Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For a Crowd: Crock-Pot Tortilla Soup

I love learning new stuff! (nerd alert!) But seriously, I really enjoy watching people cook and picking up new techniques and ideas – hence my DVR is always full with Giada, Ina, Bobby, Tyler, etc. On Sunday my sister taught me an amazing, easy crock pot soup that was perfect for a rainy day, or any day for that matter. This Tortilla Soup couldn’t be simpler and your house smells so good while it is melding together in the crock pot! Literally you throw the stuff in the crock pot, let it sit for a few hours and that's it, so easy! I love to top mine with avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco but use whatever you like or nothing at all. This makes about 5 good servings, so you can feed a small crowd or have leftovers for lunch. Have fun with it and people will thank you worked really hard! Thanks sister for teaching me something new!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For 2: Chicken Sausages

Dinner doesn’t always have to be complicated.  Sometimes it is a Monday and it is raining and you are tired and you don’t want to do any work and that’s totally fine.  That is how I felt last night, which is why we had these chicken sausages, they are fully cooked all you have to do is brown them on the grill for a minute, and they were delicious! 

 Whenever I use a store bought/prepared products I like to do something a little special to take away the “out of the box” taste, which is why I made caramelized onions to top them with.  Really you can’t get any easier than caramelized onions: melt some butter in a pan; add the onions and sprinkle with  salt, pepper, and cayenne (if you like it spicy) and cook over low to medium low for 20 to 30 minutes. 

I completed dinner with green beans and grilled tomatoes: seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper grilled for about 5 minutes and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 

Look at all the pretty colors on that plate!  So don’t be scared, use short cuts, but dress them up a little and you will be totally satisified with your dinner!  What are your "short cut meals"?  Do you do anything to change them up?  If you live in Atlanta are you also tired of the 2 days straight of rain?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rosemary Horseradish Pork Chops

So this recipe is a redo, using leftovers, change up, inspired by other bloggers. A couple of weeks ago I posted a fabulous crunchy pork chop that I saw over at 20 Something Cupcakes, by Sarah. Then Melissa from For the Love commented about a similar pork chop she made, but with like ¼ of the steps and really tasty none the less. Well the other day I had some pork chops, left over rosemary horseradish mayo from the steak sandwiches and my inspiration from Sarah and Melissa; so this little delight came to be. The pork chop was juicy and tasty and since it was a night I had worked late it was paired with scallop potatoes from a box {gasp, I know, but I love them for some reason} and some green beans sautéed in chicken stock with 2 crushed garlic cloves. It was quick and delicious.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Rosemary Horseradish Pork Chops
2 Thin Cut Pork Chops
Rosemary Horseradish Mayo
¼ C Dried Italian Bread Crumbs
2 tbl Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and cheese together in a pie plate or other dish with high sides. Set a wire rack on a cookie sheet and spray with non stick spray. Spread each pork chop with some mayonnaise on each side and then coat in the bread crumbs, shake away extra and set on the wire rack. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

For 2: Steak Sandwiches for Football!

The Jackets were on the road this weekend, and most of our friends were out of town so the BF and I had our own indoor tailgate watching the game on TV. We had homemade onion dip and steak sandwiches. For the onion dip I used Ina Garten’s recipe with 2 minor changes: the addition of 4 green onions to the yellow onions she calls for and mixing it in the food processor instead of the stand mixer; I think the dip consistency is better that way. The steak sandwiches were a Lainey Original. Before the game started I made a rosemary horseradish mayonnaise to put on the sandwiches, marinated the steaks and sliced the mushrooms, so that when half time came I could throw the sandwiches together quickly. It totally worked out and the sandwiches were a hit. Georgia Tech won and we had a great time. What an awesome weekend!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For 2: Work Once, Eat Twice - Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

I like to call this a work once, eat twice meal. The stuffing for these bell peppers is simple to make, but you can’t really make a portion small enough for just 2 or 3 peppers. Good news – the left over stuffing freezes nicely, so you use what you need, freeze the rest and then in a couple of weeks you have a quick supper. All you have to do is defrost the stuffing, cut and clean some peppers and bake them off. Or you could invite some friends over a make them all at once! To go with these I just grilled a thinly cut squash and quartered onion which were dusted with olive oil, paparika, cumin and coriander. It went perfect!  I must warn you the stuffing is really tasty, so tasty the bf wanted to steal it out of the freezer and just eat it with a spoon. I hope you enjoy these, once soon and then again in a week or two, up to 3 months!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For 2: Roasted Eggplant and Pork Chops

Summer is coming to an end and so are the opportunities to buy locally grown, fresh produce. Last night I made dinner with the last remaning gems of summer: roasted eggplant and corn with BBQ pork chops. I marinated the pork chops over night in the sauce left from the pulled pork last week and then grilled them on the grill pan, and topped with the final remaining sauce. The corn was super-simple: fresh corn on the cob doused with olive oil, salt and pepper wrapped in aluminum foil, roasted in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes. It was delicious! The eggplant is really the only thing that took a little bit of work. I took some inspiration from this Giada de Laurentiis recipe, but used all fresh ingredients.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One of my favorites: chef's salad

I ate a salad last night. It was a combo chef's salad. Combo because everyone did a little work: my sister chopped the lettuce and veggies, my bf grilled the chicken and I boiled the egg and stopped on the way home to get the ranch dressing. I love ranch on a chef’s salad! We had romaine and spinach with green onions, avocado, feta cheese, boiled egg, and tomatoes topped with the chicken and ranch. OMG it was to die for. I should have taken a picture before the dressing so you could see all the pretty colors, sorry!  And here's the thing, all three of us had a huge salad for less than like $12 total; in a restaurant they would have been like $8 or $9 a piece.  Sorry I just don't get going out for salads, its a rip off.  You can make delicious ones at home! So no real recipe, its just a salad, lettuce topped with whatever you like, but here's a tip:
Salt and pepper your tomatoes and avocados right after chopping, before putting them on the salad. That way the seasoning will really stick to the veggies and add more flavor!
I love ranch on a chef's salad, but italian is generally my favorite and I just can't eat a salad with out tomatoes!  I want to know: what's your favorite salad dressing and what are your favorite toppings?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

For a Crowd: Football Breakfast Burritos

Man, I love a breakfast burrito and this Saturday morning we had some at the tailgate that totally hit the spot! The burritos were stuffed with steak, scrambled eggs, queso fresco, diced tomatoes & onions and homemade tomatillo-avocado salsa. I got the tomatillo-avocado salsa recipe from Marcela Valladolid on Mexican Made Easy and it was to die for; I am going to have to refrain myself from making this on a weekly basis. The steak marinated over night in Newman’s Own Lighten Up Lime Vinaigrette, cumin and cilantro and then grilled to medium rare. These burritos are perfect food for an early game tailgate, because they can be put together the night before and then just warmed up the next day (which is what I did). All you have to do is make the burritos and wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place them in a baking dish in the fridge over night. The next morning pop the dish in the oven on 350 for about 30 minutes to an hour and you are good to go!  I like to keep mine in a Built Bag so they stay warm, you can just see the polka dot bag on the left side of the tailgate set up, full of burritos ready for everyone to grab one!

Sincerely Loving Food & Football!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For a Crowd: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, again!

I did it again! Sunday night I roasted a pork shoulder (or boston butt depending on where you’re from) for a Labor Day BBQ. I used the same technique as I did a couple months ago, posted here, but I changed up the rub a little bit. I mean, who doesn’t love a pulled pork sandwich?
Sincerely Loving Food (and 3 day weekends),

Dry Rub:
1 C dark brown sugar
¼ C smoked paprika
¼ C dried minced onions
¼ C cumin
¼ C coriander
¼ C garlic powder
¼ C black pepper
2 tbl cayenne pepper
3 tbl Lowry’s seasoning salt

I rubbed all this on the pork, put it in a roasting pan (fat side up):

then added chicken stock and milk, covered the pan with foil, put it in a 200 degree oven and roasted for 8 hours. Then I pulled it apart with 2 forks, made the same sauce as I did here and we enjoyed sandwiches by the pool! Perfect!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Football HOORAY!

Oh my goodness!  It is finally here!!!  What you might ask, well college football of course.  This labor day weekend is a double pleasure - tailgate tomorrow for the GT Yellow Jackets and BBQ on Monday with good friends.  Our game tomorrow is at 1pm, so I am making steak and egg enchilidas - hopefully they are good and I will share the recipe next week.  And on Monday I am doing some pulled pork for BBQ sandwiches.  Oh I can't wait...only a few more hours...

What are you guys up to this weekend?  Who are you cheering for?  What are you gonna make?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Casseroles are comfort food. I know this is like the 3rd casserole I have posted in just a couple weeks, but this past weekend I had a friend who needed some comforting, so casserole to the rescue! My Mom has been making this cheesy chicken and rice casserole for years, and it has been my favorite for a long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For 2 X 2: Parm Crusted Pork Chops

Two weeks ago my grocer had pork chops on manager’s special – super cheap! I put them in the freezer until I could figure out what to do with them. Four days later there was an amazing recipe for crunchy pork chops posted at 20 Something Cupcakes (One of my favorite blogs). Monday I defrosted the chops and Tuesday I made these crunchy, cheesy, salty, savory, AMAZING pork chops. You have got to make these. Yes, it was a little bit of work, but it was oh so worth it. Thanks Sarah at 20 something cupcakes for finding this, it is my new love!

Sincerely Loving Food,