Must Try Tuesday: July 19, 2011

19 Jul
There were so many yummy good recipes around the blogs this past week.  Lots and lots of Harry Potter inspired cupcakes, drinks and all manor of things.  I so want to go see the movie, but we are super busy with Vacation Bible School this week, so it may have to wait until next week.  I would like to bake some of these treats for my family and then have a Harry Potter marathon this weekend.  

Have a great week!  Enjoy!

We love Harry Potter at our house.
This may be our movie night treat….
Cook Like a Champion
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Who doesn’t love a roll with cheese in the middle…
Trailer Gypsy
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My kids will love this…
The Kitchen Cookie
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I love peanut butter and chocolate…so good…
Crazy for Crust
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Yummy…..
Food and Whine
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Mmmmm….cream cheese wontons…
and bonus for our family…no crab…
Life’s Ambrosia
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This looks like the perfect dessert to bring
to our family reunion in a couple of weeks…
Fran’s Favs
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I love homemade chips…I love BBQ…
WINNER!
Shugary Sweets


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Menu Plan: Week of July 17, 2011

18 Jul
Can you believe how fast we are truckin’ through July?  We have six more weeks of summer vacation before school starts.  Craziness!  This week is a free week for us with nothing planned…and I personally am going to enjoy not having to be somewhere unless I want to! 
Have a great week!
Meal 1

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Salad

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Meal 2
Tacos
Rice
Beans

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Meal 3
 Homemade Corn Dogs
Tater Tots
Green Beans

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Meal 4
Steak Fajita Bowl
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Meal 5
 Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken
Rice
Broccoli

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Meal 6
Eat Out

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Meal 7

Leftover Buffet

Baking

Monkey Muffins
 Dr. Pepper Cake

Recipe Review: *Cracker Barrel* Hashbrown Casserole

14 Jul
 
I have an obsession with the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel that can’t be normal.  Whenever we take the girls out to eat and we are near a Cracker Barrel, they always want to eat there.  You won’t get a big argument from me because I can have my hashbrown casserole fix.  
I have searched for years for the right recipe that duplicates this dish.  Every recipe that I found called for canned soup and/or sour cream.  Don’t get me wrong, those recipes are very tasty but they are not the same dish served at Cracker Barrel. 
Last week, as I was reading through my favorite blogs, I somehow came across The Pioneer Cookbook blog.  I scrolled through some of her posts and came across her recipe for hashbrown casserole.  After reading the ingredients, I was skeptical, but couldn’t wait to give it a try.  People….I am here to tell you this is it!  This is the one…my search is over!  Yes, it is true…no soup and no sour cream…just milk and broth.  
I made this for dinner a couple of days ago, along with some BBQ smoked sausage, and my family ate it up and loved it.  I substituted the vegetable broth that is called for in the original recipe with beef broth and I also increased the amount of garlic powder slightly.  Stirring the casserole midway through the cooking is key to making the dish have the consistency of Cracker Barrel’s.
If you have an unhealthy obsession with hashbrown casserole like me, you need to make this…and thank me later.  If you don’t have an unhealthy obsession with hashbrown casserole (what is wrong with you?), you need make this dish and get a new obsession…and thank me later.
PS…Cracker Barrel did not sponsor my post today…they should..for all the therapy that I need…
Enjoy!

Hashbrown Casserole
(adapted from original recipe by Miriam Barton/The Pioneer Cookbook)
2 large potatoes, peeled and grated             
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish with butter. In a large bowl combine the potatoes, cheese, and onion. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Spread the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, then pour the liquid mixture over the potatoes. Bake for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.  Cool for a couple of minutes to allow potatoes to firm up.

Linked To:
 *It’s A Keeper:  It’s A Keeper Thursday
 *Prairie Story:  Recipe Swap #45
 *Simply Sweet Home:  Friday Favorites
 *Paisley Passions:  Fun with Food Friday
 *Girlichef:  Friday Potluck
 *Six Sister’s Stuff:  Strut Your Stuff Saturday
 *This Chick Cooks: Cooked Link Party
 *LambAround:  Not Baad Sunday 
 *Nifty Thrifty Things: Nifty Thrifty Sunday
 *Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms: Melt in Your Mouth Monday
 *Fresh from the Farm:  Homemade by You Monday
 *From Mess Hall to Bistro: Made From Scratch Tuesday 
 *All the Small Stuff: Tuesdays at the Table 
 *Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 
 *Mandy’s Recipe Box: Recipe Roundup 
 *Dining with Debbie: What’s on the Menu Wednesday 


Must Try Tuesday: July 12, 2011

12 Jul
It is HOT outside!  We are in the middle of a heat wave and I really don’t want to turn on the oven to cook.  Although, I am tempted by these recipes.  They look delightful.

I hope you are all staying cool and trying to enjoy the summer as much as possible.

Enjoy!
Two of my favorite things…Dr. Pepper and cake!
She Wears Many Hats
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We love kolaches…especially sausage…
can’t wait to try this meatless version…
Meatless Meals for Meat Lovers
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I love this twist on cinnamon rolls…
Fake Ginger
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I love cherry limeades!  Can’t wait to give these a try…
It’s the Life
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I love the banana, chocolate and PB combo…
Inside BruCrew Life
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Yummy….
Six Sister’s Stuff
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I think these might be our Friday movie night meal!
Maillardvile Manor
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Linked To:

Menu Plan: Week of June 10, 2011

11 Jul
Can you believe how fast we are truckin’ through July?  We have six more weeks of summer vacation before school starts.  Craziness!  This week is a free week for us with nothing planned…and I personally am going to enjoy not having to be somewhere unless I want to! 
Have a great week!
Meal 1
Pancakes
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Meal 2
Pinto Beans
Cheddar Corn Muffins
fixin’s
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Meal 3
 Buffalo Chicken Braid
Salad
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Meal 4
Pasta Salad
Bread
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Meal 5
 Hashbrown Casserole
Green Beans
Corn

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Meal 6
Leftover Buffet

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Meal 7
Eat Out

Baking

Monkey Muffins
 Kolaches

Linked To:

Recipe Review: Smothered Pork Chops

7 Jul
I found this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and immediately knew that I was going to be giving it a try very soon.  I even added it to my Must Try Tuesday post.  There is nothing better in the world than walking into your house after church knowing that you have a crock pot full of yummy goodness.  As soon as you open your door the smell is so wonderful that you immediately know that this is going to be one tasty dinner.  We had a house full of company and not only was this dish so delightful, it was also easy to prepare.  We served it with mashed potatoes and spooned some of the gravy over the them.  Everyone enjoyed this recipe and it is definitely a keeper in our house and will be made for many Sunday dinners to come.
Enjoy!
Smothered Pork Chops
(original recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
Ingredients
5 slices bacon, chopped
6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and Pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Directions
In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.
Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).
When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Must Try Tuesday: July 5, 2011

6 Jul
I hope you had a wonderful July 4th holiday and long three day weekend.  We started our regional softball tournament yesterday.  What could be more American than cooking out and spending the day with family and friends….cheering on your favorite softball team!  We didn’t get to do fireworks this year because we are in a burn ban but we did get to see two awesome games that we won!  We have advanced to the next round and play again tomorrow.  Woohoo!
I found some awesome recipes this past week that I can’t wait to share!  Enjoy!
Yummy, yummy, yummy!
Food, Folks, and Fun
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This salad looks like a perfect summer meal…
Passionate Perseverance
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I love a good muffin…especially one with lots of cheese…
Talking Dollars and Cents
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I made fudge cupcake jars last year for holiday gifts 
so I can’t wait to try this recipe out…
Glorious Treats
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This looks like a great summertime meal…
just add a salad…
Favorite Family Recipes
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You had me at bacon…
Framed Cooks
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