all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Molasses Coffee Marinated Pork Chops



Molasses ~ coffee???  That's an offbeat combination that got my attention!
 
Molasses coffee marinade

We both love strong coffee and like the full-bodied taste of molasses, so I knew I had to give Alton Brown’s recipe a try.  This is the first recipe of his that I’ve made, and I well be checking out more of them now, after knowing how tasty this one is.


Marinating          
Ready for the grill


The brewed coffee in the recipe accentuates the smoky, sweet, sort of bitter flavors in molasses, mingling with apple cider vinegar, ginger and Dijon mustard.  The marinade transformed the pork into hearty tender juicy chops after Bill grilled them!


Grilled and ready to eat!



It’s my new favorite marinade that’s easy to make, and could be used on any cut of pork, maybe even chicken…

As strange as it sounds, it’s very amazingly delicious and I’m looking forward to making it many times!




Molasses Coffee Marinated Pork Chops

Ingredients:

1 cup cool strong coffee
6 ounces molasses
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
6 sprigs thyme
4 (6 to 8-ounce) bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops

Method:

Place all of the ingredients in to a 1-galon zip top bag, and shake to combine.
Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Remove the chops from the marinade.
Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and place over high heat.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently, stirring often, until reduced to ½ cup liquid, 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill chops to your liking before serving with the glaze.


ENJOY!








Pin It

Friday, September 12, 2014

Luscious Lemon Lush



This is a heavenly blast from the past! 

I’ve made this luscious dessert for many more years than I care to count.  I don’t know where the recipe came from, but I do know that it always brings rave reviews when I serve it!




You can use whatever flavor of pudding you wish.  I generally like to make this with lemon in the summer, as it’s light and refreshing, and chocolate the rest of the year for a richer dessert (omit lemon juice.)  Use walnuts or hazelnuts, instead of pecans, if you prefer.

The bottom layer is a shortbread crust filled with pecans. Smoothed over that is a creamy sweet filling of Cool Whip, powdered sugar and cream cheese.  Topping it is a layer of light cool lemon pudding, and more Cool Whip plus a few chopped pecans scattered over all.


Bottom layer
2nd layer


3rd layer
Top layer


Desserts don’t get much better than this ~ you’ll see ~ like it is here, there won’t be any left in the pan to put back in the refrigerator for dessert tomorrow!

It’s a luscious classic!


Lemon Lush

Bottom layer:

1½ cups flour
¼ cup chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
1½ sticks butter, softened

Mix all 3 ingredients.
Spread in 13” x 9” pan.
Bake 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden.
Cool.
(Can be refrigerated overnight.)


Second layer:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (9-ounce) Cool Whip, divided

Using electric mixer, mix cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and 1 cup Cool Whip.
Beat well and spread over first layer.
Put in refrigerator and let set 1 hour or overnight.


Third layer:

2 small boxes instant lemon pudding
3 cups cool milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup chopped pecans, garnish

Mix instant pudding with milk.
Mix until dissolved and spread over second layer.

Top layer:

Spread with remaining Cool Whip.
Scatter chopped nuts over all.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Serve


ENJOY!






Pin It

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cajun Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops



Shoe-leather pork!  

That’s what we had for dinner one evening years ago, after grilling pork chops on the Weber for the first time ~ they went straight from the packaging to the grill to the garbage.

Then I learned about rubs and brines to tenderize pork before grilling.  Pork is the one of the most versatile meats that can hold its own with bold seasonings. 




Purchase chops of about 1” thickness, no thin or frail chops.  Then rub them with the Cajun spices and let set in the refrigerator for at least an hour, before grilling them to perfection.

The flavors of this Cajun rub are spicy, with a touch of sweetness for moist and delicious chops.




We were amazed how tender and delicious the chops turned out ~ we ate Succulent and Smoky Chops for dinner last night!


Cajun Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops

Ingredients:

4 (1” thick) center-cut loin pork chops, with excess fat trimmed
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano

Method:

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, 1-8 hours before grilling.
Coat the chops with the rub and place in a Ziploc bag.
Refrigerate 1 to 8 hours.
Transfer chops onto the grill over medium heat.
Cook for 18-20 minutes to 150 degrees internal temperature, turning once or twice.


ENJOY!






Pin It

Friday, September 5, 2014

Peaches and Cream Cups


This is a great “no fuss” dessert for two.




I saw this recipe over on Laurie’s blog, Cookin’ Up North, and had to make it when the good Michigan peaches were available here.

It’s cool and refreshing ~ a perfect little dessert!


Peaches and Cream Cups

Ingredients:

1 gingersnap cookie, crumbled
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup (6-ounces) peach yogurt
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup fresh peaches, sliced

Method:

In a small bowl, combine crumbs and ginger, set aside.
In a small bowl, beat yogurt, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
Fold in peaches.
Spoon into two 6-ounce custard cups.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Just before serving, sprinkle with crumb mixture.


ENJOY!






Pin It

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chicken Fajitas, the easy way



We really like chicken fajitas and I usually grill them, but this time I let the chicken and veggies soak up a good marinade, and then let it all roast in the oven.




They turned out great, the flavors were so delicious, and I let the oven do most of the work. 

This is a simple healthy meal that hit the spot and made us happy.  It doesn’t get much better than this, and it’s easy peasy!


Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2” strips
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Non-stick cooking spray
1 Vidalia onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 small tomatoes, chopped or 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
4 tablespoons salsa
8 flour tortillas

Serve with:
Sliced green onions
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Taco sauce

Method:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, toss chicken with garlic, juice, 1 teaspoon oil and chili powder, marinated for 20 minutes.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; add chicken with marinade, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, salt, pepper, salsa and remaining 1 teaspoon oil, toss to combine.
Roast, stirring once, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Fill warm tortillas with chicken mixture and serve with toppings.


ENJOY!





Pin It

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pan-roasted Red Pepper and Bow-tie Pasta Salad for Your Happy Labor Day Cookout



Check out this colorful pasta salad that’s simple and easy, but tastes gourmet!




This slightly adapted recipe from the Deen Brothers, combines bow-tie pasta with charred peppers, peas, shredded cheddar cheese and black olives ~ all tossed together with a dressing of chives, mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar and seasonings.





Bow-tie Pasta Salad with Pan-roasted Red Peppers 
Adapted 

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼” strips
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 cups cooked bow-tie pasta (4-ounces dry pasta)
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup black olives, sliced

Method:

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
When oil is very hot and begins to smoke, add the peppers and cook until lightly charred, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, vinegar, and salt to pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, peas, Cheddar cheese, bell peppers and olives.
Add the mayonnaise dressing and toss well to coat.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, before serving.

Serves 6


ENJOY!  and...








HAVE A HAPPY SAFE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!










Pin It

Monday, August 25, 2014

Greek-style Tilapia with Tomatoes and Onions



Greek food is simple and delicious with its robust flavors and colors ~ it’s fresh, nutritious and healthy eating.




All of those words apply to this dish:  Luscious healthy fresh red tomatoes, spicy cinnamon, warm sweet paprika, with the “mild-bitter” taste of parsley, plus garlic ~ all simmering into a great sauce to top the fish.

The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature, or heat slightly in micro, before pouring over fish and baking. 




It’s truly delicious, colorful and healthy too!


Greek-style Tilapia with Tomatoes and Onions

Ingredients:

2 pounds tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large white onions, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly across the grain
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ cup), divided

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Season fish with salt and pepper.
Coat one or two baking dishes with cooking spray and lay fish in dish in single layer.
Heat oil in large skillet and add onions.
Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add garlic and cook for a minute or so.
Stir in tomatoes, sugar, paprika, cinnamon and half the parsley.
Simmer, uncovered, until sauce has cooked down a bit, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour over tilapia.
Sprinkle on remaining parsley.
Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
Serves 4


ENJOY!








Pin It