Follower Friday: Pork Chops, String Beans, and Red Potatoes

It's the second Follower Friday!
Today, my oldest sister, Adrienne is going to share a recipe.  
As the oldest of six children and mother of five, she has learned to be an awesome multi-tasker.  Every time I talk to her she's helping one of her kids with homework while folding laundry and vacuuming.  (It's true I tell you!) We're 11 years apart but we couldn't be closer.  She's constantly looking out for me by trying to find ways to encourage and support me.  And she is an amazing cook!  She subscribed to Rachel Ray's magazine for a year and always has a new recipe to share with me from Pinterest.  So she knows what's up!

Big sis, it's all yours!

My goal is to be able to grow food and use it!  I freeze, can, and cut coupons as much as possible to feed my large family of mostly boys.  So this meal is made up of several items from my garden.

What You Need:
8 Pork chops
Lawry's Santa Fe Chili Marinade
1 lb of green beans (from my garden!) 
1 T of crushed garlic
3 T olive oil
handful of diced almonds
10-15 lg red potatoes (from my garden too!)
3-4 T butter
2-3 T parsley
salt and pepper to taste
 Marinade defrosted pork chops for 30 minutes.  (I threw them into a big pan and covered them with the 30 minute marinade.)  Then my husband grilled them until they were done! (not sure about time, my hubby does all the grilling!  Maybe 15-20 minutes?)

Cut red potatoes into bite size chunks.  Boil until fork tender.  Drain.  Add butter, parsley, salt and pepper.

In a cast iron pan, heat oil and crushed garlic.  Once garlic begins to smell, add green beans.  Saute beans for 5 minutes.  Throw in a handful of diced almonds.  Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

Put it all together and you have yourself a delicious home cooked meal!
See!  Told ya she's good.  Enjoy!
And I hope you're following this blog - I know you want to share one of your favorite recipes too!


a little variety

As much as I love food and cooking, sometimes I'm at a complete loss for what to prepare for dinner.  Ever had that feeling?  It usually happens on a day where I didn't shower until after lunch, gave my children anything they wanted to keep everyone happy, and then realized I had an hour until dinner.  On days like those, I usually make something like this:

I open my fridge/freezer, piece together 4-5 items and call it dinner.  And actually, it turns out to be one of my favorite meals of the week.  I have this obsession with variety.  I like having as much food on hand as possible.  What if my husband is craving cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting?  Or what if I want chicken tacos with all the flavorful toppings?  See...it's important I have all those ingredients on hand.

You should try it.  Don't stress about having a recipe followed, menu planned meal.  Make dinner in an hour with random food from your kitchen.  It's actually really fun...

Monday Night Surprise
Baked chicken breast smothered in barbeque sauce and onions (350 for an hour)
Yellow squash from a good friend sauteed in butter and salt
Grilled cheese quesadilla
Cut up strawberries (my kids favorite! We eat them with every meal)
Chopped romaine lettuce with mozarella and cheddar cheese, tossed in Ranch dressing.



Sweet and Sour Chicken

Happy Monday!  Did you have a good weekend?  Did you try Caley's cashew chicken?  I hope so!

For today, I have a yummy recipe that my Mom taught me how to make.  It's insanely delicious and whenever I make it my husband comments that we're having Panda Express for dinner!  Yeah we like cheap Chinese.  But I promise this tastes BETTER than cheap Chinese :)

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Two medium size chicken breasts
2 chicken bouillon cubes
6 T. ketchup
6 T. water
1 C. Sugar
4 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. vinegar
2 eggs
And more cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine chicken bouillon cubes, ketchup, water, sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and vinegar in one bowl. Set aside.  Crack two eggs into bowl and mix. Pour a hefty amount of cornstarch into another bowl.

Cut chicken breasts into small pieces (strips, chunks, w/e). Dip chicken into egg, then corn starch and put into pan with oil already heated. Cook each piece of chicken until light brown on each side. Place cooked chicken into large casserole dish. Repeat until all chicken is deliciously cooked! Pour the sauce over the chicken. Put casserole dish into oven and bake for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare your ham fried rice!

Ham Fried Rice
1 cup of chunked ham
 (I use leftover from a ham roast.  You don't HAVE to put in ham. 
I make fried rice more without the ham.)
1 cup rice
2 cups of water
2 T. of diced onions
2 T. of oil
2 eggs
1 T. soy sauce

Combine water and rice in saucepan over medium heat.  Once it comes to a boil, lower temperature, cover and set timer for 20 minutes.  Heat oil, onions and ham in a frying pan over medium heat until light brown.  Move ingredients to the side of the pan.  Crack two eggs onto opposite side of the pan and scramble the eggs until thoroughly cooked.  Mix eggs in with the other ingredients.  Turn off heat.  Pour fully cooked rice into the pan.  Add soy sauce and stir together.

Enjoy your chicken and rice.
(I forgot to take a picture of the finished project!  Next time...)


First Follower Friday: Cashew Chicken

Remember when I said I had some exciting things planned?  Well this is one of them! Each Friday I will choose one of my followers (are you following this blog yet?!) to submit a favorite recipe to appear on my blog. I'll do a little spotlight on that person and then post their recipe.  

Pretty exciting huh? See, I'm ALL about learning from you guys, too! 

So for today, my first Follower Friday goes to Caley. She's actually the person who inspired me to create this blog. We've been friends since freshmen year of high school. She's one of my heroes. She's kind, loving, and insanely creative! She works and writes for HowDoesShe.com. Her style is gorgeous and I wish I had her ability to design and decorate practically anything!  

Take it away, Caley.


Thanks Tiff, you're the sweetest and I'm so excited about this blog! Woo woo!
Today I'm going to share one of my family's favorite meals...

Cashew Chicken

Without turning the heat on, combine into a wok or stir-fry pan:

1 tbsp garlic or garlic powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water

Mix together, add 3-4 cubed chicken breasts and turn on the heat to medium-high. Stir often while the sauce cooks into the chicken...make sure the chicken gets completely cooked.

When cooked, add 1 diced green pepper and 1 can sliced water chestnuts... (you can also add 1/2 medium onion and 3 green onions if you/your family likes them).
One minute before you're ready to serve it, add the cashews. If you add them too early they might get soggy and they also get flaming hot! (Watch your tongues!)

Add some rice and you're all done! It's definitely a crowd pleaser and a delicious left-over meal! 

I hope it becomes one your favorites too! Enjoy everyone!

Would you like to share your family's favorite recipe? 
Become a follower and let me know! I'd love to have you!


Miss P's Birthday Cupcakes

For my daughter's first birthday I made fun white cupcakes with vanilla icing and pink sprinkles.

Silver White Cupcakes from Betty Crocker
2 1/4 c. flour
1 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening (I used butter)
1 1/4 c. milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill two muffin pans with liners. (24 total)
Add all ingredients except for egg whites into a large bowl.
Mix for 2 minutes.  Mix egg whites in a separate bowl. (Crack the egg in half over a bowl.
Pass the egg yolk back and forth between the two pieces of shell.
This helps all the egg white slide off and fall into the bowl.  Discard yolk and shell.)
Combine with cake batter and mix for 2 minutes.
Pour batter 3/4 of the way full into muffin liners.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool before icing.
(I'm not lucky enough to have a KitchenAid - hand mixers work just fine!)

Vanilla Icing:
1/2 c. of butter
1 tsp. of vanilla (double if imitation)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 T. of milk

Set the butter out to soften before you begin cupcakes.
Once it is soft, add vanilla, powdered sugar and milk.
Mix on high for 1 minute.
I like the icing a little thicker so add more sugar if too thin.

*Tips for icing the cupcakes:
With a knife, scoop icing out of the bowl and smear onto cupcake.
DO NOT wipe the knife off of the side of the cupcake
(a little something I learned from my boss at a caterer business).

Then sprinkle on or decorate with what you like.
I am NO cake decorater so pink sprinkles are my kind of decorating.

Thanks everyone for your comments and support already!  Are you a follower yet?


And it begins...with Veggie Burritos

This is my food blog.  I absolutely love food.  I love to cook, bake, and eat food.  I'm quite surprised I'm not a million pounds yet because I have no control.  I'm no health nut, chef, or amazingly creative in the kitchen.  I'm good at following recipes and then maybe tweaking them just slightly.

 I plan on posting 3 recipes a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Sometimes the recipes will be nice gourmet (ha!) meals.  Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) the recipes will be a yummy treat since all I do is try to bake new desserts.  And then other days the recipe I post might just be a snack my kids and I can't get enough of.  But be assured, that each week there will be 3 NEW recipes for you to try. 

I have a few exciting ideas up my sleeve for this blog so be sure to check often!

So for my food blog debut, I have one of my favorite recipes to share:

(don't let the name scare you.  I am no vegetarian.  I love meat.  But this meal is filling and delicious!)

What you Need:
8 inch flour tortillas
One can of black beans
One jar of salsa (your choice)
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sour cream
One Lime
Bunch of cilantro

This meal can literally be prepared in 30 minutes!
The key is to do everything while the rice is simmering.

Combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice into saucepan.  Once it comes to a boil, turn down to low, cover, and start timer for 20 minutes.  Shred cheese.  Open can of black beans, dump into caliender over the sink, rinse beans thoroughly.  Cut one lime into 8 wedges.  Rinse cilantro.  Pluck cilantro leaves off the stem.  Have sour cream, salsa, and tortillas out and ready to go!  When the timer goes off for the rice, remove the saucepan from the stove.  And begin making your burritos!

I start with warming my tortilla in the microwave.  However the absolute BEST tortillas are these.  Put a spoonful of sour cream across the middle of the tortilla.  Add a few spoonfuls of rice and beans.  Sprinkle on cheese.  Pour on salsa.  Top with cilantro and squeeze a lime.  Roll and enjoy!