Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recipes Reviewed: From the Ferrell boys & me . . .

On Monday night I made Baked Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes for dinner. I got the Baked Pork Chops recipe from a google search and they weren't very good.

The recipe involved battering and frying the pork chops for a few minutes on each side in a pan . . . and then baking them covered for 45 minutes in the oven  . . . AND THEN pouring a mixture of cream of mushroom soup, milk, and white wine over the pork chops . . . and then cooking the pork chops for an additional 30 minutes!

I was sceptical about the recipe and while the pork chops were tender and juicy . . . the breading was gross in the soup mixture.

I knew it was bad when Zach said it looked like the "chicken" had dissolved in the pan. Ha! :) The cats really ate it up!

The sweet potatoes were a different story all together. My daddy went through a cooking phase last year where he was baking sweet potatoes in the oven. He would peel them and cut them into cubes and then bake them in the oven.  They were so good.  Daddy cooked them with brown sugar and honey. The oven would "candy" the sweet potatoes and make them divine.

When I put sweet potatoes on the menu for this week, I planned on cooking them the way Daddy cooked them . . . only when I called my daddy about the recipe . . . he couldn't remember cooking the sweet potatoes last year much less the recipe! Ha!

He was convinced that it was Momma that cooked them . . .  She said it was him! Back and forth and finally they worked out what it was they did! It's sooo funny because they cooked those sweet potatoes so much for Wednesday night church suppers that Michelle knew immediately what I was talking about when I told her this story . . . but not my parents! Ha!

Here's what they think they did when they made their sweet potatoes . . .

John & Lucy's Candied Sweet Potatoes:

First, they peeled the sweet potatoes and cut them into even little cubes.

Then they drizzled a little olive oil on the sweet potato cubes and tossed them around a little before spreading the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet or in my case, the Pampered Chef large bar pan. A layer of brown sugar is then sprinkled across the sweet potatoes -- in my case -- generously sprinkled.

Then bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are done. I kept them in there until my pork chops were ready, but Daddy says it doesn't take that long for the sweet potatoes to get done.

Once you take them out of the oven, you drizzle some honey across the top and toss them around to get the honey over all them.

They were really good. Just like candied sweet potatoes! The boys wouldn't eat them, but Dave and I both loved them! The hardest part about making them was peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes . . . those things are hard!

I also made Michelle's chicken and dumplings Thursday night, and I am going to disclose her top secret - never been revealed - chicken and dumplings recipe! She uses the one on the Bisquick box! Ha!

I have made chicken and dumplings many times -- from scratch -- and they have never been as good as the chicken and dumplings my momma makes! Michelle told me to use the recipe on the Bisquick box and ta da! They were great! I didn't do the drop dumplings, but followed the rolled out biscuit recipe for the dumplings. So good!

If I can do it . . . anyone can!  Here's the recipe for the dumplings:

Michelle's Chicken & Dumplings
  • 1/4 cups Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
Stir Bisquick and milk together until soft dough forms.  Sprinkle some of the Bisquick on pastry mat so the dough won't stick to it and then roll the dough out thin.  Cut the dough into strips for dropping into boiling chicken broth.   

Before making the dumplings, I had boiled 4 chicken breasts (with the skin on) in water for an hour or so.  I took the chicken out and let it cool.  I drained the broth through a paper towel and strainer.  I poured the broth back into the large cooking pot
and brought the broth up to a rolling boil.  I tore up the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and put the meat back in the broth.  I then started slowly adding the dumpling strips into the broth.  I had too much chicken in mine.  Next time I will use just 2 or 3 chicken breasts.    Reduce heat and cook chicken and dumplings uncovered for 10 minutes.  Then cover and cook for 10 minutes longer.

And finally, this Sunday morning, I made a Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring for my boys.  It's very similar to monkey bread.  Here's what I did:

You melt 3 tbsp butter and mix with 1/2 cup of pancake syrup.  In a separate bowl, you mix 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Pour 1/2 of butter/syrup mixture in bottom of greased bundt pan:

Then  sprinkle 1/2 of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture:

Layer a can of Grands biscuits next, overlapping the edges. 

The recipe says you can use 2 small cans of biscuits instead of 1 can of Grands.  Now pour the remaining butter/syrup mixture and the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the biscuits.

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 1 or 2 minutes and invert onto plate.

This is similar to monkey bread, but then again it's not.  I don't think monkey bread has syrup in it.  Anyway, it was delicious!  and easy!  And unlike some monkey bread that can get hard once it cools down, these sticky buns were still soft and yummy after church -- way after it had cooled down.  So good.  I ate 3 pieces of it! I wish my picture looked better.

That's this week's recipes worth mentioning . . . I'll be posting my menu for next week later tonight or tomorrow!  Hope you try some of these recipes and let me know what you think!

                           the Ferrell boys and me

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