Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011

Another whirlwind week...I guess that's the new norm with me in grad school, the kids in sports, and school in full swing! Plus running around after Liam... he is more a little boy than a baby these days. Where has the time gone?

Book club was this week, and I love to break out the big guns and make something new and exciting for dessert to bring to book club, so that was really fun. Given that we are getting close to Halloween, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a Halloween dessert I had seen...and orange and black trifle! It was a hit with the adults (and the kids loved the leftovers), and it was so easy to throw together.

We made another crock pot dinner, and the kids were putting the gravy on everything! They smothered their veggies in it, poured it on mashed potatoes, and of course had it on their pork chops. The great thing about this gravy was that it was thick enough right out of the slow cooker that there were no additional steps to get the sauce ready. Excellent!


New Recipes
Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy
Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Halloween Trifle

Halloween Trifle

Trifle Layers

Chocolate cake mixed with candy corn
Vanilla pudding tinted orange (larger size)
Fresh sweetened whipped cream

1. Make box cake mix as directed in 9x13 pan. Let cool completely.
2. Once the cake is cool, break it up and crumble it directly into the trifle bowl, mixing with candy corn (1/2 to 1 cup).
3. Make the vanilla pudding according the box directions. Tint with yellow and red food coloring to make it orange. Let it fully set and cool in the fridge.
4. Close to when you are ready to serve, chill a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer. Make the fresh whipped cream.
5. Layer the pudding on the cake, and then the whipped cream on the pudding. Decorate with additional candy corn on the top if desired!

I only used about 2/3 of the cake in my trifle.
I used a 5.1oz box of Kraft Jell-O vanilla pudding and followed the directions on the package.
To make whipped cream, mix 1 cup cold whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form.

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy

* 4 bone in or thick cut pork chops
* 1 envelope onion soup mix
* 1 envelope dry pork gravy mix
* 1 can cream of chicken soup
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1 onion, sliced

1. Brown the pork chops in oil.
2. Put sliced onions on bottom of the crock pot.
3. Place pork chops on top of the onions.
4. Mix onion soup mix, pork gravy mix, cream of chicken soup and chicken broth together; pour over the pork chops.
5. Cook on low 8 hours

I served this with mashed potatoes and roasted cauliflower. The gravy that the pork chops cook in ends up being thick enough to serve alongside the dinner without doing anything to it which is a really nice time-saver. My kids put the gravy on everything (I think I even saw Hannah eat a spoonful by itself)!

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Ingredients for Cupcakes
* 1 box yellow cake mix
* 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice, or your own spice mixture)

Ingredients for Caramel Frosting
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions for Caramel Frosting
1. In large saucepan, melt butter and add brown sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil and stir for 1 minute until thickened.
2. Remove from heat and add milk. Beat with wire whisk until smooth.
3. Add vanilla and beat again for another minute.
4. Add enough powdered sugar until of desired spreading consistency
5. Let cool and serve.