Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

When I saw these pork chops on Paula's Best Dishes; she was doing a chocolate episode so I was already interested since I'm a huge chocoholic but when she said she was making chocolate spiced pork chops I was glued to the t.v. because it sounded very interesting.  After I saw her make these I knew I had to try them, there isn't a lot of chocolate in the recipe so don't be worried about them being over chocolatey, but there is just enough to add a different depth of flavor.  The rub itself was incredible, it had all the different flavor elements; sweet, salty and spicy and they blended together perfectly and created a wonderful flavor.  The rub would be great not only on pork, but we inted to try it on some red meat as well as chicken.  This has quickly become one of our favorite recipes; it's easy and the ingredients are ones that most people usually have on hand at all times.  

Everyone was very intrigued by the recipe when I first told them about it, mainly because of the chocolate.  Spencer was very skeptical, and at first he wanted me to omit the chocolate from the rub but when I started mixing it up he had a change of heart and decided it would venture out of his comfort zone and give it a try.  He was very pleasantly surprised with the end result, and he couldn't get enough.  My parents were over at our house the night I made these and my dad tried a little bite of mine because his curiosity got the best of him since there was chocolate in it and he loved them.  A few days later they asked if we could eat together and asked if I would make the pork chops again, and I gladly did so!  Needless to say these are definitely a crowd pleaser and they are also wonderful for week night meals since there isn't a lot of prep time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers April Challenge-Toffee Apple Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

I love being part of the Daring Bakers because I always learn something from the challenge and there are a lot of time it pushes me outside my comfort zone when it comes to cooking and trying new things in the kitchen.  This month was no exception, I was really excited when I read about this months challenge and what it entailed, not only were we challenged to work with an ingredient that is not common in the states but we were also challenged to make a dish that is not common here.  We were challenged to use suet to make a British pudding dish which could be either savory or sweet.  The options were endless as far as the combinations and varieties of puddings that could be made, and there were multiple ways this dish could be cooked.  I really enjoyed this challenge but I was kind of disappointed because I wasn't able to find any suet so I used Crisco, which was one of the alternative ingredients that was suggested in case suet wasn't available.  Not being able to find the suet was the only problem I ran into; everything else went well and I was really happy with the outcome.  I made a sweet pudding this time, but I'm still going to be on the look out for suet and once I come across some I want to make a savory pudding.  The toffee apple pudding I made this time was great; the apple filling was so delicious and the crust had a great flavor! 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brownie Cookies

I absolutely love brownies and I love cookies, so what could be better than combining the two and making brownie cookies?  Cookies are a dessert that is so easy to eat; it is so easy to pick on up and nibble on it while continuing with other tasks.  Brownies are incredible too, but they aren't necassarily as easy to eat on the go but the ooey gooey goodness of them makes it worth while to stop whatever is going on and savor every bite.  Combining the two gives you the best of both worlds; the convenience of a cookie and the gooey chocolately goodness of a brownie, plus these are the perfect solution when sending brownie goodies on a road trip or camping trip where utensils aren't readily available. 

I've made brownie cookies a few times in the past and they've always been a hit but I've never made them from scratch.  Since I had a little bit more time this time I decided to attempt a scratch version and I'm so happy I did, these were so good.  Of course they were great fresh out of the oven but even after they had been sitting around for a couple of days they were still very good and ooey gooey.   

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kielbasa Reubens with Sauerkraut

I came across this recipe quite some time ago, I've made it several times and Spencer still gets excited when I make it.  I don't know why I haven't blogged about it before now, but since this has been a recurring meal at our house I thought I would share it.  These sandwiches are so good and very hearty.  I love the flavor combinations; the tanginess of the mustard, sweetness of the red pepper relish and the saltiness of the kielbasa compliment one another perfectly and the melted cheese just puts it over the top. I love trying new flavor combinations; the ingredients of this sandwich are not out of the ordinary but they aren't really anything I would have thought about pairing together myself but they work together so well.  Another great thing about this is it's very quick to prepare and assemble so it makes for a quick and easy week night meqal.  This is a pretty big sandwich and pretty filling by itself so I usually just make something light to go with it.  Spencer can usually eat the entire thing; but most of the time I end up halving one for myself.  These quickly grew to be one of our favorites, hopefully it will become one of your family favorites too!

Keilbasa Reubens with Sauerkraut

Thursday, April 8, 2010

BLT'S With Roasted Onion Mayonnaise

 BLT's are one of my all time favorite sandwiches and although there is nothing wrong with a plain BLT it doesn't hurt to add a twist to it from time to time.  I love making BLT's at home because I'm able to be creative with what I add and I can I can pile on as much bacon, lettuce and tomato as I want.  When I was on maternity leave I was the queen of sandwiches; there were days where I would have plain turkey sandwiches but there were other days where I wanted a change so I would get creative with what I put on them.  I had already had BLT's a few days one week and it still sounded good but I decided to change it up a little bit by making a roasted onion mayonnaise.  The flavor of the roasted onions added another element of flavor to this sandwich and it was absolutley delicious.  

I ended up having to make these again for supper one night, because when Spencer got home I told him about the sandwich and showed him the picture and his mouth was watering.  When I made these for us to have one night, he went on and on about them and said we would definitely have to have them again.  Another reason he loved them is because there was tons of bacon on the sandwich.  He really likes these sandwiches but they never seem to fill him up when he orders one from somewhere, so when I made his I was sure to load it with a lot of everything!  He's now a huge fan of homemade BLT's.

BLT's with Roasted Onion Mayonnaise
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