Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Small-Batch Baking: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally baked something in our new house! We are still trying to get the last things done, a few more boxes to unpack and our new washer and dryer were delivered yesterday. Slowly, we are getting settled.

I wanted to bake oatmeal cookies last weekend, but I didn't have enough time. I was determined to bake something this weekend, so I took some butter out of the refrigerator and left it on the counter to soften all afternoon. Then I mixed up these cookies using a medium mixing bowl and a wooden spoon while Darren was cooking our salmon. I baked them using a single cookie sheet, and they were ready in about half an hour. The yield was 10 large-ish cookies.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meal Plan Monday #12

Our new washer and dryer are supposed to be delivered today! And sports are kicking off at school this week, so I'll be busy after school a couple of nights, leaving Darren to cook.

Sunday: Broiled Salmon with Rice

Monday: Ham Steak, Lima Beans, and Corn Pudding

Tuesday: Japanese Curry

Wednesday: Darren's Enchiladas

Thursday: Chef Salad and Pretzel Rolls

Friday: Date Night! Lib's Pick and High School Football!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Easy Grilled Pork Chops

We love the cast iron seared steaks from Alton Brown, and I have modified the cooking method for pork chops. I use boneless 1 - 1 1/2 in. thick pork chops. Allow the pork chops to come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium. I use a cast iron stove top grill, but these could easily be cooked on an outdoor grill. Brush the chops with oil, and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Then cook the chops 4-6 minutes per side until desired doneness. I like to cook them 4 minutes, then turn them over, then cook an additional 2 minutes per side to get the nice cross-hatch grill marks. We served these with mashed potatoes and broccoli with cheese. YUM!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Snap Shot Saturday

We went to the Museum of Transportation in Saint Louis. I really like it, and they have added many new things since my last visit.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cornbread Skillet Casserole

Last week we made cornbread skillet casserole. I have been making variations of this dish since I was in high school. It is basically Mexican cornbread with hamburger meat. Start by browning some ground meat.
While the meat is cooking, coat the bottom of a large (10-12") cast iron skillet with oil and put it in a cold oven and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix up the cornbread mixture and allow it to stand for as long as possible to rise.
Grate some cheese, and you're ready to assemble.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place it on a heat-proof surface. Pour half of the cornbread mixture into the skillet, and top with meat, cheese, and jalapeno peppers. Pour the rest of the cornbread mixture over the top and smooth with a spatula.

Place the skillet back in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the center is set and the top is golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve with guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, salsa, or other desired toppings.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday #11

School is in full swing around here, so I am busy. I hope to be able to keep up with some posting, but I will at least get the meal plans and picture blogs completed. I have a recipe from last week that I will try to work on this week.

Sunday: Sizzling Fish with Rice

Monday: Ricotta Pasta

Tuesday: Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas with Black Beans and Guacamole

Thursday: Grilled Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Friday: Date Night! (Darren's Pick)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Snap Shot Saturday

This is K.A.E. She is my goddaughter, and she is nine. Look how tall she has gotten!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meal Plan Monday #10

It's a busy week here. Today is the first day of school for me. During the summer, I do most of the cooking, because I have summers off. During the school year, Darren and I usually share the cooking. He usually does all of the cooking on Sunday, because I spend most of the day preparing for the upcoming week of  school.

Sunday: Broiled Salmon, Rice, and Salad

Monday: Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

Tuesday: Cornbread Skillet Casserole

Wednesday: Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Thursday: Ricotta Pasta

Friday: Date Night! Lib's Pick

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Woof Wednesday

Sometimes Ralph likes to sit exactly where someone is trying to get something done...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Meal Plan Monday #9

The movers are coming today, but we already finished moving the kitchen stuff on Saturday, so we are cooking in our new house!

Sunday: Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks and Salad

Monday: Ham Steak, Black-eyed Peas, and Cornbread

Tuesday: Green Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice

Wednesday: Cheeseburger Hashbrowns

Thursday: Darren's Chicken Enchiladas with Refried Beans

Friday: Date Night! (Darren's Pick)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Snap Shot Saturday

My mom and I went to the twelfth Ladies' Football Forum at Ole Miss a few weeks ago. It was a fun Saturday. This is a picture of me on the 50 at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brother!

Today is my favorite brother's birthday! I had the immense pleasure of getting to visit him a couple of weeks ago. I don't get to spend enough time with him. Maybe one day we will live close together again. I will not get to celebrate his actual birthday with him, but I did bake him an early birthday cake while I was visiting.

The cake is from a box, because he doesn't have a mixer and isn't a home-baker, which made buying loads of sugar and flour and making a scratch cake seem like a lot of hard work. I would still like to try this cake made as 4 or 5 layers with buttercream or caramel icing, but I'll have to save that for another time when I have access to a mixer. 

I made a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow cake and added a spoon of vanilla extract to the batter. I did make homemade buttercream icing, and I used tubes of Writing Icing by Cake Mate to decorate the cake. They work pretty well and don't taste icky like the tubes of icing I remember from childhood.
Happy birthday, Michael! I hope your day is great!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Woof Wednesday

So spoiled! We try to keep the sofa covered with a blanket so it's not so hairy, but Ralph will curl up in the spot without the blanket, if it gets pushed aside.