After been married for 10 years and having 5 kids, I finally decided I needed to become a better cook. I was sick of making the same old thing all the time and being afraid to try new recipes. I'm still not a pro but I'm getting better every day. My goal is to be able to make my own recipes up and just be able to throw things together and it taste good. For now I'm just finding YUMMY recipes through blogs and recipe books and I thought making a blog with all my favourites would be fun. So, ENJOY!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chinese Pork Ribs

Here's another recipe I made especially for my meat loving husband. It's also a crock pot meal (from one of my new cookbooks) and was SUPER which always makes it even better :) I didn't end up being able to share these goodies with my family because I went to a RS BBQ. I did try a little bit when I got home though and they were really yummy. My kids told me they thought they were really good which is always an added bonus. I REALLY do LOVE crock pot meals, especially on a day like today when I wasn't at home all day.
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. orange marmalade
3 T. ketchup
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 lbs. country style pork ribs

In a bowl combine the soy sauce, marmalade, ketchup and garlic. Pour half into the bottom of the crock pot. Place ribs over sauce and then poor the remaining sauce over the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until tender and ENJOY :)

S'mores Cookies

A couple of months ago life kind of took a crazy shift and my life kind of turned up side down. After being a bit of a wreck I've finally started to get my life back in order. When I started this blog I was always checking other food blogs to give me ideas but due to my crazy life I stopped checking blogs altogether. When I started to check blogs again I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. I've been waiting for the right time to try it and tonight was that night. I had all the ingredients which was step one and the next step was going to our RS BBQ where I could take this delicious goodness. I just started another biggest loser contest so I'm trying to eat really well but I couldn't resist these yummies. I had half a piece and quite honestly could have eaten the whole tray. I really love the blog I got this recipe from, I use it a lot, she has TONS of super good recipes so check her out :)11 T. butter, softened (I used margarine)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 ½ c. flour
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces (I used about 4 1/2 bars)
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and set aside. Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar in mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x16 pan and one 9x13 pan. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 24 graham cracker squares on one pan and 12 squares on another but it all depends how much dough you use. Place a scoop of dough in the center of each graham cracker. Press down slightly with fingertips. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven. Press a chocolate piece on top of each piece of cookie dough. Bake for another 5–7 minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool and then ENJOY :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shredded Pork Burritos

Well before I say anything else I just want to let you know that this recipe was DELICIOUS :) This is another recipe from one of my new cookbooks, it's actually one I haven't looked all the way through yet but I was flicking through and saw the picture for this recipe and had to try it. My husband LOVES meat! He especially loves the pork burritos at Cafe Rio so I knew he would want to try this. I've done copy cat recipes for the Cafe Rio pork before which were super yummy but this one seemed different (it's NOT trying to be a copy cat) because of the flavours. Anyway I got a couple of new spices and this morning after working out I got everything out, put it all together in about 15-20 minutes, put it in the crock pot and let it cook all day, easy :) I knew I would have way too much because I ended up getting a bigger piece of pork than the recipe called for because they didn't have any smaller ones. We decided to have my mother in law and 2 sister in laws, plus kids over for dinner so we wouldn't have tons of left overs. It's always scary to invite people over when you've never tried a recipe before but thankfully it was a HUGE hit and everyone LOVED it :) The dressing that goes with it is REALLY good as well. This is another recipe we'll be for sure adding to our regular list, YUMMY :)
1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (5lbs but I used about 7lbs)
2 T. plus 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 tsp. paprika, divided
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 can (12 oz.) cola
1 c. chicken broth
1 lg. sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves. minced

1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. milk
2 tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
3/4 c. fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and cut into coarse chunks
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 T. lime juice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Flour tortillas

Cut roast in half. Combine 2 T. brown sugar, 2 tsp. paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt; rub over meat. Place meat in slow cooker. Add cola, broth, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Take meat out and shred, removing meat from bones (discard bones). Return meat to crock pot along with remaining brown sugar and paprika. Cover and cook on low for another hour or until heated through. Meanwhile, in a blender combine mayonnaise, milk, tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeno, salad dressing, lime juice, garlic and cayenne. Cover and mix until well blended. Pour into a bowl and chill until meat is ready. Serve sauce over meat and ENJOY :)

Pork Chili Verde

This meal ended up being a rushed meal eaten on the fly. We were trying to get out family garden ready so I had to run back home to finish it off, eat my share and get the kids ready and take it to them. Everyone seemed to enjoy it though which was good. I love rice but some of my kids aren't the biggest fans, oh well I'm mean and make them eat it anyway ;) One thing I would try next time is to try and make the sauce thicker, well if I wanted to use it in a tortilla like the recipe said to do. It was a yummy recipe though and yet again another crock pot recipe which I love :)
1 boneless pork sirloin roast (3 lbs.), cut into 1-inch cubes
4 med. carrots, sliced
1 med. onion, thinly sliced
1 c. minced fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. canola oil
1 can (28 oz.) green enchilada sauce
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. cold water
Flour tortillas

In a large skillet, saute pork, carrots, onion, cilantro and garlic in oil in batches until pork is browned. Transfer to a crock pot, add enchilada sauce and jalapenos. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until meat is tender. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. I may have not cooked it long enough afterwards thicken it, I would suggest doing that if you want to eat it with tortillas. Yummy Scrummy, ENJOY :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Asian Chicken Thighs

Once again another recipe from one of my new cookbooks and this one is DEFINITELY a BIG KEEPER!!! As soon as my husband tried it he said that it needed to go on our regular rotation and I totally agree. There are only a few things I would change about the recipe, one being I would use boneless thighs and the other is I would double the recipe so we could have more chicken for each of us and for leftovers :)
5 boneless chicken thighs, skinned (I'm going to use boneless next time)
5 tsp. olive oil
1/3 c. warm water
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. orange juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
1 T. white vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

In a large skillet over med. heat, cook chicken in oil for 8-10 minutes on each side until cooked. In a small bowl, whisk warm water, brown sugar, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, red pepper and five-spice powder. Pour sauce over chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is tender, turning occasionally. The recipe said to mix 2 T. of cold water and 2 tsp. of cornstarch together and then add it to the sauce to thicken it but my sauce was already thick enough so I skipped that step. I served this with white rice which was yummy, especially with the sauce drizzled on top.

Eggplant Sausage Casserole

As I quickly looked through one my new cookbooks this meal caught my eye because I'm a HUGE pasta fan, especially things like this. The name of the recipe threw me off a little though because I wasn't seeing any eggplant, plus I had never had any before but I thought it was worth a try because it looked so good. I thought it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS and so did most of my family. I could barely taste the eggplant, I couldn't really even tell you still what eggplant tastes like. My husband said he could taste it and my picky Maddie didn't really like the eggplant (I don't think she could even taste it, I think it was just her knowing it was something different) or the ricotta cheese. This will for sure be something that I make again though, I will probably not add the eggplant, only to please my crazy family because I thought it was YUMMY :) It did make quite a lot though so I think next time I may split it half and freeze one of them.
1 pkg. (16 0z.) penne pasta
2 lbs. Italian sausage
1 med. eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. paprika
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over med. heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the eggplant and onion in olive oil. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, basil and paprika; simmer partially covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add strained pasta and sausage and mix well. Spread half pasta mixture into a 9x13 greased baking dish. Spread with ricotta cheese and then top with half of mozzarella cheese. Add remaining pasta mixture and cover. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving and then ENJOY :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken 'n Stuffing Pot Pie

I grew up having a big Sunday dinner every week and I LOVED it. Now when I go home to England I can't wait for Sundays so I can enjoy the DELICIOUSNESS of my Mom's Sunday dinner. This recipe reminded me of all those yummy things that make Sunday dinner so I had to try it. This was another recipe from one my new cookbooks and it's a crock pot recipe which is always GREAT in my book. Having 5 kids is WONDERFUL but life gets crazy sometimes so it's nice to have meals I can prepare earlier in the day. This meal turned out REALLY good and we all really liked it. It's definitely something I will be making again. Some of my family weren't a fan of the green beans but you don't have to add those, you could leave them out or add a vegetable that your family like better.
8 boneless chicken thighs
6 slices precooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 bag (1 lb. size) baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise (about 2 c.)
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 4th or 8th
1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
1 jar (12 oz.) chicken gravy
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen green beans, thawed
6 T. butter or margarine, melted
7 oz. herb-seasoned stuffing cubes (about 4 2/3 c.)

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place chicken in crock pot and top with bacon, carrots, potatoes, marjoram and gravy. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Gently stir in thawed green beans to cooked chicken mixture. In a medium bowl mix melted butter and stuffing. Spoon stuffing over chicken mixture. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook for 15 more minutes and ENJOY :) If you don't have any stuffing cubes you could always make regular stuffing and just add it afterwards or to the crock pot.