Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bacon Topped Slow Cooker Pork Chops

This recipe is adapted from one I saw over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I am not a huge fan of thyme, I just don't really like the way it tastes. I only added a tiny pinch to this recipe, next time I am going to leave it out all together. Other than that we really enjoyed these pork chops, you didn't even need a knife to cut them, they were nice and fork tender. Nate loves anything topped with bacon :).

5 slices bacon, chopped
4 pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick (I only made 2 for the two of us)
Salt and Pepper
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 bay leaf

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until lightly crisp and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Once the bacon is cooled, store in the refrigerator until later. Keep about 2 Tbsp. of bacon grease in the pan. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sear them in the bacon grease until they are golden brown. Transfer them to the crock pot. In the same skillet add onions, brown sugar, and water. Cook until onions are tender, about 4-5 minutes, adding the minced garlic the last minute. Pour all of that into the crock pot, being sure to get all the bits off the bottom of skillet. Add chicken broth, soy sauce, and bay leaf to the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Before serving, reheat the bacon and top the pork chops with the bacon.

Crunchy Garlic Chicken

We really enjoyed this chicken. It is easy and doesn't take too long to prepare. I saw this idea over at Rachel vs. the Kitchen.


2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8x8" cooking dish with cooking spray. In shallow dish, mix 2 tablespoons butter, the milk, salt and garlic powder. In another shallow dish, mix crushed cereal, parsley and paprika. Dip chicken into milk mixture, then coat lightly and evenly with cereal mixture. Place in pan. Drizzle tops of chicken with any remaining butter mixture.
Bake uncovered about 35 minutes or until internal temp is at least 165.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Triple Chocolate Cake

We typically make one dessert a week, on Sundays. I am not a huge fan of desserts but my cute husband sure is. I let him make requests and when Sunday rolls around he is one happy camper. This week's recipe comes from Recipe Shoebox.

1 chocolate cake mix
1-3/4 cups milk
1 (4 oz.)package chocolate pudding mix
2 eggs
1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips (Nate prefers milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 9 or 10-inch bundt pan*. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. You may need to loosen the edges with a knife prior to removing from pan. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

*Okay, I don't own a bundt pan so I just used a 9x13. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

This dinner originally started out as something else, but when other elements of the dish turned out to be gross we switched gears. I ended up making both enchiladas and chimichangas, Nate wanted some of each.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 can refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning plus the water it requires
shredded cheddar cheese
enchilada sauce
6 large tortillas

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Halfway through cooking time add the peppers and onion. Once the meat is cooked add the taco seasoning and the water it requires, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is incorporated. Then add the refried beans to the beef mixture and heat through. Pour a little enchilada sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Add beef and bean mixture and some cheese to tortillas and roll them up, placing seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with a bit more sauce and top with cheese. I don't like my enchiladas too saucy so I don't add much, but add as much as you like. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pasta Goulash

Nate is not a big fan of pasta so when he said pasta sounded good tonight I immediately changed the weekly menu to accommodate! I love pasta and I've had this recipe bookmarked for quite a while. It reminds of a story Alisha told me about noodle soup. I guess growing up Nate and his cousins used to be fed noodle soup as a dinner dish, the ingredients are elbow macaroni and tomato soup. That's it! It really does not sound appetizing to me (I'm not a fan of tomato soup) but I guess they all loved it! Anyway tonight's dish also features elbow macaroni. Paula Deen came up with this recipe and I saw it over at Mommy's Kitchen, but I changed it to my preferences. Both Nate and I really enjoyed how this turned out, I'll definitely be making this again.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 (16 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
seasoning salt
seasoned pepper
cheese for topping (optional)

In a decent sized pot, cook and brown the ground beef and season it with a little salt and pepper. Halfway through cooking, add the diced onions and cook until tender. Once that is finished add the water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, soy sauce, bay leaf, and garlic bread seasoning. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the elbow macaroni, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and let stand, covered for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with some cheese sprinkled on top if you'd like. Enjoy!

Picture Updated 01/03/13

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breakfast Chimichangas

We really enjoyed this variation on breakfast for dinner. I hope you like it too! I didn't have an onion or green pepper, but they would be so good added to these chimichangas. I saw this idea over at The Daily Smash.

4-6 large tortillas
8 eggs
1/2 onion, finely diced (optional)
1 green pepper, finely diced (optional)
4 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
seasoning salt
seasoned pepper

Beat, season, and scramble the eggs. Cook the bacon and then crumble into bite sized pieces. Sautee the onion and green pepper in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until tender. Season and cook the hashbrowns until they get that nice crispness on them. Lay out the tortillas and layer on the hashbrowns, vegetables, scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese. Fold and roll the stuffed tortillas chimichanga style. Heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot place the chimichangas seam side down and cook on all sides until they are crisp. Serve hot with some hot sauce or ketchup.

We had really giant tortillas so this made 4 chimichangas for us, but they were really full, with regular sized tortillas you would probably have 6 or so. Also, they crisp up much faster than I was expecting as you notice my first batch was a little burnt.

Mine is without cheese and Nate's has cheese and then some hot sauce on top. They also cooked a lot faster than I was expecting

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crunchy Onion Barbecue Chicken

This was some man-pleasin' chicken! Nate was SO excited all day that I was making this for dinner. I don't like barbecue sauce so I made myself something else but Nate assures me this tasted divine. He is taking the leftover chicken for lunch tomorrow which says volumes! Nate is not a big fan of leftovers. I saw this idea over at The Recipe Shoebox and just adapted it to Nate's preferences. Enjoy!

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (I just used the powdered stuff)
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned pepper
1 cup French's fried onions (sorry, this amount is an estimate)

Rinse your chicken in cold water and pat dry. Mix together barbecue sause, parmesan cheese, and pepper. Thickly coat both sides of the chicken with the sauce mixture. Place on a tin-foil lined baking sheet. Top with a handful of the onions, Nate really enjoys these onions so I loaded the chicken up. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 165. Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Katie's Baked Beans

Okay, I feel so dumb. I had no idea Nate even like baked beans until we had them one day at his parents' house. I think he ate three servings of these beans! I quickly put them on our dinner menu for this week and asked his mom for the recipe. I thought I would share Katie's email with all of you.

I basically took a pound of bacon and cut it into small pieces after chopping an onion and then I cooked them together while someone else opened ten cans of pork and beans. Then I dumped the bacon mixture into the crock pot that had been filled with the beans, Then I squirted in ketchup and mustard and then added brown sugar until they tasted sweet enough to me. That is the truth! Good luck with trying to salvage some sort of recipe from that! Basically do a lot of tasting! I'm sorry I'm not more precise. I watched my mom and that is how she cooked. I know it is crazy! Next time I will try to pay attention as see if I can come up with better measurements.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swiss Steak

Okay, this is going to be a re-post. I posted the recipe way back at the beginning of this blog but I am going to include a picture this time around. This recipe comes from my Grandma Olson. She is the best cook I know. I LOVE the flavor this sauce gets, for me this recipe is comfort food at it's best! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

1-1 1/2 pounds round steak, cut into individual portions
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped (optional, I've never added this)
1 (16 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
olive oil

I keep my vegetables in large pieces so that Nate can pick them out of the sauce. After your veggies are cut, season both sides of your steak pieces with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour. Heat some olive oil in a skillet, once the oil is hot sear both sides of the steaks. Add water, tomato sauce, vegetables, and beef to the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Serve over egg noodles. My grandma says you can also serve this over rice or potatoes, but I've always eaten this with egg noodles.

picture updated 04/11/13

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken Pockets

These were big winners with the husband! He LOVED them, and suggested several other variations for the next time we make them. Needless to say, we are keeping this recipe. I found the idea over at Simply Made with Love and just altered the recipe to what suited us.

1 tube of crescent rolls
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
shredded colby jack cheese (really any kind of cheese works)
Lawry's seasoning salt
Lawry's seasoned pepper
poultry seasoning (we love McCormick Grillmates Poultry Rub)
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a pot heat water and season generously with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Once the water is boiling add the chicken and cook until it is done (165 degrees). Remove chicken from pot and let rest. You can also use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken to make this dish even quicker!
While your chicken is cooking heat the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the diced vegetables and sautee until tender, about 5 minutes. Shred or cut your chicken into bite-size pieces and add it into the veggies, mix to combine, taste, and add any additional seasoning you may require.
Roll out the crescent rolls keeping them attached. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, this will be a rectangle shape made up of 2 triangles. Spoon some of the chicken/veggie combination onto the bottom half each rectangle then top with a bit of shredded cheese. Fold the top half of the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together.
Place completed pockets on a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm!

This recipe makes 4 pockets.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Slow Cooked Pork Roast

We don't eat roast very often at our house. It is a lot of meat for just the two of us. I was originally going to make this recipe Sunday but we ended up going to the in-laws for dinner to see some family visiting from out of town. I really liked that this recipe was so easy. The only thing I would change about this recipe is to use a low-sodium beef broth. I found this recipe over at Miranda's Recipes.

1 (2-3 pound) pork roast
1 (1 oz) packet Lipton's Savory Herb and Garlic seasoning mix
2 cups beef broth (I would recommend using a low-sodium broth)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 onion, diced

Mix seasoning mix, beef broth, garlic, soy sauce and onion in a large bowl. Pour into crock pot. Place roast in the middle of the crock pot. Cook on high for 6 hours basting and turning every few hours. Remove roast and strain leftover juices in a strainer. Use for a sauce to top the pork or as a gravy for rice or mashed potatoes.

My Menu for June 6-11

Alright, I know it's been a few days since I posted. Our anniversary was last Thursday and we went out to dinner and then spent two night hanging out with family that was visiting from out of town. I haven't done too much cooking the past few days. Everything is back on track though. Here's our menu for the week, I've also included the links if you want to cook along with me.

Monday: Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Corn
This is a new recipe and I am excited to try it. It is smelling amazing right now in my crock pot! Hopefully it turns out well.

Tuesday: Double Decker Tacos with Fresh Fruit
This is one of Nate's favorite dinners. He requests it all the time.

Wednesday: Chicken Bundles and Salad
The chicken bundles are another new recipe that I'm sure we'll enjoy. I am going to omit the mushrooms and add some diced onions and green peppers instead.

Thursday: Swiss Steak over Egg Noodles
I got this recipe from my grandma. I love it! The sauce is so delicious. Yum! I've posted this recipe before but don't have a picture, so I will update the post when I make it this time.

Friday: Date Night!

Saturday: Crunchy Garlic Chicken with Rice Pilaf and Salad
Nate is really excited for this chicken. I am hoping it turns out as good as it looks. With rice pilaf I am going to leave out the mushrooms.

Like I said, hopefully these new recipes become keepers. I'll do full posts on the ones that turn out well. Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicken Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja is Spanish for old clothes. The shredded chicken is supposed to be reminiscent of old tattered and torn clothes. There is a little trivia for your day! Anyway, I saw a this recipe online and this is my version, I hope you like it! This recipe makes 4 portions.

2 large boneless, skinless breasts
1 tomato
2 small onions
1 green pepper
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic
1 envelope taco seasoning (I always use the Taco Bell brand per Nate's request)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
reserved broth
salt and pepper to taste

Quarter the tomato and one onion, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the carrot. Add the chicken to the crock pot and the vegetables you just cut. Season with the taco seasoning envelope and add enough water to cover. Cook on high for 4 hours.
Once the chicken is done cooking remove it from the crock pot and let rest for 10 minutes and then shred. Julienne the second onion and the green pepper.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion and green pepper for 3-4 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 cup of the liquid from the crock pot and any additional salt and pepper. I also added another few pinches of taco seasoning. Make sure everything is well combined.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Once that occurs, serve hot!

We ate our over Mexican rice. I think this would be really good fajita style or in burritos or a Cafe Rio/Costa Vida type salad.

Here is a close up of the chicken.