Thursday, January 27, 2011

An A+ and a Needs Improvement

I've got two recipes for you today. The first is one that was delicious smelling while baking but, when I tasted it, it let me down. It's not that it was awful and I needed to dispose of it immediately. I don't know that I'd even say I'm going to throw the recipe in the trash bin. It just wasn't up to par. (Stay tuned in this post though, because the second recipe is definately worth EVERYONE trying!)

A note about this recipe: I originally found this recipe in one of those recipe magazine/booklets that they have in the grocery check out aisle that was put out specifically by Stove Top Stuffing. The recipe in there didn't not contain veggies and so that is how I made it. I have found several reprinted recipes since then that does contain veggies including the actual Stove Top website. That is the copy of the recipe I am posting here because I think it would be delicious and definately adds a little nutrients to the dish but you can easily remove these and serve a veggie on the side.

Stove Top Stuffing Easy Chicken Bake

1 pkg (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. bite-size pieces
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup, undiluted
1/3 cup sour cream (may want to consider using a light sour cream)
1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed, drained (give or take as you prefer)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package and set aside.
2. Mix chicken, soup, sourcream and vegetables in 13x9 in baking dish and top with stuffing. (The recipe I used called to put the chicken down and then pour the soup mix over top and then top with stuffing mix. Other recipes I've seen directed you to mix chicken with 1 c. of veggies and then, again, top with soup and then stuffing.)
3. Bake 30 min or until chicken is cooked through.

The second recipe for posting today is a Tangy Pork Roast made in the slow cooker. This one, as I said, is definately a keeper. It was so tender and had a wonderful flavor. As the title says, it had a tang to it, but there was also this sweet in the background. I served it with Fontina Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole. (Thank you to Green Giant and their frozen boxed sauced vegetables for the casserole.) This meal was absolute heaven on a plate to me. My two year old son also gobbled it down. He even wanted a second helping of the pork which he doesn't normally ask for seconds of the protein. I WILL be making this one again.

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 lb boneless pork loin roast - (I used a regular petite pork roast, not a loin roast.)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
A couple dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste

1. Arrange onion slices evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top of the onion. In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.
2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours OR on High for 3 or 4 hours. (I choose the low and slow versions which tends to give a slightly more tender finished product.)

Something else I want to touch base on in this post is sales. I know I've mentioned it before but I think, as a mother and wife, it is partly my duty to save as much money as I can. Both these meals were products of using the sales flyer. It really does pay off to look through your local flyers and to clip coupons. Both the proteins used here were bought on sale. In addition, the side vegetables were bought with a coupons AND on sale. The stuffing mix was bought with a coupon. The potatoes were on sale. If you don't buy your local Sunday paper (which is the issue that usually contains both the sales papers and coupons) you can usually grab a copy of the flyer in the front vestibule of your local grocery store. Swing by a couple days in advance and take it home to plan your week's menu around the sales. Also, alot of the websites (such as Green Giant, Pillsbury, Kraft, and many others offer printable coupons on their website or join a coupon website where you can get endless deals.) I see it this way; there are lots of benefits to taking a little extra time to do things to save money including having a little extra money to buy that dress you were eyeing up in your favorite store window or an extra book to read to your child at night. Especially in this economy, who couldn't use a little extra cash.

Whether you look for the deals out there or not, I hope you all take the time to cook for your friends and family and try these meals and enjoy them as much as we did or more!

Happy Eating!