Monday, February 23, 2015

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

One day my dear friend Carol mentioned a favorite pork chop recipe she had found on Pinterest. She told me how easy it was and how good it was. That was all I needed to hear.  So a few days later I perused her Pinterest page and found the link.  I could not wait to make them. And the verdict is?  Yes, definitely a keeper. We will be having this again.  Soon!

(I would encourage you to visit the original link; the picture is much more appetizing there)

4-6 boneless pork chops
Olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (I used plain Panko and added a few herbs to give it an Italian flavor)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, black pepper, and garlic powder on a plate or in a shallow bowl.

Spray/rub olive oil onto the pork chops.

Dip into the cheese mixture, covering the pork chops completely.

Place on a cookie sheet (I just covered one with Parchment paper).

Bake for 35-40 minutes.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pull Apart Cinna-Buns

The other night I was cleaning out my fridge. You know, like that deep cleaning.  Pull everything out.  Toss the old stuff. Wipe down/wash the shelves.  Put things back nice and neat.  It was quite an exciting evening.

Then I remembered that I had told my kids I would make breakfast for the morning.

At this point, it was maybe 11 p.m.  And I had more work to do.

What to do? What to do?

Well, Google of course.

I searched for quick and easy cinnamon rolls.

And this recipe popped up.

So they aren't exactly cinnamon rolls.

But they looked easy, fairly quick, and tasty, so I went for it.

Because of our food issues at our house, I had to change it up just a little bit.  The original recipe uses butterscotch pudding mix  (and I am pretty sure my sister does a similar recipe with vanilla pudding mix).  We can't/don't do instant pudding mixes, so I did no pudding at all.

And it still worked for us.

18 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

(Do the night before)
Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

If you are using nuts (we didn't this time), spread the nuts in the pan first. 

Place 9 frozen dinner rolls in the pan.

Mix the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Spread half the mixture over the frozen rolls.

Place 9 more frozen dinner rolls in the pan (like a second layer). 

Spread the second half of the butter mixture over the rolls.

Cover loosely with parchment paper.

The next morning, you will find a risen mound of dough and butter yumminess.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then invert onto a serving platter.

You can stop there and probably be fine.

Or you can add a little cream cheese frosting.

Which we did.


Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
Use a mixture to cream the cream cheese and butter together.
Add in the vanilla.
Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until it is light and fluffy.
 Spread over warm cinna-buns.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bread Bowls

I should have had my husband take the picture. He does SOOO much better than I do.  (If you look at the picture on the original recipe website-link below, you will see a much nicer picture...)

Anyway, I have been making these for a while but never got around to posting them.

I don't remember how I found the recipe, but I am glad I did.

Bread bowls.

When I eat baked potato soup, I always want some bread with it. I mean, can't have enough carbs/starch, right?

So when i saw these, bread bowls, it seemed like THE way to go.

And it was. And is.

The original recipe involves a bread machine. If you know me at all, I typically prefer to knead and mix by hand.  So I do.  Either way, it is easy.  And delicious.

This recipe makes 4.  I sometimes halve it just to make a couple or double it to make more (then freeze any leftovers).   My recipe is for hand mixing.  For the bread machine, check out the original recipe.

1 cup plus 3 Tbsp warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (I do use rapid rise)
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

Add yeast and sugar to the warm water in a bowl.  Give a few minutes to "foam" (to show the yeast is working).  Then add in the olive oil, Parmesan, flour, and salt.

Knead for a few minutes, adding flour as needed. It should not be too sticky.

Cover the bowl with a warm towel and set aside to rise.  Mine typically takes about an hour, but house temperature and weather can play into it.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down.  Divide the dough into four parts, shaping them into balls.  Place on a greased cookie sheet (I typically use parchment paper).  Let the dough balls rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

After the bowls have cooled, cut off the tops and pull out the inside of the bowls.  You could use that extra bread to make bread crumbs or if you really like bread (like I do), just drop the bread pieces back into your soup for a little treat. :)


Monday, January 12, 2015

Pork Chops and Potatoes

This picture doesn't do this dish justice. Oh, it showcases the pork chops perfectly (thanks to the Hubs for taking it). But what you can't see is the pile of tender potatoes underneath the broth/sauce.


The one and only negative about this meal was that it needed to cook for an hour and a half. By the time you throw in prep time, it takes about 2 hours total. That isn't a big deal on a Saturday.  On a Monday, it meant a late dinner for us. 

But it was worth it. 

I found the original recipe here. 

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
28 oz. chicken broth (I used 32 because that is what I had on hand)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 pork chops (I used boneless because that is what I had...)
sage (to taste)
4-6 red potatoes (depends on size of potato), thinly sliced (HIGHLY recommend using a mandolin)
1 small sliced onion
paprika and parsley to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour over medium heat.  Add the chicken broth, stirring often until it begins to thicken and bubble.  (I used a whisk to remove lumps)  Then cook one minute longer.  Add salt/pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet.  Brown the pork chops (each side), sprinkling the sage, salt, and pepper over the meat as it cooks. 

Layer in a 9 x 13 inch pan:
Potatoes (thinly sliced)
Onion Slices
Pork Chops

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake for 1 hour.  After an hour, remove the aluminum foil and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.


It is two hours after dinner here, and my house still smells amazing. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Tonight we had a new family favorite for dinner thanks to my co-worker Katie (same Katie as Katie bread) and my sister.   This meal cooks all day in the crockpot, and it is 3 (yes, 3) ingredients (other than the bun).

Are you ready for this recipe? 

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pork Roast (or Ham Roast or Pork Tenderloin...I have used all of them)
1 can of soda (I use an all natural creamy root beer; I have heard Coke or cola works well too)
1 bottle of liquid smoke (I use an all natural hickory)

Place the pork roast in the crockpot. Pour the soda and the liquid smoke over it. Cook all day on low.  Shred the meat.  Place on a bun with a little barbecue sauce if desired. 



Saturday, October 18, 2014


Tonight I made Creamy White Chili for dinner. I really wanted some kind of bread to go with it but couldn't decide what to make. I finally looked through some online recipes and found this one for Olive Garden type breadsticks.  They seemed easy enough, so I decided to give them a try.

Now I have tried breadsticks before. And I have not had very good luck with them.

But for whatever reason, this time it worked.  Too well,

I want to eat the whole batch.

1 1/2 cups warm water (not too hot, not too cold, just right...kind of like warm bath water temps)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast (instant or rapid-rise)
2 Tbsp softened butter
4-5 cups of flour (After reading reviews, I went with bread flour...definitely the way to go)
1 Tbsp salt

Topping ingredients:
3-4 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
sea salt

Pour the water, sugar, and yeast into a bowl and let it "proof" for about 5-10 minutes.

Add the butter, flour, and salt.  I would add 3 cups of flour then add more as needed to form a soft dough.  You can knead with a mixer or by hand.  Today I tried using my food processor which has a dough blade. It worked very well until the dough was thick, then it just couldn't handle it. So I finished by hand.

Let the ball of dough sit (covered) for about an hour in a warm spot.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll it out into a log. Divide the log into 12-14 equal pieces. (I used a knife sprayed with pan spray to prevent sticking as the original recipe suggested). 

Roll each piece out into sticks, about 6 inches long. Place about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet (or just use parchment paper like I do :). 

Place in the oven on the warm setting (about 175 degrees) for 15 minutes or so until the breadsticks have doubled. 

Brush with half the melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 400 for 12-14 min (until golden brown).

Add garlic powder to remaining melted butter and brush onto the breadsticks.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

I am back.

It has been a long time.

I am not sure my fingers even know how to type anymore (well, other than lesson plans and other school related stuff).

But here I am.

I tried another new recipe this week (which is rare these days since I am often running on fumes...I tend to resort to tried and true), and it was a hit. A HUGE hit.

I have a feeling this will be another tried and true for the future.

And best of all, it cooks in the crockpot until the very end. 

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp chili powder (I omit due to food issues)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin (I doubled to make up for the lack of chili powder :)
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup water (I upped to 1/2 since I used more chicken)
Tortillas (I use flour)
Mexican cheese (I used a whole package of shredded Mexican cheese)
Other toppings (optional):  salsa, sour cream, avocado/guacamole, extra cheese, etc.

Put the chicken, spices, cream cheese, and water in the crockpot.

Cook at low for 8 hours or high for 4.

Toward the end of the cooking of the meat (which smells amazing, I might add), shred the chicken with two forks.

Pre-heat to 450.

Scoop about 1/4 a cup of chicken mixture onto a tortilla. Top with a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll tightly up and place on a greased (I may have forgotten to grease...oops) cookie sheet.  I was able to get 14 with four chicken breasts.

Bake for 10 minutes.


I have already been asked by one child when I am making this again!