Monthly Archives: December 2016

My Plans and Goals for 2017

I cannot believe that this will be my last blog post for the year of 2016. It has been quite a year for me as a food blogger. Cooking and blogging have been an excellent and fun learning experience. I want to share with you, some of my plans/goals for my blog for the upcoming year. So here it goes.

My plans are I’ve decided to go back on some of my posts that I wrote and do a lot of proofreading/editing. I too will do picture retakes for most of the photos of the food that I took this year and do my best to make my blog look professional. I also would like to make cooking videos.

My goals are to improve on becoming a better food blogger because I am highly interested in getting sponsorships by some food brands someday. Last but not least, the main reason why I created a food blog; As some of you know, I used to be pretty nervous about using the oven/stove cause of my C.P. (Cerebral Palsy). But since I’ve learned about my amazing gift of cooking that God has given me, I have discovered that I’m losing my fear of the stove.

In fact, within the past few months, I have found that cooking for me is incredibly therapeutic, relaxing, enjoyable, and it has been a great learning experience. My passion for it has grown quite rapidly. Now I want, and I believe God wants me to find other ways of how to share my love for cooking with other people who are able-bodied and or have special needs by teaching them how to cook and help them feel more comfortable working with a hot surface while sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

Also, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to you all! I too want to say “Thank You so much” to each and every one of you for following and reading my articles. I am looking forward to sharing new recipes with you and posts throughout the upcoming 2017 year!

 

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Fantasy Fudge

Fudge is a fantastic all year round classic favorite and my most-liked candy. It’s incredibly luscious, rich, and highly addicting.

I realize that it’s extremely unhealthy, but the other night I simply couldn’t help myself and made it for the first time. This fudge recipe that I got off a JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme jar was relatively easy to make, and the best part is that it literally melts in your mouth.

*Court’s Cooking notes: Make sure to have everything set out and ready to mix.*

Fantasy Fudge

What You’ll Need

3 C sugar

3/4 C butter or margarine

1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)

3 pkg. (4 oz. each) Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate chopped

1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme

1 C chopped PLANTERS Walnuts or pecans, optional

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

Line 9-inch square pan with aluminum Foil, with ends of foil spreading over sides. Set aside

1. Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk in a large pot and bring them to full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for four minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring continually. Remove the pot away from the heat.

2. Next, combine the chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Then add the nuts and vanilla; mix well. Pour into the previously prepared pan; spread to cover the bottom of the pan. Let cool completely. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into 1-inch squares.

Source Kraft Recipes


Coming up next week on cooking with Court

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Salad

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Crunchy Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Side Dish Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Here are some of my favorite desserts that I have made or wrote about this year. 

Rocky Road Milkshake

Peanut Butter Cup Crack Brownies

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Satisfying your sweet-tooth

 

Starbucks Double Chocolate Peppermint Mocha

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did!
I savored every single moment of the celebration with my family.
I too enjoyed eating some delicious food with friends and relatives. Although we couldn’t eat it all in one night. You know what that means?

My family and I currently have a ton of leftover food from the Christmas gatherings that we had this past weekend, (Do you usually have plenty of leftover food after the holidays?) and since we have so much, I am taking a rest from cooking this week. However, I still will be blogging and want to share with you a few coffee drinks, smoothies and maybe one dessert.

I know that I’ve stated this before in my blog post (Crockpot Vanilla Latte), but I am a huge coffee lover lol. My go-to place for coffee is Starbucks, I go there quite regularly to buy a tall regular coffee because I’m trying extremely hard to be frugal with my money, but I do admit that it sometimes can be quite challenging and tempting not to order one of their fancy drinks. So I’ve come up with the perfect solution and making my own fancy coffee drinks in the comfort of my home.

 I want to share with you this Starbuck’s Double Chocolate Peppermint Mocha recipe that I tried and I, of course, loved it!!! If you are the same as me and you’re trying to save your cash by making your own fancy coffee drinks from the comfort of your own home, then may I suggest you treat yourself into making this yummy drink.

Scrumptious, rich, chocolatey, easy as 1-2-3 to prepare and did I mention that it’s delicious?

Starbuck’s Double Chocolate Peppermint Mocha

Ingredients
2 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup
One 11oz pkg Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Naturally Flavored Coffee
2 1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp Half-and-half

Optional toppings:
Whipped Cream
Chocolate Sprinkles and or crushed candy cane

Directions

1. Brew six-eight ounces of Starbucks Peppermint Mocha flavored coffee. Before filling your coffee cup with coffee, combine two tablespoons of coffee syrup.

2. Pour in your brewed coffee and stir well. Next, stir in two and a half teaspoons of sugar and two tablespoons of half-and-half. Garnish with whipped cream and top with chocolate sprinkles and or crushed candy cane. Enjoy!!! 🙂

For a little extra indulgence:

Rim your mug with melted chocolate, then dip in crushed candy cane.
Add a candy cane stir stick.

What is your go-to place to get coffee? Do you have a favorite coffee drink?

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Source Starbucks

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

So last week I stated that the weather in Texas was going to be hot on Christmas Eve. The weather wasn’t fibbing either; it sadly got up to seventy-nine degrees. However, instead of me being a debbie downer about the heat, I chose to make the best of it and have a Christmas Eve celebration Texas-style.

I had so much fun doing several things, but one of the activities I enjoyed most was making this Vietnamese Iced Coffee as I had planned on doing. Although, I had to make this drink twice to get it taste just right. But it was very worth it because let me just tell you that this stuff is so so good, no, wait it’s delicious, very easy to make, and refreshing!

The main ingredient that makes this Vietnamese is the condensed milk (pictured top), not to be confused with evaporated milk (pictured bottom):

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Although, they are both canned dairy products, condensed milk is a thick, oozy, very sugary product that has an entirely different effect than evaporated milk, which tastes like plain milk to me. I use it for things like Libby’s Pumpkin Pie. You cannot replace one for the other. Condensed milk is the stuff you shower over your shaved snow, shaved ice, or use in a key lime pie. Evaporated milk is more similar to half-and-half. Be sure to get the correct one!

After you have combined all of your ingredients, make sure to mix it up extremely well. Otherwise, the condensed milk sinks to the bottom, and it will get too sweet at the finish. However, I suppose if it came down to it, you could only add more coffee and milk and then enjoy even more of this delicious drink either on a scorching day during the summer or on one of those really warm days during the wintertime. I promise you that this refreshing drink will surely take the stress of the heat off your mind.

 

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Ingredients

A handful Ice cubes 2/3 C Cold brew coffee or more if desired 

Half and half, heavy cream, or whole milk

2-3 Tbsp Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

Instructions

Pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill your glass with cold brew coffee. Combine the healthy splash of milk. Add two-three tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and stir (or shake) well to combine. Taste and adjust milk or condensed milk as required.

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Slowly Cooked Sausage with veggies

I just love the idea of one pan/pot dinners. They require little preparation, most of them are ready less than thirty-five minutes and clean up is a breeze. I confess I can get pretty spoiled. As some of you already know, I usually come across these dinners on Pinterest. Whenever I do find one of these superb dinners on my go-to site, I immediately get motivated to want to cook the dish. 

Therefore, I’ve had this one Pot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes Recipe in my ginormous cookbook that I found on Pinterest a long time ago. I too have been wanting to cook it for awhile, but I just couldn’t find the perfect timing until I finally had the opportunity to prepare it earlier this week. The food prep and clean up for it is about the same, just like with the other one-pot suppers that I have cooked this year.

However, I must say that the actual cooking time for this recipe requires at least four-six hours for it to be fully cooked because everything is being cooked in the crockpot. I know that sounds awful especially when supper time rolls around and you are super hungry. But I honestly can say that is one of the biggest perks about this dish cause for one your slow cooker will make everything taste amazing and two you don’t have to babysit your food while it’s cooking.

I promise you and your family are going to enjoy this Crock Pot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes recipe. Here’s why: you seriously only have to do a little bit of preparation, it has good for you ingredients and last, but definitely not least it’s incredibly tasty!

Where do you usually get your recipes from? Do you prefer cookbooks or online?

Crockpot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

2 pkg of traditional rope turkey sausage, cut into half inch slices (I used venison and pork sausage) 

6-8 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3-4 cans of green beans
1 small onion, chopped

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Use a four or six-quart crockpot insert and lightly grease it with non-stick cooking spray. Place your potatoes into the bottom of your crock pot. Place the onion on top and combine the sausage and green beans. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for six-eight hours. Yummoelicious! 

Source Recipes that crock

I mentioned last week in my Cook. Eat. Sleep. Dream. Repeat. post that I would make this excellent Crockpot Taco Soup today, but other arrangements were made, plus we still have plenty of leftovers from last night’s meal. Oh well. Maybe I will make it next week. 🙂 However, I still intend on cooking this savory and really creamy Crockpot Chicken Rice soup on Saturday.

Also, within the past few years, it has been hot in Texas, both on Christmas eve and day and, Unfortunately, it’s going to get hot once again. But that’s totally cool with me because I chose to make the best of it and have a great attitude in regards to the crazy weather and make Vietnamese Iced Coffee on Christmas Eve. I am very excited!

Lip-Smacking Pork Chops

Now that the holidays are in full swing, I think it’s necessary to have a great arsenal of fantastic meals that you can get on the table extremely fast and with minimal work. After all, with all the meal prep, menus, or travel plans that come with the holidays and family, who wants to spend several hours cooking a dinner? Not me!

I am confident that you don’t want to waste numerous of hours cooking either; therefore I want to share with you, my newest favorite dish Maple Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops. They were reasonably easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. I mean no seriously after trying my first one I quickly had another one of these delicious and not to mention melt in your mouth pork chops.

Tender, moist, glazed pork chops are seared and coated in a lip-smacking maple balsamic vinegar sauce. They are ready to eat less than thirty minutes, which makes them excellent for a fast weeknight dinner or a party!

 What are some of your favorite pork chop recipes? What is your most-liked dish to serve at parties?

Maple Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops

Ingredients

PORK CHOPS:
Four boneless or bone-in pork chops, rinsed and pat dry
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

MAPLE BALSAMIC GLAZE:
1/4 C maple syrup
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp beef broth
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Are you ready? Let’s get cooking!

Directions

MAKE THE GLAZE:

In a small saucepan, mix all glaze ingredients. Heat over MED heat until it reaches a low boil. Cook until sauce reduces down, about three minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

COOK THE PORK CHOPS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and place a medium/large cast iron skillet into your oven.

1. Coat your pork chops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Remove the skillet from the oven and place on the burner over MED-HIGH heat. Place chops in the skillet, you should hear them sizzle immediately. Let cook two-three minutes to sear. Use a basting brush and cover pork with the glaze.

2. Flip pork chops over, brush the other side with the glaze and transfer skillet back to the hot oven. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 140 degrees F (approximately five-eight minutes, depending on the thickness of your pork chops). Transfer the pork chops to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for five minutes. Serve pork chops with a little bit of the glaze drizzled over the top if desired.

 

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Source the chunky chef

 Tonight’s side dish was: Broccoli can taste delicious

Here are some of my other favorite pork chop recipes

Pure comfort food at it’s best

The Cookbook Museum

Baked Pork Chops and Apples with Brown Sugar Glaze

Cook. Eat. Sleep. Dream. Repeat.

I admit with all of the cooking that I have been doing within the past several months my mind is always trying to be creative and coming up with new recipes of my own, and once the idea is approved, I immediately dash into the kitchen and start cooking up a storm.

So, last week I threw together this Garlic Parmesan Green Beans Recipe with the remaining green beans I had leftover from the dish Green Bean Bundles that I prepared that same week. However, my first time of making this recipe didn’t turn out the way I wanted it too because I had less green beans than anticipated. I also went a little too crazy with the olive oil. Lol, oops. Have you ever done this before? Anyways, I waited until I bought some more green beans and made it again to go along with last night’s main course A Texans Favorite (Chili). I know that it’s an odd combination, but I really wanted to give it another try. I’m thankful that I did because this time the outcome of it was a huge success. 

This method is very similar to the Garlic Parmesan Edamame, and it’s just as delicious and super duper easy. This dish would make an excellent side dish for your family’s Christmas parties and or just an all year around dish for supper. 

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

 1 lb green beans fresh or frozen  
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c Progresso Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt to taste

Directions 
 
1. Steam green beans in your microwave until slightly warm and not frozen. In a small food processor or small bowl, combine olive oil and garlic. Stir/process until well-combined.

2. Heat a wok or a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Combine fresh or frozen green beans and toss for a few seconds. Combine garlic oil and saute for a minute or two, stirring constantly. In a small mixing bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and salt and stir well. Next, add breadcrumb mixture to skillet and stir until well coated. Serve immediately.

 *Court’s cooking notes: If you’re using fresh green beans be sure to wash/rinse them real good with cool water before use.*

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 Inspired by: 28 Cooks

Coming next week on cooking with Court 

(Since next week is the week of Christmas I will be only writing two posts) 

Dec 19th Maple Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops 
                Side Dish Broccoli Can Taste Delicious 

Dec 21th Crockpot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes 

Dec 22nd Easy Crockpot Taco Soup 

Here are my recipes that I have created this year: 

Garlic Butter Honey Roasted Butternut Squash 

Pringles Tangy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders