Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strawberry smoothie

Here's a quick and easy low-cal treat. Four cups of strawberries, half a cup fresh squeezed orange juice, one cup vanilla yogurt and one tablespoon of sugar. Blend it together and there you have it. Add ice or a frozen banana for a frozen treat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta Primavera!

Just a brief entry because I have already written about this meal once. After pan frying the Cajun seasoned chicken, I put two tablespoons of butter in the skillet and two tablespoons of flour. I mixed those up and added a cup of milk and fresh SMOKED mozzarella. I used about 4oz of cheese in the skillet and 4oz straight into the pan of noodles. Mixed it all up and yum :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Garlic Roasted Pork Loin

I have never made a pork loin before so this was quite new for me. It was really difficult to narrow down a recipe because there were so many options! I settle on roasting it. This was good because I had some other things to do in the evening and it gave me time to do them. This recipe is probably better suited for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon if you like to eat early in the evening. We tend to eat late (especially on the weekend) so I made it on a Friday night. The recipe called for making a garlic paste with fresh cloves of garlic, dried rosemary, and olive oil. I used the food processor and put them together to make a lovely, very potent, garlic paste. This gets rubbed all over the pork.

The oven should be preheated to 350ºF. I put the marinated pork in a zip lock bag for about a half an hour. From there it went into my dutch oven. Side Note: this is the last of my wedding gifts that hadn't yet been used! With the pork I added some frozen veggies and a quarter cup of white cooking wine; I put the lid on and let it roast for an hour and 45 minutes. It came out looking and smelling amazing!

I scooped out the veggies to a separate bowl and put the pork in a foil tent to rest for about ten minutes. To the dutch oven I added two tablespoons of cornstarch and mixed it in with the oil and dripping left by the pork. Then I added one cup of beef broth and whisked it in to make a gravy. In the meantime, I had prepared some butter herb rice; I just cooked the rice in chicken broth and added butter, dried oregano, dried marjoram, and dried basil. The finished product was delicious. The pork was very tender and the rice was a nice side. I personally thought the veggies were the best part of the whole meal. The garlic and wine flavor soaked into them and they were really, really good.

If you're anything like me, you may have thought that a two pound pork loin was way too much food to feed two people. Well, you're right. However. The perhaps best thing about pork as leftovers are to what you can transform it. Saturday afternoon I had a pork sandwich, complete with gravy and all. Today (Sunday) I took all the leftover meat, shredded it and added barbecue sauce. Pulled pork. Wonderful week to live with the Browns :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shepherd's Pie (or something like it)

I am very proud to have made my very first Shepherd's Pie (or something like it.) I didn't use the traditional lamb. Somehow, like veal, the thought of eating a poor little lamb does not make me hungry. This is also a weight watchers recipe so it's healthy but delicious eating.
The recipe was really easy. I used ground beef that I seasoned with a little bit of this and that (I can't give away all my secrets!) covered by vegetables. I used a medley of carrots, celery, onion pearls, corn and broccoli. I used two large potatoes to make some mashed potatoes and topped it with a light covering of cheese. Mmmm. I also made some gravy (because gravy really does make everything better!) The result was quite tasty. Plus, I had everything in the house needed to make it and it wasn't overly complicated. (That part makes Josiah happy!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh my deliciousness: Pork Steaks and Gravy

Sunday's are always fun cooking days for me. I don't have a ton going on so I can really think about what I want to prepare and it's often when I try new recipes the most. My husband laid out some pork steaks this morning before church. Usually we throw pork steaks in the crock pot with some cream of mushroom soup. It's quite good, don't get me wrong, but today I wanted to try something new. I googled Pork Steaks and got this fantastically easy recipe that had nothing but good reviews and we were a go. The gravy was my own concoction :-)

This recipe called for green onions, garlic, soy sauce and butter. I didn't have green onions so I just used half a medium sized onion, diced. I also mixed my soy sauce with some Worcestershire sauce. I seasoned the pork steaks with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then sprinkled flour on both sides. Saute the onions and garlic in the soy sauce and butter until brown; then add the pork steaks. Cook them on both sides for eight to ten minutes each, covered. Remove the lid and cook an additional ten minutes (the time needed to cook the steaks is also the perfect amount of time to have potatoes boiling for mashed potatoes.) Once the steaks were finished I removed them from the pan and added 2 tbsp of flour. Scrap the bottom of the pan until the flour is well mixed. In a separate cup I mixed a half cup of milk with a half cup of beef broth and a teaspoon of pepper; this mixture is then slowly added to the pan, stirring while pouring. You only need to simmer this mixture for about three minutes. It will get thick quickly. I like chunky gravy so I didn't strain it before use. It's perfect on the potatoes and steak. Next time I won't use any salt to season the steaks as the soy sauce has plenty but otherwise this was delicious!