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Monday, October 31, 2011

Pork Chops with Creamy Gravy and Vegetables

Source- Pillsbury One-Dish Meals Cookbook

I've made other recipes out of this cookbook.  Every once in awhile I decide that I should cook something out of the cookbooks I own instead of always referencing the internet.  This recipe did not disappoint.

  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick (used boneless)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 10.75oz can condensed cram of celery soup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 3 cups frozen cut green beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen potatoes with onion and peppers
  • Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat over medium-high heat until hot.
  • Sprinkle pork chops with seasoned salt.
  • Place in skillet.
  • Cook 5-6 minutes or until browned on both sides.
  • Remove chops from skillet, cover to keep warm.
  • In medium bowl combine sour cream, soup and sage, mix well.
  • Pour in skillet and add vegetables.
  • Arrange chops over vegetable mixture, press gently into mixture.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until pork chops are no longer pink in center and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Review & Changes- This recipe was really easy to make.  The flavor was really good and you didn't have too much of one thing.  I think this recipe would also work with cream of mushroom soup, but no changes are necessary. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

11 in 2011, 5/6 of the year check-in

Finish my pharmacy technician class with at least a 95% average.  I only need an 80% to pass, but I want to do better than that.  Did.  Finished with 98.7%  Also took the certification test in August and passed it. 

~Save money for Christmas presents by October.  I want to be able to buy for more people this year, so H and I are planning on making a joint effort to save better and be prepared for gift buying ahead of time.   Pretty set.  Got almost $200 in Meijer gift cards set aside and we have plans to save more.

~Be pregnant by the end of the year.  This one may be a long shot though.  We'd like our kids about 2 years apart.  I just have no idea when we feasibly can start TTC for Baby Rebel #2 because of my job situation.  Plus it took us just over a year to conceive Baby Rebel #1, and I'm not going to get my hopes that #2 will be easier.  So we'll play this one by ear.  No luck yet, we've been trying since February.  Probably 3 cycles left till the end of the year.

~Have a job shortly after getting my certification.  I'm very hopeful that with the internship I'll do and the bonus of being a Certified Pharmacy Technician that gaining employment won't be hard.    Not yet.  Need to do better at job searching and have H look over my resume.

~Lose weight by my class reunion.  I lost about 30lbs after having Baby Rebel, but I have gained quite a bit since high school.  So while I'm realistic that I won't be able to reach my high school weight by August, I would like to lose some more and feel better about myself.  Fail. Did nothing to lose weight.  Now my goal is to lose weight by my sister's wedding next June. 

~For Baby Rebel to have an awesome checkup with his specialist on February 10th.  He'll have another u/s on his liver to make sure the hemangioma on it is still gone.  I'm very hopeful that that appointment will be the last time we have to visit!  Pass, completely clear of hemangiomas by Feb.  All clear in May of the fistula the radiologist saw.  No more specialists and no more ultrasounds.

~To help my H find a better job.  He graduated from college in May 2007 and still doesn't have a "career".  He has jobs that pay our bills.  I would really like to help him get into a job that is long term and he loves.  Complete.  Got a job as security guard at a big hospital in June.  Much better insurance and better pay.  He quit the mall security job when he took the hospital job and quit Meijer in the last 2 weeks.  For the first time in over 4 years he is only working 1 job.

~Get the sisters tattoo with my 2 little sisters.  We've been planning this for awhile, and my littlest sister finally turned 18 this past December!  This is the Celtic symbol for sisterhood that the 3 of us will be getting on our lower ankle area.  Not definitive on the location.   Completed on June 24th.  We got them on the inside of our left wrists.   We opted to get the first 2 initials of our names around the center.  I think they turned out pretty nice. 
<--Close up of my arm.

~Do something girly for myself.  Be it getting a mani/pedi, or something else.  Do something without Baby Rebel and H that is just for me.  Not yet.

~Update my 101 in 1001, and see what I stand with accomplishing that.  My finish date is March 14, 2012, so I still have some time to work on the list.  I haven't done anymore since my last update.  There are some more updates I need to post, and some that are still in progress.  Finishing all 101 doesn't seem likely to happen. 

~Just enjoy everyday with H and Baby Rebel.  Time is flying and I can't believe that in 8 days I'll have a 7 month old.  So I want to cherish every moment with my 2 guys and make the most of our time as a family of 3. Absolutely have.  And I have photographic proof of everything.  Time flies so I have to enjoy every moment.  

Overall- Very happy with the fact that I'm making most of my goals.  Feels good to know I'm accomplishing what I said I wanted to back at the beginning of the year.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Source- Joelen's Culinary Adventure's

Jolelen does not disappoint.  When I see something on her blog that I think LOOKS good, I know it's going to TASTE great!  

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Casserole Sauce:
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
1 1/2 cup cream of chicken soup (I used homemade, but you can use store bought)
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained
1 cup canned sweet corn, drained
2 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
6 (12 inch) corn tortillas, cut into strips
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  
  • Combine the spices in a small bowl and season the chicken breasts. 
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool until able to handle by hand. 
  • Once cooled enough to handle, shred chicken. 
  • Set aside until ready to layer the casserole. 
  • In a large bowl, mix sour cream, salsa, cream of chicken soup, onion, black beans, corn and tomatoes.  
  • Layer the bottom of a deep casserole dish or 9x13 inch baking dish with 1/3 tortilla strips. 
  • Top with 1/3 cooked chicken, 1/3 bean and corn mixture and 1/3 cheddar cheese. 
  • Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.  
  • Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. 
  • Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with green onions

Review & Changes-  I loved this recipe.  Cheesy and great flavors, can't miss.  Definitely will make again, and nothing need to change.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Source- Real Mom Kitchen via Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest??  I joined a couple months ago and started pinning different recipes.  I finally decided to go ahead and make one, and boy am I glad I started with this one.  Hopefully my other pins are as successful and tasty as this one turned out!!

  • 6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  • 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
  • 5 Tablespoons real butter
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)  (omitted, used garlic powder)
  • 1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I used 2%)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours. 
  • Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. 
  • Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. 
  • water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. 
  • Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. 
  • Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.
  • Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. I put a little parsley on top to serve.
Roasted Garlic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.

Review & Changes-  This recipe was really good.  The pork had awesome flavor and was so tender it practically fell apart.  And the mashed potatoes alone were great, and with the soup mixture from the pork over them they were fabulous.  This recipe is so easy to throw together that I will definitely make again.  No changes need to be made.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken & Broccoli

Source- Lauren's Kitchen

I love making homemade takeout.  Especially when it is something that I haven't gotten when we go out.  Trying something new is always nice. 


  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 cup water, plus
  • 2 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into thin 3-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • hot cooked rice

  • In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth. 
  • Add chicken and toss. 
  • In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until chicken reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm. 
  • Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes. If necessary, deglaze with about 1/4 cup chicken broth.
  • Return chicken to pan. 
  • Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan. 
  • Cook and stir for 2 minutes. 
  • Serve over rice.
 Review & Changes- This recipe was really good.  I love making a sauce with my own ingredients instead of just buying a ready-made one from the store.  Nothing needs to be changed.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Source- Stephanie Cooks and Lauren's Kitchen

Bookmarked this recipe twice.  First when Stephanie made it, then again when Lauren made it.  So obviously I really wanted to make it!  :)

You'll notice in the picture the slices don't have green onions, but the whole one does.  I made 2 pizzas and cut up the first one before I remembered the green onions.  So I took pictures too soon.  Oh well. 

  • 1 batch of pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 4 ounces grilled chicken, diced small
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and diced small
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced small
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Prepare your pizza dough, leaving a thicker edge around the side for the crust. Prepare it on either parchment paper or on a pizza peel topped with corn meal. 
  • Drizzle olive oil lightly over the crust and rub it all over the dough, over the edges as well. 
  • Bake for 7 minutes.
  • Top with the ranch salad dressing, spreading evenly over the crust.
  • Next, arrange your chicken, bacon, and tomato evenly over the dressing.
  • Top with the cheddar cheese. Then sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over top.
  • Transfer the pizza to the stone. 
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.
  • Top with the green onions as soon as you pull it from the oven. Serve hot.
Review & Changes- This turned out really good.  Enough different flavors to make every bite really good. No changes need to be made.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Source- Campbell's Kitchen

  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas (6-inch), warmed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 green onion, sliced (about 2 tablespoons) 
  • Ingredient Note: Stir 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed, into the chicken mixture before filling the tortillas, if desired.  <- I missed this so I didn't add, but I would have liked it this way too.


1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl.

2. Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl.

3. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side up in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining soup mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.

4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the tomato and onion.

Review & Changes-  I love enchilada recipes.  Especially when they don't call for red sauce.  Leftovers of this did not last long.  Amazing!!  The only change I would make is to add the black beans that are mentioned in that note above that I missed the first time.