Wednesday, September 26

Breakfast Fried Rice

I got the idea to try fried rice for breakfast after years of having my leftover Chinese takeout for breakfast. We of course still had this for dinner as we have breakfast for dinner at least a few times a month. 

If you don't have a wok, just use a large skillet and don't worry that the soy sauce discolors the eggs, they still taste amazing!

2 TBLS. olive oil
4 eggs

3 TBLS. soy sauce
1/2 lb. Kielbasa
2 cups cooked rice
2 TBLS. rice vinegar

Mix together 1 TBLS. of the soy sauce and the eggs. Beat well. 

Heat 1 TBLS. of olive oil in a large wok. Add the eggs and cook them scrambled style until they are not they are just about set up (but not quite as you are going to add them back in later and don't want them overdone). Remove the eggs and set them aside.

Add last TBLS. of olive oil to the wok. Add cooked rice and cook 5 minutes or until rice is lightly browned. Add the egg back to the wok. Then add the Kielbasa, remaining 2 TBLS. of soy sauce and rice vinegar. 

Cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes. 

Taste and add more soy sauce if you think it needs an extra punch. 

Serve with buttered toast. Delish!

Monday, September 24

Whole Wheat Spinach Turkey Wraps

Wraps can be a fun easy way to add some veggies to your day. I made these kid friendly too. Great lunch idea and they are delicious cold or warm. 

4 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch)
8 tsp honey mustard
8 oz. sliced turkey
4 slices Muenster cheese
2 cups baby spinach
2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Spread a teaspoon of honey mustard on each tortilla. Layer each with turkey, cheese, spinach and bacon. Roll up tightly. Cut each tortilla diagonally in half. Serve cold or warm.

Friday, September 21

Parmesan Pork Roast ~ In the Crockpot

It is my humble opinion that you could add a pork roast and water to a crockpot, cook for 8 hours and you have an amazing main dish. You can tell by the number of pork roast/tenderloin recipes I post how highly I regard it. I can't just stick to one recipe though and never seem to add the same seasonings, but change it up each time. 

This time I went with a sweeter sauce. It has a little tang that was perfect to lather the roast with. I felt it a little too sweet to use over mashed potatoes (which I paired the roast with). You might feel differently though.

1 (2-3 lb) boneless pork roast or tenderloin
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 TBLS. soy sauce
2 TBLS. dried basil
2 TBLS. minced garlic
2 TBLS. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBLS. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Spray crockpot with non stick cooking spray. Put roast in. 

In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt. Pour evenly over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. 

Remove roast to a platter and keep warm. Remove fat from cooking juices. Transfer juices to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and water, mixing until smooth. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into cooking juices and return to a boil. Stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened. 

Slice roast and serve with gravy. 

Wednesday, September 19

Cinnamon Bites

Almost every week, I bake. Sometimes I spend hours making a layer cake and sometimes it's something much simpler, but I like to have homemade "snacks" whenever possible. Not only do I enjoy baking as often as possible, but I know my guys like it too.  

For the busier days, these cinnamon bites work great. Easy to mix up a batch and a great lighter snack for anytime of the day. Adding the cereal gives them a little extra grit that we loved.

1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup crispy rice cereal, crushed
2 TBLS sugar
3 TBLS baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix flour, cereal, 2 TBLS sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add in Crisco with a fork until mixture is coarse. Add milk, and stir until moistened.

Roll dough into 1" balls.

Mix cinnamon and 1/2 cups sugar in a small bowl. Drop balls into melted butter and then into cinnamon mixture, completely coating them each time. 

Place balls on cookie sheet (sprayed with non stick cooking spray).

Bake 15 - 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Cool a few minutes in pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

This is Spencer's contribution. He always brings his cars out to play on the wire rack!

Tuesday, September 18

Photoblog Challenges Theme 38: Three

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
John M. Richardson, Jr.

I entered Photoblog Challenges Theme 38: Three

A lot of amazing photographers over there; you should stop by and see!

Monday, September 17

Bacon Ranch Potatoes on the Grill

Even though summer is winding down, there is still plenty of time for grilling left. We have had some amazing dinners on the grill this summer. I can't take any credit here as John is the grill master, while I just get to enjoy his masterpieces. Maybe someday he will let me share his marinade steak recipe. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe it. 

These foil packet potatoes are perfect for camping too. Little fuss and preparation. Over an open fire...yeah that.

10 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
7 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 packet dry ranch dressing
salt & pepper
3 TBLS. margarine
sour cream, for garnish

Spray 3 sheets of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Evenly distribute the potatoes and bacon between them. Sprinkle each with even amounts of the dry ranch packet, using the whole packet. Add salt and pepper.

Add a TBLS. of margarine to each and wrap up tightly. 

Grill 25 - 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let set 10 minutes (still wrapped) after removing from grill.

Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, September 12

Baked Potato Casserole

We love twice baked potatoes at this house. Actually, any kind of potato. Here is a twist from the scoop out version I usually make. You know, where you cut the potato in half after baking them the first time? Instead I cut the potato up into larger bite sized pieces and then baked them the second time. Yum!

I kept the skins on. I scrubbed them well before I baked them the first time. If you prefer them with the skins off, remove them before cutting into bite sized chunks for the second baking.

8 - 10 medium sized potatoes
2/3 cup cream
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onions
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream, garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap potatoes in foil. Poke a few holes in them and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven and remove foil. Let them cool just enough so they can be handled and then slice them into larger bite sized pieces. Place them in a buttered baking dish.

In a medium sized bowl, mix cream, eggs, butter. Pour mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with green onion, salt, pepper and shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for another 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 

Serve with sour cream.

Tuesday, September 11

Photoblog Challenges: Creative Project 19: White

Good morning! 

I realize I have quite a bit of pixelization and artifacts in this photo. Hell, my focus is even a little off. I still love it though. Due to me being across the lake from this beauty (go zoom!) and using my point and click, I am still impressed with what clarity I did capture. 

I entered Photoblog Challenges, Creative Project 19: White

Monday, September 10

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid

recipe from

Remember when your parents told you not to play with your food? Well, I am here to tell that is OK. In fact, it's fun and everyone should give it a try. Case in point, this bread braid. I had fun putting this together and it looks snazzy too. The kids might even enjoy helping!

2 cans crescent rolls
2 cups chicken chunks, cooked
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups broccoli pieces, steamed
1/2 cup mayo
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On a parchment lined or sprayed cookie sheet, spread both cans of crescent rolls lengthwise to form a long rectangle. 

Press seams together to form one layer of dough.

In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayo.

Spread mixture evenly over the center of the dough to form a log.

Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips 1" apart down each side of the dough.

Fold the dough strips over the top of the mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.

Brush the top of the bread with egg yolk.

Bake  28 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Thursday, September 6

Crockpot Hot Beef Sandwiches w/Au Jus

These sandwiches are easy to make and are great for lunch or dinner. The leftovers are fantastic too!

4 lbs. beef rump roast
2 (1 oz.) envelopes dry onion soup mix
2 tsp. sugar
1 TBLS. minced garlic
2 (10.5 oz.) cans beef broth
rolls - the crustier, the better

Trim fat from the roast and place it in the crockpot. 

In a large bowl, combine dry soup mix, sugar, garlic and broth. Mix well and pour over the top of the roast. 
Cook on low 6 - 8 hours. 

Remove roast from crockpot and shred with two forks. Return shredded beef to the crockpot and mix with the juices. 

Serve on rolls, using the juice for dipping.

Tuesday, September 4

Photoblog Challenges: Theme 36: Insects

I believe this to be a Variegated Fritillary caterpillar. 

Until this morning, I hadn't thought of caterpillars as baby insects. I think this little fella is quite pretty, as far as caterpillars go. 

I linked up with Photoblog Challenges theme: Insects