Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

If you're looking for a last-minute treat to give for Halloween, here are a couple of ideas. Alyssa and I put these together today for her and Joshua to give to their friends. It's just a cute way to package store-bought candy. If you're in a baking mood, you could put small homemade treats in the witch bags and something like a homemade granola bar in the bat. Fudge nut bars would probably work great--just cut them the size of a candy bar and wrap them in plastic wrap!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meatball Stew

I prepared this stew a few days ago using potatoes, carrots, and onion from mom and dad's garden.

It was smelling so yummy within 1 hour of putting it in the slow cooker. By the time supper rolled around, I was so ready to eat it. The first time I made this (the recipe is from an old Quick Cooking issue) I followed the recipe and put a note by it -- "yum, try cream of mushroom soup next time". So this time I tried Cream of Mushroom Soup rather than the tomato soup. It was very tasty. So if you prefer a non-tomato based stew, don't be too nervous about making a substitution.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Savory Pork Roast

I've never baked a roast in the oven because I'm too scared of making it too dry. Well, I finally got brave enough to try. This recipe was awesome! I found it in an old Quick Cooking magazine. I used some of the leftovers to make the Italian Pork Hoagies that was in the same issue. So here are a couple recipes that were tasty. Paige even like the roast, especially the edges with the herbs. I had to leave while it was baking and Bryce took it out of the oven, so he did great.

1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons dried margoram
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage (which I didn't have so I used poultry seasoning)
1 boneless pork loin roast (4 pounds)

Combine the seasonings; rub over roast. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. (I put my little metal cooling rack in a glass baking dish and put the roast on that, as you can see in the picture.) Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Yield: 9-12 servings.

Italian Pork Hoagies

(The second time I made this I used sliced cheese, slightly heated the leftover pork in the microwave, and broiled the sandwiches until the cheese melted and the top bun was toasted. It was a little quicker and not as much cheese mess.)

6 hoagie buns, split
1/2 cup pizza sauce
12 slices cooked pork (1/4 inch thick)
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Open hoagie buns and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread pizza sauce on the bottom half of each bun. Top with pork; drizzle with salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops of buns are lightly toasted. Replace bun tops. Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sensational Slush

Bryant made and we served this slush at his Homecoming 2011 dinner.  We had leftovers, which have kept well in the freezer.  Just use an ice-cream scoop to portion the slush in glassware, and then pour an equal amount of chilled soda over the slush.  This slush really is "sensational!"

Sensational Slush
from Taste of Home's More Fast Fixes with Mixes

1/2 cup sugar
1 package (3 oz.) strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 can (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 oz.) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 cups cold water
2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and gelatin in boiling water.  In a blender, combine the pineapple juice and strawberries; cover and process until blended.  Add to gelatin mixture.  Stir in concentrates and cold water.  Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving.  For each serving, combine 1/2 cup slush mixture with 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda; stir well.  Yield:  20 servings.

Editor's Notes:  I froze the slush in a 13x9 pan, because I thought it would freeze faster than in a bowl.  The slush doesn't require removal from freezer 45 minutes before serving.  I use an ice cream scoop, and it comes right out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fresh Herbs

My herb garden is doing REALLY well.  So well I don't know what to do with all the herbs growing like crazy.  We had Italian tonight, with fresh herbs in everything I made.  Everything was delicious!

Five Minute Marinara Sauce (from The Sister's Cafe)

Herb Foccaccia Bread (from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)