Yum

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Well, I'll be gone for a while.......

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Hubby is no longer working at Chili's and we've taken this as an opportunity to move back to Canada. I am over the moon, since I miss my family so much. It'll be good to spend all the holidays and special moments with them again. I always felt so left out, because my parents, brother, sister and their families would celebrate and I could never join them. Well, now it will be possible. Hubby has taken a job offer as a Manager for Dave and Buster's. Once he is trained he will become Senior Manager of their Toronto Ontario concept. It takes so much stress off of us, to be moving toward new employment, rather than being in limbo.

At the same time I am terribly sad to be leaving all the great friends I have made during my 4 yrs here in Middle Tennessee. I have found an amazing group of women, that have made my time here wonderful. I found them on Baby Center, a month after Mr.B was born. I was in a new country, new city, with a new baby and did not know one living soul. Over these past 4 yrs, we have grown to know and love one another. If it weren't for these wonderful women and mothers, I'd most likely be in a mental institution. Words cannot express how they have changed my life. I am a better person for knowing them.

So this is my final entry for a few months. The kids and I will be staying with my parents, while we try to find a house in Southern Ontario. My Dad is very old fashioned, so they do not have a computer, LOL. Plus I'm sure my mother will be doing most of the cooking, although I plan on lending a hand anyway I can. I'll take photos of new dishes I make, and will post them once we are settled into our new life in Canada. Thank you to all the readers and followers. I appreciate you taking the time to see what I'm up to. See you sooner than later, I hope.

Cindy

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops, Mac'n'Cheese and Homemade Sweet Tea

This pork chop recipe is something I've been making, since my sister shared the recipe, about 12 yrs ago. It's so simple, but the chops end up tasting awesome. I really enjoy the saltiness of the pork, paired with the sweetness of the glaze. I make this recipe at least once a month or so. I served it with homemade Mac'n'Cheese. I still haven't found a knock you on your butt, recipe for Mac'n'Cheese yet. Plus for some reason, every time I make it, the cheese sauce comes out all grainy. Hubby insisted the sauce was fine, but I guess I'm a perfectionist, LOL.


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Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

4 bone in pork chops
1 C dark brown sugar
1/2-3/4 C Ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together dark brown sugar, 1/2C ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Add more ketchup, if sauce is too thick. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil ( don't skip this part, since you'll be scrubbing all night). Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them on the cookie sheet and brush on sauce to completely cover top side of the chop. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, flip and slather with more sauce. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until chops are cooked through. ( I like to set the broiler on low and broil the chops for the last few minutes, so the sauce gets all bubbly and thick).

Mac'n'Cheese

1/2 a box of macaroni, cooked
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
salt and pepper
6 oz of sharp cheddar, grated
4 slices Kraft singles
1/4 C seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat broiler to low. In a medium sized pot, melt butter, over medium heat. Once melted, add flour, mix thoroughly and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, ensuring there is no lumps. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Bring milk to a simmer, whisking to ensure the milk will not burn on bottom. Simmer until milk thickens. Add Kraft singles and grated Cheddar, stirring until melted. Toss cheese sauce with cooked pasta and dump into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with additional grated Cheddar and bread crumbs. Place under broiler, until cheese starts to bubble and brown.

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Since Moving to the Southern part of the U.S. Hubby and I have been drinking a lot of Sweet Tea, or Iced Tea, as us Canadians like to say. A few years ago, we decided to start making our own, instead of shelling out $3 for a gallon of sweet tea. I make about 4 quarts every 3-4 days, so it's become a staple in our house. I don't like it overly sweet and love mine with a hint of fresh lime juice. Wonderfully refreshing on a hot Southern night, LOL.


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Sweet/Iced Tea

4 quarts of water
2/3C of sugar
2 family sized tea bags

Bring water to a boil, in a large pot. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep 5 minutes ( more if you like stronger tea). Remove tea bags, and stir in sugar, until completely dissolved. Let tea cool in pot and transfer to a pitcher. Store in fridge.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blueberry Sour Cream Scones

There was a blueberry scone thread on Cooking for your Family, yesterday. One of the members suggested a recipe she had seen over on Mommy's Kitchen. I have a huge bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer, that I need to use up in the next 2 weeks, so I decided to give these scones a try, this morning. All I can say is YUMMY!!! These were so easy to make and taste store bought. I've always been hesitant about making scones, since they usually turn out hard, LOL. These are light, fluffy and as Tina, from Mommy's Kitchen says, the insides are cotton-y soft. I made a lemon glaze to go on top and it adds a fresh sweetness. They are just as good without glaze, since I shared a plain one with Queenie. Mr.B and I then enjoyed a lemony glazed scone, once she was napping. Thumbs up for me and a big thanks to Tina, who's blog I am now following :o).



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Blueberry Sour Cream Scones
Adapted from Mommy's Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
1/2 cup sour cream1 large egg
1/2 - 1 cup fresh blueberries

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal). In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Add the blueberries, I toss mine in a bit of flour before adding. Mix gently and use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Scones: Follow recipe for blueberry scones. Substitute chocolate chips for blueberries.
Cranberry-Orange Scones: Follow the recipe for Blueberry Scones omitting blueberries and adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated orange rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried cranberries for the blueberries.

Cindy's notes: I used frozen berries, which I left in the freezer, until he last minute, then dusted with flour, before mixing them in. I omitted the raisins since Tina hadn't used them. For the glaze I mixed 1C of powdered sugar with 1/4 tsp lemon zest, juice of half a lemon and just enough water, so that the glaze wouldn't be thick.