Saturday, June 11, 2011

Easy Roasted Potatoes Recipe

My daughter made these tonight to go along with our baked pork chops.  Easy and delicious.

4 small red potatoes, cut into 4-6 wedges each
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika (smoked paprika, if you have it)  OR 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and add all ingredients.  Swish the potatoes around in the oil and spices until they are all covered.  Bake 25 minutes, then turn potatoes.  (If you are baking these with the pork chops, now is when to add the pork chops to the oven.)  Bake about 30 more minutes until lightly browned and crispy.

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Easy Baked Pork Chops Recipe

My 9 year old enjoys cooking.  Tonight she made these pork chops with roasted potatoes for dinner.  If only I could convince her she would enjoy cleaning up...

2 large center cut pork chops, 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
any sauce you like

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line glass baking dish with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Add pork chops in a single layer so they are not touching.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake 40 minutes or until done.  My method of checking is when a thermometer inserted in the center of a pork chop reads 145.  Remove from oven and let rest 3 minutes before cutting and serving.  My husband and I enjoy these with a bit of raspberry chipotle sauce heated and poured on top.

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Easy Sauteed Spinach Recipe

This is one of my favorite side dishes, although not everyone in my family agrees.  If you try it, let me know what you think!

16 oz. package of baby spinach, prewashed
1 1/2 - 2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 oz. grated parmesan cheese
1 oz. cream cheese

Heat olive oil in your largest sautee pan over medium heat.  Add as much spinach as will fit and stir, then cover for 2 minutes.  Add garlic, stir and add more spinach, cover for 2 more minutes.  Stir and add remaining spinach, more olive oil if needed, and salt.  Continue cooking covered with occasional stirring until all spinach is wilted.  Add parmesan and cream cheese, stir, and remove from heat.  Serve with pork chops and roasted potatoes, or whatever your family is having for dinner.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Easy Hummus Recipe

The basics of this hummus recipe came from my friend Joan.  Great with bagel chips or warm naan as a snack, or with veggies as a quick lunch.  The hardest part of this recipe is finding the tahini in the supermarket.

16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (reserving 1/4 cup liquid) and rinsed
1/4 cup liquid from can
juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 roasted red pepper strips (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.  Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Add up to 1/4 cup of water if needed.


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Chipotle Beef Recipe for the Slow Cooker

Recipe #7.  This is the most requested meal from my dinner swap group.  It feeds a crowd - pair with creamy cole slaw on flour tortillas or with cheese on buns.  Serve with quick baked beans and fries.  While it's delicious if you like spicy food you'll probably want to have an alternate dish for kiddos.

This recipe is slightly modified from RecipeZaar.

* 3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of most visible fat
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 2 teaspoons cumin
* 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo
* 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies
* 1 (7 ounce) can salsa verde
* 1-2 large sweet onions, sliced
* 3 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 cup beef broth

1. Place chuck roast in large crock pot and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, chili powder and cumin.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Shred the meat with a fork, discarding fat.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Epic fail

Lunch out today at Chapala (it's $4.99 enchilada plate day), and now heading out to dinner because I forgot to defrost the chicken.  Sad to update the tally for both lunch and dinner out the same day!  On the upside, we had homemade cranberry spice bread for breakfast that was delicious.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Cottage Cheese Bread

Today I cleaned out half my kitchen cabinets.  In addition to finding some hand mixer blades (I don't even remember the last time I had a hand mixer...) I rediscovered my bread machine and some bread machine cookbooks from 20 years ago.  Thankfully I'd jotted notes down on the recipes I'd tried and now the machine is happily humming away, doing all the work on homemade cottage cheese bread.  My notes said: very good!  esp. for sandwiches.

Recipe #6.  From The Bread Machine Cookbook by Donna Rathmell German (1991, out of print)

Layer ingredients in the order listed in your bread machine:

2 1/2 Tbs. water
2/3 cup cottage cheese
1 1/4 Tbs. butter
2/3 egg (I went whole egg here, not sure what I'd do with 1/3 of an egg - just picked the smallest looking one from the carton.)
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
2/3 tsp. salt
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. yeast

I selected the medium size loaf setting on my machine (1.5 lb) and medium darkness for the bread and pressed START!  3 hours later:

I also found a notated recipe for raisin bread.  I think that might be next!
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stuffed Eight-ball Squash

Recipe #5.  We picked peaches and blackberries at an orchard on Friday and while we were there I picked up a few vegetables.  The eight ball squash was new to me and the farmer told me it would be great grilled or stuffed.  I decided to stuff, bacon style.

2 eight ball squash
3 strips bacon
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup Italian herb panko
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy over medium heat.  Remove and crumble, reserving 1 Tbs. bacon grease.  Add green pepper and onion and cook until onion is translucent.  While pepper and onion are cooking, trim stems of squash and cut in half.  Scoop out squash pulp and add to green pepper and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.

While veggies are cooking, parboil squash shells for 2-3 minutes then drain.

To the vegetables, add crumbled bacon, panko, parmesan, and chopped parsley.  Stuff shells with mixture and bake 15 minutes.

We all enjoyed this and I'll definitely make it again.  Next time I might add an extra squash to overfill the shells and add more veggie goodness.
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Growing in my garden

I found this little guy peeking through the leaves today - should go nicely with the eight-ball squash I picked up at an orchard on Friday.  It's my first try at squash here, and with our shady backyard I was worried that the plant wouldn't get enough sun.  So happy to see this!

Also, this is happening...

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