Thursday, February 26, 2009

More pork

I got this recipe for apricot-glazed pork chops from the newspaper. We were kind of disappointed with the result. The blame lies with both me and the recipe. First, the recipe called for low-sodium soy sauce, and I used regular. My sauce was way too salty. Second, we could barely taste the apricot. Pretty sad for a dish named after the fruit. The recipe might be worth some experimentation, though. Let me know if you give it a shot.

THE RECIPE:

4 pork chops* (I used boneless, but bone-in works)
1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 c. whole-fruit apricot preserves
3 Tbsp. ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced

Brown chops in skillet, then place in slow cooker. Coat with sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

*The recipe says chops that are about 1-inch thick are best suited for slow cooking.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All for one, and one for all

Actually, I'm all for eating them all. If you want to stray from the tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie, try these minty Musketeer cookies. They are gooey and chewy and very good. The minty white part ends up kind of like a melted marshmallow. And, of course, there's some chocolate, because chocolate makes everything better.

THE RECIPE:

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 8-packs fun-size mint 3 Musketeers bars, coarsely chopped

Beat shortening and butter with granulated sugar. Add brown sugar and baking soda, then eggs and vanilla. Add flour. Stir in chopped candy. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool for just a minute, but remove from pan to wire rack while cookies are still soft and hot. If they sit too long, they will really stick.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A toast to pumpernickel bread

When we saw a loaf of pumpernickel bread on the quick-sale rack at the grocery store, we had to give it a try. My 3-year-old had heard a song about it on "Barney and Friends," but she said she thought it was a pretend food. To be honest, it's not that good plain. So we decided to pump up our pumpernickel. We actually ended up with a yummy and unique twist on the usual garlic toast.

THE RECIPE:

Sliced pumpernickel bread
Butter or spread
Garlic powder
Grated Parmesan cheese

Spread butter on slices of bread. Sprinkle with garlic powder. (Don't be shy. I liked the ones with a stronger garlic flavor best.) Sprinkle with cheese. Place on baking sheet under heated broiler for a couple of minutes. This is the only hard part. The bread is already dark, so it's hard to tell when it's browned. Just watch it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The big tuna

I think tuna casserole is probably one of the most cliche casseroles out there. But you know what? It really is good, and it's an easy way to sneak a little seafood into your diet. This one is topped with potato chips to give it a nice salty crunch. I use whole-wheat noodles to up the health factor.

THE RECIPE:

8 ounces wide noodles
2 cans tuna, drained
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
2 c. frozen peas
Potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions, then drain. Mix tuna, soup, milk and peas in bowl, then add noodles and spread in baking pan. Cover with crushed potato chips. Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bread 'n butter

I make this delicious corn bread about every week. It makes a great side dish or snack. My family loves it topped with butter and honey. One thing you must remember: Don't overbake! Just a couple of minutes will make the difference between moist and dry.

THE RECIPE:

1 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/4 c. cooking oil or melted butter

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside. Add 2 tablespoons butter to 9-inch round baking pan. Place in 400-degree oven until butter melts. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Remove pan from oven and swirl butter to coat. Pour in batter, then bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 400 degrees, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out mostly clean.