pretty as hers did!  But it was yummy…

Orange Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat (as much as you can without being too anal) and cut into bite sized pieces

1 Tbsp orange flavoring

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 Tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tsp corn starch

2 Tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 Tsp sesame oil for frying

Put the oils in a large skillet, heat on medium.  Add in chicken, saute until no longer pink.  Add in orange, garlic, ginger, honey and corn starch, mixing well to coat chicken, sauce will thicken quickly.  When chicken is done through, remove from heat and serve!  Really good with fresh steamed rice…

Vegetable Egg Rolls

1 head cabbage, shredded very fine

12 baby carrots, shredded very fine

2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

1 Pkg egg roll wrappers

Oil for frying

Mix cabbage, carrots and sauces together.  Spoon about 2 Tbsp of the mixture into an egg roll wrapper, fold up bottom and tuck in filling.  Fold in two side corners, dampen final corner and roll closed.

Fry about 2 minutes per side in hot oil until golden brown.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Left over rolls (those supper yummy half whole wheat Virginia light rolls I made last weekend…)


SW Egg rolls with cheese

I had made about 3 dozen of those south west style egg rolls with the taco seasoned beef and black beans inside, we had 17 left after our little munch fest.  Well, I put those in a big deep pan, covered them with shredded cheese and baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  They crisped up a little on the exposed edges, but sort of tasted like mini burritos with the melted cheese, and made for a nice meal!


Pork Chops Everglades

6 boneless skinless porkchops

Everglades original seasoning (the green kind)

Heat a large skillet over medium, add in the chops.  Sprinkle over Everglades seasoning instead of salt and pepper, make sure you sprinkle both sides (when you turn them).  I have no idea how much we used, but it sort of looked like we had used it in place of salt and pepper, so liberally sprinkled, but not coated with seasoning.  Saute until done through and browned on the outside.

Sauteed green beans with garlic

About 1/2 lb fresh green beans, ends removed, cut into 1″ pieces

1 Tbsp minced garlic

3 Tbsp butter

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat, add in garlic, mix a little, add in green beans and saute about 10 minutes or until beans are bright green and crisp tender.  Serve!

Fruit Salad

This was a fun fruit salad for me, because William helped me cut up everything!

1 medium Gala apple

1 medium Bartlett pear

1 medium Dragon fruit

About 30 large red grapes

Cut the apple and the pear into 8th wedges, remove seed cores, slice into thin bite sized pieces.

Cut dragon fruit in half.  Spoon white seeded core out of pink skin, making sure to remove all the skin pieces, it’s not edible.  Cut white fruit into small bite sized pieces.

Cut grapes into quarters.

Toss all this together, and serve!


Jet’s Pizza

Yeah, we had take out…  we needed a night off!


Bacon Cheeseburgers

1 lb ground beef

1/2 lb bacon (about 8 pieces)

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

Sliced cheese of your choice

Burger buns

Mix ground beef, egg, salt and pepper together, mix VERY well, until beef is really smooth rather than crumbly.  Form into 4 patties.  Fry in a large pan over medium heat, flipping as needed to keep from burning.  Cook until medium well, or however YOU like your burgers.  We like ours ever so slightly pink at the very center and slightly crispy on the outside.

Cook the bacon crispy, break each piece in half, give each burger four half strips of bacon, cheese and toppings of your choice, serve on fresh burger buns, YUM!

Tots – yeah, frozen tots, cooked to package directions, whichever way you like to cook them.  I prefer them fried, but that’s not very healthy, so I usually bake them…  boring, but OK.


Fried Chicken Nuggets

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into small tenders or large nuggets, your choice

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup Everglades seasoning (the orange version this time)

1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper

Heat 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Mix the flour and seasonings together in a large shallow bowl.  Add the chicken a few pieces at a time to this mix, let it sit for a minute or two on each side.  Shake off any excess and add to hot pan.  Cook about 4-5 minutes per side, or until done through.  Remove to paper towel lined serving dish.  Cook in batches until all chicken is done.  Serve!

Chicken gravy – made from a mix, yes I cheated a little, but it wasn’t thickening the way I wanted, so I added some of the flour mixture from coating the chicken, made it really tasty!

steamed veggies – broccoli, peas, green beans

Microwave Brownies

4 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp water

Pinch salt

Mix everything together in a coffee mug or shallow bowl.  You can add in a few chocolate chips or some nuts if you want, just don’t go overboard on the chocolate chips, it doesn’t cook as well.  We’ve been adding about 2 Tbsp chocolate chips and about a dozen nuts.  I like pecans, Mike likes almonds, they both work well!

Microwave 1 minute plus 10-15 seconds, allow to cook 5 minutes before serving.

Really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!


We went to Mom’s to celebrate Dad’s birthday, a couple weeks late, but at least we didn’t take all those colds and infections over there with us!  Burgers, baked beans, potato salad, chips…  LOVE picnic food!!

Oh, and I did my nails Saturday, between loads of laundry, tell me what you think!

Had fun with this one!

Anyway, that’s it for last week…  Already working on this week, probably not a lot new, but some good stuff nonetheless…

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!!


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 125

May 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you all had a spectacular weekend!

Well, what can I say…  It’s been an interesting weekend!  The craft show yesterday, and then we tried to do something cool today, but it just didn’t work out, so I cooked and chopped and did laundry and puttered around the house…

We got up early, not too early, but early for a Sunday for us, made a nice breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheese, and sausage.  Got everyone ready to go, and out we went.  Up to the movie theater we go, thinking we might be able to get tickets to The Avengers…  YEAH RIGHT!  The show we were trying for, and the next two shows, were sold out, and there was a line!  There’s NEVER a line on Sunday mornings!!  ARGHHHHH!!  So we headed back home, I dropped off the boys, and headed off to Walmart to get groceries for the week.  Not what we had planned, but what needed to be done.  Got a trash can for outside, only been here almost six years, no rush right?  Got a new pair of shoes for work, something comfortable but not sloppy.  (had to throw out a couple pairs of “work” shoes recently, they finally wore out)  And then…

I cut up lettuce, tomatoes, green pepper for salads.  Watermelon and cantaloupe for my fruits this week. (last couple of weeks have been pineapple, papaya and mango plus red grapes, but the last pineapple wasn’t that great, so I’m thinking the season is over.)  I shredded cabbage in my handy little chopper I got for Christmas, I can use that in salads, in recipes, or make some cole slaw.  I sliced up some nice young yellow squash, made a couple of steamer bags for a lunch or dinner.  Then put my pork chops in a marinade to soak for a while before dinner.

Next, I made mini meatloaves for later in the week, had everything thawed out, had to cook it, figured it will be a quick dinner later this week, or lunches for someone.  Here’s the recipe in case you missed it the last time:

Mini meatloaves

1 cup ketchup

4 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground mustard

2 eggs, beaten

4 tsp Worchestershire sauce

3 cups bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, corn flake crumbs (basically whatever type of filler you like)

3 tsp onion powder or flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 pounds lean ground beef, or mixed beef and sausage (mix 2:1 beef and sausage)

In large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Remove 1/2 cup to be used on top of cooked loaves. Add eggs, Worchestershire, cereal/bread crumbs, seasonings.  Mix well, let set for 5 mins.  Add meat(s) and mix very well.

Press mixture into 18-24 muffin cups and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Drizzle/top with remaining sauce mixture reserved earlier. Bake 10 minutes longer, or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Leftover loaves are freezeable!  Thaw frozen loaves and reheat at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Can also be microwaved for 1 minute each.

And here’s what I did for dinner:

Marinated Pork Chops with Fruit

6-8 boneless pork chops

Good Seasons Italian dressing (make with olive oil and apple cider vinegar)

1 Granny Smith apple

1 D’Anjou pear

10-12 baby carrots

2 Tbsp butter

Mix up some Good Seasons Italian dressing (using olive oil and apple cider vinegar) per the package directions.  Place 6-8 boneless pork chops in a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour the entire bottle of dressing over the chops, pick up each chop to make sure some of the dressing gets underneath as well, and put the dish in the fridge for a few hours at least.  Mine set for about 4 hours all together.

Core and 8th both the apple and the pear.  Slice each 8th into small slices.  Slice the baby carrots into rounds.

In one pan, cook the apple, pear, carrots in butter until soft but not mush.

In another pan, cook the pork chops until done through.

Place the chops on a serving platter, top with the fruit mixture, serve!

I kept some of the apples, pears and carrots out of the pan and served them on top of the salad, keeping those flavors going in different dishes.  It actually worked really well!

I also had some baked potatoes around, since I cooked a whole bag of them last weekend and froze most of them so I would have them around.  The recipe for these is REALLY simple, but makes GREAT baked potatoes!

Perfect Baked Potato (I actually found this recipe on the web)

1 bag (5 lbs) baking potatoes (Russets work really well)

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Wash the potatoes well, and remove any eyes.  Dry them!!  Rub the potatoes with olive oil, pierce once on each side (total four sets of fork holes) then sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt.

Now this next part is up to you, but I prefer pans…

Bake either directly on the oven rack, or in a pan.  The only drawback to the pans is you have to cook a few minutes longer.  And if you do like I did and cook a whole bag at one time, it takes a LOT longer! (almost 2 hours total, but SO worth it!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour on the rack, or 1 hour 15 minutes in a pan.  Turn once about half way through to ensure even cooking and no hard spots in the skin.

When done (you can tell by poking with a fork, when it’s easy to poke it’s done) serve!  Cut it open, top it with your favorite combination of toppings, or keep it simple with butter and salt.

You can freeze them after they are cooked, and reheat in the microwave using the baked potato setting (about 7 minutes) from frozen, or thaw and reheat about 3 minutes in the microwave.

Anyway, it was a cooking kind of day, and somehow I missed making William’s lunch sandwiches, so I guess I know what I’m doing in the morning!  Had enough today…

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 107

April 18, 2012 at 12:10 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!  Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!  I know I am!!!  🙂

Started my day getting William a good breakfast so he would be ready for FCAT’s.  Two whole weeks of testing, reading, science, math, I feel bad for the kids!!

Then, I went off to an interview with a temp agency, took a typing test (think I came in around 50 WPM, which is actually good for me, I’m NOT a typist!), data entry (no idea what I scored, but her words were “I can see you’ve done data entry before!”), and talked about a job with a company that manages foreclosed homes, doing things like arranging cleaning, arranging yard work, arranging maintenance, etc.  Thought it went well, she said she was sending this company my test results and resume, she would let me know…  well, about an hour later I get a call, can I come for an interview tomorrow morning!  So I guess I look good on paper, now I just have to impress them in person!  I just need someone to let me in the door, and let me show what I can do, and I know I can do any job I put my mind to!  And this one actually sounds interesting to me!  I am SOOO ready for something different.

So, since I spent about an hour yesterday chopping up fruits and veggies, I knew I had to make something good for dinner.  BUT, since it’s officially William’s birthday today, and he got cash, he wanted to go shopping first.  So off to Game Stop we went, after picking James up from work (so after 5), hit rush hour traffic, hit every light we possibly could, at least there wasn’t a line at the store!  He picked a game, ended up being the wrong game, but we can take it back tomorrow, and this time he knows what he wants!

Anyway, got home after 6, no idea what I was making, but I knew I had partially thawed hamburger to work with, so:

Hot Brown and Lumpy (yeah, I’m looking for a better name!)

1 pound hamburger

1 pound noodles of choice, cooked to package directions (I had leftover egg noodles from a couple nights ago)

2 cups water

6 Tbsp brown gravy mix

Brown hamburger, crumbling very well while it’s cooking, drain any excess fat.  Return to pan, add water and gravy mix, simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened.  Add in cooked noodles, mixing well, simmer just until everything is heated through.

We had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots mixed together as one side dish, peas as a second, fresh salad (lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, green pepper, tomato) and fresh fruit salad (pineapple, papaya, grapes).  Everything tasted awesome!!

Enjoy!!  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 74

March 16, 2012 at 1:05 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

Today was a very lazy day around here.  I put stuff in the crock pot this morning, then spent almost the entire day reading a book.  Absolutely no real work got done, and that’s just fine.  I needed a day like this!

So here’s what went in the pot:

Mango BBQ Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cans tomato paste

1 can mango nectar

1/2 Cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp molasses

2 Tbsp BBQ seasoning

4 Tbsp white vinegar

Water enough to cover chicken in pot

I suggest mixing everything except the chicken up in a bowl, or the crock pot bowl, THEN adding the chicken, but even that won’t really help this one much.  Cook on LOW 7-8 hours.  Remove chicken from pot and shred.  Add some of the juices from the pot to the shredded chicken, and serve on bread or rolls.

I’m going to tell you right now, this smelled absolutely fantastic, but tasted NOTHING like BBQ at all.  It didn’t taste bad, but it wasn’t BBQ.  I ended up draining the excess juice from my shredded chicken and covering it in bottled BBQ sauce before serving it.  I guess I was really in the mood for BBQ!

I did make home made cole slaw to go with this, and THAT turned out really well.  I chopped up 1/2 head of cabbage in my electric chopper, 2 carrots, and then put in my own dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

4 Tbsp white vinegar

1/8 cup sugar

Salt and pepper

Mix all this up, put it in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  I actually put this on my BBQ sandwich, but that’s me…

And for dessert, I made my fruit wontons, both apple and blueberry.  I even put a little twist on the blueberry, I added a smear of cream cheese!  They came out really well, as usual!

Anyway, no photos, sorry!  Maybe tomorrow…

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 42

February 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello my friends, and welcome back!!  So glad you’ve decided to join me again…

Tonight, I had planned another pot roast, not sure what was going to be “different” about it, but I have a couple of cookbooks…  HOWEVER, I mentioned pot roast, and William says “again?!”  Apparently, we’ve been having a lot of roasts lately, but I’ve been getting really good deals on them, and they are SO easy!

Anyway, I decided, maybe we were having too many roasts, and I needed to do something different.  So, I trimmed the larger portions of fat from the sides of the roast, there weren’t really many since I bought an eye round roast, but there was just a little.  Then I cut it into bite sized pieces, and they turned into:

Pot Roast Stew

2 pound eye round roast, trimmed of fat, cut into bite sized pieces (approx 1/2″)

1 pound small red potatoes, cut into similarly sized pieces as the meat

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into same sized pieces as meat

2 cups frozen green beans, STILL FROZEN, cut or broken into roughly 1″ pieces

1 cup frozen peas, STILL FROZEN

1 carton beef broth

1 Tbsp each rosemary and thyme (I put mine into a tea/spice ball so I don’t hear any complaints from the peanut gallery, mainly William)

1 Tbsp each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 cup cold water mixed with about 1/2 cup flour

Brown beef in a few Tbsps of oil in a large stock pot.  Add in beef broth, then veggies, salt and pepper.  Place spice ball with rosemary and thyme into broth, cover and simmer over medium to medium-low heat for about 1 hour, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Stir in soy sauce.  Stir in flour mixture, and serve!

Even the picky one liked this, and there are just about 3 servings left over for lunches.

Until tomorrow friends, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 22

January 24, 2012 at 3:29 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello friends, welcome back!!

today, I had to go for something completely different, foods even I have never tried, and it was work!  I spent an hour this morning chopping up veggies, and chipped my FAVORITE ceramic knife (dang!!), but in the end, it was SO worth it!  Everyone got something they liked, everyone tried something new, and I got another entry for this journal…

Roasted Root Veggies

1-2 pound butternut squash, cleaned, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes (I ended up getting a much larger one and only used half)

4-5 medium turnips, cleaned, ends trimmed, cut into 1″ cubes (I purchased a bag that had 5 small to medium ones, it was perfect)

4-5 parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2″ slices (I purchased a bag that sort of looked like a small bag of carrots and used them all)

3 medium baking potatoes, cleaned, cut into 1″ cubes (or small red potatoes cut in half)

1 lb baby carrots, washed

1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

2 tsp minced garlic

Place all ingredients into a large crock pot, mix well to coat all pieces, cover and cook on low 9-10 hours, or high 4-5 hours.  Serve immediately!

Oven Roasted Pot Roast (I usually do roasts in the crock pot, so I had to look this one up!)

3-4 pound pot roast of your choice (I used one actually called a “pot roast” on the package, but I would think an eye round or some other kind of roast would work as well)

4 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1 box Great Value beef broth

1 Tsp each salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in an oven roasting pan, cover, cook at 325 degrees for 2 hours.  Remove roast from pan, and allow to rest while you make gravy!  Strain juices into sauce pan, add flour or gravy mix to make a nice thick gravy.  Slice roast and serve!

So everyone got something they liked, and everyone tried something new, and it was a good meal!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 16

January 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Welcome back food buddies!!

Today, we had BBQ beef sandwiches for dinner, they were YUMMY!!!  We also had some leftover potatoes and carrots from last night’s dinner, and a nice fresh salad with Italian dressing.  Still have a couple of those mini banana breads left from last night, but they won’t make it until tomorrow.

I got the idea for the BBQ beef from a friend, think I should give her credit (Candy Allman!).  Not sure exactly what she puts in hers, how long she cooks it or anything like that, but she made some over the weekend, and I said “I can do that!”  So, here’s my take on BBQ beef…

BBQ Beef

1 pot roast of your choice (I used an eye round roast for this**), 2-3 pounds

1-2 boxes beef broth

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 1/2 – 2 cups BBQ sauce

Put the roast, beef broth and garlic powder in a slow cooker, cook on low 7-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours, or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.  Remove the roast from the pot, remove any remaining fat if desired, cut into thick slices, and shred with two forks, literally pull the meat apart.  Put the shredded beef into a large sauce pan, add 1 1/2 – 2 cups BBQ sauce of your choice, I used Great Value brand hickory flavored BBQ sauce.  Heat over medium low for about 15-20 minutes, or until hot.  Serve with sliced buns (I used fresh hard rolls), cole slaw if you want it (I wish I had some tonight, I love cole slaw on BBQ!), and whatever side dishes you want.  This would make a good picnic food, so other picnic foods would probably go well with it, like baked beans, fresh fruit, fruit salad, just whatever you want!  Also makes really good leftovers…

**So I have to tell you, I picked this roast because it doesn’t have a lot of excess fat, and once it’s cooked, it’s easy to see the fat and remove it.  Standing joke in my family, I do “surgery” on steaks before I eat them, have to remove anything that even remotely resembles fat, before I will eat it.  So of course, I couldn’t use a regular pot roast for this, or I would have been standing at that stove for hours removing all the fat, and there wouldn’t have been any BBQ for dinner because I would have gotten frustrated and threw the whole thing out!!

Anywho…  BBQ beef sandwiches are awesome!!  Dinner was a hit, and no roasts ended up in the trash, so it was a good meal.

Not sure what’s on the menu tomorrow just yet, thinking maybe cheese souffle…

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!!


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 15

January 17, 2012 at 12:40 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Welcome back my friends!

Tonight’s experiment was less than I expected, but it was edible…

Chicken and veggies

1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

4-6 medium sized potatoes, washed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, with or without skins, your choice

1 pound baby carrots, washed

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tsp rosemary leaves, dried

1 box chicken broth

1/2 box (you know, that chicken broth box you just emptied) water

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the above in a crock pot, cook on low approx 7 hours, or high 3 1/2 hours

Remove chicken from crock pot, but allow veggies to continue to cook while you prepare the chicken pies

Chicken Pies

Cooked chicken, chopped

Phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut rounds slightly larger than a standard muffin cup from phyllo dough, and push into the bottom of muffin cups

Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, remove from oven

Chop cooked chicken, mix with heavy cream, salt and pepper, spoon into partially cooked shells

Bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees

Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve along with carrots and potatoes from crock pot.

This was rather bland, I expected more, but it was edible.  To make up to my family for this less than stellar meal, I’ve got banana bread cooking right now!  No, not from scratch, box mix, but I KNOW it will be good!

Making a pot roast tomorrow, I KNOW that will come out well!  Plus, leftovers can become BBQ beef sandwiches VERY easily!

Until tomorrow, eat well, be well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 12

January 14, 2012 at 2:02 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Welcome back friends and family!

Tonight’s dinner went over much better than last night’s!  Except for William, everyone liked my take on burgers…

I combined hamburger meat (I think it was ground chuck), onion soup mix and egg, then turned it into patties and cooked them on the George Foreman grill.  (I have to say, I like cooking on that thing, but I’m not liking the clean up!  There must be a trick I’m missing…)  Then, I sliced up some fresh pineapple and grilled a few of the slices as well.  I picked up some fresh made hard rolls at Walmart and sliced those open instead of pre-made hamburger rolls, which are sort of bland.  Then everyone got to pick what kind of cheese they wanted on their burger, American, Swiss or cheddar, the onion burger, grilled pineapple if they wanted it, and then whatever sauce they wanted.  Most of us thought the burgers were really good, but William said the soup flavor was too strong, so he had a sandwich and a salad.

Oh yeah, I made a HUGE salad to go with our burgers, but I’m getting smarter…  I chopped up green onion, green pepper, cucumber, tomato, carrot and celery to go with the lettuce, but I put them each in separate containers so everyone could have what they wanted on their salad, too!  (Yeah, I have a house full of picky eaters, but I’m learning how to get around them! LOL)

And on the stove now, I’m making rice custard pudding, which should take a couple of hours according to the recipe, so I’ll have to let you know tomorrow how it turned out!

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups milk divided

1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice

1/4 cup butter

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In the top of a double boiler, combine rice and 2 cups milk.  Cook, stirring occasionally over boiling water until rice is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 45 minutes.  Stir in butter.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, blend in sugar, vanilla, salt and 2 cups milk.  Stir into hot rice mixture.  Pour into a lightly greased 2 qt. casserole and top with nutmeg.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until firm.

Serve warm or chilled.  Leftovers make good breakfast!

Until tomorrow, eat well my friends!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza Day 9

January 11, 2012 at 12:51 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello and welcome back!

Last night’s curry was a little mild, even for me!  I don’t particularly care for spicy food, but I expected “curry” to have at least a LITTLE heat!  Guess I’ll have to try another recipe, and maybe a different spice blend.  I did buy FOUR different kinds once I finally found an Indian grocery, so I’ve got plenty to experiment with.

Anyway, tonight’s menu was a little more “homey”.  Pork roast in the crock pot, with Yukon gold potatoes and carrots.  Added in 1 Tbsp dried thyme and 1 Tbsp minced garlic, cooked for 9 hours on low.  Roast was literally falling apart when I took it out!  It was SO tender! I think next pork roast with be with BBQ spices, since it literally fell into what I would consider “shredded” BBQ anyway, I can just sauce it, heat it, and put it on buns!

And I decided to do another dessert tonight.  Last night’s homemade chocolate pudding with homemade whipped cream went so fast it made my head spin!  I’ll have to keep that recipe around!!  Tonight, I’m making mom’s Egg Nog Pound Cake.  I’ve had it before, but I’ve never MADE it before, so I’m counting it!  Here’s the recipe…

Egg Nog Pound Cake

1 boxed pound cake mix

1 1/4 Cups egg nog (without nutmeg if you can find it!)

2 large eggs

1/2 Tsp vanilla

1/2 Tsp nutmeg (fresh if you can get it, but dried works OK too

Mix all ingredients with mixer on LOW, then mix on MEDIUM for 2 minutes.

Pour into GREASED loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 5 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and cool on rack for 1 hour.  Serve slightly warm, with vanilla ice cream or vanilla pudding if you’ve got it.  It’s also really good by itself, but I like a little decadence now and then!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, be well!

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