Garlic Parmesan Orzo

A friend made this for us on a camping trip.  I know, I know.  We have some fancy friends.  But it was an instant hit for both Jim and I, so I made a big batch two weeks ago to experiment with freezing side dishes (trying to simplify my life & still have great, homemade food!).  It was a success.  We enjoyed it that night and then a week later with an incredible pork loin recipe. 

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Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:02PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze

If you love flavor and a great piece of tender meat, look no further.  This was fantastic.  And something the whole family enjoyed.  The title may sound fancy, but don't worry because it all comes together with so little prep time. 

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Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:40PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Earthquake Cake

Ridiculously easy & decadent, this cake will be gobbled up.  It tastes best after cooling and sitting overnight (but that didn't keep us from plunging into it preemptively, of course).

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Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 01:53PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Spicy Honey Chicken

I came across this recipe on Our Best Bites, loved it.  Then made it again the next week.  And the next week.  And the next.  And now we're halfway through the summer and I've got a big recipe of the spice rub as a constant in my cupboard. Because it's that good.  And oh so easy to make.

This picture shows the salad version (which comes with an amazing citrus vinagrette), but we've served the chicken solo or with black beans and corn over rice. 

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Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 01:18PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , , , , | Comments1 Comment

sesame noodles

Was it really as long ago as February that I last posted??  Because my kitchen has definitely been used, and I've  found some recipe keepers over the past few months.  This is one of them.  So delicious!

I found the basics of this on allrecipes, then tweaked it to our tastes.  It's extremely versatile.  You start with noodles, an incredibly tasty sauce, and can take it wherever you want from there.  We added shrimp, carrots, and snow peas, but the possibilities are endless. 

I was definitely skeptical when I made up the sauce and saw the finished product.  It didn't seem like the noodles could possibly have absorbed any of the sauce or flavor.  But, they absolutely did.  And this recipe will be a repeat around here. 

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Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 02:06AM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References30 References

Monkey Bread

I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen early last week.  I lingered a moment, but managed to move on physically.  Mental moving on was much more difficult.  So on Saturday afternoon I gave in and made it.  I wasn't surprised to discover that Ms. Smitten Kitchen's recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, my favorite recipe source of all.  Best of all, I *loved!* how it made my house smell.  Lots of sticky thumbs up on this recipe. 

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Posted on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 10:02PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Breakfast Crescent Braid

My little guys are breakfast fiends.  Jim is always creating new breakfast sandwiches for them, so when I saw this idea at Our Best Bites, I changed it up a bit, knowing it would meet their approval.  And, of course, they gobbled up breakfast this morning. 

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Posted on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 09:40PM by Registered CommenterAmy in | Comments2 Comments | References2 References

Homemade Caramel Sauce

I LOVE to be able to make from scratch.  To watch simple ingredients that my pantry commonly houses turn into something delightful right before my eyes.  In this case, the simple ingredients are sugar and heavy whipping cream.  Yes, that's all it takes to have a delightful pan of hot, delicious caramel sauce.  

In this instance, I used the sauce for the cupcakes pictured below, but this is perfect as a simple ice cream topping or in any recipe that requires a jar of caramel sauce.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 04:27PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies

I love Paradise Bakery's sugar cookies.  Ultra thick, ultra soft, and oh so chewy...so when I came across this recipe online today (originally published in a local newspaper), I knew I had to try.  Ten minutes later (with no prior plans to bake today) I was working away in the kitchen.  They do require cake flour (which you may not have readily on hand, so put it on the shopping list!) and have the interesting addition of powdered sugar in the sweetening department. 

The verdict:  Perfect.  After they've cooled, the cookies taste exactly like those you get at Paradise Bakery.  I had some handsy little boys who were grabbing at them straight out of the oven, but they fell apart horribly until given a good amount of cooling time. 

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Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 04:14PM by Registered CommenterAmy in | Comments5 Comments | References4 References

Teriyaki Meatballs

Here's another quick fix meal that my whole family loved.  I bought the frozen meatballs from Costco, and they are surprisingly tasty.  The sauce comes together on the stovetop within 10 minutes.  We served it over rice for dinner one night and brought it as an appetizer in a crock pot to Superbowl festivities.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 12:37PM by Registered CommenterAmy in , , , | Comments2 Comments