Thursday, October 23, 2014

Asian Beef and Broccoli



I was on a bit of an Asian kick this past week and while I was making the Asian Grilled Pork Chops, I decided that I would try this Asian Beef and Broccoli! It had a lot of the same ingredients, so it worked well for the shopping list! :) I usually just throw my roasts in the crock pot and call it good, but I decided to pull one out and try it with this recipe. It was worth the extra chopping that I had to do. I loved the taste of this recipe and the kids thought that it was pretty delish as well. I served it over the hot brown rice and it made for a perfect week night meal!


Asian Beef and Broccoli
(recipe found in Parents Magazine)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
pepper
1/2 cup dry roasted cashews
brown rice

In a bowl, mix soy sauce, 3 tablespoons orange juice, sugar, ginger and garlic. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray and add beef and soy sauce mixture. Stir, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Just before beef is done, microwave broccoli, covered on high 4 minutes. Drain any liquid. Transfer beef to a bowl, shred it (if desired) and add broccoli. Cover and set aside. Place a small fine-mesh sieve over a small saucepan. Pour juices from the slow cooker into the pan. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add to saucepan. Cook on medium and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in marmalade, remaining 3 tablespoons orange juice and pepper. Add about half of the swauce and cashews to the beef and broccoli mixture. Toss to coat. Serve over brown rice and additional sauce.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blueberry Sauce Crepes



I had a few blueberries left and decided that for an after school snack for the kids I wanted to make some blueberry crepes. I went looking for my recipe for crepes and discovered that I had to let my batter rest for 4 hours. Well, being the non planner that I sometimes am, I didn't have 4 hours. That meant that I needed to look at making a different crepe recipe. Well, I found this one and I knew that I would enjoy it since it includes vanilla and I love me a little vanilla flavor! :) The kids loved these crepes as much as the other recipe that I have made and they were all inhaled as soon as I made them!

Blueberry Sauce Crepes
(recipe found on diethood.com)

Crepes:
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
cooking spray

Blueberry Sauce:
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt; set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the blueberry sauce. Combine blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small pan. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until juices are bubbly and fruit is tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Lightly grease a nonstick frying pan, or a crepe pan, with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of pan. Cook until edges of crepe curl-up and underside of crepe is golden brown; about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the crepe and continue to cook for 1 more minute, or until lightly browned. Remove crepe from skillet and repeat with remaining batter. Coat pan with cooking spray in between each crepe. Place blueberry sauce down the middle of the crepe and roll up. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hot Pepper Plum Jam



After I made my regular plum jam, I started remembering this raspberry chipotle jam that I had at a party one time. It was a simple recipe for an appetizer that included covering a block of cream cheese with a jar of this jam. You then used crackers to spread it on to. It was delish!! So, since I had a few hot peppers still on the vines of my raised beds I decided that I needed to make another batch of jam and include the hot peppers. It turned out fabulous and although it isn't the raspberry flavor that I LOVE so much, it was still pretty tasty!


Hot Pepper Plum Jam

2 quarts chopped plums
1-3 cups sugar (based on taste)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 hot peppers, diced (leave seeds in for a hotter jam)

Chop plums into chunks, removing seeds as you go and leaving peelings. Place in large pot and add remaining ingredients. I started with 2 cups of sugar and added another cup about halfway through. Mix well, cover with lid and turn heat to medium low. Bring to a boil and remove lid. Remove lid and continue to boil until thickened to the thickness that you desire for your jam. Mine took about 2 1/2 hours so be patient. Once jam is at the desired thickness, add to jars and seal. Place in a hot water bath to seal jars. For this I just place the jars in a big pot, fill with water to cover the jars and then bring to a boil for 20-30 minutes. Remove from water bath and wait for your jars to "pop"! Serve over a block of cream cheese and with triscuits, wheat thins or other crackers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Plum Jam



My brother in law called me this fall and asked if I had an ice cream bucket. When I said "of course" he said to get my booty out to his house and pick some of the plums that he just discovered at his house. Turns out, after almost 10 years of living there the plum trees decided to bear fruit! Man it took me back! i remember picking plums back when we were little... taking a little bite and sucking the fruit out... it was great! Now that I am older and can get my hands on all these plums, I knew that I had different plans for them and that definitely included jam! :) It's a little tart, but definitely worth the time that it took. Since this is a pectin free recipe and uses less sugar it takes a while to make, so be sure that you have enough time to make it!


Plum Jam
(recipe found on jarspot.com)

2 quarts chopped plums
1-3 cups sugar (based on taste)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice

Chop plums into chunks, removing seeds as you go and leaving peelings. Place in large pot and add remaining ingredients. I started with 2 cups of sugar and added another cup about halfway through. Mix well, cover with lid and turn heat to medium low. Bring to a boil and remove lid. Remove lid and continue to boil until thickened to the thickness that you desire for your jam. Mine took about 2 1/2 hours so be patient. Once jam is at the desired thickness, add to jars and seal. Place in a hot water bath to seal jars. For this I just place the jars in a big pot, fill with water to cover the jars and then bring to a boil for 20-30 minutes. Remove from water bath and wait for your jars to "pop"!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grilled Asian Ginger Pork Chops



If you read my blog at all, you know that I have a love of pork chops and I enjoy finding new ways to flavor them. This was a recipe that I pulled out of one of my magazines and I couldn't wait to try it. The timing was perfect for grilling and they turned out perfect, even with me grilling them! The hubs was out of town late that night but he enjoyed them for leftovers the next day also, what little I could save for him - my boys were eating us out of house and home when it came to this meal! :)


Grilled Asian Ginger Pork Chops
(recipe found in Good Housekeeping)

1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic chili paste (I used chile powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 pork loin chops

In a shallow container, mix orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chili paste and salt. Add pork chops, then turn to coat evenly. Chill, covered, turning the chops in the marinade occasionally, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat grill for medium to medium high heat and lightly oil grate. Grill pork chops for 5-6 minutes per side or to desired doneness.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Cookies with Raisins and Pecans



I was digging through my folders of recipes that I have printed out because I wanted to try (this was pre-pinterest era) and I found this one for a new version of oatmeal cookies and knew that I had to try it. I still have some pecans left from the stash that my mother in law was kind enough to send me from their pecan grove and who doesn't love a good oatmeal cookie? :) These were delish, especially straight from the oven. The kids couldn't keep their mitts off of them either!


Oatmeal Brown Sugar Cookies with Raisins and Pecans
(Recipe found on onceuponachef.com)

3/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 steak unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 5 minute, until crisp. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir to mix well. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium until creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat again until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add flour and oatmeal mixture and mix on low speed until just combined; add pecans and raisins and mix again,. Do not over mix. Drop dough into 2 tablespoon mounds about 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until edges are slightly golden but centers are still pale, about 15 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minute, then transfer cookies onto wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cheesy Potato Nugget Skillet



While this recipe originally calls for making it as a one dish recipe in a skillet, I chose to double this so that we would have leftovers for the next day. This meant having a few extra dishes, but I was able to make it easily in a 9x13 dish. Basically another take on tater tot hotdish and it was super good. In fact, we were discussing what one of my sons wanted for his pick of meals the next week and he was trying to get me to make it for him again!! I think that means that they liked it!


Cheesy Potato Nugget Skillet
(recipe found on bettycrocker.com)

1 pound ground beef
1 pouch (9 ounces) progresso™ recipe starters™ creamy three cheese cooking sauce
3/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 bag (28 ounces size) frozen mini potato nuggets

Heat oven to 425. In 10-inch cast-iron skillet, cook beef over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in cooking sauce. Layer frozen peas and cheese on top of beef mixture. Top with even layer frozen potato nuggets. Bake about 20 minutes or until potato nuggets are crispy and golden brown and mixture is bubbling.