hey! i'm miken and this is my blog to show what i've been doing lately as far as creating, homemaking, etc. this blog may be feast or famine with regards to posting so follow to make sure you don't miss anything!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

golden pork chops

This is a perfect Sunday dinner meal. The definition of comfort food. My husband and I loved this. I've literally never cooked with pork chops until now. I've been wanting to try preparing other types of meats besides the typical chicken, hamburger, and pork roast. I have a couple pork chops left so maybe another recipe will be coming soon when I try something else with them.

Golden Pork Chops

Our Rating: ★★★★

4 pork chops
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed minced fresh garlic
1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed golden mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Put butter, garlic, onion, and mushrooms in a large frying pan. Saute the vegetables on medium until soft. Move to medium mixing bowl. Mix in soup.

Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Brown them in same pan used to saute vegetables. Place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with soup and vegetable mixture.
Cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake for 15 more minutes (note: time could be less or more depending on the thickness of the chops). Pork chops are done when their internal temperature has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

My comments:
I added a few more seasonings to the pork chops to my liking. This is best served with mashed potatoes because the remaining sauce works perfectly as gravy! I also served with a side of corn. We will definitely be having this again!

Photo credit and recipe go to allrecipes.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

diy framed screen earring holder

Me and my good friend Kristi made these earring holders a couple weeks ago. Probably couldn't have been a more easy project and it turned out great!
Here's how mine turned out... :)

We bought frames from the D.I. for $1 each

We sanded them and painted them. Kristi painted hers all turquoise and I color-blocked mine with a creamy white and turquoise. As you can see below I used black masking tape to make a clean line with the turquoise.

We had an electric staple gun which we had used for the first time... as you can see some of the staples were a little iffy but effective! I'm sure using hot glue would be effective as well.

We also stapled on the ribbon to hold it up.

We also glued large beads on the back corners to set the holder a little further off the wall so the earrings don't hit the wall when they poke through.

And here's Kristi's :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

super creamy zesty italian crock pot chicken

Zesty Italian Crock Pot Chicken

Our Rating: ★★★★

4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp. margarine
1 packet zesty Italian seasoning (we use 1½ for extra flavor)
4 cups cooked rice
optional 2 cups sauteed or steamed vegetables (i sauteed some Kroger brand key largo blend frozen vegetables)

Put frozen chicken breasts, soup, and margarine into crock-pot.

Cook on low 3-4 hours. After about an hour open crock-pot, add cream cheese and zesty Italian seasoning, Stir everything together.

When complete, shred or cut chicken into chunks. serve over steamed rice with vegetables of your choice.

My comments:
After you cut or shred chicken you may want to let it sit in the sauce for 10 minutes or so to let it soak in.

Others have substituted the rice for pasta noodles. Bowtie and angel hair pasta is supposedly very good but I haven't tried it yet.

Crock-pots vary so therefore your cooking time may vary also. Cook until chicken is cooked all the way through and tender.

Recipe is from kraft.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

latest craft ideas & inspirations

Haven't quite gotten onto the Pinterest craze yet but here's a few things I suppose I would "pin" if I were on there a little more. Some ideas I'd like to try out along with a couple inspirational rooms. i got these ideas from apartmenttherapy.com.

DIY home-made clocks

DIY scrabble decor

DIY modernized vases

Wooden chandelier decoration

Home theater room (seriously how cool is this?)

Craft room. Oh Pottery Barn, you get me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

chicken club pizza

Chicken Club Pizza

Our Rating: ★★★★
1 can (13.8 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust -OR- a pre-made pizza crust
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup ranch dressing, divided
1-1/2 cups shredded triple cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1-1/2 cups finely shredded lettuce
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 ripe avacado - sliced (optional)

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Unroll pizza dough on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; press into 15x10-inch rectangle. Bake 10 min (I did not do this: I used a pre-made pizza crust; see picture below).

Mix mayo and 1/3 cup dressing; spread onto crust. Top with half the cheese, chicken, remaining cheese and bacon.

Bake 5 min. or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado; drizzle with remaining dressing.

Feeds 3 hungry adults or 4 adults with breadsticks and salad or side.

Boboli pizza crust

Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

Top pizza photo credit and recipe go to kraft.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

peach shortcakes

Peach Shortcakes

Our Rating: ★★★★★
1 c. flour
1/4 c. plus 2 tsp. sugar, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. milk, divided
3 large fresh peaches (1-1/4 lb.), sliced
1-1/2 T. lemon juice
1 c. thawed cool whip whipped topping

Heat oven to 425ºF.

Mix flour, 2 T. sugar, baking powder and zest in large bowl. Cut in cream cheese with 2 knives or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup milk until mixture forms dough.

Use floured hands to divide dough into 8 pieces; shape each into ball. Place, 3 inches apart, on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; flatten to 3/4-inch thickness. Brush tops lightly with remaining milk; sprinkle with 2 tsp. of the remaining sugar.

Bake 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. meanwhile, combine peaches, remaining sugar and lemon juice.

Cool shortcakes slightly; split in half. Fill with peach mixture and cool whip just before serving.

Makes 8 shortcakes.

Photo credit and recipe go to kraft.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

creamy tomato & chicken spaghetti

Creamy Tomato & Chicken Spaghetti

Our Rating: ★★★½
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
2 c. frozen stir-fry vegetables (i used fresh broccoli and cauliflower and carrots)
1 T. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 c. kraft zesty italian dressing
1/2 c. (1/2 of 8-oz. tub/bar) cream cheese spread
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package, adding stir-fry (or fresh) vegetables to the boiling water for the last 3 min.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and dressing; bring to boil. Simmer on medium heat 4 min., stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese spread; cook and stir until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

Drain spaghetti mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan.

4 servings of about 2 cups each.

Photo credit and recipe go to kraft.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Friday, September 2, 2011

cheesy ham & apple panini

Cheesy Ham & Apple Panini

Our Rating: ★★★★★
2 tsp. mayo
1 tsp. grey poupon dijon mustard
2 slices sourdough bread (I used regular white bread)
1 thin red onion slice
4 thin slices deli meat ham (I used hillshire honey ham)
6 thin apple slices
1 slice colby jack cheese
1 tsp. olive oil

Heat panini grill. I used my George Foreman grill.

Mix mayo and mustard; spread onto bread slices. Fill with onion, ham, apples and cheese.

Brush outside of sandwich with olive oil.

Grill 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Photo credit and recipe go to kraft.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

tangy apricot pork

Tangy Apricot Pork

Our Rating: ★★★★★

2-pound pork sirloin tip roast
1 c. apricot preserves
3 T. yellow mustard
3 T. worchestershire sauce
2 ¼ cups water (divided)

Put roast into crock pot with 2 cups of water. Cook on high for 4 hours. Take roast out, shred with fork and dump out crock pot, removing any ickies from the bottom. Put the shredded pork back into the crock pot. Mix preserves, mustard, worchestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Add to crock pot and mix until pork is well coated. Continue to cook on high for 1-2 more hours. Serve warm.

We made this along side THIS cheesy funeral potatoes recipe.

Photo credit and recipe go to vittlesdivine.blogspot.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

cheesy funeral potatoes

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

Our Rating: ★★★★★

1 26-ounce bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns (about 9 cups) 
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup 
1 c. milk 
3/4 c. sour cream 
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (i used 1 ½ to be extra cheesy!) 
1 tsp. salt 
1/8 tsp. pepper 
3 T. butter, melted (and divided) 
1/4 c. diced onion 

Melt 1 T. butter in small saucepan and saute onions until soft and onions start to carmelize. 

Mix soup, milk, sour cream, 2 tbs melted butter, cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add sauteed onions. Slowly stir in hashbrowns and mix well. Pour mixture into lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake covered on 350 for 25 minutes. Take cover off and continue baking uncovered for an additional 20 minutes. 

Photo credit and recipe go to vittlesdivine.blogspot.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

sesame chicken

Sesame Chicken

Our Rating: ★★★★★
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into bite-size pieces
2 T. flour
salt and ground pepper
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 stalk green onion, chopped**
2 c. white or brown rice, cooked according to package directions

In a bowl, combine soy sauce and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken pieces (make sure they are not wet) and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. once hot, add chicken. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes, depending on how large or small your pieces are.

Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Stir the soy sauce mixture again (some of the sugar will have settled in the bottom) and pour the soy sauce mixture into the pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan while the soy sauce mixture simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add the chicken back into the pan. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and toss well, coating all the chicken pieces in the soy mixture.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions*.

Comfortably feeds 4 adults.

*Do try not to leave out the green onions. The tiny bit of Asian flavor that they add is really nice and really helps bring it all together.

Photo credit and recipe goes to vittlesdivine.blogspot.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

brushed & baked bbq chicken rolls

Brushed & Baked BBQ Chicken Rolls

Our Rating: ★★★★★

24 rolls
Baked chicken breasts, shredded
BBQ sauce of your choice (I used Kraft Honey BBQ Sauce)
Cheddar or provolone cheese, shredded or sliced

Brush sauce:
1/4 c. melted butter
1 T. mustard
1 T. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Optional toppings:
sliced apples
cole slaw
carmelized onions

Mix together shredded chicken with BBQ sauce until well coated. Slice rolls in half. Spread thin layer of mayo on top and bottom of the inside of each roll. Assemble rolls with BBQ chicken and cheese. Place assembled rolls on a cookie sheet or stone. Mix together the melted butter, mustard, worchestershire sauce, and poppy seeds with a whisk. Brush this mixture all over the tops of the rolls and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Peel open sandwiches and add additional toppings as desired.

The poppy seeds are not necessary when making this recipe. they don't add a ton of flavor, but they do look good. :)

Photo credit and recipe go to vittlesdivine.blogspot.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

thai chicken pasta

Thai Chicken Pasta

Our Rating: ★★★★
12 ounces linguine (NOT 16 ounces!)
2-3 breasts of cooked and chopped or shredded chicken. (I used 2 somewhat large ones)

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup finely shredded carrots
3 tablespoons minced garlic (yes, you read that right -- 3 tbs. surprisingly, it's not too much)
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup honey
just a tiny bit less than 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
Cilantro and additional green onions to garnish (i did not do this)

Cook pasta in a large pot of water according to package directions, breaking pasta into thirds before boiling. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.

Heat 1 T. sesame oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add green onions, carrots, garlic and ginger. Saute until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

Combine honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and chili-garlic sauce in a bowl and and mix well. Add to vegetables. Add Chicken. Simmer sauce 2 minutes. Pour sauce over pasta and toss well.

*Chili-garlic sauce looks like this: (I found mine at Buy-Low but you can usually find it at Smith's and sometimes at Walmart)

Pasta photo credit and recipe goes to vittlesdivine.blogspot.com. The original recipe can be found HERE.