Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cooking Conversion Charts

Just a little out of the ordinary but I decided to share a little cheat sheet that I have to refer to in the kitchen.  It really helps me out and comes in handy when I need to do some conversions.

You can click on the image to get the full size image which should be 8 1/2 by 11 inches so you can print it out.  

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Pork Chops with Apple Gravy

After asking my wife what she wanted for dinner and her reply was pork chops, the question was how to cook them? I didn't want fried or baked.  I wanted to try something new so I scoured the net to see what I could find.  I actually found several recipes using apple cider or apple juice with the pork.  After checking out several recipes, I decided that was the way I was going to go.  I used boneless center cut pork chops and combined them with a apple juice based gravy which produced a moist sweet chop.  I will definitely be making this again and thought that I would share the recipe with you.  Please feel free to adapt, tweak, twist, remake or revamp it to your personal taste but I would ask that you please leave a comment with what you changed and how it turned out.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tortellini alla Vodka

So here we are with another pasta entry.  Can you tell I love pasta?  Anyways, this is my quick cheater's version of Tortellini alla Vodka.  By cheater's version, I mean I use pre-made tortellini and jarred vodka sauce. I also add a few fresh veggies and a can of diced tomatoes to the mix and some of my own seasonings. The greatest thing about this dish is that I can have it on the table in around 30 minutes so it makes a great easy dinner and I don't have to spend all day in the kitchen. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

EZ Pasta Salad

A while back I was asked to make something to bring to a family dinner which normally wouldn't be a problem.  Except this time I wasn't told to fix anything until a few hours before the dinner.  Needless to say, I wasn't very pleased.  I needed to come up with something fast, easy and using ingredients that I had on hand.  As I was looking through the cabinets and fridge, I had the idea of making a pasta salad.  It was a family cookout and what could be better than pasta salad?  Only one major problem was facing me.  I had never made pasta salad of any kind.  How hard could it be right?  So I grabbed my ingredients, threw them together and took off to the cookout.  I think I got a couple of bites of my pasta salad.  It turned out to be a big hit and it is what's most often requested when I ask what I should bring to a get-together.  Well, tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and of course my in-laws are having their annual Super Bowl party.  Naturally, I am making pasta salad to take, but this time I thought I would share the recipe with you.  It's quick, easy and so delicious!!!!

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Watermelon Cucumber Salsa

Usually we associate both watermelon and cucumber with summer but I couldn't resist making this salsa for the family Super Bowl party that I am going to tomorrow.  The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the coolness of the cucumber counteracts the heat of the jalapeno and the bite of the onion.  Add it all together and you have a wonderful easy salsa that is not your run of the mill tomato-based mixture.  My recipe is a combination of several others that I have "confiscated" over time.  So be sure to check after the jump for the recipe.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken Rigatoni Fra Diavolo

I think Shakespeare said it best in Richard III when he said, "Now is the winter of our discontent" because it's freezing outside and I'm not feeling very content right now.  So in an effort to heat things up, I decided to spice things up in the kitchen.  I kicked around several ideas but ended up deciding on a dish I'm calling Chicken Rigatoni Fra Diavolo.  Originally I was going to use penne pasta but when I was at the store, I saw the rigatoni and couldn't resist it.  As far as the sauce, let's just say it's my take on a Fra Diavolo sauce. If it is not what you know as Fra Diavolo, arrest me already.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Potato Soup

It's cold.  I don't just mean cool.  I'm talking ridiculously frigid-type cold.  I think the high today was 18.  I moved from Michigan to get away from all that.  It's not supposed to be that cold here in Tennessee.  But it is and I have no control over that so I guess I'll deal with it the best I can.  Being that it is so cold, I thought that I nice, steaming bowl of potato soup sounded awfully good. Now this isn't your ordinary potato soup.  This is my own interpretation of what potato soup should be.  This has chicken, corn, bacon and potatoes mixed into a cheesy base. But to me, the best part is that I can mix this wonderful soup up in a little over 30 minutes. Which is a big bonus when rushed for time and needing to get something on the table quickly.  Now I know it's just a personal opinion, but I will probably be arrested for assault because this soup just attacks the taste buds and assaults the palate. So make sure you give it a try and let me know what you think.  10-4?

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