Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Roast

This was a fun recipe to try and my husband and I loved it! It smelled so good and tasted wonderful! The kids liked it but not nearly as much as we did. I think that is just because they are kids :) I made it with the orange juice but want to use the cranberry juice next time jut for more of a cranberry kick. We served it with roasted russed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I found it on Heather White's blog. She has a really fun blog and shares the most delicous recipes (and craft ideas and lots of other neat things) (Thank you Heather!)

Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Roast
1 pork loin roast (2 ½ - 3 lbs.)(can be boneless or not)
1 can (16 oz.) jellied whole cranberries
1 C. dried cranberries
½ C. sugar
½ C. cranberry juice or ½ C. orange juice
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. ground cloves
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. cold water

Place pork roast bone side down in a slow cooker/crock pot. In a medium bowl, mash cranberry sauce. Stir in sugar, cranberry juice, orange juice, mustard and cloves. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours. If boneless, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Cook until meat is tender. Remove roast and keep warm. Skim fat from juices; measure 2 cups, adding water if necessary and pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Combine cornstarch and cold water to make a paste; stir into gravy. Cook and stir until thickened. Season with salt. Serve with sliced pork.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Oh, this soup is so very yummy! My good friend Amy served this at a Primary worker appreciation dinner. Everyone loved it and she had several requests that night for the recipe. I made it last week and found out that two of my friends had made it that same week too! It isn't low fat by any means, but every once in a while it is worth it to splurge on something this good!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
1 onion
2 carrots
3 celery sticks
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. flour
6 c. water
1 Tbsp. McCormick chicken base or 4 bouillon cubes
2 pkgs. Rice-A-Roni long grain and wild rice
2 to 4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I usually boil and shred my chicken)
2 c. half & half
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Chop vegetables and place in large soup pot. Melt butter and saute vegetables until tender. Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Slowly add water; stir vigorously until flour dissolves. Prepare Rice-A-Roni as directed on box, then add to the soup. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low until well blended.

Our favorite Bread!

This picture really dosen't do this bread justice. It is such a wonderful, moist and favorful bread. I call it Mom's bread since it is what she always makes. I have had requests for this recipe many, many times. I love that it stays moist, dosen't get crumbly and freezes well. You can slice it thick or thin, you can make it all white (which is divine) or do half white and half wheat (which is equally delicious) You can use sugar or honey, and even throw in some quick oats for texture. The choice is yours, either way it is the best, most flavorful recipe I have come around and it is easy to make! It makes 4 good size loaves and dosen't last long at our house.
I have frozen it with great results. I just pull a loaf out of the freezer, wrap some paper towel around it, and let it sit over night on the kitchen counter. In the morning I have a soft loaf of bread waiting to be eaten. Oh, it also makes great french toast! Enjoy :)

Mom’s Bread
2 cups milk
1 stick (½ cup) butter or margarine
1 can evaporated milk
2 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar or honey
1 ½ Tbs salt
2 Tbs yeast ( I like to use Saf-instant yeast as I can add it dry with the flour and skip the step of disolving yeast)
Bread flour (optional: mix bread flour with wheat flour.) I also like to add ½ cup of oats before adding the flour to add more texture, YUM!

1. In a sauce pan heat together 1 stick butter and 2 c milk till butter is melted. Set aside.
2. Pour 1 can evaporated milk into a measuring cup and then add enough warm water to make 4 1/2 cups of liquid (approx 2 1/2 cups water) note you will want the liquid to be the right temp for the yeast when it is all mixed together.
3. Pour melted butter and evaporated milk mixture into mixing bowl and then add the 4 1/2 cups of evaporated milk/water mixture.
4. Add 1 cup sugar and 1 ½ Tbs salt and mix thoroughly till sugar and salt are dissolved.
5. Add 2 Tbs yeast and stir till dissolved.
6. Add flour one cup at a time and mix with dough hook till the right consistency. ( when dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl , the dough is done) Approx. 10 cups. Dough will be sticky.
7. Dump into a large greased bowl and cover. Let rise till double in size. Then punch down and form into loaves and place in greased bread pans (it fills 4 large bread pans for me)
8. Let rise till double again and then bake at 350* for 35 minutes.
9. Pop loaves out of bread pans onto cooling rack
10. Optional: lightly butter the tops of the loaves when they are still hot from the oven to keep the top crust soft and yummy.

Tortellini Soup

I recently subscribed to the Taste of Home magazine and in my first issue, I found this delicious recipe for Holiday Tortellini Soup. I made it today and served it with multi grain french bread and and the family loved it! It was filling, full of flavor, and easy to make. It also states that it freezes well which is a plus! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)

Tortellini Soup
(from Taste of Home magazine)

2 Tbs olive oil
2 oz Pancetta or Bacon, finely diced. (I used pre-cooked crumbled bacon)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (49 1/2os) chicken broth (I used three cups water and 3 tsp chicken bullion)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 package (9oz) cheese tortellini ( I used a 19oz bag of frozen tortellini)
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
8 oz fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed and chopped (I used 3/4 bag of fresh baby spinach)
Salt and pepper to tastee (I only needed to use a little)
1 cup freshly shredded parmesean cheese (I used the grated stuff from the can :)

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over meduim heat. Add pancetta (or bacon). Cook until crisp (mine was pre-cooked so I just threw it in) Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Add broth and Italian seasoing; bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Add cooked tortelini to soup mixture. Stir in tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parmesean cheese and serve with your favorite bread.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sugar Cookies!

I LOVE Sugar cookies, and these have to be my all time favorite! I am frequently asked for this recipe it is so yummy. You can make these thin or thick ( I prefer thick) and they are moist and fudgy. With Valenties just a week away I thought it was time to share this delicious recipe! Now, I found this on the internet and it is titled the Great American Cookie Company's Sugar Cookie, but I don't know if it is official or not, either way it is the best I have come across. Enjoy!

Great American Cookie Company's Sugar Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or almond extract - almond is our favorite!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons sour cream
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream shortening, butter, sugar; add eggs, lemon, vanilla and sour cream. Mix till creamy; add sifted dry ingredients: salt, soda, and flour. Chill for several hours or overnight. (I never take the time to chill but it might help, it is a very soft dough) Roll into balls and flatten with bottom of sugar coated glass. OR, roll out and cut in to shapes.
Bake at 350° just until the edges start turning color. Maybe 7-10 minutes, Time will vary depending on how large and thick you made your cookies. It is important not to over bake if you want the texture to remain chewy and soft.
Frost and decorate as desired.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great Easy Salsa!!

Andi’s Salsa – so easy even I can do it!

1 can of whole tomatoes (Big)
1 small can of green chilies
2 bunches of green onions (I use less)
¼ a bunch of Cilantro
Garlic salt to desired taste

Put in Blender
Cut off ends of onions – cut up about an inch long stems
Snap off leaf part of cilantro - about 1/4 of bunch
1 can of Green chilies
garlic salt
Juice only from can

Pulse just a little – not too much, you do not want to puree it

Add the tomatoes – pulse a few more times