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Showing posts from 2012

Spinach Cornbread Stuffed Pork Loin

Sometimes you just get tired of the normal roasting methods you always use and find yourself wanting to step it up a little. While walking through the meat section of the grocery store this week, my husband and I saw a pork loin and decided to try a stuffed loin recipe. We used a stuffing similar to that use for Cornbread Stuffed Chicken, but with a few changes. This recipe turned out great! What I really like is that all of the prep can be done ahead and then you can leave it wrapped in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to cook. I served this with a medley of roasted vegetables.

For the Filling:
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Finely Diced Sweet Yellow Onion
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 1/4 Cup Prepared Cornbread (1/2 Recipe Yellow Country Cornbread)
1 Cup Thawed and Drained Frozen Spinach
1 Egg
For the Loin:
3 Pound Pork Loin, Filleted
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Prepared Filling
6 Oun…

Caramel Apple Pie

The only introduction this recipe needs is one word.....Delicious! I hope you enjoy.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 450 degrees

1 Stick (8 Tablespoons) Butter
7 Large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Prepared Pastry Crusts (recipe below)
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Water

1. In a large pan, simmer the butter, apples, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium low heat for 20 minutes or until cooked through and tender.
2. Add flour; stir. Cook for 2 minutes, to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Prepare a glass bottom pie pan (8 or 9 inch) by layering one of the crusts on the bottom.
4. Pour the cooled apple mixture into the bottom crust, mounding more in the middle.
5. Place the top crust over the pie and crimp the edges to close. Cut vent holes into the crust to allow steam to escape.
6. Create an egg wash by beating the egg and water together. Lightly bru…

White Christmas Truffles

All too often we all get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas and forget about the wonderful gifts that come straight out of our kitchens. I know for my family  and me, homemade gifts extend an even warmer thoughtfulness and a deeper level of appreciation than most gifts that can be purchased from a store. Part of my Christmas tradition is making candy. Traditional candies coming from our kitchen include walnut fudge, chocolate dipped pretzels and peppermint bark. I also throw in other baked goods including cookies and breads. This recipe was actually born out of a mistake in which some cheesecake fudge did not set up firm enough and I suddenly was left wondering what to I grabbed some powdered sugar and rolled them into cheesecake truffles. Everyone I gave them to loved them! So I took the newly morphed recipe and created the White Christmas Truffles. This recipe is very versatile. Be warned though....they are rich and addictive!

1 1/2 Tablespoons B…

Warm and Gooey Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Do you ever crave something sweet but there is nothing in the cabinets and no mix to be found? This brownie recipe is much easier to throw together than my normal because there is no melting of chocolate to make the batch. These can be customized with nuts, flavored candy chips, chocolate covered mint chips, or anything else. They would also be great with some caramel drizzled throughout them......yum! I always like mine hot with a nice scoop of ice cream. Keep this recipe handy in case you suddenly need to make a dessert for unexpected guests during this holiday season! These are warm, crusty on the outside and gooey in the middle.....perfection!

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees

1/2 Cup Oil
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Ounce Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, chopped

1. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
2. Combine the salt, baking powder…

Breakfast Lasagna

This casserole is very similar to one of the quiches I make for parties and special breakfasts. Tonight I wanted to make something different but really did not want to deal with making dough. Instead of a pastry crust, the egg layer is placed above cooked grits. The ingredients inside the egg layer can be customized to suite your taste. If you want it spicier, use hot sausage. You can also make this recipe vegetarian, as I do with my spinach quiche, and add sautéed vegetables. This is merely a technique; once you know what you are doing, this can be morphed into endless possibilities.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
Makes 4 Servings

1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Quick Cook Grits
8 ounces All Natural Breakfast Sausage
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
6 Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

1. Use 1 Tablespoon of butter to grease the inside of a 5x9 baking dish. Make sure to get the bottom, sides, and corners wel…

Dark Cherry Pastry Pockets

As Christmas nears, there are tons of social gatherings to take homemade baked goods. My husband requested bite size cherry pies for a party tomorrow night. After making cupcake sized pies, I still had some leftover filling and dough. Instead of wasting it, I made individual pastry pockets for a nice dessert after Sunday dinner. The filling for the pies is made using dark cherries and orange zest; this combination is very different and much more complex than the typical cherry pie filling that comes from a can. Be warned....this is decadent! There is no room for the timid here. 

Preheat Oven Temperature: 425 degrees
For the Filling: 48 ounces Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries Zest of 1 Orange Juice of 1 orange 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1 2/3 Cup Sugar 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch 2 Tablespoons Butter
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except corn starch and butter. Simmer on medium-low for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add in the corn starch, stirring rapidly to avoid lumping. Me…

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

I love French toast....Can I say it again? I mean, I LOVE FRENCH TOAST! The thick bread covered in a rich custard, over-flowing with cinnamon flavor and cooked until crisp in butter. I mean, what is not to love? This time of year, I also LOVE apples. So what better to top delicious French toast with than syrupy cooked apples? Nothing! This recipe is perfect for Christmas morning and is great for crowds as you can make the apples ahead of time and simple reheat and then be making the French toast on a large electric griddle. This is a keeper for any recipe box!

Serves 4

For the Cinnamon Apple Topping:
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cored

1. Cut the apple into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
2. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the French Toast:
4 Eggs
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Ritzy Thighs with Mushroom Dressing

This recipe was born out of necessity. Necessity to use up chicken thighs and extra crackers. Necessity to have a no-fuss meal. Necessity to make something different yet special. This meal was really created for my husband who loves fried chicken and stuffing with gravy. Most of this meal is prep and then forget it, which is great for a busy household.  Although it looks like a lot of steps, the timing works out so that everything is finished at the same time, which in my household is a wonderful thing!

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
Chicken Cooking Time: 50 Minutes
Dressing Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ritzy Thighs Ingredients:
4 Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken Thighs
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 Sleeve Buttery Round Crackers
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1. Create an assembly line with one container holding the two beaten eggs seasoned with pepper and garlic powder, another with crushed crackers  and then the final resting place for the baking chicken, a wire r…

Pineapple Chicken Salad

When I am traveling, I like to eat quick meals at unique places. One day while driving down the interstate, I decided to stop at a well-known deli for lunch. I ordered what I thought was going to be a typical chicken salad sandwich, only to be pleasantly surprised to receive a wonderful salad filled with pineapple. I immediately loved the sweetness of the pineapple with the creaminess of the mayonaise based salad all contrasting with the vine rippend tomato, buttery leaf lettuce, and crunchy wheat toast. While low on ingredients, this salad is over-the-top on taste. I think what I like the most is the simplicity. No ingredient overpowers another yet they all work together to create a perfect balance in your mouth. This recipe is a great one to have in your pocket for using up leftover roasted chicken breast, serving at holiday gatherings, or just as a lunchbox staple. You can also add chopped celery or toasted slivered almonds, if you like, but I really enjoy the simplicity these few…

Like Us on Facebook

I have finally gotten my Facebook page up and running. It is still in its very primitive stages, but I hope to have it fully complete soon. Make sure to like the page, MSC on Facebook, as well as subscribe to the blog to be the first to know about new recipes.
I also want to hear from you guys. If you try a recipe, please make sure to come back and comment on the post. Additionally, if there is something that you would like to see, comment on the Facebook page and I will try to do a MSC twist on your request.
Finally, I want to thank all of you for your support of MSC and the kind words of encouragement. I love to bake and cook so this is HEAVEN for me. The greatest thrill for a MSC is entertaining and sharing delicious food with others; this site is an extension of that passion for me.

Beer Battered Fried Asparagus with Spicy Garlic Aioli

At our favorite brewery, they have an appetizer of pale ale battered asparagus. After trying it, I was hooked! I love the tempora-like batter over the tender stalks. The key to the batter is to use a light colored ale; I happened to use an IPA. The dipping sauce is creamy, garlicy, and surprisingly light (thanks to the lemon). These are great for parties! Make sure to use tender, young stalks for best results. I served these as a side for an alternative to the typical french fry.

Spicy Garlic Aioli:
2 Rounded Tablespoons Mayonaise
1 Clove Garlic, Very Finely Minced
Pinch Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Combine all ingredients for the "aioli" and allow to sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator, covered.

Beer Battered Preparation:
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Beer
1/2 Cup Water

1. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
2. Using a whisk, slowly add the beer and water while stirring constantly. You might have …

Spicy Chicken Wrap

There is a spicy chicken wrap that I love to get for lunch from a local fast food chain. After paying quite a bit for these wraps, I thought, "Why am I paying for this when I could just make my own?" Part of being a successful home cook is managing the finances and keeping even the lunch box interesting. This wrap can be customized to include the toppings of your choice. This recipe beckons to a cajun chicken club, which is exactly how my husband decided to eat his. The great things is that this recipe is versatile! You can add guacamole, sliced cucumber, ranch dressing, anything you desire; you can even slice up the tenders and put them atop your favorite salad, maybe even with my Heavenly Dressing. No matter how you serve them, you will not be disappointed!

1 Pound Chicken Breast Tenders
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon each of ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
8 Strips Bac…

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

I love to bake. I actually have my own baking business, Sweet Somethings, where I do cakes and other desserts. Recently, a wonderful coworker at my daytime job gave me a fresh pineapple from Hawaii on the one condition that I must make something and post it on my blog. My pineapple upside-down cakes. I like mini-cakes because it allows my husband and I to have a small dessert but they are also easily transported to share with others. This is simply a classic dessert in the South made small.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
Ingredients: 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple, Peeled and Cored, Cut into Bite-size Wedges 1 1/2 Sticks Butter (12 Tablespoons), Softened 1 Cup Brown Sugar 1 Cup Sugar 2 Eggs 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1/8 teaspoon Salt 1 teaspoon Vanilla  1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside. 2. Melt 1/2 stick (4 Tbs) butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the brown sugar and mi…

Turkey Pot Pie

So on my quest to use up ALL of the Thanksgiving leftovers, I took one of our favorite classics, chicken pie, and swapped in the turkey. This is a delicious recipe. If you want to make it ahead, just make the filling and refrigerate, making the topping the night of dinner and then baking.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees

Filling Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Carrots
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups No Salt Added Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
2 Cups Shredded Cooked Turkey
1 Cup Frozen Peas

Topping Ingredients:
3 Cups Herb Seasoned Stuffing Crumbs
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Cup No Salt Added Chicken Broth

Preparation Instructions:
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender. If the onions appear to be cooking too fast, reduce the heat to medium low. Stir peri…

Pork Fried Rice

Any time you have a large family gathering, the leftovers can seem to never end. One key to getting through all the extra food is to morph them into something totally different. Since we love Asian food, it is our go-to. I created this pork fried rice after watching some very close friends make their traditional fried rice at Hmong gatherings. This recipe is easy and uses ingredients you already have in your cabinets.

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup White Rice
1 Cup Chicken Broth, no salt added
1 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Carrots, finely diced
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
1 Large Garlic Clove, sliced
5 Button Mushrooms, quartered
2 Cups Cooked Ham, cubed
1 Cup Frozen Peas
5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
2 Eggs

1. In a large saucepan, melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Pour 1 cup uncooked white rice into the butter and sautee for 1 minutes. Add the chicken broth and water. Stir. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. When all liq…

Lighter-than-Air Waffles

I love good, homemade waffles; however, until yesterday I only had a thin waffle iron and I love the deep nooks in a belgian style. So now that I have a "real" waffle maker, it was time to get into the kitchen and make some fluffy goodness. I have tried several versions of my recipe and this morning it was finally perfect. The batter is very light and the waffle comes out crisp on the outside (if you set your maker to the darker setting) and airy on the inside. Even my husband said "These are really light and moist!" If you are worried about a heavy feeling after breakfast, don't worry about it with these because they are so light that you do not feel the bloated feeling at all. These would be a great recipe to have for a holiday brunch.

1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 teaspoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Melted Butter (4 Tablespoons)
1 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs, Separat…

Better-than-Pie Cooked Apples

I LOVE COOKED APPLES! The tender fruit with the rich syrup glaze paired with a warm, flaky biscuit is one of my favorite foods of all time. While I normally serve these with biscuits, I can see them as an indulgent topping for pancakes, french toast, or even as a filling for an apple pie cinnamon roll.....hmmmmm, I see all sorts of recipes to come! The best thing about this recipe is that it is very minimal in ingredients but huge on return!

1 Large Granny Smith Apple
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1. Peel and decore a large granny smith apple. Slice the apple into 1/4 inch slices.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.
3. Add the sliced apples to the pan.
4. Add the sugars, salt, and cinnamon to the pot.
5. Gently stir to coat all the apples.
6. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer. Gently stirring occasionally.
7. Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
8. …

Cornbread Stuffed Chicken

Last Saturday night, my husband and I went out for a date to our favorite brewery. The great thing about this place is that the food is just as outstanding as the tap. I decided to finally try the stuffed chicken breast and man was I hooked! I immediately told my husband that we would be recreating the recipe at home. So tonight was the night. I made my cornbread earlier in the week so that it would be ready to use and then it was complete in under an hour, sides and all. I also made a quick mushroom pan gravy for dipping (not pictured).

Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees

4 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Cornbread, crumbled
1/2 Small Yellow Onion, chopped (2 Tablespoons)
1 Small Garlic Clove, minced
3 Strips Bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 Cup Baby Spinach, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine cornbread, onion, garlic, bacon, spinach, salt and pepper.
2. Melt 4 Tablespoon…

Yellow Country Cornbread

Ok. If you are from the South or have ever visited, you know there is good cornbread, bad cornbread, and GREAT cornbread. This cornbread falls into the GREAT category. Although it is simple at it roots, it is the perfect base for your heart's desire. If you want Mexican-style, throw in some chopped peppers, cheddar, and kernel corn. However, I just love this classic. I sometimes make it as muffins for brunch or entertaining and always get rave reviews. Tonight this was simply as a deliciously moist bread and the leftovers will be used for a different recipe later this week --- you will have to come back to see what it morphs into. With this recipe in your pocket, you will NEVER say you don't have enough time to make a quick bread.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 425 degrees

1 1/3 Cup Self-Rising Yellow Corn Meal (Tenda-Bake brand)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 Egg, beaten

1. Spray a 6x8 glass baking dish with non-stick spray. You need t…

BBQ Pork Cheese Fries

This recipe comes from one of our favorite indulgences at a local restaurant, BBQ Cheese Fries. When we were looking for a great alternative for using up some leftover pork, this is what happened. Sometimes the best ideas do come out of sheer necessity. Do not judge until you have tried! Serve them with a side of ketchup, sour cream, or extra barbecue sauce. Your taste buds will thank you! This recipe would also be great for parties and gatherings.

4 cups Frozen French Fries 2 cups Pulled Pork 3 Tablespoons Carolina Style BBQ Sauce 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1. Prepare your fries as directed by the package but make sure to get them extra crispy. I used a deep fryer and cooked until golden brown.
2. While the fries are cooking, place the pork and sauce in a skillet over medium low heat and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Allow the meat to warm for 7-10 minutes. This step is necessary to remove extra moisture from the meat. I have tried making the recipe without …

Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork

This is a variation of my Spicy Shredded Beef recipe with the use of a 8 pound pork shoulder. Normally I would do the Beer Butt BBQ with this cut of meat, but we wanted to mix it up. The great thing about this recipe is that the sauce is thin enough to just serve as a moisture for the meat and additional sauces of choice can be added. I also love the versatility of this recipe; with this one recipe my family was able to eat wraps, sandwiches, and, probably the best way, as pulled pork cheese fries! Another bonus is that this was a slow cooker recipe.

8 Pound Pork Shoulder
12 ounces Chipotle in Adobo
24 ounces Water
1 Large Yellow onion, quartered
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Salt
4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire

1. Place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker fat side up.
2. Top with the chipotles in adobo sauce.
3. Without pouring over the top of the pork, so as to not disturb the chipotles, add the water, onion, salt, vinegar, …

Give-Me-More Meatball Lasagna

I will be honest, lasagna is normally like a "four letter word" in my house. I am not a big fan and my husband definitely is not. However, last weekend we decided to try something new and create a meatball lasagna. The compromise was made by him getting to have meatballs and I got to add the spinach. The result was nothing short of AMAZING! The leftovers were wonderful and it got better even a couple days later. The great thing about this meal is that you can assemble it ahead of time, cover and store in the refrigerator and then bake off on the night of the meal.

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees

4 Cups Marinara Sauce
4 Cups Entertaining Meatballs , cut in half
15 ounces Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
9 ounces Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
8 Lasagna Noodles
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1. Heat a large pot of water on the stove over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Drizzle in vegetable oil (optional). Cook the lasa…