Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mac N Cheese

This Mac N Cheese is soooo good!!! I could eat it like EVERY day in fact, for the last 3 days I have :)!!! It is THAT good. The thing I love about Mac N Cheese is it is so versatile, you can basically throw in any ingredients, and it is really hard to mess up. If you want it even healthier, throw in some broccoli or peas (good luck sneakin that by the kiddos, or in my case the hubby :])

Mac N Cheese

12 oz Macaroni Noodles {I used bow tie because I needed to use them up)
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 1/2 C Milk
2 tsp Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
4 C Cheese (Your Favorite Kinds, I used a blend of Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, Mozzarella, and Colby Jack.)

Preheat Oven to 450 F.

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well but do not rinse.

In a bowl whisk together Cream, Milk, Flour, Salt, Pepper, and 3 Cups of Cheese. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Top with remaining Cup of Cheese.

Bake until the sauce bubbles and cheese on top melts and begins to brown (about 20-25 min)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Pulled Pork Sammies and Cucumber Salad

Who doesn't love a pulled pork sammie? And even better this recipe is cooked in a slow cooker. For anyone who hasn't used a slow cooker, it can seem kinda intimidating, but it is so so easy. I love cooking things in the slow cooker on Tuesdays, because we have Scouts in the evening until 6:30, so when I get home, dinner is pretty much done. My hubby could eat this stuff EVERYDAY he LOVES it so much!! I made mine with Pork Tenderloin, because I had it on hand, but making it with Pork Loin is just as good and cheaper. I also used whole wheat buns, because we are trying to be a little healthier, but they are so good with Smith's fresh made hamburger/sammie buns. Oh man!! The Cucumber Salad is one of my absolute favorites, and it is so good this time of year when we have FRESH cucumbers from our garden. Unfortunately we don't have fresh tomatoes from our garden, but crossing our fingers, maybe next year :)

Pulled Pork Sammies
2 1/2 lbs Pork Loin Roast
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic posder
2 TBL dried, minced Onion
1/4 tsp Cumin

Put all ingredients in crock pot, and cook for at least 4 hours on high, or all day on low. Shred before serving.

You could also serve this in tortillas as burritos, so so good.
This recipe makes quite a bit of meat if there isn't very many in your house, but I always freeze half and it makes for a very easy meal later the next week when I can just reheat. MM MM good.

Cucumber Salad
I don't actually know the measurements for everything, because if I'm really hungry I do alot, and if I am not I don't do as much. It's really all just to taste.

Cucumber, cubed
Tomatoe, Cubed
Red Onion, Sliced
Olive Oil
Red Whine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
After cutting the veggies, I add the oil and vinegar to taste, then salt and pepper to taste. Trust me, it's sooo good.

Apricot Chicken

If you like the orange chicken you can buy in the big frozen packages from Walmart or Costco, you will love this. I make a little extra sauce and serve mine over white rice, but you could serve it plain with whatever sides you like. Unfortunately I don't have a picture for this recipe either. I'll work on that.

Apricot Chicken

6 Chicken Breast
3 C Chicken Broth
1 1/4 C Apricot Preserves
1 1/2 TBL Soy Sauce
1 TBL Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 TBL Corn Starch 
1 1/2 TBL Water

Cube your Chicken Breast.
Brown chicken in skillet over medium high heat until chicken is almost done.
To pan, add Broth, Jam, Soy Sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly and chicken is no longer pink. Add Water and Cornstarch. 

This is the recipe that gives a little extra sauce, although I usually will add even a little more to make more sauce.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Pomegranate Glaze

This is soooo good. If you aren't fond of pomegranate juice, you can substitute cranberry juice, just make sure it's juice and not cocktail. I served it with the Sweet Lemon Mint Pear Salad from here.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Pomegranate Glaze 

2 C Pomegranate Juice
1 C Sugar
1 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450.
Combine Juice and Sugar in saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour half into a small bowl and set aside.
Sprinkle pork w/ salt and pepper. Place pork on cooling rack on cookie sheet. Brush pork with half of the glaze that you have not set aside. Bake at 450 for 30-45 min or until internal temp is 150. Remove from oven and baste with the remainder of the glaze. Let rest for 5-10 min.
Cut Tenderloin across the grain. Serve over white rice seasoned with a little sugar. Pour the glaze you set aside over the pork and rice.

Cumin Spiced Chicken w/ Chunky Tomato Sauce and Chili Lime Corn on the Cob

This isn't your typical Chicken and Corn on the Cob, it's got a little mexican twist, but it is really good and really simple.

Cumin Spiced Chicken w/ Chunky Tomato Sauce
(serves 4)
4 Chicken Breast
1 1/2 tsp Cumin (divided)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Can Tomatoes & Chiles undrained
1 1/2 C Mexican Cheese
4 TBL Cilantro

Preheat oven to Broil
Heat Skillet over medium high heat. Coat w/ cooking spray.
Coat both sides of chicken with Salt and 1 tsp of Cumin. Cook about 6 min on each side or until done. Remove chicken, place in a baking pan (I used an 8X8) and keep warm.


Add  1/2 tsp of Cumin and tomatoes to pan. Cook 1 min. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. 
Place in oven and Broil about 2 minutes until cheese melts and starts to bubble. 

 Top with Cilantro.

Chili Lime Corn on the Cob

4 Ears of Corn
2 TBL Butter
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp grated lime rind
1/8 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Boil Corn until cooked. 
Melt Butter, mix in seasonings, brush over corn.

Spiced Pork Chops w/ Sweet Potatoes

This recipes for the Pork is sooooo good, however I like it better with a traditional baked sweet potato. I took the picture with an experimental Sweet Potato mash, which was alright, but not my favorite (Thank you to my husband who tries all my crazy experiments. So I have added a really good recipe for baked Sweet Potatoes as well just in case you need one, or if you already have a really great one, make it along with this SUPER GREAT pork, trust me, you'll love it. Plus your house will smell so yummy while you cook it, kinda like thanksgivin!!! :) I also served mine with some fresh green beans that I boiled and then fried really quick in a little olive oil with a little minced garlic and a smidge of butter. MMMM MMM good.

Spiced Pork Chops
(serves 4)
cooking spray
4 Pork Chops
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Heat skillet, and coat with cooking spray just before you add chops to pan.
Sprinkle pork with seasonings and add to pan. Cook on medium high heat about 5-6 min on each side, depending on thickness or until pork reaches an internal temp of 150.
It's so so simple, but that pumpkin pie spice just gives it a little surprise kick.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

4 Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon/Sugar Butter:
2/3 C Butter/Margarine
1/3 C Brown Sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Wash your sweet potatoes, dry, and brush with vegetable oil. Arrange on cookie sheet and bake at 450 for about 35-45 min or until tender when you prick with a fork. 

For the Butter- Soften your butter at room temp (not in microwave or you will end up with liquidy butter)
Mix in brown sugar and add cinnamon to taste, some people like a lot, some people not so much.  
Serve with Potatoes. Its soooooo good.

*Tip: The butter starts to separate and does not store well in the fridge so only make as much as you think you will need.

Grilled Tilapia w/ Fresh (sort of) Mango Salsa

This recipe is really really good, even if you aren't a big fan of seafood. Tilapia is not a very "fishy" tasting fish. I'm not real fond of seafood, but I am in LOVE with Tilapia. This is another healthy recipe, being as their is only 295 calories per serving, which makes it even better. Perfect for a hot night dinner when you need to cook on the grill, but also really good if you just cook the fish on your stove top in a skillet. I unfortunately got so excited about eating the fish that I forgot to take pictures, so next time I make it I will work on updating that.

Grilled Tilapia w/ Fresh Mango Salsa
(serves 4)
 2 C diced Tomatoes (fresh)
1 1/2 C diced Mango 
1/2 C diced Red Onion
1/2 C chopped Cilantro
1/4 C Lime Juice
1 TBL Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
minced Garlic
4 Tilapia Fillets
2 TBL Olive Oil

Prepare your grill (or skillet, however you choose)
Salsa: In a bowl combine the first 7 ingredients. This is where I say sort of Fresh because I'm not keen on peeling and pitting fresh Mangos, so I buy the frozen cubed Mango and thaw it, then dice it and the salsa still tastes great, but if you are an overachiever, go ahead and use fresh :)

Fish: Rub fish with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Wrap in tin foil and cook on grill until the fish flakes easily and is no longer clear. ( I cooked mine for about 8 minutes, flipping the fish about halfway through). Serve with Salsa. 

Warning: Don't be scared off of the salsa when you first try it, you must eat it with the fish. I wasn't as keen on the salsa at first because it is a little tart, but it balances out the fish soooo nicely.

Apricot/Lemon Chicken w/ Sweet Lemon Mint Pear Salad

This recipe is so easy and so tasty, plus it's healthy too. The Chicken has just 245 Cal per serving, and the Salad has 72 Cal per serving!!! Sweet!!

Apricot/Lemon Chicken
(4 servings)
  1 tsp Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (remove fat)
2/3 C Apricot Preserve 
1/4 C Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 C Water
1 TBL 1tsp Lemon Rind 

Combine the spices and rub over the chicken breast. 

Oil a Large Skillet. Cook Chicken on medium high heat until done (about 7 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the breast). Remove from pan and keep warm.
Combine Apricot Preserve, Lemon Juice, and Water in a bowl. Add to skillet and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat about 1-2 minutes. 

Spoon over chicken and sprinkle with lemon rind. 

Now on to the Salad (my favorite part, it's sooo yummy.) The flavors may sound weird, but the work soooo well together.


Sweet Lemon Mint Pear Salad

1 TBL Sugar
3 TBL Lemon Juice
2 tsp Canola Oil
4 Cups Spinach
1 Pear (thinly sliced)
1/2 C Red Onion (sliced)
1/4 C Chopped Mint Leaves (you can leave this out if you don't like mint, and it's still good)

In your bowl, whisk together Sugar, Lemon Juice, and Oil. 
Mix in the remaining ingredients and toss well. 

And that is it my friends simple, healthy, and oh so good!!!