Monday, October 27, 2014

Apple Pear Crisp

Hey guys, sorry for abandoning you the past few weeks.  I've been dealt an interesting deck of cards this month, but hopefully I'll be back to my regular postings now.

It's been ages since I cooked up a dessert, seriously it was August, so I was really excited to get the blog up and running again with this apple and pear crisp.

Is there anything better than cinnamon and brown sugar?  I just don't know.

Apple Pear Crisp

4 cups sliced apples and pears (feel free to use an combination you like this is not an exact science)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup butter, softened and cubed
2/3 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Place sliced fruit in an even layer in an 8x8 baking pan.
2. In a small bowl mix flour, oats, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Use your fingers to combine ingredients.  Mixture should be like wet sand. Top fruit mixture, making sure fruit is completely covered.
3. Bake for 60 minutes, until fruit is bubbling.  Let sit for 10 minutes. Serve topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

P.S. I got some pretty killer fall ice cream at the market recently.  1. Cinnamon caramel apple pie, the ice cream is cinnamon flavor! amazing! 2. Pumpkin pie, it's got a cinnamon graham cracker swirl! You probably need both of these in your freezer this fall.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Pasta with Butternut Squash and Chicken

This post goes out Stop and Shop.  They have been stocking their supermarket with all the pumpkin items I could possibly need as fall begins.

Pumpkin Pasta with Butternut Squash and Chicken

1 Jar Stop and Shop Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
1 cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
1 cup butternut squash, frozen
A bunch of sage leaves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Cook according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet heat oil on medium.  Season butternut squash with salt and pepper and toss into heated skillet.  Cook until slightly browned.  Pour pumpkin sauce into skillet along with the cooked chicken.  Allow all components to heat up while pasta is cooking.
3. When pasta is finished, coat with sauce mixture.  Top with minced sage leaves.  Spoon into bowls and top with a hearty spoonful of Parmesan cheese.

The pasta sauce is tomato based, with pumpkin added to it.

How can you not love this bowl that's just screaming FALL?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Pizza Roll

This pizza roll can be customized any way you like.  I used a handful of ingredients I had on hand at the time, but the possibilities are really endless.

Broccoli Cheese Pizza Roll

1 pizza dough, store bought, homemade, you decide
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 tbsp olive tapenade
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out pizza dough on an oiled, rimmed, rectangular baking sheet.  Leaving a 1 inch boarder, spread tapenade evenly over dough.  Top with broccoli and cheese.  Roll dough long-ways and press together to seal.
2.  Sprinkle pizza roll with parmesan cheese and garlic powder.  Bake until crust is browned, about 15 minutes.

Pizza rolls would be great for dinner or game-day snacking.

Now what should go inside my next pizza roll.....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

I made this recipe ages ago and now here I am looking longingly at the pictures.

Also, little known fact: I had no idea that gravy is delicious.

Now, for the recipe!

Smothered Pork Chops
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

3 slice of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup beef broth
4 center cut pork chops
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1. Fry bacon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until lightly browned. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat and whisk in flour.  Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture has browned. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cover.
2. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Add onions, salt, and water.  Cook until onions are browned and softened.  Stir in garlic and thyme. Place chops in the skillet and cover with onions. Pour in the warmed sauce.  Reduce heat to low, cover, cook about 30 minutes, until pork is cooked through.
3. Transfer chops to a serving platter.  Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened. Pour sauce over chops, garnish with bacon and parsley.

Check out those fresh herbs from my garden!

I served these smothered chops with some mashed potatoes on the side.

Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this recipe.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I got Corningware guys! There's like a real presentable kitchen in my house right now.  It's filled to the brim with everything I could possibly need thanks to my recent bridal shower. 

I have always wanted to make a real baked mac and cheese from a recipe because whenever I do it things turn out far too dry.

Just look at that pile of cheese guys!  This recipe was intense.

Check out my kitchen helper!  I can always count on him to be exactly in my way.

Classic Mac and Cheese
Adapted From America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

1 cup bread crumbs
8 tbsp butter
1 lb macaroni
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
5 cups milk
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a small skillet, melt 3 tbsp butter.  Add bread crumbs and toast, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
3. Preheat broiler. In emptied pasta pot, melt 5 tbsp butter.  Add flour, mustard, and hot sauce.  Whisk constantly, until mixture has darkened in color, about 1 minute. Gradually mix in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Off heat, slowly whisk in cheese until melted.  Add pasta and mix until coated.
4. Transfer mixture to a broiler safe 13x9 inch dish. Top with bread crumb and butter mixture. Broil until topping is browned, about 5 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

I'm going to be completely honest with you guys here.  This was far too cheesy and saucy for me. I won't tell you not to make this because you might like your mac and cheese like this, ATK does state that it is a "classic." But I prefer my mac and cheese with about half the sauce. And maybe that's just what I'll do next time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beef and Snap Pea Stir Fry

I hope you haven't minded terribly that the blog has slowed down a bit recently. My wedding is coming up in a few short weeks and free time seems to be few and far between. 

Anyway, here is a kickass recipe for beef and snap pea stir fry.  I know what you're thinking looking at this picture, "what the heck is fish sauce and why would I ever need it?"  Well, surprise! I have almost run out of fish sauce, who'd a thought I'd ever see the day that happened.

I purchased some stir fry beef at the supermarket for this dinner.  The beef is already thinly sliced, but you can buy some flank steak and thinly slice it at home as well.

Beef and Snap Pea Stir Fry
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

1lb thinly sliced steak
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
8 oz sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen
cooked rice, for serving

1. Marinate the beef in salt, pepper, 1 tbsp oil, soy and fish sauce for 30 minutes.
2. Heat remaining tbsp of oil in a large skillet on high heat.  Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper, cook until fragrant.  Add beef, stirring every 20 seconds. Finally, add the snap peas and cook until beef is cooked through.  This is all come together quickly since the beef is thinly sliced.
3. Serve over rice.

I absolutely loved this recipe.  The cook time at the stove is minimal, making it a great weeknight meal. I look forward to making it again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork

I have finally taken my slow cooker out of hiding.  I hadn't used it since I moved into my new house.  This balsamic pork recipe is ridiculously easy and delicious.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork
Adapted from Skinny Taste

1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Place tenderloin in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on all sides of the pork.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour over pork.
2. Cook 4-5 hours on low.  After 3-4 hours pork should break down easily.  Break pork into large chunks with tongs so more surface area cooks in the sauce.  When ready to serve, shred pork into smaller pieces and place on serving plate.  Drizzle remaining sauce on top of pork.

I am super excited that I now have Pyrex measuring cups AND serving platters!

I served this pork with an Italian potato salad.  I bet it would also go great on top of some Texas toast.

Where did I put those leftovers.....