Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Apple Pork (or Chicken)

This recipe is a little nostalgic for me because it's the first recipe I remember tweaking so extensively that it completely changed the dish. The original recipe looked good but for some reason or another I couldn't make it the way it was written. (If I'm remembering correctly I didn't have most of the ingredients.) I tried my own version of it and am glad I did because this is now one of my favorite recipes.
I've made it with chicken and pork but I think I prefer chicken. I often up the amount of apples and onions in the dish to stretch it a bit and it's still great.

Apple Pork (or Chicken)
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4-6 servings

2 cups cooked rice (I like to add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the rice as well.)
1 lb pork or chicken, cut into 1 in pieces
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 apples, diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 T cornstarch

   1.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil; add meat and cook until browned. Remove to a bowl.
   2.  In same skillet, add apples and onions and cook until softened. Return meat and any juices to pan. Sprinkle seasonings over mixture.
   3.  Add apple juice to pan. Sprinkle cornstarch and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer; simmer until sauce has thickened. Serve over rice.
This is linked to URS.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu 6-27

Recap From Two Weeks Ago:
The experimental Green Bean & Apple Saute was wonderful! I was surprised how much my husband loved it; he thinks it was the honey that really brought it all together for him.
While the Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo can in no way be called healthy it is tasty! It was insanely easy to make as well. I also added cooked chicken which made it a great meal.
The Pork BBQ sandwiches and 3 Bean Salad went together really well. I combined two different recipes for the Bean Salad and since I didn't have wax beans just used double the amount of green beans.
We love this recipe for Apple Pork although I usually use chicken. It was fine with the pork but I think I prefer it more with the chicken as the meat is a little more tender. [Recipe coming Wednesday.]
I was inspired during the week (as I was hoping to be) by a college friend to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza. This is now added to our list of favorite pizzas!

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Ravioli: I've always said I would never make this but she makes it look so easy.
  • Tuesday: BBQ Chicken with Vegetable Risotto: Plain and simple BBQ Chicken is so good and should be complemented nicely with the risotto.
  • Wednesday: Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Creamy Corn Salad: Yet another Hawaiian dish for me to try.
  • Thursday: Stromboli: This could very well change as our plans are up in the air but if we do have Stromboli I know it will be good!
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Burrito: It's been a long time since we've had burrito pizza.
  • Saturday Brunch: French Toast Stratas: I'll probably have bread leftover from the sandwiches so it will work perfectly for these delightful stratas!
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Favorite

Unlike my husband who choose his favorite in no time at all I had to think about it a bit more. I narrowed it down to two and in the end chose Sweet Hawaiian Pizza. Basically, it came down to the good memories it brings back for me. Sweet Hawaiian Pizza is a great choice for a summer pizza with it's light, fresh toppings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Husband's Favorite

When I asked my husband to think of one of his favorite meals to share again I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth when he said "Cream Cheese Pasta". I think that means he likes it, a lot!
So, upon my husband's recommendation, check out his favorite, Cream Cheese Pasta!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu 6-20

Well, I don't actually have a menu written up because I'm taking this week off. :)

In the meantime, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for other menus for this week.

On Wednesday check back for one of my husband's favorites and then on Friday I'll share one of mine.

I'll be back next Monday with our menu and recap from last week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I stumbled across some amazing recipes this week. I would love to try each of these at some point. Hopefully I'll get the chance to make at least one of them soon.
  • Fourth of July Cake from I am Baker:: You have to click over to see this cake. It is amazing!
  • Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake from Joy the Baker:: This looks delicious, like a perfect drink for a summer day.
  • Homemade Oatmeal Packets from A Few Shortcuts:: My daughter and I have oatmeal for breakfast each day. Right now, it works fine to measure it out each day but I know the day is coming when I'll love the time saved by these packets.
  • Pancake and Sausage Muffins from Heavenly Homemakers:: I'm trying to branch out with what I make for breakfast. These look like a tasty combination to try.
  • Four Bean Salad from In Him We Move...:: We actually just had a bean salad alongside dinner this week that we loved but I'm willing to try others.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baked Beans

We had always been content fans of canned baked beans until one Saturday last summer. We were grilling and wanted to have baked beans but there were none in the house. I went to my cookbooks, looked around and found this recipe. The first time I made the beans they were good but not perfect. Now I think I've pretty much got it down and we actually prefer these beans as opposed to the canned stuff.
The longest part of the prep is boiling the coffee mixture but even that doesn't take long. After that you can relax and enjoy the delicious smell of your baked beans baking in the oven, making you wish it were already time to eat!

Baked Pinto Beans
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4-6 servings

1 30 oz can pinto beans (or 2 14 oz cans), drained
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup water
1/2 T vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 cup cold coffee
1/2 onion, diced
2 slices bacon, diced
1 cup water

   1.  In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar, 1/8 cup water, vinegar, salt, cloves, pepper and celery seed to boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir in coffee.
   2.  Place beans, onion and bacon in a casserole dish. Pour coffee mixture and 1 cup water over top; stir.
   3.  Cover and bake in 350 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and bake 15-25 minutes longer.
Adapted from: 1988 printing of Betty Crocker Cookbook

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu 6-13

Recap From Last Week:
Monday we had Cheesy Broccoli Pockets. I didn't have green pepper, as the recipe calls for, so I added carrots instead. It worked out great! I used SnoWhite's pizza dough recipe which was perfect for these.
The Honey Mustard Pork turned out pretty well. It was insanely hot here on Tuesday so I didn't want to turn the oven on. Because of that I started and finished cooking the pork stove top instead of finishing it in the oven. While it was still fine it was definitely missing the tenderness that would have come from the oven.
I also experimented with making cheesy rice. It wasn't a complete flop but there is lots of room for improvement!
Apple Bacon Burgers with Homemade Baked Beans-what a perfect summer meal! Thankfully, it had cooled down enough that I didn't feel too bad about using the oven for the beans. [Recipe coming Wednesday.]
We switched Thursday and Friday's meals to accommodate my sister's schedule so we had BBQ Chicken Pizza on Thursday. Turns out pizza still tastes pretty good on Thursdays as well! (Yes, the peas are frozen; they're so tasty and refreshing that way.)
Peaches ended up being on sale so we had Ham & Peach Sandwiches, a favorite we discovered last summer. They are similar to last week's Bistro Apple Paninis but still unique. We really like sandwiches like these.
For Saturday brunch I took our normal pancake recipe and made a double batch. To some of them I added chocolate chips before flipping them and to the rest of the batter I stirred in cinnamon. Both variations were great and the leftovers will be breakfasts for part of this week. Also, we had our first watermelon of the year-delicious!

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Tuna Sandwiches with Green Bean & Apple Saute: I rarely make Tuna Sandwiches because they seem so boring but they are so good! The Green Bean & Apple Saute is a carry-over from last week.
  • Tuesday: Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo: This looks easy and tasty. I'll also add chicken.
  • Wednesday: Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches: I cooked the roast in the crock pot on Saturday so this will be an easy meal to put together. (I'm excited to have the rest of the pork in the freezer; some of it will probably make an appearance soon in Chimichangas!)
  • Thursday: Apple Pork: This is another of our favorites. I usually make it with chicken but since I have pork right now I'll use that. It's similar to this Apple Onion Cider Chicken but has a sweeter taste.
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Pepperoni: This is definitely a case of "if you don't know what kind to have then have pepperoni". Maybe I'll be inspired to try something else by Friday.
  • Saturday Brunch: TBD
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I bookmarked way more than five recipes this week and had a hard time deciding which  ones to post. Looking at what I choose, I unintentionally managed to cover five different categories.

This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


There is something about chimichangas that just hits the right spot for both my husband and me. We were both truly looking forward to having these and really enjoyed them, as always.
These chimichangas are quite easy to make. The variable simmering time provides flexibility and we've also found that they freeze well. (I freeze them before baking, then let them thaw for about 30 minutes before baking as normal.)

Print Recipe
Yields: 6 chimichangas

1 lb shredded pork or chicken
1 can kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp garlic powder
2 T chili powder
1 T vinegar
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cheese
tortilla shells (not pictured)
sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce (not pictured)

   1.  Put meat, beans, water and spices in a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
   2.  Uncover, return to a boil until the water evaporates.
   3.  Fill tortillas with meat mixture and top with cheese. Fold as desired.
   4.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 for 15-17 minutes.
   5.  Serve with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa.

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu 6-6

Recap From Last Week:
Well, we didn't stick to the menu very well last week. That's okay though because I used what I had and got to try a couple of new recipes.
Monday we had leftovers and thus no picture.
Tuesday was an old favorite, Chimichangas. We had leftover pulled pork from the weekend so it worked out perfectly. [Recipe coming Wednesday.]
Wednesday we had Ziti. It was a delicious combination of cheeses, pasta, spinach and easiness!
Thursday we had Bistro Apple Paninis along with Macaroni Salad. In the past we've had a sandwich similar to the Panini that we enjoyed and, just as expected, these were a hit as well.
We didn't have pizza this week as we didn't eat at home on Friday.
For Saturday brunch we had French Toast Strata and loved them! These are going to be added to our brunch rotation.
I also made Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins for breakfasts but forgot to take a picture. The taste was good but they were a little crumbly for us, especially my daughter.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Cheesy Broccoli Pockets: Carry-over from last week again. It's definitely going to happen this week though!
  • Tuesday: Honey Mustard Pork: I made this when my parents were here in February and it was a hit. Now to see if I can duplicate it!
  • Wednesday: Apple Bacon Burgers with Homemade Baked Beans: My husband mixed and fomed the burgers last week and they're waiting in the freezer. The beans are easy and cook in the oven for a few hours.
  • Thursday: Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches along with Green Bean & Apple Saute: Ham and Cheese, a classic combination. The green beans and apple sounds tasty so it should be a good meal.
  • Friday: Pizza Night! BBQ Chicken: My sister is likely going to be here so we'll have this, her favorite.
  • Saturday Brunch: Pancakes: We're going to "dress them up" and have chocolate chip or blueberry pancakes.
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hawaiian Tuna Sandwiches

My husband has not always been a huge fan of tuna so the first time I made this it was not without a little apprehension. I'm glad I tried it because we both love the combination of all these flavors, even the tuna! It's very fresh and pleasing.
It doesn't take a lot of work to put together the sandwich filling, just a little bit of chopping and stirring. I've used a variety of breads for these sandwiches, from homemade rolls, to hamburger buns and other sorts of rolls and it's always been good.

Hawaiian Tuna Sandwiches
 Print Recipe
Yields: 6 sandwiches

2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 20 oz can pineapple, drained and chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp ginger
salt and pepper
6 rolls

   1.  In a medium bowl combine tuna, pinapple, green pepper, carrots, celery, mayonnaise and spices.
   2.  Serve on rolls with optional lettuce and tomatoes.

Source: All You magazine

This is linked to Tasty Tuesday and URS.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cheese Quiche

I don't know why exactly but it truly surprises me how much we like this Cheese Quiche. Maybe it's the fact that a big component of the dish is spinach which in frozen form is not exactly the most appetizing looking thing. Whatever it is we like it! At first our daughter was a little hesitant about it but then she attacked her serving with gusto!
This is a ridiculously easy meal to put together. If you use a store bought crust (which I did this time) it doesn't take much time at all and it's a dish you can feel good about putting in front of your family.

Cheese Quiche
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4-6 servings

1 small onion, chopped
1 10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
1 9 in pie crust
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional; not pictured)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (not pictured)
1/4 tsp paprika (not pictured)
salt & pepper (not pictured)

   1.  Preheat oven to 375.
   2.  In a skillet cook onions in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until tender.
   3.  In a large bowl beat eggs and milk until blended. Add spinach, onions, cheese and spices and mix. Pour into crust; top with bacon bits (if using).
   4.  Place crust tin on a cookie sheet and bake 50 minutes or until center is set.

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats.