Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kielbasa Bites

We celebrated my Dad's June birthday at our new house. He loves kielbasa so I decided to try this easy appetizer. We found another winner! These require only two, maybe three, ingredients and cook for one hour. I found these on Lauren's Kitchen during football season, and I will surely make them for games this fall.

You will need:
* 1 package kielbasa (I used just over a pound)
*12oz ginger ale

1. Chop the kielbasa into slices about 1/2"-1" inch thick.

2. Place in a medium to large skillet and pour the ginger ale over the top.

3. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized and all liquid is gone- about 45 minutes to an hour.

4. Serve with a mustard if you desire.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Basic Burgers

(The burger is photographed above with my favorite summer beverage-Sam Summer
and on my favorite new outdoor space-our deck)

I am posting this from my NEW laptop! I am so excited because everything is working smoothly again. I loved my old iBook that my parents gifted to me to start grad school. After 6 years, the machine still worked pretty well, but I filled the hard drive with pictures, music, and documents. I couldn't even upgrade my operating system for the past year. So overtime websites failed to load.

Also getting an update recently was my go-to burger recipe. I have been browsing the Home Goods store frequently now that I am a home owner, and on my last visit Everyday Food: Great Food Fast caught my eye. I love this cookbook! It is separated by seasons and each recipe has a wonderful picture. I just look cookbooks with pictures. The first recipe I made from this book was the "Best Beef Burgers." They are simple, cheap, and tasty. I grilled some onions to serve on ours, and I also topped them with pickles, cheese, and ketchup.

You will need:
*2 pounds ground chuck (I used 1.5 pounds of lean)
*1 tablespoon dijon mustard
*1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*course salt and pepper

1) Heat grill to high.

2) In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine beef, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper.

3) Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until desired doneness, 4 to 8 minutes per side.
(This method never works for me! I tried it again without much success, and I hope you have better luck. I prefer to set the grill to medium-high and cook the burgers about 7-9 minutes a side)

4) Serve with any toppings you desire.

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • Monday, July 12, 2010

    Basil Pork Chops with a side of Caesar Penne

    This dinner was taken directly from Katie's Cucina. The flavor combo sounded interesting to me so we gave it a try and it worked really well! A big bonus was how easy it was to prepare on a week night. I overcooked the pork chops on the grill so next time I will be a bit more cautious.

    You will need:
    * 4 boneless pork chops
    * 1/4 cup brown sugar
    * 2 tsp dried basil (divide use)
    * 1/2 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
    * 1 tbsp canola oil
    * 1/2 cup Caesar dressing
    (I love Ken's Caesar Vinaigrette-it is lighter and I only used about 1/4 cup)
    * 1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained (I had to omit because Dave won't touch olives)
    * 1/4 cup onions, diced
    * 1/4 cup chicken broth
    * 2 tbsp green onions, diced
    * 1 tbsp minced garlic
    * 2 cups penne pasta

    1. Place pork chops in a zip lock bag and add brown sugar, 1-1/2 tsp dried basil, salt, chili powder, 1 tbsp canola oil. Seal bag and distribute ingredients evenly over pork chops.

    2. Boil water for pasta and salt well. Cook pasta as directed. Drain pasta and return the empty sauce pan to the stove.

    3. Add the diced onions, minced garlic, and chicken broth to the pasta pot for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. Add Caesar dressing, olives, and green onions. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the penne pasta back to the pot, mix well, and cook on low until pork chops are done.

    3. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook pork chops over medium heat 5-8 minutes on each side or until browned and internal temperature reads 160F.
    *I grilled mine which clearly didn't turn out so well. Next time, I will try a lower heat and longer cook time. In the summer, I try to grill anything I can!

    Serve chops with a side of the Caesar penne.

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Zucchini Turkey Burger

    I have never made a recipe from Gina's blog that I didn't like. I highly recommend checking all of her great ideas for lightened up recipes while still tasting delicious. These burgers were made on our Cuisinart Griddler, and I think next time I would try them on the grill. Turkey burgers are always a mess on the grill, but I don't usually mind because I love any excuse to use our new Webber! We enjoyed these with a side of kale chips.

    You will need:
    * 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey
    * 1 zucchini, grated
    * 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
    * 1 clove garlic, grated
    * 1 tbsp red onion, grated
    * salt and fresh pepper
    *cheese, optional
    *garnish-tomato and red onion slices

    1) Combine ground turkey, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Make 4-6 equal-sized patties.

    2. Heat the grill to high. Add the burgers and reduce the heat. Cook one side until browned, then flip. You will need to flip a few times to prevent burning and to cook the burgers thoroughly. Add a cheese slice to each burger if desired.

    3. Serve on buns with tomato and red onion.