Cheesy Vegetable Medley

31 08 2008

This next recipe is truly a family affair. The recipe comes from my future mother-in-law, Linda and nearly all the ingredients are from my grandfather’s garden:

If you want any easy side dish, this is it. And it’s delicious, like really really delicious. This is another recipe that can be tweaked to suit your tastes. The original recipe didn’t call for green peppers, but I have a bunch so I dumped those in. The recipe calls for shredded cheese. I happened to have Taco blend in the fridge — totally worked. I will definitely be making this side dish a lot!

Cheesy Vegetable Medley

Stuff you need:

  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • squash, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • tomato, chopped, canned or fresh (I used fresh)
  • green pepper, chopped
  • shredded cheese

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Season vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Saute the squash, onion, and green peppers in olive oil over medium high heat until tender.
  3. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium, medium-low.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheese and allow to melt on medium-low heat.

I mean, it doesn’t get any quicker than that.

Source: [FF] Thanks, Linda!!


Pork Chops Royale

30 08 2008

Another recipe from the Pampered Chef bridal shower guests: Pork Chops Royale from Sharon. I love pork and this recipe is super easy and very good. I will probably make a few changes the next time I try this recipe, but it has a tasty foundation that can be tweaked and manipulated almost any way you like. The original recipe calls for ketchup, but WF doesn’t like ketchup — GASP! I still don’t get it because who doesn’t like ketchup?? Anyway, I substituted the ketchup with bottled BBQ sauce. Let me tell you, this smelled heavenly baking in the oven. I’m not sure how the recipe would turn out with ketchup, but if you try it, let me know. I also added green peppers to this recipe because I have about 6 from my grandfather’s garden that I want to use.

The original recipe is written for 4 pork chops. However this recipe is very easy to make for any number of chops. I’ve listed each of the ingredients for one pork chop. Increase as needed for each additional pork chop.

Pork Chops Royale

Stuff you need:

  • pork chop, about 1″ thick
  • thin slice of onion
  • thin slice of lemon (or lemon juice)
  • thin slice of green pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. BBQ sauce (or ketchup)
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a baking dish.
  3. Season both sides of the chop with salt and pepper.
  4. Place a slice of onion, lemon, and green pepper onto the chop.
  5. Top with BBQ sauce and brown sugar.
  6. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Uncover and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until done.
  8. Baste with BBQ sauce frequently while baking uncovered.

Source: [FF] Thanks Sharon!

Cashew Apple Salad

29 08 2008

One of the (many) perks of my Pampered Chef bridal shower is the recipe book I compiled using recipes that each guest brought with them. My mom’s friend Terry gave me a recipe for a quick, fresh salad and today was a good day to try it.

Today, I returned to the gym.

So when I got home I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of time on lunch. Enter the Cashew Apple Salad. This was so easy, I was eating in no time. Terry’s recipe calls for peeled Granny Smith apples, but Gala happened to be on sale. The tartness of Granny Smith’s probably would have balanced out the sweetness of the dressing a little bit better, but I LOVE sweet things. So it was perfect. Also, I got lazy and did not peel the apples, but then again I like the extra crunch of the skin.

Terry’s recipe was also written for a large salad serving several. I adjusted the amounts to make an individual salad but went ahead and made the entire batch of dressing to keep in the fridge whenever I want to use it. If you’re looking to make a larger version of the salad check out the amounts in parentheses.

Cashew Apple Salad

Stuff you need:

  • baby spinach (1 lg. bag)
  • Granny Smith apples, or whatever you like (4-5 lg. apples)
  • salted cashews (16 oz.)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Wash and prepare spinach.
  2. Peel apples (if you want) and cut into small cubes
  3. Add apples and cashews to spinach.

Sweet Balsamic Dressing

Stuff you need:

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Mix all ingredients well and microwave 30-45 seconds.
  2. Cool.
  3. Pour over salad when ready to serve.

Source: [FF] Thanks, Terry!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamy Rice & Broccoli

29 08 2008

I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes, especially now that at least two nights a week WF has to do group homework for the Master’s program he is doing through his employer. It’s pretty lame that he doesn’t get home until 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, midnight… ugh. It’s usually just Wednesday and Thursday but it definitely throws off my ideal dinner schedule. I’ve found that slow cooker recipes mean it doesn’t matter too much when WF comes home — he can just heat up dinner if it’s gotten cold in the cooker. Scroll down for a pretty successful recipe I made on Thursday. It was simple but good and WF approved 😉

Also of note today, I got to use another one of my new shower gifts! Here are some pictures of my new Chop and Scoop! So easy to drop my chopped onions in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamy Rice & Broccoli

Stuff you need:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 3/4 c chicken broth
  • 1 bag Minute rice
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 c broccoli florets
  • 1 clove garlic
  • onion powder
  • oregano
  • salt & pepper

What to do with that stuff:

  1. In slow cooker, add 3 soups, chicken broth, rice (poured out of bag), and onion.
  2. Put slow cooker on HIGH and begin cooking.
  3. Trim chicken breasts and cut in half to make 4 large chunks.
  4. Peel clove of garlic and rub onto surface of chicken. Season both sides with onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Pan sear each side, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add chicken pieces to slow cooker.
  6. Let cook for about 2 hours.
  7. Add broccoli florets and cook for another hour.
  8. Serve warm.

Other things you might want to know:

  • Serves 3 to 4.
  • If your chicken pieces are smaller, wait to add them to the slow cooker when you add the broccoli.
  • You can skip pan searing the chicken. I just liked the color and texture it produces.

Adapted from: All

WF Requests: Limeade

29 08 2008

Last time WF requested something I ended up making a pretty darn good Red Velvet Cake that I never thought I’d be able to pull off. This time, I mixed up some delicious Limeade. As I write this, WF hasn’t had a chance to taste it yet, but I think it’s pretty fabulous.

I like the way this drink is not overwhelmingly limey but gives enough of a kick at the end so that it doesn’t taste watered down. I also like the way this drink is a perfect use for my brand new glass pitcher. My cousin gave it to me at my bridal shower last weekend. LOVE IT!

Give this a try – quick! – before the next season begins… HOKIE FOOTBALL SEASON that is. Yes friends, another Hokie Football season is upon us. On Saturday WF and I will be in Charlotte at the season opener vs. ECU. If you know nothing about Hokie Football, all you need to do is watch this. If you know about Hokie Football, watch this and laugh as hard as WF and I did … and get extremely pumped up for the season.

But I digress… on to the recipe!

WF’s (Future) Favorite Limeade

Stuff you need:

  • 3 to 4 limes
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less… your call)
  • Blender
  • Ice cubes

What you should do with that stuff:

  1. Quarter 2 of the limes and place in your blender (yes the entire lime) with sugar, 4 cups of water, and the juice of 1 lime.
  2. Blend until completely pureed.
  3. Strain the limeade into a pitcher and add the other 4 cups of water.
  4. Add ice to the pitcher as desired.
  5. Place 3 or 4 lime slices (optional) in the pitcher and refrigerate.

Additional things you could do:

  • Add tequila for instant marg 😉

Adapted from: Laylita’s recipes

Planning to Open A Bakery…

28 08 2008

I told you that I was making the Lime Meltaways to give to the guests at my Pampered Chef bridal shower and here is how I packaged them. My mom is a Creative Memories Consultant and I used one of her tag makers to punch the tags. I got the bags and ribbon from Michael’s and then printed up my own labels.

Everyone loved the cookies and several people asked my mom if I was planning to open a bakery to sell these cookies — HAHA. The hostess also enjoyed her Blueberry Zucchini Bread and insisted I open a bakery to sell the bread too. I’m just glad everyone enjoyed everything. I already have some ideas on how to change the recipe for the cookies a little bit. Hopefully I’ll get to that sometime soon.

I’m having a little trouble getting things done in the kitchen because my wedding is 6 WEEKS AWAY. I can’t believe it’s almost here — the time seemed to fly by. I’m really excited but still have so much to do!! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to all the recipes I’ve listed on Le Back Burner. We shall see!

If you’re reading, please post comments! What do you want me to cook next??

Lucky Me!

27 08 2008

I’m back in SC trying to find my old routine. My mom left this morning and I’ve been working on laundry, grocery shopping, and thank you notes. Last week I had two bridal showers which were so fun! I’ve got a lot of fun Pampered Chef items coming my way as well as a variety of other registry gifts, including some for the kitchen. Can you say YAY!

Another fun update involves a blog called Blake Makes. I signed up to be a “Sooper” Hero which is free and means you can get free stuff to try out in the kitchen as well as enter to win prizes. Well, my first contest entry ended up a winner! I’m so thrilled!! I will soon be the happy owner of these awesome dipping spoons from The Spoon Sisters. This contest was great (not just because I won) because I remembered to check out the spoon sisters website and bought like a million things. I strongly suggest you check out and