Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pineapple Chicken

I had a few different pineapple chicken recipes pinned over time, and finally decided it was time to try one.  This version was relatively simple, and included mostly normal ingredients I had on hand.  It was also the one with the fewest number of steps, always a plus.
My version looks a bit more pale than the original poster.  I'm guessing that's because I used neither chili sauce or Sriracha.  I've finally learned to accept our little family and it's bland palate for what it is, and not push the issue.  For what little heat we can tolerate, I added a sprinkle of red pepper and a dash or two of hot sauce.  

Other notes on this recipe: I added the whole red pepper.  Half or red pepper isn't really even enough to add color.  I was also super amazed at how the sauce thickened.  It was the perfect consistency when I added the cornstarch mixture back to the crockpot and stirred it all together.

The flavor of this dish is excellent, and a family pleaser.  It makes the cut!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Celebrating Love

Valentine's Day is a great food holiday.  I love the idea of making all our favorites with a red or pink twist.

For our Valentine's dinner I decided to go with a family favorite - pasta with Alfredo sauce.  A lap around Costco last week yielded some red, heart shaped cheese ravioli, so that was a perfect swap out for plain, ole non-Valentiney pasta.

I've made Alfredo sauce a bunch of times, and in a myriad ways, but I'm always on the lookout for the next best recipe.  I decided to try this one.  It was amazing.  And runny. Very runny.  I don't know what happened, if the proportions of the recipe is wrong, or if using a different Parmesan was the issue.  Either which way, I found a great recipe that needs some thickening.  The pasta itself was very good, too.  I never know what to expect from those kinds of "fun" pastas, but this one was delicious and a perfect pair with the Alfredo, especially for those of us who like cheese on cheese.

For my Valentine's baking, I made both Glazed Strawberry Muffins and Red Velvet Brownies.  The muffins are excellent, and actually better one day later.  Feel free to up the strawberry jam quantity in the glaze if you want a stronger strawberry flavor.  The red velvet brownies are so thick and chewy.  Perfect brownie texture with awesome red velvet flavor.  A light dusting of powdered sugar means the red velvet flavor isn't buried in a pile of frosting too.  A good choice in this case.

I hope you enjoyed Valentine's Day with your loved ones.  If you are celebrating yet this weekend, here are some great recipes to try!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pork Chops Du Jour

Recently I found pork chops at a great price, and it reminded me to put them on my February menu.  I decided to try out these Homestyle Crock Pot Pork Chops for a piano lesson day.

They were fine. That's about all the description they get.  Nothing terrible, nothing great, just fine.  I doubt that's a ringing endorsement, but if you are looking for a fairly basic pork chop recipe, this fits the bill.  I've got some other basics that I like just as well or better, so I'll probably stick with those.

Monday, February 6, 2017

OMG Mac and Cheese

For tonight's menu plan, I just put down mac and cheese figuring I'd figure it out later.  I've got a lot of mac and cheese recipes pinned, surely I could find one to make right?

I settled on OMG Mac and Cheese.  It is not even close to settling!  This is one fantastic mac and cheese--creamy, gooey, and cheesy, all the best things.

I chose to make just a half recipe.  I was pretty sure I was going to love it, and I don't need even  more temptation hanging around.  As it was, I still had four servings of leftovers, not that I'm complaining.

A few recipe notes: I used the Scallion and Chive Boursin cheese, although the garlic and herb variety would be delicious too, I'm sure.  Second, I swapped out elbow macaroni for shells (they hold the sauce in better). Finally, I did use 1/3 less fat cream cheese--have to save on calories somewhere, right?!

Seriously, this is some awesome mac and cheese, and super easy too.  A definite must make.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


There are some recipes that don't turn out quite like you expect.  Not that that's always a bad thing, but it is a surprise.

I expected this Cheesy Meatball Parmesan Soup to be much more brothy than it ended up.  With the pasta, meatballs, and melted cheese added in, it really just seemed like a "thin" casserole.  No matter what it's food category, the flavor was yummy.  You really can't go wrong with meatballs buried in a layer of cheese.

A great choice if you are craving Italian, but want something a little different.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Come at Me, February

One month down in the year 2017, and what a month it was.  I'm hoping for some fun new recipes, and yummy Valentine's goodies in the month of February.  Fingers crossed for great new recipes and keeping our heads above water for another month!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Slow Cooker Cordon Bleu

Mondays are reserved for slow cookers so that we can accommodate piano lessons, and make for a super easy afternoon on the days piano cancelled.  I'm not complaining.  I love when dinner is cooking away, and I'm out walking the dog, putting away laundry, or catching up on a little work.

This Slow Cooker Cordon Bleu  was an easy fix, and the flavor was excellent.  I started with two frozen chicken breasts, a half pound of ham, a few of the herbs, and several large squirts of honey mustard.  Follow with Swiss cheese at the end, and you have yourself a winner.  It doesn't photograph terribly well, but it was very tasty.  I highly recommend keeping this recipe close at hand for informal get-togethers, potlucks, and the like.