Thursday, July 19, 2007

One Hour, One Great Meal!

I am blessed to live about 5 minutes from my office (thank you, Iowa and your zero traffic!) so I come home at lunch, when I'm not working through it, of course. Today, I was in a pinch and didn't know what we were going to have for dinner. So I threw this together in the crockpot with what I had around the house. (This picture blows...sorry. And really this was tastier than it looks!)

(Recipe Source: That wild imagination of mine!)

1 boneless pork roast (your favorite cut)
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks (I had some fresh from a coworkers garden...YUM!!)
tomato sauce
tomato paste
chicken stock
minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
dried basil
dried oregeno

Combine liquids tomatoes and peppers in crock pot, add pork and turn to coat evenly. Spread garlic over the top, sprinkle with salt, pepper. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Slice and spoon veggies over the top. Enjoy!

Very tasty...lots of good flavor. Not bad for a lunch hour!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This stuff is bananas...B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I don't know what came over to me today but after working a 10 hour day, a trip to the store, a dash across the parking lot to avoid a monsterous downpour, dinner, and a sink full of pots and pans, I decided to make banana bread! I do NOT bake on much work and clean up but this was surprisingly easy! Of course, I put my own spin on it!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

I added a splash of vanilla and about 3/4 of a bag of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minu
tes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Eric tested, Erin approved! YUM! Breakfast for the rest of the week! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago

Ah...there's nothing like going home. We were at my folks house for the weekend and got to enjoy all my Chi-Town favorites. Moving to Iowa has definitely made me appreciate my roots A LOT more! Not to say that Iowa sucks or anything but when you've lived only one place your entire life and certain foods are as common as breakfast cereal you start to realize how much you miss them when you can't have them! I'm kicking myself for forgetting my camera!

Friday night: Lou Malnati's (1 South Roselle Rd, Schaumburg)
Mmmmmm....deep dish...the pizza that eats like a steak. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lou's and have been going there for many years, from birthday parties as a kid, to nights out in college, to our rehearsal dinner this place is like a second home. We had pepperoni and for the first time in my entire life I polished off two pieces. I have never made it through two entire pieces before!
Bonus: They ship EVERYWHERE! Well worth it!

Saturday afternoon: Portillos (611 East Golf Rd, Schaumburg)
Okay, one problem with Portillos...I can never ever decide what I want to get!! Italian beef, Italian Sausage, hot dogs? Decisions, decisions! I love all those things but lots of times I just cannot pass up the Chopped Salad. Here's the description:

(from Romaine & Iceberg mix with Tubetti Pasta, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, Gorganzola cheese, green onion, red cabbage and tossed with House dressing.

I just love all the bite sized veggies and the little pasta tubes. The dressing is so freakin' awesome! Confession: This isn't exactly from Portillo's its from Barnelli's Pasta Bowl...some Portillo's have Barnelli's in them some don't. If you're eating Barnelli's you are for sure in Portillo's but just because you're in Portillo's doesn't mean you can get Barnelli's!

Eric likes to get the Beef and Cheddar Crossaint. Here's a description:

(from A perfect compliment of our famous Italian Beef layered with Cheddar cheese and served on a toasted fresh croissant.

Oh, how I miss my home!! We really need to start branching out because we seem to visit the same places every time we're there and there's so many yummy places to eat!!!! Run, don't walk, to the Chicago area NOW! :)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Knee High by the 4th of July

Well, I was wandering around the grocery store today and the big piles of sweet corn were calling to me. "hey, buy me! I won't let you down, I promise!" I should have known those little buggers were lying to me!'s a little early for really good locally grown sweet corn. I made it tonight. Although it wasn't horrible, it wasn't as good as I know it will be. When the locals start selling it out of the backs of their pickups and vans in parking lots...THEN you know it's time for corn! They're just not quite ready this the old saying goes "Knee high by the 4th of July"

I also made steaks on the grill. Now Eric, bless his heart, went to visit his parents one weekend and came back with an entire third of a steer. you realize how much meat this is? We are talking at least a couple hundred pounds. AT LEAST! We had to purchase and extra freezer so we could keep it all. The steaks were just okay...they always are. Eric really liked his, which is great but I'm just not a big red meat eater. I would almost always choose something else. But we've got steaks out the ying yang so I'm gonna keep making them and eating them! I just need some creative things to do with them.