Biscuits and Gravy for Supper

November 21, 2013 at 8:33 am | Posted in Biscuits, Breakfast, Gravy, Main Dish, One-Dish Meal, Ron's Own Creation, Supper | 1 Comment

This is last night’s supper.  I’m about a day behind, but oh well!  Biscuits and gravy are usually hubby’s specialty but with him not quite 100% himself, I decided to toss them together last night.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (according to biscuit package)

Ingredients:

One tube of Pillsbury Grands! Buttermilk Biscuits

One pound of Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Sausage

Flour – I don’t measure this!

Milk – I don’t measure this, either

Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a 12-inch skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat; keep breaking up the meat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANotice that I use a potato smasher to break up the meat; my husband tried this once, and it works really great if you don’t want huge pieces of sausage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the sausage is completely browned, you can begin adding flour.  I don’t measure and neither does Ron.  Just add flour until all of the meat is covered…coated with flour.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPut the biscuits in the hot oven and set the timer (13-17 minutes).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATurn heat up a bit, to medium-high and keep stirring and let the flour brown.  My husband tells me that when the flour and meat seem to be brown enough, they’re not quite ready, and to keep stirring and cooking for a few minutes more.

Slowly pour in milk.  Again, I don’t measure the milk.  I typically pour in enough to cover the sausage, and then some….see below:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow you must turn the heat up to high – and KEEP STIRRING!  Milk will curdle quickly but you have to let it boil, otherwise you won’t get the thick gravy.  It should take about 10 minutes to reach a nice low boil.  Remember to keep stirring 🙂

By now, the biscuits are ready, so plate them.  When the gravy is thick enough, pour into serving bowl and bring to the table with the biscuits.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASplit biscuits and pour gravy over them.  I only ate one, hubby ate two and I won’t tell how many the teen boy ate…he is a growing teenager and he definitely filled up last night!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe only thing missing last night – according to the teen – was orange juice.  I forgot to purchase some on my race to the grocery store the other day 😦OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Not From Scratch Spaghetti Sauce

November 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Alton Brown, Italian, Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, My Own Creation, Spaghetti, Supper | Leave a comment

I haven’t cooked in weeks!  You can imagine what my kitchen pantry and freezer and refrigerator looked like when hubby and I came home from the hospital.  My mom had been staying over with our son, taking care of him and of the house and the animals….but still, there wasn’t much in the house to prepare a meal with.

I ran to the grocery store without a list – always a scary thing – and just started flinging things into the cart.  My memory told me that I had a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce at home – it was supposed to have been for something – don’t ask me what – so I decided to fix it up for supper.

Ingredients:

1 jar Prego Arrabbiata Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound Johnsonville Italian Sausage

1 container (8 ounces) of fresh mushrooms

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp. basil

2 tbsp. oregano

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp. white sugar

Dash of salt

1/2 pound Barilla Spaghetti

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn medium heat, brown the sausage, along with the onions and mushrooms.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the spices (including the sugar) when the sausage is completely cooked and browned.

Pour in the spaghetti sauce carefully, because it could splatter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes, allowing the spices to blend.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  My husband sometimes tells me I don’t use enough oregano or basil.  Last night, he didn’t say anything negative about this sauce!

Boil the spaghetti in lots of hot, salted water; I used my Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker.  It only takes about 13 minutes to prepare enough spaghetti for the three of us. If not for the pasta cooker, it would take a LONG TIME for an entire pot of salted water to boil, so I really like my pasta cooker.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and hot, buttery garlic bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADelicious!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, and one more thought before I go…about those mushrooms…I hear people on television and read blogs and websites warning about washing mushrooms – that instead of washing them by dunking them in water, you should “brush” them clean or wipe them clean with a wet paper towel because otherwise, they’ll “soak” up water.  Yesterday after I dunked and washed and sliced my mushrooms, I was remembering Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”, and how one night he did an experiment PROVING that mushrooms do NOT soak up any water, no matter how long they sit in water….and look what I found:  The Fungal Gourmet transcript, courtesy of The Good Eats Fan Page!  It’s amazing what you can find when you search high and low 🙂

Engagement Roast Chicken

October 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Chicken, Garlic, Kitchen Gadgets, Lemons, Lodge Cast Iron, Main Dish, Supper | Leave a comment

While hubby was recuperating in the hospital, we watched television a lot.  Of course, since I love to cook, one of my fave stations is Food Network.  One day, Ina Garten was on and she made Engagement Roast Chicken.  We laughed at the story that once a woman made this for her man, he would propose and that’s why it was called Engagement Chicken.

While working up the menu for the week, I decided to look up Ina’s recipe, print it off and make it…just to see if hubby would propose to me 🙂

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Ingredients:

1 (4-5 pound roasting chicken)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMine came with gizzards so I yanked them out and tossed them.

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 lemons, cut into quarters (see picture)

1 whole head of garlic – I used Elephant Garlic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlive oil

1 huge onion, thickly sliced (Ina recommended Spanish onions, I used white sweet onions)

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp. flourOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh and before I go any further, look what I bought this morning!  Another Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.  I already have the 12-inch skillet and this one is a 9-inch skillet.  Now I just need to keep buying them until I have them all!

Back to the recipe:  rinse and pat the chicken dry, then place it in the skillet and pour some olive oil over the top; use your fingers to massage the oil into the chicken.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Now, crack that garlic to pieces and start popping them into the chicken, along with two quarter pieces of lemon.  It might look like they won’t all fit but trust me, that chicken stretches a bit and everything fit.
Next, take the left over lemons and slice up the onion; place in bowl with olive oil and mix well.  I squeezed my lemons a bit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPour the onions and lemons and oil around the chicken.  It got a bit crowded in my skillet, so I went ahead and pushed a few onion pieces under the chicken.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarefully place in oven and bake for one hour, 30 minutes (you don’t need to cover the chicken).  When timer goes off, remove from oven, jiggle a drumstick to see how loose it is and use your thermometer to check the temperature.  A chicken breast should register at least 160 degrees F.  If it does, remove the chicken from the skillet, pop on platter and cover with foil to keep it hot.  Your chicken needs to rest at least 10 minutes.

Now, take the skillet still filled with onion and lemons and oil.  Turn stove on medium-high.  Add wine, chicken stock and then slowly whisk in flour.  If you’ve got a wooden spoon, Ina suggests scraping the bottom of the roaster/skillet to pick up all of the pieces that baked on.  Yum!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet it thicken – keep whisking – it might take about six minutes.  Pour the whole skilletfull of flavor into a gravy dish.  By now, your chicken is ready to be carved….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you like the way I tied the drumsticks together?  I didn’t have any kitchen string, so I improvised with cheesecloth!  I cut some off and twisted it together like a rope and then tied the drumsticks together.

Carve the chicken and dig in.  I made fresh roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes and warmed bread in the oven.  The skillet gravy was excellent on both the chicken and the potatoes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is all that’s left over from supper:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanks, Ina!  I’m definitely going to make this again!

 

 

 

 

Maple Glazed Sirloin Chops

October 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Main Dish, One-Dish Meal, Pork Sirloin Chops, Rice, Supper | Leave a comment

This recipe comes from one of my newest cookbooks, Meals in Minutes: More than 150 Delicious Recipes for Busy Families.  It was published in 2011 by Meredith Print Advantage and was edited by Lisa Kingsley.  I purchased it at the Scholastic Book Fair that our Catholic school held a while back.  It’s not for sale at the Scholastic Book site; you can, however, purchase it through Amazon from one of their sellers.

Anyway, the original recipe was called “Maple-Glazed Pork Medallions” and I didn’t have any pork tenderloin on hand, so I used pork sirloin chops.  And I added one extra apple just because we like apples.  If you can find a copy of the book, it’s a really nice book with some great recipes; this recipe is on page 106.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of water

3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice (NOT quick cooking rice!)

dash of salt

1 pound (more or less) of pork sirloin chops

2 tsp. canola oil

2 large red cooking apples, cored and cut into large (1/2 inch) wedges

1/3 cup REAL maple syrup – NO imitation please!

2 tbsp. water

dash of saltOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPut the water on to boil, add the salt.  When it begins to boil, add the rice, stir well, cover and set on simmer for about 12 minutes.

Slice up the pork into bite-sized pieces.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeat up your skillet and add the oil; then the chops.  I used my gorgeous Lodge skillet (I love this thing!).  It browned the meat so evenly and beautifully!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy the time the rice is ready, the meat ought to be browned enough; remove the meat and cover it to keep it warm.  Pour the rice into the serving dish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the same skillet that you cooked the meat in, add the apple wedges, water and maple syrup.  Let the apples cook for maybe 4 minutes, then add the meat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the flavors blend really nicely and then pour on top of the rice:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAServe with veggie (the teen picked corn) and bread (I picked Italian bread).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was delish!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Herb-Crusted Chicken in a Basil Cream Sauce

September 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Chicken, Italian, Main Dish, Supper | 1 Comment

Oh, wow this recipe was incredible!  We loved it.  Credit for the original idea  goes to the gals over at  Utah Munchies.

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breasts, pounded flat

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning

2 tbsp. freeze dried chives (which I didn’t have)

8 tbsp. butter (a whole stick – why not?  LOL)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of chicken broth

1/2 can (14.5 ounce can) of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 tbsp. dried basil, more or less

salt and pepper

1 pound spaghetti or Fettucini

Boil salted water and cook your pasta al dente.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlace the bread crumbs and garlic and red pepper spice in one container; mix well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPour milk into another container. Prep anything else you can; I minced my garlic into a measuring cup and had made my broth and had the whipping cream open, as well as the tomatoes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPound chicken flat:  I like to put the slices into a plastic baggie and then pound them with my meat mallet.  It’s neater that way and chicken doesn’t fly all over the place.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPut the stick of butter in a skillet – I used my Lodge skillet – and turn on LOW while you get the chicken ready.  Once the chicken is pounded flat, give it all a milk bath.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the chicken soak for a minute or so, then turn the stove up to medium heat.  When the butter begins to sizzle, start dipping the chicken into the crumb mixture (use your tongs because it gets messy!).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASet each piece of chicken in the hot pan.  Watch the temperature of the pan; Lodge cookware gets hot and stays hot, so you may need to lower the temperature of the stove.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMmm, look at all that butter!  Finish cooking the chicken; it took about 10 minutes until all of the pieces were finished.  Set them aside and keep them warm.  By this time, my spaghetti was cooked and drained, so I poured it into an 11×7 dish and topped it with the chicken. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the chicken is all done, lower the heat to low and toss the garlic into the pan.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOooh, it smelled heavenly – I love garlic!  Saute the garlic for about a minute; add the chicken broth and boil, scraping the bottom of the pan so that all the goodies come loose.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStir the whipping cream in plus the tomatoes.  Bring to a low boil and stir constantly for a minute.  Don’t boil it too long or it will curdle.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the basil, salt and pepper.  Now the sauce is ready to pour over the chicken and spaghetti.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOooh, there was a lot of sauce!  Run carefully to the table with the serving dish and dig in.  Serve with fresh Parmesan and hot bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI served myself some spaghetti, put the chicken on top and then spooned sauce in the bowl.  Hubby had two servings – I wanted seconds but was too full already 🙂  We are definitely having this again!

Wordless Wednesday

September 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Cat: Stripey, Dog: Schatzi's Shadow, Grilling Out, Ron's Own Creation, Supper | Leave a comment

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Game Day Sliders

September 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Cheese, Hamburger, Lunch, Main Dish, Sandwich, Supper | 1 Comment

This yummy and delish recipe is courtesy of the Retro Dinner Diva.  I saw the picture, read the recipe and had to print it off.  Oh, myyyyyyyyy!  I’m so glad that I did!  Even though I prepared this for supper, these would be great for lunch, too.  I only changed one thing:  the cheese and the amount used.  Oh, wait, that’s two things 😛

Ingredients:

1 pound hamburger

1 cup cheddar-jack

1 package of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

canola oil sprayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmini hamburger buns (we like mini potato rolls for our sliders)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPreheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In medium sized bowl, combine cheese, soup mix, mayonnaise and garlic powder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, gently blend in the hamburger; you want to get all of the flavors mixed into the meat but don’t overwork the meat.  Hamburger gets tough if you overwork it and nobody wants a tough slider.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpray your 9×13 cookie sheet with canola oil spray and then spread the meat mixture on the cookie sheet; flatten it to maybe 1/4 inch thickness.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake in hot oven for about 20-25 minutes.  Remove when timer goes off – ding! and let the meat rest for about 4-5 minutes before slicing up with pizza cutter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy hamburger didn’t stick together but that’s okay, since we made double-sliders.  We aren’t picky about the way we eat our sliders.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASlice potato rolls in half, grab all the condiments you love:  mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, whatever and go for it!  We had fresh tomatoes from our garden.  YUM!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI ate two plus some baby carrots.  I wanted a third but my tummy said, “No thanks, not today!”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese will be definitely re-created in my kitchen…….soon!

 

 

Pasta Salad with Chicken

September 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Chicken, Feta Cheese, Lunch, One-Dish Meal, Pasta, Salad, Supper | 3 Comments

I’ve made this before!  It was pretty good the first time, but this time we liked it better.  The original recipe was in the January 2008 Family Circle magazine.  I made a couple of changes from the first time.

Ingredients:

Three chicken thighs

2 tbsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Original Chicken Seasoning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, you could have used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for this part, but I decided to make it myself.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola oil and place the chicken thighs in the dish.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of the seasoning.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes; remove from oven.  Carefully remove foil and turn chicken.  Sprinkle with the other 1 tbsp. seasoning.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover with foil again and bake for another 15 minutes.  Uncover and let the chicken cool for a bit.  Cut chicken up into small, bite-sized pieces.

Now you need to boil 8 ounces of pasta (I used bow tie pasta) in lightly salted water; the pasta will probably need to boil for about 9 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to finish the remaining steps.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar (the original recipe called for white vinegar; I thought that red wine vinegar would give it a unique taste and it was incredible!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup dill weed

1/4 of a yellow sweet pepper

1/4 of a red sweet pepper

4-ounce package of Feta cheeseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn medium sized bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, salt, pepper, olive oil and dill.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the chicken to the dressing while the pasta finishes up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADice up the sweet peppers; I always keep sweet peppers in the freezer.  It takes just moments for them to thaw.  Toss them into the bowl with the chicken and dressing.  By now, the pasta ought to be al dente.  Drain and rinse with COLD water.  This is the only time in cooking that pasta should be rinsed and rinsed with COLD water:  when making a cold salad.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the pasta drains well, pour it into the salad bowl and gently stir all ingredients together. Cover the salad and refrigerate until supper.  Before serving, stir carefully and then enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI served it with hot French baguettes with real butter.  And of course, iced tea.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was super-delicious!

Garlic Pork Roast

September 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Crock Pot, Main Dish, Pork Roast, Russet Potatoes, Supper, Sweet Potatoes | Leave a comment

This yummy crock pot meal is courtesy of Brandy at All Recipes.  I changed a few things (don’t I usually?) and it turned out very deliciously….is deliciously a word?  Oh well, it is now.

Ingredients:

Canola oil in spray bottle

1 pork roast

salt and pepper

1 sweet potato

1 russet potato

1 tbsp. onion powder

6 cloves garlic (yes, 6!)

14.5 ounces of veggie brothOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, I know that the photo shows TWO sweet potatoes, but I ended up using just one.  Okay, back to the directions:  spray interior of crock pot with canola oil.  Place roast inside.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with onion powder.  Mince the garlic and spread it on top of the roast.  Yum!  I love garlic!  Last but not least, add the vegetable broth.  Cover and cook on LOW for at least 6 hours.  Remove roast from crock pot and let it sit for about 5 minutes before carving.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAServe with any other veggies you desire and of course, biscuits go pretty well with this, too!

Roasted Red Chili & Strawberry Chicken Cutlets

September 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Chicken, Main Dish, Supper, Thai | Leave a comment

This was last night’s supper.  I was pretty worn out after supper, so didn’t get back on the computer.  The original recipe is from Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest at AllRecipes.  The recipe called for using turkey cutlets but I didn’t have any turkey; I used chicken.  Also, I didn’t use as much chili paste because I knew that the teen and I wouldn’t have been able to eat it 🙂

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into tenders

salt and pepper

1 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves

1 tsp. Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste

3/4 cup frozen corn

3 tbsp. fresh orange sweet pepper

3 tbsp. fresh red sweet pepper

1 tbsp. cilantro

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASalt and pepper the chicken tenders; warm the canola oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chicken.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrown the chicken until it’s cooked through.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemove from skillet and drain on paper towels.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATurn off skillet, wipe skillet clean with paper towels and combine other ingredients:

strawberry preserves

strawberry preserves

corn

corn

chili paste; you can add more if your family likes spice

chili paste; you can add more if your family likes spice

orange and red sweet peppers

orange and red sweet peppers

Turn skillet on low and add these last ingredients, stirring often so that the preserves don’t burn.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemove skillet from heat and stir in about 1/2 tsp. of cilantro.  Dish about two-thirds of the corn mixture into serving dish; top with chicken and then with remaining corn.  Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI served buttered potatoes with the meal.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was pretty good!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, yes, and fresh tomatoes!

 

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