Monday, August 26, 2013

Braised Pork & Potato Burrito with Poblano Gravy

We are entrenched in the hottest days of the year so far, school starting and all the activities that go along with it.

It's so hot, they let schools out early here....all around us, eleven of them. Except for.....

our school.

Say what??? And the community pool closed. No relief there.

So when I made these yummy Burritos, there was no way I was firing up my oven. Guess what....?

They came out beautifully in the microwave.


These delicious Burritos are made from braised pork sirloin steaks and cubed potatoes. One of the cheapest cuts of pork, that once slowly braised tastes like a very expensive cut.

The Poblano Gravy is so easy and is made in the blender! Yes, I said the BLENDER!!
Using the flavorful braising liquid, canned tomatoes, some spices and fresh Poblano chile.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Bounty Chicken and Rice

The REAL Housewives Of Riverton


If you listen closely, you can almost hear the school bells ringing.

Ours will be ringing in one day.....

The kids are ready to go back to School. Summer has been a great time for them, but at the end, they are more than ready to begin the day to day of regimented learning and Fall sports.

Kind of bittersweet for some, Our third child is a senior this year. Sniff.....what happened to my baby?

And the youngest is ready to do some serious damage on the Volleyball court. She's been preparing all Summer.

The garden is finally beginning to explode, after the weird weather the upper Midwest had early this Summer. To celebrate gardens exploding and school starting I decided to make a riff on the basic Chicken and Rice casserole (Hotdish, here in the Midwest, you know).

Ramp it up with fresh vegetables, in this case Zucchini, tomatoes and peppers and make it creamy with....

wait for it.....

Cottage Cheese. Yup, good 'ol cottage cheese, eggs and of course more Parmesan cheese, heck why not.

The beauty of this baby is it can be made the night before, refrigerated and then just thrown in the oven or....


Yes, you read correctly. I don't have to heat up my oven and kitchen on these Indian Summer evenings and it cooks up wonderfully.


Adapted fromPink Parsley

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ultimate Banana Bars with Brown Butter Icing

My youngest child has learned the hard way that she really needs to eat more fresh fruit. She recently spent an intense week away at a Volleyball Camp.

They get a pretty good workout with the conditioning and court play and so of course she developed cramps in her calves one night. Her solution was, the next day, to consume 5, yes FIVE, bananas over the entire day and evening.

Sheesh! I have been trying for the last 5 years to convince that girl to eat more fresh fruit!! Good 'ole muscle cramps were the tipping point!

I always most times have an enormous amount of fresh-in-season fruit available. With a large tiered basket on my island, it's easy to just keep filling that baby.

But to celebrate her new found interest in the importance of actually eating and not drinking your fruit, I also made her a pan of these delicious, moist...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Marsala Pork Cutlets

Sundays are truly a day we try to relax and re-group for the coming week ahead. 
I hopefully get to spend a lazy part of the day reading the Sunday paper, hubby likes to spend some time in the yard/garden (it's his idea of relaxing-not mine), and the girls generally don't surface until they smell something cooking. 

This Sunday I made a riff on a dish we all love (except the youngest offspring-she doesn't like mushrooms), Chicken Marsala. 

Instead I had thawed 3 humongous "Iowa Chops", that's about 3 lbs of meat! These babies are like almost 2" thick and living in Iowa you can find them at a great price. I have never cooked them as they are, in my mind they are just too big. I'm sure a true carnivore would love them roasted whole though. 

I cut them off the bone and split the loin into two halves. Making a meal for 2 out of one chop! Pound them out and voila! They become beautiful boneless cutlets. 

These tender, thin cuts of boneless pork are sauteed with mushrooms and garlic in butter and Marsala wine. So tender you won't need a knife and the sauce is delicious. 
Served over mashed potatoes, pasta, rice or in this case, couscous, this is a savory delicious meal that you'll want to make over and over again.

Who says you can only use chicken for a Marsala dish?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

Like many families, we are constantly in motion. 

My husband and I work full time and he works 55-60 hrs a week! Along with two very active teenage girls at home, and they work part time, babysit and participate in sports means we have a pretty hard time, during the week, sitting down all at the same time to share a meal. 

So at least a couple times a week I make a concerted effort to actually have us all sit down and enjoy a meal together as a family. This generally happens on the weekend for a nice leisurely brunch, our favorite meal.

Hashbrowns or a fried potato dish are a particular fav. But after watching Ree Drummond on The Pioneer Woman, I decided to try her version of Breakfast Potatoes.

She makes them for a big crowd, and does it all in the oven. I only needed enough for the 4 of us so I dramatically cut down the portions of ingredients. 

But, I was totally impressed with how they turned out, not quite a s crispy as pan frying, but they were tender and golden and it's definitely a technique I'll be using often. 
Served with the best accompaniments, a perfectly cooked egg and thick, crispy bacon...YUM!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tuna Noodle Salad

That infamous casserole from our youth has been updated to become a delicious, cool, refreshing creamy salad. 

Perfect on those hot, steamy Summer days.