Category Archives: Main Dishes

Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese

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This recipe came about from the request of several people on my Facebook page. I had an impromptu survey asking what Mac and Cheese everyone would like to see me come up with and this was the overwhelming winner. I mean it was a landslide! I was excited. I love Philly Cheese Steaks and Mac and Cheese so the idea of smooshing them together made me a very happy camper. I mean, is there such a thing as too many Mac and Cheese recipes? I think not! I am thinking I should create a label for the blog for just my Mac and Cheese recipes. I am very curious to see how many I have!
For many people, myself included, Mac and Cheese is a comfort food. We know it might not be the lowest calorie dish (ssshhhhh if we don’t say it out loud it isn’t true!), but it isn’t a dish we have all of the time so we can splurge in those times when we just need a warm hug for our tummy right?

I really thought long and hard about this recipe. I mean there are so many views on what a true cheese steak is. Most people I know that are from Philly love the original cheese steak. It is just cheese and steak, usually the cheese being a cheese wiz type product. Some prefer the provolone instead. I have been reminded by my best friend, who is from Philly, that if you order a cheese steak in Philly you do not get onions, mushrooms, and peppers on it. They are items you have to request. So I guess my recipe does not reflect a true authentic cheese steak but I love onions, mushrooms,and peppers, so this is my loose interpretation. To my wonderful Philly fans, you are welcome to leave out the veggies, I will not be offended. But I am telling you, yummmm yummmmm, this was great with those veggies I promise!!
It was hard for me to not just eat this off of the spoon!!
Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded white American cheese
1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar cheese
3/4 pound good quality deli roast beef, sliced as thick as bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bell pepper, chopped (any color, I mixed green and red)

10 to 12 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Butter flavored non stick spray

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and given up their liquid. Add the roast beef and continue to cook until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt, whisk in flour 1 minute then milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, thicken sauce 5 to 6 minutes. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.

Preheat broiler.

Drain pasta and return to hot pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped meat and veggies to combine, stir in cheese sauce and coat. Transfer mac n cheese to casserole and top with remaining cheese. Spray the top with the butter flavored spray and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Brown under broiler 3 to 4 minutes, serve.

ENJOY

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BLT (Bacon, Leek, and Tomato) Quiche + a Quick Quiche Cheat Sheet

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I have been wanting to do something different for breakfast lately but Kevin, bless his heart, has taken over the chore of making breakfast on the weekends and he leaves too early in the morning to make breakfast through the week. It is not that I don’t love his breakfasts, it is just, well……it is “Man food”. You know what I  mean? Pure, simple, straight to the point. Eggs with sausage, hash browns, and toast. 
I have tried doing BFD (breakfast for dinner) but he hasn’t been real thrilled with that idea. So I decided I had to put my foot down and tell him that I was making something with veggies in it for breakfast. I did add the footnote that there would be bacon in it. I mean bacon, eggs, cheese? How can that be wrong? Right?
He also went along with it because I had picked up leeks for a recipe I made a few days ago and he hates wasting food even more than me. So when I said it was a  great way to use the leeks up he was on board.
When I was buzzing through the grocery store the grape tomatoes looked great so I new exactly what I wanted to do. Bacon, leek, and tomato, yummmm!!

I love quiche. My Mom used to make them when I was little. Although back in the day they sold quiche mix in cartons right along with the Egg Beaters. How simple could that be? Frozen pie crust, carton of quiche mix, hot oven, BOOM, breakfast! But seriously making quiche is so ding dang simple there is no reason to not give it a try. I will have a handy little “Quiche Cheat Sheet” after the recipe.
BLT (Bacon, Leek, and Tomato) Quiche
1 large leek, root end and dark green leaves cut off, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
1 handful gape tomatoes, halved
4 slices thick cut smoky bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
3 eggs
Kosher salt and cracked pepper
1 1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
Pie dough (handmade or store bought)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie dough in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges, chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (can use dried beans if you do not have pie weights). Bake about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.
Place the chopped leek into a large bowl filled with cold water. Swish them carefully and allow them to sit a few minutes to release the dirt and grit that is between the leaves. Scoop out with your hands and lay them on a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel and squeeze the moisture out. Set aside.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once bacon has rendered its fat and begun to crisp slightly, remove it with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the leeks and saute being careful to not brown the leeks. Once the leeks begin to soften add the halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes to let the tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat.
In a bowl combine the eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and evaporated milk. Whisk until completely blended. 
Spoon the leeks and tomatoes into the pie crust and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top and bake on a baking sheet for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.
ENJOY!!
Easy Quiche Cheat Sheet
Make Your Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie dough in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges, chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (can use dried beans if you do not have pie weights). Bake about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.

Choose Your Veggies
1/2 to 1 cup of up to 3 of the following veggies;
Roasted Asparagus           
Roasted or Steamed Broccoli     
Shredded Potatoes, sauteed     
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
Green Peppers, chopped and sauteed
Mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
Onions or Shallots, sliced or chopped and sauteed  
Green Onions, chopped
Jarred Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
Spinach, chopped and sauteed (or frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained)
Frozen peas, thawed
Meat
1/2 cup of up to 2 of the following meats;
Bacon, chopped and cooked
Sausage, cooked and crumbled
Ham, chopped
Shredded chicken
Crab, picked clean
Now Some Cheese
Up to 1 cup of the following cheeses, crumbled or shredded;
Swiss
Gruyere
Fontina
Provolone
Gouda
Brie
Mozzarella
Goat Cheese
Cheddar
Jack or Pepper Jack
Feta
Parmesan
Now Let’s Make Some Quiche
Whisk 3 eggs, salt, pepper, and 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, half and half, milk, or evaporated milk in a  large bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (if desired), seasoning such as chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, grated lemon zest (would be awesome with a crab quiche). 
Spread the vegetable/cheese mixture on the bottom of the prepared pie crust and pour the egg mixture on top. Bake until the filling is set, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Sausage, Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake

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This was one of those pantry/fridge clean out recipes. I hadn’t made it out to the store and Kevin was too tired to stop on the way home. When he came in the door he said he was starving and asked what was for dinner. I was quick to begin the search through my supplies to see what I could come up with. I have certain things I keep stocked so I always have them on hand. Canned tomatoes (crushed, diced, and whole), pastas, and sausage (in the freezer) are pretty much always on hand. I had some leftover baby spinach from salads a few days before. Plus of course I am never without several different types of cheeses.
After about the third time of Kevin asking was was for dinner I told him to hush, I mean I never let him go hungry right? Sheesh all the pressure! I still think it is funny when he gets nervous about what I am making. He has told me several times that I have never made a bad meal. Where is the faith and the love? I mean come on, really?
After this was all done and put on the table all he could say is “Wow that looks and smells really good” *sigh*thank you! Seriously, I think he just loves making me crazy but I keep telling him it is a quick trip and he doesn’t want to push it too far too fast!

Anyway, back to the food. This is a great quick casserole for a busy weeknight. It really takes very little time at all and tastes wonderful. Kevin took the leftovers to work for his boss and himself the next day. That always lets me know he liked it!

Sausage, Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake
8 ounces short cut pasta (I used Penne)
8 ounces Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 can 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook sausage over medium high heat, stirring to crumble. When sausage is browned add onion, cook until translucent, add the garlic and cook for an addition 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bit from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh spinach. 
  4. Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a small (2 quart) casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the half of the mozzarella and Italian cheese blend. Cover with remaining pasta and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 25 minute.
ENJOY!

Chipotle Chicken Braid

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This meal has been fighting me for a while. A few weeks ago I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was making this dish and several people expressed interest and said they couldn’t wait for the blog post and recipe. That night I set about the task of getting this all cooked up and must have lost my brain for a bit during the process because I forgot to add the salsa and the cheese. We just added them on top afterward and it tasted wonderful, but I didn’t feel right taking a picture and posting if I didn’t make the dish exactly as the recipe I am posting calls for. So I knew I had to make it again, and soon.
A few days later I was talking with my son’s girlfriend about how much we missed seeing them and asked her if they would like to come over for dinner. I figured I could kill a few birds with one stone, see the kids, make the dish again, and have more guinea pigs tasters available. In the end it was a fantastic night. I saw my kiddos, I prepared the dish correctly, and everyone loved it!! But then my camera batter died and I ended up using my iPhone to take the pictures! It fought me, but I won!!

I modified this from a recipe I found on Pintrest. I loved the idea of it, but wanted to add some flavor that I just felt the dish was lacking. I knew I didn’t want to just go for jalapenos and blow peoples heads of with that kind of heat. So I went with chipotle, and nice warm heat. The kind that makes your mouth tingle, but in small amounts is just nice and warm. If you are extremely sensitive to spicy food you can cut the chipotle chili powder in half, or even use regular chili powder in its place. But I can tell you we all love the flavor of this dish as is.
I have made this dish with puff pastry dough and crescent roll dough. I was able to stretch the puff pastry dough much more so I was of course able to add more chicken mixture to the braid. The second time I used the crescent roll dough. It was smaller so I reduce the chicken mixture from my original recipe. It worked out well both ways. With the crescent roll braid I was able to comfortably have 4 entree size portions.  

Chipotle Chicken Braid
adapted from a recipe on pilsbury.com
serves 4


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bell pepper, any color, sliced thin 
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small, or one large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar chunky salsa (I used a 16-ounce can of a specialty white corn and *black bean salsa, medium heat), drained
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 egg white, beaten


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press to 8×12 inches

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and sautee until the onions begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chicken and sprinkle the chili powder mixture over the contents of the skillet. Stir to combine and cook just until the chicken begins to turn slightly white on the edges (it will finish cooking in the oven). Remove from heat.

Spoon chicken mixture in 4-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. With a sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press edges to seal. Lightly brush with egg white.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. If the dough begin to get to dark to quickly cover with foil to stop the browning process.

*The first time I added black beans to the mix, but since I found the black bean salsa I omited them this time. You can drain a can of black beans and add them if you want a higher protein/fiber content

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Pan Fried Pork Chops

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Tonight was a good ol’ down home country cookin’ dinner. Kevin has been so patient lately with my soups and casseroles, so I decided to give him just a great casual but comfort food kind of meal. 
“Men need meat”, he always tells me that. I sometimes think that he feels women would be happy in a meatless world. Ppfffttt forget that. I mean I know there are plenty of women (and men) that live a meatless lifestyle and are very happy with it. But has he met me? I  mean really? Almost 5 years. WOW. Tsk tsk Kevin!
I love a good steak just like he does, but he has been asking for pork chops lately and I knew as soon as he said that, I wanted to make pork chop the way my Mom used to make them. Is it the healthiest way? Nope, but hey all things in moderation right? We rarely eat fried food so this night I was going for the gusto to make my tummy and mind happy. Oh ya, Kevin’s too hehe.

Now when he asks for pork chops he wants those big fatty pork chops that you used to be able to buy. Most of the stores I go to have trimmed the fat before the meat even hits the counter. There are a couple of butchers here in town but I just didn’t feel like driving to be honest, so I used center cut boneless loin chops. I will say that if you can find some chops on the bone get them. Ask Michael Symon, he advocates cooking all meat on the bone. It helps keep the meat moister and adds flavor.
I have to say, bone in or out, these chops came out wonderful. Major flashbacks of my youth! We just paired them with my Spicy BBQ Baked Beans, but they would have been wonderful with some mashed potatoes and pan gravy!!

Get your dry ingredients all mixed up together.
You can tell I am not used to taking step by step photos because I started to flour the top before I could snap the pictures! Salt and pepper each side of your chop (I like lots of pepper as you can see) and then dredge them in the flour. One side..
Then the other. Make sure they are covered with the flour mix completely, then shake off the excess before putting them into the oil.
Add your chops to the oil, make sure it is hot first, medium-high heat. Let them cook until the edges begin to turn a nice golden brown. Time depends on the thickness of your chops.
Flip them over and admire how gorgeous they look while finishing up cooking the other side. I had a few oohs and ahhs from over my shoulder when I turned these babies over. Then plate them up and go to town!! I chose to have a little wine with mine.
Is frying pork chops the most complicated thing in the world? Nope, but they are a quick, easy, and oh so satisfying way to make your tummy happy!
Pan Fried Pork Chops
1/2 to 2/3 cup oil (whatever your favorite frying oil. Peanut, canola, etc.)
2 tablespoons butter
4 pork chops (bone in if available)
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we like a bit of heat but it is optional of course)
Season each side of your pork chops with salt and pepper. 
In a shallow dish combine the flour, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir with a fork or whisk to combine. 
Add oil to a skillet (I used my cast iron) and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the  butter (this helps with the browning process).
Dredge your chops in the flour mixture and add them carefully to the oil, making sure not to crowd them. They wont brown properly if they are crowded. 
Cook the pork chops on one side 2 to 4 minutes (depending on thickness). Then flip them over and finish up cooking.
Remove to a paper towel lined plate or pan and finish cooking the other chops.
ENJOY!!

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

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This is another idea I found on Pintrest. I loved the sound of it alone. I mean Crispy + Cheese + Chicken? Heck ya sign me up!! It was a fantastic recipe and you can see the original recipe at Jamie Cooks It Up. But you know how I am about trying to healthify recipes if I can. It is just a thing with me. So I switched the Ritz crackers for Seasoned panko bread crumbs, subbed the regular cheddar cheese with the 2% variety, and in place of the condensed soup gravy I made a quick white wine pan gravy. 
It makes a bit of a…well I should say I make a bit of a mess while making this, but the mess is worthwhile. We both really enjoyed this chicken. Kevin took the rest to work for lunch the next day. I think his boss is starting to feel  a bit left out. They used to get fast food for lunch everyday and now that I am just cooking for two there are always leftovers that then become Kevin’s lunch. Oops no fast food buddy now. Sometimes I am nice and send along extra for him to eat too. 

This chicken with a nice side salad or veggie makes a fabulous week night meal!
Crispy Cheddar Chicken
Serves 2
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 3 large chunks each
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups 2% cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups Italian seasoned Panko (can use plain and add some Italian seasoning blend)
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped


Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks. Pour the egg, cheese, and panko bread crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, press into the cheese, and then into the bread crumbs. 
Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 

In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the white wine. Slowly whisk in the stock to avoid lumps. Cook until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the chicken and garnish with the chopped parsley.

ENJOY!

Cheesy Poblano Chicken for #SundaySupper

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I was so excited when I found out the theme this week for #SundaySupper was favorite celebrity chefs! If you know my story you know that this whole journey into cooking and blogging came from my love of Rachael Ray. She made cooking seem easy and I didn’t feel overwhelmed  watching her. She specializes in comfort food that is quick and easy to make. That was right up my alley!! So I jumped into my kitchen and haven’t left. That was about 7 years ago.
In November of 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up having to have surgery the following January. During my healing process I was not allowed to push, pull, lift, etc. In other words I was bored out of my mind! My kids had pushed me to start a blog a few years back but I thought there was no way anyone would be interested in reading what I had to say, but with all of my spare time I thought “What the heck, if no one reads it no one reads it but it will keep me sane (somewhat)”. I started my first blog and called it Bobbi Renee and Rachael Ray. My plan at that time was to cook my way through her 365 No Repeats cook book. With Kevin’s help chopping and lifting the blog was started and I was hooked.
I have since gained the courage to start writing my own recipes, something I would have never thought I could do, and can’t imagine doing anything else! All thanks to Rachael Ray!! I sure would love to give her a hug!

 Cheesy Poblano Chicken
adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray
Serves 2

  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and stemmed, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • A small handful cilantro leaves plus a few leaves for garnish 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine peppers with stock, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper; purée. 
In a saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Add milk and yogurt, and raise heat a bit. Add poblano purée and simmer to thicken and cook sauce, 20-25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
While the sauce is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side then transfer to casserole dish. Pour poblano sauce over the top, cover with cheese and bake 15-20 minutes, depending on size of chicken pieces. Dish should be brown and bubbly on top.



Starters or Snacks :
Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper
Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa
Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn
Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup
Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh
Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli
The Main Dish:
Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s  Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples
Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun
Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken
Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots
Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart
Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s
Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken
Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini
Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by,  Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos
Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf
Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches
Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese
Alice at  Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon
Jen over at  Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili
Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis
Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse
Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken
Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese
Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette
Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille
Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’
Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork


Amazing Sides:
Elizabeth over at The Hand That Rocks The Ladle – Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice
Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme
Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip –  Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate
Shelby at  Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten
Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto
Sweet Endings:
Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling
Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart
Connie at The Foodie Army Wife – Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake
Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart
Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake
Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding
Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes
Amy over at Kimchi MOM – Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You
Lyn from The Lovely Pantry – Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares
Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts
Wine Pairings: 
Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chatAll you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions

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Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions

Do you ever have those moments when you are doing something and out of the blue ideas for something else just pop into your head? This has been happening to me quite often lately. When I am driving ideas for a recipe will just BANG hit me,which is awesome right? Well it would be if my ADD wasn’t so dang bad. I mean just driving is a serious challenge for me at times. I have been known to be driving somewhere that I have been to a million times before, and at some point take the wrong exit on the freeway or turn down a wrong road. It is bad enough when I am alone, but when someone is with me it is a tad bit embarrassing! SO when these ideas pop into my head I have to say the ingredient list out loud over and over to try and help me remember. Again, not so bad when you are alone but if you have passengers they really think about exiting the car once it slows down to about 30 MPH!!

This idea started out because when we went shopping the other day, Kevin picked up a couple packs of buy one get one free center cut pork loin chops. He loves pork chops but I don’t make them very often, A-because he constantly complains that the pork chops now aren’t as good as the old ones were. He loved big fatty pork chops and hasn’t seemed to accept the health news that fat is bad for you. Although the fat is pretty darn tasty!! And B- well I just haven’t been that moved by pork. My Dad wasn’t a big pork fan and neither were my kids so unfortunately Kevin was out numbered. Now that it is just the two of us he gets his way much more often. In fact I think he is getting a little spoiled. I had better make sure he doesn’t too cocky about getting his way!
Now, due to my lack of pork cooking, I was a tad clueless as to what I wanted to do with them. I can make a mean roast but my extent of chop cooking was, regretfully a throw back to the old days of smothering them in a can of pork and beans, or frying them. I know that is OK once in a while (p.s. I will be frying the other batch soon!) but I wanted to make them special

After racking my brains for a while I just put it to rest and went off to run some errands. In mid drive the light bulb went off in my head BING I knew what I wanted to do with them. The true test was to remember the plan and then run it past Kevin to see what he thought. Since the chops really were for him I wanted them to be something he would really enjoy. In other cooking he doesn’t get as much of a vote. So I was pleasantly surprised when his face lit up with a smile when I ran down my game plan. He even got into the kitchen with me to help get everything together. 
The result was one fantastic meal. The sauce for the chops was so tasty, sweet with that little bite of bourbon flavor, and the mashed potatoes with the onions and apples? YUM! Mixed with the sauce from the pork chops they were heavenly. I had made 3 chops and it is a good thing because Kevin went back for seconds, after cleaning my plate!!
Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions
Served 2
3 1/2″ inch center cut pork loin chops 
1/4 onion, minced + 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 strips of bacon, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, separated

1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (can add more if you want a sweeter sauce)
1/4 whole grain mustard 
salt and pepper

2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 apples (I used honey crisp), peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (if you want a bit of tang in the potatoes)
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup warm water


Place chopped potatoes apples and onions in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander and return the potato mixture back to the hot pot. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and whip the mixture with a hand mixer until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the Greek yogurt if desired.

Meanwhile, salt and pepper chops and set them aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the fat renders. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Cook the pork chops in the skillet, about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chops  and the doneness you desire(we like our chops a bit pink in the middle now that it is safe to do so). Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and once it has melted add the minced onion. Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Return the bacon back to the pan and continue to cook another minute or so. Add the bourbon to the pan (remove pan from heat while adding then return to heat), then add the maple syrup and mustard. Mix completely and bring the sauce to a simmer. Adjust seasoning adding more syrup if desired. 

Stir the cornstarch into the warm water and pour into the sauce. whisking until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Carefully place sauce into a blender or use and immersion blender to blend the sauce and break down the onions, garlic, and bacon. 

Place a scoop of potatoes on a plate, top with a pork chop and pour sauce over them both.

ENJOY!! 

Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole

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Last night was a great night. Spur of the moment my kiddos (my son and his girlfriend) decided to pop by. It was happy for one because we needed his help moving my china hutch. But mostly because ever since we all got our own places I miss the crap out of them! It is funny, we all knew that we needed to move on and get places of our own. But dang it is so had to be away from them, at least for me.
It is funny, I spent a lot of the day on Monday unpacking boxes and putting things away in my dining room. We are having about 15 people here for Thanksgiving so I figured it might be a good idea to finally unpack the boxes that have been sitting there for a couple of months. Once I had the boxes unpacked and all of my china and crystal on my dining room table I started to look around at the room and decided I wanted to change how it was arranged. 
Now it was no surprise to my son, or would it be to anyone that has known me for a long time, but Kevin was kind of hit out of the blue with it. I move furniture all of the time. I have to get a “feel” for the room, and until it feels right I am constantly rearranging. He tried arguing with me about the need to move the hutch, but he eventually backed down. My son could have saved him the time, you will never convince me it doesn’t need to be moved if I think it does!

But due to my dining room table be covered with dishes and such, and the days getting so short that it is pitch dark by 5:30 PM here. I am having a heck of a time getting any pictures of my food. Kevin even went to Home Depot last night to pick up some under the counter lights just to help me in the kitchen. As you can see by the pictures, the lights help for cooking, but not so much for picture taking. Oh well, I will figure something out.
Now on to the dish. I found this recipe on the internet quite some time ago. I loved it because I love spinach and chicken and, well who doesn’t love a good casserole? They can be great comfort food and remind me of growing up because my Mom was the casserole Queen. But in those days it was the canned condensed soups that were used as the base. This one didn’t use the soup, but it called for whole milk and sour cream and tons of butter. I knew I could make is so much healthier!
The kids and Kevin loved it. I of course am always harder on myself than anyone else. I loved it but felt it didn’t have that “Wow” factor. Kevin pointed out to me that every dish doesn’t have to blow you off your seat, and my son said that he loved it because it was warm and creamy, it was just plain comfort food. We all agreed that if you like a bit of zing you could add some crushed red pepper to it. But it was a great meal for a cold Washington night. We sat in the living room, with the fireplace going, and enjoyed some nice comfort food together. That can never be wrong!!
Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole
Adapted from a recipe found on Real Simple
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces egg noodles (I used No Yolk noodles)
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken (I used the whole rotisserie chicken)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Butter flavored cooking spray

Heat oven to 400° F. 

In a large pot boil water for noodles, salt the water before adding the noodles and cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain and return them to the pot.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes (do not let the mixture darken). Add the white wine and whisk for a minute to cook off the alcohol, then slowly add the chicken stock, whisking as you go. 

Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the yogurt and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the sauce, chicken, and spinach to the noodles and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and spray the top with butter spray to dampen the crumbs.

Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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ENJOY!!!

Shared at The Lady 8 Home

Italian Style Skillet Pie

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The other day I was watching Symon’s Suppers on The Cooking Channel. I adore Michael Symon! I love his sense of humor, his talent, how energetic and caring he is. WOW am I gushing? Ya, I think he is pretty sexy too, but that might just be a foodie thing.
Anyway, I love watching his show. I am always finding things I want to make as soon as possible. He always seems to mix up flavors and give you little surprises here and there. When I saw this dish on his show I liked the sound of it. I had made the potato/cauliflower mash he used for the topping of the pie before and loved it.  I loved the idea of cooking in my cast iron skillet, something I have been wanting to try more and more, and I also loved that it was a “One Pot” meal so I wouldn’t have a ton of dishes to do after dinner. Also, it is a bit of a twist on Shepherds Pie, which is a favorite here.

I have been trying to lighten things up a bit where I can. In this dish I try by using turkey sausage in place of ground beef. The potato/cauliflower mashed topping already did that for me, but if you wanted to sub all cauliflower for the mix of potato and cauliflower you could and that would save more carbs for you. I just prefer the mix as we aren’t big fans of the strong cauliflower taste. I do use butter in this but you just can’t sub anything else in my mind.
It was a fun dish to make for me. I was kind of winging it a bit and when it came out so good, and got Kevin’s stamp of approval, I was a happy camper. He even took it for lunch the next day and I ate the last of it yesterday for lunch, so no waste with this meal at all! 
Italian Style Skillet Pie
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Cast-Iron Ground Beef Pie
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package Italian style ground turkey sausage (usually come in 1 1/3 package)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head cauliflower, core removed and quartered
1 cup chopped celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (some reserved for topping if wanted)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potatoes, cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pour the olive oil into a preheated 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then flip and caramelize the other side.

When the sausage is caramelized, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the celery, celery leaves and onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and stir in the parsley. Add a red wine. Remove from the heat and set aside. Adjust seasoning if needed.

When the potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and mash well. Stir in the Parmesan and butter until thoroughly combined.

Spread the potato mixture over the beef mixture in the pan, and smooth the top to seal in the sausage mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired. 

ENJOY!


Shared at the Lady 8 Home