Friday, August 29, 2008

Pork Chops with Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Feta Cheese


1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
5 thin cut pork chops, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
1 handful of red grape tomatoes
1 handful of yellow grape tomatoes
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2-3 tbsp of feta cheese
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a bit of salt then saute until golden brown and caramelized - about 15-20 minutes. Add minced garlic, stirring frequently for 60 seconds. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and season the chops. Make sure pan is nice and hot before adding pork. Cook for 2 minutes before turning over. Cook for additional 1-2 minutes to desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat to a serving platter. Make sure to let pork rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing so it stays nice and juicy.

In the same skillet add the grape tomatoes and onions to pan - add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes to cook the tomatoes slightly. Pour the tomatoes and onions on top of the pork, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Top with feta cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!
The Results:
I thought this was very good. The feta and fresh basil made it a very fresh dish. I think I got to much balsamic vinegar on mine. So next time I would just put a little on. But everything else was great. Thanks again Pam for the great recipes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baked Zucchini Sticks


2 large zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of dried basil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or wax paper - spray with cooking spray. Cut the zucchini into half lengthwise then into thick spears. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings then mix thoroughly. Dip the spears into egg then bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture, making sure to coat evenly. Place on baking sheet and spray the top of each spear with cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes then turn the oven to broil and cook, watching carefully, until they become golden brown 45-60 seconds. Serve with marinara sauce or your favorite salad dressing. Enjoy!
The Results:
These were a perfect side to go with my Bleu Cheese Hamburgers. (That I didn't get a picture of.) It was nice that they weren't fried. They tasted just as good as fried zucchini. We ate the zucchini sticks with homemade ranch dressing and marinara sauce. My little boy ate 5 of these. They were easy to make and went perfect with the hamburger. Recipe is from Thanks Pam for the good recipes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pot Roast


2-3 lb round roast
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp of dried thyme
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder

Preheat oven to 275 degrees; Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. In a bowl, combine all seasonings & mix well. Rub the meat thoroughly with seasoning mixture until gone. Place in hot skillet & sear all sides of the beef.

Once seared add the following ingredients:

1/2 yellow sweet onion, chopped into large pieces
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped (I use 5)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of beef broth
8-10 white button or cremini mushrooms
2 stalks of celery
1 bay leaf

Bake in the oven for 4-5 hours.

10 baby carrots (add 1 hour before the pot roast is done cooking)
10 baby red potatoes (add 1 hour before the pot roast is done cooking)

About an hour before the pot roast is done cooking, add the baby carrots & baby red potatoes (they'll be perfectly cooked - not soggy). Let pot roast sit on cutting board for a few minutes before slicing. Strain remaining sauce through a collander and into a bowl; return strained liquid to the Dutch oven. Separate the potatoes, carrots & mushrooms (onions if you wish) to the serving plate. Boil sauce down for 5 minutes (add some corn starch mixed with beef broth or water, if you want a thicker sauce) and drizzle over sliced pot roast. Serve with carrots, potatoes and mushrooms. Enjoy.

The Results:
This week I am making dinner from the recipe food blog For The Love of Cooking Everything I see on Pam's blog looks so good. The things I did different was use a Chuck Roast and I put everything into the crock pot to cook. I seared the roast with all the seasoning before I put it into the crock pot.I also made a gravy but didn't take a picture. I just put the broth left over after cooking in the crock pot into a pan and let it come to a boil and then added in the flour and water mixture and whisked together until you have gravy and season it to your taste. This pot roast was so good and tender. Perfect for a Sunday meal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

I wish I had a better picture because this was so good. But everyone was just too hungry to wait for a plated perfect picture.

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper or use Mrs. Dash original blend seasoning

Grill, stove top or bake the chicken. I grilled it and it turned out great.

10 ounces fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, drain. In a large skillet melt the butter. After the butter is melted add the heavy cream and whisk for 2 minutes. Then add in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Whisk till it all comes together. Add the parsley and pepper. Enjoy!
The Results:
This was awesome. There are a couple things to know though. I used Imperial stick butter which is 65% vegetable oil spread. A lot of the Alfredo sauce recipe ask for unsalted butter. If you do choose to use unsalted butter put salt into your Alfredo sauce. If you choose to use butter with vegetable oil in it just use pepper. I served this to company and it was just so good. Who would have thunk that a couple little ingredients could be so good together. I will have a better picture for you next time. Also I would say that if you don't have heavy cream you could use 2% percent milk.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
The Results:
I made these cookies tonight. I got the recipe from These cookies were soft and chewy and perfect for a quick cookie. Next time I think I might try using parachment paper because the cookies kind of stuck to the cookie sheet. Really good cookies though and they are SUPER good with a tall glass of milk.

Pepita Crusted Cheddar Jack Southwest Chicken Mac


1 pound dry elbow pasta noodles

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chiles, mild version
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups shredded medium Cheddar
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 cup shredded smoked Cheddar
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely ground roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add dry elbow pasta to boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente, drain and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes; saute for 3 to 4 more minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Place back on medium-high heat, slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil while continuously whisking. Reduce heat and stir in Cheddar, Monterey Jack, smoked Cheddar and cream cheese until melted and smooth.
Stir in cooked elbow noodles and chicken mixture. Pour mac and cheese mixture into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and bread crumbs. Toss to coat and sprinkle crumbs and pepitas over top of mac and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crumbs browned. Enjoy!
The Results:
Ok, so I really wanted to try something new. I really do get scared when I try something new because I hate to fail at something. I have made the chicken filler to this meal before and it was super good. I thought this mac and cheese was a total twist on mac and cheese and it was really good. It makes SOO much though. You would definitely have to feed a crowd with this. I got the recipe from I love trying out recipes from Jenny's blog. She makes everything look so good. It was creamy and a total comfort food. Thanks Jenny!