Sunday, April 24, 2011

Applesauce Pork Loin Roast

This is a verrrrry moist and tender pork loin roast. Pan searing the roast before baking it seems to be the key to locking the juices in, so do not forget this important step. Enjoy!

1- 3lb boneless pork loin roast
cooking spray
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 C applesauce
3 Tbsp honey mustard
3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub pork with salt and pepper. Brown pork on all sides in skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Transfer to rack in shallow roasting pan. In small bowl mix together applesauce and mustard; stir well. Spread applesauce mixture over roast. Lay rosemary sprigs across top. Bake @ 350 uncovered 2 - 2 1/2 hrs or until meat thermometer tests done (inside temp about 160). Let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing. Yields approximately 12-15 servings.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pistachio Puffs

About a year ago I had some delightful Pistachio creme-filled cannolis. I haven't been able to get them out of my mind since. So, for Easter, I thought I'd make a pistachio creme-filled dessert of some sort and thus began the research. I thought puff pastry would be easy since I could "cheat" and buy the sheets from the local grocer's. Next I thought about doing Creme Horns, but I didn't really want to buy "horn molds" for something I'd only make once in a blue moon. Then -- I saw the idea of making homemade forms out of foil and Voila! Here is my creation and just in time for the Easter dinner table!

2 sheets puff pastry
Cooking Spray
2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
3 1/2 C cold milk
1 egg, beaten + 1 tbsp water
Powdered sugar, optional
*Chocolate Sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Yield: 20 servings

Set both sheets of puff pastry on the counter to thaw, about 40 minutes. In mixing bowl, whisk together both pudding mixes with the milk. Refrigerate until ready to use. Using foil form 10 "molds" and spray with cooking spray. One sheet at a time, unroll puff pastry and cut into TEN 1" strips. Starting at the base of each mold, wrap the pastry strip in a cone-like fashion, securing the end with a toothpick. Place on parchment paper or lightly greased pan. Brush each pastry lightly with the egg and water mixture. Bake @ 400 for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let sit on pan for about a minute. Lightly slide each foil mold out of horn and let pastry continue to cool on wire rack. Repeat process with the second sheet of puff pastry.

Fill each pastry with pistachio pudding and set on serving tray. Lightly dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Chill until ready to serve.

*I used the new Duncan Hines "Amazing Glazes" Chocolate Dessert Topping

Rainbow Jell-O (7 Layer Jell-O)

It is known by both names. There are many ways to make it. Some use sour cream or yogurt, but this one is made with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Knox. Personally, it's my favorite. For Easter I made these "personal" Rainbow Jell-O Cups. My kids are excited and can't wait to eat them tomorrow!


Colored Layers:

4 - 3oz boxes of any flavor Jell-O.

4 C Boiling Water

4 Envelopes (total) of Knox Gelatin

White Layers:

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 1/2 C Boiling Water

1/2 C Cold Water

4 Envelopes Knox Gelatin

Prepare 9x13 pan or mold by spraying lightly with cooking spray. Wipe out with paper towel as you only want a very little bit of oil and yet it needs to be evenly disbursed.

Start with a rainbow/colored layer. In small mixing bowl mix 1 pkg Jell-O with 1 envelope Knox. Slowly pour in 1 C boiling water and stir for about 2 minutes or until dissolved completely. Pour into pan and refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix up White (milk) layer:

In larger mixing bowl mix together 4 envelopes of Knox with 1/2 C cold water. Stir slightly to moisten; let set. Pour 1 1/2 C Boiling Water over mixture and slowly whisk. Add 1 can sweetened condensed milk and stir well. Slowly pour 1 C Milk Mixture over the 1st rainbow layer. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Repeat process, alternating between colored and white layers, making sure to refrigerate 15 minutes in between.

Note: If the milk mixture thickens up while waiting for the Rainbow layers to set, place in the microwave 20 seconds or so until it "melts" again. Whisk to smooth it out.

*If you plan to do more than 7 layers (as I did here), plan to double the White Mixture.

Creamy Funeral Potatoes

Named "Funeral Potatoes" for commonly being served as a side dish at traditional Mormon post-funeral family dinners. They are also served at large social or family gatherings in Utah or other areas with a large Latter-Day Saint population. Many of my Amish relatives make a variation of this and they are usually just referred to as "Potluck Potatoes". Funeral Potatoes basically consist of potatoes (cubed or hash), cheese, onions, cream soup, sour cream, butter and corn flakes.

I've played around with several variations myself, and this one is the one that my kids love the best. Normally I am not a fan of Velveeta Cheese, but in this recipe it helps make the potatoes that much creamier. Enjoy!


1 lb frozen hash browns or diced potatoes
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 C sour cream
2 C Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Seasoned Salt

3-4 C crushed corn flakes
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted

Lightly spray bottom of large 9x13 casserole and then pour in frozen potatoes and set aside. In saucepan over Medium heat melt 1/2 C butter. Add onions and saute until onions are crisp-tender. Next, add soup and sour cream and stir until blended. Add in cheese cubes and stir frequently until cheese is melted. Add seasonings stirring well. Pour creamed mixture over potatoes, turning in pan to thoroughly mix. In gallon size Ziploc bag pour 2 C of Corn Flakes. Seal beg and use rolling pin or plastic cup to finely crush. Pour 1/2 C melted butter into bag, reseal and toss to coat well. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over potatoes and bake uncovered @ 350 about 45 minutes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Italian Ranch Roast

This is so super easy and very flavorful! Anyone can do it, I promise!!!

1 boneless rump roast
1 packet Au Jus gravy mix
1 packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1 Packet Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
1 - 2 C water

Place roast in crock pot. Add each packet of seasoning on top. Pour 1-2 C water over roast; enough to just cover roast. Cook on HIGH 6-8 hours, or all day. Serve over mashed potatoes if desired.

*For Au Jus sandwiches, drain juices from meat and reserve for dipping sauce. Serve roast beef in buns.

**You can also use leftovers as a base for beef stew.