Thursday, June 26, 2008

Long Time No Cook

I have literally been out of town for two weeks. I left on the evening of June 9th... came home June 14th and turned around to leave again on the 15th. The first week I was teaching VBS Arts & Crafts to 40 something children. The second week, I was at the beach getting a sunburn and relaxing after having spent a week with 40 something children. I didn't cook but 1 time during those two weeks and that was just because I had started marinating pork chops with good intentions... I will say, they sat in the bag of my homemade marinade for 2 days before I cooked them and I don't know that I would do it differently. These chops were AWESOME. I would venture to say some of the best I have ever made. My only lament is that Robert did not get to try them. I guess that is all the more reason for me to make them again! I also wish I had taken a picture because these boogers were beautiful! I'm just not good like some people when it comes to snapping pictures of my food before I eat it! Let me know if you try these. Also, as a side note, you can totally use this marinade on EVERYTHING. I made it up one day and have been making it up ever since. It starts with a dry rub or sorts (Special Seasoning) and then you add a couple of wet ingredients. From My Kitchen to Yours, Good Eats!

Special Seasoning
(good for everything- this recipe seasons 4 chicken breasts, pork chops or steaks)

1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne

To use as a marinade, add:

1 cup of Hickory BBQ Sauce
2 TSP Hickory Liquid Smoke (on the BBQ aisle)

6 boneless, center cut pork chops (I like the thick ones).

Season each chop with the seasoning on each side OR just put enough of the seasoning in the bag to coat the chops nicely. Add the BBQ Sauce and the Liquid Smoke. Let these sit in the bag AT LEAST 24 hours. Stick 'em on the grill for a few minutes... HAVE DINNER!

We serve our pork chops with a "loaded" sweet potato (brown sugar, butter, cinnamon). So not healthy, but OH so yummy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Squash Casserole

I was going through some old e-mails when I came across a recipe exchange that I participated in one time and I found the one my mom had sent me... I haven't made this in a long time but I think about it often... Maybe it will show up in my menu soon. Until then, here's the recipe courtesy of my mom, Sonya. Good Eats, From My Kitchen to Yours!

Squash Casserole

4 bags pic-sweet brand cut squash w/seasoning -peppers and onions

1 large jar pimento

2 package of herb flavored stuffing mix

1 16 oz size container sour cream

1 cup melted butter

2 cans cream of chicken soup

Steam cook the frozen squash

pre-heat oven 350

mix melted butter with both boxes of stuffing mix - layer 1/2 of the mixture on the bottom of a 11 x 13 casserole dish, safe other 1/2 for topping

remove and drain most of the liquid from cooked squash, combine remaining ingredients, place in casserole dish and add remaining stuffing mix.

Place in oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes until mixture is bubbly.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I got tagged!

I was tagged by Jaime at My Burnt Toast and I am sorry to say, I probably won't tag anyone because I don't have anyone else to tag!

The rules:Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing ten years ago?

10 years ago, I was 14... I know I was a band geek/nerd/dork and about this time that year I was suffering through band camp in south Alabama.

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
  1. Contemplate getting my hair cut
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Fold clothes
  4. Buy Jaime a sprinkler so she doesn't have to water flowers in the heat :-)
  5. Meet with Jaime's husband about life insurance

3. Five snacks I enjoy:

  1. Oreos
  2. Cookie dough
  3. Cocoa Pebbles
  4. Bagels w/ strawberry cream cheese
  5. Grapes

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  1. Buy a car with A/C!
  2. Pay off my house and buy a bigger one
  3. Buy a condo at the beach
  4. Purchase/Build a storefront for The Paper Frenzy/The Wedding Frenzy
  5. SHARE!

5. Places I've lived:

  1. Mobile, AL
  2. New Orleans, LA
  3. Atmore, AL
  4. Gulf Shores, AL
  5. Shreveport, LA
  6. Bon Secour, AL
  7. Tuscaloosa, AL
  8. Birmingham, AL
  9. Pinson, AL

6. Jobs I've had:

  1. Retail Associate: Pacific Sunwear, Old Time Pottery, Souvenir City
  2. Receptionist: Hart Heating/Cooling, Central Park Christian School
  3. D.J. at a Skating Rink/Manager of Concessions
  4. Wedding Planner
  5. Summer Missionary
  6. Youth Minister
  7. Science Lab Assistant

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Spin, Not a New Favorite

I haven't cooked in a few days because of Robert's crazy schedule this week but I did cook Monday and had a lot of leftovers that I am just realizing, as I sit on my parents' couch, I left it sitting out when I left yesterday... bummer.

Anyway, I attempted to spin T.G.I.Friday's Bruschetta Chicken into something I enjoyed making, but I must say, I was sorely disappointed. Why am I posting it? Because maybe you can tell me what I did wrong.

Fortunately, we tasted before we served ourselves so we knew that we did NOT like it. I had a jar of spaghetti sauce so we had chicken and spaghetti :-) It was new for me, but I enjoyed it. Here is the recipe from who knows where... :-) Maybe you will enjoy it more!

Good Eats, From My Kitchen to Yours!

4 (4 oz.( chicken breasts (grill right before serving)

1 pound angel hair pasta (can cook and chill ahead of time)
2 tablespoons salt
***Tomato Salad:***
8 medium-size Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves of minced garlic
10 fresh basil leaves
***Balsamic Glaze:***
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and black pepper Grill 3-4 minutes per side for grill marks or until the chicken breasts reach 165ºF


Boil pasta in 1/2 gallon of water with salt until al dente Drain and transfer to bowl

If cooking ahead of time, shock in an ice bath to cool, remove from water and toss with 2 Tbsp. of salad oil

Tomato Salad: Step 1 Wash, core and dice tomatoes to 1/4" pieces, save juices and place in small bowl. Wash, dry and cut basil leaves into thin strips Combine all ingredients and hold for 2 hours before use

Step 2

Heat heavy bottom sauce pan under medium-low flame Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, heat oil for 20 seconds Add any remaining garlic butter from bread to sauce pan Sauté in oil 2 cloves of garlic sliced into thin coins (if small use 3) for 45 seconds on each side until soft and tender - do not brown garlic (if brown discard and start over) Increase heat and add tomato salad and stir

Step 3 Add 1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce to pan and bring to a boil Add pasta to sauce pan and toss with fresh sauce (sauce should just coat pasta) Transfer to a service platter or plate individually Garnish with balsamic glaze

Balsamic Glaze:

Bring to a boil in small sauce pan and turn down flame to a simmer Reduce by 75% until sauce turns to a thick syrup, hold at room temp

To Serve Slice chicken breast into strips on a bias (45 degree angle) and place on top of pasta Slice 5 fresh basil leaves into thin strips and garnish pasta