Friday, August 1, 2008

Smothered Goodness

I am trying to find new ways to make pork chops. These are juicy and yummy. What more is needed?

Smothered Pork Chops

Source: Tyler Florence Food

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup buttermilk

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Green Beans with Soul

I love green beans, my BF not so much. He loves bacon though so when I saw this recipe over at Adventures in Home Cooking I knew it was for us. We loved them and they will become a staple in my house.

Green Beans, Slow-Cooked with Bacon and Onions
Source: Angie at Adventures in home Cooking

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds fresh green beans
2 quarts chicken stock or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, bacon, and onions and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the green beans and chicken stock; season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the green beans until they are soft but not mushy, about 30 to 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My First Bread try!

I have never made bread before., but always wanted to. I finally had the time and decided to get over my fear and jump in. I am so glad that I did.

French Bread

Source: Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 package regular active dry yeast

1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 to 1 2/3 cups of bread flour

1. In large bowl mix all purpose flour and yeast. Add warm water. Beat with wire whisk or electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping the bowl frequently, until batter is very smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand about 1 hour or until bubbly.

2. Stir in salt and enough bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time. until a soft dough forms. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy (dough will be soft). Grease large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl , turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

3. Grease uninsulated cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Place dough on lightly floured surface, forming into an oval shaped mound. Sprinkle top of dough with flour. Press straight down with a straight-edged knife lengthwise on dough to divide it into 2 equal parts. Gently shape each part into a narrow loaf about 16 inches long, stretching the top of the loaf slightly to make it smooth. Place loaves smooth sides up, about 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

4. Cover loaves loosely, but airtight, with plastic wrap. (Loaves will expand slightly in the refrigerator). Refrigerate at least 4 hours by no longer than 24 hours. (This step can be omitted, if omitted continue with next step).

5. Uncover loaves and spray with cool water; let loaves rise in warm place about 1 hour or until refrigerated loaves have come to room temperature.

5. Place 8 inch or 9 inch square pan on bottom rack of oven add hot water to the pan until about 1/2 inch from the top. Heat oven to 475 degrees.

7. Carefully cut 1/4 inch deep slashes diagonally across loaves a 2 inch intervals with sharp serrated knife. Spray loaves with cool water place loaves in oven and spray again.

8. Reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake 18-20 minutes or until loaves are deep golden with crisp crust and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool.

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

I love Pasta. Spaghetti, Baked Ziti, Lasagna, and Manicotti. Since I made my own sauce I had to make pasta. So here it is. I don't know exactly how much of each ingredients I used sorry.

Beef Manicotti
Adapted from Bettycrocker

1lb ground beef

spaghetti sauce (see my sauce tab)

Manicotti noodles

mozzarella cheese

Bread crumbs

parmesan cheese (Grated)

1.Boil the Manicotti noodles until cooked but still a little firm. While the noodles are cooking cook the ground beef until done.

2. Once the ground beef is cooked add to a big bowl. Add a handful of breadcrumbs and some mozzarella cheese. Mix together. After the noodles are done and drained cool them a little so that you can handle them.

3. Pour a little bit of the sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. After you fill the manicotti noodles with the mixture place them into the saucy dish. Then add the leftover cheese to the top as well as the leftover sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly at 350 degrees.

Strawberry White Sangria

I love Sangria. I have never made it myself because I always thought it was hard until I read a fellow Nestie's blog. This is from TPOX's Blog- Proceed with Caution. My BF doesn't like mint so I left it out for him and it was still really good.

Strawberry Mint Sangria

Adapted from Sangria: Fun and Festive Recipes by Mittie Hellmich Serves 4 to 6.~

2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, approximately 20 leaves.

1 1/2 ounces brandy (I omitted)

750 ml bottle dry white wine, chilled (I used Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc)

12 ounces club soda, chilled (I used one can of Sprite Zero)

I also added a little bit of strawberry/pineapple juice we had in the house.

About 3 cups ice cubes

In a large (at least 2-quart) glass pitcher, combine the strawberries, mint, and brandy. Slowly pour in the wine, stirring gently. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight. (Remove the mint leaves from the sangria after 2 hours.)

When ready to serve, add the club soda and stir gently with a long-handled wooden spoon. Fill highballs, wine glasses, or other decorative glasses with ice cubes and slowly pour the sangria over the ice, allowing strawberry slices to fall into the glasses. Garnish each glass with a mint sprig, if desired.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Oh how I love my pasta with tomato/marinara sauce. I never have time to make sauce so I always use ragu. Well since I am home from work today I decided to make some spaghetti sauce. It is so simple the way I make it and soooo good. It makes a lot so I will freeze some for later. Sorry for the picture, my camera has been acting up and the steam doesn't help.

Ashley's Spaghetti Sauce

1 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce

2 29 oz cans of Tomato Sauce

1 14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes w/basil, oregano, & garlic (you can add more, but I don't like chunks of tomatoes)

1 can of the smallest tomato paste



Garlic Salt

Minced garlic

Chopped onions

Saute onions and garlic with a little bit of EVOO. Once the onion and garlic are soft add the remaining ingredients. Then stir and simmer all day.

See easy. It will make your home smell good all day and you will wish you were eating it then.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekly Menu

I usually post this on Mondays, but I made mine early this week as I will be on vacation this week and will have time to cook.

Monday: sirloin steaks, baked potatoes, asparagus
Tuesday: Beef and Cheese Manicotti with homemade marinara sauce, garlic bread (homemade), and salads.
Wednesday: French dip sandwiches, crash hot potatoes, broccoli
Thursday: smothered pork chops, buttermilk mashed potatoes, soul green beans
Friday: Homemade pizzas with homemade dough and sauce, and salads.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Menu Monday

Wow it has been awhile. I have been swamped and cooking my go to stuff. I hope that it will be a little slower, plus I am on vacation next week. Anyways here is this weeks menu:

Monday: Roasted lemon garlic turkey loin, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus.

Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers and Salad

Wednesday: Serloin steaks, baked potatoes, broccoli

Thursday: Chicken Wings and Fries

Friday: Pizza Night

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Monday

I hope to stick to this menu this week.

Monday: Beef Filets, "crash" potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday: Beef Enchiladas and Spanish Rice
Wednesday: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches and french fries
Thursday: Chicken-not sure how yet.
Friday: Disco Party with my sister so out!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Roasted Asparagus

I never used to like asparagus. I finally found a way to eat it that I like, ROASTED. Yum. So good and easy and healthier.

I use Olive oil, minced garlic, garlic salt, and lemon pepper seasoing. Roast in oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Steak Night

Last night I wanted a really good steak. Since we can't really grill at our apartment I was nervous about buying good steak. I got over my fear because I really wanted some. I bought us 1 inch thick T-bone steaks and decided to use the broiler.

All I did was melt some herb butter (garlic salt, garlic, seasoning salt, oregano) and sprinkled with some montreal steak seasoning. Then broiled it for 18 minutes. I should have only did 15 minutes because I like them a little rarer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not bbq ribs, but just as saucy

I do not use the grill. I have yet to master starting the fire. Since I had the day off yesterday I decided to make something that took a little longer to make. These ribs were so tender and good. The sauce is excellent and I think I will try it with pork chops also. I omitted the carrots and celery because we don't like those two things cooked. I cooked my ribs for 2 hours.

Saucy Oven Beef Ribs

Source: Betty Crocker

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup of dry red wine or beef broth ( I used the broth)

1 can (15oz) of tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves

1/2teaspoon of dried marjoram leaves

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

2lb beef boneless country style chuck ribs

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 medium stalks celery, chopped

1 large onion chopped

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1. heat oven to 350 degrees

2 In 13x9 inch glass baking dish, mix broth, tomato sauce, wine, thyme, and marjoram.

3. In resealable plastic bag place flour, pepper, and salt. Shake to mix. Add ribs. Shake to coat. In baking dish, beat excess flour mixture into tomato sauce mixture using wire whisk.

4. In 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook ribs in oil for about 5 minutes, turning once, until brown. Place ribs in baking dish; turn to coat with sauce mixture. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skilllet; increase heat to high. Cook carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in oil 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Add carrot mixture to ribs and sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 1 and a half hour to 2 hours or until ribs are tender.

Macaroni and Cheese

I love baked Macaroni and Cheese. I found one so far that I love in my Betty Crocker cookbook.

Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Betty Crocker

2cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7 ounces)
1/4cup butter or margarine
1/4cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
1/4teaspoon ground mustard
1/4teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2cups milk
2cups shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese (8 ounces) ( I add 4 oz of mild cheddar cheese too)

1.Heat oven to 350ºF.
2.Cook macaroni as directed on package.
3.While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constanly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
4.Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not your average Hamburgers

Last night was my night off of cooking (sort of). My BF makes great hamburgers so we decided that he would cook those. I was just going to throw some oven fries in the oven (duh), but he reminded me that we had gotten a deep fryer for Christmas. While we don't usually do deep fried food I decided to live a little and make some fries. I don't really have a recipe for his burgers (he makes me leave the kitchen while he mixes the mixture, LOL) I do know that he uses tabasco sauce and lots of seasonings. Plus he helped me take the picture and was picky about it. And YES that is regular bread instead of buns because I forgot buns at the store and we added bacon.

For the fries I just cut up potatoes and seasoned them with seasoning salt before frying them.

Weekly Menu

I usually make my menu on the weekend and then finalize it when I shop and see what is actually on sale and looks good at the store. Here is my weekly menu:

Monday: Hamburgers, fries, salads
Tuesday: Brats and fries
Wednesday: Saucy oven ribs, roasted potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Thursday: Beef Fajitas and Spanish Rice
Friday: Pizza Night

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

My Boyfriend loves my stuffed peppers. That is great because it is the one recipe that I do on my own. It is a great way to use up leftover taco meat too. I don't use exact measurments for the seasonings just to taste.

Ashley's Stuffed peppers

3 Bell Peppers

1lb ground beef (or turkey)

1 bag of boil in a bag rice (I can't make good rice otherwise)

1 8oz can of tomato sauce



onion chopped

minced garlic

garlic salt

crushed red pepper flakes

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet with onions and garlic. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. While meat is cooking boil the rice.

3. Cut the top of the peppers off and clean out the seeds. Then cut them in half and put on a microwavable safe plate. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Place in baking pan or on baking sheet when they are done.

4. Once the meat and rice are done combine them in a bowl. Add the tomato sauce. Mix together. Add more seasonings to your liking.

5. Fill the pepper halves. Once filled place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until pepper tenderness is to your liking.

Chicken Marsala

Last night I tried to cook Chicken Marsala. I don't like mushrooms but I cooked them in the sauce anyways. I have been looking forward to making this. Unfortunately I was done to late and could not get a good picture. I got my recipe from Sorry for no Pic hopefully next time I make it I can add a picture to this post. I also added garlic salt and used more wine.

Chicken Marsala
Source: Cooking Light

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound each piece to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat; shake off excess flour.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add mushrooms, wine, broth, and juice to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with parsley.
4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 241(21% from fat); FAT 5.6g (sat 1g,mono 3g,poly 0.9g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 26mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.9g; SODIUM 308mg; PROTEIN 40.7g; FIBER 0.5g

Going Bananas

I saw that I had 2 bananas that needed to be used. I love peanut butter and bananas so what is better than peanut butter banana muffins. These muffins were good but I think that next time I will do the strusel topping which I didn't this time. I would probably use more peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Combine 1 cup flour, oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and baking powder. Whisk together milk, peanut butter, banana, egg, oil, and vanilla. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup flour, melted butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Monday, June 2, 2008

MMMM Meatballs

I've always wanted to make meatballs, but could never get up the nerve too. I decided to try today with my blog for inspiration. I am serving it with spaghetti sauce and spaghetti. I may make them again for meatball sandwiches. I could sit here and just eat the meatballs with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan and be happy. What could be better than meat and seasonings. Sorry I didn't really measure stuff out I just added stuff together

Ashley's Meatballs

1lb ground beef

chopped onion

1 egg

some breadcrumbs




garlic salt

grated parmesan cheese

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix together all the ingredients

3. roll into balls and place on a broiler pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done to your likeness.

4. Then add to sauce and simmer.

5. Enjoy

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Not homemade, but just as good!!

Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Cookies

In highschool I remember every morning going to get some otis spunkmeyer cookies. I loved them. When I found a way to order them and help a child I was all for it. So I bought a container. Tonight I was in the mood to bake, but when I went to get the ingredients my cabinet was a mess. I took everything out and then cleaned and reorganized. Once I was done with that I was out of energy, but still wanted something sweet. I remembered my frozen cookies and ta da cookies without the fuss.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dijon Porkchops and Roasted Potatoes

I am not really a pork chop person, but I do like them from time to time. I am always looking for new ways to cook them. I came across this recipe for Dijon pork chops from Kevinslady on the What's Cooking board. I had all the ingredients so I decided to try them. These had a nice taste to it and that is saying a lot from me since I don't like mustard. I cooked these on my George Foreman grill because I live in an apartment and can't grill outside.

Kevinslady's Dijon Pork chops

Put the following ingredients in a bowl
Dried Dill ( I omitted)
Lemon pepper
White pepper ( I used black pepper because I didn't have white)
garlic powder ( I also used Garlic salt)
A pinch of Crushed red pepper
Tossed with a little olive oil and put two heaping tablespoons of Dijon mustard in and let them marinate for about 30 minutes.

Threw them on a preheated grill for about 6 minutes on each side ( I did 10 minutes)
Roasted Potatoes
Red potatoes cubed
Lemon pepper seasoning
Garlic salt
Mrs. Dash
Seasoning salt
Cube the potatoes and place in baking pan. Sprinkle the seasonings on the potatoes and shake baking dish. Add a little more seasonings. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees

My First Blog Post

After all the talk of blogs on the What's Cooking board I decided to start a blog. I spend most of my time looking at all the other ladies blogs so I am excited to start mine.