Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pork Tenderloin

In my family, we all like pork tenderloin. It is a great cut of meat. At the grocery, you can get those pre-seasoned pork tenderloin; and they are good. However, they are filled with crazy amounts sodium and preservatives. I usually buy the pork tenderloin with no season and I cook it in the crock pot with vegetables and potatoes.  So, I have wanted to try something different lately with the pork tenderloin and here it what I have come up with…..

3-4 garlic cloves
Fresh Rosemary ( I used  5 6-inch sprigs, or you can use the whole )
3 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Mince the fresh garlic. In a large bowl, place the meat in the bowl; pour the oil on top, salt and pepper and rosemary. Then, rub the ingredients into the pork roast, cover the bowl and place in fridge overnight.
 The next day, preheat oven at 400 degrees and place pork on a greased oven baking pan. (You know one of those with a bottom and a top with slits in it.)
Cook in oven for 45 minutes- 1hour til the meat has reached 160 degrees. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone at my house loves chocolate chip cookies and to me, handmade chocolate chip cookies are the best. I got this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Smitten Kitchen. The recipe was named: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies; needless to say I was already excited.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease cookie sheets or use Aluminum Foil with Cooking Spray. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt and then sift.  In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Mix the vanilla, egg, and egg white with the butter/sugar mixture until creamy. Add in the sifted flour mixture slowly until combined. Next, stir in the chocolate chips gently with a spoon. Spoon out cookies about 1 inch in diameter. Bake 13 to 15; this may vary depending on the size of the cookies. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet or slide the Aluminum Foil with cookies off onto the counter top for 5 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. 

1 inch round balls of dough....

Makes a beautiful right sized cookie!! 


Not sure if I would have called these cookies chewy or crispy. They were definitely awesome and definitely gone quick!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Morning Pancakes

My kiddos love pancakes. Every Saturday or Sunday morning we have pancakes; it makes the weekend even more special. From scratch pancakes aren't hard to make and you can have them ready in a flash. The pancakes below are easy to make and I modify them with chocolate chips, cinnamon, or fresh blueberries: just depends on what you are in the mood for that morning. 

Adapted From: Better Home and Garden: New Cook Book

  • Dry Ingredients 
    • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup of brown sugar (or white sugar)
    • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Wet Ingredients 
    • 1 cup of milk 
    • 1/3 cup of applesauce (or 2 tablespoons of oil)
    • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional) 
First, mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. Then mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. After both mixtures are well combined; add in the cinnamon if you would like. Get your skillet and put you burner on medium heat. Wait until the skillet is hot before putting the cooking spray on the skillet. I test by putting a drop of water on the skillet; if it sizzles, it is ready. Once, you have the cooking spray on the skillet start putting the pancake batter in the skillet. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to dish out the batter into medium sized pancakes. Let the batter cook until bubbles appear on the upside; then flip. Cook for another two minutes or three and then the pancake should be ready to go. This recipe will make around 12 medium pancakes. Enjoy!

Mix both dry ingredients and wet ingredients together. Add a bit of
cinnamon here if you like to. 
I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to dish out pancake into
the greased pan.  

Yum! Fluffy panackes! 
Stack o pancakes!! 

The syrup is from Kroger: Cinnamon Maple; which is the main reason
I put cinnamon in the pancakes. They were delightful!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Pumpkin

The first day at our house... She was a little brown pup.
My husband getting licked

4 months old... starting to see some wheat color.

She sits under the table waiting for scraps. 

My two most loyal followers patiently wait for
any food to fall. 
I know that she doesn't have a wheaten cut,
but it is easier to manage her fur this way and we
can see those beautiful brown eyes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gingerbread snap cookies

These cookies are a hidden treasure in your grocery isle!! I like ginger snap cookies, but sometime they are just too hard for me or the flavor isn't right. Anyhow, Betty Crocker gingerbread mix is definitely sometime to try. Especially for those of you that love warm cookies out of the oven.

Recipe: (on the back of the box)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of melted butter 
1/4 cup water

A Christmas cookie favorite

Pre heat oven at 375 degrees. I use a cookie sheet with foil and then spray cooking spray on foil. In a medium bowl, add flour, butter, water and the boxed mix. Mix well. (I use a fork to make sure that its all mixed, it will be gooey.) Then, powder you hands with flour and start rolling the dough in inch size balls. Pat down the dough balls. When you are finished, and the oven is ready cook for 8-10 minutes. Don't over cook. Place on the cooling rack after two minutes, I would sneak me a cookie at this time. They are so awesome warm.  
Cook for 8-10 minutes. Only.. don't over cook.
Roll out and pat down

Soft and fluffy! with the a great ginger taste.

Cool variety of marigold I grew this year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tomato Basil Shrimp Spaghetti

I love fresh basil. It smells great, it has such an awesome flavor. It is one of my most favorite herbs. This recipe below; is quick and easy with rich fresh flavors.
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves --chopped fine
1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves -- chopped fine
1/2 Vidalia onion-- diced
1 -14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic- minced
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 package of thawed cooked shrimp (This makes it fast, no cooking shrimp. I find these in the freezer section, medium shrimp without a tail and de-veined.)
Cooked spaghetti noodles, whatever you prefer. Linguine, ziti, penne, angel hair. You will want at least 4 servings of pasta.

Fresh basil: if only I could create a scratch and sniff sticker here.
Fresh Oregano

To start, sauté garlic in olive oil with the ground black pepper for a minute or two. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add the fresh herbs, keep the heat on medium. Next, add the can of tomatoes, as the tomatoes heat up, you will want to smoosh down some of the chucks of tomatoes.Then open your package of cooked thawed shrimp; stir around and cook until the shrimp are hot. Once the shrimp are hot, add salt, black pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Cook with cheese until it is melted into mixture. Lay on top of paste and enjoy. This is one of my husband's favorites, "for sure" he adds.

Sauté minced garlic with olive oil and pepper.
Important step to build the flavor.

The kitchen is smelling so good...

Let the cheese melt into the tomato sauce.
Hope you enjoy it as much as my husband does. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Watermelon Mint Popsicles

Watermelon Mint Mix
3 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup mint
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup ice
Yummy mint. I always have a ton of mint and nothing much
to do with it until now..

Blend these ingredients together in a food processor or blender. (I recommend a blender). From there you have some  choices. You can just have drink the mixture, it is yummy. However, you could introduce yourself to a new cocktail by adding some vodka. I decided for some Popsicles; they were awesome. A very refreshing treat on a hot summer afternoon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homemade pop-pop

I am a mom. I want the best for my children. Healthy snacks kinda a challenge. But one snack that I know is always a hit with my kids is popcorn. Recently, it has come out in the news that the additive in microwave popcorn butter in prolonged exposure can cause lung cancer. I know that second hand smoke can cause cancer, too. I will not let someone puff a cigarette in my kid's face; so why the heck would I constantly and knowingly expose my kids to to another carcinogenic substance.  I have provided some links for you to decide for yourself.    In addition, I will provide you with a popcorn recipe. I like some popcorn. My son loves popcorn, or pop-pop as he calls it.,2933,295761,00.html

Yummy Spicy Homemade Popcorn

1 cup of popcorn kernels
4 tablespoons of oil
3 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning -- Optional -- (if you don't want it spicy skip this)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese -- Optional

I use smart balance; but you can
 use vegetable oil or olive oil.
Big Pot with lid.
To begin, you will need a 4 quart pot or bigger you will need a lid. You can use a smaller pot, but you will want to use less popcorn kernels. First add the oil and urn on the burner to medium high. Let the oil heat for 2 - 3 minutes.  Then add the popcorn and the garlic salt and the Cajun seasoning. 

After that, place the lid on the pot. Please note that the popcorn kerenls will be hot and will pop up. So, proceed with care!! Keep the temperture medium high; you will need a oven mit and and hold down the lid on the pot while you shake the popcorn around the pot. It should take a couple of minutes before the popcorn starts to pop. You do not have to continuous shake the pot; but you don't want the kernels to burn, so keep them moving around.
Once, the popcorn starts popping most of the kernels will follow. Just like microwave popcorn, you listen for when the pops get longer apart and when turn off the heat. Continue to wait after that; because stray kernels will pop.  This recipe is just a general description of making popcorn on the stove top, and it may take  you a couple of times to get it exactly the way you want it.  Sometimes, I use cracked pepper instead of Cajun seasoning. It is up to you on what you like: you may want just salt or just Cajun seasoning.
Then put popcorn into a bowl and as it cools add the Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

I will not ever claim that I am a master chef or that I am a chef. I love to cook and I love to eat. I really hope that some people will enjoy the food that I post, like I have with many food blogs. 
This recipe is a family favorite. It does make a good amount; serves maybe 6.  I love to pair this with some fried corn from the garden. You can add more spice if you like, just depending on how hot you like it. The recipe is a Betty Crocker recipe,  I have modified a bit over the years; please note it is a low-fat recipe (until you start adding the sausage, but I LOVE sausage). 
First, I start with boiling, or grilling one or two  boneless chicken breast. (you can use shrimp instead)
1 cup diced Vidalia Onion
1 cup diced Green Pepper
1 cup diced Celery
Fresh minced Garlic -- 3 or 4 cloves
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley 
1 teaspoon crushed Oregano or Basil
2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of crushed Red Pepper (added for the extra bang)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 or 2 tablespoons of Red Hot **  (depends on how hot you like it, I sometimes put in more)
Celery, Vidalia Onion and Green Pepper, diced.
You can use use a food processor,
but I like the bigger chucks. 
1 Polish Kielbasa Sausage -- you can use a Turkey Sausage also. (the pre-cooked kind)
1 cup of cooked, shredded Chicken
1 Can (14.5oz) diced Tomatoes 
2 cups Chicken Stock 
1 ½ of uncooked Rice (I use the Uncle Ben's brown rice that cooks in 10 minutes) 
Additional water as needed. 

Fresh herbs: Oregano and parsley. 
Begin by putting the garlic in the pan with 1 tsp of oil. Next place onion, green pepper & celery in saucepan with the garlic and oil; cook for 5 -10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Then add the canned tomatoes (do not drain tomatoes and I use the Italian style ) with all seasonings and hot sauce.

I cut the sausage into smaller pieces, so they don't break a
part during cooking. 

 Cook on medium or at 300 if using a electric skillet. Stir in chicken stock  (if you have regular rice, or the kind that takes 30 or so minutes to cook, you will want to add it now).  If you are using 10 minute rice wait  a bit and allow vegetables to cook for 10-15 minutes before adding the uncooked rice. (I also add some water in as the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid.) Allow to cook according to type of rice. Whenever your rice is cooked and water is absorbed; then add the sausage and chicken. (I slice the sausage and shred the chicken). 

Mix the meat in and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.  Turn off heat; and allow to cool, cause it will be hot!! Yum! 
** The hot sauce does not have to be Red Hot; it can be Tabasco or any hot sauce you prefer.