Monday, December 14, 2009

Sweet n' Saucy Pork Chops Slow Cooker Recipe From Crock-Pot

I just threw this together in the crock-pot and it smells AMAZING! I plan on serving it tonight over brown rice with a side of veggies.


2 Tbsp Olive oil

4 pork chops

2 cups onions, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup water

1 cup ketchup

½ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tsp dry mustard

1 cup brown sugar


1. Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add pork chops and brown for three minutes on each side.

3. Remove pork chops and place in slow cooker. Add onions to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic, water, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar is dissolved. Pour sauce over pork chops.

5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Notes:  I started a little late so I am going to cook it for the first hour or so on high and then the rest of the day on low.  Ok, so this recipe made the house smell DELICIOUS!  Seriously, it was fabulous.  The pork was a little dry. Next time I will keep it on low, even if I am short an hour or two.  The sauce was truly amazing though.  We poured it over the pork chop and after we did that we didn't care that the meat was a little on the dry side.  We'll definietly be making this again!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Recommitment to the Crock-Pot

So this week, after stumbling across the official Crock-Pot website, I have decided to use my crockpot for my main dish cooking all week. I'll post recipes after I've tried them.

I am currently putting together this weeks grocery shopping list and menu early because tomorrow is Hubby's birthday and I told him to pick his b-day meal.  Of course, he picked his favorite - grilled cheeseburgers.  I told him that wouldn't be a problem as long as HE was the one outside grilling in the 30 degree weather.

Our menu for the work week will look something like this:

Monday: Pork Chops of some variety I haven't decided on yet, because I found three new recipes and can't decide on which one to try first.

Tuesday: Beef brisket sandwhiches - I make plenty of roasts in my crockpot, but havent tried to make anything like this before.

Wednesday:  No cooking - Hubby works late on Wednesdays so the kids and I grab something easy or leftovers.

Thursday:  Meatloaf - I've made it in the oven, but never in a crocpot. Should be interesting!

Friday:  Leftovers and movie night!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken Bruschetta Bake

This recipe comes from Kraft Foods and it's one of my favorite go to dishes!!


1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (6 oz.) Stuffing Mix for Chicken

½ cup water

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 ½ lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tsp dried basil

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic until stuffing mix is moistened.

3. Layer chicken, basil, and cheese in 13x9 baking dish.

4. Top with stuffing.

5. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is done.


We are going to have this tonight with bread, corn and homemade mashed potatoes. I know, holy starch overload, right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pork Chop and Apple Casserole


1/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

4 cups sliced tart apples

8 pork chops, ½ inch thick, about 2 lb

1 packet pork coating mix (like Shake ‘n Bake)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in Ziploc bag.

3. Add apples, toss to coat.

4. Spoon into greased 13x9 baking dish.

5. Coat pork chops using the directions on the coating mix.

6. Place pork chops in a single layer over the apples.

7. Bake 35 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through.


When I made this, I only used four pork chops. I also used Japanese Panko bread crumbs to coat the pork chops, because that is what I had in the house. I also didn’t measure the apples. I used 5 that I already had in the house. The recipe came out delicious!! It was served with homemade mashed potatoes. Even the kids loved it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Cooking Light Magazine.

Cake Ingredients:

10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)

2 1/2 tsps baking powder

2 tsps ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large egg

1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree

Frosting Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 (8 oz.) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese

2 cups sifted powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

3. Combine brown sugar, butter and vanilla in large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13x9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

4. To prepare the frosting, combine butter, vanilla, and cream cheese in medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.

Serves 24

Nutritional Info: (per serving)

Calories: 178
Fat 5.5g
Protein 3g
Carb 30g
Fiber .9g
Cholesterol 32mg
Iron 1.2mg
Sodium 135mg

I am not much of a baker, but found this recipe easy and delicious.  Give it a try!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

This year we are having Thanksgiving dinner, just the four of us, for the first time ever.  It's our first Thanksgiving away from our extended family. 

This is what we're having:

Shrimp Dip

Main Course:
Mashed Potatoes
Pork Stuffing
Butternut Squash
Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls
Sparkling Apple Cider

Rice Krispie Treats with M&M's!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taco Pie


1 lb 93% lean ground turkey

1 cup salsa

1 Tbsp reduced sodium taco seasoning

1 tube reduced fat crescent rolls

1 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

½ cup chopped tomatoes

fat free sour cream (optional)


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Use the crescent rolls to create a crust in a pie plate.

3. Brown turkey in a skillet. Add salsa and taco seasoning. Let simmer a couple of minutes.

4. Pour turkey mixture into pie plate. Top with cheese.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes until crust is brown and cheese is melted.

6. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and an optional* dollop of sour cream.

Serves 6

Nutritional Info per serving: *(does not include sour cream)

Calories 246.9
Total Fat 15.5 g
    Saturated Fat 5.7 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g
    Monosaturated Fat 1.4 g
    Transfat 0 g
Cholesterol 66.7 mg
Sodium 755.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.3 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 22.8 g

WW Points:  6 per serving, not including sour cream

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

I took this picture after I made some twice baked potatoes one night.  I had every intention of writing down  what I did because I didn't follow a recipe or anything.  Of course, it's more than a month later and that never happened.  You should google a recipe and make them tonight, or experiement and create your own recipe.  (Then share it with me!)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Amish Friendship Bread


1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter

3 eggs

2 tsps vanilla extract

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

½ cup milk

6 oz instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 – 9x5 inch loaf pans or a bunt pan.

2. Place starter in a bowl, stir in the oil, milk, sugar, egg, vanilla and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and instant pudding. Add the flour mixture to the starter mixture and fold together. Add the chocolate chips and mix well. Pour into pan(s).

4. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool for about 10 minutes and remove from pan, move to a wire rack to cool completely.


Too much chocolate for ya? (Is there such a thing?)  Just substitute the chocolate pudding for vanilla and have a Chocolate Chip Friendship Bread.

Directions for Amish Friendship Bread Starter


If air gets in the bag, let it out. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.
Be sure you have all necessary ingredients on hand for day 10!
If you keep a starter for yourself at the end of the 10 days, you should be baking every 10 days.

Day 1 Do nothing. This is the day you receive the better. Go by the date on the bag.
Day 2 Mush the bag.
Day 3 Mush the bag.
Day 4 Mush the bag.
Day 5 Mush the bag.
Day 6 Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mush the bag.
Day 7 Mush the bag.
Day 8 Mush the bag.
Day 9 Mush the bag.
Day 10 Follow the directions below:
  1. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups milk and 1 ½ cups sugar.
  3. Measure out 4 separate portions of the new batter, 1 cup each, into four 1 gallon Ziploc bags. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other three away with a copy of the recipe. (Remember to mark the date on the bag and let the person know what day to start on.)
  4. To the remaining batter in the bowl add 3 eggs, 1 cup of canola oil, ½ cup milk, ½ cup sugar, 2 tsp of cinnamon, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, 2 cups flour, and 6 oz of vanilla instant pudding.
  5. Great 2 loaf pans or 1 bunt pan.
  6. In separate bowl, mix ½ cup of sugar and 1 Tbsp of cinnamon. Sprinkle the pans with the cinnamon mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly between the two pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, remove from pan, and continue to cool on wire rack.

If cinnamon bread doesn’t tickle your fancy try these other great Amish Friendship Bread recipes:  Banana Chocolate Chip Friendship Bread, Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread (with Apples, Raisins and Pecans), Lemon Poppy Seed Friendship Bread, or Chocolate Chocolate Chip Friendship Bread.

Also, at a certain point you run out of people to give the starter too. If this happens you can also cook many breads at one time.  They freeze well and make great gifts for neighbors, family and friends.

Play Dough!


3 Cups Water

Food coloring

3 Cups Flour

1 Cup Salt

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp Cream of Tarter


1. Add drop of food coloring to the water.  Mix ingredients together.

2. Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly, scraping sides, and turning over as it starts to form into a ball (a heat resistant spatula works the best).

3. While it is still a little wet, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead as soon as you can stand the touch.


Add a touch of glitter to the mix to make glittered play dough!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Portuguese Kale Soup


1 onion, minced fine

1 garlic clove, minced

4 Tbsp olive oil

6 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

2 quarts cold water

6 oz. dry chorizo sliced paper thin

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Portuguese chili pepper

1 lb kale washed, trimmed, rolled up and sliced into extra fine shreds (in a pinch, slightly defrost frozen kale and finely shred it with a sharp knife)


1. Sauté the onion, garlic and olive oil, add the water and potatoes.

2. Once the potatoes are cooked blend them (the broth looks like watered down mashed potatoes). Add the chorizo and kale.

3. Let simmer for 35 minutes or until ready to serve.

This recipe is from my dear friend, Rita. You can also cut the potatoes in chunks and have more of a clear broth to the soup.  Either way it's a wonderful start to a meal, or served with Portugues rolls it's a meal in itself!

Pork Stuffing

This is a family recipe from my in-laws. Hubby loves this stuff! He grew up with his Nana making it, then his Mom, and now ME! The measurements are guesses and as you make it more you can play with the amounts. It’s really not hard, though at first I was really intimidated.


1 lb ground pork

4 slices of stale bread (I use whole wheat)

1 small onion, chopped

¼ cup of chicken broth

1 tsp poultry season


1. Brown the pork and onion together in a pan.

2. Rip up the slices of bread and add to the pork mixture.

3. Add chicken broth and poultry season.

4. Mix together well until it has the desired texture. You can add more bread if it’s too meaty or more chicken broth if it’s too dry.

If you don’t have any poultry seasoning you can use: ¾ tsp sage, and a ¼ tsp blend of any of the following spices: thyme, marjoram, black pepper, and rosemary. The other day I didn’t have any poultry seasoning or most of the spices above so I sprinkled some thyme and garlic powder and it was still delicious!

Mama's Meatballs


2 lbs ground beef (I use 80%)

1 tsp garlic

1 onion, chopped

4 slices of bread

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

½ cup breadcrumbs

2 eggs

Olive oil

2 jars of spaghetti sauce


1. Whisk eggs and break up bread slices into egg.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except olive oil and spaghetti sauce, and mix together well.

3. Heat olive oil in pan.

4. Shape beef mixture into meatballs and add to pan. Cook until done.

5. Add meatballs and spaghetti sauce to crock pot. Simmer on low until you are ready to eat!

This recipe is a slight variation of one my MIL emailed me. You could also use 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb pork. I usually double the recipe and freeze most of the leftovers. In our house, Friday night is meatball night and it saves me the cooking process every other week. Plus, the hamburg is cheaper when you buy it in bulk!

Amish Cinnamon Bread


1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter

4 eggs

2 tsps vanilla extract

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 oz instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup peeled, cored and chopped apple

1 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 – 9x5 inch loaf pans or a bunt pan.

2. Place starter in a bowl, stir in the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, instant pudding, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the starter mixture and fold together. Add the pecans, raisins and apples and mix well. Pour into pan(s).

4. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool for about 10 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Poppy Seed Amish Friendship Bread


1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup applesauce

2 tsps vanilla extract

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 ½ tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 cup poppy seeds

6 oz instant lemon pudding mix


1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 – 9x5 inch loaf pans or a bunt pan.

2. In a large bowl sift together the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, poppy seed, and lemon pudding mix.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the Amish starter, eggs, milk, applesauce, vanilla and vegetable oil. Add to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Pour batter into pans.

4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool for about 10 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Banana Chocolate Chip Amish Friendship Bread


½ cup shortening

4 large ripe bananas

2 cups Amish Friendship Bread Starter

3 eggs

½ cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

1 ½ tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 – 9x5 inch loaf pans or a bunt pan

2. In a large bowl, mash together the shortening and bananas. To that mixture add the starter, eggs, milk, sugar, and chocolate chips.

3. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Fold into the banana mixture. Pour batter into pan(s).

4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool for about 10 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

The 1 cup chocolate chips can be substituted for 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Check Out These Slow Cooker Recipes

I just got an email from Betty Crocker and from there I found their 20 most popular slow cooker recipes!! I can't wait to try some!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Another recipe from my current favorite cookbook.


1 lb. ground beef

2 29 oz cans tomato sauce

8 oz package of lasagna noodles, uncooked

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese


1. Spray interior of the cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Brown the beef.

3. Stir in tomato sauce. Mix well.

4. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.

5. Arrange 1/3 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce. (You may need to break them up so they fit nicely).

6. Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheeses over the noodles.

7. Repeat the layers twice.

8. Top with remaining sauce.

9. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.

Makes 6-8 servings

Ideal slow cooker size: 6 quart

I also added onion to my hamburg. Next time I'll also add some Italian seasoning and add a sprinkle of cheese to the top about a 1/2 hour before it's done cooking. For a healthier option, consider using ground turkey. I also used reduced fat mozz and fat free cottage cheese.

Potatoes Poupon

The original recipe comes from Kraft Foods.


3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

2 lb potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes), cut into bite-size chunks


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix all ingredients except potatoes in small bowl.

2. Spread potatoes into lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan.

3. Add mustard mixture to pan; toss to coat

The original recipe calls for red potatoes, but red potatoes kind of freak me out so I just made them with regular Idaho potatoes and they were still yummy... Not sure what the difference would be?  Anyone know?

Piquant Chuck Roast

From the "Fix-It and Forget-It: Big Cookbook"


3 lb. chuck roast

1/2 cup orange juice

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


1. Put the meat in the slow cooker. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour them over the meat.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hour, or high for 5 hours.

I served this with snow peas and Potatoes Poupon.

Baked Stuffed Peppers


4 green bell peppers

1 cup of brown rice

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 lb of hamburg or turkey (I use turkey)

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 tsp garlic powder

A little shredded cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook your brown rice using the chicken broth

2. While your rice is cooking, brown the meat with the onion

3. Clean the seeds and ribs from your peppers, (you can just cut the tops off or cut them in half), blanch 2-3 minutes, don't overcook

4. Mix meat mixture, rice, seasoning and tomato sauce.

5. Place peppers in baking dish and fill with stuffing.

6. Top each pepper with a little bit of cheese

7. Bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes.

Serves 4-6

You can just make the rice in water, but I like the extra flavor the chicken broth gives the dish. Again, you can make this with turkey or hamburg, but turkey is the healthier option. The peppers are even better the next day! I wish Hubby liked green peppers so I could make them more often!

Soft Taco Bake Pie


4 tortilla wraps

1 can of refried beans or kidney beans

1 16 oz. jar of salsa

1 cup of shredded cheese (I like the taco blend!)

1 lb. of ground meat (Hamburg, turkey, or chicken work well)

1 packet of taco seasoning (or you can just make your own - Google it)

Sour cream

Shredded lettuce


1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees while you are browning and seasoning your meat.

2. In a 2 qt. casserole dish layer your tortillas, beans, salsa, meat, and cheese

3. Top your casserole with a little extra cheese

4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes - or until the cheese is melted

5. Garnish each individual serving with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4-6

It's really a quick and easy recipe. You can buy a kit from Old El Paso that contains the tortillas, taco seasoning and some cheese sauce, but the amount of sodium you'll be consuming when you're done is nuts!

When I make this I use FF sour cream, FF refried beans, whole wheat tortillas and reduced fat cheese. I either make my own seasoning or buy a packet of the reduced sodium taco seasoning.

Giving credit where credit is due

A few of my recipes are from family, now that I actually ENJOY cooking I hope to acquire more of these.

Other recipes are from the internet. Some of my favorite sites are listed here on the blog. Kraft Foods has many (easy) delicious recipes. I often frequent their site when I just have no idea what to make for the week. Simply Recipes I ran across when surfing the net. Some of the stuff is fancy and I have no idea what some of the ingredients are, but it's fun to try new things every once in a while. What We Eat belongs to one of my real life friends who I get a lot of recipes from because she realized her love of cooking way before I did! Spark Recipes is my favorite (almost always) healthy recipe site. It's the one I always use after I have my babies and need to start watching my diet again or when Hubby decides he wants to be on a health kick. If I post a recipe from one of these sites I will include the link so you know where to find the original and to give credit where credit is due!

There are a few crock pot books that are good ol' standbys for me. Then there are the Hungry Girl cookbooks that I don't use a lot, but swear someday I will. When I post one from these books I'll let you know where they are from and how you can find it.

Other recipes I've gotten one way or another and can't remember from the life of me where they originated. If you see one on the blog and know where it originated, please let me know so I can give the creator credit and let others know where to find it!

I like to play with recipes; add a little of this, add a little of that... but I'm not the kind of girl that just goes to the kitchen, takes stuff out of the cupboards and starts cooking (unless I know the recipe by heart, but that's just not the same). I feel like my grandfather is that kind of cook. He's sort of one of my kitchen idols because he is the first person I knew who LOVED being in his kitchen. He still does to this day. He makes everything from appetizers to desserts and they are usually pretty kick ass... except the carrot loaf I distinctly remember from Easter one year, but I digress... Two other people I have learned a lot from are my mother and mother-in-law. My Mom is an awesome baker. She made my wedding cakes when I got married. I feel like she could bake pretty much anything and it would be awesome. My mother-in-law helped shaped my appreciation for cooking for my family. Every meal at her house is like Thanksgiving and I just fell in love with her the moment I met her. She was a stay-at-home mom too and before I had kids I never understood how she could ENJOY cooking every meal for her husband and two sons, or how she could ENJOY housework and yard work... but I am starting to get it!

Welcome to Powdered Sugar

After trying to keep track of many different recipes a million different ways I decided to start this blog to keep them all here. I'm no chef, but am really starting to enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. With two kids, and one on the way, I am a big fan of the crock pot. I wouldn't call myself a "baker," but I do think I'm willing to try anything twice.

After four years of being a stay-at-home Mom, I am finally starting to embrace my role as a homemaker. It took some time to get use to, but now I can truly say I am starting to feel satisfaction from having a cared for home and a well fed family.

The name "Powdered Sugar" came to me after my husband tried to make pizza dough and accidentally used powdered sugar instead of flour. We may not be perfect cooks... but we try!
Welcome and feel free to share your favorite recipes and cooking tips!