Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bada Bing Pork Chops

When I saw the name of these pork chops I had to make them. Who doesn’t want to eat something with the name “bada bing” in it? 🙂

1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 lime, juiced
6 bone-in pork chops

Mix together the Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, applesauce, hot pepper sauce, and lime juice in a bowl. Pour the marinade over the pork chops, and refrigerate in marinade for 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate.

Remove the chops from the marinade, and pour marinade into a saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil over medium heat, and allow to boil for about 1 minute.

Place the pork chops onto the preheated grill, and grill until well browned and no longer pink in the middle, about 6 minutes per side, basting the chops occasionally with the marinade. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees. Allow the marinade baste to cook completely onto the chops.

Did I change anything? No, but I wish I had let them marinade longer. I forgot that I was supposed to be marinating them until late in the afternoon…I probably got three or four hours in.

What did the family think? These were super duper tasty. We don’t eat porkchops that often, so I was impressed that our youngest ate them, especially since we were out of catsup.

Where did this recipe come from?

photo from

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Make Ahead of Time, Pork, Six Ingredients or Less

Roasted Red Pepper Salmon with Angel Hair Pasta

This sauce is SO good! I think I might make the sauce and try it on chicken, too.

4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon (without skin)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta


In an 8 inch baking dish, arrange filets in a single layer. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Tightly cover dish with foil. Bake at 450 degrees. Cook until fish is opaque, but still moist looking in thickest part, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, smoothly puree red peppers, parmesan, cornstarch, chili, and garlic. Add cilantro and chicken broth; whirl to blend.

Pour pepper mixture into a 10 inch frying pan. Stir over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to keep warm.

Cook pasta in 3 quarts boiling water until tender to bite, about 7 minutes. Drain, and return to pan.

Mix 1 1/2 cups sauce with pasta. Spoon pasta onto plates. Top with fish, and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve.

Did I change anything? I didn’t, but next time I am going to make twice as much sauce…you can never have too much sauce.

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked it. The boys just ate the pasta.

Where did this recipe come from?

photo from

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Fish, Lent

Whole Roasted Chicken in a CrockPot

I have been making this for years. It not only tastes great, but it will make your house smell deelish and it looks like you put a lot of work into it (which you didn’t because it is super easy and it cooked by itself in the CrockPot all day while you were eating bonbons and watching Oprah reruns hard at work).

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large roasting chicken (with pop-up timer if possible)
1 cup chopped onion (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the spices.

Remove any giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken with water and pat dry.

Rub spice mixture onto the chicken.

Add chicken to CrockPot. No liquid is needed, the chicken will make its own juices.

Cook on low 4-8 hours.

Did I change anything? I never have all of these spices on hand all at the same time. It doesn’t matter. Just use the ones you have. Also, the original recipe calls for adding some sliced onions on the bottom of the CrockPot before adding the chicken. I have never done that, so I left it out.

What did the family think? Everyone always eats it, even our youngest, as long as there is ketchup involved.

Where did the recipe come from?

photo from Google


Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Make Ahead of Time, Super Easy to Make

Strawberry Nutella Muffins

This recipe has been floating all over the internet recently and since it IS my duty to try out new recipes for you all, I sacrificed for all of you and made these. Really. It was torture having to sample these so I could tell you whether or not they were any good. Oh, the sacrifices I make.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup Nutella
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla together. Use a fork or whisk and mix until well combined.

Incorporate the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and gently stir, you don’t want to over mix. The batter will be thick. Carefully fold in the strawberries.

Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Next, add a small spoonful of Nutella to each muffin cup. Cover the Nutella filling with the remaining batter. Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar.

Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Did I change anything? I left off the turbinado sugar and I baked them for a little bit longer.

What did the family think? Everyone is at work and school right now, but really, it’s chocolate and strawberries. Who’s going to turn that down?

Where did this recipe come from? Two Peas and their Pod

photo from Two Peas & Their Pod

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Tuna Noodle Casserole

My kids love tuna noodle casserole, but they would look at me like I was nuts if I suggested they eat a tuna salad sandwich. Kids!

1/2 cup butter, divided
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked medium egg noodles
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a medium baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter or spray with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender. Increase heat to medium-high, and mix in mushrooms. Continue to cook and stir 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, and whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tuna, peas, mushroom mixture, and cooked noodles. Transfer to the baking dish.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl, mix with bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the casserole. Top with cheese.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Did I change anything? I left out the mushrooms and most of the peas. I only put peas on half of the casserole…I just kind of sprinkled them on the top and then mixed them around a little bit. I am the only person in our house who eats peas or mushrooms…they just don’t know what they’re missing 🙂

What did the family think? Hubby was at a business dinner, so it was just me and the boys. Everyone ate it though…no fussing!

Where did this recipe come from?

photo from


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Fish, Lent

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage

The original recipe got some flat reviews, so I spiced things up a bit with some added garlic and basil…no flat reviews in our house. Yum!

1 (12 ounce) package dry penne pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and basil
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Place sausage, onion and garlic in the skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat.

Pour in wine, and cook for 1 minute, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toss with cooked pasta, and place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle top with mozzarella.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Did I change anything? I added the garlic and also changed the type of diced tomatoes to ones that have a little more flavor.

What did the family think? Hubby and our oldest went back to seconds and our oldest also asked to have the leftovers in his thermos the next day. This was a hit with everyone!

Where did this recipe come from? Allrecipes

photo from

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Quick and Easy Breadsticks

I have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of using yeast…all the waiting and kneading. I know, I know, it’s not really all that bad, but if I can find a recipe that gives me the same result without the yeast, then I am all over it. So when I was looking for recipes to make homemade breadsticks I chose this one as opposed to the gazillion others that are out there that require yeast. I am also not a big fan of breaking out the rolling pin either, but there wasn’t really any way to get around that.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 tablespoon oil
3 cups flour (I use part whole wheat, part unbleached)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place butter and oil in 9×13 pan and put in oven so butter melts as the oven heats up. Be careful not to let it burn!

Stir dry ingredients together, and gradually add milk, stirring until dough forms and leaves sides of bowl.

Knead 5-6 times in bowl; place on floured countertop and roll out into 9×13-inch rectangle.

Lay dough in pre-heated 9×13-inch pan, atop the melted butter/oil. Cut into 1/2″ strips.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Did I change anything? I didn’t use quite as much butter as this recipe calls for. It just seemed like a lot.
I changed the amount of milk in this recipe. I used a little bit more than the original recipe called for. Just add it a little at a time until the dough comes together.

What did the family think? We don’t usually say no to carbs, especially ones that taste really good slathered in butter and honey.

Where did this recipe come from? Tammy’s Recipes

Photo from Tammy’s Recipes

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Vegetarian

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

Oh my goodness! These are so good. Put these on your menu for next week. If you already made your menu for next week, change it. Really, they are super good.

8 whole Flour Tortillas
Butter Or Margarine
2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced
3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce

(To grill pineapple: cut wedges, stick on skewers, and grill over low heat. Cut into slices.)

(To pound chicken, place inside a Ziploc bag and pound with a mallet/hammer or large can to flatten to uniform thickness.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Cajun spice (or cumin/cayenne) Drizzle olive oil on a grill pan and grill on both sides until done, brushing with barbecue sauce. Set aside and slice into very thin slices.

Warm griddle over medium heat and put sizzling butter or margarine in the pan. Slightly warm and toast tortillas on both sides, then remove from griddle and set aside.

To assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices and jalapeno slices. Sprinkle on cilantro. If desired, drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top. Add second browned tortilla on top of each one. (You’ll have four complete quesadillas at this point.)

Add to oven to warm, or back to skillet to warm, until cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime wedges.

Did I change anything? I forgot the butter, but they still turned out great. Also, it’s really important to thinly slice the chicken or else the quesadillas turn out so lumpy that they are very difficult to eat. Same goes for the pineapple…don’t make the pieces too chunky. Yes, I know all of this because I botched that part of the recipe.

What did the family think? Everyone ate these and loved them! I left the spicy stuff off of the boys’ quesadillas though.

Where did this recipe come from? The Pioneer Woman

photo from The Pioneer Woman

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Mexican, Spicy

Pasta Salad

Every once in a while Food Network Magazine will have a great recipe where they give you choices so you can assemble a salad, a pizza, a pasta dish, etc. to your liking. You can mix and match ingredients hundreds of different ways and get a yummy result every time. This month’s focus was pasta salad.
Here is the combo we tried:

1/2 lb. Fusilli pasta
1 cup hard boiled egg, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For the dressing:
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add eggs, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cheese. Stir to combine.

For the dressing: In a small pan over medium heat, cook garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing over pasta salad. Toss. Chill for up to three hours.

We had this with cheeseburgers and fruit salad.

Did I change anything? I think next time I will make a little more dressing.

What did the family think? The kids weren’t super excited about it, but they ate it. Hubby and I liked it and it went really well with the cheeseburgers and fruit salad. This would make a great picnic dish, too.

Where did this recipe come from? Food Network Magazine, June 2011, pg. 79

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian