Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grilled Mesquite Pork Chops

I so enjoyed these. I really like the bold flavors and yet not overpowering or too spicy. These tasted like a blend of Mexican and southwestern flavors. So good! These are definitely a new favorite for us. I really can't wait to make these again. Nate and I really like this grilling website Nibble Me This, and that is where we got this recipe. Enjoy!

4 pork chops, center cut, bone in, 3/4 to 1" thick (we used boneless)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground corriander
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat a grill to 350f. Mix the spices together. Mix the oil, worcestershire sauce, and 1 tsp. of the spice mix. Season the pork chops on both sides with the remaining spice rub. Grill the pork chops for 5 minutes per side. Brush carefully with the basting oil and grill until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145f (about another 1-3 minutes).

Hasselback Potatoes

I have had these potatoes bookmarked forever! It's about time I got around to trying them. It's a new variation on potatoes for me. The name makes me think of David Hasselhoff though. It's a simple change from a normal baked potato, and I do like the crispness of the skin. I saw the idea over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Enjoy!

5-6 medium baking potatoes
4 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic pressed or finely minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the potato on a cutting board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, making thin slices.
Arrange the potatoes on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle some salt over the potatoes and then sprinkle the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the potatoes.
Bake the potatoes for about one hour or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Korean Barbecue Chicken Marinade

Oh this marinade is so so good! This is some of the best chicken I've made in a while. It is phenomenal! I saw this marinade on Allrecipes and just tweaked a couple things for our tastes. The marinade has the perfect combination of savory, salty, sweet, and spice. This is definitely a new family favorite! If you like this recipe you should also try our Korean Barbecue Beef Kabobs.

This makes enough for 2 lbs. chicken.

1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. hot chile paste (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

Whisk together all ingredients and marinate chicken in refrigerator. We made 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs and they marinated for about 90 minutes.

I shared this recipe over at Mandy's Recipe Box and Chef In Training.

Homemade Vegetable Rice a Roni

I'm always on the hunt for good side dishes. For some reason it is much easier for me to pick out the main dish than the side dishes. Once I learned that rice a roni is basically rice and broken spaghetti noodles, I knew I do it myself. I also packed this with tons of veggies. I always feel good about getting vegetables into Nate's diet! Now, I haven't had rice a roni in probably a decade, so I don't know how close this is, but here's my version.

2/3 cup basmati rice
1/3 cup spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chicken bullion (I use the Better Than Bullion brand)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. butter
salt to taste

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add rice, broken spaghetti noodles, and veggies to skillet. Sautee for a few minutes or until rice is a light golden brown. Add water, salt, and bullion to a pot. Add rice and veggie mixture to water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce here and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Fluff rice and serve.

I shared this recipe over at Mandy's Recipe Box and Chef In Training.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Corn Muffins

Okay, this is a recipe that Katie and Stephanie made tonight. They served it alongside some taco soup. Supposedly this is the same recipe for corn muffins that Marie Calendar's serves. Enjoy!

2 c. dry yellow cake mix
1 c. flour
1 c. yellow corn meal
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt

Sift dry ingredients together. Then add:

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. honey (or 1/2 c. sugar)
3 eggs

Pour into pan or scoop into muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Tin Foil Dinner

Have I really only posted two recipes this month? Oh goodness, I'm sorry! My handsome husband and I have been having too much fun and I've been away from the kitchen. We've been busy enjoying ourselves camping and fishing, two graduations, and playing with visiting family. I've got new recipes planned for the rest of this week so keep your fingers crossed that they turn out yummy so I can share them with you!

Speaking of camping, here is the tin foil dinner that I made during our last camping trip. It's not a true recipe, just more of an idea for you. You do the majority of the cooking before you wrap them up, so 20-30 minutes in the coals is just right. Enjoy!

hamburger patties - We made each hamburger patty about 1/3 lb. You're always hungry after setting up camp. Nate seasoned them with some steak seasoning and grilled them to about medium. That way they'll finish cooking in the fire without drying out.

potatoes - I used my Garlic and Butter Roasted Potatoes recipe. Potatoes are the item that take the longest to cook in a tin foil dinner, so I go ahead and cook them all the way. That way they only need to heat up at the campsite.

veggies - I sliced up some onion and carrot, sauteed them in a tiny bit of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper. I just cooked them for a couple minutes. They will finish cooking in the fire. I also used some canned green beans. You don't need to cook those at all beforehand.

There's a method to building your tin foil dinners. You want to put the items with the longest cook time on the outside and the more tender, faster cooking items in the middle. Here's the order I stacked mine: potatoes on bottom, then carrots and onions, then green beans, and the hamburger patty on top. Tear off 2 good sized pieces of heavy duty tinfoil. Spray the top piece with a bit of cooking spray, then layer your ingredients in the above order. Wrap and seal up the tin foil dinner, then wrap it again with the second piece of tin foil. Repeat for each dinner. That's it! You're ready to go camping. Just place the tin foil dinner in the coals of your fire for about 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally for even cooking.

Okay, I had a question about adapting these for the oven. Here is my best estimate. If you pre-cook the tin foil ingredients, then just throw the packets in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until nice and piping hot! If you don't pre-cook anything I would dice the potatoes very small, like o'brien style and be sure you spray with non-stick spray and I would add some liquid like gravy or barbecue sauce. Then bake them at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until veggies are tender and meat is cooked through. Hope that helps!

I shared this recipe over at Mandy's Recipe Box and Chef In Training.

We're hoping to adopt, check our profile out at and feel free to pass it along!

Monday, May 14, 2012

3 Packet Pork Roast

Awesome! This roast was so moist, tender, and flavorful! I have made 3 Packet Crock Pot Chicken and 3 Packet Pot Roast, so I figured the same idea would work with pork. I was right! This is such an easy recipe, throw everything in the crock pot and then pull it out when you're ready for dinner. You can't go wrong with this recipe. Enjoy!

2-3 lb. pork roast
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet pork gravy mix
1 cup water

Whisk together water and seasonings. Place roast in the crock pot and then pour seasoning mix over top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Let roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing. You can serve the juices over the top of the meat like gravy.

I shared this recipe at Chef In Training and Mandy's Recipe Box.

We're hoping to adopt, check our profile out at and feel free to pass it along!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

Can you believe I've never made chicken parmesan? I know, I can't either. I came across this slow cooker recipe over at Six Sisters' Stuff and figured it was worth a shot. I used my homemade marinara sauce and this dinner was really good. Nate rated it a 10.5! I omitted the mozzarella cheese just to save on calories. Here's another easy Italian dish for you!

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 egg, beaten
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese (I left this out)
favorite jarred marinara sauce (23 oz.) (I used my homemade marinara sauce)

Spread the olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert. Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl. Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the Parmesan cheese in another separate dish. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings. Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crockpot. Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like. Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce. Close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Not the greatest pictures, but you get the general idea.