Sunday, January 31, 2010

Strawberry Oreo Cheesecake

Today My Big Sweetie asked for a pie, and so I looked in the fridge and pantry for ingredients so I could invent a pie.  We had Oreos, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk...CHEESECAKE!

Here's what I did:
Crushed a bunch of Oreos with a couple of big tablespoons of butter and pressed a pie crust into an recycled pie pan.  Into the mixing bowl, with the mixer running:
  •  8-oz block cream cheese
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
It looked boring and Mark thought suggested cherries on top, but we didn't have any, and frankly, I don't care for the over-processed sugary canned pie fillings.  Instead, I had a bag of frozen fresh strawberries, so I sliced about a half pint (frozen) and added those to the mix, tasted it, and added a half teaspoon of strawberry extract.  It looks vaguely pink, and little chunks of sliced, then pulverized strawberries fleck the pie.  I filled the pie and we shared a little dessert cup of what wouldn't fit, and My Big Sweetie wholeheartedly approves!

Mexican, Ole!

After a busy day, moving Robert and Vanessa from parents homes to their own places, Mark and I took our tired group to eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant, El Cerro, located across the street from UCF. El Cerro is exactly the same as a Habenero's Mexican Restaurant in nearby Longwood.  I always go for #14, a guarantee of no soft corn tortillas.  Vanessa and I were happy to split a meal and lo and behold, she chose #14.  How did she know?  'Turns out soft corn tortillas aren't her favorite thing either.  Our meal included three small flour tortillas:  a ground beef burrito (even though we asked for chicken!) with red sauce, a pulled beef taco with queso and lettuce, and a fajita -which was basically a soft taco with chunks of chicken and grilled onion, pan fried.   I ate my half of each, leaving most of the burrito. Next time I'll just get a taco or the fajita, my favorites, and half of each is about my limit anyway.

Vanessa had a frozen strawberry marguerita and I had a regular marguerita on ice (ole!). I can't say what the guys ate, as I'm a lightweight where alcohol is concerned, and was anxious to get home and go to sleep.  We said goodbye to the kids in the parking lot, as they headed to their new digs and Mark and I then drove almost an hour to our house.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Corn Flakey Pork Chops

Pulled a giant package of inch-thick pork chops from the freezer to defrost in the morning and kept wondering all day about how I was going to make them something my porkchop-hating husband would like. Here is what I made and he loved:

Thickly dredge meat in some quality ranch salad dressing (I made homemade Good Seasonings with buttermilk), then shake rattle and roll in crushed corn flakes.  I bought Publix brand  and was very pleased that the flakes were delicately thin and crispy.  Lay about an inch apart in Pam-sprayed glass baking dish.  My glass pan is huge - nearly the size of the oven shelf, which is good, because I had a lot of people to feed.  I cooked this for about 45 minutes at 350F with the convection option turned on. 
Served with creamed corn and spinach.
present: Marty, Mark, Robert, David, Audrey

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pork Roast

I put a pork roast in the crock pot on low for the day.  I sprinkled a half-package of Good Seasoning's Organic Italian seasoning mix on the meat and used the wire "shelf" to keep the meat out of the dripping fat.  I got home and there was an overcooked odor in the air which quickly dissipated when I added water to the bottom of the crock pot.  Note to self: next time put an inch of water in the bottom of the pot.

I had a tremendous headache when I got home, and contacted Robert's girlfriend to see if she would give me a hand with dinner, as she lives two minutes away.  Although Robert was still at school, Vanessa, the good egg, popped right over, made sure I was medicated, and suggested a cold pack for my neck.  Saint! 

We had canned green beans, croissant rolls, and the pork roast with mustard for dipping.  If you haven't tried mustard with pork roast, you're in for a treat! The food was delicious.

streaming in diners werre: Marty, Mark, Vanessa, David, Audrey, and Robert

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicken Creole

In honor of the Saints winning the playoff for Superbowl, I made chicken creole..
I invented my own recipe, starting with the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery cooked in butter, with a couple of pods of chopped garlic, then about a half cup of flour added to make a roux, stirred that a bit while it cooked and then added canned crushed and whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, hot sauce, and the juice from cooking eight chicken thighs plus the meat, cut into cubes.  A teaspoon of sugar balances the acid in the tomatoes.  That'll cook down for a while, then serve over brown rice.  Smells good!
present: Mark, Marty, Robert, Vanessa, David, Audrey

Eggplant Parm

Mark's specialty -
Eggplant parmesan
garlic bread.
present: Mark, Marty, Robert, Vanessa

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alfredo Anyone?

Big salad and Fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms.
present: Marty, David, Audrey

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grilled Steaks

I made a marinade: (mostly) worstecheshire sauce, hot datil pepper sauce, chopped garlic, sesame oil, garlic olive oil, red wine, ketsup, liquid smoke,and lime juice.
Steak, soaked in the above mixture for a few hours
baked potatoes, sour cream, chives
lettuce and grape tomato salad, blue cheese

The marinade was just a blend of liquids I had in the door of my fridge and it was, according to my family, "probably the best" steak they'd ever had. I just splashed stuff in, no idea how much.  That's the way I cook!

present: Marty, Mark, David, Audrey, Robert

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Too Tired to Cook

I got home from work around 8:30 yesterday, so tired.  I was happy everyone had found something to eat, and I went to bed without eating anything at all.  I think I can afford to live off the fat of the land every once and a while.

Today was another busy work day, and again, so tired.  Mark called me, checking on dinner, and we decided to meet at Habanero, a great little Mexican restaurant.  I'm glad I didn't get a marguerita, because I might have laid down in the seat and fallen to sleep.  I ate less than half of my meal, and brought the rest home to David, who immediately finished it off.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grill Time!

Robert and his girlfriend cooked burgers on the grill, seasoned to perfection,
baked potatoes in the microwave,
and carrots and dip.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Swishy Fishy

Tilapia, cooked in oven with lemon butter and pepper
homemade macaroni and cheese, because David hates fish
green beans
stewed tomatoes

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missing Patti's Chicken Parmesan

Patti's Italian Restaurant on Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville used to serve the best Chicken Parmesan.  I don't know if they are still open, but I do recall a very negative last visit.  Maybe it was just an off day, but the service and the food was absolutely horrible, and I am a pretty forgiving critic.

I hammered out a few chicken breasts, fried them, then layed them over a bed of spaghetti noodles, covered with sauce, and laid a slice of provolone cheese over each.  A flash under the broiler to melt cheese, and we had a delicious, authentic, old style Patti's dinner.

A fluffly romaine salad and garlic bread rounded everything out.  Mmmmm.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Turkey Dinner

Who doesn't like Thanksgiving Turkey all year long?
Sprinkle a turkey breast with Beall's poultry seasoning and place in crock pot on low all day. Do not add any broth or water.  That's it!  You'll have juicy yummy turkey for dinner.
Served with stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, and spinach.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Live For Sushi

Why cook when your sweetie offers sushi?
Life is good!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eggplant Parm

Eggplant Parmesan
garlic bread
lettuce salad

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lima Beans

Lima beans and ham, cooked all day in crockpot
Served over brown rice
brocolli with cheese

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Baked Ham
Sweet Potato
Green Beans

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