Monday, October 31, 2011

Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
6 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 whole pork tenderloin (1 1/4 lbs)
1/2 fresh pineapple (trimmed)
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Prepare a dutch oven on stove top.  Preheat over medium heat with 2 Tbsp vegetable oil.  Place pork in hot oil in dutch oven.  Brown and cook pork 18 - 20 minutes turning 1/4 turn every 5 minutes.  

In a small bowl, combine hoisin, honey, ginger, and sesame oil.

With serrated knife, cut pineapple half into 4 wedges.  Rub cut side of pineapple with brown sugar.

Grill pineapple 10 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning over once.  While pineapple is grilling, brush pork with hoisin-honey glaze and turn frequently until temperature on thermometer is 155 degrees.  Transfer pork to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes.  Transfer pineapple to platter.

Thinly slice pork and serve with pineapple wedges.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch

Chex comes through with yet another really yummy snack!  This is sure to become a favorite at your house.  That's why I always double this recipe.

8 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Measure Chex into a LARGE bowl.

Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Once it begins to bubble, remove from heat and stir in baking soda until dissolved.  Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Spread mixture on cookie sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.  Break into bite size pieces.

Place vanilla baking chips in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave on High for about 1 minute, 30 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth (bowl will be hot).  Drizzle over snack.  Refrigerate until set.  Store in tightly covered container.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Onion Cream Cheese Spread

Looking for something unique to use on bagels the next time you serve them?  Here is a homemade onion cream cheese that is delicious and unlike anything you'll fine in the grocery store.

3 green onions (sliced in 1/8" slices)
1/2 cucumber (seeded and sliced)
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp salt

Using a food processor or hand mixer, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

This is another Philadelphia Cooking Creme recipe.  It sounded good, so tonight we gave it a try.

1 small onion (chopped)
2 tsp oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (drained)
1 tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme (divided)
1/2 cup Kraft Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook and stir onions in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat 4 - 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Stir in chicken, tomatoes, 3/4 cup cooking creme and shredded cheese.
spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up.
Place seam-sides down in 13 x 9" baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Top with remaining cooking creme.  Cover.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

I only made a couple of changes to this recipe.

I prepared the chicken breasts in my grill pan using the Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning (DELICIOUS!)
I added an extra tub of Philli Cooking Creme and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese for the top.
I poured one large can of Santa Fe Enchilada Sauce over the rolled up enchiladas before topping with cheese and baking.
I also topped the entire dish with a sprinkling of sliced green onions.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easy Lasagna Skillet

As the weather gets cooler, I find myself craving comfort food.  I especially like a good lasagna, but I'm not a huge fan of all the time and work that go into the preparation.  I found an awesome recipe on the back of the  Philadelphia Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme package for Easy Lasagna Skillet and we tried it for dinner tonight.  The recipe serves six.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup each chopped green and red peppers
1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
2 cups water
12 lasagna noodles (broken
1 tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme

Brown the meat with peppers in deep large nonstick skillet; drain.

Stir in sauce and water.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in noodles; cover.  Simmer on medium-low heat 15 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add cooking creme; swirl with spoon.  Remove from heat.  Let stand, covered 3 minutes.

For my crew of big eaters, I made a few changes.  I doubled the ground beef; replaced the peppers with one diced white onion; doubled the spaghetti sauce and water; and used one full 16 oz box of lasagna noodles.  Using just one tub of the cooking creme was still sufficient to create a creamy cheesy yummy texture.

This recipe was a hit with the whole family and definitely one we will serve again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas Party Food - Broccoli Tree

I found this recipe in Better Homes & Gardens a few years ago, and I use it every year now when entertaining for the holidays.

On a large platter, arrange broccoli florets in the shape of a tree.  Trim the tree with sweet yellow peppers cut in star shapes, radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a snowy base of cauliflower.  A broccoli-stem trunk and star-shaped dish filled with dip complete this edible treat.

I don't own a star-shaped dish, so I use a square bowl turned so a corner touches the top of the platter.  I fill it with my family's favorite Dip Dip.  I play with my veggies to come up with a decorative touch for the dip.

I don't like peppers, so I use carrots and cucumbers to accent the tomatoes on my tree.

Try this one for a party this year and make it your own!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Secrets of a Great Tossed Salad

I like food that not only tastes good, but looks great too.  We eat lots of salads at our house.  My Tossed Salad looks as great as it tastes when it's served in my Pampered Chef Bamboo Bowl.  I season the bowl with olive oil every two - three months.  

Begin your tossed salad by slicing a peeled clove of garlic in half and rubbing the inside of the bowl with it.  Don't miss a spot :)  This will flavor your lettuce and your dressing as your salad is tossed.  Add your torn (not cut) lettuce to your bowl - about 12 cups.  I like to use a combination of Romaine, Iceberg, and Boston red or green leaf lettuce.  Make sure your lettuce is washed well and spun dry.  My kids, even as old as they are, still like to use the salad spinner.  It's a great way to get the kids involved in cooking.

I cut two tomatoes into wedges and slice a small cucumber to add texture and crunch.  Add to your salad and toss. 

To dress the salad, drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil over your lettuce leaves and toss.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar and stir to dissolve.  Drizzle over the salad and toss again.  Finish with a squeeze of a fresh lemon.  Toss and serve.

It's not a complicated recipe, but it sure compliments a meal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pineapple and Poppyseed Salad

The weather heated up this weekend and this was part of dinner tonight.  I found this recipe at Fresh Express.  This is a good one.  Be sure to try it the next time you need a hot weather dinner for your family.

2 (6 oz)  bags Fresh Express Baby Spinach
1 pint strawberries (cleaned, hulled, and sliced)
1 cup blueberries (or you may use raspberries)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup fresh pineapple (cut into chunks)
1 cup Poppyseed dressing

Pour washed baby spinach into a large bowl.  Add berries and pineapple.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Toss with desired amount of dressing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Patriotic Layers - Jell-O Salad

This is a very pretty salad, and looks great when prepared and served in the Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl.

4 cup boiling water
1 pkg (8-serving size) Jell-O Berry Blue gelatin
1 pkg (8-serving size) Jell-O Strawberry gelatin
2 cups cold water
1 cup blueberries
1 tub (12 oz) Cool Whip
1 cup strawberries, sliced

Stir 2 cups of the boiling water into each flavor of dry gelatin mix in separate medium bowls and stir for 2 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved.  Stir 1 cup cold water into gelatin in each bowl.  Refrigerate blue gelatin for 1 1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression).  Let Strawberry gelatin stand at room temperature.

Add blueberries to thickened blue gelatin; stir.  Pour into 4 - 6 quart glass bowl.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set, but not firm (gelatin should stick to finger when touched.)  Spread with 3 1/2 cups of the whipped topping; refrigerate.  Meanwhile, refrigerate strawberry gelatin 1/12 hours or until thickened.  Stir in strawberries; spoon over whipped topping layer.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.  Top with remaining whipped topping.  Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanksgiving - Cranberry Pear Apple Chutney

Those of you who know me, know I look for Thanksgiving recipes all year long.  Here is this year's Chutney recipe.

1 large white onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
12 oz (one bag) fresh cranberries
2 medium  Granny Smith apples (chopped)
2 medium Bartlett pears (chopped)
2 peeled and chopped tangerines
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Cook and stir onion in hot oil in large skillet until onion is tender.

Add remaining ingredients; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill before serving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

World Series Recipes - Bloody Mary

This is a perfect drink for a Cardinals World Series game . . . it's red and it's good!

1 - 48 oz can or bottle of V8 Vegetable Juice
1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp grated horseradish
10 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
16 oz Vodka
8 celery stalks for garnish

Mix all ingredients together except ice, vodka, and celery.  Fill each glass with ice, 2 oz vodka, and about 3/4 cup of mix.  Stir to combine.  Garnish with celery.

Note:  This is a good drink even without the vodka.  Sober host = good!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Grilled Cheese Croutons

These crunchy croutons go perfectly with the recipe below for Creamy Tomato Soup.  This is another Dierbergs recipe.  Thanks for sharing these great ideas Dierbergs!

2 Tbsp butter (softened)
1/4 tsp dried basil
4 slices artisan bread or French baguette
1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

In small bowl, stir together butter and basil.  Spread over both sides of bread slices; place on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Broil 6" from heat source until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side..  Sprinkle cheese over top; broil until cheese melts, about 30 seconds.  Cool slightly before cutting into 1" squares.  Sprinkle over Creamy Tomato Soup.  Makes about 36 croutons.

Creamy Tomato Soup - A Classic

The weather is getting cooler and I find myself thinking of soup more often.  One of my favorites for lunch or dinner is a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup.  I found this recipe in Dierbergs Everybody Cooks (Sept 2011) and it's perfect!

1 Tbsp butter
1 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup half-and-half
Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe will follow)

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce; cook stirring often until onion wilts, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Use immersion blender to puree mixture or transfer mixture to work bowl of food processor fitted with steel knife blade; process until pureed.  Return to pan; stir in half-and-half; cook until heated through.  Ladle into serving bowls.  Sprinkle with Grilled Cheese Croutons.  (I'll post that recipe next.)

For a perfectly hearty meal, add a grilled cheese sandwich.    Mmm Good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seven Flavor Pound Cake

This is a totally awesome recipe!  If you're trying to diet, don't make this.  It's irresistible!

1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
5 eggs (beaten)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp butter extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp almond extract

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp butter extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp almond extract

In a large bowl cream together the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Stir flavorings and extracts into milk.  Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Beat after each addition.  Spoon mixture into greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.    Cool for 10 - 15 minutes in pan and then remove to wire rack.

Make seven Flavor Drizzle - In a saucepan combine the sugar, water and extracts.  Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm.  Pour over cooled cake.  Pour slowly so the drizzle can be absorbed by the cake.