Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Chops & Sweet Potato Puree

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!!!

This past weekend just flew by! Who else thought so? We were able to enjoy some of the last nice days of the fall before winter hits. Watch the Vikings lose to a team they should have easily beat and I got to join some of my girlfriends for brunch! We had wonderful food and conversations! I even tried a Mamosa, which I've never had before and a Bloody Mary, which I HAVE tried Both were super tasty! I love brunch, but always get way too full!!!

Anyways, just wanted to share with you a recipe of Saturday nights' dinner! Hope you test it out as this puree was absolutely DIVINE  Even my hubby thought so, and he normally ins't a big fan! Hope you have a fabulous week!

Oven Roasted Pork Chops

3 Thick Cut Pork Chops
2-3 Tlb. Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Wrap tin foil around handle so you can put in oven. Once the oil is heated, add seasoned pork chops and cook on both sides for 2 minutes.
3. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and remove from pan to allow to rest.

Appricot Sauce

1/2 c. Appricot Jam
1/2 Juice of Lemon
1 Tlb. Honey

1. In the same pan used for pork chops, heat over medium.
2. Add jam, lemon juice & honey.
3. Wisk together until bubbling and thickened. Pour over pork chops & puree.

Sweet Potato Puree
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & 1" Cubed
2 Tlb. Butter
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tlb. Honey
2 Tlb. Maple Syrup

1. Boil Potatoes until tender.
2. Drain & Transfer to stand mixer with paddle attachment.
3. Mix potatoes for 2 minutes until creamy.

4. Add butter and continue to mix. Add Salt, mix. Add Honey, mix, Add Syrup, mix. DONE! Sweet with a touch of saltiness!!! Super yum!

Until next time...


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apple Pie & Butter Crust

Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday!!!

Today I'm totally draggin', but even though I just want to curl up onto a ball and sleep the day away, sadly, that is never an option. I did this to myself and I'm just gonna have to suffer the consequences! LOL. Long story short, I stayed up way too late last night, and after work got invited to play some cards, which I decided to do because they always ask and I never take them up on the offer. Well, 2:20 in the morning and I get a call from hubby on my way home, totally worried, as he should be, wondering where I was. I was so sorry that I hadn't called him or texted him and that I left the ringer off the phone. I was a poor excuse for a wife. I've never done anything like that, but my logic was that he goes to sleep at 11 and won't even know I'm missing, so why wake him up and get him worried. Yes I know ladies and gents that are rolling your eyes, I didn't even think about anything else and I really should have. So needless to say, I wanted to get out of the dog house. I put my mind to work and came up with the perfect solution!

APPLE PIE!!! Isn't the expression "A way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? I think that is true because hubby is no longer mad at me, which I hate...and we have a warm apple pie for our bellies!!! Yeah me! LOL...Wasn't my brightest moment over the past 10 years, but allas, I am still learning! Hehehe...Anyways, I hope you find the pie recipe to your liking and can put it to good use!!! Have a wonderful day!

Apple Pie: Butter Crust
{enough for top & bottom}
2-1/2 c. Flour
1 c. Butter
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tlb. Sugar
5 Tlb. Ice Water

1. Freeze your butter for 30-45 min. When you are ready to use it, cut into cubes.
2. In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt & sugar for about 1 min.
3. Add 1 stick of butter cubed, pulse until crumbly then add the 2nd stick of butter and pulse until crumbly.
4. Add 5 Tlb. water, doesn't have to mix completely after each addition. On the 5th Tlb., wait until a ball forms and then turn off the processor. Dump out onto a lightly floured smooth surface. I use my stove for all of my needs because most things stick to other surfaces in my opinion...You don't need to kneed your dough, just divide and form into balls, wrap in plastic wrap and then put in the fridge for about 30-60 min. If you are going to save the dough for later, I would put it in a freezer bag after wrapping and then it can store for up to 3 months.
5. When ready to use, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before you need it. Use however you want!!!

Apple Pie: Filling
{Makes 1 Pie}

10 Apples, peeled & sliced
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
3/4 c. Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tlb. Apple Cider
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 Tlb. Sugar
1. Peal, de'core, & slice your apples. I buy 2 different kinds of home grown apples, 1 sweet and 1 sour, just my preference. I don't use regular eating apples for my pies.
2. In a LARGE bowl, combine apple slices, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, & apple cider, let sit while you prepare the crust.
3. Roll out 1/2 of your dough {1/4" thick} large enough for your pie plate so that it can overlap the edges. Using your rolling pin, transfer to your pie plate. Press down and to the sides, poke holes in the bottom with a fork.
4. Fill with apple pie filling.
5. For the top, use your imagination. Roll out the 2nd 1/2 of your dough and either cut into shapes, cover directly and cut wholes over the top, or design a top that is just for you. Be creative and have fun with it! That is my favorite part! Once you've got your top covered, lightly coat with egg-wash and then sprinkle with sugar. I have a sweet tooth, so I think I use 3 Tlb. of
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 min.

You could use this pie crust recipe for any flavor of pie, the sky is the limit!

Until Next Time...


Monday, October 8, 2012

Apple Pie Bread Pudding w/Maple Caramel Cream Sauce

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!

I love the fall. It provides such beautiful canvas of colors, textures, layers and smells. It is my absolute favorite and when asked what I love most, I say everything because it is the truth. If you are in a rut, the fall weather will bring excitement because you never know if you have to wear shorts or layers. You never know if you can go biking or snowmobiling  You just never know what tomorrow will bring, but you can enjoy the ride while it lasts!!!

So lately, I've been on a real fall baking tangent. I think it is only because I'm obsessed with Apples, Pumpkins, Cinnamon, etc. LOL...I really hope I don't gain a ca-gillion pounds because my euphoria with fall!!! Hehehe...

Anyways, one of the recipes I just tried this past weekend was Bread Pudding. I've never made it or tasted it. I've heard of it plenty of times on the food network because a lot of contestants make it on Chopped which I am addicted to. I remember them making a basic custard and then throwing it in the oven. So, I decided to take a stab at it while I was shopping at the grocery store and saw french bread on clearance for $1. I thought to myself " can do this..." Sorry, I really couldn't help myself!

Anyways, the recipe turned out to be addicting, even the sauce I threw together to go on top!!! I hope you enjoy!

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

1 long French Bread
1-1/2 c. Whole Milk
3/4 c. Apple Cider
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tlbs. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. Sugar
1 Tart Apple
1 Sweet Apple
1/2 c. Raisins {optional}

1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cider, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt & sugar. Set aside.
3. Cut bread into cubes of desired size. Add to milk mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1-5 hours.
4. Remove from fridge and add to lightly greased ramekins {if using ramekins, bake in a waterbath} or lightly greased baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
5. Serve with your choice of topping. I made a cream sauce to go on top, the recipe follows, but I also tried icecream, and a butterscotch caramel sauce mostly used as an icecream topping...all have gone down deliciously well and I'm not ashamed to say I will be trying all 3 at the same time!!! LOL...

Maple Caramel Cream Sauce

1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Whole Milk {heavy cream if you prefer}
2 Tlb. Maple Syrup
1/2 c Sour Cream {Greek Yogurt would work too}

1. In a saucepan, heat milk & sugar until smooth & creamy and thickened.
2. Add Maple Syrup and simmer 1 minute longer, it will rise in volume & bubble, don't be scared!
3. Remove from heat & cool 5 min.
4. In a small bowl, mix sour cream until creamy, add caramel mixture and whisk until smooth and combined! If you have clumps, just mix a bit more.
5. Pour over warmed bread pudding and enjoy!!!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Venison Charizo Lasagna

Hey everyone!

Happy Friday!

Well, a few weeks ago was opening Bow Hunting Season in MN. Around here, especially in this house, it is a big deal. Almost as if it is it's own holiday! So needless to say, our freezer is always full of deer meat and I'm always trying to figure out how to use it so I can make room for my own deer {The one I will get come gun hunting...hubby and I are always competing on who will get the biggest far, we are tied}

Anyways, I came up with this very delicious, very healthy recipe for Lasagna. I hope you decide to give it a try. You can probably incorporate any type of ground meet and have it be just as tastey, if you don't like venison that is...

Venison & Charizo Lasagna
1 lb. Ground Venison
1/4 lb. Italian Charizo
2 Tlb. Olive Oil
1 handful Fresh Basil, Chopped
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Onion Powder
2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Beefy Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Sauce
2 c. Ricotta Cheese
1 lb. Fresh Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
9 Lasagna Noodles, halfway cooked
1. Combine ground venison & charizo, mix in basil & oregano.
2. Brown meat in 1 Tlb. Olive Oil, drain & set aside.
3. In same pan, cook onions & garlic in 1 Tlb. Olive Oil. Add remaining seasonings & cook until tender {about 5 minutes}. Mix with meat. Set aside.
4. Boil Lasagna noodles about half way done. Set aside.
5. Now it's time to assemble. Using a 3 qt. baking dish, layer the bottom with meat, diced tomatoes ricotta cheese, drizzle of tomato sauce and noodles. Repeat 1 more time then layer with 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Layer 2 more times and top with 2nd 1/2 of mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Nutritional Facts: 450 calories, 22 g of fat, and 34 g of protein per serving. Serves 6-8.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Caillou & Gilbert Go Camping...

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!!!

We had a very wonderful weekend here in central MN! The weather was perfect, the colors beautiful, celebrated Adam turning 3, and the Vikings wining an NFC North Game, keeping them in the #1 spot! I'm not sure how a weekend could have been much better without having to win the lottery! LOL...

We celebrated Adam's Birthday Saturday evening in the backyard around the bonfire surrounded by family. I love relaxing gatherings! We had a camp theme, which worked out perfectly with all the kiddos running around and enjoying themselves. In all the celebratory glory, I did forget 2 very important things...1. I forgot to recharge BOTH of my camera batteries, so was only able to capture half of the party and 2. We did not have room in our bellies for s'mores! How can you not have a s'more at a camping themed birthday party?!?!?! Oh well, now I have tons of pantry items to makes s'mores for a lifetime! LOL...

To help us top of the camping themed birthday party, we had a Marble Sheetcake, with Dark Chocolate Ganache Buttercream Frosting and Fondant Figures/Decorations...I think it turned out fabulous and Adam was so happy to eat his Caillou & Gilbert decorations!!!

Recipe for frosting can be found here...

Until next time...