Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole

I know everyone either has this recipe, or at least one that is VERY similar. There are a million ways to make this. It's so easy, a great way to get kids to eat some green veggies, and we really like it. The way I make mine may be wasteful for your family since I use two kinds of soups and use half of each can, instead of using just one can of soup like many do. But I make a lot of casseroles and I save the other halves of the soup and use it later in the week for a different casserole or dinner.


* 1/2 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
* 1/2 can Cream of Mushroom Soup  (Or instead of using the cheddar soup you can just use one can of the Mushroom soup. We just like the creamy, cheesy taste of the two combined)
* 1 can French Cut Green Beans
*Tater Tots (I end up using 1/2-3/4 a bag.
*1 lb Ground Beef
*Seasonings (I use Nature Seasonings, a little salt and pepper and a touch of Lawry's)
*Ketchup to serve with

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cook Ground beef in pan till completely done. Season as desired. Mix in the soup(s).
2. In 9x13 pan, spread the meat/soup mixture evenly.
3. Drain green beans and pour green beans over meat.
4. Completely cover top with Tatertots
5. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes (until tater tots are done and browned)

Serve with ketchup. I usually also make my Cheesy Rolls to serve along side of this dish. Makes great left overs as well!

I used generic tater tots this time... Much better if you use Ore-Ida Brand.

Add soup to cooked meat

Add Meat/Soup mixture to bottom of pan

Top with Green Beans

Cover with Tater Tots. 

Bake till Goldon

Serve with Ketchup!

Monday, May 2, 2011

McCormick's Recipe Inspirations- Apple & Sage Pork Chops

McCormick's have great seasoning packets with recipes on the back and the seasonings pre-measured in little containers.  http://www.mccormick.com/Products/Recipe-Inspirations.aspx
I bought the Apple & Sage Pork Chop one at the store to make sure I liked it before buying all the seasonings. Now that I like it, I will make sure to have all 5 seasonings on hand instead of buying the pre measured packets.  You can buy the packet yourself, or if you have the ingredients on hand, you can just follow the recipe...


Recipe Inspirations Package (They use all McCormick brand obviously, but I'm sure you can use whatever...)
  *1 1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage
  *1 tsp Minced Garlic
  *1 tsp Thyme Leaves
  *1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  * 1/2 tsp Paprika

Other ingredients:
  *1 T flour
  *1 tsp salt
  *4 boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  *2 T olive oil (I used organic canola oil)
  *1 medium onion (I didn't have one on had, so I omitted this)
  *2 red apples, thinly sliced
  *1/2 cup apple juice
  *1 T brown Sugar

1. Mix Flour, all of spices in package, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with 1 T of the seasoned flour.

2. Cook pork chops in hot oil in large skillet on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion, cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples, cook and stir 2 minutes.

3. Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed. Return pork chops to skillet. bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until desired doneness.

I served this with a side of roasted potatoes and steamed veggies. We REALLY liked it! It was different and very flavorful! Since this one was such a hit, I will definitely be trying more of McCormick's recipe ideas as well as buying their brand seasoning!

The seasoning packet... sold at my store for $1.99

Add pork chops back to pan with apples (and onions if you use them) and bring to a boil

After you simmer for 5 mins covered... ready to serve

I served with roasted potatoes, steamed veggies and Conundrum wine!