Thursday, January 24, 2013

aunt nada's salisbury steak

That last Gooseberry Patch giveaway was so fun, wasn't it?!  I just loved all of the recipes I tried from Weeknight Dinners, and I hope you'll be looking for it when it hits the stores.  It's not one to miss!

This recipe was one of my favorites, so I was tickled pink when I saw how interested everyone else was in it.  It's the perfect form of comfort food...warm, meaty, great with mashed potatoes. :)  It's definitely one I'll be making again and again.

To make, mix together hamburger meat, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and French onion soup.  Combine into oval patties and brown in a skillet over medium heat.

PS - Why are Salisbury steaks always oval?  Why not a circle?  square?  octagon???

Mix together more French onion soup, flour, catsup, water, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.  Pour over the patties.  Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes or until everything is hot and bubble and the patties are thoroughly cooked.

See...didn't I say it was easy?!


Aunt Nada's Salisbury Steak
from Gooseberry Patch's Weeknight Dinners
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 10-3/4 oz. can French onion soup, divided
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t. mustard

In a bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and 1/3 cup soup.  Form into 6 oval patties.  Brown patties in a skillet over medium heat; drain.  In a bowl, stir flour into remaining soup; add remaining ingredients.  Pour mixture over patties.  Stir to loosen any brown bits in the bottom of the skillet.  Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

baked pork chops

I got this recipe after I became engaged to marry my husband.  His family gathered their favorite recipes together and presented me with recipe cards.  This one is from his Aunt Beth.

I think that recipes are one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone can give a new bride.  As we prepare to start families of our own, there is so much pressure to be a good cook for our husbands.  I especially worried that my cooking wouldn't hold up to the standard that his family had already set.  Thank goodness they were willing to share their recipes!

I've since lost my worries - he loves my cooking and appreciates all of the recipes that I've brought to our marriage.  But, it's still fun to fix some of his childhood favorites.  It's a great way to show him that I love him and appreciate where he came from.

These pork chops are one of my favorite of the recipes that I acquired as a young bride.  They are easy to make and positively delicious.  I just love the creamy sauce that tops them, and I often serve them over rice or mashed potatoes so that I can be sure that no sauce remains on my plate!  They are definitely a must-try.

Start by preparing three bowls - one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with seasoned bread crumbs.

Dredge the pork chops in flour, then dip in the egg, and then cover with bread crumbs.  Brown in oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on each side (or until the breading appears well-browned).  Then, transfer to a 9x13 baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake for an hour, and then pour a mixture of white wine, milk, cream of mushroom soup, and seasonings over the top.  Recover with the foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Absolutely delicious!

Baked Pork Chops
  • 4 -6 pork chops
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the eggs, flour, and seasoned bread crumbs in separate bowls.  Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the eggs, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well-browned.  Transfer the pork chops to a 9x13 baking dish, and cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour.  While baking, combine the soup, milk, white wine, and seasonings.  After the pork chops have baked 1 hour, cover with the soup mixture.  Replace the foil and bake another 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

weeknight dinners: review and giveaway

It's that time again...time for a Gooseberry Patch early bird review and giveaway!!!  I just love doing these.  As you've probably noticed, Gooseberry Patch is hands-down my favorite cookbook company.  It's such an honor that they've allowed me to get sneak peaks at their soon-to-be-published books, share them with you, and then give one away to one of you!

Weeknight Dinners is the newest book, and it's an absolute delight.  Cookie Bandit and I sat down with sticky notes to flag all of the recipes we wanted to try - we flagged just about every other page!  There is a different chapter for each weeknight - Meatless Monday, Tex-Mex Tuesday, Italian Wednesday, Comfort Food Thursday, and Just for Fun Friday.  Each chapter has recipes for main dishes, side dishes, and desserts.  With such a great variety, there's sure to be something for everyone's tastes. 

As usual, there's also tips on the bottom of each page...that's over 200 tips!  These are my favorite parts.  I always get such great ideas for crafts, entertaining, and cooking.  These tips are why I always think of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks as "page turners." :)

Once again, we picked a recipe from each chapter to try out and share with you.  Here they are, each given its own "reward"!
Simplest Delight
Savory Onion-Roasted Veggies from the chapter "Meatless Monday"

Cookie Bandit is a self-proclaimed meat lover, and he LOVED these.  I mean, the guy normally tells me we don't need a vegetable side with out meat...and yet, he almost picked these as his favorite of the bunch!  You can bet that I'll be making them again.  They took about 5 minutes to prepare (very little chopping) and they cooked in the oven while I made the rest of dinner.  The flavor was just out of this world.  I am one happy cook when I can serve up simple veggies that everyone loves.
Most Challenging
Golden Sopapillas from the chapter "Tuesday is Tex-Mex Night"

I've decided that sopapillas are something that practice makes perfect.  And we have definitely not hit perfection.  I'm not sure what the issue was - maybe our oil wasn't hot enough?  But, while they browned beautifully, they didn't puff up like the sopapillas you see at restaurants.  Either way, we simply loved them and will make them again.  They tasted so good, who cares if they weren't hollow in the middle?  We just poured our honey straight on top and chowed down.  They were deliciously fluffy and a delight to make.  Maybe next time, we'll get closer to perfection.
Make-Ahead Favorite
Chicken Tetrazzini from the chapter "Wednesday is Italian Night"

This was a delicious, creamy recipe, and yet it was our least favorite of all that we tried.  I guess that gives you an indication of just how good this cookbook was.  While it lacked the depth of flavors that the others had, it had a lot of other great things going for it.  This one, simple recipe made two casseroles!  I baked one immediately and put another in the freezer to have at a later date.  Both were deliciously creamy.  This is one make-ahead meal that I'll be making ahead many times to come.
Most Comforting
Aunt Nada's Salisbury Steak from the chapter "Comfort Food Thursday"

Cookie Bandit thinks I'm nuts, but I've always loved those salisbury steak TV dinners.  I always thought of them as the epitome of comfort food (at least when it came to frozen dinners).  Well, this recipe for salisbury steak blows those others out of the water!  Even Cookie Bandit - the man who is skeptical of salisbury steak (cause it's not real steak, you see) - loved them.  It's an easy and quick recipe...perfect for busy mommas with hungry men to feed!

 Best Bite-Sized Burgers
Chicken-Apple Sliders from the chapter "Just for Fun Friday"

These are seriously some of the best burgers I have ever had!  We are normally beef people when it comes to hamburgers, but we couldn't resist trying this combination of apple, ground chicken, and bacon.  Um...can you say delicious?  I don't know if I can go back to beef now.  We especially love how easy and quick these were to make.  If you only try one recipe from this cookbook, this needs to be it!

When it came to figuring out which recipe we should share with you today, the decision was pretty simple.  :)

Begin by peeling and grating an apple.  The recipe calls for a tart apple like Granny Smith, but we used a sweeter variety.  Still tasted amazing.  My point - use whichever kind of apple you like best!

Combine grated apple, chopped celery, seasonings, honey, ground chicken, and 4 slices of crumbled, cooked bacon.  Form into 8 small patties and grill until chicken is no longer pink.

Serve on rolls with cheese, additional bacon, lettuce, mayo, and favorite burger toppings.

Chicken-Apple Sliders
from Gooseberry Patch's Weeknight Dinners

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and shredded
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled, and divided
  • Optional: 2 slices favorite cheese, quartered
  • 8 mini rolls, toasted and split
  • Garnish: mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and onion

In a large bowl, combine apple, celery and seasonings; toss to mix.  Add honey, chicken and half of bacon.  Stir until combined; do not overmix.  Form into 8 small patties.  Grill or pan-fry patties about 4 minutes on each side, until chicken is no longer pink.  If desired, top with a piece of cheese during the last few minutes of cooking.  Place patties on rolls; top with remaining bacon and other toppings, as desired.  Serves 8.

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