Monday, 3 September 2012


The Internet and I are great friends when it comes to cooking. I love finding and trying new recipes to add a variety to our meals. I thought I would share a couple that have been hits at our house recently.
Homemade Shake and Bake Mixture
4 cups dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
1 pinch dried basil leaves
1 pinch dried parsley
1 pinch dried oregano
In a large resealable plastic bag combine all ingredients. Seal bag and shake until all ingredients are mixed well.
*This recipe makes a LOT of shake'n bake. I would halve or even third the recipe next time. I also omitted the tablespoon of salt and it was still plenty salty.
We had this on boneless skinless chicken breasts, and it was DELICIOUS!!

2 bone-in pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick) *
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
In a skillet brown pork chops on both sides in butter. Transfer to a small greased baking dish; sprinkle with onion. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over chops. Cover and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
* I used boneless pork chops about 1 inch thick each and they turned out great.
I also substituted the chili powder (since I didn't have any) with a teaspoon of taco seasoning. Just another taste if your are feeling adventuresome! :-)

Blackberry Delight
Blackberry Layer:
6 cups fresh blackberries ( I'm sure frozen could be used just as well)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Cream Cheese Layer:
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons solid butter-flavored shortening ( I used butter)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F
Blackberry Layer:
Place berries into a stove-top pot with lid. Cook on medium low for 15 minutes until juice renders. Mix sugar and cornstarch together, add to blackberries. Cook until mixture thickens, 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Layer:
Mix cream cheese with sugar and vanilla in mixer. Set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon; mix well. Add shortening one tablespoon at a time; incorporate with fork. Mix sugar and milk into mixture.
Spray oval (12 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1/2 of dough mixture into bottom of dish. Pour 1/2 of blackberry mixture on top. Pour cream cheese onto blackberries. Pour remaining blackberries onto cream cheese mixture, followed by remaining dough mixture. Place in oven. Bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in the middle. Serve warm with or without ice cream.
Note: The top dough mixture is going to be tough to spread. I spread it out onto a greased piece of tinfoil ( you could use wax paper as well) the same size as my dish, and then slid the dough off the tin foil onto the top of the blackberries. It just rolled off in one big sheet of dough perfectly fit to the size of the pan. ( To get the perfect shape of your pan, trace around it onto the wax paper/ tin foil before putting anything in the baking dish.)
I had trouble with the cream cheese part as well. It does not spread. I ended up just putting spoonfuls of the mixture all over the blackberries. I would try chilling it for a while and then trying to spread it onto wax paper the same way I did the dough. ( Not sure if this would work or not, since I haven't tried it.)