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Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I blame Pinterest for many things. Off the top of my head, here are a few. I can never again guiltlessly purchase the little tear apart Valentines and send my children to school with them. Every minor holiday must be celebrated as an over-the-top extravaganza with special breakfast food and remarkably adorable after school snacks. Supplies for more crafts than I ever imagined existed are now cluttering up my house. Let’s be real. The craft supplies are relegated to my closet after I realize post-purchase that I am not now, nor will I ever be crafty. I despise everything in my closet because none of it is perfectly coordinated down to shoes, bag and belt. I obsessively want to work out and try the twelve cleaning tips I found this morning. There are at least ten things I do wrong as a mother every single morning before school (according to all the amazing parenthood books Pinterest has introduced me to). And don’t get me started on the change in my children’s birthday parties since Pinterest took over my life. That being said…. that darn red swirly P holds my heart forever because it gives me recipes like this one.
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Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered is such an excellent word. Say it slowly with me. Smothered. Mmmmmm. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love meals that have so much good stuff covering your plate, you can’t even really tell what kind of meat is underneath.
Careful not to overcook your pork (that is what’s hiding under all those shrooms and onions). You do NOT want it to be grey in the middle. Grey = overcooked, tough and dry. Pork is perfect with just the slightest of pink inside. The USDA recommends cooking pork until it is registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Keep in mind that larger cuts of pork (like roasts and tenderloins) can be removed from the oven at roughly 135 degrees, covered, and allowed to rest, during which time the temperature will rise by at least 10 degrees. Be sure to check the final temperature before serving to make certain that it reaches 145 degrees.
This dish is overflowing with sweet caramelized onions and tender sautéed mushrooms.  All that goodness along with perfect pork chops swimming in a delicious gravy that is simply delightful atop mashed potatoes. Use my gourmet red smashers, they are ah-mazing.
Smothered Pork Chops

4 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Season pork chops with salt & pepper to taste.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown the chops on both sides. Remove to plate and tent with foil.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms to the same pan and saute for two minutes, until onions are slightly translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds then deglaze pan with the wine, scraping up any brown bits.
  4. Add milk and cream of mushroom soup to the pan and stir to combine with mushrooms and onions. Place pork chops back in the pan. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Cover skillet, and reduce temperature to medium-low. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until chops are cooked through.

Pizza! Pizza!

As part of my (and my hubby’s) new budget, we’ve cut eating out from our life for a couple of months in order to try to pay down a big chunk of our car loan. As a result, I don’t get to go have my favorite pizza at The Rock, and I’ve been craving it for about a week. Today I decided to do something about it and made my own version from scratch. I started with homemade crust, then I made a quick alfredo sauce and loaded up the toppings. I finished the whole pie off with a drizzle of the alfredo and some fresh mozzarella cheese. The great part is that from this one batch of dough, I got two good-sized pizzas. I let my kids top theirs however they wanted…which ended up being sauce, pineapple and mushrooms (no cheese…they are bizarre children). And then made a fantastically grown up pizza for me and my honey. Way better than wrangling my kids while waiting for a table and paying over $60 for a meal out as a family. [Read more…]

Chicken Florentine Casserole

I had just put this casserole in the oven when my husband walked in the door from work today. The first words out of his mouth were “Man, something sure smells good!”. I responded with “It could be the bacon, or the sautéed mushrooms, spinach and onions. Or possibly the Parmesan cheese cream sauce.” It was at that moment that I knew without a doubt tonight’s dinner was going to be ah-mazing. Oh momma and was it ever!

Chicken Florentine is a classic dish that’s made by pounding chicken flat, rolling spinach, cheese and mushrooms inside, breading the rolls and then frying them. Much like Chicken Kiev or Chicken Cordon Bleu. I found the idea for a casserole version and could tell that with some adjustments it was going to be fantastic with much less work than the traditional rolled type. Chicken Florentine is normally served with rice, but I thought some nice mashed potatoes would be a much better vehicle for soaking up all the delicious creamy sauce in this dish. Mmmmmmm yummy!

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“Jessicas” – Meringue Mushrooms

Ok, I know – the title of this post made you go “WHAT?!”. I’ll totally admit that I never would have tried this recipe on a title only description. A unique set of circumstances led me to make these – and I’m really glad I did.

Today I made some banana cream pies and as a result of using 10 egg yolks, had a TON of egg whites to get rid of. My family is coming over tomorrow for a birthday dinner for my Dad – and my sister Jessica has Celiac Disease. Which means a whole lot of lousy stuff for her, but the biggest impact for me is that she cannot eat gluten. That stuff is in EVERYTHING! She doesn’t get to eat the pies because of the crust. Sadness. Obviously I can’t leave her out in no-dessert land all alone. So I decided to make her favorite, meringues. While looking up recipes for the little puffs of sugar and egg whites, I found this odd little recipe title. It intrigued me. Then I saw a photo of a completed “mushroom” and I was sold. I decided to name them after my sister because it combines two of her most favorite foods in the entire world. Mushrooms, and meringues. Go figure that I’d be able to make them together! Maybe I’ll tie them in to my dad’s party tomorrow with a little note next to them that says “Dad is sure a fun guy”. Get it? I know, I will never make it in life as a comedian. [Read more…]

Smothered Pork Chops

My husband and I were supposed to have an all day date today. We had tickets to see Tran-Siberian Orchestra and then were given two passes to a food and wine festival tonight. Unfortunately, my son woke up this morning sick. Like…you know…sick. Not the best way to be awakened on a Saturday morning. Bleah. Sick child meant the hubby and I were stuck home instead of out enjoying a kid-free concert and awesome food and wine. Bummer.
 

I decided to make the most of my would-be date night at home. Made these smothered pork chops while listening to “Last Christmas Eve” on my cd player. Got the wine in the dish instead of at the festival, but hey. It works…right? I love pork chops – they are just delicious. They taste amazing in this meal smothered with a creamy mushroom sauce. Mashed potatoes are perfect with these chops, you can soak up all that gorgeous sauce!

Smothered Pork Chops

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