Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cajun Seasoned Porkchops

Well, I broke Logan's phone accidentally. I mean really broke it, the screen is very cracked and its one of those fancy droids and without his phone I can not take pictures. But Let me tell you, these look and smell great!!!

Tonight's dinner was Seasoned Pork-chops, Mashed Carrots and Potatoes, and Kathy's Sweet Dinner Rolls. I am not including the recipe for the dinner rolls because I messed up, I forgot the second rise and so they looked really funky.

To make pork-chops:
Spread on a plate seasonings that you like. I wanted Cajun seasoning so I used some Chili powder, some Cayenne, Pepper and Kosher salt. This needs to be a lot, so that you can encrust the chops and seal in seasonings.

Have fresh or thawed pork-chops and press them into the seasonings, well coating. Some say to get the flavor that you should let it sit for an hour or so in the fridge, but I just let it sit until my oil was hot enough.

I used my largest fry pan, 12 inches and put just a little bit of olive oil in the bottom. Medium high heat, until water drop sprinkled on top sizzles.

Fry up the chops about 5 minutes, flip and about another 5 minutes, or until juices run clear. Deliciousness is just minutes away! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not my day for baking, but I am thankful

So yesterday I tried to find a new recipe for the blog. I tried a different recipe of cookies and some Irish Soda Bread. Neither worked out quite right, infact the pizza we made for dinner was a bit under done too. So instead I want to do an update on what items I am glad we have.

The one item I think we have used the most is the mini coffee maker that my mom got for us that came as a pack of three (with a mini fry pan and iron) for college students. We have made tea, Coffee (once we got filters) Hot Chocolate, oatmeal, Ramen Noodles and even tried boiling water for potatoes with it.

I really wish I had a sauce pan so I didn't have to try to make gravy or noodles with a fry-pan or the coffee maker. I also want a stock pan to make soup and chili, which Logan has been asking for forever.

< I am thankful for the tea-jug and my yeast and the oven. I love baking, bread is yummy. I am looking up a ton more baking recipes and bread recipes. And don't worry, you can eat breads and carbs and still loose weight if you are worried about that. Just cut out that extra snickers bar, because its the calories, not where they come from.

I am thankful for our well stocked freezer, we had a sale on meat and therefore stocked up on some hamburger, pork, and chicken. There are only three veges Logan really eats, carrots (which are in the fridge) and there are frozen green beans and corn in the freezer door.

I am glad we have freezer paper and tape, which is soooo much cheaper than trying to use ziploc freezer bags. I know the air is out when I wrap with paper.  I just wish I had a permanent marker to write the date and item on it, right now I am depending on memory of which is which lol.

This futon my mom bought is soooooo sooo wonderful. You have no idea how good it feels to sit down when we didn't have anyplace but the floor for a few days. Its low to the ground but I will gladly deal with it!

I love my Logan, and I am grateful to Todd and my Mom and Logan's parents for all their help. I was not looking to make a "thankful" post like its thanksgiving, but I wanted for my own sanity to think of things I am thankful for, as there is so much that I am wanting. I wish we had more money, I wish I could afford things I don't have, but I am getting by, and getting by quite happily.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fried chicken and.... Interesting mistakes

Okay, so tonight's dinner was... quite interesting. Logan is certain I went insane there near the end. But I never promised perfection just (hopefully) edibility.

The only thing that turned out remotely okay that I want to make again was the fried chicken, so that is the  recipe I will give.

(Other items were gravy and mashed carrots and potatoes like in "sheppard's pie" because yesterday I made a potroast as meat was on sale. Though I only have 5 spices on hand (chili, cyanne, pepper, salt, and garlic powder) Turn out very delicious, Logan called them "lava potatoes". I tried to be a little ingenious to make mashed potoaoes without a masher or even a fair sized spatula, and  no pot for making gravy. I was smashing with a chopper and having never made any of this before I took on too much with too little.

Anyways, onto the chicken.  My plan was to defrost some of my boneless tenderloins early on, but  forgot so I put on low in the microwave till soft. The following is not the exact recipe that Logan's mom uses, but she is the only one I have ever seen make fried chicken and I've never made myself.

I mixed my leftover egg wash from my perfect pretzels with some buttermilk in a tin pie dish.

In a bag I put about a cup of flour, some of all of my seasonings, and some baking powder for good measure. (again estimation, but turned out great.) (edit: Just found out she does not put baking powder in, that was made up on my part XD )

Then take your defrosted chicken and dredge it in the liquid, then roll around and shake in the powder. Repeat in the liquid and powder.

Fry in a pan of canola or peanut oil over medium heat till golden brown. Perfection somehow, though everything else in the meal was questionable as to thee appeal (I feel horrible abougt the "aborted potatoes" though still edible, interesting flavor :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

15 Minute Cheap Meal (or How I Moved in and our First Meal)

(edit: I was too tired to take photo, but am sure will make again, and I think I should mention that this idea/recipe is from my "Aunt" Chelsey. Her ramen salads are the best! Served cold or hot)

Yaaaay! Yay yay yay!!! We finally have our apartment! Got our stuff moved in and Logan's parents went back to Missouri (we miss them, but are happy to be able to be on our own). Its been quite hectic and stressful getting our first apartment as 3 young adults (and I'm not even 20 yet).  My mother unloaded many...(use-full?) items upon our small living space. His parents were very nice though and bought us many needed items.

Anyways, our first dinner was on the cheap and the quick, as my feet were very sore. Take some left over chicken or fry up some boneless chicken and as we do not have a stock pan, I used the frying pan to also cook the ramen by adding water and the noodles with a few kernels of corn and green beans. Drain in pasta bowl, return to pan to fry noodles for a minute, and add seasoning packet. Takes less than 15 minutes, yet quite delicious and fairly healthy.

Satisfying enough for their tummies and quick enough to get me off my sore, sore, sooorree, tired feet.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Punch it out with Pretzels

So I am sooo mad today. I was so excited and had everything planned for Logan getting to Alaska at 12:30 am tomorrow (friday 10/10/10) . But nope! While I was at the apartment building there was another delay in getting, I get a call from him that his flight is delayed, now canceled. I had everything set up perfectly! I have been talking for weeks on how sad I was that I didn't have a way to get to the airport, when in actually I was as a surprise, but I had him convinced with valid reasons. But since he does not arrive until 2:40 PM to anchorage, I have no way to get there, and I have to wait till he gets to Seward to give him a hug and a kiss. I am sooo sad, because I had everything set up to recreate what it was like when I first went to Missouri, but with this being his first time to Alaska. So my day is pretty down in the dumps.

I felt like making something to get my mind off, and found a link for awesome Hedgehog Truffles (Logan's favorite animal, he wants one as a pet soooo badly). Sooo Adorable! The recipe is in Polish though, and google translator does not do a good enough job to let me make the recipe. *sigh* If anyone knows how to *correctly* translate Polish I would be indebted to you!

 So now that I am sad X3, I need something else. Todd has been asking for pretzels since before his birthday. I did not want to make them at my mom's because they create a MESS. Even worse than normal! But the idea of making either bread or pretzels appealed to me because of the kneading needed. So I told him if he went out and bought me a jar of yeast I would make him some. I wish I had the AWESOME recipe from my online cooking school I was in while living in Las Vegas, but sadly, I don't know where it is. So I did a search and found Mall Pretzels on It is not the same, but works. Turned out pretty good.

Our Golden brown Pretzel Knots
Rise! Rise my little yeasty Minions!!!
Here is the recipe: dissolve 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (or one package of .25 ounce), 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 1/8 teaspoons salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. I let it sit and bubble and become really active first.  Then mix in 3 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup bread flour. Knead really well, till nice and smooth like elastic. Then place in a large bowl that has been coated with olive oil (or any sort of veggie or safflower oil), roll it slightly so outside gets coated and will stay soft, then cover with a warm towel. And whisper the picture caption to it. (Yes I really did!) Let sit and rise for 1 hour.

Process of cuts

Then when I came back to my bowl overflowing with dough I rolled it into a large log, and cut it in half, then cut each half in half. Here is a MS of what cuts I made to make it easier than say half and half and half. I accidentally deviated and made 16 pieces instead of the 12 the recipes calls for, just means you will have smaller pretzels and 4 extra.

Roll out each piece into a small thin snake. I risked the death of the world and actually let Todd help me make these since he has been wanting them so bad.  Then tie up into your pretzel. Because I cut 4 extra out of same amount of dough we didn't have as long of ropes and actually made knots without a hole in the center.

Dip into a small bowl or pan with 2 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 2 cups warm water. 

Then place on an sprayed pan and let sit and rise for 15-20 minutes. Bake at 450* for 8 minutes

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Update on life, and Bacon hint

 If you want to skip the bacon hint is at the bottom...

So you want to know why I haven't posted anything? Our paperwork on the apartment was accepted!!! Just have to go in tomorrow and sign papers, move in Friday! Logan gets to Alaska Friday at 12:30 AM! Wow things are moving finally!

My mom finds it really annoying when I cook, I can be a little messy sometimes... I really really didn't mean to drop the eggs! I am a bit of a clumsy kluts... Anyways so I have been trying to avoid cooking more than necessary... Cereal can't be too messy is it? Well until you spill it or the milk, plus someone doesn't rinse out bowls, but that is not me! Just wish it wasn't so expensive, and milk... as if we didn't go through it fast already!

But yhea, that is what has been up with me, why I am so stressed out. Also drove for over 2 hours yesterday, by myself!!! I have never driven by myself more than the 15 minutes it took to get from home to work. I had to drive my mom's blazer back from anchorage, Todd drove the Ventura, and my mom drove the new red Warner brothers classic or whatever she just bought for the company. While we were there we went to the golden corral, a HUGE buffet with like 4 different bars, Salad, Seafood, Meat (even steak and ribs! as well as chicken) and Desert. By far the best thing though were their ROLLS! I want to figure out how to make those, they were light and fluffy and had a touch of butter that was to die for. Talking to the waitress learned that they make the rolls there. Now to search for a good imitation recipe... once we get the apartment of course, my mom doesn't want a white house from me tracking flour everywhere... Hahaha


Now for that bacon hint... Do you like your bacon greasy? I don't. I don't like when it is all covered and soaked in the fat, nastyness. Why I am also not a big fan of fried chicken. I don't usually eat bacon because it disgusts me, I don't make it often and if someone else makes it I will eat one piece to be polite and then pass the rest off to Logan (who LOVES bacon btw, especially since its not a vegetable).

The best bacon is actually not fried, but BAKED. Get a rack for like cookies, and place in a jellyroll pan. Lay your bacon over and place in an oven to drip cook, just like a rotisserie chicken. Watch it till its done, I still have to learn how to do this timed right, but even if it is a bit over done it can still be slightly chewy, leave it in longer for crispy.Turned out well! Wanted to take a pic of it in the oven but the light on is too bright, and light off too dark. *sigh* Made it for Todd's breakfast, along with an omelet.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

B AN AN A! B read! :) Award winning family recipe

What do you do when you find a deal of 20 pounds of bananas for 5 bucks? Buy it of course!!! (most were still all yellow! We gave a bunch away, but still had a ton... what do we do?)
I asked many friends what their favorite banana recipes are and this was the number one! There are many variations, but my mom and I collaborated on this one again. This recipe is again from my Great Grandma Shelhon, aka my Choo-Choo gamma as she lived next to a rail road and had toy trains for me. My mom made this recipe many many many times growing up, and it won awards at fairs and 4-H events. 

So far 6 loaves have been made by my mom, and now I just put my two in the oven. Here is the recipe (we double to make 2 loaves at a time.)

Smash 6 ripe bananas. Mix in 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup melted butter or veggie oil, 2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon baking soda. That is all that is necessary! Though some people might like to add  about 1 1/2 cup walnuts, or even some mashed strawberries or Raspberries (what I did).

Pour into greased bread pan and put in 325 degree oven until toothpick
inserted in center
comes out clean.

Whala! Perfectly tender, moist banana bread is at your fingertips! I tried using Todd's phone to take better photos, can you tell?

What other banana recipes do you want to see? I obviously have enough of them! I have a few more banana recipes coming but will gladly take suggestions!