Tuesday, November 28, 2006

a couple of good cooking blogs

Full Bellies is a cooking blog I've enjoyed browsing around on...there are some awesome looking recipes...check them out!

I hope to try the Monterey Chicken soon. It sounds soooo yummy...

I haven't spent that much time browsing cooking blogs, but Baking Sheet is another fabulous one. Lots of good pictures, and lots of yummy baked goods that make my mouth water.


Pumpkin-Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

1 single crust pie crust, unbaked
3 slightly beated eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
3/4 t. cinnamon
1 c. pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare pastry

Combine all ingredients except pecans. Pour into pie shell, sprinkle with pecans

Bake 50-55 min, or until knife come out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serves 8.

This pumpkin-pecan recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens book, and it was good! Pies are so special and fun to make, and I enjoyed baking for this Thanksgiving. I made 2 pumpkin pies, a pumpkin-pecan pie, and a cherry cream cheese pie.

Give Thanks!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thanksgiving Cookies and a Teddy Bear Murder

Two nights ago we made and decorated Thanksgiving sugar cookies for some of our neighbors. Taking little plates of goodies to our neighbors was a tradition that my family always did at Christmas in the various neighborhoods that we've lived in, and it's a tradition I want to continue...only I think I'll do it at Thanksgiving! It's a good way to reach out to those around us and begin relationships with our neighbors. Everyone likes cookies. =)

Justin really had fun decorating this teddy bear that I accidentally "decapitated". Poor Teddy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pizza, Pumpkin Rolls, and Pork Chops

My husband getting ready to enjoy some homemade pizza!

These Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are from Tammy, and they were soooo yummy. I loved the orange color!

I think I am going to make them again to take to my ladies Bible study tomorrow. We're having a soup and salad potluck afterward, and I'm signed up to bring bread.

I have made this simple pork chop recipe from my Taste of Home magazine twice now and have gotten rave reviews from my husband who said that he doesn't normally like pork chops. He says we can pretend like we're eating steak when we eat these. =) They are very tender

The recipe didn't originally call for bell peppers, but I think they go very well with the onions on this. Of course I adjust the recipe for two people, but here it is in its original form.


Pork Chops with Onions and Bell Peppers

6 pork chops
1 T canola (or olive) oil
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 medium sweet onions, slicked and separated into rings
2 bell peppers (red or green, or both!) sliced into rings
1 cup beef broth
1 T cornstarch (or flour)
2 T cold water

In large non-stick skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to ungreased 9 by 13" baking dish. In the drippings, saute onions and peppers slightly. Spoon over chops; add broth. Cover and bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove pork chops and onions; keep warm.

For Gravy:
In skillet, combine corn starch and water until smooth; stir in pan juices. Bring to boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork chops and onions.

This is good served with brown rice or mashed potatoes, and a vegetable (like asparagus or green beans, or a green salad).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thanksgiving Pot Pie

This is a pot pie that I have been making for years...it's sort of my special dish, as I'm the only one in my family who ever makes it. The recipe came from my Aunt Patsy, (Bonny's mom) years ago when she mailed it to me for a family cookbook that I was making my mom's birthday. Although it's a little more work to make, I think this dish is worth it. The flavor is so good (I love the cloves in the broth!) and the biscuit recipe is one of the best I've ever made. This pot pie is definitely at the top of my list of comfort foods .

Aunt Patsy's Chicken Pot Pie

1 roasting chicken (4 lbs) or chicken breasts
4 c. water
1 rib celery
1 onion
2 tsp. salt
2 whole cloves

Bring to boil, simmer 2 hours. Remove meat from bones and place in 9 by 13 cassarole. Frozen mixed vegetables may be added at this point if desired. Strain and reserve broth.

1/4 c. chicken fat or butter
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 egg yolks
1/2 c. half & half or milk
1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper

Melt butter, stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in broth, stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Beat yolks and milk, stir into broth mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken, and keep warm.

2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. soda
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk. Knead 4-5 times and roll 1/2 thick. Cut into 2" rounds or squares. Place on top of chicken and gravy. Bake at 425 degrees, 20 minutes, until biscuits are browned and chicken mixture is bubbly.

Traditionally I've always, always made heart-shaped biscuits on this dish, (my way of adding some love into it!) but this time I went with turkeys!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm Back to Cooking Again!

I was completely out of it from mono and being very sick for a couple months, but now I am starting to get back on my feet. That means I'm cooking a little more now! My wonderful husband did a great job at cooking when I was sick. It's good to have a handy man who likes to cook and does a good job at it!

My family didn't have meatloaf very often, but I wanted to try it and got this recipe from my mother-in-law. I'll call it Mom's Best Meatloaf.

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or 2 pieces old bread, crumbled)
1&1/2 teaspoons onion powder
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 quick cooking oats

Mix all ingredients. Bake in a crock pot for 1-1&1/2 hours or in the oven at 350 degrees in an uncovered baking dish. You can also cook it in the microwave. Mine burnt around the edges (that's why I didn't take a picture!) the first time because my oven is hotter and I have to turn the temperature down for certain things. I'd suggest watching it closely as it cooks and finding out what works for you.

I love butternut squash and got this recipe from my husband's sister. It's delicious and easy to make!

Butternut Squash Casserole

1 pound sausage (not the breakfast kind)
2 cans green beans (or beans of your choice)
1/2 medium butternut squash, cooked and mashed
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown and drain sausage. Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Mix green beans with squash in dish. Spread sausage over green bean/squash mix. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

I baked my first pie all by myself and took it on extension last weekend for everyone to enjoy. It was delicious!

Dutch Apple Pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-14 cups water
3 cups diced peeled tart apples
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine first 4 ingredients; set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an un-greased 9-in pie plate; set aside. For filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in apples and vanilla. Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.

NOTE: I did 2 cups of the apples and 1 cup of frozen (thawed) strawberries instead and it turned out delicious!

I made two batches of these cookies for gatherings at Northland and everyone loved them so much that there were no leftovers to bring home.

Chewy Gingersnaps

1-1/2 cups margarine
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4-1/2 cups flour

Mix first 8 ingredients well. Mix in flour well. Chill dough for 10-15 minutes. Roll into 1" to 1-1/2" balls, then roll balls in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake @ 375 for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown on bottom edges and just set, but not hard on top; should feel like a crust.

NOTE: To make lighter, try white sugar and light molasses or honey instead. I did this and they were delicious!