Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Real Simple

Real Simple is my new favorite magazine! One of my favorite parts is that it has great recipes that aren't that hard to make.

Paprika Spiced Pork Chops with Spinach Saute

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 4 bone-in pork rib chops (about 1 inch thick; 2 pounds total)
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 4 scallions, sliced
* 1/4 cup golden raisins
* 1 10-ounce package spinach (about 16 loosely packed cups)
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with the paprika, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
2. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet and roast in oven until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium heat, add the scallions and raisins, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in the lemon juice. Serve with the pork.

Steak With Potato Salad and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

* 1 pound small red potatoes (about 12)
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 4 small steaks (such as Newport, flat iron, or top round; 1 1/2 pounds total)
* 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 1 ounce)
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 1 small head Boston lettuce, torn (about 4 cups)
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 14 to 16 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool, and using a fork or your fingers, break the potatoes in half.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with 1 teaspoon salt and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook to the desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
3. In a large bowl, combine the blue cheese, vinegar, the remaining 1⁄4 cup of oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Add the lettuce and potatoes and toss to coat. Serve with the steaks.


These aren't from Real Simple, they're actually from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. Mom and I used to make these all the time, but I think that we called them rolly pollies (right mom?). I wanted to make cookies tonight but didn't have chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal to make no bake cookies (my two fall backs), so I made these instead. YUM!
*1 1/2 cups sugar
*1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
*1/2 cup shortening
*2 large eggs
*2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons cream of tartar
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 Cup sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 400 F
2.In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

On a random note, our puppies each have their own beds which they will hopefully one day learn to sleep on : ) Until then, they at least know which one belongs to them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I never..

I never thought that I would...
1.Crawl through mud

2.Want to run 13.1 miles
This is my friend Carolina who ran a half marathon in Austin the same weekend as mine. She rocked it!

This is the cute sticker she got me

3. Enjoy cooking and want to make new recipes!
(See below)
4. Go to the shooting range as a date, and like it : )
Yes my gun is pink

5. Enjoy camping

Its funny how a few years changes everything : )
Lots of Recipes:
Chicken Fiesta Salad from Ashley's blog

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
lime juice (to marinate)
chili powder
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can black beans
Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Marinate chicken in lime juice for as long as you can before cooking it - even 30 minutes will do wonders for the chicken! Put chicken in skillet, add chili powder to both sides of chicken for a little kick - cook until no longer pink. Drain corn and black beans and heat them thoroughly. Pile up lettuce on your plate, add corn, black beans, sliced chicken, and toss with ranch dressing.

Chicken Pot Pie from Katie's blog
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Pillsbury all ready pie crust
2 cans of chunk chicken breast (drain juice)
1 can veg-all (drain juice)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
Mix ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour into pie crust.
Cover with second pie crust.
Cut slits in top of crust.
Bake for 45 minutes. (Follow directions on Pillsbury roll for temperature)

Taco Skillet
Brown one pound ground beef with 1 medium chopped onion
Add one package taco seasoning, one can 16.5 tomatoes
one can water
1 cup rice
Bring to a boil
Cover and simmer for 25 minutes
*We mixed in hot sauce and ate it with chips.

We love using our fondue pot to make dinner! We put chicken broth in, allow it to warm up and add spices. Then we cut up chicken, steak, potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms. We have crackers and cheese while we're waiting for our food to cook and then use different sauces to dip the food (my fave is teriyaki).

Hot Ham Sandwiches
1 stick butter
1 TBS poppy seeds
1⁄4 C mustard
12 Hawaiian rolls
Swiss cheese slices
Honey ham and turkey
Melt the butter and mix in the poppy seeds and mustard.
Cut rolls open.
Brush butter mixture over the inside of the rolls.
Top w/ meat and cheese.
Put tops on rolls.
Brush top with butter mixture.
Wrap in foil.
Heat at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I made two different kinds - The ones on the left are store bought chocolate cake mix with homemade Buttercream icing. The ones on the right are homemade chocalate- chocolate cupcakes with store vanilla icing.
Buttercream Icing from Southern Living
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
* 3 to 4 Tbsp. milk
1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
3. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until desired consistency.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes
From Southern Living
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 3 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate morsels
1. Sift together cocoa and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
3. Add cocoa mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with cocoa mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in morsels.
4. Place 12 paper baking cups in a muffin pan; spoon batter evenly into cups, filling completely full.
5. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack, and cool 30 minutes or until completely cool. Spread cupcakes evenly with frosting.

Erin like the buttercream icing ones best : )

A glimpse into my sweet family

Sunday, February 14, 2010

O is for the Only One I see

Happy Valentine's day friends!! On Friday, one of the boys in my class came up to me and told me that I could be his Valentine on Tuesday....he either doesn't know that Valentine's is today, or he has the girls lined up until then! : )
I ran my first 1/2 marathon yesterday! What a great experience!! I never in my life have enjoyed all and if you had talked to me about running prior to this summer I would have told you that running was my least favorite way to work out. What made me try again was the Diabetes 5k that we did in November. I wanted to get a team together and if I got the team together, I wanted to be able to actually run the 5k. I mentioned this to my cousin, Mindy, and she suggested a running plan called Couch to 5k. It starts you out running just 60 seconds with 90 second walking intervals. Let me tell you that when I started this, it was so hard for me. Each week it increases the amount that you are running until you can run for 30 minutes. By the time that I got up to running the 5k, I was hooked. I just kept pushing myself to see if I could run a little farther. By the time that I got to 5 miles, I decided that I wanted to run a 10k (which I'll run in a few weeks). All the excitement of the Chevron Houston Marathon, made me wish that I had run the 1/2 that day, so I found the Surfside 1/2 marathon and registered!

Yesterday I got to run my 1/2 marathon along the beach! What beautiful scenery! I finished in 2 hours 4 minutes which beat my 2 hours 20 minutes goal, but did make me wish that I had just been four minutes faster so I could finish in 2 hours. Maybe next time!
My amazing valentine woke up at 4:40 with me yesterday morning, drove all the way down to Surfside beach, supported me as I ran my first 1/2 marathon and then drove back. What a great guy!
Before it began..very nervous & cold (It was 37 degrees)

Mile 1
Mile 3 or 4
13.1 miles..exhausted!
Crossing the finish line
Yay!! Can you tell I was a cheerleader? : )
Last weekend I went to Dallas for one of my best friends, Traci's, bachelorette party! We had so much fun and are looking forward to her wedding in a few weeks!

And a few yummy recipes to share : )
I love mac and cheese, so I just had to try Paula Deen's recipe!
* 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
* 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
*I'm not going to lie, I started the mac and cheese a little late and got a little over anxious, so I turned it up on high to cook and it turned out a little powerdery. It was still great, I just messed up the texture, so be sure that you have plenty of time to let it cook and be patient :)

Paella ~ So good!! :)

from Real Simple
* 1 8-ounce package yellow rice mix (I bought a yellow rice mix that already had saffron in it)
* 2 8-ounce bottles clam juice or water
* 1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron (optional)
* 1 12- to 16-ounce bag frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
* 1 pound cooked chicken wings
* 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
* 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
* 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, diced
1. Prepare the rice mix according to the label directions, substituting clam juice for the water and adding saffron (if using). Cook for 20 minutes.
2. Fold in the remaining ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. Serve.
3. If you made it from scratch: 3 hours.

Banana Pudding (The Eagle brand makes it a very thick, rich banana pudding)
1 lg box instant vanilla pudding
12 oz Cool Whip
1 3/4 C milk
1 box vanilla wafers
1 can Eagle Brand milk
approx 5 bananas
Mix pudding and milk. Add Eagle Brand milk. Fold in Cool Whip. Layer vanilla wafers, bananas, pudding mixture.

Bread Pudding
8 slices bread cubed (like raisin bread)
3 eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups half and half
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp flour
2 cup water
6 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Place bread cubes in greased cooker
2. beat together eggs, whites, and half and half. Stir in sugar, raisins and cinnamon. Pour over bread and stir
3Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 3-4 hours.
4. Make sauce just before pudding is done baking. Melt margarine in saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add water, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened.
5. Serve sauce over warm bread pudding.

Sorry this was such a long post! Lots to share! I hope you all have a day full of love with friends, family and God!