Monday, October 31, 2011

Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I know it's Halloween.  I should be posting some kind of gruesome thing to eat.  Like those witches fingers or eyeball cupcakes or something.  But alas, I have no such post.  If it makes you feel better, it's a dead pig. ;)  
When I was growing up we used to eat pork chops with cream of mushroom soup over rice quite often and I loved it.  This is kind of a play on that but I think tastes a little fresher and is a bit healthier. We had it with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes but you could serve it with white or brown rice.  I had a pork roast in the freezer that I cut into pork chops but you could definitely buy them already cut.  This is a pretty painless recipe with few ingredients and not a lot of supervision.  I hope you like it as much as we did. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


As you can see, I am not talking about those biscuit things, I am talking about fried bread.   I didn't know there were two different kinds of 'scones' for a while, I thought this was the only one and it should be.  I love scones by themselves with honey butter but I also love them for a few other things.  I wanted to get this recipe on here so I could link to it when talking about the other things. :)  They really are pretty easy to make and so worth the effort.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have been trying to make delicious cornbread, unsuccessfully, for at least 10 years.  I have always thought that things were better when made from scratch, until I tried making my own cornbread.  I have tried at least a dozen different recipes, with a huge array of ingredients including actual corn, but they all end up disappointing me.  Even recipes with rave reviews from others weren't quite what I was looking for.  Until yesterday.  I think this is the start of the rest of my life.  Either angels were shining down on my kitchen yesterday or I have finally found a cornbread recipe that was made just for me (and maybe you).  It is moist yet still somehow crumbly like cornbread should be, has an amazingly simple list of ingredients and it has the taste I have been searching for.  We had it with Chili last night and it. was. good.  Usually when I make cornbread with chili the only reason I eat it is because it has chili on it.  I would eat this cornbread by itself (and I did) or just with a little honey or butter, or honey butter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


 A couple people have brought to my attention that I need more healthy recipes on the blog. So I thought I'd post a recipe for chili.  With sour cream and cheese on top. :)  You can leave it off if you find it offensive.  However, I don't find it offensive, I find it lovely.  I really like this chili recipe for a few reasons.  It's really easy, it really fresh tasting and delicious, it's really healthy (if you just eat the chili by itself), it doesn't take a ton of ingredients, and it keeps so well.  Leftover chili is just as delicious, or maybe more so than the first day.  Tonight, we served it with cornbread and can I just say that it's the first cornbread I have made from scratch that I LOVED, but more on that tomorrow.  Chili is the kind of thing that would be good to double the batch and freeze half.  And I think I have a recipe coming up that you can use the frozen half for. ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bake Sale

There is an organization here, at the university, for the dental wives.  I am a bit anti-social so I haven't really been involved thus far.  I have gotten to know a couple of the other wives and one of them was in charge of getting people to bake goods for the bake sale.  I guess they were having trouble getting volunteers, so I started feeling a little guilty after the third or fourth email.  I really should be better at being involved.  And they are trying to raise money to make blankets for sick children (or something like that).  I caved and called her today to tell her I could bake something.  
The treats needed to be individually wrapped and each bag had to be worth a dollar.  I am just glad I don't have to sit at the table and sell them because what I think is worth a dollar and what someone else thinks is worth a dollar, might be very different.  I decided to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies, with orange frosting, of course.  I tried to make them festive without being cheesy.  (I always feel cheesy next to these professional people)  I am pretty happy with how they turned out.  I think they look like fall, but maybe a little simple and elegant?  Yeah, that's a question.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Struesel Bagels

 Let me just tell you, I started out on this bagel quest with the idea of making a pumpkin bagel.  There are a few recipes out there for pumpkin bagels, but apparently, they aren't for me.  There were 4 attempts made, and none were successful enough to make me crave them or even share the recipe.  And that was my lesson.  Just because I am in a pumpkin craze right now, doesn't mean everything needs to be pumpkin.  Some things just aren't meant to be pumpkin (for me anyway).  I did add a pumpkin crumb topping to some of these bagels, and they were good, but the pumpkin flavor wasn't particularly strong and I liked the apple crumb better after taste testing.  I did do some messing with the cream cheese that was very successful, but that's another post.  And these bagels are good enough, you don't even need the cream cheese.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fudge Covered Frozen Bananas

Okay, before you get all judgmental with the frozen bananas in the Fall, let me just tell you, it's still been 90 degrees here during the day!  I really keep thinking fall is on it's way.  I am really ready for sweaters and hot cocoa and soup (which we have been having anyway), but Mother Nature is not cooperating.  That being said, I would probably eat a frozen banana even if I was frozen.  I love them.  So even though it's fall, maybe there is someone else out there like me who might enjoy this post. (fingers crossed)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bread Machine: White Bread

 My bread machine and I have been separated for about a year and half.  I had forgotten how much I missed her.  Even though I have a mixer, I still use my bread machine enough that I miss her when she's gone.  I love the convenience of it.  The other day I wanted to have soup and bread for dinner, but also had to take Hadlee to a dentist appointment and wouldn't be home to complete all the steps of making bread.  I almost picked up a loaf of french bread when I went to the store that morning, but then realized, I can just use my bread machine.  It is so nice to be able to put the ingredients in, press start and know that when I get back from wherever, we can walk in to the smell of fresh bread.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I have been wanting to make a potato soup for a couple weeks.  It's been rolling around in my mind and today when I was at the grocery store, they had 10 lb bags of potatoes on sale.  I think it was a sign that tonight was the night.  I went into my kitchen, annoyed by the thought of trying to find a recipe, and decided to just go for it.  I wanted a potato soup that was good and cheesy and comforting.  Some days, when I go into my kitchen without a plan, it can end up being disastrous, but today, luckily, was not one of those days. I asked Tyler after we ate if he thought the soup was blog-worthy and he didn't hesitate at all before saying, "Yes!"  (I thought it was, I just wanted a second opinion.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Crumble Topping

I have been waiting to make this for about a week now.  My sister-in-law sent me a link with the recipe, knowing that I am as in love with pumpkin right now as she is.  
I woke up this morning, freezing in my bed with a little bit of a sore throat and this was the perfect breakfast to start off the day.  There is something soothing about baking and the smells that come with it.  This smelled delicious, like fall in my oven.  And a warm, yummy breakfast was just what my scratchy throat needed. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, Brownies (Truffle Brownies)

{Photos updated 4/9/2013}
I am a bit of a brownie connoisseur.  I love brownies.  Especially these brownies.  I think some days I might leave my husband for them.  That's how much I love them.  I have another recipe that is a close second to this little gem.  It was my tried and true recipe for a few years until I found this one just a couple months ago.  The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate.  I've used both bittersweet and semi-sweet with amazing results.  They will still turn out decadent and fudgey and lovely.  That's how I like my brownies, super chocolatey and fudgey and delicious. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

I have been out of pumpkin and waiting, not so patiently, to go grocery shopping.   I want to make so many pumpkin things I can't think straight.  Saturday, min dreams came true and I finally got some pumpkin!!!  And I decided I am going to make it a goal to add pumpkin to something each day.  I started off this morning doing just that with our regular pancake recipe.  We changed it a bit to accommodate the pumpkin and it was quite a hit.  Such a hit, in fact, that I tried for a second pumpkin experiment later today (just in case I was on a roll).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Almost Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Burritos

I don't think I can call this actual Cafe Rio burritos since I didn't get the recipe from the restaurant itself. When I first got this recipe (from a friend at church), I didn't even know what Cafe Rio was.  I was sheltered.  I made it anyway because it seemed to be a big deal and I have been making it regularly ever since.  I have changed it a bit and I think I have it about how I like it. So if you like Cafe Rio (or Surfin' Tacos for my Hawaii friends), then you might like this.  The original recipe makes a ton and calls for a 5 lb pork roast.  I have scaled it back to be a bit more realistic.  Today when I made it, I only used a 1 lb pork roast and it was still plenty for our family of 4, leftovers included.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Is there really a reason to make homemade tortillas?  Especially when they sell the uncooked variety in the store now?  I really don't know if there is, unless you are an idiot like me or you live in a place where you can't find the stinking uncooked tortillas in the store (Hawaii).  Now that I am back on the mainland, I walk up, look at them and think to myself, "Do I really want to spend the 3 dollars on tortillas when I have everything I need to make them at home?"  Sometimes the answer is, "Yes! I really want to just buy them!"  But sometimes I decide I have time to make them.  They really aren't that hard to make, the question is mainly about time. I have made them a few times and this last time they were my best result so far.  I think I figured out a few tricks and tips that are worth sharing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Is there anything to say here really?  This is my favorite doughnut recipe so far, they are so tasty and light.

The original recipe is insanely huge.  I really don't recommend making that much unless you are planning on opening a drive up window, it mkes 4 DOZEN DOUGHNUTS!!  I halved the recipe (of course) and I still ended up sticking a cookie sheet of dough in the freezer because it was still too much for us to eat.  And we weren't dainty about it (not that we ever are).  I think next time I will try cutting the recipe down to 1/3.   I used bread flour this last time instead of all purpose and I think it made them a little easier to work with when it came to frying them.   It's easiest if you have a fryer, but I have done it before in just a pan and some oil and thermometer.  I really don't recommend frying anything without a thermometer to make sure you are around the right temperature.  Just try to get it at the right temp and keep it there, it might take some adjusting.   I have included a recipe for the glazed (our favorite) and cinnamon sugar. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken

This might be one of the easiest recipes I make and it might also be Tyler's favorite.  When I first started making Teriyaki Chicken, there were quite a few ingredients that went into the teriaki sauce.  I have since realized that it's so much more simple than I was making it and we like it better.  For 2 1/2 years my son was on a gluten free diet and it's hard to find gluten free teriyaki sauce (sometimes it's also hard to find gluten free soy sauce).  This was a recipe we could all eat and we all like it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sour Cream Muffins

Our water was going to be off for a while today and we didn't have our regular breakfast items.  I didn't want to dirty a ton of dishes cooking and eating.  I was trying to come up with a solution, but I was also feeling like I wanted something different.  I was going to make biscuits and started flipping through a cookbook, looking for biscuit recipes.  Then I saw these muffins.  Even though we are getting low on some staples, I happen to have everything to make them and I don't make a lot of muffins so it fit all my criteria.  I had every thing I needed, and it was something new.  I added mini chocolate chips but the recipe talks about mint chips being delicious, I might try that next time.  Not that we had any complaints at all the way we ate them.  And boy did they go fast.  I was a little worried when I tasted the batter that the sour cream would be too much for my kids, but it's wasn't so.  My kids had each eaten 3 in no time (and I might have eaten a few too).  I thought I'd share since they were super easy and super good.  You know something is easy when you don't even have to dirty the bowl for your mixer!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings

{Photos updated 3/10/2013}

I originally saw a version of this recipe on America's Test Kitchen and then got on the Internet to find it.  I made it the original way a few times and it certainly was delicious.  It just seemed like a little too much.  Too much time, too much fat.  The original recipe calls for bone in, skin on, chicken thighs.  Okay, that is something I never have on hand.  I really like to keep recipes down to things I would normally buy and use, so I didn't love having to buy skin-on thighs for this.  You brown the skin on the chicken in batches and then wait for them to cool, remove the skin and then cook them in the stew for an hour and then take them out and get all the meat off the bone, and on and on.  Don't get me wrong, I am totally willing to spend my life in the kitchen if it's necessary.  In this case, I just wasn't sure it was.  I decided I still liked the taste of the dish and the idea of it; I just wanted it to be a bit more streamlined and healthy. (That way I can have dessert too.Ü)  I still recommend the full version because it is really good, but this is the version we make most often.  It can be on the table in about 30 minutes and is much easier to execute.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

 {Photo updated 3/10/2013}
I love mashed potatoes.  If you ask Hadlee, I love everything and I always say everything is delicious (Hence, the blog name!).  But that's not really true, I just usually don't make things I don't like.  Every now and then, it's kind of nice to be the adult.  And as the adult, I pair mashed potatoes with everything I possibly can.  Luckily, my family likes them as much as I do. :)  I really don't peel potatoes because I spent a childhood being a potato slave, but feel free.  Sometimes I use regular russet potatoes but red are my favorite.

Hamburger Soup

This is a great soup and in our rotation of favorites.   It's really quick, easy and inexpensive.  The original recipe calls for ground beef, but I usually substitute ground turkey.  The recipe is intended to use garden vegetables but I rarely have since we haven't really had a garden.  If you have garden-fresh corn and tomatoes I bet it would be even better.

Hamburger Harvest Soup
1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 med onion, chopped
6 cups water
8 beef bullion cubes (or tsps bullion, or substitute water and bullion for beef broth)
2 carrots, chopped
14.5 oz can stewed, diced Italian style tomatoes (or 1.5 cups fresh tomatoes, diced)
2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn
3-4 diced potatoes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 T sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
Serve with mozzarella or Mexican-style cheese.

Over med-high heat, brown turkey and onion until turkey is done and onion is tender.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8

Great served with Dinner Rolls.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Can you hear angels singing a hallelujah chorus?  I totally can.  Or maybe it's the sound of the cinnamon roll begging me to eat it.  When I have desserts around, they call to me.  That is why I half recipes whenever I can.  When they call to me, I eat them and I don't need to eat them.   I halved this recipe but once again was upset that I did.  I thought, my little family doesn't want a whole pan of cinnamon rolls laying around.  That was a stupid thought.  I took them out of the oven the other night at about 7 and by 9 the next morning they were gone.  And I only ate one.  The men in my life were not happy with me for cutting the recipe in half.  Calvin wanted more and Tyler said it thought it was silly I did that.  (Honestly, I was a little mad at myself.)  I have tried a few cinnamon roll recipes and this is my favorite so far.  I am including two different kinds of frosting so you can decide what kind of person you want to be.  The cream cheese frosting is a little more subtle and makes the cinnamon roll not quite as rich.  But if you like the kind of cinnamon rolls you might get at the mall or the airport, I would go with the non-cream cheese version if I were you.  The icing runs down to the insides of the roll and it's pretty darn good.   I can't decide who I am, so I frequently make both.  This is another recipe from my old West Bend bread maker that I have adapted slightly.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I am not a huge Mexican food fan.  There are a couple things I do like and this is one of them.  But let's face it, I would eat just about anything if you put cheese, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo on it.  And when you go somewhere to eat and ask for guacamole, they usually give you about a teaspoon.  When you make it at home, you can have as much sour cream and guacamole as you want with out feeling criminal. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011


I have been on the biggest Avocado kick the past little while.  I am obsessed with putting avocado or guacamole on everything.  I think it's because avocados are so good for you and I only eat things that are healthy. (I can't even type that without laughing)  It does make me feel good that something I am eating is healthy.  It's good and easy and we know I like that.  I just put everything in my food processor and push the button.  I make this guacamole recipe for a lot of things, some of which are coming soon....

Corn Chowder Bread Bowls

I decided I wanted soup in a bread bowl.  I can't think of a more Fall-like meal!  And I thought I should redeem myself after posting about ice cream.  This soup is super easy, which I like, it doesn't call for a ton of ingredients, which I also like, and it doesn't take long to make.  If you don't like corn, I would just stop reading right here and find a different kind of chowder to put in your bread bowl.  This soup has three different kids of corn.  Yeah, when I say it's corn chowder, I mean it.  I happen to love corn, so it doesn't bother me one bit. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Shakes

It was never my intention to put this on the blog.  Not right now anyway.  Fall is here!  It's time for soup and bread and all forms of baked goods, not time for ice cream!  I have to admit though, I eat ice cream year round.  I actually don't strictly follow any of the season rules.  I will eat soup in the summertime and lemonade in winter.  I know, I am outrageous, right?  Practically a daredevil. 
Last night we had these strawberry shakes.  They are so easy I felt silly even posting the recipe.  Maybe each month I should have some kind of crazy recipe that throws everyone off.  This is mine for the month.
It's probably too simple.
Probably too cold.
Or maybe it will be life changing. ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pico de Gallo

I didn't know it was spelled like that, I just educated myself the other day when I emailed this recipe to a friend.  Now I wonder if I am saying it right.....
If you had a garden and you have tonz of tomatoes lying around then I am so jealous of you. 
I wish I did, I love tomatoes. 
This is an easy recipe for fresh salsa.  I have some recipes I want to post later that this goes really well with but we also just eat it sometimes with chips. 
I really wish someone could send some garden tomatoes to me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fried Rice

I love Chinese food.  Well, probably not real Chinese food, more like the fake-American-kind-of-Chinese food.  I bought a Chinese cookbook once and was a bit disappointed.  Um where were the recipes for all my favorite dishes?  The book was filled with more authentic recipes that called for things I had never heard of and had no idea how to get.  This recipe is really easy with simple to find ingredients and it's the best fried rice I have been able to make at home.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Croissants + Chocolate = Love, step by step

{Some photos updated 4/17/2013}
About a month ago, I decided I really wanted a croissant.  The only problem is, I am living in a new place that, for the most part, scares the tar out of me.  It's way bigger than I am used to and it stresses me out a little to go anywhere. (I will get better, I promise)  So, not only do I not like to go anywhere but I also don't know anything about this place, such as:  Where to go to get a good croissant.  Then, I realized, other people make them or they wouldn't be available, why can't I just make them?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 {Photos updated 4/6/2013}
I can safely say that cookies are a big weakness of mine.  I keep posting about them, I can't stop making them, isn't it obvious?  I have tried A LOT of chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Why?  Probably because I am some kind of freak.  I have a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes that I like, but this one is my favorite.  I found it about 3 years ago and ever since, it's been very reliable.  It seems like everywhere we have lived, humid or not, these cookies turn out just how I want them every time. (Unless I do something ridiculous, like forget part of the recipe.)  If you like your cookies soft on the inside with a bit of texture on the outside, you might like these cookies as much as I do, if that's even possible.
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