Author Archive: krista

French Onion Rice and Pork Chops

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice

When I was first married I had to fix pork chops at least once a week for my husband.  He adored pork.  But I think I ruined it for him by overcooking it.  I cooked them to death.  I could do a pork roast ok, but the poor little pork chop was like leather.  So as the years went by he changed his tastes and didn’t ask for them too often.  I figured out if I told him we were having pork chops for dinner he would either suggest we go out or he might bring home a pizza.  I kept a package of pork chops in the freezer for quite a while. I’d pull it out to thaw and he would put it back in the freezer!  It worked!

I think if he were still here he might like this pork chop recipe.  I think it would be good with chicken too.

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice

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Peach Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peach Ice Cream

So, I’ve made this delicious peach ice cream when ice cream sandwiches were brought to my attention.  My mom used to make gingerbread and serve it with cold sliced peaches. Peach Ice Cream

I bought a box mix of ginger bread (Betty Crocker) and made the soft cookie recipe off the box.  They turned out perfectly soft and chewy.  Just what was needed for these ice cream sandwiches.

I can remember eating ice cream sandwiches on a hot summer afternoon and trying to lick every bit of the ice cream as it oozed out the sides of the chocolate wafer cookie.  The last bite was usually runny and it was the best.  Don’t you find that true of a sandwich or a biscuit?  The last bite has just the right amount of mustard, meat and lettuce or butter and jelly to make it the perfect bite.

Well, these ice cream sandwiches were the perfect bite all the way around – from the first bite to the last.

I made up the cookies according to the soft and chewy recipe on the box and let them cool completely before I stored them in an air-tight container.

Peach Gingerbread Ice Cream Cookies

When ready to serve, I pulled out the little bit of ice cream leftover from the first round and let is slightly soften.  I used a small ice cream scoop and placed the ice cream in the center and used an off-set spatula to spread it.  Then topped that with another gingerbread cookie.

I returned each to the freezer as I made it.  They were stored in a freezer container to be served as needed.  They won’t last long.

Bacon Cheeseburger Grits

Bacon Cheeseburger Grits

While I was thinking about all those burgers for the Burger Bash a good casserole came to mind. My family always requests cheese grits when we get together for a special meal such as brisket or barbecue. When I get into a mode it seems to flow. Then I hit a dry spell and nothing good is developed for a while.

Bacon Cheeseburger Grits

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #20

What'd Ya Do This Weekend

Welcome to the new week. If you are a regular here thanks for coming back and if this is your first time, welcome! I hope you enjoy the party.

Big Sister was in town to watch the grand girls and we ate and cooked and ate some more.  We are finishing up the weekend working on a burger extravaganza that will be coming soon!  I had everyone in my family write out their favorite burger and we are making them all.  Fun times in the kitchen and on the grill.

To start our food fiesta we went a little “light” with this Taco Salad with Jicama Pico.

Taco Salad with Jicama Pico de GalloThen we got serious and made cupcakes.  The family favorite was this Bacon Maple Syrup Cupcake.

Bacon Maple Syrup Cupcakes

 

Here are my favorites from last week’s party:

Strawberry Pizza from Your Home Based Mom

Strawberry Pizza from your Homebased Mom

Tin Can Flowers from We Made That

Tin Can Flowers from We Made That

Steak and Veggie Skewers from Lori’s Culinary Creations

Thanks so much for sharing these lovely ideas! If you would like to get a featured button you can grab one here.

I am open to everything except promos, political material and Etsy Shops. Recipes, crafts, house and yard projects, sewing, restaurant review or even your weekend road trip ramblings are all welcome links. You’ll note by the title of the site that I like ramblings! Whatever. I like to read and learn new things. I will be having weekly features that I will promote on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest our Monthly Newsletter and anyplace else I can think to share. We just ask that you place our button on your post or on your parties page or link us somewhere.

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog" title="Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa"><img src="http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Whatd-Ya-Do-This-Weekend-Button.jpg" alt="Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

If you would like to co-host just send us an email and we’ll set it up as soon as possible.

Tell me what you did this weekend.  Travel, garden, bake, craft, read a good book?  What?  Link up your weekend and share.

Chicken Fajita Salad

Chicken Fajita Salad

I’m about tired of tasteless lettuce from the market.  I can’t wait for the lettuce seeds in my garden bowl to grow and I will have some fresh greens.  In the meantime, I still needed to come up with something for dinner.

Since Mexican food is always at the top of my list – not the diet’s list – I first chopped a big bowl of lettuce and then put half of it in a zip lock bag for later. (That was entirely too much of a good thing.)  The battle was what to fix with it.  So I came up with a Chicken Fajita salad.  What I did was bury the lettuce with strips of fajita flavored chicken breast, red and yellow peppers and onion.  Then I threw in some sliced baby bellas and drizzled it all with a low fat Ranch dressing.  Not bad for a 20 minute dinner.  Dinner done!

Chicken Fajita Salad

What’d You Do This Weekend? #12

What'd Ya Do This Weekend Button

Welcome to the new week. If you are a regular here thanks for coming back and if this is your first time, welcome! I hope you enjoy the party.

Such a sad and dramatic week last week.  It made me pause to think about those things for which I am truly grateful.  Of course, I am grateful for my friends and I really thought that Ladies Holiday’s contribution to the party came at just the right time.  It was the mid-week feature.

friendship

These contributions also lifted my spirits.

Rose Cake

Niki’s Sweet Side -Isn’t that beautiful? Almost, too beautiful to eat (almost).

DIY Eye Chart Art with Tutorial

Domestic Superhero  – How cute and the perfect new baby gift.

Thanks so much for sharing these lovely ideas! If you would like to get a featured button you can grab one here.

I am open to everything except promos, political material and Etsy Shops. Recipes, crafts, house and yard projects, sewing, restaurant review or even your weekend road trip ramblings are all welcome links. You’ll note by the title of the site that I like ramblings! Whatever. I like to read and learn new things. I will be having weekly features that I will promote on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest our Monthly Newsletter and anyplace else I can think to share. We just ask that you place our button on your post or on your parties page or link us somewhere.

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog" title="Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa"><img src="http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Whatd-Ya-Do-This-Weekend-Button.jpg" alt="Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

If you would like to co-host just send us an email and we’ll set it up as soon as possible.

This weekend was time to finish getting the garden set.  I repainted my patio furniture, painted my garden markers (thanks SaltTree), planted the rest of my summertime seeds and vegetables and (whew!) then I rewarded myself with this delicious Grilled Cheese Green Chile Hamburger.

Grilled Cheese Green Chile Burger

 

Don’t forget to come back on Saturday for Saturday Dishes. This week’s theme is Slow Cooker recipes

Saturday Dishes



Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

If life gives you lemons, make lemon bread. Or something like that. In this case lemons were presented as the feature for Saturday Dishes so I made Lemon Bread with Blueberries. It needed some color and a twist. Get it? (A twist of lemon.) I must be tired. This has been a stressful week at work and it was cold again so I couldn’t even go out in the garden after work to get some relief. But baking is second best to gardening for me. So there stressful day! I made Lemon Poppy Seed Bread With Blueberries.

I’ve always been able to make-do. That was my momma’s favorite line. That and “when I get around to it.” Which meant to us kids – NEVER. It bought her some time and we usually forgot about whatever it was because we knew it wasn’t gonna happen anyway.

We weren’t exactly rich when I was a kid, but we never felt poor. My momma could turn a meal into a feast. She could make a simple family birthday into a very special day. She made Christmas happen even in the leanest of times and we didn’t know the difference. She knew what to prioritize to always make the best of things. That’s what I’m working on today. The bread was just a way to think things over. Baking and writing it down for you is a good stress reliever for me.

Hope you enjoy the bread. I’ll be in the garden tomorrow.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

I hope you will bring your best lemon dish over to Saturday dishes.  Or if you are looking for some lemon inspiration, I can’t think of a better place to start!

Saturday Dishes

Beef Pinwheels and Gravy

Beef Pinwheels

Sometimes you just need a steak!  I was feeling like that this Sunday.  It was raining outside and I was feeling creative.  This is what we ended up with.

Beef Pinwheels with Gravy

  • 2lb. steak  1 ½ inches-2 inches thic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • String for tieing

On a counter or cutting board cut steak in half lengthwise and cover with plastic wrap.   Pound to ¾ of an inch think equal in all areas.  Use a rolling pin to ensure equal coverage.  Place three or four strands of kitchen string underneath pounded steak.  Season steak with salt and pepper.  Spread spinach and mushroom mixture equally over steak.  Top with cheese.  Press into steak.  Roll steak tightly into pinwheels and tie string to secure.

Preheat oven to 400.

Preheat an oven safe pan over medium heat with olive oil.  Sear steak on all sides (about 2 minutes a side).  Place pan into oven until meat registers 150-155 on a meat thermometer.  About 30 minutes.  Remove steak to cookie sheet and cover with foil.  Don’t put that pan in the sink!  Add the gravy mix started earlier to use all those pan drippings for sauce.  Slice roll into 1 inch pieces.  Serve with gravy over potatoes or rice.

For Stuffing

  • .5 oz fresh greens (spinach and kale)
  • 8 oz portabello mushrooms finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 clove shallots
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

Sautee shallots and garlic in oil until tender over medium heat.  Add crushed red pepper.  Add mushrooms then greens.  DO NOT STIR.  Allow the greens to steam in the flavor of garlic and shallots while they reduce.  Reduce until greens look dehydrated over mushrooms.  Then stir and continue to cook until all water is cooked out.

 

For Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour to pan and stir to incorporate.  Continue stirring until roux becomes dark brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add shallots, garlic and thyme and soften for about a minute.  Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until evaporated. About a minute.  Add beef broth and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer until sauce has reduced.  About 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Add mixture to pan that steak was cooked in with drippings.  Heat over medium high and stir scraping bottom ofpan.  Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes until thickened and very dark.

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Cookie Exchange Day 10-Three Pepper Spiced Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Spice Cookies from the Tumbleweed Contessa

I needed to share this recipe with some folks who really wanted it so I will insert my recipe here.  Please continue to send your recipes to me at:  thecontessa@tumbleweedcontessa.com

These cookies optimize the pepper and chocolate combination for a subtle southwest Chocolate and Chilegoodness with a gentle heat to it.  My oldest daughter’s favorite spice is chili powder so I imagine she will love this recipe.  Remember, cooking with chocolate is like cooking with wine.  Only use the kind you would drink (eat).

Three Pepper Spiced Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Medium-grind black pepper
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

 

In a large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, ground ancho chile pepper, the 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and milk until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. If necessary, knead dough slightly to blend. Shape dough into a ball. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 6-1/2-inch-long roll. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper; chill 4 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle cookies with medium-grind black pepper. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip each cookie halfway in melted chocolate; shake off excess. Place chocolate-dipped cookies on waxed paper. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Makes about 60 cookies.

Broccoli Rice-Must Have Thanksgiving Side

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Comforting side dishes are necessary to complete any meal in my kitchen.  If you can find a basic one that includes a rib-sticking starch and a vegetable, you can add or switch ingredients and make several different variations.  In my family, this one combination is the most requested.  This came about as an emergency addition one Thanksgiving dinner when my son, Andy asked if we were planning to serve it. (This was in answer to my question, “Are you coming to dinner?”   It has become a part of the menu planning to be sure I have everybody’s favorite.  So, I call this one Andy’s Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Rice was a favorite with my husband.  His family was from the South and rice was included in many meals.  It was new to me, and I had to scrub a lot of pans until I learned the right way to prepare it.  I burned it, let it dry out and served it undercooked!
Burning it is the worst clean up job there can be.  I think it forms a particularly strong bond with aluminum when not prepared correctly.  Non-stick pans weren’t around when I began to practice cooking.

The Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe came from a long-time high school friend when I was just married. Hank didn’t like soup combined with his rice and let me know it.  Then an Aunt made this and he raved about how good it was.   He even requested it with
his favorite meal which was a ham.