Monday, December 19, 2011


I just have a few recipes that I wanted to share.

The first is for the totally awesome candied pecans that I tried today.  As a rule, I'm not much of a pecan eater.  Recently I was given a lot of pecans (thank you!) and so I decided to do something with them.  Let me just say that shelling or cracking pecans...whatever you're supposed to call it...was a little more involved than I thought it would be, but it was totally worth it!
This is a really simple recipe, which you know is often the first thing I'm looking for. :)  Instead of just tossing them in a bowl as the recipe suggests, I put the egg and water mixture in one gallon storage bag and the dry ingredients in another.  This way they all get coated evenly and I can toss the bag after.
Even the kids loved them!  I'll definitely be adding some of these to my homemade gifts this year.

Next on the list and totally not a gift-giving sort of recipe is one for pork chops.  Normally Chris cooks pork chops on the grill.  One evening he wasn't going to be home from work in time to cook them, and I absolutely do not grill.  I searched for some way to bake them.  This was the first one I came to that didn't look scary to me, and I already had the ingredients- score!  These golden pork chops haven't been made exactly to the recipe even once in my house.  I love this recipe because it is super-versatile!  I do not use onion or mushroom, but I'm sure it would be good with both.  As for the soup, I have used combinations of golden mushroom, beefy mushroom, and cream of mushroom.  All are really good!  I always have at least one of these on hand.
Whether or not it takes the entire sixty minutes to cook just depends on the number and thickness of the chops.  If you don't have a meat thermometer, they are definitely worth having.  This way, you know for sure when it's done without over-cooking.

The last one for today is by request.
For years (and by that I mean at least 8 or 10) I have been making Artichoke Dip and taking it to most every party and family get-together.  I'm pretty certain I've never eaten artichokes in anything else.  Not that I know of, anyway. This is not your run-of-the-mill spinach dip.  It is fantastic!  I serve it with Fritos, but it's also good tortilla ships or baguettes.  This recipe came from a Longaberger recipe book called Fresh From the Pantry.  Although I looked on their site, I didn't find the recipe in their current selection.  It's easy to make and sure to be a hit!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (trust me when I say buy the real stuff)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon dill
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients into a food processor (mostly I use a blender).  Process until blended.  Pour into a pie plate or 9X9 glass baking dish.  
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  For best results, do not reduced fat mayonnaise or sour cream.

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