Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baked Pork Chops

My husband is a HUGE fan of Pork Chops.....although now that we are eating healthier. I have been baking them instead of FRYING!! Here is how I do it.

4-5 pork chops (variety of cuts & styles...we like the bone in Loin chop)

1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Package

2 cups of plain bread crumbs (they are on the baking isle with flour & sugar- for years I had no clue you could buy them already made.....I would toast bread & crumble! HA!)

Mix Ranch mix & bread crumbs together in a Ziploc bag. Place pork chops one at a time in the bag and shake.....(yes this is shake & bake- my style)

Then place eat pork chop in 11x14 pan. Once all pork chop are coated and place in pan. Bake on 350* for 30 minutes- covered with foil. Then remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

*Rating....5 trips back to the kitchen*

Monday, March 15, 2010

String Veggies

The other day I ordered a grilled chicken breast at a restaurant. On the side it came with veggies. They were very thin sliced and just a different way to cook such great tasting veggies.

I have been looking for a different way to cook squash & zucchini.....since we love the veggies- I seem to cook them a lot. Just looking for different ways. At first I used my grater....then I thought they were too thin- so I cut them up very thin.

Here is what I did.

2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
3 carrots
1 plastic bag (Ziploc)
1 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP your favorite season salt

Cut all veggies up as you would homemade french fries. In long strips about 1/4 inch thick and 3-4 inches long.

Place all veggies in a plastic bag and then add oil & season salt. Seal bag well- and shake well, coating all veggies with salt & oil.

Remove from bag and place in a 13x9 pan and bake until veggies are tender- or you liking. I baked mine for 30 minutes.

*Rating...4 trips back to the kitchen*

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beef Lombardi

I attended a ladies luncheon at a church here in town. My friend Crystal and I begged for the recipe.....of lasagna we thought?? My friend Debbie C gave us this recipe....it is WONDERFUL!!

You can make it spicy or not as spicy how ever you like the taste. I have modified it a little from the original recipe to make it easier.

1 lb. of ground beef
1- 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1-10 ounce can of Rotel tomatoes (for not as spicy use Italian seasoned diced tomatoes)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1- 6 ounce package of medium egg noodles
6 green onions- chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350*.
Brown beef, and drain. Add Italian seasoning, chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper & tomato paste.
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Stir together cooked noodles, chopped green onion and sour cream and pour into large greased 13x9 pan.
Top with beef mixture and sprinkle evenly with cheeses.
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

Serve with fresh salad & french bread.

*Rating...5 trips back to the kitchen*

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Paula Deen's Volcano Cake

This CAKE is WONDERFUL!!! I mean it...it is pretty simple too- worth it once you take a bite!!

1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 package of German Chocolate Cake mix (and all ingredients to mix)
10 bite size Almond Joy candy bars- chopped
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter at room temperature
2 cups of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Pre-heat oven to 350*
Spray 13x9x2 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray

Mix coconut and nuts and spread them evenly in pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on the box. Stir in the chopped candy bars. Pour the batter over the coconut & nuts. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Randomly drop tablespoons of this on top of the batter; do not spread them. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until sides of cake pull away from the pan.

This cake is wonderful to serve warm or cool with a dollop of whipped cream.

*Rating...5 trips back to the kitchen*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Paula Deen's Corn Casserole

This is great for any occasion. Easter get-together's coming up.....I wanted to share!!

1- 15 1/4 ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained

1- 14 1/4 can cream style corn

1- 8 ounce package of Jiffy Corn muffin mix

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

In a large bowl stir together the two cans of corn, muffin mix, sour cream, and butter.
Pour into a greased casserole.
Bake at 350* for 45-60 minutes- or until golden brown

*Rating...5 trips back to the kitchen*

Monday, March 1, 2010

Birthday Cakes- Almond cream cheese Pound Cake

I started the tradition when T was 1.....then and there I realized this is a mistake!! I made T's first birthday cake homemade, with homemade butter cream icing & fondant. It took me 4 hours just to decorate it!! I made 3 cakes the few weeks prior to to TEST and see what it would be like. Glad I did- because the bakery would have gotten a 911 call from ME!! Not until about a year later did I notice I put all that time and effort into decorating the Cake & making it look just right.....that I miss spelled BIRTHDAY!!! I realized it when I was looking at this picture in an album one day!! Funny, no one told me that day.....I would have corrected it and it would have sent me off the deep end probably. Planning and having my kids birthday parties is FUN- and after not having kids for so long- then having two back to back.....it is a lot of FUN to celebrate their birthdays....I try to ALL out!!!
Here is C and his cake. I made his simpler and in the shape of a 1! I went to my local craft store and bought all the cake decor, stencils, ready made fondant, and flavoring. I used a deep pan 11x19 I think and then carved and cut and place in different ways to make the shape right. Then used lots of ICING to cover it all up before placing the fondant on top. The fondant will show each and every mistake.
I then just made the cakes from the pans I had. I did however making birthday hat for T's made it out of this bowl. Then I just carved and cut until it was just right. I used round cake pans for his face.

The cake that I make for both cakes......My friend Denise opened my eyes to this cookbook- and I have slept with it close to my side ever since!! This cookbook has taught me many many tricks and told me a lot about cakes I had no clue about!! Any time I make a cake....I pull this book out- a box of cake mix & add other things....then people will say "WOW this cake it great!!" Only my little secret that is came from a BOX!!!

Here it the recipe that I made for both cakes.

Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Vegetable oil for spraying mist in pan ( I uses olive oil in a can)
flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.5 oz)of Butter recipe Golden Cake mix
1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese at room temperature
4 large eggs
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of oil ( I use canola)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*
Spray pan lightly then dust with flour- set the pan aside.
I use any pan.....round, square tube. The recipe calls for tube- because it is a pound cake.

Place the cake mix, cream cheese, eggs, water, sugar, oil vanilla, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop machine and scrap down sides then increase mixer to medium for 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down sides as needed.
The batter should look well blended.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. smoothing with a rubber spatula.
Place pan in the oven, Bake for 30-45 minutes
Bake until lightly golden brown and springs back- when lightly pressed with your finger.

Remove cake from oven then place on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert to rack.

*Rating...5 trips back to the kitchen*