Saturday, April 16, 2011


I totally dropped to ball on the last two recipes for spring break so I promise a couple extras during this week!

This week features a double duty dinner - Cook the meat one night and reserve half for the next dish the second night with Crispy Pork Chops that turn into Pork Lettuce Wraps night #2 (I LOVE MEALS LIKE THAT!). There is also my go-to recipe for Feta Chicken bake that is SUPER easy, and low-fat! As well as my mothers comfort food at its best - Little Pieces of Meat and Potatoes.

I am also including a recipe for a Caramel Cake from Paula Dean that is super yummy. Be sure to read the notes I added at the end because this cake CAN be tricky! There are definitely a few tweaks needed to make it smooth sailing.

This Weeks Menu

Monday - Crispy Pork Chops & Rice
Tuesday - Pork Lettuce Wraps with Warm Peanut Sauce
Wednesday - Easy Feta Chicken Bake w/ Creamy Cauliflower
Thursday - Mom's Little Pieces of Meat and Potatoes
Friday - Chicken with Leek Sauce and salad

BONUS - Bobby's Caramel Cake

Crispy Pork Chops (Leftovers for Pork Lettuce Wraps the next night)

2 pkgs Shake n’ Bake Original Pork Seasoned Coating Mix
2 T. sesame seeds
1 t. ground ginger
8 boneless pork loin chops

Preheat oven to 400. Combine coating mix, sesame seeds and ginger. Coat chops with coating mixture, place in baking dish. Bake 20 – 25 min. or until cooked through.

Serve chops with cooked rice and cashews and veggies. Refrigerate remaining pork chops to serve tomorrow.

Pork Lettuce Wraps with Warm Peanut Sauce

¼ c. each miracle whip dressing and peanut butter
2 T. each water, honey and soy sauce
1 t. ground ginger
4 reserved pork chops
12 lrg. lettuce leaves
¾ c. grated carrot
¼ c. chopped green onions

Cook dressing, pb, water, honey, soy sauce and ginger in sm saucepan on med heat until heated through. Pour into sm bowl and place in center of lrg platter. Slice reserved pork chops and arrange lettuce, carrot, onions and sliced chops around sauce on platter. Roll your own wrap and serve with dipping sauce.

Easy Feta Chicken Bake

6 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 T. lemon juice, divided
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
1 pkg Athenos crumbled Feta Cheese with tomato and basil (or any feta)
¼ c. chopped red pepper
¼ finely chopped fresh parsley

Oven to 350. Arrange chicken in 9x13 pan and drizzle with 1 T. of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with feta cheese and drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with red pepper and parsley. (220 calories per serving)

Creamy Cauliflower

1 med. Head of cauliflower (2lbs) cut into florets
3 T. light cream cheese spread
½ t. dill weed
3 T. grated parm

Cook cauliflower in boiling water 10 min or until tender; drain and place in food processor add cream cheese and dill weed; cover and process until smooth. Top with parm cheese.

Chicken with Leek Sauce

½ c. flour
1/8 t. paprika
1/8 t. pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 T. vegetable oil
3 T. leek soup mix
1 c. water
½ c. sour cream
1 ½ t. minced chives

In lrg resealable plastic bag, combine flour, paprika and pepper. Add chicken, two pieces at a time and shake to coat. Using a skillet, cook chicken in oil over med heat for 6-7 min on each side until juice run clear. Meanwhile, in sm saucepan, bring soup mix and water to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and chives and serve over chicken.

Mom’s Little Pieces of Meat and Potatoes

1 lb ground beef
Beef bouillon
Montreal Steak Seasoning or other steak seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peas (prepared)
Mashed Potatoes (prepared)

Brown ground beef in large saucepan and season with steak seasoning. Add enough water to pot to just cover meat. Add beef bouillon (1 cube for every cup of water you added and maybe 1 or two extra). Simmer for an hour over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste (you want it to be a LITTLE bit salty). When finished, add a little cold water to a few tablespoons of flour to make a thickener. Slowly stir or whisk into meat mixture to thicken (like a gravy). Serve over mashed potatoes and add peas to the top.

Bobby's Caramel Cake - Paula Deen

For the cake:
1-cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1-cup milk
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
1-cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4-cup milk
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1/2-cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3-cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling:

While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.

* Cook’s Note: As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.

For the frosting:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream is small amounts because you can always “add to”, but you can’t take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired.

*NOTES - Really whisk the filling while cooking - this turned out a bit grainy and so be sure to stir and whisk the entire cooking time and hopefully that helps!

*Make sure the frosting is a bit on the runny side because it cools VERY quickly and will set on your cake before you are done frosting it. My first attempt was SUPER ugly because of this so I will definitely make sure it is a lot runnier the second time I make it.

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