Recipe Week 2015 #5: Grilled Corn on the Cob

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This recipe goes out to Brooke, a friend of mine who is pregnant and has been craving corn on the cob lately, so she says! Apparently Baby Bennett loves corn! I included this recipe about two or three weeks ago on our dinner menu. I prepped the corn and Kris grilled it outside for us. It turned out okay; when I say that I mean there was nothing wrong with it and it was edible and tasty – I just personally did not care for the charred taste of the blackened corn since it was cooked in its husks on the grill. But you may enjoy it that way! I think in the future, although “in the husks” makes for a beautiful presentation, I will go back to grilling corn in aluminum foil on the grill outside or boiling the corn on the stove. 

Let me see if I can remember the recipe… I looked up some recipes on Epicurious to get me started and get some ideas. You will need:

butter (I used part of a stick of unsalted)

corn on the cob

sea salt

I don’t think I used lime juice or chili powder in this recipe but it is always a tasty addition. 

Step 1. “Half-husk” the corn – What I mean by this is open up the green outer covering and pull out all of the silk. 

Step 2. Cover the corn with butter and sprinkle with seat salt. I used the end of a stick of butter to reach in and easily get to the corn, but I guess spray butter would work, too. 

Step 3. Pull the green husks back up over the corn. 

Step 4. Grill on medium-high heat on the grill for 20 minutes. This didn’t seem to warm our corn all the way through, so we put it back on for 5-10 minutes. It also may depend on which rack of your grill you are using. 
Enjoy! Let me know if you prefer the charred corn over regular boiled or foil grilled corn! 🌽
  

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Recipe Week 2015 #4: Summer Squash Casserole

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I followed this recipe last week and made squash casserole for dinner. I have eaten squash before, and I pretty much enjoy all vegetables, but had never cooked with squash personally. For the first time, I think it went very well! The summer squash is from my cousin’s garden, and the recipe is from my Mom-Mom. She had a few squash recipes in her book, but I decided to make this one.
This recipe will feed an army, just as a fair warning! I used it as a side dish and paired it with pan-fried pork chops, so needless to say, when used as a side dish for only two people… We were eating it for the next three or four days!


Summer Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

6 cups yellow squash or yellow zucchini, sliced (I cubed mine and did not measure 6 cups, just used one very large squash)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded carrots (of half of the bag like I threw in)

1/2 cup margarine, melted 

8 oz. box seasoned stuffing mix (I chose pork flavored since I served it with pork chops; the box was a little smaller than 8 oz. so I used less margarine than it called for too)

Directions:

Cook squash and onion in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain. Combine soup, sour cream, and carrots. Fold into squash mixture. Combine stuffing mix (uncooked, do not prepare it like on the box) and margarine. Spread half of stuffing mix on bottom of 12×7.5×2 pan (I used an oblong glass dish). Spoon on squash mixture. Place remaining stuffing on top. 

*Putting grated cheese on top is optional. Maybe I will try that next time I make it.*

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

  

Recipe Week 2015 #3: My Take on Reconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

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Well I titled this post accordingly because I followed a recipe from Epicurious titled Inside Out Eggplant Parmesan. And yet I did not follow the recipe exactly – yes I am a rule breaker in the kitchen! You know I don’t like to measure ingredients exactly either, and so this recipe will be my memory of how I tweaked the recipe and the amount of each ingredient to fit my needs. I cooked it tonight for the first time and I am excited to try it again in the future to perfect it even more! It was also my first time cooking with eggplant, which I think went as well as it could have. Special thanks to my Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop for the delicious eggplant, picked fresh from their garden last week when I was in town! πŸ† And yes that is an eggplant emoji. πŸ˜„

Mallory’s advice before you make the recipe… Keep these things in mind: 

*Do not use the lowest oven rack setting in your oven. You will overcook and burn the eggplant!

*Do not cook eggplant at temps higher than 450 degrees F. 

*When slicing the eggplant, thicker is better. Thinner slices will cook down and stick to the tray, and will also cook faster and burn more easily. 

Do not ask how I know these things… (I may have learned the hard way!)

The original recipe is available here from Epicurious, but here is my version, in which I omitted the homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and parsley and substituted other things because it’s what I already had in the pantry!

Ingredients:

olive oil (I did not measure it, but just keep the bottle handy!)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce (I used a small jar of Classico: Sweet Basil Traditional)

1/2 cup water

1 medium-to-large size eggplant

3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the Kraft brand was in my fridge)

1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or 5 tablespoons of the dried stuff!)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup water

1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

salt, for sprinkling on the eggplant slices

1/4 to 1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Kraft)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450Β°F with rack in lowest position. *Do not believe this lie from the original recipe. Put your rack in the center.*

Cut approximately 12 rounds from eggplant. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt. Bake on an oiled baking sheet, turning once, until golden and tender, 10 to 20 minutes total (I would try 7 min on each side and if that’s not enough then put them back into the oven). Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered.

While eggplant slices are cooking, heat the spaghetti sauce on the stove in a sauce pan on low. Now you can prepare and cook the egg patties.

Stir together bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, then stir in eggs and water. *It may look a little runny but that’s okay.*

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Drop rounded 1/3 cups of egg mixture (again, I did not bother to measure but this is how the recipe read) into skillet and cook, turning once, until patties are golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. This will make 4 to 8 patties, depending on their size. 
Arrange one egg patty on dinner plate. Top with a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce, 1 or 2 eggplant slices, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Depending on how many slices the eggplant produced, and the size of the egg patties, this recipe can feed 2-4 people. Enjoy!
  

  

Potato Pork Chops

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I am trying to write more blog entries in the new year! My next one is about a delicious recipe that I literally *does anyone else watch Parks & Recreation and love that word now as much as I do?* made up on the spot! I was home on Monday, enjoying a snow day (our second one in less than 4 days) and decided to change our dinner plan to include the slow cooker. I usually can’t make crock pot recipes during the week because I would have to set it at about 6:30 am, and sometimes I don’t get home until 5:30 or 6:30 at night. 12 hours is far too long! I do not have a delayed start on my crock pot, so the time I start it is when it starts to cook.

I still had to attend graduate class on Monday night (the roads were fine where I live, but my school district, which is almost an hour away, had to cancel due to snow), so I set the crock pot at 2:30 for 4 hours. That way, the hubby would have dinner ready for him and I could eat later! I did end up eating later and it was delicious, and then we went out to watch the OSU vs. Oregon game! Anyway, here is what I threw into the crock pot to create a new recipe:

4 boneless pork chops
1 can cream of potato soup
1/2 can 2% milk
1/4 can water
Salt and pepper to taste

It turned out to be so delicious, and I liked it even better than using cream of mushroom or golden mushroom soup, like I have done in the past. In the future, I would love to add chunks of potato to it, and I had some in the pantry but didn’t even think about it. The recipe is super simple, but that is what makes it great — what would you add to it to make it your own?

I’ve included some pictures of our dinner, along with some beautiful snow pictures from Monday! Enjoy.

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Recipe Week – Day 7 – Chicken Ranch Skewers

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It is the last day of my first ever Recipe Week! I think I will bring this back every few months so that I can compile a bunch of recipes at one time, while blogging about school-related topics on a more regular basis. Today’s recipe was made earlier this summer and it was so yummy. Marinating the chicken in the ranch mixture the day before worked well, too! The recipe came from this blog.

Chicken Ranch Skewers
yields 6 skewers

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Organic Ranch (I just used the ranch dry seasoning mixed with mayonnaise and milk instead of the dressing from the bottle!)
​2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP fresh parsley, finley chopped
1 TBSP fresh chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless

Directions:
First soak 8-10 skewers for at least 15 minutes. I always soak a couple of extra skewers in case a few split or break.
Then slice four boneless, skinless chicken breast.
In a medium size bowl add the sliced chicken breast, 1/2 cup of Hidden Valley Organic Ranch, 2 TBPS extra virgin olive oil, 1 TBSP of fresh parsley finely chopped, 1 TBPS fresh chives finely, and salt and pepper to taste.
Let all those flavors marinade while you are preheating the grill. Now you are ready to put the chicken on the soaked skewers.
Add 2-3 slices of chicken on each skewer. Don’t forget to oil your grates before placing your skewers on to cook.
Cook on medium to medium high heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees ( about 20 minutes). Turn the chicken occasionally with tongs to evenly brown both sides.

*This recipe was straight from her blog. I didn’t make them on the grill, instead I baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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Recipe Week – Day 6 – Crockpot Pork Chops

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This next recipe is something I made up while using items I had in my fridge and pantry! It is super simple and quick to make. You can alter the veggies used, but here is what I use:

Ingredients:

Boneless pork chops (about 6-8, depends on how many people you’re serving), thawed if they had been frozen
Large can of green beans
Large can of whole potatoes
Large can of diced tomatoes (or can use whole)
Salt and pepper to taste

The amounts are not specific because sometimes I use more potatoes, or less green beans , it really depends on what is in the pantry. The recipe will be very juicy with the juice from the tomatoes. It is yummy to use a piece of bread to get all of the juices off your plate!

Directions:
Place pork chops in bottom of crock pot. Salt and pepper them.
Drain potatoes and add to the pot.
Drain green beans and add to the pot.
Do not drain tomatoes — put the whole can in the pot, undrained.
Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Times are approximate; if you are cooking for less time, just be sure to check the inside of the pork chops and there is no pink. This is a great recipe to make in the morning and come home to after work! Enjoy.

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Recipe Week – Day 1 – Corn Salsa

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I have decided that this will be Recipe Week on my blog!!! *cue theme song* 🎢 I will post 7 recipes that I have made recently, whether for the first time or just an old favorite of mine. Most of the time I will have photos, but sometimes my hands are messy and I just can’t get good before and after photos – well, for the “after” photos, sometimes the food is so good it disappears quickly!

For our Monday recipe of Recipe Week, I will be sharing a corn salsa recipe. It is great for summer parties, and although I have made it only once so far, everyone asked for the recipe, it was so tasty! So if you were at that party and are reading this…. Sorry I am giving you the recipe two months later! I need to thank my good friend Hannah for giving me the recipe after she brought it to my Memorial Day cookout. Thanks Hannah!

Ingredients:
1 can drained corn kernels
1 can drained diced tomatos (or one fresh diced tomato)
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1/2 diced red onion
2-3 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice (or 1/2 a fresh squeezed lime)
2 tsps of cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Throw the vegetable and cilantro in first, stir, the add spices, stir, then lime juice last and stir one more time.

This recipe was so fast and easy, and I barely had to buy anything at the store since I had most of it at home! I love cooking with cumin and cayenne pepper, and my vegetarian chili recipe from my Super Bowl post on the blog uses similar spices. In the corn salsa, I opted for the diced tomatoes and the fresh lime. As for the cilantro, I used fresh but I did not measure it. I just chopped a bunch and threw it in, adding more as needed.

Enjoy, and let me know how you like the corn salsa! πŸŒ½πŸ…

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