Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Sausage Casserole

I, with open arms, welcome the weather we are having right now here in my part of Texas. It is wonderful crisp fall weather. It makes me itch to get cooking.

So as you might have noticed I am hooked on my slowcooker right now. Infact the last couple of recipes have all been slowcooker recipes. Of this I am not ashamed. It's fast, easy and dagnabbit it tastes good, (Was that too southern? Perhaps a bit backwoods? Okay, then...) dangit it tastes good.

This recipe was found on A Year of Slowcooking's blog. Being new to the crock pottery world I just found her but despite that fact I love her. I move fast what can I say? She has so many crockpot recipes. I am having a hard time deciding which ones to make and when. So many choices. If you are not familiar with her go on over and peruse her pages.

Let me be frank, I did not care for this at all. In fact I didn't even more than a few bites. Sorry. I almost didn't even blog it. I made this monday and have been fighting with myself on if I should even put it on here or not. But, Baby Cakes loved it. He ate two bowls full and leftovers the next day. I thought it had a sour note to it, not like pucker up it's sour but like a somethings a little off sour. Not BCakes he just went on and on about the sweetness. I don't know maybe men and womens tastes ARE completely diffrent. I'm not giving up just yet though, I think I will make it again soon only this time in the oven like the original recipe called for.

Autumn Sausage Casserole
from the A Year of Slowcooking blog

1 pound ground sausage*
2 small apples, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
3 cups already cooked rice**
1/2 cup raisins
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth

Pre-cook sausage on stovetop, drain and put into crockpot.

Peel and chop carrots, apples and onion; add to crockpot.

Add the spices, raisins, rice and chicken broth; stir.

Turn crockpot on low and cook for 5-7 hours.

*I used, duh duh duh, spicy venison sausage. What else? lol. But you can freely use any sausage that you want.

**I also chose to buy microwave packets of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. It took 1 and a half packets to get 3 cups. I didn't have any left over pre-cooked rice so I improvised. Also, we only use brown rice or if we do use white rice it is only wild rice.

Happy Fall Crockpotting Y'all,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Slow-Cooked Pork & Apple Stew‏

This recipe, partly the recipe itself and partly being from Mr. Food, reminds me of my childhood. Playing outside with my friends and siblings. Deciding it is about the time we should head home. Running inside the house and smelling dinner on the stove. Seeing Momma standing at the edge between the kitchen and the living room and watching Mr. Food on the 5 o'clock news. (My Mom loved his segment. He would come on the TV and share a quick recipe or two with his viewers). If I was lucky we would be having pan seared pork chops with a side of cold cinnamon applesauce to dip the pork chops in (the sole reason for my love of fruit and meat combos, thank you Mom). This was a daily accurance, our Mom watching the 5 o'clock news while cooking dinner. Sometimes, in my adult life, when I come in from work and have to set about making supper I turn on the news just for the background noise. Something about it feels like home.

I chose to spend my Saturday on the couch, seeing how I have broncitis and all, and thought this would be a great day for a stew, I am just about chicken noodle soup'ed out. I had just gone to the grocery yesterday and bought the ingredients for one so heck what's stopping me? So a bit of prep work and hours later I have a wonderful dish to enjoy. My only complaint is the above said prep work, it is a bit much for a work morning crock pot recipe but for a lazy day at home it's a cinch.

Cozy couch? Check. Warm pork stew? check. Box of tissues? Check. Favorite movies? Check. Let my rainy night movie marathon commence. (Baby Cakes is at a bachelor party tonight, another one bites the dust, lol. So it's just sick little ol' me and the stew. Me? I'm not complaining.)

Slow-Cooked Pork & Apple Stew‏
adapted from a Mr. Food recipe

3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds boneless pork roast or butt, cut into chunks
1 (24-ounce) jar regular applesauce

In a slow cooker, combine the potatoes, carrots, onions, bouillon cube, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Place pork over vegetables and pour applesauce over the top.

Cover and cook on high setting for 6 to 8 hours. Stir and serve.

I just realized I haven't said anything about the recipe. Duh. It is wonderful. The pork is super tender, you can certainly taste the cinnamon and applesauce and it's not too soupy. Baby Cakes would want to add some spice, no want to, he would add some spice but other than that it's a keeper in my book. (Although I am already thinking of ways to make it even better.)

Have a good one,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cranberry Pork French Dip Sandwich

So you might have noted, if you read my blog, that the last recipe was a Cranberry Onion Pork Tenderloin cooked in the crock pot. You might have also noted that somehwere in that post I said what a good idea it would be to make a french dip out of it. Well I did it and am I ever glad I did.

Baby Cakes gave this one a 10 and a half, his words, and also told me that he would gladly eat this every single night. It's a keeper.

Now this recipe isn't an exact. It's more like a shmear of this and dab of that kind of thing. I do recommend that you use the cranberry sauce and mayo on this sandwich. The swiss and cranberry go so very well together.

Cranberry Pork French Dip

a hoagie roll
cranberry sauce
swiss cheese
pork tenderloin, shredded
cooking juices

Slice the hoagie in half, butter and toast both sides. Put the bottom half down on a heatproof dish or baking sheet and top with some warm shredded pork and a slice of swiss; put under broiler and melt cheese. Spread some cranberry sauce and mayo on the top inside half of the toasted hoagie and put on top of the pork and cheese half. Serve along with some chips and warmed cooking juices to dip the sandwich in.

Like I said Baby Cakes loved this, as did my Mother in Law and I. Wonderful sandwich. Make it.


Happy Fall Y'all!

I can not beleive that autumn is here. It is my FAVORITE season. I can hardly wait to watch Hocus Pocus and munch on Halloween goodies. Not to mention all the seasonal treats. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin dishes, stews, chili's and gooey casseroles. I really could go on forever.

I've noticed that some other bloggers are sharing thier autumn inspired recipes from the past so I thought that I might share some of mine as well. I don't have a ton because this is only my second fall as a blogger but know that I will be adding new recipes this season. However, until then here are a few of my favorites from last year.

Plum Chicken Over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

Spicy Venison and Corn Chowder

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Brown Sugar Pie

Cinnamon and Sunflower Seed Brittle

Next week I'm going to share all the Halloween yummies!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Cranberry Onion Pork Tenderloin

I have a confession, I have never, not once before, used a crockpot. Although I know those who have and even have a cookbook full of slow-cooker recipes, I personally have never even taken it out of the cabinet. Until now.

One of my best friends in the whole wide world (and actually my Aunt), Maggie, told me about a recipe she created the other day. I can't tell you how, when or why but I can tell you that the second she told me about it, actually she was probably still telling me about it, I yelled give me the recipe. Anything that mixes meat and fruit together is making it's way into my stomach at some point. I might have mentioned this in a earlier post but I do do do love me, wink, some fruit and meat dishes. I was a little nervous about the slow cooking however and thought maybe I should cook it on my day off but no, what's the point if I don't take advantage of this while I am infact at work, hence too busy to want to or to actually cook dinner in the evening? I have offically slow cooked.

This dish was simply enough amazing. For various reasons, first I didn't make it through the door until almost 9 pm, had some errands to run after work, and would not have cooked had it not been for the slow cooker. All I had to do was heat up some veggie, Steamfresh and an Uncle Ben's microwave pouch of rice and tada dinner in done. Secondly, it was one of the best pork dishes I have ever eaten, ever! It was flavorful, tender, infact when I tried to cut it it just shred hence the "pulled pork" in the pictures below. And the sauce that it made? It was like an au jus but instead of beefy it was cranberry and pork. Grrrrr. Yum! Infact this could have oh so easily made a wonderful pork sandwich with au jus for dipping. Lightbulb moment! Wink.

Baby Cakes loved it, I, most importantly, loved it. Everything about it is loveable. What's not to love?

Cranberry Onion Pork Tenderloin
recipe shared by me from Maggie Bollom

1 lb or more pork tenderloin*
1 can cranberry sauce
1 packet lipton onion soup mix
1 cup water

Put the pork tenderlion into the crockpot.

Roughly break the cranberry sauce apart in a bowl using a fork. Add the onion soup mix and water to the cranberry sauce bowl and mix together; pour over the pork.

Now put the lid on the crockpot, turn it on low and cook for 8 hours.

*our tenderloin came with 2 smaller ones in one pack but it equalled the same amount so I cooked them both.

You will be so glad that you made this. It is incredible and I can't even wrap my head around how easy a slowcooker makes getting dinner on the table. I am in love.

Oh and just a side note, I did take pictures of what the tenderloins looked like coming out of the slow cooker but when Baby Cakes saw them the things he said they reminded him of well, let's just say they are not appetizing. So with that in mind I chose to only show pictures of the shredded pork.

Oh and please don't judge my pictures like I said it was after 9 and I just wanted to get it plated and on the table. I wouldn't win an award for presentation and then again I'm not trying to.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thai Baked Peanut Chicken

This recipe was found the other day while searching through a November 2009 issue of a Women's Day Magazine. (My Grandmother always gives me her magazines when she's finished with them and I am not afraid to admit that I happen to buy alot of them myself as well. I sort of have a magazine addiction, especially if they feature recipes.) It was on an advertisment page for A Taste of Thai food products. I always seem to be drawn to those recipes, you know the ones printed on a ad page in a magazine, perhaps because I know that most of them are quick recipes to make.

Anyway, recently a friend of Baby Cakes took him to a thia resturant during thier lunch break, so he took me a few days later, and I took my co-worker and so on and so on. Who knew that I would LOVE thia food that much. Love it! To me it's like indian meets chinese, more so on the indian side. Curried foods and a sweet creamy thia tea drink? I am so in heaven. So when I saw this recipe I knew I had to check it out. Boy am I glad I did. It has a subtle sweetness and a bit of a spicy bite at the end. I think it was perfect!

Baby Cakes gives it a thumb up, I actually liked this one more than he did. His exact words? "I like this because it's easy on you to make." Awww, how sweet. Don't tell him yet but he gets to clean the kitchen. Wink.

If you like peanut butter, if you like chicken, if you like fast meals then make this dish!

Thai Baked Peanut Chicken
recipe from an A Taste of Thai ad

2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can (13.5 oz) A Taste of Thai Coconut Milk
1 packet (3.5 oz) A Taste of Thai Peanut Sauce Mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add peanut sauce mix (both inner packets) and coconut milk to a baking dish. Whisk until smooth. Add chicken, dredging both side of chicken in peanut sauce.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Spoon extra sauce over rice, potatoes or pasta.

Like I said, I love this recipe. I really can't say enough about how wonderful it was. I chose to serve it over brown rice and it was just perfect. Yum yum.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pepper Jelly and Soy Glazed Salmon

First off I want to say that I have missed my blog something fierce and neva eva want to go this long without it again! I am back, for longer than one post I pray and hope that I didn't lose too many, if any, followers/fans while I was away.

Baby Cakes and I are trying to eat healthier so what could be better for us than fish? I get like this sometimes and he recently grabbed a tiny little roll of flab, I don't even thing you can call it that, and said he wanted to eat better so here we are. (The truth is that it's no surprise, I haven't been cooking lately, in about what 3 months? So take-out has been our lifeline lately. Shame on me I know.) This Salmon recipe might not be considered "healthy" by some but hey, it tastes wonderful and Baby Cakes ate the entire thing just to prove it. (Not kidding, the entire thing except for my one little peice!)

I found this recipe in an issue of Better Homes & Gardens awhile back and because it has been stored in my recipe box for well, I don't know how long, there is no date or issue number to give you. Although I bet if you run a search for it you could probably find it somewhere.

Like I said this recipe is wonderful. I did change two itty bitty ingredients in the recipe and that was adding brown sugar and not using cilantro.

(Now keep in mind that I took this picture after I cut, plated and served it. I wish I had taken a picture of the entire fillet. XOXO.)

Pepper Jelly and Soy Glazed Salmon
from Better Homes & Gardens

2 lbs. fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet, about 1 inch thick
2/3 cup green jalapeno pepper jelly
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 green onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sliced fresh jalapeno chile peppers and/or green onions

Thaw the fish if frozen. Rinse fish, pat dry.

In saucepan melt jelly over low heat. Stir in next seven ingredients, all but brown sugar.

Place fish in shallow dish; pour mixture over fish. Cover; refriderate 1 to 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.

Preheat oven broiler on low.

Remove fish from marinade; reserve marinade.

Place fish on a greased sheet of heavy-duty foil and then tent it with another peice of foil; place under the broiler and cook for 15-18 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Add brown sugar to reserved marinade and then bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Drizzle over fish; sprinkle peppers and green onions before serving.

It was moist and flavorful. I loved the glaze and infact will probably trying this with chicken too. Soooo good. XOXO,

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