Saturday, May 14, 2011

Asian Drumsticks

I was skeptical about this recipe, but since chicken drumsticks are cheap and the rest of the ingredients are pretty cheap, I figured I give it a shot. And it was great! The chicken really had a lot of flavor- but maybe a little too much cayenne pepper. We'll cut that down next time to 1/2 of the amount. But otherwise, I heard zero complaints and it gave me another recipe to throw in the mix when I have a craving for Chinese Food. We served these with fried rice and the recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens "Dinners for Less" magazine.

Asian Drumsticks

8-12 chicken drumsticks (about 2-3 pounds; I also removed the skin)
2/3 cup frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 Tbl soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbl packed brown sugar

Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, combine the juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic salt, and cayenne. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade for sauce. Pour the remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, turning bag occassionally.

In a small bowl, combine the reserved marinade and brown sugar; chill sauce until needed.

Preheat oven to 375* F. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Place chicken in a shallow baking pan (I used a baking sheet lined with foil). Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Brush both sides of chicken with some of the sauce. Bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until chicken is no longer pink (180*F; my chicken took about 30 minutes after the initial 25- so make sure to check!), brushing twice with the remaining sauce.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Root Beer BBQ Pork Sandwiches

This was really good despite the fact that it has sweet soda in it! In fact, you can't really taste the sweetness or rootbeer flavor in the pork. It's just a juicy, tender pork roast, that is shreds wonderfully and is perfect as a sandwich filling. You could also use it in a salad or wrapped up in a tortilla with your favorite taco fillings. I used a 2-liter bottle of A&W rootbeer, but you can use cans if you want- it's just cheaper to buy a 2-liter bottle. The only adjustment I think that I'll make next time is to drain the juices from the roast before I shred it and add the BBQ sauce- the meat was just really wet and made our buns really soggy. If your roast looks dry, you could reserve the drained juices and add them back into the roast as needed to help add some moisture. And if you are concerned about the cut of the pork roast- it doesn't really matter. A cut without the bone is easiest for shredding, but even then if you roast has a bone, it should slip out pretty easy once the roast is done cooking. The recipe comes from a freezer meal computer software program called 30 Meals in One Day and it's a welcome addition to my crockpot recipes!

Root Beer BBQ Pork Sandwiches

1, 3 lb pork sirloin roast
1 cup root beer
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups onion, wedges (about 2 small onions; I would thinly slice the onions if you are going to keep the onions in with the pork at the end)
2 Tbl garlic, minced (I used somewhere around 7-8 cloves)
2 12 oz cans root beer (about 3 cups of rootbeer)
1 12 oz bottle chili sauce

Trim any visible fat from roast. Cut roast into 4 pieces and place in slow cooker. Pour 1 cup root beer over roast. Sprinkle meat with the salt and pepper. Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours (Low will help the roast be more tender and easier to shred). In a medium saucepan combine root beer and chili sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2 cups. Remove roast and onions from slow cooker. Allow to cool enough to handle. Discard broth (I didn't this time, but I will next time- the buns were soaked by the extra juices). Shred meat and combine with onions (I didn't add the onions back in). Pour root beer sauce over all. Stir to coat. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomatoes, if desired.

Directions for freezing:

Allow to cool completely. Place in freezer bag or container. For individual servings, spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill muffin cups with meat and sauce. Cover and place pan in freezer just until frozen. Pop out and place in gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw and heat. Line buns with lettuce leaves and tomato slices. Add meat, onions and sauce.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Since my husband was recently accepted into optometry school in Arizona, I've been trying to come up with ways to survive the heat. One of my solutions is to try and use the crockpot more in my cooking to cut down on the amount of heat coming from my oven. So I've been on the lookout for good crockpot recipes, and I am so glad I came across this one. Macaroni and Cheese is always big around my house, and this recipe makes quite a bit. I would say that you could feed around 5-6 adults with one recipe, and that's if you serve it with sides. We had it with peas and orange jello with madarin oranges in it. Adding a roll or biscuit or muffin of sometype would also allow you to stretch the amount if needed. Either way, thanks Lynn from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures for sharing this wonderful recipe! One last thing- if you are wondering about the egg, it just helps the whole dish set up so it isn't soupy.

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup stick margarine, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted

1 cup milk

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker (the ingredients will only fill the crock between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way- so if your crockpot is a little bit smaller, it would probably work, too); add margarine. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk and 4 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. (this will vary by crockpot, Lynn's takes about 3 hours and mine took almost 4 hours.)
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