Sunday, May 25, 2008

Honey Nut Pork Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is always a good choice for a quick meal and it is usually fairly healthy. This particular recipe is probably a little higher in sugar content than most stir-fry, which is probably why it went over so well with my family.

This recipe does call for nuts, but cashews are a relatively soft nut and once my daughter had a fair number of teeth she never had a problem with them. Hope you enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3-1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1-1/4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
  • 11 ounces pork chops, sliced
  • 1/3 cup cashews, chopped

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Heat half oil in pan over medium high. Add carrots and celery and stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside. Heat remaining oil and stir-fry pork 3 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet. Stir in sauce and nuts. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and boils.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Can't Be Beat" Pot Roast

This is the first pot roast recipe I ever tried and it is still my favorite. This recipe is actually one of the reasons I started this blog. I lost the original recipe (still can't remember where I got it). However, I recent discovered that I'd made a copy for a friend and so was able to recover my recipe.

Anyway, as I said, I made this recipe with no experience at making pot roast and it was scrumptious. This is probably one of the few recipes that I've never altered. (It's also one of the only times I use rutabaga.)

Sorry, it's not terribly quick. But as far as meat dishes go, it is one of your less expensive options.

  • 1 3 to 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 cup plum preserves
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6ths
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and halved crosswise
  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large wedges
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven brown meat on both sides in hot oil. Drain off excess fat. In a small bowl stir together wine, 1/3 cup water, basil, garlic salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper; pour over meat. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

In a small saucepan melt preserves; pour over roast. Add potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and onion to Dutch oven around meat. Cover and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring vegetables once during cooking. Transfer meat and vegetables to serving platter; cover to keep warm.

For gray, measure juices and skim off fat. If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1 1/2 cups. Return to pan. Stir together the cornstarch and cold water. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Serve with meat and vegetables. Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quick Fruit Cobbler

Cobblers are naturally faster than pies but this cobbler whipped up particularly easy. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook.


  • 1 bag frozen fruit or two cans of fruit

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place fruit in a 8 inch pan.

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter. Add milk. Pour over fruit and bake for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Black Bean Quesadillas

What makes these quaesadillas so good is the spice--cumin. The spice is native to East India and the east Mediterranean. It has a very distinctive warm, earthy flavor and is popular in North African, Middle Eastern, Western Chinese, Indian, Cuban and Mexican cuisine.

The whole seed will last longer than the ground variety, but most recipes call for ground cumin and as I never have time to grind it myself I keep the ground variety on hand. Also, if you are making scrambled eggs or omelets sprinkle on a little cumin for a wonderfully warm flavor.

  • 3 cups Cooked Black Beans or 2 Cans of Black Beans
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • Cumin
  • Flour Tortillas

Spread black beans lightly over half of tortilla. Add half that amount of tomatoes to the black beans. Cover with cheese. Lightly sprinkle with cumin. Fold over tortilla. Fry in a pan of hot oil.

Note: I usually turn my oven to warm and place finished tortillas in the oven till I've finished frying all the tortillas I will need.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

A quick easy standby that works well with green beans.


  • 1 cup uncooked rice

  • 1 lb hamburger

  • 1/2 onion

  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 6 large mushrooms

In a small saucepan add the rice and two cups water. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the hamburger with the onion. Drain off grease. (Do not rinse!) Add the condensed soup and the sour cream. Chop and add the mushrooms.

When the rice is finished cooking top with the sauce and serve with your favorite vegetable.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Baked Potato Salad

This recipe wasn't terribly quick but my husband fell in love with it so I want to remember it.

I know everyone has their own potato salad recipe so here is mine:

  • 6 large Russet Potatoes

  • Celery Salt

  • Lemon Pepper

  • Garlic Salt

  • Mayonnaise

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Chives

  • Paprika

  • Crushed Red Peppers

  • Rosemary

  • 5 to 6 strips of bacon

  • Cheddar Cheese

Peel and cut your potatoes into bite-sized bits. Depending on your definition of bite-sized boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Season the boiling potatoes with celery salt.

Fry the bacon till it is very crisp.

When the potatoes have finished cooking, drain and spread upon a cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper and garlic salt.

(Note: I didn't measure the spices when preparing the dressing so these measurements are all approximations.)

In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of chives, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, dash of crushed red peppers, 1 teaspoon rosemary (crushed). Mix the dry ingredients.

Then add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Crumble the bacon and add to mixture. Crumble 1/8 cup of cheese and add to mixture. Finally add enough mayonnaise to evenly coat everything (don't forget to add a little extra for the potatoes).

The dressing will be strong in flavor, but when you add the potatoes the flavor will become less intense. The potatoes can be added when they have cooled. I recommend refrigerating for about an hour before serving.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Vegetable Cheese Chowder

There are many different varieties of chowder. In fact it used to be that chowder was made from anything that flew, swam or grew in the garden. Perhaps that is why it was considered "the poor man's food".

Vegetable Cheese Chowder can also be an inexpensive dish. Unless you choose to use an expensive variety of cheese. Even then cheese is much less expensive than meat or seafood.

This chowder is great if you are like me and end up with a lot of odds and ends of frozen vegetables in your freezer. Also, it's a good idea to pick up fresh bread to go with it. (Or better yet, you could send your husband while you're cooking the soup.)

It takes about 20 minutes.


  • 1 to 2 cups frozen vegetables (Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas and corn all have worked well for me.)
  • 1 Chicken bullion cube
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Combine vegetables, one cup water and chicken bullion in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 4 minutes.

While that is simmering combine milk, flour and pepper and mix well. Add to saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. (If you don't stir well the flour may clump.) When bubbly cook for 1 minute more. Add cheese. Cook and stir until just melted.

Why this Blog?

I've decided to start this blog mostly for myself. I have a tendency to get into a rut with my cooking. I come home from work and I'm tired. I don't want to spend a lot of time making dinner. So I find myself making the same thing a million times, which is crazy because I know more than a handful of recipes.

So as my own personal reminder of the recipes I do know I am starting this blog. I will track what worked, what didn't and I'll even try to include about how long each took to prepare and to make. If this helps someone else that's great. But like I said it's mostly for me anyway.