So yesterday I spent the day demolishing my deck for the new one I am starting to build in a few weeks. It was supposed to rain by noon, so my plan was to work outside until the rain started then move inside for work on the blog. Well the rain didn’t start until after 6:00 pm. So I kept working on the deck until 5:30. No blog work, but I still needed to make dinner.
Sunday I had taken some chicken out of the freezer to use this week. I also had cauliflower, mushrooms and fresh corn, that were needing to be cooked, before they found their way to the trash bin. What I came up with was this fairly healthy simple chicken casserole. This is a quick and easy recipe which allows you to substitute whatever items you have in the fridge that are on their last legs.
Makes great leftovers for lunch the next day. Trust me I just had it for lunch.
My kids loved this and didn’t even notice the smashed cauliflower for the bottom crust. Smashed cauliflower adds a nutritious nice flavor to the dish.
Continue reading Chicken Under a Biscuit Casserole
I’m not sure what it is but I’ve had little desire to cook this week. Maybe it’s because my girls are at camp and I have been at baseball every night with my son. Last night I was home but my son was out and my wife spent the evening getting her hair done. Still nothing. Father’s Day was spent on the road dropping the kids off at camp so we just picked up some ribs from the local market. I threw them on the grill with a salad. That is the most cooking I’ve done all week.
If you are lucky enough to send your kids to a good summer camp, it is well worth it. Our kids have attended Springhill christian camps for years. They have a location in Seymour, IN and Evart, MI. It is your typical summer camp with horseback riding, lake activities, and zip lines. My summer camps never had zip lines! They have a blast, in a very loving environment. They get back in a couple of days so maybe I will get my enthusiasm back for cooking. We miss them very much, but happy they can have this time away to grow and learn.
A few weeks back I made one of my kids favorites. Wet Burritos. If you have never had wet burritos you and your family are in for a treat. I cooked this for the blog and made a double batch to freeze the second batch. They freeze great.. Since I am not cooking this week, I grabbed the second batch from the freezer for dinner. Always great to have extra meals frozen and ready to go..
Continue reading Wet Burritos
This is the fantastic recipe to go along with my Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce. I was a little long-winded with that post so I will keep this one more focused on the food, instead of my rants. Check it out, it’s a good read and you will learn how to make an awesome sauce. This would be a great dish to make next weekend for Father Day..
I am very lucky this week to be co-hosting Fiesta Friday #72 with Naina @ Spice in the City. She has a great blog with an international flavor. I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday number 72; Fiesta Friday is an ongoing blogging party put on by Angie of The Novice Gardener. Stop by today and bring your virtual dish.
If you’re a blogger and you haven’t yet joined in the Fiesta Friday fun, what are you waiting for? It’s a good way to share recipes with a great group of bloggers and show off your great creations. It’s easy and here’s The Guidelines – just make sure to link properly on your blog and Fiesta Friday’s so we can find you. And if you’re not a blogger, I know you’ll enjoy seeing all the posts and maybe you could be featured. Happy FF!!
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Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fire Sticks with Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce
I use my Weber grill all year-long but really crank up the usage in the summertime. I am always experimenting with adapting recipes for the grill that I usually make in the oven. This meatloaf is a great example. I know, I know, you are saying, meatloaf on the grill, Quinn’s gone nuts. Well that might be true (the kids are out of school for the summer after-all) but wait it gets even better. Not only is the meatloaf cooked on the grill, but I also smoke it. The meatloaf turns out very moist, with a nice char on the top and a suitable smokey flavor.
If you do not have a smoker box, just grill as directed. Basically I am using my grill as an oven by cooking the meatloaf, at a low temperature, with indirect heat. It is also important to leave the grill lid closed as much as possible while cooking. To grill the meatloaf I used two disposable aluminium loaf pans. (TIP: Poke a few holes in the bottom of the loaf pans to allow grease to drain off)
I served the meatloaf with my Roasted Veggie Hash; click here for recipe.
Be on the look out for my new weekly feature “Summertime Cooking with the Kids”.
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Total Time: 2hrs 20 min Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 2 hrs
Servings: around 12
Continue reading Smoked Meatloaf
In honor of Mothers Day this post is dedicated to my mother, Shelby. My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She grew up in Eastern Kentucky with 11 siblings and married at the young age of 18. She moved to Ohio with my dad where she trained and worked as mom a beautician. Unfortunately she started going blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa a progressive retinal disease. Because of the increasing loss of her vision, she was forced to quit work in her late 20’s and stopped driving by mid 30’s.
My mother did the majority of the raising of me and my sister, even though she was going blind. My dad’s job required him to work swing shifts, which disrupted his parenting time. Mom was there for everything.
My father developed heart problems in his 40’s. My dad passed away 2 years ago at the age of 81. They were married 58 years. Mom, even though she is completely blind now, has always been very independent. When I was young she showed me that you cannot let a disability hold you back. She continued to cook, clean, exercise and stay active at her church and does so even today. Since dad passed away she has now moved in with my family. This was extremely hard on her because the home she was leaving was designed and built by her and where she lived for almost 40 years. The house was beautiful and situated on five wooded, rolling acres. But living by herself proved to much for her and I.
Knowing how independent she is we decided to build a complete apartment in our basement. The apartment allows her to keep her independence with my family being there to help her as needed. She has her own kitchen, washer-dryer and a walkout. I’m lucky to be able to have her live with us and allow my to kids to know her better.
In November, as she was getting used to her new home, (this is not easy when you are blind) she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She never gets a break. She has completed chemo and is going through radiation. Like all the trials in her life she faced it head on with God’s help. Her prognosis is good and God willing we will have mom with us for a long time. Happy Mothers Day Mom. We love you.
This is a great twist on chicken salad. I like the added flavor grilling the chicken adds. You could use baked, rotisserie or boiled chicken if you like. I also added guacamole to the dressing. It adds a nice touch to the finished dish, especially with the addition of the cilantro. This will go great for Mother’s Day brunch. I also added the grilling part to entice husbands and son’s to make this recipe for their wives and mothers. Easy, simple and looks great.
Continue reading Grilled Chicken Salad
No one ever said life should or would be easy. But sometimes it does seem harder than it should be. Like most of ours weekends, during the spring sports season, we are swamped. This past weekend we had five games (actually a light schedule), regular yard work, plus 3 yards of dirt, and two rose bushes.
That should be enough for one weekend, but we decided to throw in a swarming attack of flying ants Saturday night, a twisted ankle and sunburn (while doing said yard work on Sunday), and the topper, a broken garage door Sunday night.
So this morning I had plenty of phone calls to make. I also needed to make a dish for teachers appreciation luncheon at school, plus we have away games every night this week,
To add a little more craziness, my mother (who lives with us) started six weeks of radiation treatment today, for breast cancer. Even though I sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. Life is good and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well maybe without the swarm of ants and busted garage door.
I’m glad I had this easy crock pot dish ready to go. Oh well, I hope you enjoy this great pork recipe during your busy week. Try not to sprain your ankle in the process..
I served the country ribs on top of easy cheese grits. Click here for the recipe
Check out this post and many other great recipes on Fiesta Friday link party
Continue reading Crock Pot Blackened Chipotle Country Ribs
I love simple comfort food that is easy and makes enough for leftovers the next day. When I was kid my mom would make stuffed cabbage rolls. I loved the meat filling but was not a big fan of cabbage.
A cabbage roll (also known as pigs in a blanket) is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. It is common to the ethnic cuisines of theBalkans, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe, as well as West Asia.
In Europe, the filling is traditionally based around meat, often beef, lamb, or pork and is seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. Grains such as rice and barley, eggs,mushrooms, and vegetables are often included. Pickled cabbage leaves are often used for wrapping, particularly in Southeastern Europe. In Asia, seafoods, tofu, and shiitake mushroom may also be used. Chinese cabbage is often used as a wrapping. (courtesy wikipedia.org)
As an adult I love it. My kids tolerate cabbage, depending on the dish I make. A few years back I decided to turn the traditional stuffed cabbage roll into a time friendly casserole. All of the same flavors but with half the effort, but my kids still didn’t rave about it. They were like me and would eat the filling, but not much of the cabbage.
Then I had and idea to add pizza flavors to the dish and amazingly they loved it and asked for seconds. This recipe actually serves like a lasagna when cut. You could also add other pizza toppings like pepperoni or sausage with great results. Great meal that is easy and gets the kids to eat more vegetables.
Assemble the recipe the night before and refrigerate overnight. When you get home, remove from fridge, allow to come to room temperature before baking, otherwise add additional 15-20 minutes to the covered cooking time. This makes a large amount of food. Leftovers will freeze well for a quick dinner on another night.
Crock Pot Method: You can also make this recipe in a crock pot. Brown meat, and veggies and place in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Continue reading Pizza Cabbage Roll Casserole
Here is a very simple, 5 ingredient, pork carnitas recipe for your crock pot. Prepare all ingredients in the morning, before you leave for work. (10 minutes) When you get home, shred the pork and keep warm in the crock pot with the sauce. until you are ready to eat. My kids love this, especially on practice nights.
Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three or four hours and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with choppedcoriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos). Wikipedia.com
This recipe is can be used for many types of dishes This will also be great for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday.
I love my slow cooker. I usually use it twice a week. I plan on posting a new crock pot recipe each week. If you have a favorite recipe you would like converted to be cooked in the crock pot, let me know and I will give it a shot.
Continue reading Crock Pot Pork Carnitas
Last week we had rain almost everyday. This makes it hard to plan dinners, because we do not know if practice’s will be canceled until the last-minute. Always fun! We made up for it this weekend with over 20 hours spent at the fields watching the kids play.
My kids love Alfredo sauce, but it is so so fattening. I created this recipe last week using convenient items which I mostly had in my pantry. I just picked up the Bertolli Reduced Fat Alfredo sauce and a chicken from the store. This dish is much lower in fat and is a one skillet dish, that is quick and easy, your kids will love. The artichokes and mushrooms are optional, but adds great flavor to the recipe.
This recipe also takes advantage of using store bought rotisserie chicken to make it an even easier weeknight meal.
30 minutes or less.
Continue reading Quick Reduced Fat Chicken Alfredo
Here is a simple, 7 ingredient crock pot recipe, for your busy weeknight dinner. If your family is like ours, you are in the middle of spring sports. For us this means games or practice at least six nights a week. Sometimes seven. Spring sports also means cancelled practices and games because we might as well be in the monsoon season here in Ohio. This makes it difficult to plan a good meal and we are typically eating at different times.
My kids “love them” a cheese steak sandwich. They are easy to make and I usually serve with a fruit or salad. I like trying new versions of cheese-steaks: chicken, steak or pork, depends on what I have in the freezer or what is on sale at Kroger’s.
This version uses low fat pork roast cooked in the crock pot until it falls off apart. It has plenty of flavor. After five hours, shred pork, return to crock pot and keep on warm. Everyone can eat on their own schedule.
One of the biggest complaints about crock pot cooking is that meat tends to dry out. My crock pot has two functions which allows you to stop the cooking and keeps meat from drying out. It has a temperature prob and timer that automatically switches to warm after a certain amount of time or temperature is reached. I need to get a WiFi crock pot which could be controlled by and app on my phone. There is a version on the market sold by Crock-Pot brand called WeMO, but I’m not sure how well it works. I will need to do more research. (Tip: Another trick is to place your meat in the crock pot frozen. This works best with chicken breasts or pork chops. Just make sure the food is cooked to the proper temperature before you serve)
This recipe uses Kirkland pork sirloin tip roast sold at Costco.
I love these because of the flavor and the size is perfect for a family. It is very versatile in recipes, especially for the crock pot. I have included a recipe for homemade dry onion soup mix, but Lipton store-bought mix will also work fine.
I hope enjoy this easy weekday meal. Please sign up for my weekly recipes, emailed directly to you, at www.dadwhats4dinner.com
Continue reading Crock Pot Pork Philly Cheese Steak