Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

My kids love breakfast…pancakes, Eggo waffles, French toast (though not the recipe I tried a few weeks ago), eggs, bacon. Owen would eat cereal for every meal if allowed, and on the weekend he usually does have it for lunch and breakfast! I have a waffle maker I adore, and this week I was on the hunt for a good “from scratch” waffle recipe. I came across two different cinnamon waffle recipes that looked great, so I tried them both out. I made one batch on Friday before school, and a different recipe on Saturday morning before the soccer games. Both were good, but the ones we had Friday morning were significantly better. Of course, that came with a price…they are a bit more work to make. But, keep in mind, I did make them on a week day, so they can certainly be made on a weekend morning!

I am sort of bummed…I had a sugar cookie recipe I was dying to try. Back in high school, I must say, I loved the sugar cookies they had in the cafeteria. Weird, I know…but they were delish! So…I’ve been looking for a recipe that approximates those for years, and I still haven’t found it. I think I’ll know it when I taste it! In any case, I tried a new sugar cookie recipe this week, and Ryan and the big kids loved them, but I didn’t. So, it’s not included here (but if you are local and interested…I have a few dozen to share that I just cooked tonight!) If you have a good soft sugar cookie recipe, send it my way!

Besides the waffle recipe, we loved a pork chop recipe, and a pasta recipe. Not sure what I am making next week, but I have my eye on at least one new recipe already!

Finally, to all who are moms, Happy Mother’s Day!!!

New Recipes
Cinnamon Waffles
Tender Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Baked Penne with Chicken and Spinach

Cinnamon Waffles

* 2 egg yolks
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup milk (omit the lemon juice and use 1 cup buttermilk if you have it)
* 1 tbsp lemon juice (if you have it)
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 tbsp cornstarch (optional - for crispy outer texture)
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 egg whites
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat your waffle iron.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, milk and lemon juice and butter until well blended.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir into the milk mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Fold into the batter.
5. Spoon batter onto the hot waffle iron, close, and cook until golden brown. Waffles are usually done when the steam subsides.

Tender Slow Cooker Pork Chops

* 4 - 6 boneless pork loin chops
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1 medium green pepper, diced
* 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
* 1 jar or can (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
* 2 cups water
* 1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)


1. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients and place in your slow cooker. Top with pork chops. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until meat is tender.
3. Serve with rice or egg noodles.

Baked Penne with Chicken and Spinach


* 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
* 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (oil packed, dry packed, either will work)
* 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
* 14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* salt and black pepper
* 8 ounces penne
* 5-ounces fresh spinach
* 4 - 6 ounces mozzarella
* grated Parmesan (to your liking)


1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly brown the cubed chicken in 1- 2 tbsp of oil. Chicken doesn’t have to be fully cooked through – it will finish cooking in the oven.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes.
4. Cut up the whole tomatoes in the can with scissors or crush by hand. Add to the saucepan with the vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the penne for half the package directions’ recommended time.
6. Add the spinach to the sauce and cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Coat 9x13 casserole pan with cooking spray. Drain pasta. Add chicken and pasta to the dish, toss to combine.
8. Pour tomato sauce on top of chicken and pasta; stir to combine. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake uncovered until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.