Monday, July 31, 2006

Breaded pork chops, fried spinach, roasted onion potatoes

Great dinner tonight, if I do say so myself...and I do. (I must get this from my Nana--quick, but hilarious side story: At an after-worship ice cream social, I told Nana her homemade vanilla was excellent. She answered: "Yes it is! It was so good I had to get a second bowl!" I laughed and said, "If you do say so yourself!" Nana said, "That's right! I'm not afraid to brag on myself!" Oh, Nana, gotta love it--and emulate it!)

Anyway, I made a meal in about 45 minutes, but about 15 minutes in the middle was downtime to talk with Hubby and clean up my little kitchen messes, making for shorter cleanup time after. The longest thing; the thing I have to start first--even before defrosting the meat---was the roasted onion potatoes. Dice new potatoes and use the recipe from the back of the onion soup mix box. Once you've got that in the oven for 35 minutes, start the other dishes. Defrost the meat, and then, if you're using frozen spinach, stick four cups or so in the microwave for defrosting. While that's going, get started on the breaded pork chops--so easy and good! Get the dippers ready: Beat an egg in a shallow dish, and then a mix of bread crumbs, salt, and Parmesan or Romano cheese on wax paper, and then warm some olive oil in a pan. In another pan, melt 1/8 stick margarine AND veggie oil. Throw in some minced garlic and let the mixture get almost clear and very thin. Now, wring out the defrosted spinach really good with a clean dishtowel (watch out; it's hot!). Then toss in the spinach. Now dip the chops in the egg and the read crumb mixtures, and then put them in, and the spinach and chops can both cook at once, for about five minutes.

The chops are really moist and flavorful--I might even use Italian bread crumbs next time, so that there's more spices on them. The potatoes have a big, bold onion flavor--use less mix if you don't like the taste of onion so much (me, I love it!). The spinach is not as limp and mushy as it has been for me with other recipes, because you cook it so fast, and the butter and garlic make it a little less sharp-tasting.

GREAT, easy dinner!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe is a possible contender for my first-ever Simple & Delicious submission. It's a combination of chicken tortilla soup recipes from All Recipes. Perhaps I should rethink the name though, considering there's no tortilla found in the soup.

Here it is, straight from a wrinkled, broth-spotted piece of yellow legal pad paper:

1/2 an onion, chopped as fine as you like it (I use my mechanical chopper for a fine cut)
1 t. minced garlic
2 big squirts of lime juice
1/2 jar of salsa
1 can creamed corn
1/2 bag of frozen sweet corn
1 can green chiles
1/2 box chicken broth
1 can cooked chicken OR 2 uncooked chicken breasts, sliced
1 packet fajita seasoning
A couple dashes of cayenne pepper
Tortilla chips, Mexican cheese, sour cream, guacamole

Saute the onion and garlic in lime juice in a big soup pot. When onion is clearish, add the rest of the ingredients, except the fajita seasoning and cayenne. (If you're using cooked chicken, don't add it until you add the seasoning later.) Bring these ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer until chicken is cooked through. Add fajita seasoning and cayenne, cook a little longer. Serve over corn chips, with Mexican cheese, sour cream, and guacamole as add-ins! (Wal-Mart's Guaca-Salsa is AWESOME)

Delicious meal in a bowl!

Goal for this blog

I love Taste of Home and Simple & Delicious magazines, and all the recipes in it are written by home cooks like me. Actually, they're not like me, because they must be organized to have actually written down a unique recipe and kept it on hand. My unique recipes are usually spur-of-the-moment deals that are the result of emergency substitutions, leftover rebirth, or wild combinations of favorite flavors. I forget what all went into it as soon as it's edible.

One of my goals for this blog is to document one of my tasty, unique recipes and see it published in one of these great mags.

Oh what a proud, happy day that will be!

Great meatloaf

Definitely going in my reliable recipes file. Even Hubby, who professes not to like meatloaf, got seconds! The good stuff: lots of finely chopped onion, parsley, and a topping of ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard.

I quadrupled the recipe for our weekly after-church meal, making two 9 x 13 pans of it, and it was just enough. (Perhaps I should quinutple it next time even?)

From the BH&G cookbook!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Welcome to my kitchen!

Well, this place is pretty plain, but words will fill it up better than nothin'. I'm having problems remembering which recipes were good, which ones took forever, which ones I want to try, etc. So here I am, with another blog! I'll chronicle my attempts at whipping together dinner every night for my hubby, and the occasional guests. It's generally haphazard; 30-minute meals are my specialty (although I've never tried one of Rachael Ray's).

I cooked a ginormous amount of meatloaf this afternoon because it's my turn to bring meat tomorrow for the after-church meal. I'll post tomorrow on how it turned out.