Rambling Recipes from the Kitchen

Food….food….food.

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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PIco De Gallo to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Let’s get this party started! I have several posts for Cinco de Mayo.

First, Cinco de Mayo isn’t, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day — that takes place on Sept. 16. Secondly, it isn’t even widely celebrated south of the border, though that’s beginning to change.

What Cinco de Mayo is is a largely American tradition, co-opted by alcohol companies, that’s based on an arguably miraculous military maneuver during the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag group of Mexican militiamen defeated the invading French Army. It was a David versus Goliath moment and Mexicans on both sides of the border saw cause for celebration. Cinco de Mayo (Google)

May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – is a big deal in El Paso.  I think it’s an excuse to eat Mexican or Tex-Mex flavored dishes every meal for at least a week.  While enchiladas and tacos are good standbys I like to add those flavors to a regular meal.

I made a grilled pico de gallo and have used it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Very simple to make and it adds a little spice to any meal.

In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster‘s beak), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, white onion, and chilis (typically jalapeños or serranos). Other ingredients may also be added, such as shrimp, avocado, lime juice or apple cider vinegar, fresh cilantro (coriander leaf), cucumber, radish or firm fruit such as mango.  (Wikipedia)

Grilled Pico de Gallo

I like the lime. When the pico de gallo is used with warm dishes you can taste it just a bit. I like the acid. I have used red wine vinegar if I don’t have the fresh limes.

Now it is ready to use and will add such a nice flavor to eggs, veggies, or meats.  Here is one to get you started.

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

Grilled Cheese Green Chile Burger-Where’s the Beef?

Where’s the beef?  Remember that line from the old Wendy’s commercials on tv?  Everybody was saying it.  I’m not really sure what that was referring to.  But I think it was the little lady who said it that caught our attention.  Anyway – I liked beef then and I like it now.  I just don’t eat it very often.  Not nearly as often as chicken and certainly more than fish.

Savannah picked beef as our topic for Saturday Dishes this week, so I dutifully followed her suggestion and made a Grilled Cheese Green Chile Burger on Grilled Toast.  If I’m gonna make it beef it might as well have every other flavor I enjoy too.  Now this can be made with ground turkey or chicken and still have all the flavors.  Not me, oh no!  Beef it will be and it was good!  Not the most original beef dish, but my favorite!  What’s yours?

Grilled Cheese Green Chile Burger

I got a new Le Creuset Red Skinny Grill for my birthday.  I love this.  It is just the right size for a small serving.  The wind was blowing at 50+mph when I made these, so no way would I do them on the outside grill.  It worked great.

Grilled Burger

Grilled Cheese Green Chile Burger

Then add the toppings and you’re ready to eat.  Steak fries would be good too.(In my dreams!)  Ok, so you can’t see the beef too well because I like all the toppings just as well as the beef.  Green chiles and avocado especially.   I don’t care for too much lettuce on my burgers unless it is finely shredded and on top of a Whataburger.

Come on over to Saturday dishes and share your favorite beef dish.

Saturday Dishes

Banana Muffins with a Coconut Vanilla Caramel Crumble Topping

I adapted these from the Barefoot Contessa’s Banana Crunch Muffins.  She is my idol if I were to have one.  I love the way her recipes are easy to follow and how effortlessly she appears to prepare even the most difficult recipes on her television shows.  They are the most relaxing shows I watch.

I totally adapted this recipe because I didn’t have most of the ingredients except some very black bananas.  Once the temperature warms up here bananas ripen very quickly – like overnight.  I could have made banana bread, but something different sounded more interesting.

I have taken to using the coffee creamers which are sugar-free.  The Vanilla-Caramel adds a delicious flavor with the coconut and bananas.  I used it in the crumble topping as if it was flour.  Since the original recipe called for ½ pound of butter and I used coconut oil I added a teaspoon of butter flavoring.  I prefer Wilton’s butter flavoring.

Anyway, I hope you try these and enjoy them.  I took them to work and they disappeared in about 30 minutes.  I didn’t get but a crumb from the topping.

Banana Caramel Muffins

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

Croque Senor

From BigSister:

It’s grilled cheese month.  Two of my favorite things together:  Bread and Cheese!  I have seen some fabulous ideas from my foodie friends.  Accordingly, I had to stretch my imagination.  One of my favorite memories is eating Croque Monsieurs in Paris.  Sometimes food is better because of the location.  I haven’t had one as good as the ones in Paris before or since.  So, I thought I would try a version that capitalized on the good food in my area and here is where I landed.  (A little of the southwest makes everything better :))

Croque Senor

 

Plank Grilled Zucchini Boats with Cous Cous

From MiddleSister:

My husband actually picked this recipe to support my healthy eating.  Poor thing, the next morning, I found an empty leftover take out pizza box.  But, I loved it.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light’s Way to Cook Grilling cookbook.  I changed it up quite a bit.  I grilled and then stuffed the zucchini.  It suggested stuffing and then grilling.  I added bacon and flavored olive oil.  Personally, I think you would get much better flavor out of the shallots and spinach if they were sauteed and then you added the broth.

While it really was quite filling and satisfying as a main dish, I think next time, I would serve one as a side dish to a chicken breast with Chimichurri or a lemon-basil chicken breast.  You could also chop up the zucchini and mix it in with the cous cous, but then use a larger skillet. I would still salt and grill it because the flavor of the zucchini alone was amazing.

Zucchini Boats

I just can’t decide what to take to Yahoo Shine Supper club this month.  So, I’ll take this one over with my beets.