Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Potato Crusted Pork Chops

IMG_2447eBefore we left for Aruba I was walking through the grocery and had a major AHA moment when I happened to notice an end cap filled with boxes of something I’ve never purchased, potato flakes and I realized that they looked just like panko.  It dawned on Marblehead here that I could use them to “bread” pork, chicken or fish, making some of our favorite meals “safe” for Maisie and her food allergies.  I am really starting to find my way and though a bit of a pain in the tush, it is interesting to find new ways of making meals so that Maisie can continue to enjoy some of her favorite foods in a new and safe way and soon it will be my norm in cooking.  Once I got home with the potato flakes I looked up recipes on the web and sure enough there were dozens of them.  Most said dip the meat in an egg wash and coat with the potato flakes but obviously that wasn’t going to work for Maisie as she can’t have egg whites.  So I just lightly coated the meat with a little peanut oil and then the potato flakes which I seasoned with some garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasonings and I baked the pork the way I always have and it worked out wonderfully.  The seasoned potato flakes were delicious and we we enjoyed one of our favorite meals in the new “safe for Maisie” way.

IMG_2444ePotato Crusted Pork Chops

2 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup potato flakes 
1 tsp. Italian seasoning 
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Peanut or oil of your choice 

Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil.  In a bowl mix together the potato flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Lightly coat the pork chops with oil and then dip into the potato flake mixture covering all sides of the pork.  Place the pork on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes or until cooked though.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Creamed Corn with Cheese and Cilantro

IMG_2325eOver the top, off the charts and outrageously delicious is the only way to describe this creamed corn  Oh my word, to say that we enjoyed this corn would be an understatement because I think I may have licked the bowl clean…okay, I did lick the bowl clean.  When I wrote this months Secret Recipe Club post I stated that I would be making and posting more recipes from Si’s A Bountiful Kitchen and here I am, true to my word.  I made Si’s Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro the same night that I prepared her Texas Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter and what a delicious meal we had.  My poor little Maisie Miao Miao, who can’t eat this anymore, gobbled this corn up and I’m so sad that I can’t make it again for her exactly like before because she loved it.  I’m going to have to make this corn when she’s not around…or maybe not as I could eat the entire bowl, it’s just that good.  Since there are only three of us, I halved the original recipe which was good and bad…good because it created some form of portion control and bad… well because it created some form of portion control.  I honestly could have over-eaten myself sick on this and even now just typing up the post and seeing the pictures, I’m craving this corn.  Run, don’t walk and make this recipe, you won’t be sorry!

IMG_2328e

Creamed Corn with Cheese and Cilantro (adapted from here)

1 1/2 TBS butter
3/4 cup chopped scallions
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
4 cups frozen corn
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled, plus a little extra for garnish
1/2 cup grated extra sharp white cheddar, plus a little extra for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus a little extra for garnish
2/3 cup cilantro sprigs, chopped.  plus extra leaves for garnish

Heat butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides.  Cook scallions stirring occasionally until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is softened a bit.  Add the corn, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes.
Stir together the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl until thoroughly combined and then add to the corn and simmer, stirring until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Using an immersion blender, place it in the pan and pulse in several places blending about a third of the corn mixture. Stir in the queso fresco, grated white cheddar, Parmesan and chopped cilantro and stir to mix.  Transfer corn to a large shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle on additional cheese and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter

IMG_2563e

This is now my third month participating in the Improv Cooking Challenge which is hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  Each month participating bloggers are given two ingredients and asked to make any recipe of their choosing which contains those two ingredients.  For the inaugural challenge in October, participants made recipes using caramel and apple and the Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies that I made were over the top wonderful.  November brought the seasonal flavor of pumpkin along with cream cheese and I made a beautiful and delicious Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake.  This month’s ingredients are so appropriate for this time of year, eggnog and cranberries.  I debated and debated with myself on what I wanted to make.  First it was a cake, then cookies, maybe ice cream with a topping or even fudge but in the end I decided to make Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter.  One cold day I got a craving for popovers and thought that I’d see if I could substitute eggnog for the milk in my tried-and-true popover recipe and much to my delight it worked out wonderfully.  To incorporate the cranberries I decided to make a slightly sweet cranberry butter which when slathered on a hot popover was pure delight.  This recipe would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch as it really brings out the flavors of the season.

IMG_2571eEggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter

1 cup eggnog
2 large eggs
1 TBS. vegetable oil
1 TBS. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Spray a six cup muffin tin with cooking spray and place it into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400F and allow it to come to temperature. While the pan is heating add all ingredients to your blender and process until very smooth. Once the oven reaches temperature allow the pan to continue heating for an additional two minutes. Once the pan is fully heated do not pull the pan from the oven but just slide out the rack with the pan on it and divide the mixture in the blender evenly between the six cups. Carefully slide the rack and muffin tin back into the oven. Do NOT open the oven for at least 30 minutes while the popovers bake. After 30 minutes check on them and depending on your oven they may need up to an additional 10 minutes to reach a deep brown color. Once fully baked, remove from the pan, break them open and add Cranberry butter, plain butter and/or jam or honey…DELISH!!

Cranberry Butter

4 TBS powdered sugar
8 TBS butter, softened
3/4 cup dried cranberries
zest of 1/2 an orange

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until everything is combined and the cranberries pieces are very small.  Chill. Serve with hot popovers.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Biscoff Fudge

IMG_2306eIt’s time again for my entry in the Crazy Cooking Challenge which is hosted each month by Tina of Moms Crazy Cooking.  Each month she challenges participating bloggers to search non-celebrity blogs looking for the ultimate recipe of the month and then to make and feature that recipe and the blog where we found it.  The first month we were challenged to find the ultimate mac & cheese recipe and I made a delicious Velvety Mac & Cheese.  The second month the challenge was chocolate chip cookies and for me, my ultimate was Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps and then last month it was a search for the ultimate mashed potatoes and I made some fabulous Aloo Tikki.  Each month it’s fun searching out recipes and then on reveal day seeing what everyone found and made.  

This month the challenge was to find the ultimate fudge recipe.  Trust me, once you start looking there are millions of fabulous looking fudge recipes out there so it was a bit overwhelming trying to narrow down my choices.  Generally my first thought when I hear the word fudge is chocolate…but truth be told I’m not a real chocolate fudge lover.  I started thinking about other fudge flavors and came to the conclusion that my favorite is penuche because honestly I could eat brown sugar off a spoon and be happy so turning that into fudge, well of course I love it.  In my search of penuche recipes I just happened upon Danielle’s blog Hugs & CookiesXOXO and her Biscoff Fudge…OMG!  Immediately I knew what I would be making because as luck would have it, I had just days earlier purchased a jar of Biscoff Spread and rather than spreading it on everything and anything that could be used as a vehicle to get it in my mouth or just spoon by spoon eat it from the jar, because it’s that stinking good, I figured why not put it in fudge and enjoy it that way. 

I’m telling you, Danielle’s recipe couldn’t be easier or tastier.  One bowl, a spoon, five ingredients, a pan and a little wait time so the fudge can set up and it’s pure Biscoff delight.  I followed Danielle’s recipe almost exactly, my only change was that I left out the chunks of Biscoff Cookies just because I prefer solid fudge without any crunchy bits or add-ins but I’ll bet it was just as good with the cookie bits mixed in.  Eammon, Maisie and I all loved this new, delicious and slightly different fudge and we’ll definitely be indulging in this sweet treat again and again. 

For us this Biscoff Fudge was the ultimate fudge recipe and we’d love if you thought so too and in the link of all the entries below if you’d “like” our Biscoff Fudge it would be much appreciated.  I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try and then come back and let me know how you liked it.  Thanks!

IMG_2271eMy best little helper Maisie did a great job mixing all the ingredients together.

IMG_2278eThen she did her best work licking out the bowl.

IMG_2295eBiscoff Fudge (Adapted very slightly from here)

1 cup butter
1 cup Biscoff Spread
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In a medium bowl, microwave the butter and Biscoff Spread until smooth.  Stir in the salt, vanilla and sugar.  Press into either a silicon or foil lined pan.  Chill in refrigerator until set.  Once firm cut into pieces.

Enjoy!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Texas Chicken with Lime Butter

IMG_2340eHere we are, the first Monday of the month and it’s Secret Recipe Club time again…WOOHOO!!  I adore reveal day, not only posting the wonderful new recipe that I made but also checking out what all the other participants chose to make.  Each month the members of The Secret Recipe Club are assigned a blog from which they can make any recipe of their choosing.  It sounds easy enough but there are some amazing food bloggers in the group like my assignment this month, Si of A Bountiful Kitchen.  Si has a gorgeous blog and so many fabulous recipes that choosing just one was near impossible and though I’m only posting one recipe today, you will be seeing more of her recipes on my blog very soon. 

Si is from Bountiful, Utah and every time that I go out to Utah to visit friends in SLC the first place I ask to dine is at Cafe Rio because I absolutely adore their Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salad and though here in Georgia, Chipotle has a pretty similar version, it’s just not the absolutely delicious same.  So right off the top when I saw that Si had a recipe for Cafe Rio Style Sweet Pork Salad I knew that was what I wanted to make.  The only problem was, I was completely slammed for time between Maisie’s schedule, her Level 3 Gymnastics State Meet, Maisie and I being sick, my parents coming to visit, Thanksgiving, cooking for the Level 2 & 4 State Meet which Maisie’s gym hosted and some travel thrown in, well looking at my first choice recipe was just more than I was able to handle as it included not only making the Sweet Pork but Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing and if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right and do it all.  Yes I probably could have pulled it off but when I make it, I want to be able to really enjoy it so I’m saving those recipes for another day. 

What I did decide to make was Si’s Texas Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter because one can never have too many good chicken recipes, it was something that would be an easy weeknight dinner and I knew from the flavors that we would adore it and I was right as we loved, loved, loved this recipe and it was so quick and easy to prepare and get on the table.  I had originally planned to grill the chicken outside but the night I made it we were having tornado watches and warnings and it was raining like nobody’s business so I high temp baked the chicken and it came out perfectly, nice, juicy and delicious.  My only other little change to Si’s recipe was I cut the butter and upped the lime juice in the lime butter sauce.  I’m even betting that I could make the spice coating for the chicken, pop the chicken into it and then freeze it so that when I wanted to prepare it it would be an easy thaw, quickly make the butter lime sauce and dinner would be on the table.  Either way, this recipe will be prepared time and time again in our home as it was absolutely delish!!

IMG_2344eTexas Chicken with Lime Butter (Adapted from here)

  • 4-5 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves

Spice coating for chicken:

Lime Butter:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Juice of half a lime, not out of the bottle
  • 1 Serrano chili, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced Vidalia onion 

In a large Ziploc bag combine all of the spice coating ingredients and smoosh to blend well.  Add the chicken to the spice mixture, squish it around to make sure all the pieces are covered with the spice coating and allow the chicken to marinate for a few hours or overnight.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Lay the chicken breast pieces with what would have been the skin-side up, on the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. 

While the chicken is resting, in a small bowl combine the melted butter, lime juice, minced Serrano & onion. Drizzle the lime butter over the chicken pieces and garnish with fresh lime slices.

Enjoy!

My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts:
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
and
Home Style Chicken Curry

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crunchy Oat, Almond, Cashew & Pebbles Granola Bars

IMG_2526eNow that Maisie can’t eat things with wheat, egg whites or milk because of her food allergies I’ve been on the search to make convenience type foods that she can easily grab for breakfast or for a snack.  One of Maisie’s go-to foods has always been granola bars but after spending hours reading ingredient labels it seems that they all contain ingredients that she can’t have, unless I want to spend over $1 per bar and I’m just not willing to spend that much on something I can make myself.  I read dozens of recipes online and then thought about what Maisie would enjoy in a snack bar and these bars are my first attempt. 

These bars are really delicious and crunchy and all the adults loved them…and I’ve snacked on way too many.  At first Maisie wasn’t totally thrilled with them but by the second one they grew on her and then she started snacking on them and enjoying them too.  I think that Maisie is used to a chewier less crispy bar so the next batch I’ll add some rice crisps to lighten them up somewhat and hopefully we’ll have a winning recipe because granola bars are a huge snack for Maisie both at school and at the gym so we need to find that winning recipe for my girl.  I would though make these again because they’re really good and a great grab and stick in my purse snack on the go.

IMG_2519eI used a 9-by-13-inch Slice Solutions Pan which worked wonderfully, making 18 perfect bars.

IMG_2525e Crunchy Oat, Almond, Cashew & Pebbles Granola Bars

2 1/2 cups Oats
1/2 cup Cocoa Pebbles
1/2 cup Fruity Pebbles
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup salted cashews
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together until combined. Press into a 9x13-inch pan lined with foil and then press divider insert through the mixture and leave in place.   Bake 18-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately remove the divider insert or if not using a divider, cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars.  Peel the foil from the bars and then wrap the bars individually so that they’re an easy to grab snack on the go.

Enjoy!

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