Friday, July 31, 2009

Roasted Potatoes and Pork Chops

Pan-Seared, Oven Roasted, Thick-Cut Pork Chops

The two things that make these Pork Chops very moist and tender are placing them in a brine and allowing them to rest. Delicious!

3/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/4 C table salt
4 bone-in rib pork chops 1 1/2 inch thick (obviously I did boneless)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 T vegetable oil

1. Dissolve the brown sugar and salt in 6 cups cold wat4er in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the pork chops and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat thouroughly dry with paper towels. Season the chops with the pepper.
2. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, heat oil in a heavy bottomed 12" skillet over high heat until shimmering (I use my cast iron pan). Lay the chops in the skillet and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the surface, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops over with tongs and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Using the tongs, transfer the chops to the pre-heated pan in the oven. Roast 8 to 10 minutes, turning the chops over once halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the chops to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes (use this time to make a pan sauce if desired). Serve immediately. (temperature can be checked with a digital instant read thermometer to check for doneness)

Chicken and Three Cheese French Bread Pizza

This is another one we made when Melanie was here. We used the first tomatoes and green onions from my garden!

Click on the link for the recipe: Chicken and Three Cheese French Bread Pizza

Lately I have been omitting the red peppers, but they are good also.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

White Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

We made these cookies and they were delicious!!! I use to make them using a cake mix but now that I have made them from scratch, I will probably pass on the cake mix. This is also a great chocolate cookie for Homemade Oreos.

White Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream sugars, eggs. butter and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients into butter.
3. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes

Buttermilk Pancakes Picture

This is Melanie's plate of Buttermilk Pancakes with strawberries and whipping cream. YUM!


Clark wanted nachos and he wanted them on a platter - family style so this is what we came up with. Refried beans (see note) dolloped with sour cream and cilantro surrounded by chips and melted cheese, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, pretty much anything you like/have on hand.

I don't like canned refried beans, so I made my own with this recipe for Black Beans. I drained off a lot of the liquid before mashing however. I plopped the cooked beans in the middle and surrounded with cheese and put it in the oven until melted. Then added everything else.

I wanted chicken, but Clark didn't, so half has chicken for us. Chicken cooked as per quesadilla recipe.

Eat it family style - it is a social meal. No plates needed.

p.s the lettuce is from my garden....yay!!!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza; this is pizza even Bryce likes.

Melanie and I took lots of pictures of the food we made when she was here, so be prepared for some pictures....finally!

I use all mozzarella instead of part Gouda because I usually just use what I have on hand. I have also made it crust this time with this breadstick dough so that I could also make bread sticks. It was wonderful also.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vanilla Cream Syrup

Syrup of the week:

Vanilla Cream Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup fresh fruit, diced, or fresh berries (optional)

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and cream in a 1-quart pan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and fruit.

yield: 1 Cup (enough for about 4 people)

I have made this without fruit, or poured it over fruit. Delicious! Seen with French Toast.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

I am trying to figure out what to eat here in the summer when it is hot outside and hot inside, and I don't have a grill, so I threw this together last night and it is a keeper!!! This is probably one of the only recipes I have made up so I am pretty proud. It was really easy too. Unfortunately I don't have exact measurements, so just do it to taste.

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

1 chicken breast cooked and shredded
penne pasta cooked according to package ( I use 1/2 bag of Costco Penne)(use whatever you have on hand! bowtie would be very good)
1/2 C - 1 C peas (toss into boiling pasta the last minute of cooking)
1 chopped green onion
handful of diced tomato
ranch dressing
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C diced cucumber (new addition. it was wonderful!)

Drain pasta & peas and run under cold water to cool. put in large bowl and toss with chicken, green onions & tomato. Drizzle with ranch dressing per taste & sprinkle with parmesan. Mix together and chill or serve immediately. Sprinkle with pepper to taste.

Sprite Chicken

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup oil
1 can sprite
2 garlic cloves minced

Stir together and pour over boneless breast of chicken or chicken tenders. Marinate for 3 to 4 hours. Cook on grill.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Banana Cream Pie

9 inch baked pie shell
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 large bananas
Sweetened whipped cream

Bake pie shell. Stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Blend milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring contantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto filling in saucepan and cool to room temperature.
Peel and slice bananas; arrange layer of banana slices 1/2 inch thick. Pour in cooled filling. Chill pie thoroughly, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, top pie with sweetened whipped cream.

Kaye's Pie Crust

4 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 t salt
1-3/4 cup shortening
1 T vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 egg

Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Mix shortening into flour mixure with a pastry blender until it is of a meal type consistency. Mix together vinegar, water and egg. Add to flour/shortening mixture a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork each time. Do not over mix, as it will make your crust tough. Divide dough into balls. Roll out on to a flour covered pastry cloth. This recipe makes 2-2 crust pies or 3-1 crust pies. For 1 crust pies, prick bottom and sides and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.