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Archive for June, 2014

Long time, no see, my Menu Plan Monday peeps!  I have been on a little unplanned blog hiatus during the month of June. Thank goodness for pre-scheduled recipe and book posts.  If it wasn’t for that, this little spot would have been full of cobwebs and chirping crickets.  I am not even sure what happened the last few weeks to keep me from posting more except that for the last couple of weeks.  I have been absolutely absorbed in the latest Outlander book and finished it yesterday.  It is so so so good!!!

Now I can hopefully get back into my regular posting schedule.  There are a few new recipes that should get made this week and I am excited about them.  Main dishes are hard for me.  I feel like I cook the same things over and over again, but hopefully these newbies will be delicious and will fit right in.  Have a great week, everyone!

Cheesy steak sandwiches with chips and fresh garden veggies

Taco ring with salad

Italian burgers (new) with oven fries

Parmesan sage pork chops (New) with butter roasted potatoes

Brown sugar meatloaf (new) with curly fries and cucumber salad

Pizza night

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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A few weekends ago, I was having a huge chocolate craving so I searched my Recipes to Try board on Pinterest for something new.  I had pinned the Triple Chocolate Poke cake from The Two Bite Club a while ago and decided this is what I wanted to try.  Oh, my goodness, I am so glad I did! 

This is a delicious cake made completely from scratch and it is really easy.  Do you have a birthday or other special occasion coming up?  This would make a great special treat for the chocolate lover in your life.

Triple Chocolate Cake 2

For the cake:

2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

For the glaze:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 piece baking chocolate, chilled

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13” baking pan.  In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer.  Stir in the boiling water.  The batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for at least 10 minutes.

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Add all of the glaze ingredients except the piece of baking chocolate to a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir together and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and then cool for 5 minutes.  Beat the glaze with an electric mixer for 3 minutes after it has cooled. 

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Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the cake.  Pour the glaze over the top of the cake making sure to get some of the glaze into each hole.  Use a rubber spatula to carefully spread the glaze over the entire cake.  Grate the piece of baking chocolate over the top for a little decoration.  Slice and enjoy!
Triple Chocolate Cake 1

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Did you know that Pinterest can be addictive?  Yes, I am joking, kind of, since I don’t spend a ton of time on there.  If I ever do starting browsing, I can be there for hours if I would let myself.  This recipe is a Pinterest “find” from My Sweet Mission and it was a huge success.

To me, Sundays are perfect for slow cooker main dishes and this made a great addition to my repertoire.  I highly recommend it.

Slow Cooker Southern Steaks

2 lbs. top round steaks, cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

3 cups beef broth

1/4 cup all purpose flour

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Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Add half of the steak pieces to the hot skillet and brown on each side.  Place the first batch in your slow cooker and brown the last batch.  Place those in the slow cooker after they are browned.

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Pour 2 cups of the beef broth into the hot pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of broth, flour, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Whisk until the flour is dissolved.

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Add the flour mixture slowly to the hot pan.  Stir constantly until the broth thickens into a gravy.  Pour this over the steaks in the slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.  Steaks are done when fork tender.

Slow Cooker Southern Steaks

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It is time for another edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Head on over to her blog when you are done here to read about many other blogger’s book choices.  There is always an eclectic mix of titles and authors there.  Thanks also to Rose City for hosting every week!

My book for today is another great story by Adriana Trigiani named “The Surpreme Macaroni Company” and it is a continuation of Valentine Roncalli character:

“The Hudson River lay flat and black like a lost evening glove.  The clouds parted overhead as the distant moon threw a single, bright beam over lower Manhattan as though it were looking for its other half.”

Isn’t that a beautiful description?  I am a huge fan of Adriana Trigiani’s writing as you can tell since I have used two of her books in a row.  The Big Stone Gap series is still my favorite, but this series is in a close second.

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A few of the pretties from my garden…

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Eat At Home Cooks is one of my favorite all time food blogs.  It doesn’t hurt that she hails from my home state of Kentucky and her recipes are tasty and use normal ingredients that most of us will have on hand. 

Her Apple BBQ pork chop recipe is all that and more.  These beauties can be grilled, baked or made in the slow cooker like I did.  You can change out the type of sauce you use to suit your taste as well.  These made a great Sunday dinner.

Apple BBQ Pork Chops 2

6 bone in pork chops

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup BBQ sauce (I used honey BBQ.)

1/2 cup apple jelly

2 or 3 drops of liquid smoke (Optional, but it does add great flavor.)

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat and pour in about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Season the chops with salt and pepper and brown them on each side in the heated skillet.

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Put the apple jelly in a small bowl and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir the BBQ and liquid smoke into the warmed jelly to complete the sauce.

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Layer the chops with the sauce in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.  That’s all there is to it.

Apple BBQ Pork Chops 1

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This little beauty paid a visit to my garden last weekend and was friendly enough to let me get up close and personal.

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