Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

There's a funny story that goes along with this recipe and post.  I had just dropped a pork roast (seasoned with only salt, pepper and a little garlic) into the slow cooker when I decided to switch gears and make it a Parmesan Honey Pork Roast.

I had just sat down at the computer after starting my boring, plain roast in the slow cooker (I was drawing a blank and lacked any real motivation to do more than lightly season the piggy roast originally).  The first thing I came across when I plopped in front of my laptop was a comment posted on my No-Bake Energy Bites post by Lillian of My Recipe Journey.  I jogged over to her blog and came across her post about this pork roast.  It looked and sounded divine.  So, back into the kitchen I ran.  The "sauce" for the recipe comes together in a minute or two, so I mixed it up and poured it over the roast.

Several hours later ... pork heaven!  Seriously ... I'm sure that I heard church bells ring and angels sing!  The sauce has just the right balance of saltiness, sweetness and tang.

It was a huge hit with the family, too.  (Mr. Joyously Domestic declared that it was one of the best things I've made in awhile.)  It's funny how things just fall into place sometimes ... this recipe will definitely be made again in this household!  And, I urge you to try it in yours, too!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roasted Red Potatoes with Lemon Garlic Aioli

I'm (kinda) stealing borrowing the same sauce recipe that I used recently for my Roasted Brussels Spouts post.  To be honest, I've used it more than once since posting that recipe last week.  (It is amazing with grilled asparagus, too.)

And, as amazing as the sauce is, I forgot to take a picture of the darn stuff.  So, you'll have to just imagine it sitting there awaiting its meeting with those gloriously crisp taters.  Or, just make this recipe and you can look at your own Lemon Garlic Aioli - just before you devour it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

I've been away from the blog for a few days.  We've had a chaotic week here in my house. My grandfather passed away this past week.  And, we've been battling yucky sickness in our household since last weekend. 

On a brighter note, my little nephew was born two days ago.  My sister went into sudden, quick labor in the middle of the night.  911 had to be called and she gave birth in a grocery store parking lot in the back of an ambulance just ninety minutes or so after her water broke.  Isn't that quite a story to tell her newborn son when he's older!  My sister is doing great and little baby Carter couldn't be cuter!

Not a lot of home cookin' has been happening in my kitchen in recent days.  So, I was happy to get back to work on a new recipe and blog post.

My dear friend, Carrie, shared this recipe with me and told me that I just had to try this chowder.  It is loaded with so many ingredients that I love (and usually keep on hand), so I was super thrilled to give it a whirl.  I completely trust her culinary opinion, so I had a feeling that I was in for a real treat!  I was not disappointed.  With temperatures hovering around zero (and below) here in Michigan all week, this soup was a welcome addition to my menu today.

The recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker.  Yields 5 - 7 servings.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Aioli

These aren't your momma's Brussels sprouts, friends.

More than likely, the Brussels sprouts you were forced to eat served as a child were from the frozen section of the supermarket and were boiled to oblivion resulting in a mushy, sulfur-smelling disaster! No wonder we never liked them!

First of all, using fresh Brussels sprouts makes a major world of difference. Secondly, roasting the sprouts takes these babies to a whole new level. Add a little garlic aioli on the side for dipping and you've got yourself a mighty yummy side dish!

P.S. I didn't realize until today that there is a "s" at the end of Brussels when referring to "Brussels sprouts" and that it should always be capitalized. One really does learn something new every day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

No-Bake Energy Bites

These have become a go-to staple in our household. I make a big batch of these amazing little balls on a regular basis. (They freeze wonderfully.) They are so handy for a quick breakfast-on-the-go option, after-school snacks and to toss into lunchboxes. They are wholesome, healthful and a huge hit with our entire family ... one of my kids' favorite homemade treats.

The flavor and texture of these remind me of a cross between no-bake cookies and chewy peanut butter power bars.  It takes only a matter of minutes to mix up the ingredients. Then, after thirty minutes of chilling the "dough" in the fridge, you roll the mixture into balls and you're done! Keep a batch of these in the fridge/freezer and you'll have a quick energy-booster to grab on the fly. I double or triple the recipe most of the time because they are so well-loved in the JD house. I think you'll love them, too, and I'd adore hearing from you once you try them.

Yields 2 - 2 1/2  dozen "bites" (balls). 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Coney Dogs in the Slow Cooker

Since it was only going to be a quiet evening at home this past New Year's Eve, I didn't have to really plan much in terms of party-type food.  Our thirteen-year old daughter was going to a friend's for a party and my ten-year old son was having a friend over for the night.  Other than that, it was just our five-year old, my hubby and myself.  (Exciting, huh?)

Honestly, I was looking forward to some time with my husband home for a couple of days and us not having any major commitments or plans.  While so many people party it up over the New Year's holiday, it is usually our "down-time" after the prior week's craziness surrounding Christmas.

My son wanted coney dogs for New Year's Eve while his buddy was over, so I broke out the slow cooker!  We made up a huge batch of homemade french fries and enjoyed some simple grub while we prepared to ring in the new year!

It's almost embarrassing to post this "recipe" since it is such a simple and easy one.  But, it is a great tip for those who have never heard of cooking hot dogs in the slow cooker.  This is a great way to do hot dogs or sausages for a large crowd. They stay hot throughout a party or event as people eat at their leisure.

This is a great idea if you plan to host a Super Bowl party this year, too!  Guests can trickle in and out of the kitchen to make a coney or chili dog all throughout the game!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken

My two youngest daughters can be pretty picky when it comes to Asian food.  So, when I first prepared this recipe, I was concerned that they wouldn't really dig it.  Surprisingly (and thankfully), I was wrong. Plates cleaned. "Seconds" requested. This has definitely now become a regular in the JD household. And, it's gotten great reviews from guests who have been over for dinner when we've served this.

Initially, I was really surprised at the method used to yield this style of breaded chicken. It's quite unique and something I hadn't been familiar with in the past. But, it's actually really neat and quite simple.

Although the chicken in this recipe spends the majority of its time in the oven, there is a quick step of flash-frying it in a tiny bit of oil before it ends up in the oven. I'm telling myself, however, that this has to be a tad bit healthier than take-out since it is not completely cooked by way of deep-frying and I get to control the ingredients.

UPDATE 4/9/13:  I have received comments and emails concerning the fact that I present this recipe as something "Chinese."  Yes, I am aware that sweet and sour chicken is more of an American idea of what Chinese cuisine is. But, since it's something here in America that many of our "Chinese" restaurants do serve, I like that I am able to make a version at home that we absolutely love.  (Yes, though ... I am aware that this is not authentic Chinese food.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

PD's Old-Time Beef Stew

I took Paula Dean's recipe for Old-Time Beef Stew and adapted it a bit to my family's preferences.  {For example, I included potatoes and peas in my version.} I was intrigued by the addition of ground cloves in her recipe.  I never would have thought to add something like that to a stew, but it works magically in the dish.  It is not overpowering, but does offer that extra something in terms of depth and flavor.  I, also, like that this comes together in just a couple of hours compared to my regular beef stew recipe that takes all day to cook.
This stew is very thick and hearty. So, it's very satisfying and perfect for the chillier months of the year.
NOTE:  I recommend really taking the time to sear the meat thoroughly. Doing so is the foundation for the rest of the recipe ... a good sear on the beef is needed for that rich depth of flavor that helps make this stew outstanding.

Yields 4 servings.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Rockstar Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf

I apologize for this recipe in advance.  So many of you - I know - are trying to stick to your New Year's resolution of eating healthier.  This recipe doesn't really fit into that, does it? 

I'm sorry.

But it truly is one heck of a meatloaf recipe!  It is scrumptious and cheesy and naughty and gooey and divine.  (Yes, that's a major run-on sentence right there, but sometimes I like to use a lot of ands!)

You've got juicy ground beef.  Pork.  Garlic.  Spices.  And, cheese ... lots of cheese.  (I won't tell ya about the time I laid out bacon strips across the top before baking!)

You really should make this. Your family will love you ... hence the name. In their eyes, you'll be a rockstar in the kitchen! Score one for mom (or dad)! No more boring meatloaf! This is something special, friends.  And, there's no better comfort food to serve alongside some fluffy mashed potatoes.

(Did I mention the cheese factor?) 

Just plan to have a grilled chicken breast and a salad (with no dressing) for dinner the following day.  I read in a study once that it cancels out the calories you consumed the day prior.  (Just kidding.  That was a lie.)  What I do know is that life is all about moderation.  So, have just a small piece.  And, then munch on some fresh veggies for your snack while ya watch television later. 

NOTE:  You can use your own recipe for regular meatloaf if it's a family favorite, then just follow the guidelines for the cheese-portion to make it a cheesy version.  (I won't mind ... really!)  Just be sure to use 2 pounds of ground meat.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Sausage & Roasted Vegetable Casserole

I've been a little melancholy (do people even use that word anymore?) for the past couple of days.  I have so enjoyed having the three kids home for the past couple of weeks during their winter break and I so dread sending them back to school on Monday.  I wish I could just lounge around with those guys and snuggle them every day.  But, such is life.  We've been trying to squeeze in a bunch of last-minute fun things during these final days of their break.  I took them swimming at an indoor pool on Friday and after a stop off at a birthday party early yesterday afternoon at our local bowling alley, we nestled in by the fire for a relaxing evening at home.

This delectable recipe was made.  Hot fudge sundaes were eaten.  We read books.  They tinkered with Legos.  We played a few board games. 

It was pure bliss.

I was inspired to make this recipe from the beautiful Kay over at Kayotic Kitchen.  She calls her version Lazy Sunday Casserole.  I so appreciate and adore roasted, caramelized veggies of any kind.  So, I was drawn to this dish.  However, since I didn't make it on a Sunday and to better convey (and capture) the essence of the dish, I decided upon a different name.  Whatever you want to call it, it's darn tasty and a perfect recipe to make on these chilly winter days.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Crescent Roll Pizza Roll-Ups (My Kids in the Kitchen)

In my 2012 Recap post the other day, I mentioned that I'd be introducing a new "Kids' Korner" feature here on Joyously Domestic in 2013.  Well, this would just happen to be the first installment.  I have previously featured a "My Kids in the Kitchen" post when they made Pepperoni Pizza Puffs all on their own.  (We've made that recipe several times since and it's always a huge hit!)

We plan to make "Kids' Korner" a regular feature with them putting the meal together on their own (with a little supervision from mom).  Part of the post will include their "verdict" on the recipe!

For those of you new to the blog, let me introduce my kids!  We have five total, but two of them are "grown-ups" now and live out in the real world on their own.  Here are our three - the "contributors" of Kids' Korner - who still reside at home with mom and dad:

Allanah is thirteen.  Ayvah is five.  Zayne is ten.  (They are beautiful kids if I do say so myself!)

My goal with Kids' Korner is to not only give my kids an opportunity to learn by my side in the kitchen, but to provide you - my readers - a place to come for kid-friendly and kid-tested recipes that will encourage and inspire you to get your kids in the kitchen, too!