September 30, 2010

Fall Favorites

The weather in Nebraska has been practically perfect lately. In the mid-seventies almost everyday. I don't know why, but the leaves don't turn as early as they do in Utah. I am seeing some of my Utah friends get excited with the laves changing and posting some delicious looking fall recipes. Without the chill or the changing colors, I forget that fall is here. Today I am going to buy some pumpkin and make something delicious with it. Maybe some pumpkin chocolate chip bread...
But this weekend is General Conference. The highlight of my life every six months. Not only is is spiritually uplifting - makes you feel just plain good, but it is a time when church consists of cinnamon rolls and pajamas. Can't get much better than that!

For those of you who already have fall fever - here are some of my favorite recipes for fall weather.

Anything with cranberries, cookies, poultry, sauces... here is my Cranberry Salmon

Soups, Soups, Soups!:
Barley Kale Soup - this one warms my heart too - reminds me of my sister and mom
Butternut Squash Soup - delicious, vegetarian, and figure friendly (tastes as creamy as those made with dairy)
Chicken Posole - a latin soup that is so simple

And who could forget the desserts?!
Apple Crisp - a fall staple. I have apple's picked from a local orchard just waiting to be smoothered with oatmeal topping
Ginger Cookies
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars - quite possibly my favorite dessert of all time. (pictured above)

September 27, 2010

Mustard Pork Chops

I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe with you. I got it from my sister years ago and it is a staple in our house. I put this on our menu at least twice a month. Mustard and pork is one of my favorite combination.

Mustard Pork Chops
4 Pork Chops
1/2 cup evaporated fat free milk
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2-3 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a large skilled over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook on each side until browned and just cooked through. Remove pork from pan, set aside and cover with foil.
Reduce heat to low. Add evaporated milk; stir to loosen brown bits from bottom of the skillet. Stir in mustard and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return pork to skillet. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened.

Can use pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch thick slices then pound until about 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

September 22, 2010

Football Themed Cake

Thanks to Jen from My Kitchen Addiction, I was inspired to make this cake for our Nebraska football game party. I will say this is my first attempt at something even close to cake decorating. My usual is frost the top of a 9x13 cake and call it good. I think it was because my frosting was always too thin. Anyway - this was actually quite fun and not too difficult. My cookies aren't perfect - but that makes them look homemade right?
So I made our family's favorite sugar cookie recipe and then decorated them with royal frosting. Now, I will say something about royal frosting - it looks so cute, but it isn't like the best frosting ever. It is for looks, not taste. (It doesn't taste bad, I just like my frosting buttery and sugary and vanilla-y.) I found tutorials on University of Cookie and Bake at 350 that helped me a lot through the whole process. Remember this was all new to me?
So here was the centerpiece of our party table. After more people arrived it was surrounded by delicious appetizers. Mmm, thanks to all who brought something.

I made football helmets, N's, footballs, and stars to add another color. The cookies were a big hit - they were one of the first things to disappear.

Here is the recipe for our family's favorite sugar-cookie recipe:

Sugar Star Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vailla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Roll into ball and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Roll out, about 1/8 inch thick (yes, really that thin) and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until edges are golden.

No, I didn't roll my cookies out that thin for the cake, but I wish I would have.
My favorite way to eat these is to sprinkle with some sugar just before baking and eat plain. Or with just a thin layer of buttercream frosting.

September 18, 2010

Macaroni Grill Winner

Congrats to Giant Sis who said, "I think the Spicy Italian Sausage Pomodoro sounds delicious!" Email me your shipping information and we will get the item to you as soon as possible.

September 17, 2010

In the Works...

If you haven't heard yet, I live in Nebraska. My husband is attending UNL. Football is huge here. Not just in Lincoln, but the whole state. I mean, season tickets sell out the day that they go up for sale. (And the stadium is enormous!) So I thought we should get acclimated. My husband and I are having a football party. Partly to have people over and socialize, and partly so I can make a football themed cake. I was inspired by Jen's cake. So cute. Now, I have never done decorating like that so we shall see how it goes. Wish me luck. (All I have so far is cookie dough and some cute cutters - I better get to work!)

(No this isn't my work, it is Jen's -- I only hope mine are that cute.)

September 15, 2010

Taco Seasoning

I usually don't buy spice mixes mostly because I like to control my flavors. Typically taco seasonings are a little too much for me - I feel like I taste the taco seasoning more than the meat. This is my mix that I have made in large batches and then use as much as I need.

Taco Seasoning
3 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Pepper

Mix and store in an air-tight container.

I use about 3-4 Tbsp of this mix on each pound of meat. Adjust for your tastes.

September 13, 2010

Macaroni Grill Review and Giveaway

When I was out of town for a couple weeks I bought my husband a bunch of frozen meals so that he would have to resort to eating out for two weeks straight. (Although he probably wouldn't mind as much as our wallets). I bought things like lasagnas, perogies, pizzas, stir fry mixes, etc. One delicious meal that we actually ate before I left was a meal provided by Macaroni Grill's new Frozen Entrees. First I have to say, I don't usually eat frozen meals for a few reasons: 1 - they always say they "serve two" but my husband and I go hungry. 2 - they don't contain as meany veggies as the packaging shows. 3 - they usually aren't that tasty.

But since we were able to try this one out - we would totally buy it again. We had plenty of food for the two of us and extra for Lou. Plus, it had plenty of veggies (if I was being even more lazy I probably wouldn't have made that salad). The meal was quite tasty. I was very impressed. It was their Basil Parmesan Chicken. Mmm.

Well, Lucky ducks - one of you gets to try one of their meals out too! They will send you a Macaroni Grill prize pack that includes one frozen sample of the Grilled Chicken Florentine variety, in addition to a serving bowl and pasta tongs (Which I happen to love - covered ends so they don't scratch your pans! Hallelujah!) Sorry young readers - you must be at least 18 or older (have your mom submit for you!)

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed. To see the winner, click here. 
To win the prize pack: Leave a comment telling me what Entree you would want to try is before Friday, September 17th at midnight CT.
For extra entries (leave a comment for each extra entry):
1. Tweet, blog, and/or facebook about this giveaway
2. Add my button to your sidebar

3. Become a follower of Redhead Recipes or tell me you already are 

September 09, 2010

What's in Season - September

Well, I flew home yesterday. It is so nice to be home after almost 2 weeks of being gone. One really nice thing is I can now eat what I like to eat. After so many BBQs I am sick of hamburgers and hot dogs. I am ready to eat the delicious produce I bought today. Here’s what produce is in season in September… yes, I know, I am more than a week late.

Summer Squash
Swiss Chard

What else is in season?

September 06, 2010

Wheat Bread

Sorry I have been so absent - my nephew was baptized just over a week ago and my brother was married on Saturday. We have been busy with wedding plans, shopping (ugh), sickness, and running around. Plus, I haven't been near a computer either. I am staying with my in-laws and they have to take their laptops to work. Guess I should have been one of those ahead-of-the-game-bloggers and done posts before I left. But alas, I did not.

So I am loving our new apartment - for the first time we live in a place where I can host a party. I love to have people over. I always have. When I was 12 I used to have monthly parties with the girls in my church class. I love being the host.
So last week I had some of our new Nebraska friends over for a playgroup. I told them I was going to make a treat. Well, I decided I wanted to make something I could eat (I am not having desserts) so I made bread. This is a recipe of my mom's. She used to make bread a few times a week. Can you believe it? What a woman!
This was actually my first bread success (I have lots better success with rolls). Try it out. It was easier than I thought it would be!

Mom's 50/50 Bread
2 c warm tap water
1/3 c sugar
2 Tbsp yeast2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
2 1/2 c wheat flour
2 1/2 c white flour

In a mixing bowl combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until yeast has bloomed (looks bubbly and yeast has grown a little). Add in salt, butter, egg, and wheat flour. Knead with bread hook. Slowly add white flour (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time) until dough has pulled away from sides of the bowl. Knead for 8 minutes (this is where you give your mixer a kiss). Let rise until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch down and form into two loaves. Let rise until doubled, again. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

Serve warm with butter and honey (or homemade freezer jam).
If you want more or less wheat, just use about 5 cups total flour, whether all wheat, or all white. (I actually did 3 c wheat and 2 c white).

Chex Winner

Congratulations to Switlichick who said, "My favorite is the Chex® Caramel-Chocolate Drizzles" Sounds delicious to me!
Please email me your shipping information and we will get your prize to you soon!