Friday, January 18, 2013

Orange-Berry Smoothie

I know this picture is terrible, but I'm telling you....this smoothie is delicious!!  I found the recipe here.  The recipe says to remove the pith, but when I put oranges in smoothies, I remove only the orange peel part and leave as much of the pith as possible.  Because....

"The white part of the rind, including the pith, has nearly the same amount of vitamin-C as the flesh and contains sources of pectin. Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber with potential to lower serum cholesterol, relieve diarrhea, act as an immune system stimulant and as anti-ulcer agent.

The pith, part of the protection layer for the orange, contains high levels of fiber, anti-cancer agents and important bioflavonoids (an antioxidant). So next time when you have an orange, think twice about peeling off those healthy beneficial white piths."  source

Orange-Berry Smoothie

2 navel oranges, peel and pith removed, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen raspberries

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Six-Layer Brownie Bars

Mmmm...I LOVE brownies!!  I got this recipe from Betty Crocker.  I had to modify the recipe because I didn't have a box of Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix.  I had a Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Family size box of brownie mix.  So....I'll post the original recipe below and then note the changes I made below that :)

Six-Layer Brownie Bars Recipe


 1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup toffee bits
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated), from 14 oz can* 

Directions: Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil(I used Parchment paper) on bottom only of pan.) 

In large bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, butter and egg until well blended. Press into pan. Bake 14 minutes (16 minutes for dark pan). 

Top with coconut, toffee bits, chocolate chips and pecans. Drizzle evenly with condensed milk to within 1/2 inch of sides. Bake 35 to 39 minutes longer or until center is set, (37 to 41 minutes for dark pan or until and center is light golden brown). Cool completely, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. 

NOTES:   I used a Pillsbury chocolate fudge family size brownie mix (19.5 oz).  Because it doesn't come with a 'pouch of chocolate syrup', I added a 1/4 cup of hot fudge sauce that I had in the fridge.  I also covered the brownie bars for the first 15 minutes of the '2nd' baking time.  I didn't want the top to brown too much.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

My favorite SIMPLE Spaghetti

I seriously LOVE this spaghetti!!  This recipe is slightly adapted from The Lettered Cottage.  This recipe has a few simple ingredients and I LOVE that I can use my tomatoes that I bottled during the fall.  I saw this recipe in October and have already made it several times:)  Usually when I make this, the sauce is a little on the thin side(probably because I never wait the full 30 for it to simmer), but I actually like it like that because I can soak it up so nicely with my garlic bread or bread sticks.

My favorite SIMPLE Spaghetti

5 c. water
1 env. dry Lipton onion soup
8 oz. package of spaghetti
1 lb. ground chuck or turkey (I love it with ground turkey)
garlic salt
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I use 1 quart of bottled garden tomatoes)

Directions:   Brown meat, drain, and return to skillet.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and add oregano and sweet basil. Purée tomatoes in blender and add to meat mixture. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering....bring water with Lipton onion soup to a boil.  Add spaghetti and cook uncovered according to package directions, until tender. Do not drain spaghetti.

Add meat sauce to spaghetti and mix well
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cafe Rio Shredded Sweet Pork

I got this recipe here from Favorite Family Recipes.  I have another Cafe Rio Sweet Pork recipe on the blog here.  The other recipe is super simple with only a few simple ingredients.  I wish I could tell you which I like better, but I really can't.  I think this recipe may be a little closer to the Cafe Rio original, but the other is SO simple and also SO delicious :) 

Whichever pork recipe you choose to try, you should definitely serve it with these black beans, and this dressing(we add the dressing, to a sweet pork salad or to a burrito...either way)....SO good!  I also have a recipe for rice that is like what they serve at Cafe Rio.  I thought I had posted it here already, but I guess not.  That will be coming soon:)

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

2 pounds pork (I use pork tenderloin)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 (10oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 c. brown sugar


Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

*I prefer to cook my pork on low until it shreds easily 6-8 hours.  Cooking the pork more slowly tends to work better for the tenderloin.  In the original recipe the blogger says that she uses boneless pork rib meat, I use the other because I can usually get it on sale for a good price.  If you use a tenderloin, it will become easy to shred, be patient.  I have tried to rush it before and it was tough to shred, still cooked through and yummy, but didn't look as good as when I wait for it to start falling apart:)

 **We don't really drink much soda at our I just buy on 2-liter of coke and use that for the recipe...I think that is cheaper than buying individual cans of coke.  One can of coke is 12 measure from your 2-liter accordingly.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ruby's Creamed Corn

We were asked to bring two side dishes and a dessert for Christmas dinner last week.   We decided to take stuffed mushrooms, creamed corn and S'mores bars.  I found the recipe for the creamed corn here at bluebonnets + brownies.  Everyone LOVED the corn (and the others too:)).  The best part about this recipe, other than the taste, is that you make it in the crock pot.  Very easy and very delicious!

Ruby's Creamed Corn

4 lbs. frozen sweet corn
2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, diced into 1 inch squares
1 stick (4 oz) of salted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Directions:  Throw all the ingredients into a crock pot on medium or low for at least 4 hours. If you need it done faster, cook it on the stove or on high in the crock pot, but be prepared to sacrifice a little of the savory goodness that results when corn is allowed to soak in dairy for hours. All of the cream cheese pieces should be completely melted and will easily break down and combine with the cream and butter to make the ‘gravy’.

Do not over-salt. There is plenty of salt in the butter and cream cheese. Over-salting will ruin this dish.
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