Monday, May 27, 2013

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Cookbook Recipe #51

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all those who have served our country!

It was not a nice day here in Illinois, on a holiday that most people like to spend outside by the grill. I decided to spend mine by my slow cooker. When I think of Memorial Day food I think of burgers, dogs, and pulled pork sandwiches. I went for the pulled pork sandwiches. I was telling Phil that I do not know if I have ever had a pulled pork sandwich. Most people I know put onions in their pulled pork, so I usually stay away from it, just in case. And I have never made it personally, so I think this was my first time having one. A little crazy I know. It was very good, and topped with some coleslaw. I very much enjoyed it. I used a vinegar based coleslaw as I am not a fan of the mayonnaise coleslaw. I also changed up the recipe a little bit from the original in that I did not put the barbeque sauce in right away because I think that the meat soaks up the sauce to much in a slow cooker so I waited till the last hour to put it in. Instead of sauce going in right away I used root beer for the liquid which I think gave it more of a sweet taste. For, I think, my first pulled pork sandwich, I would say it was a winner.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Adapted from Crock Pot Slow Cooker Best Loved Recipes

1 boneless pork shoulder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 can root beer
1 18oz bottle barbeque sauce
Sandwich Buns
Your favorite coleslaw

Mix salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, black pepper and red pepper. Rub on pork roast.

Place in slow cooker. Cover with root beer.

Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

With one hour remaining  remove roast from slow cooker. Remove and discard any fat from the roast.

Place back in slow cooker and cover in barbeque sauce. Cook one more hour.

Serve on a bun with your favorite coleslaw.

 This recipe is linked on:     Show me What You Got Tuesdays Mix it Up MondaysMelt in your Mouth Mondays,  On the Menu Monday,   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Grilled Pizza

Phil and I have always talked about grilling a pizza but have never got around to it, until now. It was super easy to do and really good. The crust gets super crispy on the grill, which is just the way I like it. You just really have to watch it so it doesn't burn. So many different kinds would be really good like this. We did a traditional kind for the first round. Next time I might want to try spinach, mushroom and feta. Or even a buffalo chicken would be really good. The possibilities are endless! I have a feeling we will be trying this again very soon.

Grilled Pizza

Frozen pizza crust ball, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Corn meal
Olive Oil
Pizza Sauce
Italian Seasoning
Assorted toppings (we used Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Bacon

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness. Brush will olive oil and top with some corn meal.

Place dough on grill plain side down.

Grill over direct heat until crust turns brown and starts to bubble, about 6 minutes.

Place pizza sauce on plain side of pizza. Top with cheese, Italian seasoning, and assorted toppings.

Place back on grill until cheese is bubbly about 3-5 more minutes.

This recipe is linked on:  Foodie FridaySaturday Show and TellShow and Tell Saturday,  Super Saturday Show and Tell,   Foodie riday Weekend Potluck Think Pink Sunday,  Cream of the Crop

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Bratwurst

Cookbook Recipe # 50

We had a potluck at work yesterday and we were supposed to bring a dish that represents the country of our heritage. My family is all from Germany so I thought bratwurst was appropriate. I get into work at 7:00 am and we were not having lunch until 12:00 pm so I needed something that I could keep hot until lunch. So I saw this recipe for bratwurst in the slow cooker. The original recipe called for beer but I did not think that was work appropriate so I decided to use apple juice instead. This was my first time cooking bratwurst in a slow cooker and it came out pretty good. It was really juicy and tender. It is a good way to make when you want to keep it hot and you have a lot of people eating it. German food just does not look appetizing no matter what you do. The recipe below is for one batch.

Slow Cooker Bratwurst
Adapted from Fix it and Forget it Cookbook

6 fresh bratwurst
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Apple juice

Add bratwurst and garlic to slow cooker. Cover with apple juice.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oreo Rice Krispies

Phil and I went to a Pig Roast last night up in Wisconsin. I was trying to figure out something that I could bring that would be okay on the ride up there. I saw these Rice Krispie treats awhile back on Chef in Training I thought they would be the perfect recipe to sustain the ride and they only took 5 minutes to make, even better. They were gone pretty quickly. There were so many people at this party though that I did not get to hear any reviews. Phil and I each had one though and we both thought they were really good. I like trying different renditions of these. My mom used to make them with fruity pebbles. Those were always my favorite. These were a great change as well. A great treat for a party.

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from Chef in Training

6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
20 regular Oreos, chopped
5 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix the Rice Krispies and the Oreos.

In a large microwave safe bowl melt butter in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add marshmallows and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Mix marshmallow mixture with Rice Krispies.

Add to 9 x 13 pan and use a spatula to press mixture around the dish.

Let cook to harden.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pork Chops with Grits and Red Eye Gravy

This recipe was the epitome of the south, or at least what I think of when I think of southern food. This was a good recipe last night when it was less than warn outside here in Illinois in the middle of May. I think this is more of a fall or winter dish, but with a few cold days upon us it was a nice comforting dish. I am not a big coffee fan, so I did not know what I was going to think of the red eye gravy, but it was quite good. Mixed with the mushrooms, it was a nice rich sauce to go with the pork chops and grits. Phil and I both really enjoyed this recipe.

Pork Chops with Red Eye Gravy
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 center cut bone in pork chops
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 ounces mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup V8 juice
2 teaspoons mirin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 1/4 cups fat free milk, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1 tablespoon butter

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. 

Season pork with salt and pepper.

Add oil to pan and cook pork chops 3-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove from pan and set aside. Keep warm.

Add mushrooms and thyme to pan. Cook for about 4 minutes. 

Add wine and scrape any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add pepper,1/4 cup coffee, V8, mirin, and red pepper. 
Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. 

Combine cornstarch and remaining coffee in a small bowl. Add to pan and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Meanwhile bring 2 1/4 cups milk and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in grits, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. 

Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons milk and butter. 

Serve pork chops with gravy over grits. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creme Brulee French Toast

Cookbook Recipe #49

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom got gave me this cookbook a while back. It is a collection of recipes from Iowa Bed and Breakfast's. My mom's best friend and my other mom growing up Kristy has a bed and breakfast in the town I grew up. She makes delicious breakfast food to. This cookbook came out before she had the bed and breakfast though, so her recipe's are not in it. There are a lot of great recipes in this book including the recipe I chose to make from it. Or should I say Phil's mom chose. I had Phil's parents over for brunch today and I could not decide what to make so I gave his mom Linda a few choices and this is the recipe she chose. Everyone loved it. I don't really know what is creme brulee about it but it was good nonetheless. I love breakfast casseroles that you can make the night before and then just pop them in the oven in the morning. Such a time saver when you have guests coming over.

Creme Brulee French Toast
Adapted from Discover Iowa

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3 teaspoons triple sec
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and syrup over medium heat. Cook until smooth and then poor into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Cut bread into 1 inch slices and arrange in pan.

In a large bowl whisk eggs, half and half, vanilla, triple sec and salt. Pour over bread in pan.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Take french toast out of refrigerate to bring to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is linked on:  Foodie FridayShow and Tell SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons,  Rediscovering Lost Arts From Our Mothers Mix it Up MondaysMelt in your Mouth Mondays,  On the Menu Monday,  Show me Your Plaid MondaysMop It Up Monday

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Breakfast Sandwiches with Mango Chutney

This was my first encounter with  mango chutney. I was a little unsure about it but it was actually quite tasty. It was a nice compliment to the breakfast sandwiches. I told Phil I was putting mango chutney on the breakfast sandwiches and he thought it sounded strange also, but he really liked it too. This recipe is a much healthier version then its McDonald's cousin. I used whole grain English Muffins, fat free cheese slices, and Canadian bacon. One thing I did that wasn't the best was that I decided to throw on a sausage patty. It just sounded good. The sandwiches were really good and quite filling. Served along side some fresh fruit, it was a nice balanced breakfast.

Breakfast Sandwiches with Mango Chutney
Adapted from Cooking Light

8 slices Canadian bacon
4 pre-made sausage patties
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
4 slices fat free cheese slices
8 teaspoons mango chutney
4 whole grain English Muffins

In a large skillet cook sausage patties according to package directions. Last few minutes add canadian bacon slices to heat about a minute a side.

Preheat broiler to high heat.

With 5 minutes left, start eggs.

In a bowl whisk eggs, water, salt and pepper. Add to saucepan and cook over medium low heat for about 3 minutes. Whisking to scramble. Set aside.

Split English muffins and place on a baking sheet. Top one side with a slice of cheese. Spread chutney on the other side.

Layer with eggs, Canadian bacon and sausage.

Broil for 2 minutes.

Place top halves of muffins over the bottom halves.

This recipe is linked on:  Foodie FridayShow and Tell Saturday, Rediscovering Lost Arts From Our Mothers Think Pink Sunday,  Cream of the Crop, Mix it Up MondaysMelt in your Mouth Mondays,  On the Menu Monday,  Show me Your Plaid MondaysMop It Up Monday

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Smokey Garlic and Spice Chicken

My friend Nicole made this recipe a couple weeks ago and told me how good it was. One of Phil and I's favorite dinners is roast chicken and we are always open to new recipes for it. This one was really good. The combination of spices made a delicous marinade. It gave the chicken a beautiful color as well. Phil used our can rack to roast the chicken and used root beer as the can. I really think that cooking the chicken over the can helps make the chicken really moist.

Smokey Garlic and Spice Chicken
Adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 teaspooons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 whole chicken
1 can root beer

In a large zip lock bag mix first 8 ingredients. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refridgerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain and discard marinade.

Place root beer in can rack and place the chicken over the can rack.

Roast in oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Cover chicken with foil to keep from getting too brown. Cook an additional 90 minutes.

 This reicpe is linked on:Full Plate Thursday, Link it Up Thursday, Thriving on Thursdays, Tasty Thursdays

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Cookbook Recipe #48

My Mom gave me this cookbook a couple of years ago. I thought it was so cool because Walt Disney World brings back so many great family memories. All the recipes in the book are from the different resorts at Disney and restaurants that are in the World Showcase at Epcot. I chose this recipe of Sweet and Sour chicken because it is from the Polynesian Village Resort. My family and I always stayed there when we went to Disney. It is probably my favorite hotel I have ever stayed in. It is on the lagoon that the monorail runs around. It is right directly across from Magic Kingdom and we always sat on the beach and watched the fireworks every night that were shot off there. When Phil and I went to Florida a couple years back I took him there and he loved it as well. I also just recently saw a recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken on a friends blog Macke Monologues. You should check out her blog! Her recipe looked really good, so when I saw this recipe the other day I knew it was going to be the one for this week. I added a few extra vegetables to the recipe but other than that I kept it the same. It was really good. It tasted very similar to Sweet and Sour Chicken from a Chinese restaurant. Phil and I both really enjoyed it and will be making it again for sure!

Sweet and Sour Chicken from the Coral Isle Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort
Adapted from Cooking with Mickey


1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch squares
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1/8 teaspoon yellow food coloring
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Sesame seeds for serving

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups snow peas
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4/1/2 teaspoons water
Few drops red food coloring

Combine all ingredients for the chicken except for the sesame seeds in a medium skillet.

Cook, covered over low heat for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile combine vegetables, except for snow peas, vinegar, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add snow peas in with 5 minutes left.

Add pineapple and return to a boil.

Stir cornstarch into water and dissolve. Add to vegetables. Cook and stir until thickened and clear. If desired add food coloring.

Drain chicken liquid and add chicken to vegetables and sauce.

Top with sesame seeds to garnish.

Print Recipe

This recipe is linked on:   Cast Party WednesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayTasty Tuesday PartyTalent Show Tuesdays,  Linking up With Luna, Show me What You Got TuesdaysShare it Link Party    Tasty Tuesday

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! So this is going to be a long post...... We made so many new things today and I couldn't decide what I wanted to post. So I am going to post all of the recipes. I new I wanted to make something fun and different for today. I saw a recipe for Grilled Baja Style Lobster Tails on Cooking Light's website and thought it sounded really good. I just realized I liked lobster a couple months ago when Phil and I went to the Melting Pot for dinner. I got an entree that had an assortment of meats and lobster. Phil got the same thing I did so I figured I would trade the lobster for more steak. But I tried it and I loved it! Phil was saying that we should try to grill it at home sometime. I saw this recipe and thought we could give it a try. It came out awesome!. The only lobster tails we could find were pretty small so next time we will have to do our research to find a larger tail. But we had so much other food it did not matter. I have been seeing Mexican Street Corn on the Cacique commercials that have been playing over and over recently. So I found a recipe to make the street corn as well. Corn is not really in season yet so I cannot wait to try this one again when the corn is really good. And you can't have a Mexican fiesta without salsa and Margaritas! We made those homemade too! Hope you enjoy the recipes!

Mango Margaritas
Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond

1 tablespoon sugar
1 20 ounce jar mango chunks, drained
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup triple sec
Tall cup of ice

Mix all ingredients into a blender and mix well.

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Roasted Tomato Salsa
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

9 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 large white onion, quartered
2 jalapenos
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Place onions, tomatoes and jalapeno on grill and grill over direct heat for 8-10 minutes and then flip over and grill another 8-10 minutes or until charred.

Let cool completely.

Blend vegetables, garlic, lime juice and salt in a blender.

Refrigerate until ready to serve (salsa gets better the longer it sits in the fridge).

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Grilled Baja Style Lobster Tails
Adapted from Cooking Light and Bobby Flay

Up to 6 lobster tails
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat grill to high heat for direct grilling.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add lobster tails and boil 6 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile prepare butter sauce. Combine rind and next 7 seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Gradually add butter and stir constantly.

Split each lobster tail lengthwise down the underside, making sure not to cut through the back shell.

Brush the flesh side of each lobster tail with oil, some of the butter sauce, salt and pepper.

Grill flesh side down for 3 minutes. Flip over and grill another 3 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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Mexican Street Corn
Adapted from Jam Hands 

4 large ears of corn, dehusked and desilked
1/2 cup mexican crema
1 1/2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
4 teaspoons ancho chile powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush corn with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes.

Brush with mexican crema.

Roll in queso fresco.

Season with ancho chili powder.

Print Recipe

This recipe is linked on: Foodie FridayShow and Tell SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons,  Rediscovering Lost Arts From Our Mothers Mix it Up MondaysMelt in your Mouth Mondays,  On the Menu Monday,  Show me Your Plaid Mondays, Mop It Up MondayMeal Time Monday

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

 If you like blogs and seeing other people's recipes like I do I would check out the Closet Cooking blog. He has a ton of great recipes. Always making something new and different that I never thought of before. I always look forward to see what he is going to make next. I was craving soup again and saw this recipe in my email for Hungarian Mushroom Soup. I thought it sounded pretty good.

I wasn't sure what I thought about putting dill in soup but it was actually really good. I wouldn't say it really tasted like dill, I think it just paired nicely with the rest of the ingredients. I changed up the recipe a little bit in that I used fat free and light ingredients where I could. The only thing I did not like about this soup was that it did not yield a whole lot. I got enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. I like to always have a little more that I can either freeze or save for another day in the week. So next time I make it I would probably double the recipe.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Adapted from Closet Cooking

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
4 cups fat fee chicken broth
1/2 cup light sour cream

Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.

Add mushrooms and cook until they sweat and all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Add flour and paprika. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth , soy sauce and dill.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add sour cream, salt and pepper.