Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sensational Salad

I have shared previously how challenged I was as a newlywed in the cooking area. I've almost been disowned by my family over this, but I don't like tomatoes, but neither does dear husband, so as a tomato less family, we are fine! So in the beginning my salad entree consisted of iceberg lettuce. And that was it! If I felt adventurous, I would put some cucumbers in there, but not often.
I'm not sure how it all came about, but through the years after learning about healthy living, living foods etc, I have adapted our salad routine some. Now I only use dark green lettuce ( romaine, spring mix, field greens etc.) and mix raw spinach in with it. Here is a list of other ingredients to add:

lettuce (the deeper the color, the more nutritional value)
green onions
shredded carrots
red bell pepper
broccoli pieces
mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
sunflower seeds

Mix all together for a fabulous salad. Sometimes I add chopped apple or strawberries if there are some around. You can mix and match with any ingredients. Trust me - you can't mess up a salad!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Easy Jambalya

This jambalya is so easy and full of flavor.

Smoked sausage - one or two packages
Choppped onion and green pepper
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can water
1 cup uncooked rice

In a large frying pan with a lid brown sausage with onion and peppers. Stir in rotel tomatoes and water. Add rice. Simmer 20 minutes until rice is cooked.

Succulent Pork Chops

This dish is great when you need a change or just want a different meal.

Pork Chops - any kind, just not too thick
3 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup hot water
sliced onions and green peppers - to your taste
seasoning - salt/pepper, garlic or onion powder etc.

In a large skillet with a lid, brown onions and peppers in oil or butter. Season pork chops with salt/pepper and any other desired seasoning. Pour water with bouillon cubes dissolved into pan. Add more water if needed. Cover and cook until fork tender - 30-45 minutes.

These pork chops come out so tender and flavorful with a nice gravy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Brining a Turkey

This Christmas I wanted to make a "good" turkey, moist and tender. After doing research, it seemed that brining would produce those results. I gave it an attempt and am pleased to say that it worked great!

To brine a turkey: I used a 6 lb turkey breast, but a whole turkey can also be brined.

In a large baking bag place:
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bay leaves
1 T. allspice (whole) crushed
1 T course black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves dried
1 gallon ice cold water

Combine these ingredients and place the turkey in the bag and use a twist tie to close. You can place the bag into a big pot where the turkey will stay immersed in the liquid. Leave in refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the turkey, remove from brine and rinse. Pat dry and place in baking pan breast side up. Rub the turkey with oil and sprinkle with seasoning (use season salt, salt and pepper, or what you usually use to season). Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake until turkey registers 170 degrees, usually about 2 to 3 hours. Remove from oven and let sit about 20 minutes before slicing.

Holiday Recipes

This is too late for this year, but consider these upcoming recipes tried and true! You can read about my miracle in the kitchen and after a successful Christmas dinner these recipes can be shared!

Give them a try throughout the year, hope you enjoy them!