Thursday, December 6, 2012

Smoky Honey Mustard Pork Chops

We were trying to decide what to do with some frozen pork we had, and I came across this recipe. It has a delicious, but light flavor. We demolished it!

4 4-6 oz pork loin or sirloin chops
salt and pepper
Liquid Smoke
3 Tbsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 cloves minced garlic

1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Give them a liberal dousing of liquid smoke (you can usually find this either near the seasonings or the BBQ sauce/condiments in the grocery store). Set aside.
2. Heat oven broiler to high or preheat grill. Combine honey, garlic, and mustard. Place pork chops on broiler pan/grill and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn and cook another 4-5 minutes. You want the internal temperature to be at least 165 (that's a little pink inside), but you also don't want to overcook them because they will become tough. You may need to adjust your cooking times a little, bearing in mind that they have two minutes to cook after the initial 8-10 minutes.
3. Baste with honey mustard mixture and cook an additional minute. Turn and baste other side; cook for one additional minute. Remove from heat and allow to stand a few minutes to seal in the juices.

{Kudos to: ourbestbites.com!}

Easy Drop Biscuits

***Check out my new blog for pics of these great biscuits! http://www.kayescupboard.com/perfect-drop-biscuits/

I've made these a handful of times when I need something quick to add to dinner. They always turn out fluffy and delicious!

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Stir in butter and milk just until moistened. Drop batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet by the tablespoon.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Yield: About a dozen.

{Kudos to: allrecipes.com! Recipe was originally called "E-Z Drop Biscuits."}

"Sis's Chocolate Cupcakes"

Eh, not my favorite pic, but the recipe is gooood!!

A Pinterest find, we made these one day when my 3 yr old wanted to make chocolate cupcakes to surprise Daddy (sounds vaguely familiar to how we found this recipe: "Best Ever Chocolate Cake"). They turned out so well, we didn't even frost them!

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
3 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in room-temperature buttermilk. In a saucepan, melt butter and cocoa together at a low temperature. When smooth, add water. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, and salt. Add cocoa mixture and egg and mix at a low speed. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide batter evenly into 12 cupcake papers. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

{Kudos to: mingmakescupckes.volasite.com!}

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

I can't help but post another ourbestbites.com recipe- they're just too good! I used this sauce in their Bacon Artichoke with Penne Bake (SO good, although we omitted the artichoke). I will definitely be making this again!

2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup (3 oz) low-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (The cookbook notes that using pregrated Parmesan will still make a great tasting sauce, but it will be lumpy. This is the recipe that introduced me to using fresh Parmesan, and I will NEVER go back- it makes such a huge difference in flavor!)

1. In a blender, blend the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt until smooth, then set aside.
2. In a large, nonstick saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from sticking and burning.
3. Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more or until the sauce thickens, about 6-7 minutes.
4. Once the sauce has started to thicken, remove from heat. Whisk the cheese into the sauce and immediately cover the pan.
5. Allow the sauce to stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing.
6. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days. The sauce will become very thick once refrigerated. To use it, reheat the sauce and add a little milk until the desired consistency is reached.

{Kudos to: ourbestbites.com! Definitely check out their website!}

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

This is a Pinterest find. It is really easy to prepare, and tasted great! I ate the leftovers for lunch for a few days after, and it was just as good!

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing ( I used about 3/4 cup Ken's Steakhouse Lite Creamy Caesar- great choice)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 slider buns or 4-6 regular sized hamburger buns

1. Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker with 1-2 cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
2. Remove chicken from cooker and drain the water from the slow cooker. Place chicken on a cutting board and shred.
3. Place chicken back in the cooker and pour dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on high heat for 30 minutes or until mixture is hot.
4. Spoon onto hamburger buns and top with extra Parmesan cheese and lettuce.

{Kudos to: chef-in-training.com!}

Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread


This is a fantastic banana bread recipe! I LOVE the texture, and the chocolate swirl gives it just the right amount of added flavor! The second time I made this, I had two layers of banana and two layers of chocolate, with chocolate being the top layer, and I prefer it that way- it makes a delicious top crust!

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
2 eggs
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas, eggs, and yogurt, beating until just blended. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until just moistened.
2. Microwave chocolate chips in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well-combined. Coat an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan with cooking spray, then flour the pan. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter (so you have stripes of plan and chocolate batter) into the pan. Swirl batter with a knife.
3. Bake at 350 for 60- 75 minutes or until the knife comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

{Kudos to: ourbestbites.com!!}

Saturday, December 1, 2012

KFC Honey BBQ Wings




Ohhhh, these are fantastic!! We got the recipe from copykat.com (great site, by the way!). They are in the oven as I write, and I can't wait to have them again! The first time we had these, we used the exact directions; the second time, we used a deep-fryer, and it simplified the process quite a bit! Totally worth it either way. Plus, we loved that the chicken we bought had so much more meat on them than the wings you can buy at KFC or most other places!

2 lbs chicken wings OR boneless, skinless chicken strips or
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar- let it sit for 5 minutes before using)
vegetable oil (for deep frying

BBQ sauce:
1 cup Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and set aside. Place buttermilk in separate bowl. Heat oil for frying (it should be 375 degrees) and dip chicken strips in flour, then in buttermilk, and then in flour again. Place in hot oil. Never overcrowd chicken. Fry until lightly golden brown. Remove chicken and drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Place BBQ sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Mix thoroughly  and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently for 20 minutes. Let sauce cool slightly, then dip one chicken piece in sauce at a time, and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.




{Kudos to: copykat.com!}

"Hobo Dinner" casserole




This is a specialty of the Kaye family. I believe this was created in honor of foil dinners, but this version is much more kitchen-friendly. Definitely high on the "comfort food" list!

2 lbs ground beef, thawed
1 large onion, diced
1 lb bag baby carrots, or whole carrots, peeled and chopped (more work, but better flavor, I think)
2-3 lbs red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
cabbage (at least enough to cover the top of the casserole, but more if you want)

Preheat oven to 350. Layer ingredients in a 9 x 13 casserole dish in the order listed, and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until hamburger is cooked and vegetables are soft.

 (Top view...sideways for some weird reason...)

[Kudos to: the Kaye family :)}