Monday, August 31, 2009

sensational fruit smoothies

I don't know what the weather is like everywhere else, but for us the summer heat is still KILLER! One of our favorite summer treats to make (who am I kidding, we make these all year!) are fruit smoothies. I basically took the orange-julius recipe I memorized in Mrs. Wayman's 5th grade class & added to it, and the result is to die for! I'm 100% serious about the 5th grade thing - we went on a mini-field trip to some lady's house who taught us how to make cinnamon rolls & orange julius, and my life has been all the better for it. And now, yours will be, too!

Fruit Smoothies

5-6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2. tsp vanilla
1 c. strawberries
1/2. c. blueberries
1 ripe banana
15-20 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely mixed & smooth. If consistency is too runny, put in freezer for 10 minutes, or add more ice cubes.
*Add any other fruits you want!

summer spinach-berry salad

Ok, so you've probably seen this salad done a million different ways at a million different restaurants, bbq's, and pot-luck dinners, but that's the thing that is so AWESOME about this salad! You can use pretty much whatever fruit you've got in your kitchen & its bound to taste and look fantastic! Its funny to think that until a couple of years ago I don't think I'd ever had fruit on a green salad, but now that is how I make them most often. Dick and I fell in love with poppy seed dressing the instant we tasted it, and our salad-loving lives haven't been the same since.

Summer Spinach-Berry Salad


10 oz. spinach, washed & stems trimmed
3/4 c. strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/2 c. blueberries
11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 c. almonds, toasted
3 Tbsp. poppy seed dressing

Put spinach in a large bowl. Add strawberries, blueberries, oranges & dressing & toss to coat. Sprinkle almonds over the top & serve immediately.
*Put dressing on right before serving. If it sits too long, the salad will become soggy.

*BbQ mEaTlOaF & cOrNbReAd*

My mom has a great meatloaf recipe, but I saw this one online & just had to try it! And I'm soooooooo glad I did! Whenever my mom made meatloaf, it was on a Sunday, so I stuck with tradition - for some reason its just one of those perfect Sunday dinners, you know?! It went perfect with Dick's mom Liz's cornbread recipe, too. When we got married, Liz gave me an entire binder full of her recipes (LOVE IT!), and this is one that I always go back to. Its super sweet! This was the first time that I made it with whole wheat pancake mix, and it was better than ever! So yeah, this meatloaf is jam-packed full of flavor & is incredibly moist - just the way a meatloaf should be (nothing is worse than a dry one!). I've got a bunch of leftover Neely's bbq sauce, which we love, so that's just another perk of this dinner. Try it next Sunday - you know you want to!
BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
from the Neely's on the Food Network

1 tablespoon Neelys' BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows
1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning, (recommended: Old Bay)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Neelys BBQ Sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for the top, recipe follows
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix BBQ seasoning, crab boil seasoning, soy sauce, beaten egg, 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Remove from heat and add to wet mix.
Pour mixture into bowl with the ground turkey. Add bread crumbs and mix all together with your hands.
Transfer the meat mixture to a cookie sheet or baking pan. Using your hands, shape the meat into an oblong or rectangular shape. *Cook's Note: Alternately, you can pat the meat into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce on the top of the loaf.
Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and add the reserved 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the top and continue to bake for 20 more minutes.
Neelys BBQ Seasoning:
1 1/2 cups paprika
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Neelys BBQ Sauce:
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
From Liz Smith

1 c. sugar
3 c. bisquick (I used whole wheat Krusteaz)
1/4 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. margarine
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1. Mix together sugar, pancake mix, cornmeal, and baking powder.
2. Cut in margarine.
3. Add 2 eggs & milk and mix well.
4. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan & bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

cafe Rachel salad & PIZOOKIES

Ok, so I know you're thinking, "for the love! Another post about this dang pork?!" And believe me, I'm thinking it, too. But I promise this will be the last one because its finally GONE!!! Have you ever eaten at Cafe Rio? Its pretty much one of our fave restaurants, and mostly thanks to their insanely delicious pork salad (that can feed two, by the way, because they are LARGE and in charge). Well, we had the fixings, so I made my mock Cafe Rio - aka Cafe Rachel - salad. No recipe required because I'm sick of writing about this dang pork. Put some lettuce, black beans, brown rice & leftover pork in a bowl...and there you have it! It was delicious, but I'm seriously done with the pork. The End.
And now on to the main event ... Pizookies!
Our good friends Sam and Melissa introduced us to this one. They picked it up from a pizza place in Arizona. The word "pizookie," if you haven't already figured it out, is a combination of "pizza" and "cookie." So already you know its going to be great! You can use any kind of cookie dough, and the only other things you need are ramekin dishes and your favorite flavor of ice cream. I tend to like classics, so I used my mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe (you can find it under cookies on the right side of the page) and vanilla ice cream. The very best part of this dessert is that you eat it right out of the oven. As soon as you pull it out, you drop a scoop of ice cream in the center of your cookie, and it kind of sinks down and starts to melt. The perfect blend of hot & cold!


Your choice of cookie dough
your choice of ice cream

1. cover the bottom of your ramekin dish with cookie dough. about 1/2 cup, but not too much because it will rise quite a bit.
2. cook according to recipe directions, but keep an eye on it. they are done when just golden brown around the edges.
3. pull out of the oven & immediately drop a big scoop of ice cream in the middle.
4. Hold with a dish towel or oven mitt & enjoy every delicious bite!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

pork quesadillas

Ok, here's the thing about cooking for two: Most recipes you'll find make far too much food for two people to consume in one sitting (although, Dick and I have been known to manage it many a time!). And usually you don't want to eat the same thing for dinner 4 nights in a row, or 2 days in a row for lunch and dinner - you know what I mean! But the good thing about leftovers are that you can transform them into something completely different without much effort. That way nothing has to go down the disposal or in the trash - Grandma Bagley would be so proud! Take, for instance, these pork quesadillas which contain the remnants of the Hawaiian pulled pork sandwiches from the other night. Super easy, super fast, and super yummy! I'm a BIG TIME cheese lover, too (how could one forget the 38 kinds I sampled in Loleta?!), so this one really hit the spot. I'm not gonna lie, I feel a little silly even calling it a "recipe" because its so easy, but they're de-lish, so there! You can do this with any leftover meat, or with no meat at all. However you decide to make them, just enjoy every single bite!
Pork Quesadillas
w/ leftover Hawaiian pulled pork

4 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 can corn, drained
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. leftover Hawaiian pulled pork, warmed in microwave

Place pan (large enough to hold tortilla) on stove & warm over low-medium heat. Sprinkle one half of the tortilla with a little cheese. Spoon a bit of corn and black beans over the cheese. Add a layer of pork, about 1/4 cup. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the top & fold the empty half of the tortilla over the ingredients. Gently press down on the folded tortilla with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over with spatula. Press gently down again & cook about 2 minutes on this side, until cheese is melted & corn, beans & pork are hot. Remove from pan to plate and let cool 1 minute before cutting in half. Serve with leftover Hawaiian sauce or sour cream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

hawaiian pulled pork sandwiches & homemade fries

So, pork was on sale a couple of weeks ago, and I was hungry while I was I bought some not knowing exactly what I'd make with it. But that's what the Food Network website is for, right?! I just searched "pork" and tuh-dah! I love love looooooove slow cooker recipes, and this one will definitely make it onto the list of regulars. Not gonna lie, its the Hawaiian sauce that is the cherry on top, so don't skimp on it! And, since I'm just cooking for two, there were PLENTY of leftovers so come back tomorrow for some mouthwatering pork quesadillas.
P.S. these fries are super easy to make, and so much better than going to a fast-food drive-thru! We make them quite a bit - they're perfect for a little junk food craving!!!

Hawaiian pulled pork sandwiches
from Sandra Lee on the Food Network

3 1/2 lb pork shoulder
1 packet teriyaki marinade
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 c. chili sauce
1 (6 oz) can pineapple juice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
8 hamburger rolls

Hawaiian sauce:
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp garlic, chopped

In small bowl, combine teriyaki mix, paprika and pepper. coat the pork with the rub mixture, patting until all rub is used. Set aside.
Put the chopped onions and carrots in a 5-quart slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the carrots and onions & pour half of the pineapple juice mixture over pork. Reserve remainder for Hawaiian sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours (I did high for 5). The meat should fall apart easily. Remove the roast from the slow cooker to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, carefully pull the meat into shreds. Serve the pork on rolls drizzled with the Hawaiian sauce or on the side for dipping.
Hawaiian Sauce
In a medium pot heat the oil over med. heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining pineapple juice mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Homemade Fries
4-5 medium russet potatoes, halved lengthwise & cut into 3rds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp canola oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. put potato slices in medium bowl and drizzle with oil. sprinkle spices over potatoes and toss to coat well. arrange on greased baking sheet. bake 15 minutes, then remove from oven and turn over. Return to oven for 10 minutes more. Test one of the biggest fries to make sure they are completely cooked through.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"ultimate" chocolate chunk cookies

I got this recipe from Woman's Day magazine, and don't get me wrong - they're delicious! - but I don't think we should just throw the word "ultimate" around like its just any other word. The pecans and coconut definitely earn a "fabulous" or a "stupendous," but I just don't know about the "ultimate." Thus the quotation marks. hahaha who cares, right?! Whatever. Really though, these cookies were an absolute HIT with my family at our big birthday celebration yesterday! My sister, who doesn't even like nuts or coconut, ate about 5 of them. If that's not something, I don't know what is! So, I hope you enjoy these fabulous, stupendous, ultimate chocolate chunk cookies!

Ultimate chocolate chunk cookies
from Woman's Day magazine

2 sticks (1 c.) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chunks/chips
1 c. coarsely chopped toasted pecans

1. heat oven to 375 degrees. beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl w/ electric mixer until fluffy. beat in eggs, baking soda and salt until blended. on low speed, beat in flour until just blended.
2. stir in oats, 1 c. flaked coconut, all of the chocolate chunks & chopped pecans. using 2 tbsp dough for each cookie drop mounds 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. sprinkle tops w/ rest of coconut.
3. bake 11-13 minutes until golden on bottoms and around egdes. cool on baking sheet 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Marco Polo eggs benedict & banana SUPREME...a home run brunch from The Home Plate in San Fran

When Dick and I made our Anniversary Road Trip a few weeks ago, we had a near-religious experience at this little restaurant called The Home Plate. It's a breakfast/brunch/lunch place that just so happened to be next to our hotel. There was also an IHOP across the street, which is where we were headed when we looked through the window and saw people thoroughly enjoying their food. As we stopped for just a second, this guy who was sitting on the bench waiting to get in - didn't catch his name, but he's a self-proclaimed "San Francisco brunch expert" - told us we should definitely eat there. Then we told him we were out-of-towners and he said we HAD to eat there. So we did. THANK YOU, NOSY BENCH GUY! We loved it! We loved it so much that I posted a picture of it a couple of posts ago. Rich had the Marco Polo, which was delicious eggs benedict with avocado, and that is what I attempted to duplicate this morning. The original was to die for, and a little hard to live up to, but mine turned out pretty dang good, too. It was the first time I've ever poached eggs, or made hollandaise sauce - exciting stuff, I know. I also made the delicious drink we had that morning: banana supreme. The name speaks for itself. I never knew that avocado and eggs would go together so beautifully, but they do. Breakfast will never be the same after this HOME RUN!
Marco Polo
Hollandaise Sauce
from Tyler Florence on the Food Network
2 egg yolks
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
pinch cayenne
pinch salt

Marco Polo eggs benedict
from the Home Plate restaurant
Ingredients (for 2 servings)

2 large eggs, poached
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
4 thin slices turkey
hollandaise sauce (recipe above)
1 english muffin, toasted
1. place 1/2 english muffin on a plate, face up.
2. Layer turkey, avocado, & tomato on muffin.
3. place poached egg on top & drizzle w/ 1-2 Tbsp. hollandaise sauce.

Banana Supreme
from the Home Plate restaurant
1 banana
2 c. orange juice
2 tsp. honey
Mix all ingredients in a blender.
Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tony's fave fruit salad dessert

Welp, it's just about the end of summer, and I've finally made one of my fam's staple summer dishes for the very first time this year! Pitiful, I know. My mom picked this one up from our neighbor, the one and only Nanette Wayment, at a church pot-luck kind of dinner a few years ago, and we all loved it so much that its pretty much makes regular appearances at bbq's, birthday parties, and any other function where we can find an excuse to have it. It is officially my grandpa Tony's favorite fruit salad/dessert, so he's usually the one to request it, but none of us are complaining! As you can see from the pictures, I started out in a bowl that was much too small, so make sure you start out in a big bowl. I always underestimate how much room the fruit will take up. Anyway, its super easy, super tasty, and a major crowd-pleaser... so give the people what they want!
fruit & cookie salad dessert
adapted from Nanette Wayment

1 large tub whipped topping
1 packet vanilla pudding mix
1 c. green grapes, halved
1 banana, sliced
1/2 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
1 1/2 c. strawberries, hulled & quartered
1 11 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained
~12 fudge striped shortbread cookies
1. Put whipped topping into large bowl & sprinkle pudding mix over it.
2. Add grapes, banana, pineapple, strawberries, & Mandarin oranges.
3. Crumble 8 of the cookies & add them to the bowl.
4. Fold the fruit and cookies into the whipped topping. Stir just enough to mix everything well, but not too much so that the whipped topping becomes runny.
5. Crumble or place the remaining cookies on top of the salad for decoration.
6. Refrigerate until served.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

blueberry maple oatmeal muffins w/ pecan streussel

Top of the muffin to ya! All the Seinfeld fans know that I'm not just being whitty when I say that, but quoting the wonderful Elaine Bennice. Pretty sure Elaine wouldn't have tried to give the bottoms of these muffins to the homeless - she would have eaten them right along with their tops! When I saw this recipe I thought they sounded good. Good enough to wake up earlier than normal and make them before I went to work yesterday (only food could get me out of bed before I absolutely HAD to)! This recipe is killer and I'm pretty sure I'll be making it for many breakfasts in the future.

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins w/ Pecan Streussel
From the Closet Cook


1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. vanilla yogurt
1 over ripe banana
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg
1 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 c. pecans
1/4 c. all purpose flour
pinch cinnamon
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1. Mix brown sugar, syrup, yogurt, banana, butter, egg, & rolled oats in a bowl & let sit 10 minutes.
2. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & salt in a bowl.
3. Mix wet & dry ingredients along w/ berries until just mixed.
4. Spoon mixture into greased muffin pan.
5. Mix pecans, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, & butter until crumbs are formed.
6. Spoon streussel onto muffins.
7. Bake @ 375 degrees ~ 20 minutes.
*I'm definitely going to double the streussel next time I make these, just fyi*

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sKiLlet VeGgiE LaSaGnA

Right now I'm thinking two things: 1) that Hugh Jackman is way hotter than Hugh Grant, and 2) that this recipe is going knock your lasagna-loving socks off! I decided to put the movie 'Music and Lyrics' in while I blog instead of 'Australia' know, the one where Wolverine (the official "sexiest man alive") dumps a bucket of water over his half-naked body. What in the world was I thinking?! Whatever, I'm over it. Never mind. So, this is the first lasagna I've ever dared to make, and I'm not gonna lie, I only did it because the cook time is 30 minutes and it looked super easy. FYI it was easy, and it was an absolute HIT! The only lasagna I've ever really loved was the Stouffer's Vegetarian Lasagna from the freezer at the grocery store, and this one totally trumps that one. Also note, as I've mentioned before I'm not a fan of the chunky tomatoes, so the fact that this calls for you to puree them was a plus. You could definitely add chunks if you wanted to, though. Try this one, for sure - you'll be happy you did!

Skillet Veggie Lasagna
adapted from Food Network Magazine
1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, diced
4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, or 4 tsp dried
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sheets no-bake (oven-ready) lasagna noodles
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
3 1/2 c. baby spinach
1/3 lb mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (or shredded)
1. Heat the oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, 1 min. Add tomatoes, 1 Tbsp herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste; cook until saucy, ~5 min. Transfer to a blender & puree. Return 1 c. of sauce to skillet and reduce heat to low; reserve remaining sauce.
2. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, remaining herbs, 1/2 tsp. salt, & pepper to taste in a bowl.
3. Place 2 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet. Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top; drizzle w/ olive oil & season w/ salt and pepper. cover w/ half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a few pieces of mozzarella & 2-3 Tbsp of sauce. Repeat the layers, ending w/ noodles.
4. Top w/ the remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover & simmer until the lasagna is cooked and the cheese melts, 20-25 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish w/ more Parmesan & herbs.

dutch oven buh-tatoes that ROCK!

Our food-filled trip to the Pacific coast was two weekends ago, but this past weekend we went up to the City of Rocks in Idaho to do some rock-climbing. It's pretty much Richard's new favorite thing in the world to do (comparable to this whole cooking adventure I'm on), and its growing on me, too. Seriously though, I'm no pro, so after an exciting morning and afternoon of climbing I went back to our campsite to whip up a dutch oven dinner of BBQ chicken & potatoes. The title of "buh-tatoes" is one of those family inside jokes that only my family will think is funny, but my family looks at this blog, so the rest of you will just have to endure the Porter sense of humor. We're hilarious, I know. Anyway, This was the only hot meal we had that weekend & it was freaking FREEZING, so everyone loved it. Although, I'm sure they would have loved it anyway. And I'm sure you will, too!
Me getting ready to climb "swiss cheese"
Coming down...and freaking out - yep, I'm definitely
crying like a baby in this picture! Only time it happened
all day...cross my heart. anyway,
see how the rock face looks like swiss cheese?!

Dutch oven buh-tatoes
adapted from my Dad (Don Porter)
10-14 medium russet potatoes, sliced ~1/4 inch.
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (10.5 oz)
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
1 lb bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Put onions and butter in dutch oven, over coals. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions start to look translucent, then add bacon & garlic. Cook about 10 minutes, until bacon is looking done. Add soup and mix in with bacon & onions, then add potatoes and stir to coat with soup/bacon mixture. Cover and cook ~1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and done. Top with cheese and let sit 5-10 minutes to melt before serving.

I told them to make "yummy faces" and this is what I got.

My baby and me, trying to stay warm in
our sleeping bag after dinner.

~the DECLICIOUS California coast~

Now, I don't know how many people even know about this blog, let alone check it on a regular basis - but if you are one of my favorite people in the world who DO, here is my explanation (including pictures) of why I haven't posted in forever. My Man and I headed to Northern Cali and drove down the coast for our 3rd anniversary - it was AWESOME!!! Don't think I just left my love of food here in the Beehive State, though...hahaha...we ate plenty, and I documented lots of it! Anyway, I'm back with a vengeance, so I just thought I'd give you all a heads up!

One of the many beaches we stopped at - gorgeous!!!

Dinner salad w/ yummy blueberry vinaigrette.

Crab cakes in the small fishing town of Eureka.

I ate this entire thing by myself...don't judge me.

The Loleta Cheese Factory where we sampled 38 kinds of cheese
hahaha that's no joke!!!

The Redwoods were AMAZING!

Didn't buy any chocolate because of all the cheese we ate...

My baby & me sharing a malt - so romantically retro.

Brunch in San Francisco - best egg dish EVER!!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails