Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mustard Breaded Pork Chops

Mustard Breaded Pork Chops

Mustard Breaded Pork Chops
Traditionally when I cook breaded pork chops or chicken I batter them and throw them in the oven.  Since it is over 100° outside this week, I really did not want to bother with running my oven so I decided to cook them on the stove with a little bit of vegetable oil.  

I know this is not the healthiest way to prepare dinner, but it took less time, less energy and the WHOLE family loved them.

Mustard Breaded Pork Chops


3/4 Cup panko breadcrumbs (I crumbed whole wheat ritz crackers because I was out of panko bread crumbs)
1/4-1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp paprika
1/4 Tsp pepper
1/4 Cup egg substitute (or 1 large egg)
3 Tbsp dijon mustard (you can use spicy brown mustard or honey dijon too)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Boneless pork chops around 3/4 inch thick

Combine the breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, and pepper in a shallow bowl.

Combine egg substitute and mustard in a shallow bowl as well.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Dip each pork chop in the egg mixture and then the breadcrumb mixture and place in skillet.  Please do not over crowd.  Cook in batches if your pan is not large enough for all 4 pork chops.

Cook about 6 minutes on each side.  Serve!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Lightning Awareness Week (June 24-30)
Here is our dinner menu plan for the week.  I was unable to cook one item from last week so I carried it over to this week.

Have a great week and please remember when thunder roars go indoors (in observance of lightning awareness week)!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Tuesday - Pumpkin Pancakes and Fruit Salad

Wednesday - Sloppy Joes, Scalloped Potatoes and Carrots

Thursday - Pesto Pasta with Spinach (I am going to try this with chopped green olives instead of capers), Salad and Fresh Bread

Friday - Tortilla Pizzas and Caprese Salad

Saturday - Chicken Chile Lime Burgers (Trader Joe's) on English Muffins with Cucumbers in Vinegar and Veggie Sticks

Sunday - Leftovers

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili - Crock Pot

Vegetarian Quinoa ChiliWe have an overabundance of yellow squash in our garden and I have been super excited about finding recipes to include this colorful little creation.  I tried some traditional dishes like sauteed squash with onions and fried squash, but my kids just don't care for them.  Then I came across an incredible recipe for Vegetarian Chili with yellow squash and thought maybe if I cut them really small the kids would not notice.

Verdict: 3 thumbs up and 1 down (the picky four-year old of course).  My oldest loved this chili and gobbled it right up.

I am not usually to crazy about vegetarian chili, but this was outstanding and extremely versatile!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili - Crock Pot


3 Carrots, diced
2 Yellow squash, diced
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Red onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced (This chili is not spicy so please don't leave out the jalapeno)
28 oz Crushed tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tsp dried oregano
1/3 Cup quinoa
1 (15oz) Can of beans, white, black, red, brown (I used white northern beans because that is what I had on hand)
1/3 Cup barbecue sauce

Add first 10 ingredients to crock pot and stir until mixed well.

Sprinkle quinoa over top, leaving a border around the edge.  Do not press or mix into the chili.

Cover and cook for 3-5 hours on high and 6-8 on low.  Add beans and barbecue sauce to the crock pot, stirring to mix all the flavors together about 30 minutes before serving.

Serve in individual bowls with cornbread or crackers.  YUM!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

After making homemade hummus for my son's school lunch, breakfast for tomorrow morning for my husband, putting together snacks for my youngest son's camp, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping and mopping the floor I am officially wiped out.  

I have come up with a dinner menu plan this week, but left out Sunday because I just could not think any more for today.  

Maybe you all have some great recipes or ideas you can give me for Sunday night's dinner.

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Sunday - Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs with Brown Rice and a Side of Feta Spinach

Monday -Vegetarian Quinoa Chili and Cornbread

Tuesday - Pesto Pasta and Salad

Wednesday - Country Style Cube Steak with Peppers and Onions, Scalloped Potatoes (Recipe Coming) and Green Peas

Thursday -  Eating out to celebrate my 10 year anniversary with my husband!

Friday - Homemade Pizza and Carrots

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Mustard Breaded Pork Chops (Recipe Coming), Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Lentil Quinoa Salad
Lentil Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Salad and Garlic Bread
It can be rather challenging I think to come up with vegetarian dinners for carnivores.  I try to have at least 2 to 3 vegetarian dinners a week and I struggle to find ones that will please everyone.  

Well, last night was no exception.  Instead of a main dish I prepared two side dishes and served them along side garlic bread.  I served this fresh and flavorful recipe for Lentil Quinoa Salad that I found on the Food Network.  It got rave reviews and was a great way to incorporate more iron and fiber into our diet.

The final word was three thumbs up, one down (the picky four-year old of course).

The lime and cilantro really make this dish come alive.  Not sure if I would make any substitutions for those two ingredients in this recipe nor would I suggest leaving them out.

Here is a link to the original recipe for Lentil Quinoa Salad.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

My mouth is watering just looking at the picture of this tall glass of ice cold lemonade.  Now I may have to make another run to the grocery store to get some lemons.

It going to be hot here in North Carolina this week.  My husband says I always put soup on the menu during the hottest days of the year.  Sorry to disappoint you honey, but no soup this week.

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Pumpkin Pancakes (substitute pumpkin for the sweet potatoes in this recipe), Fruit Salad and Vanilla Yogurt with Sliced Almonds

Tuesday - Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos, Whole Grain Rice, and Cucumbers in Apple Cider Vinegar (my kids fight over every last cucumber)

Wednesday - Lentil Quinoa Salad, Spinach Strawberry Salad and Garlic Bread

Thursday - PB & J Sandwiches, Carrots, and Goldfish (this is our super busy day with orientation to a new school for my son around dinnertime so I have to make something that only requires seconds to prepare.)

Friday - Crockpot Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Rolls, and Pineapple Coconut Crisp (Family is arriving from PA today)

Saturday - Asian Chicken (My husband's recipe), Asian Noodle Slaw, Edamame, and Hawaiian Sweet Loaf Bread

Sunday - Surprise for my husband and since he reads my blog I can't list it here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hamburger Macaroni Surprise

When I was coming up with my menu for the week I happen to be with a friend of mine who gave me the inspiration for this dinner.

She told me I should make macaroni goulash for dinner.  After she told me some of the ingredients I remembered that my mom used to make that same dish for us when I was a little girl.

I had to change the name from "goulash" to "surprise" because my husband said it did not sound appetizing and the kids would not eat it if I called it "goulash".  With that being said here is a recipe for Hamburger Macaroni Surprise:

Hamburger Macaroni Surprise


1 lb Hamburger or Turkey
1 Small onion, diced
1 Carrot, shredded
1 Celery stalk, diced
1 Can crushed tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp worchestershire
1 Cup vegetable broth
Fresh basil
Fresh oregano
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1/2-1 Cup of cheddar cheese

Cook hamburger, onion, carrot, and celery on medium heat until hamburger is brown.

Turn heat up to medium-high.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, worchestershire, macaroni and vegetable broth (add extra water or broth if needed to cook macaroni).   Once it starts to bubble turn heat down to a simmer.  Stir frequently so it does not stick to the bottom.

Cook until macaroni noodles are tender.  Add basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheese and let it melt.  Serve!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Homemade Fabric Softener

Although this is a food blog,  from time to time I find other great ideas that I just have to pass along. 

As you may know I am a heavy coupon shopper.  Lately, the coupons have not been very good for items like fabric softener.  I mean .25 cents off is not really helping me at all.  

We are out of fabric softener and I decided it was finally time to make my own.  I used the Frugal Girls recipe for making fabric softener and it came out perfect.  I could not be happier and I had all the ingredients in my home already, no extra money spent.  I love the Frugal Girls website because they have such creative and innovative ideas that work. 

I thought about trying the laundry detergent recipe as well, but when I pair my coupons to a sale for laundry detergent I can usually get it dirt cheap ;-).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Braised Kale Bowties

If you are new to this blog or have not read the last few posts you may not understand my recent obsession with kale.  

I came across an amazing deal for a HUGE bag of kale at my local grocery.  I could not help but get super excited about all the new recipes I would have to try if I purchased it.  

Well, I am at the end of my HUGE bag of kale so this is the last recipe for this week that has kale as an ingredient.

I did make a few changes because it seemed like the recipe needed a little something.  I added bacon, red pepper flakes and onion.  Take a look at the original recipe here for Braised Kale Spaghetti.  

I also topped the Braised Kale Bowties with shredded parmesan cheese, after taking this picture.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

It has been a long time since I have posted our dinner menu plans, but I am ready to get started again.  My son is in year round school and since he was out for a few weeks I wanted to spend all the time I could with him.

My focus for the last few days has been kale recipes and I have one more I would like to try this week so I have included it below.

Our Dinner Menu

Sunday - Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Salad, Asian Noodle Slaw and Homemade Rolls

Monday - Spaghetti with Braised Kale (recipe coming) and Bread

Wednesday - Apricot Honey Dijon Pork Chops, Roasted Parmesan Broccoli and Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Thursday - Refried Bean Soup and Kale/Cheese Taquitos

Friday - Elbow Macaroni Hamburger Goulash and Salad

Saturday - Leftovers or Eat out

Sunday - Steak, Baked Potato and Sauteed Squash/Zucchini with Onions

Asian Noodle Slaw

This picture is not that great.  I will try to take a better one!
Let me just start out by saying that this is one of my favorite slaw dishes.  A neighborhood friend of mine made this for a bible study potluck one year and it was such a hit.

This slaw is perfect for a barbecue or cookout.  I took it to a friend's birthday cookout and everyone really enjoyed it so I figured I better post the recipe (this is for you Shannel!).  

Asian Noodle Slaw


2 Packages of Ramen noodles (throw away the seasoning packet)
1 Package of broccoli slaw- I cut this into smaller pieces with my kitchen shears
1 Cup Craisins
1 Cup Asian sesame with ginger and soy dressing (I used Ken's) or homemade
2 Green onions, chopped - optional as a garnish
Handful of silvered almonds - optional as a garnish

Cook Ramen noodles according to package for about 3 minutes, drain and let cool.  Combine broccoli slaw, Craisins, noodles and dressing until evenly coated.

Toss with green onions and almonds if desired, cover and place in refrigerator for 2 hours or more. Serve.

Now isn't that simple!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Corn and Kale Fritter Cakes

Look at all that color
Are you starting to see a theme on this blog lately?  Kale is going to be my focus for the next few days.  I know you can use kale for smoothies, chips, and salad, but I hope to find other recipes to use this healthy, nutritional vegetable.

Kale has vitamins A, C and K, plus it contains lutein which keeps eyes and vision healthy.

This week I did not plan my menu well because we were on vacation for part of the week and I thought I would find time to do it when we returned.  Therefore I found myself really not planning at all, which is so unlike me.  I knew we were going to have tuna cakes on Thursday night and scoured the internet to find a side dish.  I came across a delightful recipe for Corn and Kale Fritter Cakes and thought we would give it a try.  

While this recipe was not our favorite, it was pretty good and a great way to incorporate this wonderful green leafy vegetable into our meal.

Here is the link to the original recipe for Corn and Kale Skillet Cakes.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Kale Muffins

The kale is almost invisible

My local grocery had a large 16oz bag of kale on sale for $1.49 and I just could not pass it up.  I have a little experience making kale chips and using kale for soups, but I wanted to find other recipes too. 

I came across a recipe for Chocolate Kale Muffins that sounded out of this world.  Boy, these muffins were rich, moist and super chocolatey.

After my kids completed their chores the Thursday I told them they could have a lollipop as a treat.  They both told me they would much rather have the Chocolate Kale Muffins instead...yeah!

Follow this link to the Chocolate Kale Muffin recipe.