Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

Hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!   For our last day of break, I thought that these Cranberry Orange Pancakes would make a great breakfast.    I can't make pancakes from scratch due to egg issues, so I used the Bisquick Shake N pour.    I added 2T of orange juice to a measuring cup and then filled the rest to the required 1 1/2c line.   I added orange zest to the batter, but held back the chopped cranberries to add on the griddle.  The syrup comes together easily and quickly, keep an eye on it or it will boil over in a flash.

Thank you so much to Nancy Z for this delicious recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Cranberry Orange Pancakes

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1                cup  fresh or frozen cranberries- used fresh
     2/3           cup  orange juice
     1/2           cup  sugar
  3        tablespoons  maple syrup
  2               cups  biscuit/baking mix- used Bisquick Shake N Pour, 1 1/2c cold water minus 2T
  2        tablespoons  sugar- omitted
  2          teaspoons  baking powder- omitted
  2              large  eggs- omitted
  1              large  egg yolk- omitted
  1                cup  evaporated milk- omitted
  2        tablespoons  orange juice
  1           teaspoon  grated orange peel
     1/2           cup  chopped fresh or frozen cranberries- used fresh
                        Orange peel strips -- optional

In a small saucepan, bring the cranberries, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. With a slotted spoon, remove 1/4 cup cranberries; set aside.

In a blender, process cranberry mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in maple syrup and reserved cranberries. Keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, milk, orange juice and peel. Stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in chopped cranberries.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup. Garnish with orange peel strips if desired. Yield: 12 pancakes (1-1/4 cups syrup).


Shared on the Taste of Home Cook's Corner Challenge
and The Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lemon Basil Chicken Rotini

Full disclosure- I do not like peas.  Normally they are only bought frozen to serve as impromptu ice packs.  The exception to this is the first peas of spring, fresh from the farm, I'll eat those raw.   I know, weird.   When the ingredient for the Cook's Corner Challenge was announced I thought, yep, that's a challenge.   Neither of the guys will eat peas, so I had to make something that they could be added to a portion of.   I chose this recipe from the November 2015 issue of Taste of Home.   The guys love cheesy sauces, lemon and chicken.  My changes are in the parentheses.   

I gave it an 8, Jake gave it an 8 (a 10 if next time I left out the carrots), Tim declined to give a number value, but ate 2 platefuls.    I definitely will make it again, maybe in spring, when I can get peas fresh from the farm    :)    Thanks to Anna-Marie W for sharing your recipe!  
I know I keep harping on it, but it's a tough time of year for pics.   I took some last night, they weren't great.   I replated and took some today, and this is definitely a recipe that's better on day one, it's a challenge to reheat.  

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Lemon-Basil Chicken Rotini

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  3               cups  uncooked white fiber rotini or whole wheat rotini (used regular)
  2          teaspoons  olive oil
  1              pound  boneless skinless chicken breasts -- cut into 3/4-inch strips
  1 1/2           cups  sliced fresh mushrooms (omitted)
  1 1/2           cups  shredded carrots
  4                     garlic cloves -- thinly sliced (used jarred minced, about 2t)
  1                cup  reduced-sodium chicken broth
  3             ounces  reduced-fat cream cheese (used full fat)
  1         tablespoon  lemon juice
  1 1/2  cups  frozen peas (about 6 ounces) -- thawed (used Steam in bag peas, added to my plate)
     1/3           cup  shredded Parmesan cheese
     1/4           cup  minced fresh basil- (used 1T dried)
  2          teaspoons  grated lemon peel
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  pepper
     1/4      teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes (my plate only)

Cook rotini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from pan.

Add mushrooms and carrots to same skillet; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, cream cheese and lemon juice; stir until cheese is melted.

Drain rotini; add to vegetable mixture. Stir in chicken, peas, Parmesan cheese, basil, lemon peel, salt, pepper and pepper flakes; heat through. Yield: 6 servings.

adapted from ""

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

Gotta admit, pulled pork usually isn't my thing.    Tim is a huge fan of it.   I usually save making it for times when my son isn't home and I can toss something else together for myself.  I saw this recipe from I Thee Cook on Pinterest and thought that he'd enjoy it.  I did take some liberties- minced dried onions and jarred garlic.    I started the roast on the stove, and then moved it to the slowcooker.   When I got home from running errands and got a whiff of how amazing the house smelled, my alternate lunch got scrapped! 

Leftovers were even better the next day.   Thank you so much Rina for making a pulled pork convert out of me!   :) 

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Apple Cider Pulled Pork

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     1/2           cup  brown sugar
  1           teaspoon  onion powder
  1         tablespoon  paprika
  1           teaspoon  garlic powder
  1           teaspoon  kosher salt
     1/2      teaspoon  cayenne pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  ground black pepper
                        For the meat:
  1         tablespoon  canola oil
  5             pounds  pork shoulder -- (butt)
  3T           minced dried onion
  2t         jarred minced garlic
  2             medium  granny smith apples -- peeled, cored, and sliced
  2               cups  apple cider
  2        tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce -I used Sweet Baby Rays
                      Bulkie Rolls

Combine brown sugar, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, cayenne and black pepper in a small bowl.   Rub on all sides of pork. 

Heat oil in a medium skillet.   Place pork in fat side down.   Brown well, and repeat on the other sides.    Place in slow cooker.   Add minced dried onion, garlic, apple slices, cider, cider vinegar and bbq sauce.    Cook on low for 8 hours.    Shred meat with two forks and serve on rolls.

Adapted from  ""

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #197

Orange Spice Carrots

Veggies are a tough sell at my house.  My son has limited favorites, and my husband is even pickier.   The December 2015 issue of Taste of Home featured this Orange Spice Carrot recipe, and I thought it would be a nice change from our usual sides.    It also happened to coincide with the ingredient for this week's Cook's Corner Challenge on the Taste of Home Community, Citrus.   I'm on my 3rd crockpot, and this one runs hot.   I wasn't going to be home most of the day to keep an eye on them, so I decided to go with a stovetop version instead.    

Even my husband enjoyed these, he had two servings. They'll definitely be going into the regular rotation.   Thank you to Christina A for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Orange Spice Carrots

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
1            pound frozen carrots, cut in coins
     1/4           cup  packed brown sugar
     1/4           cup  orange juice
 1        tablespoons  butter
     1/2      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/8      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
 2         teaspoons  cornstarch
     1/8          cup  cold water

Cook carrots according to package directions.  Drain.  Add brown sugar, orange juice, butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.   Stir until well combined.   Whisk cornstarch into cold water, and pour into saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sauce thickens, making sure not to overcook the carrots.

Adapted from  ""

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I missed out on last week's Cook's Corner challenge because I was down with a cold, but I'd bought my pumpkin and didn't want to miss this week's too!   Found a little time today to throw together this easy muffin recipe.   Zero changes to this one, except to sprinkle the tops with raw sugar before baking.  

I couldn't even wait for them to cool completely to try the first one.    The kid is going to love them, the husband is stubborn and probably won't even try them.    Next time I'll double the batch and make half as mini muffins, they'd be great lunch box additions.

Thank you to Jennifer J for sharing your recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  all-purpose flour
  2 1/2      teaspoons  baking powder
  1           teaspoon  ground ginger
  1           teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     3/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  baking soda
  1 dash  ground allspice
  1              large  egg
     3/4           cup  packed brown sugar
     3/4           cup  canned pumpkin
     2/3           cup  milk
  3        tablespoons  butter -- melted
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
     1/2           cup  miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top. 

Heat the oven to 375ยบ

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.   Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.


Shared to Throwback Thursday #55

Cheeseburger Gnocchi

I'd slid into a little bit of a cooking slump the last few weeks, relying heavily on T&T recipes.    I planned the menu on Sunday for this week, and penciled in ground beef for Tuesday night.   The go-to recipes for that would be either tacos or Beef Stroganoff Sandwiches and neither sounded good to me.    Clicking through my Beef Pinterest board brought up this recipe from Kevin & Amanda. 

I had to make a few adjustments due to my family's food quirks- minced dried onion instead of fresh, jarred garlic.  I omitted the cumin.   Tomatoes are a no go, I went with tomato paste.   Mexican blend cheese because I had it on hand.  Doubled the meat, and also added crumbled bacon to half at the end.   Parsley for garnish. 

My husband had 2 helpings and I thought it was great.  I knew it would be a tough sell for my son, he ate his portion but said he'd rather not have it again.   That's ok, it's a perfect date day meal. 

The last thing- it's November, and we've "fallen back".  That means it's dark by time dinner is on the table, and even with my new fantastic camera- energy efficient bulbs continue to be my nemesis.   Please go to the blog and check out their pics  :)  Thank you so much to Kevin and Amanda for sharing the recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Cheeseburger Gnocchi

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  butter
  1            package  potato gnocchi -- (16 oz)- I used frozen, which I defrosted
     1           lb  lean ground beef
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1           teaspoon  pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  smoked paprika
  1           teaspoon  mustard powder
3T minced dried onion
  1t minced jarred garlic
3T tomato paste
  1                cup  beef broth
     1/4           cup  heavy cream
  1                cup  shredded Mexican blend cheese
Real Bacon crumbles
Dried parsley for garnish

Over medium high heat, melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet.   Brown the defrosted gnocchi in the butter until nice and golden.   Set gnocchi aside on a plate.

Brown ground beef and minced dried onion over medium high heat, breaking it up to small crumbles.   Drain if necessary.    Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and mustard powder.   Add in garlic, tomato paste, broth and gnocchi and stir well.     Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover and then simmer on medium low.   Remove from heat when the gnocchi is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the cream and half the cheese.   Add the remaining cheese to the top.   Pop the skillet under the broiler for about 3 or 4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown.    Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and parsley.

Adapted from-