Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin



Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite things to cook. It always turns out well, and there are a variety of "treatments" for it so you don't get bored! This is one that I make over and over, and is especially fitting for fall, with it's sage-y rub and maple glaze. (Pictured here with roasted vegetables and cranberry salad.) This recipe is also easy to halve if you're cooking for two, and don't want to eat leftovers for a week!

Because the glaze is super sticky, I line a roasting pan with foil for easy clean up. Place the tenderloins on the foil, and rub them with the sage.



If your tenderloins have a particularly thin end, you may want to tuck it under so it cooks more evenly. (This will vary from piece to piece, one of mine did, and the other was fine.)



The original recipe now calls for browning the pork in butter in a skillet. I skip that step, since I can't be bothered. It would probably be even better if you did it, but it's quite good without it!

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. While it's baking, make the glaze. In a small measuring cup, combine the syrup, mustard and vinegar.



Whisk until smooth, then pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.



After it boils, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Brush the pork with about 1/3 of the glaze



then return to the oven to bake about 7 minutes more. Brush with another 1/3 of the glaze, and bake for 5-7 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160.

Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze, then let stand for 5 minutes



before slicing.



Get more inspiration at the Krazy Kitchen, Food on Fridays, Friday Feasts and Foodie Friday.

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each)
3/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

Rub pork with sage. Brown pork in 1 tsp. butter in large skillet (optional). Place pork in a foil-lined roasting pan and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

In a small measuring cup, combine the syrup, vinegar and mustard and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a small sauce pan and bring to boil, whisking often. (If you browned the pork in butter, simply use the same skillet to make the glaze.) Cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.

Brush pork with 1/3 of glaze, return to oven and cook 7 minutes more. Brush with another 1/3 of glaze, and bake for 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Brush with remaining glaze and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blueberry Pecan Cake



This is a nice, light cake that works well as a coffee cake or with ice cream for dessert. It doesn't require using a mixer, and it goes together quite quickly, so it's perfect when you get unexpected company!

Start by melting the butter in the microwave. Measure out the sugar into a mixing bowl, and add the melted butter.



Stir well with a whisk. Then add the eggs, and stir well.



Add the buttermilk,



orange rind, baking powder, salt, baking soda, almond extract and vanilla.



Stir well to combine, then add the flour, stirring just until blended.



Fold in pecans,



and blueberries.



Spoon the mixture into a greased and floured spring form pan, spreading evenly.



Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack



before removing the outer edge of the pan.



Find more recipes at Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and What's Cooking Wednesdays, Me and My Sweets and What did you Bake Today?

Blueberry Pecan Cake

5 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup finely crushed pecans

Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.

In a large microwaveable bowl, melt butter. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs, stir well. Stir in buttermilk, orange rind, baking powder, salt, extracts, and baking soda. Add flour, stirring just until blended. Fold in blueberries and pecans. Spoon mixture into pan, spreading evenly.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing outside of pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serves 10.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Double Corn and Potato Chowder



I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker. I usually take a recipe and tweak it to my tastes and convenience and this was no exception. This is a tremendously EASY and GOOD soup. It only takes about 10 minutes to assemble, then it can sit in the crock pot most of the day and you can come home to a delicious, hearty, hot dinner.

The original recipe calls for using frozen hash brown potatoes. I don't usually have those on hand, but I always have baking potatoes. So I peel and dice the potatoes, then add them to the crock along with the onion.



Cover the potatoes and onion with the chicken broth,



then add the evaporated milk. (Make sure you shake up the milk before pouring it out of the can!)



Then add the cans of corn - both cream style and whole kernel - don't drain them!



I have always used 1 cup of ham, although the original recipe calls for bacon. Next time I'm going to try keilbasa. I also think chicken would be good. There are lots of options! Add the meat, then the salt, pepper and basil,



and the worcestershire sauce.



Give it all a good stir,



and cook on low for 5-7 hours until flavors are blended and the potatoes are tender. You could probably cook on high for 3 hours too if you're in more of a hurry!

There's more cooking inspiration at the Ultimate Recipe Swap, Guess who's coming to dinner and Slow Cooking Thursday.

Double Corn and Potato Chowder

4 cups peeled, diced potatoes
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can cream-style corn
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or 1 cup chopped ham or keilbasa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil

In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 7 hours (or High heat setting 3 to 4 hours) or until potatoes are tender. Serves 8.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins



By now you know that I love muffins. They're easy to make, nice to have on hand, and delicious to eat. I've had this recipe for some time, and held myself back from making them this summer - now that the weather is cooler I could justify gingerbread!

These muffins are SO good - and they're so easy - you don't even need to get out a mixer.

Start by combining the flour, sugar and ginger in a large mixing bowl.



Add the baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon.



Next measure out the liquid ingredients. I did this in a large measuring cup so I would only dirty one dish! First I measured the water and the oil, which together made 1 cup, then I added molasses until it reached 1 1/3. (The other bonus with using this method is that the molasses blends with the oil and does not stick to the measuring cup! All the molasses-ey goodness goes straight into the batter!)



Finally, add the yogurt and the egg and whisk well to combine all the ingredients.



Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and stir just until moistened.



Then add the cranberries and stir to incorporate them into the batter.



Line muffin cups with paper liners or use nonstick cooking spray. Fill muffin cups and bake for 18-22 minutes. Your house will smell divine! Although I'm still hoping for an Indian Summer, I'll take the cool weather if it means making these muffins often!

Get more great ideas at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and What's Cooking Wednesday, Ingredient Spotlight.

Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and chopped

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a glass measuring cup, measure out the water, then oil and molasses. Add the egg and yogurt and whisk well to combine. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries.

Line muffin cups with paper liners, and fill with batter. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Peach Pound Cake



This is an absolutely delicious cake that's wonderful to make when peaches are in season. It can also be made with frozen peaches, which I may have to do this winter for a taste of late summer!

If you're using fresh peaches, they'll need to be peeled and chopped. The easiest way to peel them is to submerge them in boiling water for a minute, then run them under cold water so they're easy to handle. The fuzzy skin will peel right off, often in one large piece like this:



Pit and chop the peaches, then set them aside.

A stand mixer makes pound cakes easy to whip up - these cakes require a lot of mixing so it's nice to be able to walk away for a moment while the mixer does its work.

Start by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (In pound cakes, it's VERY important to use REAL butter. NOT margarine. NOT some other butter substitute. Only butter will give you the desired result in this cake.) Then add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each one is added.



Beat in the extracts.



In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add it to the batter, alternating between the flour mixture and the sour cream.



(You can just leave the mixer running while you do this!)



Stop the mixer, and fold in the peaches.



Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan.



Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.



Remove the cake from the pan to cool completely. If you like, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar. I just like it plain, with a glass of milk or cup of coffee!

For more great baked goods, visit the Ultimate Recipe Swap, What did you Bake Today? and a Themed Baker's Sunday. There are more recipes at Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodie Friday and Save Room for Dessert, This Week's Cravings.

Peach Pound Cake
2 cups fresh or frozen diced peaches
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to batter alternately with sour cream. Fold in peaches.

Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch tube or bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove cake from pan and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serves 12-16.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Potato Soup



This is one of my favorite meals of all time. It makes frequent appearances on our table from October through April (and sometimes longer depending on weather and moods)! This soup is delicious, economical, easy and travels well for lunches (if there are any leftovers). I almost always have everything on hand to make this, and I keep cooked and chopped bacon in the freezer so I always have it available as a garnish for this soup!

Start by preparing the potatoes - peel first. Potatoes usually aren't uniform in size,



so I cut them into large chunks so they will cook faster and more evenly.



Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover, and cook on high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat, just so the water won't boil over, and cook until tender, maybe 15 minutes. In the meantime, make the soup base.

Start by melting the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Then add the chopped green onions,



and cook and stir for several minutes until the onions are soft.

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and dill, and add to the onions.



Cook and stir until bubbly, then add the milk.



Whisk this well to break up all the flour-y chunks.



Cook and stir this for a few minutes until it starts to thicken slightly, then add the chicken broth.



Cook the soup base until it just starts to boil, stirring occasionally. By now, the potatoes should be tender. Drain them, and then mash.



I just use an old fashioned hand masher, because we like the soup with a few chunks. If you prefer, you could whip the potatoes with a mixer for a very smooth texture, or you could use a immersion blender after you add the potatoes to the base. Using an immersion blender creates a very different soup - you might want to try it both ways!

Once the potatoes are mashed to your preference, add them to the base.



Stir well to break up any large chunks, and to incorporate the potatoes into the soup. Remove from the heat and add half the cheese.



Stir well until the cheese melts. Then ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the chopped bacon and remaining cheese. Comfort food at its finest!

For more great ideas, visit Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday , and Tuesdays at the Table and Simple Saturday.

Potato Soup

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 Tbsp. butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dillweed
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover, and cook on high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped green onions, and cook and stir for several minutes until the onions are soft.

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and dill, and add to the onions. Cook and stir until bubbly, about 2 minutes, then add the milk. Whisk well to incorporate the flour.
Cook and stir until slightly thickened, then add the chicken broth. Cook until this soup base just starts to boil, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes to the broth mixture. Stir well then remove from the heat and add half the cheese. Stir to melt the cheese. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with chopped bacon and remaining cheese. Serves 6-8
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