Friday, July 15, 2016

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy

I love using my crock pot year round but especially during the summer months, when it is so darn hot that I don't want to turn the oven on.  I tried out this recipe recently and it was a hit for the whole family.  I served this with rice and peas, and our new found favorite....Sister Schubert rolls.  Thanks to our cousin for telling us about kids are obsessed with these rolls now.  And unfortunately so am I.  The nice thing about this recipe is that the remaining sauce in the crock pot makes a delicious gravy to pour over the pork chops.

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy
recipe adapted from RecipesthatCrock
You will need:
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-6-8 boneless pork chops (mine were on the thin side)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 (10.5 oz) can chicken broth

*Spray crock pot with cooking spray
*Mix together flour, mustard, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl
*Lightly coat the pork chops in flour mixture (set remaining mixture aside for later)
*Heat olive oil in skillet on med-high heat, and brown pork chops on both sides (don't cook through, just enough to lightly brown)
*Mix chicken broth with remaining flour mixture (whisk until most of lumps are gone), and pour into crock pot
*Place browned pork chops in crock pot and submerge in sauce
*Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low 5-6 hours

And these are the Sister Schubert dinner rolls in case you haven't heard of them....I feel deprived that I'm just now discovering these puffy little gems.  We could easily eat a whole pan of them.  Just kidding, we DO eat a whole pan.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zuppa Toscana Slow Cooker Soup

My neighbor was kind enough to send me this recipe recently and we have been addicted to it ever since.  This is a knock off version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, which happens to be my husbands absolute favorite soup.  He will always choose this soup over their salad, and usually will have eaten a few bowls of it by the time our main courses arrive.  So when she sent me this, he was delighted.  What surprised me though, was the fact that my kids loved it too.  I haven't cooked a lot with kale, so I thought they may not like it, but I was wrong.  My husband said I could make this every day and he would be okay with it.  Serve it up with breadsticks or crusty french bread and your family will love you. 

Zuppa Toscana Slow Cooker Soup
recipe adapted from 12Tomatoes
You will need:
-1 pound Italian sausage (casing removed)
-3 russet potatoes, sliced into wedges
(I've used russet, golden, and baking potatoes...they all work.  Just slice them in uniform size so they'll cook evenly)
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-half a large white onion, finely chopped
-4 cups chicken broth
-2 cups kale or swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (I use kale)
-1 1/2 cups heavy cream
-1 tsp garlic powder
-generous sprinkling of salt and pepper

*brown and crumble Italian sausage in a large skillet over med-high heat until no longer pink
   (drain and discard fat)
*combine all ingredients EXCEPT cream and kale in slow cooker
*cook on low 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours
*add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir and cook until kale leaves are wilted and warmed through, about 20-30 minutes

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doritos Taco Salad

This is one of our favorite salads for an easy, simple, somewhat, healthy dinner.  This is basically taco salad....kicked up a notch....with nacho cheese doritos.  What's not to love about that?  My son is not a huge salad lover like we are, but he will always eat this, because anything with chips in it gets a thumbs up from him!  And, while I'm on the subject of chips, let me just say, we think that HEB brand Nacho Cheese chips are hands down better than the name brand.  If you haven't tried them, you should.  Go ahead and inspect the "cheesiness" of each individual chip.....that's what we do:) 

recipe from Life in the Lofthouse  *Love this blog by the way*

You will need:
-1 pound lean ground beef
-1 packet taco seasoning
-2 Romaine lettuce hearts, rinse and chopped 
     (I've also used a bag of romaine, and shred it by hand a little)
-1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we usually use more)
-1 cup Nacho Cheese Doritos, broken into bite size pieces (more to top salad if desired)
-1 cup Catalina dressing (we use Kraft)

*Brown ground beef in medium skillet until cooked through.  Drain grease.  Add taco seasoning and water called for on packet.  Stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let meat cool down slightly.

*In a large serving bowl, add chopped lettuce, black beans, tomato, and cheese.  Add slightly cooled ground beef and gently toss to combine.  Serve now, or chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.  

*When ready to serve, top with Doritos chips and dressing.  Toss to coat. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

First off, don't pay any attention to this mediocre picture.  Photography is not a strength of mine.....and these days I usually am racing around the kitchen with Harper glued to my leg, so I'm doing good if I remember to snap a picture with my phone!  That said, despite the less than appealing picture, this is quite delicious!  This is easily one of our top favorite new meals!  The whole family liked included!  I decided to add some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick and it was perfect (not too sweet or spicy), and served it over rice.  Also, instead of using a flank steak, I used beef stir fry meat.  Only because it was on was already sliced and ready to go!  It worked great, but I'm sure a flank steak would be perfect too!

recipe found and adapted from The Recipe Critic 

You will need:
-1 1/2 pounds flank steak (or see above note)
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
-3/4 cups soy sauce (I used low sodium)
-3/4 cups water
-3/4 cups brown sugar
-1 cup grated carrots (I used the pre-shredded carrots in a bag)
-1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired
-sliced green onions

*Cut flank steak into thin strips.  In a ziploc bag, add flank steak strips and cornstarch.  Shake to coat.
*Add olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and carrots to slow cooker.  Stir ingredients well.
*Add coated flank steak to slow cooker and stir again, until coated in the sauce.  
*Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours (I opted on low for 5 hours).  Stir well again before serving.
*Serve over rice and top with green onions.

Strawberry Banana Trifle

I was trying to think of a "lighter" dessert I could do recently, and remembered this one.  I haven't actually made this in a while because I forgot about it, but now that I've found it, I will go ahead and post I don't have to look for it again!  Also, I got this recipe from my mother in law Pam, which makes it even more special to me now.  I believe the original recipe came from Taste of Home.  It is great for a crowd because it serves a ton.....and it's pretty:)
 Note: The original recipe calls for whipping your own cream.  I just use a container of cool whip.  Because these days, I don't have time for those kind of silly things. 

You will need;
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin powder (from a packet of strawberry jello)
-1 cup cold water
-1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
-1 3/4 cups cold milk
-1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
-3 to 4 medium bananas, sliced
-6 cups cubed angel food cake 
-2 cups whipping cream or a container of cool whip
-additional strawberries to garnish

*In a saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin.  Stir in cold water until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.  Stir in fresh sliced strawberries, and set aside.

*In a large bowl combine milk and pudding mix.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, set aside.  

*Place half of the cake cubes in a trifle bowl or serving bowl.  Layer with half of the pudding, then bananas, then strawberry sauce, then whipped cream.  Repeat layers.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  

Mississippi Crock Pot Roast

 I finally got around to trying out this recipe a few months ago, and it is now one of my favorites!  We have made this several times now and each time it's been a hit! Once again, if I'm going to do a slow cooker dish, I want it to be super easy and to need little to no prep work......and this one meets all those qualifications.  Not to mention, it smells amazing while it cooks throughout the day!  I was a little skeptical of this recipe when I saw that you don't add any liquid, but it totally works.  The peperoncini peppers (which can be found by the pickles and banana peppers) are perfectly roasted by the time the roast is done. The peppers have a little bit of a kick, but are not overly spicy at kids eat them.  I usually use a chuck roast but have also used a cheaper cut roast and they both turned out great.  It's best to cook it on the lowest setting for at least 8-10 hours, so its perfect to do on a busy weekday morning!  I usually serve this roast with mashed potatoes and veggies, but it would be great for sandwiches, or served over rice/noodles.

You will need:
-chuck roast (approx 2-3 pounds)
-1 packet of ranch dressing mix
-1 packet of Au Jus mix
-1 stick of butter (I usually use unsalted)
-jar of peperoncini peppers

*Place roast in the slow cooker
*Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix on top
*Sprinkle the Au Jus mix on top of that
*Place whole stick of butter on top of roast
*Place 6-7 peperoncini peppers on top of roast (surrounding the butter)
*That's it.  Don't add water.  Just cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Korean Beef

I pinned this recipe a while back and finally got around to actually making it.......and I'm so glad I did! This is a great meal for a busy weeknight, the whole family loved it, and it takes no time at all to make.  Just a note: if you're worried about it being too spicy, don't be.   I  added the full amount of crushed red peppers and it was fine.  The brown sugar really balances it all out.  Also, the sesame oil can be a little pricey.  You can find it on the isle where all the other cooking oils are for around 7 bucks......but, being the total cheapskate I am, I went back and looked on the ethnic cooking isle next to the other Asian ingredients and found a small bottle for around 2 bucks.  The good thing is a little bit of it goes a long way, so you will have plenty for the next time you want to make this dish.....and you will because it's really quite delicious.  

Korean Beef
recipe adapted from Six Sister's Stuff

You will need:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 Tablespoon sesame oil
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
-salt and pepper
-diced green onions
-cooked white rice

*First, brown meat in a large skillet until cooked through, then drain excess fat.  
*While meat is browning combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red peppers, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
*After draining meat, return it to the skillet and pour combined ingredients on top.  Let simmer for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
*Serve over rice and top with green onions

** This recipe was the perfect amount for 4 people (Harper didn't eat), but you can easily double the ingredients to serve a larger crowd