Recipe Review – Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

March 28, 2012

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We tried this tonight; the recipe is from Neither of us has ever had Chinese Five Spice before, so when I opened it to put into the crock pot I was a little concerned about the licorice smell. I’m not a fan of black licorice and Chinese Five Spice contains Star Anise, which smells just like black licorice to me. But the recipe only needs 1/2 tsp. So I figured, hoped, the rest of the ingredients would take care of the black licorice scent and possible flavor. We went with the pork we had on hand, which happened to be Pork Butt Steak. I put everything together last night and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I wasn’t sure what to do with the scallions, cilantro and mushrooms, because the recipe doesn’t address it. Based on teh picture it looks like they’re used on top of the meat after cooking. I added them during the cooking processes.

Results?  Awesome! The smell and taste of the Chinese Five Spice was still prominent, but it worked. We will definitely be doing this again. In fact, I can easily imagine doing this with beef or chicken. It was easy to put together, even though I kept forgetting to add stuff. It cooked up nice and tender. In fact, while I was waiting on the rest of dinner to cook and was doing dishes I kept snacking on pieces of the meat. Which would explain why I got full nice and quickly. Here’s what ours looked like, out of the crock pot. 


Maple Baked Pork Loin Roast – Recipe Review

February 15, 2012

I was looking for something to do with pork loin roast a while ago and found this recipe. We tried it tonight and will definitely be having it again. Changes I would do? I would love to try this in the crockpot. And since I used less meat than the recipe calls for, I would cut the liquid amounts as well. Despite the maple syrup this is not sweet at all. It came out very juicy with a small hint of maple taste.  I can also see this being a fantastic marinade for pork chops, and maybe even chicken. I do have to add that I didn’t do the sear portion and the meat was still very tender and juicy.

Greek Goodness

September 15, 2010

Dinner tonight was one of those “Let’s try this, and let’s throw this in” and was so good I have to share. Last month my friend Hip and her husband were on town on vacation. So J and I took them to Tarpon Springs and we had dinner at Mama’s Greek Cuisine, a place recommended by some co-workers. And oh man was it good! We all cleaned our salad plates. The main meal was heavenly. And since then, I’ve been wanting some more Greek food. Last time I went grocery shopping I picked up some Greek Salad dressing and I’ve been doing salad with that lately. I also thought it’d taste great as a chicken marinade.

Last night I pulled out some chicken and this morning I added some of the dressing as a marinade. Let it sit all day and since J beat me home he started dinner for us tonight. He heated up some olive oil in the pan, added garlic, cumin, ground ginger and chili powder. And there are no measurements for these, it was just however much he felt like throwing in. Once that was sauteed a bit then he added in the chicken and inadvertantly ended up searing it before completley cooking it. Oh was it good! A little on the sweet side, he said he tasted some smokiness. So moist and juicy and definitely something to repeat.

So tomorrow I have Greek Goodness leftovers for dinner. YUM! And then over the next couple of weeks we’ll be trying some new E-Mealz meals. On deck is the Cheese Stuffed Shells, Garden Quiche, Pinto Beans and Ham, Sausage Beans and Rice and a repeat, the Breakfast Casserole. Interested in trying E-Mealz? They provide a meal plan for the week for only $5 a month! They have different size options, different store options and different diet options. Check them out by clicking on the link.

Pita Pizza and Salad

September 2, 2010

It’s what’s for dinner. The pita pizza was completely fly by the seat of my pants. While grocery shopping yesterday I picked up a head of lettuce, some tomatoes, feta cheese and Greek Salad dressing. So I knew I wanted that salad tonight. But I had no idea what I wanted to go with it. Then I started thinking about Pizza Margharita.

So I did my own version. I got some pita bread (because it was cheaper than the pre-cooked pizza crust stuff), some roma tomatoes and mozarella cheese. I sauteed some garlic, onions, green pepper and the sliced tomatoes in some olive oil. Attempted to drizzle some olive oil on the pitas. Then added garlic powder, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley to the pitas and stuck them in the oven at 325 for about 5 minutes.

Took the pitas out, spread out the sauteed mixture on top and then topped that off with sliced mozarella cheese. Put it back in the oven for probably about 15 to 20 minutes (until it was all hot and the cheese was melted). Over all, not too bad. I’d definitely do it again, maybe with a shredded Italian cheese mixture instead of just mozarella. And definitely less olive oil. My little pizzas ended up half soggy, half crispy. Oops.

Sooo yummy!

April 8, 2010

Strawberry season here in central West Coast Florida is winding down. And that means local growers start doing you pick ’ems. So J and I went and picked ’em! We got 10 quarts of strawberries for $5.  My parents got some, he has some, he wants to make jam, and of course I have some. I decided I wanted to make chilled strawberry soup. I had some on a cruise (pretty sure it was the Royal Caribbean one last year) and loved it. So off to Google I went. I actually found a couple of recipes to try and the one I really wanted to try calls for rhubarb. The store didn’t have any frozen, so that meant a change in recipes. I ended up using:

Chilled Strawberry Bisque
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
fresh mint for flavor and garnish

Puree strawberries, milk, cream and sour cream in blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in sugar. Chill 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator before serving.


I made some changes to this one. I only used 1/4 c. of the whipping cream, I didn’t get mint.  And I think I used more than 2 cups of strawberries, or it was close anyway. Next time I make this I’m going to cut down on the sour cream as well and up the strawberries. I love it, but there’s just a bit too much taste of sour cream for me.  This is a tasty, easy, healthy recipe.  Great for the hot days of summer.

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

June 18, 2008

Ok, not really.  And I didn’t want to add this to my post about Julie and Rob’s present.  So you’re all lucky, you get two posts from me tonight.  But this one really isn’t a post.  It’s more of a request.

I have a project in mind, and I would like you all to help me! Well, except Mom and Dad.  I would like everyone to send me their favorite recipe.  I’m not looking for anything complicated, or anything that requires a ton of specialty ingredients.  But maybe that special meal you loved to have your mom or dad make while growing up.  Or maybe it’s your favorite go-to meal when you just don’t feel like thinking about what to cook. 

If you are able to help me out, I’d really appreciate it.  I would like to have these by July 10th.  Thanks everyone!  Oh, and Mom and Dad don’t need to respond because I can just go raid their recipe files.  That and except for my Sloppy Joes, most of my favorite recipes come from them.

As an incentive, I’m going to randomly select (pull name(s) from a hat!) someone to receive a homemade gift.  Perhaps you’ll receive a Starburst Hotpad of your own 😀

Quick and Easy Cooking – right up my alley!

June 3, 2008

My friend Courtenay started a cooking blog showing different things she’s cooked in her new kitchen. Several of these things she’s gotten from the Kraft Food & Family Magazine.  They looked so good, I had to sign up for the magazine myself (psst, it’s free!).  And so far I’m in love with it!

Kraft provides recipes just the way I like them, quick and easy.  There’s not a need to go get one little ingredient that you might have never considered before and will probably not get used for anything else.  The two things we’ve made so far have taken relatively little time to prepare.  And they included ingredients that for the most part I already had.  Or had to re-stock up on. You gotta love recipes like that! And, for those watching the nutrional info on what they eat, the recipes online show the NI, I wish they would in the magazine.

So what have we tried? Our first one was the Extra Cheesey Chicken and Noodles, and there was another meal left over! J said salt and pepper was needed.  I would consider reducing the amount of water used and add some milk and butter.  But overall, very tasty and definitely a make again.

The second we made as the Low Fat Zesty Shrimp and Pasta.  This was originally made Thursday night, with leftovers last night and one more night of leftovers.  For this we used whole wheat spaghetti noodles, since that was what was on hand.  And chicken was added for me.  With our leftovers last night we added more dressing (since J got happy with the noodles and cooked too many 🙂 ) and sliced up some Roma tomatoes.  Very yummy and this would probably work well cold too.

If you’re looking for some new recipes to try, sign up for the magazine! The website also has past issues archived with the recipes still available.  Enjoy!

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