Tender Pork Loin

All the leftovers are eaten and busy after school season is upon us, so I figured that I would dust off the old crockpot and find me a new recipe.

Tender Pork Loin
1 pork loin
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 tsp marjoram

place pork in a slow cooker, rub with minced garlic and sprinkle with rosemary sage and marjoram. Add me abour 1/4 cup water to bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hrs.

I will also bake 4 apples up to eat as a side dish for this meal, along with a side salad.


Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Toss

I received this recipe from the group Budgethomemaking on yahoo. It was sent in by a member sometime last summer. I was working on cleaning out my pantry and had these items available. I also substituted fresh tomatoes chopped for the grape tomatoes. The result was very delicious.

Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Toss

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
8 oz. pasta
2 pints grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
4 oz. mozarella cheese
splash of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried parsley
3 tsp dried basil

place chicken, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder in a bag and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hrs.

slice grape tomatoes in half and put in bowl with olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, and vinegar. Put in refrigerator for at least 4 hrs.

Boil Pasta in salted water. While boiling pasta grill chicken for 10 mins. on each side or until no longer pink in the middle. Slice chicken into thin slices. When pasta is al-dente, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Add the mozarella. Put in bowls and top with slices of chicken. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

Serves 4
(although in my house we had enough left over to have for dinner the next night also!)


Just a few thoughts

I have rounded out the state fair competition with 2 blue ribbon's, 1 red, and 2 white ribbons. Not bad considering I only put 5 pies into competition and all 5 recieved ribbons.

I was looking at all my saved recipes and contemplating my next move on the food scene. I have vowed to try all the recipes I have saved over the last few years. It is a sort of cleaning out all the files. I will post each recipe as I try them with reviews. Most of these posts will be dinner meals. There are a few dessert and pie recipes mixed in. A lot of the recipes will be crock pot related.

I decided that I would try all these recipes instead of buying any new cook books. This being a frugal tip and I am always trying to save some money. I will start this later today with my meal that I will cook this evening. Chicken Caprese pasta. I will be using up my bounty of tomatoes with this meal. Recipe to follow.


Menu Plan Monday

Here is the first in hopefully many posts for the menu plan. Hopefully this will help many become successful at planning a menu. It is a frugal way to stay on a budget. I found out that menu planning has become an essential way to live for my life. I started menu planning about a year ago when my eldest child started school. I was not going to be a mom who had drive through meals every night. I vowed that we would have home cooked meals as best as we could while having dance classes after school many nights a week. We are a typical busy family and while I am not perfect, menu planning has allowed me some flexibility in the realm of "what am I going to make tonight?"

Monday Blt-Grilled Zucchini (Meet the teacher night at school)
Tuesday Spaghetti salad and garlic bread
Wednesday Leftovers (First day of school)
Thursday Grilled Pork tenderloin and potato salad
Friday Manwiches and french fries and fresh corn
Saturday Leftovers (Unless I get creative)
Sunday Roast chicken and various garden veggies


Perfect no fail Pie Crust

Crust Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups pastry flour
8 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 ½ -3 ½ tbsp. ice water
1 ½ tsp cider vinegar
Crust preparation:
All ingredients need to be cold. Place flour, salt, baking powder in food processor. Pulse 6 times. Place butter in to flour mixture and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add water and vinegar until mixture just comes together. Take out of food processor bowl and place on plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill for at least 30 mins. Roll out crust and place in 9 inch pie plate.

Fair Week

OK so this is it. What I wait all year for. This is the week of the Iowa State Fair. The fair boasts the largest food department and contests in the nation. I love this time of year so much that I take two weeks off of my "real job" to partake in the fun of cooking nonstop for two weeks. Mind you this is in the heat of August. Not to mention the last two weeks were unseasonably cool for this time of year and now it is hot!

Today, I was making cinnamon rolls to try something a little different than I have in the past. This recipe uses vanilla ice cream in the caramel topping. No, not a pie, but every bit as good.

Ice Cream Rolls

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 egg
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons instant powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (for spreading)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Place water, egg, bread flour, white sugar, powdered milk, salt, 5 tablespoons butter and yeast in bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select DOUGH setting, and turn machine on.
Meanwhile; in a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
When machine has finished cycling remove dough from pan and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a rectangle. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Crumble 1/2 cup brown sugar over the top. Roll up, and seal edge. Cut into 12 rolls, and place in prepared pan of caramel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.