The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 229-235

August 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’ve all had a wonderful, positive week!  It’s certainly been interesting around here…

Last Sunday we went to my parent’s house, so no, I did not cook. We went swimming and caught up on what’s going on.  Mom made burgers, the boys helped cook them on the grill.  She also made her amazing potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, and Tres Leche cake.  I have recipes for some of those things, maybe I’ll even share one day, but not today!  We picked up James’ car and brought it home.  Somehow, I can’t believe I’m saying those words, my child is not supposed to be old enough to have his own car, I’m not that old!

The work week was relatively calm, except that we’re loosing some team members to other teams, loosing one team member who’s just leaving the company, getting some new team members, and reorganizing coverage areas again, but not so much that it will be completely crazy, and I’m comfortable enough now that I think I can handle it.  I’m just glad that the boss thinks I can handle it, too, means I am doing OK even though sometimes I still have doubts.

Mike is still feeling pretty rough, but he saw a new specialist this week that we think is on the right track, more tests, but he has some good ideas and isn’t just blowing smoke, and not immediately blaming all Mike’s health issues on his weight like so many others, including me sometimes.  I know, I have no room to talk, but I just think we would both feel so much better if we lost some weight.  Of course, I’m not helping, doing all this cooking all the time, but I’ve got it in the back of my head all the time that I need to find healthier ways to make the foods we like rather than just trying to redo our whole diet.  We’ll get there!

William started school this week, new school, new kids, new teachers, new schedule, first week of Middle School.  Again, I’m not old enough for my younger child to be in MIDDLE school!!  But he absolutely loves it!  His homeroom/math teacher seems fun.  Didn’t get to meet the PE coach, but William seems to like him, too.  Language arts/Social studies teacher seems really nice, and she seems to understand my thoughts on teaching to more than just the FCAT, I like a teacher that thinks I’m right LOL!  The music teacher is just too cool, and William has two classes with him, regular music, and guitar class.  William and Mike went out last weekend and rented William a guitar, think it might be a rent-to-own type of thing, not entirely sure, but he really seems to be enjoying the class.  Didn’t get to meet the science teacher yet either, but William likes her, so she must be OK.  He can usually smell bullshit faster than we can, and he’s really happy so far, so I think this might be one of our better moves, this Charter school.  And, of course, I’m going to get to put some of my fundraising experience to work for them and be involved without being in charge, so I’M happy, too!!

And James is, well, James.  Working, playing video games, out for the weekend as usual.  I’m a little frustrated with him right now, his “rent” is chores, and they aren’t getting done unless we bug him, and I just feel like he’s 19, I shouldn’t HAVE to remind him any more, but I do.  I think we’re going to sit down one night soon and have a chat.  Need to talk about what we’re going to do when it’s time for new phones at Christmas, what we’re going to do about chores and rent and school, just all those fun little subjects we all love talking about so much…  NOT!  Hopefully it will be a grown-up discussion instead of the usual talking-to-a-wall discussion…

Anyway, you aren’t here for the gossip, you’re here for the food!  I decided to take it a little easy on myself this week, I kept track of what I made each night, but I didn’t pressure myself to WRITE each night, and I actually feel better about this little project than I have since I went back to work.  I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, and getting on my own case when I didn’t write every night, but I’m realizing that that’s just not fair to me.  I have to have time to unwind, relax, be part of the family, and quit trying to be Super-Mom.  So I think I’m going to stick to writing on weekends, maybe a night or two during the week if it’s not too much pressure, but not every night, it’s just too much with the job and the kids right now.

So, here we go…


Pot Roast and Potatoes

1 rump roast, approx 2-3 pounds

1 packet beef Flavor Boost

4 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1 Tsp garlic powder

4 potatoes, washed and cut into bite sized pieces


Put the roast, the cut up potatoes, Flavor Boost, onion flakes, garlic and potatoes into the crock pot.  Add enough water just to cover everything in the pot.  Stir it up a little, set to LOW, and cook 8-10 hours, stirring a couple of times throughout the day if you can.  It’s OK if you can’t, but it’s better if you can, or if you can find someone like my son to do it for you!

Remove roast and potatoes from the pot, put on serving platter, allow to rest while you strain out about 4 cups of the broth, put it in a sauce pan, add in brown gravy mix per package directions (packets usually call for one packet for each cup of liquid, the large container of mix calls for 3 Tbsp per cup of liquid), stir well with a whisk, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Serve with the roast and potatoes for a good old fashioned family meal!  We also had some steam broccoli and peas with our meal, just to round things out.  A salad also works very well.


Curry Chicken and Rice

Another crock pot meal…

5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, thawed or frozen, doesn’t really matter

1 packet chicken Flavor Boost

1/2 box Golden Curry mix, medium heat variety

1 can coconut milk, shaken well

Put all these into the crock pot.  Add just enough water to cover the chicken, I think I might have added 3 cups all together.  Set to LOW and cook 8-10 hours.

When I got home from work, I made a small pot of rice in the rice cooker (water to the “2” mark, two scoops of rice), added 2 packets of chicken flavor Flavor Boost, served the chicken with this rice, and some steamed veggies on the side, it was AWESOME!  Even William went back for seconds on both the rice and chicken.  There was barely enough left for my lunch the next day!


Turkey Sausage with Parmesan Orzo

This is a super easy meal, and William helped me cook it.

Cut up the turkey smoked sausage into bite sized pieces, saute with no added butter or anything, the liquid in the sausage helps it steam/simmer very nicely, just don’t leave it alone, it might burn just a bit.  Voice of experience here!

Along with this, we made Orzo pasta to package directions, drained, added butter and Parmesan cheese, mixed it all up, kind of tastes like mac-n-cheese but better.  Goes great with the sausage, makes for a hearty meal, but not too heavy.



We had leftover potatoes and gravy, leftover egg rolls, some leftover veggies, I don’t even remember what all else we had, but we had quite a bit on the table!



I found this on another blog, it sounded yummy, and OH WOW, it was AWESOME!

So, courtesy of here’s Spasagna…

1 (26 oz) jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 (16 oz) jar of Alfredo or Garlic Alfredo sauce (I didn’t have the garlic kind, so I added a little garlic to the recipe)

1 Lb spaghetti noodles (I used Dreamfields angel hair)

1 lb ground beef

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup milk (2% or higher)

1 Tsp dried oregano

1 Tsp dried parsley (I didn’t have the individual spices, so I added 2 Tsp of mixed Italian seasoning)

Cook noodles to package directions, drain very well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, milk and spices.  Stir well. Add in noodles and stir/toss to coat completely.  Put this mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake about 30 minutes.

While the noodles are baking, start cooking the ground beef in a large skillet or medium saucepan.  Brown and crumble beef until cooked through.  Drain well, and add back into pan.  Add spaghetti sauce, and leave on LOW heat, cover if you can, and let it simmer until the noodles are ready.

Allow the noodles to sit about 10 minutes before trying to top or cut into servings.  Top with the meat and spaghetti sauce mixture.  (I wasn’t sure what a serving should be, so I just cut the pan into 8 pieces.)  Top with Parmesan cheese if desired and serve!


Pork Wontons

4 boneless pork chops, fried and cut into small pieces (about 1/2″ pieces)

Wonton wrappers

Oil for frying

Your favorite sauce for dipping

Place one piece of pork into the center of a wonton wrapper, wet two edges of the wonton wrapper and fold over to make a triangle.  Then dampen two corners and fold in towards each other to make a little hat packet looking shape.  Fry in hot oil about 2-3 minutes per side, remove from oil to paper towel lined serving tray.  Continue with pork and wontons until you run out of one or both.  Somehow, we had just enough of each!

And we had sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, my home made plum-peach sauce from last weekend, lots of sauces to pick from!  Needless to say, they are all gone…

Spinach Hummus

I found this recipe on the internet, but I had to tweak it a bit to make it work in my blender.  One of these days I’ll get an actual food processor…

2 cans chick peas, one drained, one not drained

1/2 cup Tahini, well stirred

4 Tbsp garlic, minced (I buy my garlic pre-minced in a squeeze bottle, so it’s WAY easy!)

Juice of one lemon, or more if you prefer

2 Tsp salt

1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed

4 Tbsp olive oil

Put chick peas in blender, with the juice from one can, blend until smooth.  Gradually add in Tahini, spices and spinach, blending very well after each addition.  You can add a little more oil if needed to thin it out and make it blend better.  I have to admit, I still have a couple of whole chick peas because I wasn’t overly patient with this, but it still tasted really good, and I’m not a huge fan of hummus!

Corn Muffins

This recipe is from the package of Dixie Lily corn meal…

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup corn meal

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted shortening (butter!) or oil

Grease muffin cups or use paper liners, heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat egg in a separate bowl, add milk and shortening and mix well.  Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full, bake 25-20 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Serve warm with butter, honey, grape jelly, whatever YOU like on corn bread!

Chocolate Cake with Home Made Chocolate Frosting

I used a chocolate fudge cake box mix, Duncan Hines I think.  Didn’t do the cake from scratch, just followed the box directions.  But then I didn’t want to use store bought frosting, so went hunting for a recipe…  Here’s what I found!

4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp milk

6 tbsp cocoa powder

Blend everything very well in a large bowl, spread onto cooled cake, top with sprinkles if you want and serve!

So now it’s movie night, gonna go eat the cake and watch a movie.  So until next time, eat well, love well, live well!!!


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 218 – 219

August 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

I know, I know, behind again.  What can I say, I’ve been watching the Olympics and doing some crafts, so I’ve sort of let this slide.  Good news is, I actually cooked the past two nights, so I have something for you, if now new then at least tasty!

Work is beyond busy, but I’m getting there!  Getting things done, hitting my stride, feeling like I might actually know what I’m doing, FINALLY!

Mike is rocking his job, and coming home more excited than I’ve seen him in a long time, and I’m so glad!!

James is getting a few more hours, and we’re making plans to get his car in the next couple of weeks.

And poor little William is bored to tears at home by himself, but he’s being stubborn about spending time with his friends, so I can’t help him right now.  I do need to get all his pants hemmed for school, guess I know what I’m doing this weekend!

So here are a couple of recipes for you, hope you enjoy them!


Great Value deep dish pie shells, package of 2, thawed, poke them up the sides and around the bottom so they don’t puff up when you bake them, baked for 10 minutes at 425 degrees

10 eggs

2 cups milk, divided in half (I actually mixed 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup half-n-half this time)

10 slices bacon, cut into small pieces, cooked until crisp, drained on paper towels

6 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup frozen spinach, cooked in the microwave about 2 minutes

Mix the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl, set aside.

After the pie shells have cooled a bit, spread the Swiss cheese in the bottom of one, fanned out around the inside and slightly up the sides, so it will give you cheese in every slice.  Top with the partially cooked spinach, then half the cooked bacon.

In the second, spread the cheddar cheese, top with the remaining bacon.

Pour roughly half the egg mixture into each pie crust, and bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35-40 minutes more.


Pork Chops with Apples and Peas

5 boneless pork chops

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tsp ground ginger

1 cup frozen peas

1 Granny Smith apple, diced

Cook apples and peas in a large skillet over medium heat until apples are soft and peas are heated through.  Remove from pan and set aside. Put pork chops into a skillet , pour over soy sauce, sprinkle over ginger.  Cook until pork chops are browned and cooked through, turning as needed to avoid over browning.  Add back peas and apples and reheat through.


So that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 178 & 179

June 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Sorry I’m slacking off again, but this whole working and writing and being a mom and being crafty thing is just getting to be a little too much I guess.  I just can’t keep up with everything every day!

So, first things first, news of the family!  I had a really good week at work, then I decided to have a little “me” time today.

I had to go get some blood work done for my doctor’s appointment on Monday, so I made an appointment for that for this morning, got up a little early (around 8) for a Saturday.  Got there, they couldn’t do one of my tests, it can only be done on a weekday, which sucks because now I’ll have to wait until I have a day off to get that one done.  Oh well, got the rest, hopefully they won’t take too long to get the results to the doctors.  Bought myself breakfast at McD’s when that was done.

Then, I thought I would drop all my used sharps at the hospital office that collects those.  Turns out they only take them Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM.  So, now that I’m working, I guess that’s completely out of the question, unless I happen to have a day off.  Supposedly, Humira has a program where you can mail them in, but I have to call next week and see if that’s something I can use.

Then, I still have pocket money left from last week, plus what I got this week…  see, Mike and I decided we each needed some “mad” money, something that wasn’t tied to bills or allowances or gas money, something we could just spend on ourselves.  Neither of us is actually very good at that any more, so it’s taking some getting used to.  Seems he’s getting better at it than I am!  He goes to the comic shop almost every week now, William goes with him usually.  I, on the other hand, usually end up giving some of mine to William as his allowance, or buying food for the family with mine.  Not this time!

So today I went to the bead store, spent a whopping $6.01 on myself!  If I had known she was going to give me an extra 25% off, I would have picked up more!  But by the time I had spent an hour there sifting through the “cheap” bins, I was ready to leave anyway, nothing else really caught my eye.  Haven’t actually made anything with the beads yet, but there’s still tomorrow.  I did make myself a pair of earrings, but not with the new beads.  I’ll have to take a photo for you I guess…

Then, I gave myself a real manicure, something I haven’t done in literally years.  Cut, filed, clipped cuticles, polished, even decorated.  Felt good, but now my nails feel weird because I haven’t done this in so long.  Reorganized my nail supplies, too, put them in a cool case I had emptied of craft stuff recently, so that worked out well.  I did mess up a line or two, so I’ll have to do a touch-up, but that’s for another day I think.

So, William spent the afternoon with a friend, Mike napped a few hours away, James is at work, and I’m here writing between loads of laundry.  So on to the cooking!

Thursday night, after I made dinner, I baked, thought I would share that with you.

Bisquick Coffee Cake Muffins


2 Cups Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk or water

1 egg

2 Tbsp sugar


1/3 Cup Bisquick

1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

1/4 Tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease muffin pan, I used the Texas sized muffin pan this time.

Mix together dough ingredients, spread into prepared pan.

Mix together topping ingredients with a fork.  If you want it a little drier, add a little more brown sugar and Bisquick.  I like it moist rather than crumbly.  Drop small pieces of topping all over cake, press into cake, or drag a knife through topping and dough to mix in a little.  For this, I wish now I had knifed them in rather than just patting them on top.  The crumblies all fell off every time we ate a muffin!

Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Mine was EXACTLY 20 minutes.

Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve warm, or put into zipper bags and refrigerate.

Friday night, I meant to cook, but forgot to thaw anything.  So I went to the store to get odds and ends to get through until pay day, figured I would remember to pick up something for dinner, I was hungry after all, but no, I completely forgot until I was on my way home from Walmart.  So, I pulled in to McD’s and got two 20 pieces McNuggets and two large fries, which Mike, William and I split.  Not a very healthy meal, I know, but we ate, and I was a lot less grumpy after we ate.

And on to tonight…

Bacon Spinach Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust

5 eggs

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper to taste

4 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 pound bacon cut into small pieces and cooked until crisp

1 cup fresh spinach, cooked in bacon grease just until wilted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix eggs, half and half, and spices in a medium bowl.  Place cheese, bacon and spinach in the bottom of your pie crust, cover with egg mixture.  Cook at 425 degrees 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

Bacon Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust

5 eggs

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper to taste

4 slices cheddar cheese

1/2 pound bacon cut into small pieces and cooked until crisp

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix eggs, half and half, and spices in a medium bowl.  Place cheese and bacon in the bottom of your pie crust, cover with egg mixture.  Cook at 425 degrees 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 box tri-color rotini, cooked to package directions

About 1 cup ranch dressing

About 1/4 cup bacon bits, either real or imitation, that’s up to you

About 1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce

Cook, rinse and cool your pasta.  Mix ranch dressing, Heinz sauce and bacon bits together, mix into pasta.  Serve!

Garlic Butter Popcorn

Pop about 1/3 cup kernels in vegetable oil, allow to cool slightly.

Melt about 1/2 stick of butter, mix in about 1/2 tsp garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cool slightly.  Drizzle over popcorn, mix very well, serve!

I have to say, we weren’t crazy about this.  It was OK, but it just wasn’t really “us”.  It was a little greasy, and the garlic was overwhelming, even though I didn’t put in that much.  I think I want to try an herb mixture next time, just not sure which herbs I want to try!

So, that’s it for tonight.  I think it’s time to watch a movie and then head to bed.  Got another busy day tomorrow!

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

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 168 & 169

June 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm (Food) (, , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  I know, I know, missed yet another day.  But I cooked tonight, so maybe that will make up for ordering pizza last night.

So, Wednesday…  pay day for me, at least until the company hires me in permanent.  Had a really good day at work, feeling very confident in what I’m doing now, only ask the occasional question, got a pretty good handle on things now.  Hopefully that means I have a good shot at getting hired in as permanent!

Mike had a quiet day at work, seems things are slowing down for him now that summer is here.  Hopefully he doesn’t get too bored.

James spent the day with the girlfriend, got home just a little while ago, seems like he had a nice day.

William had his first day at home completely by himself.  He spent the morning watching TV and reading, then he biked over to his friend’s house for the afternoon, which was good exercise, and he got to spend time in a familiar setting with friends.  I picked him up on my way home, and got to visit for a few minutes with a friend, too!

As I said earlier, we ordered pizza last night, and I have to say, if you have a Jet’s Pizza in your area, get the big square pizza, deep dish, it’s good!!

Tonight, I had thawed chicken, frozen veggies, and a few odds and ends to work with, so here’s what we had:

French Onion Rice

Rice of choice


Dry French onion soup mix

Rice cooker is required!

Fill rice cooker with water to the “4” mark.  Add in 2 packets of French onion dry soup mix.  Add in 4 scoops (you know, the scoop that came with the rice cooker?) rice of your choice, I happen to still have about half of the 25 pound box of parboiled white rice so that’s what I used.  Set to cook and let it do it’s thing!  When it’s done, serve!

Creamy Pesto Chicken

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tub Philadelphia Creamy Pesto cooking cream

Trim excess skin and fat from the chicken breasts, cut into small bite sized pieces.  Add to a large skillet and cook until no longer pink.  Add in cooking cream, stir well, and cook about 4-5 minutes or just until sauce is thoroughly creamy and chicken is well coated.  Serve!

We also had some steamed broccoli, peas and spinach with this meal.  And we had some leftovers, so Mike and I have lunch for tomorrow, too!

Well, that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 67

March 9, 2012 at 1:26 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again, and welcome back!  So glad you could join me again…

Another busy day.  Working on a new necklace for a contest, maybe, getting laundry together and started so I don’t end up doing it ALL on the weekend, and maybe have a weekend.  Quick shopping trip to pick up a few odds and ends.  Doing the usual running around, taking kids here and there.  But still plenty of time to make a really good meal!  So here’s what we had tonight:

Quiche Two Ways

Great Value pie shells, package of 2, thawed, baked for 10 minutes at 450 degrees (I would recommend deep dish shells, wish I had those tonight!)

10 eggs

2 cups milk, divided in half

10 slices bacon, cut into small pieces, cooked until crisp, drained on paper towels

2 Tbsp flour

3 slices swiss cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Handful of fresh spinach, cooked about 3-4 minutes in the fat from the bacon (basically deep fried)

10 grape tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 large mixing bowls

First bowl, mix 5 eggs, 1 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk, salt and pepper to your taste.  Pour into one of the pre-baked pie shells.  Add the sliced swiss cheese and half the bacon.

Second bowl, mix 5 eggs, 1 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.   Add the other half of the bacon, the spinach and the tomatoes.

Bake both at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

We had a nice fresh salad with this, so it was a nice dinner.

And for dessert, we’re having:

Apple Pie Bites

1/2 Cup sugar

2 Tsp cinnamon

1 pkg refrigerated pie crusts (Great Value of course!)

3 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 can Great Value apple pie filling (I used the no sugar added kind)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.  (I am making these so often now, I’m just keeping a mixture of sugar and cinnamon in a shaker!)

Unroll the pie crust onto a baking pan covered with parchment paper.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with just less than half the sugar mixture.  Cut into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter.  Place one or two apple slices from the canned pie filling at the outer edge of each wedge.  Roll in toward the center of the pie crust.

Repeat with the second pie crust.

 Unrolled crust

 Brushed with butter

 Sprinkled with cinnamon

 Apples placed


Brush the outside of the rolls with melted butter, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.

Bake at 425 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool about 15-20 minutes before serving.  Serve alone, or with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, whatever YOU like with your apple pie! (thinking about trying a little cheddar cheese one of these days…)

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!

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

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 63

March 5, 2012 at 12:18 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , )

Hello again, and welcome back!!  So glad you could join me again!

Tonight, I was feeling a little adventurous, so I played around a little with flavors I know go together, but I’ve never COOKED together before.  So here’s what we had…

Pork Chops with Apples

4-5 boneless pork chops, well trimmed

1 Gala apple

1-2 stalks celery

1 medium carrot

4 Tbsp butter

Chop celery into small crescents, I didn’t see any point in chopping it any smaller, but that’s a matter of preference.

Peel and chop carrots into rounds.

Core apple and chop into small (about 1/4″) pieces.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in carrots, and cook 4-5 minutes.  Add in apples and celery and cook another 4-5 minutes.  Add in pork chops, and cook about 8-10 minutes per side, stirring veggies and apples around to cook evenly.  Remove pork chops when done through, place on serving platter, spoon over veggies and apples and serve.

I served this with a nice fresh salad of iceburg lettuce, fresh spinach, tomatoes, carrots and celery with home made fresh ranch dressing.

Hope you enjoy this one, I know we did!

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

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 38

February 9, 2012 at 12:44 am (Food) (, , , )

Hello my friends, and welcome back!

What a total disappointment tonight was…  I tried a bacon and cheese souffle, which should have been easy since I pulled off a regular cheese souffle just two weeks ago.  Well, let me tell you…  different recipe, cooked literally twice as long as the recipe said, and it STILL wasn’t done!  So, I have a pretty photo of the souffle, which LOOKED perfect, but was runny in the bottom, so then I have another picture of what we actually ate for dinner, which was eggs, cheese, bacon and spinach cooked together and served on a roll.  Very disappointing, but I guess it had to happen sooner or later…  Oh well!  Tomorrow night will be a chicken dish, maybe mini pot pies or something along those lines, and creme caramel for dessert.  At least I know those will come out better!

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

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 36

February 7, 2012 at 2:45 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello friends, and welcome back!

Tonight, being Monday and that means scout night, for now, was sort of a quick and easy kind of night.  I cold-water thawed three Tilapia fillets, and William helped me coat them in a mixture of one cup flour with 3 Tbsp Old Bay, then I put them on the George Foreman grill for about 5 minutes.  They were absolutely perfect, and had just enough flavor to cover up that slightly fishy taste I don’t much care for.  (you would never know I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, as much as I don’t really like seafood!)  We had a nice fresh salad, Welch style of course, with some really cool extras.  Here’s a list of everything that went into MY salad, at least!

Iceberg lettuce

Fresh spinach

Green cabbage, cut into thin slices

Grape tomatoes

Green pepper

Cucumber slices

Carrot slices


Celery slices

Not everyone around here likes all those things, but I do!!

Not sure yet what I’m going to cook tomorrow, but I have TONS of meat in the freezer just waiting for a new recipe, so I need to pour through those cook books in the morning!!

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


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 29

January 31, 2012 at 2:35 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello my friends, and welcome back!

Well, tonight was a mixed bag for us…  some successful things, some not so much.  I’m going to give you all the recipes in case you want to give anything a try, and I’ll tell you which were hits or misses for us.  Knowing that everyone has different tastes, you might like something that we didn’t!  And, of course, there is always that SLIM chance that I did something wrong! LOL!

Fried Polenta (this one was not such a hit around here…)

2 3/4 cups water

1 cup corn meal

1 cup cold water

1 tsp salt

Place 2 3/4 cups water in medium sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Mix 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup cold water and 1 tsp salt in measuring cup or small bowl, then add to boiling water.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat, stir and simmer 10-15 minutes or until thick and creamy.

Pour hot mixture into a clean loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator AT LEAST 4 hours.  Cut into 12 even slices (or more, in this case thinner is better!), and fry in hot oil AT LEAST 15 minutes, turning once.

You can serve this with several different kinds of toppings.  My husband likes sauteed mushrooms cooked in butter and garlic, so that’s what I did this time.  This didn’t turn out as crunchy as I expected or wanted, but it was OK.

Fried Chicken (yet another take on this dish, I know, it’s getting old, but what the heck!  This was HUGELY popular!)

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into tenders

1 cup flour

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

3 Tbsp Everglades seasoning mix

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup oil for frying (and you will need to add more as you cook batches of chicken, the pan will get dry)

Place buttermilk in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Mix flour, bread crumbs and Everglades seasoning in another wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Dip each piece of chicken in buttermilk, then in the flour mixture, add to the hot pan.  Cook 3-5 minutes per side, or until deep golden brown on all sides, and check a couple of the bigger pieces to make sure the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan when done, drain on paper towels.

Burst Tomatoes (I love this one, everyone else, not so much)

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

Pierce skin of all tomatoes, place in microwave safe dish.  Sprinkle brown sugar over tomatoes.  Cover dish (either the cover that goes with the dish, or plastic wrap if you don’t have a cover), microwave on high 3 minutes or until tomatoes pop.  Stir and serve!

Wilted Spinach (everyone except William liked this one)

Place 2 Tbsp butter and one 9 ounce package of fresh spinach in the hot pan after you’ve finished frying your chicken.  Stir and toss lightly until spinach is very tender.   Serve warm.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds.  Place cut side down in baking dish, sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the dish.  Roast at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tender.  Scoop out cooked squash and serve.

I’m sure I did something wrong with this last one, it took TWO HOURS to cook!  And, when I scooped out the squash, the only part that tasted good was the part coated in brown sugar.  The rest was sort of bitter…

Anyway, that was dinner tonight.  James helped with some prep work.  William whined that he didn’t want another home cooked meal, then loved the chicken.  Mike doesn’t like tomatoes, but loves mushrooms, so he was happy.  Couple hits, couple misses, but we all ate well!

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

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