Sunday, September 26, 2010

some fall favorites

Made Caramel Apple Pork chops Thursday night with smashed potatoes, crusty bread, and salad with Gorgonzola/apples/dried cherries/cherry republic dressing/almonds.

Friday night I made Mom's Orange Chicken


1/2 cup flour
salt, pepper & paprika (to taste)
4 chicken breasts halves
5 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cup Orange Marmalade
2 tablespoons Soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 9x13” glass baking dish.
Place flour, salt, pepper and paprika into plastic zip lock bag. Add chicken breasts one at a time; shake off excess. Dreg chicken in egg/milk mixture then press into bread crumbs. Drag through melted butter, coating both sides. Bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, honey, Orange Marmalade and Soy sauce in small saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half.
Take out chicken, turn over, and then pour mixture over. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

With Giada's Risotto recipe, peas, and garlic crescent rolls. Then I made molten lava cakes.

Dark Molten Chocolate Cakes
(from Baker's chocolate, but I used Ghiradelli chips)
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 6 cakes or 12 servings, 1/2 cake each

1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S Bittersweet Chocolate
10 Tbsp. butter
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
18 fresh raspberries

GREASE 6 (6-oz.) custard cups or souffle dishes (I have a pan with the bottoms that pop out, makes them come out easy). Place on baking sheet.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar and flour; mix well. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; beat until well blended. Pour into prepared cups.
BAKE 14 to 15 min. or until cakes are firm around the edges but still soft in the centers. Let stand 1 min. Run small knife around cakes to loosen; carefully unmold onto dessert plates. Cut in half. Serve warm topped with remaining sugar. Garnish with berries.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

reminder to post these

I am taking these two appetizers to a rehearsal dinner for Chris' cousin next weekend. Looked up the recipes to see what I'll need to pick up at the store soon and it reminded me that I don't think I've posted either one. :)

We always did the mini muffins (so they're bite sized) so I can't vouch for the timing on the big ones. Makes a TON of little baby ones, so good for large parties / get togethers or you can freeze then give out at Christmas. I am going to be using Cherry Republic's "Cherries & Cherries" cherry sauce for mine. If I go thru a jar I'll probably throw some of that apple butter on the remaining ones rather than use a partial other jar ;)


3 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 300 F
Mix together all of the cheesecake ingredients. Divide into cupcake tins with papers in cups (if using minis 1Tbsp is filled size). Bake 35-45 minutes for regular sized cupcakes; 10-15 minutes for mini’s.

Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
Fill depression with topping (for minis 1/2tsp) and then dot with small amount of jam (1/4tsp for minis).

Bake @ 325 F for 10 minutes. Cool then chill. Can be frozen.

The second recipe is sort of an oddball, but my husband LOVES it. I actually got it from the weight watchers message boards back in 2005, go figure.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

4oz roasted chicken breast, diced or shredded.
1/2 cup of Frank's buffalo sauce
8 oz block of cream cheese (I usually use only the lite not fat free as fat free doesn't seem to melt well)
1/2 cup light blue cheese or ranch dressing

cut up celery for side
Fritos or Tostidos scoops (they're bad for you but it does taste good with the Fritos)

Combine all ingredients and throw it all in a small crockpot and let it heat through on high. Can be doubled easily.

Monday, September 20, 2010

more apple adventures

I found an apple butter recipe in my favorite Betty Crocker cookbook today so I gave that a whirl. Was pretty easy and smells nice and seasoned.

Now that I have almost 4 cups of apple butter, I'd better keep cooking with that ;) lol. May try this sometime in the next 3 weeks (its shelf life in the fridge). Grilled Turkey with honey apple glaze.

Let me know if you have a good recipe that calls for apple butter now ;) I may be set for regular apple recipes, as after tonight's pork roast I'll only have a few left.

Apple Butter (from memory, if its not 100% I'll come back and tweak it)

4lbs of apples, peeled, quartered and core removed
1 1/4 cup apple juice (I used cider)
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves

Put everything in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. Simmer one hour. Mash up apples with masher or fork. Return to stove and simmer uncovered for one hour, or until nice and thick. Remove from heat, cool 2 hours, then place in containers and can be kept in in fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

apple pancakes

Today's apple adventure I think will start with apple pancakes. Going to use the syrup recipe from this recipe but just make my standard bisquick supreme pancakes with some finely diced apples in there and some cinnamon and other fall spices. Also going to have turkey sausage patties on the side, not in the pancakes.

Here's the apple cider syrup recipe I'm trying:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

For syrup, combine the sugar, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan. Gradually stir in cider and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter until melted. Serve warm with the pancakes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hamburger Soup

Realized I hadn't shared Mom's Hamburger Soup recipe when I went to link it to my previous post. It's a super basic soup, can have elements changed to suit your tastes or what you have on hand. For example, tonight I didn't have shredded carrots so I just put a 32oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans) in instead of the 2cups carrots and 16oz of peas & corn. In fact I usually cook it that way ;) and increase the barley by at least 1/4 cup and add a little more water and add garlic pepper.

caution: huge batch of soup, need a large pot.


2lb ground turkey or sirloin, browned/drained
2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 46oz bottle low sodium V-8 juice
4 cans cream of celery soup
2 cups water
1/4 tsp marjoram
2 cups grated carrots
8oz frozen corn
8oz frozen peas
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of uncooked barley

Combine all ingredients in large soup pot, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 hours. More barley may be added to make it thicker. Can also be cooked in a (very large) crock pot all day.


Went to Brookwood Fruit Farm on Friday with my MOMs group and little miss. Got a big bag of apples; cortlands, jonathons, and jonamacs (jonathon-macintosh hybrid). Mmmm. Apples. Means its time for apple cooking. Made some of Mom's apple sauce right away, plan to have that tomorrow with the apple pork loin roast I love.

Tonight we had hamburger soup and then had apple dumplings (new recipe, I still want to try the other one, this is a quick one) for dessert. YUM. I halved the recipe (only had one sheet of pastry and 4 people to feed) and didn't allow them to cool all the way before we inhaled, or make the glaze. That's what vanilla bean ice cream is for, duh ;) So good when melty ice cream and apples meet.

If you have a tried/true apple recipe please share :) my friend from college is coming Thursday so I may make an apple coffee cake for us to munch on Thursday & Friday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alden Mill House

I think these folks deserve their own post. If you're ever wandering around the northern half of the lower peninsula of Michigan, and find yourself near Alden... be sure to check this place out. It's an old house packed to the gills with spices, seasoning mixes, soup mixes, etc. Also they have a lot of Christmas stuff. And oh, how I LOVE their garlic pepper blend. Yum. I eat it on a lot. Mac & cheese, soups, sweet potatoes with butter, in mashed potatoes... the list goes on. I think you can order direct off their website (which I will have to do soon as I'm *sniff* down to my last garlic pepper) but it's worth a visit once, if you're a fan of spices.

Alden Mill House

shepherd's pie

Last night we had a nice fall dinner, I had ground turkey and wanted to do something in casserole format with it. Shepherd's Pie came to mind. Found this recipe on allrecipes, then tweaked it to my liking :)

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
serves 6

cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 1/2 inches thick & cooked (or I used one bag of OreIda steam & mash redskins)
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
salt and garlic pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
garlic, to taste
white pepper, to taste
dried chives, to taste
garlic pepper, to taste
2 (1 ounce) packages instant turkey gravy mix
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2.Mash potatoes with milk, butter, Parmesan & salt/garlic pepper.
3.Heat large skillet sprayed with Pam over medium high heat. Cook and stir turkey and onion until turkey is fully cooked. Add spices, tomato paste, gravy mix and broth; stir often, until gravy is thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper & spices.
4.Add turkey mixture to the baking dish. Next, layer the peas and carrots, and top with the mashed potatoes. Top with a layer of grated cheese. and bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted, the dish is heated through, and the potatoes are golden on the top.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Greeks attack

After having an amazing dinner at the Greek Islands in Indy, my hubby and I want more Greek food. So I went hunting. Going to try these tonight. Helps that there's 30mph winds today so won't be doing the steaks I bought on the grill.

Greek Salad (will of course omit things Chris won't eat)
1 to 1-1/2 heads/bunches romaine lettuce, washed, cut in half down center rib, then cut across in 1/2" wide strips
1/2 small red onion sliced to 1/8" and left in rings or half rings
1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut in 1" lengths
2 medium ripe vine tomatoes, cored, sliced into 8 wedges and seeded
1 small green bell pepper, sliced into thin (1/8") rings and seeded
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
20 pitted kalamata olives
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
Combine dressing ingredients in glass jar, a small glass bowl or tall drinking glass and mix thoroughly
Toss salad ingredients into large salad serving bowl
When you are ready to serve, drizzle dressing over top of salad, lightly toss, then add cheese and olives to top of salad

Greek Steak
1 to 2 pound thin cut beef steaks, I've used rib eye so far
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon minced tomato (I am trying this ingredient for the first time, just for color, consider it very optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
2 additional tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place meat in a gallon size Ziplock® bag or spread out over a large glass lasagna or cake pan
Combine all marinade ingredients together in a small glass bowl or tall drinking glass and mix thoroughly
Pour marinade into bag with meat or over meat in glass pan. Seal bag, removing air and work marinade into meat or spoon marinade over meat to cover well, if using glass pan. Marinate for at least 2 hours. If marinating more than 2 hours, do so in refrigerator
Preheat oven to 400º F and on the stove, heat a heavy (oven proof - optional) frying pan to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, begin adding steaks in a single layer. If they won't all fit, cook them in batches
For the oven finishing method, quickly sear/brown steaks on both sides, pour in lemon juice, then place pan of seared steaks on top rack of 400º oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until steaks are heated through to desired doneness
For the stove finishing method, reduce heat to medium after searing, pour in lemon juice and continue to cook steaks until desired doneness
Serves 3-6, depending on whether you use 1 or 2 pounds of steak

And of course have to have these too :) Greek Potatoes

Next I need to find good recipes for Pastitsio and Souvlaki with Tzatziki (what we had at the restaurant). The ones I linked to above may work :)