Last night my stepdad was in town and we got to spend some time with him. (Yea!) I invited him and my mom to have dinner with us, and then started thinking of the new cookbook they gave me that I had yet to make something from, the pork chops in the freezer that sounded so yummy, and the Rhoades rolls begging to be baked . . . well, you get the idea. We were going to have a big dinner! (Yea again!) The only problem? I'm a little low on some of my staple pantry items, and my first plans had to be scrapped. No biggie . . . on to plan B: honey pecan pork chops, twice baked potatoes, rolls, green beans, salad (thanks Mom!) and apple crisp for dessert. I know, you're mouth is watering, right? Here are my variations on the recipes:
Honey Pecan Pork Chops
(based on Awesome Honey Pecan Pork Chops by Kerena, from allrecipes.com)
6 pork chops (about 2-2.5 lbs)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
6 tbsp honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Pound pork chops well with meat tenderizer. Salt and pepper chops to taste and dredge in flour.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chops, brown both sides, then transfer to a warm plate.
3. Mix honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, and pecans into pan drippings and heat through, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over cutlets.
Twice Baked Potatoes
(based on the recipe from my brand new Better Homes and Gardens cookbook--thanks Mom and Doug!)
6 large baking potatoes
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 tbsp milk
1. Scrub potatoes and prick with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake on oven rack at 425 degrees for 40-60 minutes (mine took a full hour).
2. Unwrap potates and cool for 10 minutes. Cut a thin slice of skin off the top of each potato, reserving any pulp in a large bowl. Scoop out the potatoes into the bowl, leaving a thin layer of potato inside the skin to hold the shape.
3. Mash the potatoes with a masher or hand beater, then beat in the sour cream, 3/4 cup cheddar, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Add milk to reach the desired consistency.
4. Scoop the potato mixture back into the skins and bake in a 9x13 pan for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake another 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
(This recipe is one of the few that has survived the last 10 years since I first made it in high school Foods class, and it has become my "fall-back dessert," as I always keep the ingredients on hand.)
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (one stick) margarine or butter, melted
1 can apple pie filling (Okay, that's not in the real recipe, but it's the only way I've made it since that first time in Foods class, and it saves time, effort, and it always turns out great.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Stir in melted butter, making sure all dry ingredients are moistened. Press half of this mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.
3. Spread apple pie filling over crust, then sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I think plan B was better than plan A anyway. And now that you've seen my recipes, I'm sure you're thinking, "Wow, those are all really easy! And I thought it sounded so complicated." Well, maybe you're a better cook than I and didn't think that at all. Either way, everything was pretty simple, especially with Rhoades rolls and making the apple crisp with pie filling. Not hard at all. But it looked and tasted fancy. It was a delicious dinner, made so much better by the company and conversation. In fact, I think we have some leftovers . . . I'm off to make myself a late-night snack!