Saturday, February 1, 2014

December and January Re-Make Recap

I can't remember the last time I was this excited for February to be here. Usually, a winter month is a winter month to me, and I don't really distinguish too much between them. But this year? The fact that it's February means that it will be April in two months. And in April, I'm hoping that it will at last be NOT SNOWY. I'm really excited for it to be not snowy.

I'm combining December's and January's recaps in one post this time, since I posted my 2013 favorites at the end of last year and missed December's recap. I just couldn't skip highlighting December's recipes! So the recap this time is absolutely loaded with good stuff that you should rush out and make ASAP.

My family loves it when I make two-packet pork chops and ranch-roasted potatoes. This pork chop recipe has become my absolute favorite. I've been using mushroom gravy mix instead of onion soup mix and making a heavier breading to give them a golden crust, and they really do come out perfectly. They're flavorful and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. And speaking of flavorful -- the ranch seasoning mix makes the roasted potatoes taste so awesome.

These foil-baked chicken parmesan sandwiches are a great make-ahead meal. I fried up the chicken cutlets and assembled the sandwiches the night before, then just popped them in the oven after I got home from work for a simple and delicious dinner. I skipped the basil this time, and I really missed it, so definitely add the basil if you have some on hand.

I made bacon cheeseburger meatloaf and ranch macaroni and cheese on a night that my father-in-law came over for dinner. It so happened that I wasn't aware he was coming for dinner until I got home from work (thanks, Joe), so I was happy that I had something so hearty planned to make. We all love this meatloaf and this mac and cheese. I think the ranch mac and cheese is the perfect, creamy compliment to the intense flavor of the meatloaf.

This smothered chicken recipe has really withstood the test of time in our house. I've been making it for years now, and it's something that Joe and I both still crave. Lately he's been eating it on a hoagie roll with a smear of mayonnaise, but I still like it straight-up: just a big pile of cheesy chicken and vegetables. Mmm.

I know I keep hitting you guys over the head with this sweet and spicy pork and asparagus stir fry, but that's because it's just so good. My whole family loves this, and it's the perfect weeknight meal since it's so quick-cooking.

I made these dark chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream in layer cake form for my mother-in-law's birthday at the end of December. This frosting is just as delicious as I remembered. My mother-in-law claimed this as "her cake" going forward, which I guess shows how much she loved it!

I made Joe's favorite meatloaf in December -- the bacon cheeseburger meatloaf -- so I had to make my favorite meatloaf in January. I mostly love this smoky meatloaf for the leftovers; on bread spread with mayonnaise and a slice of Swiss cheese, it makes the best meatloaf sandwiches in the world.

Bacon fried rice has become a staple in our home. Sometimes I make it with the honey-teriyaki chicken from the original post; sometimes I leave the chicken and scrambled eggs out and top each serving with over-easy eggs; and this time, I just chopped and sauteed some chicken breasts and mixed them up with the rice. I added corn and left out the bean sprouts this time. I love everything about this recipe: how simple it is, how adaptable it is, how freaking delicious it is.

This creamy butternut squash soup is one of my favorite soups -- if not my absolute favorite. I'm having a hard time finding butternut squash in the grocery store lately, so I used two boxes of frozen pureed winter squash to make the soup this time. I skipped the Crock pot and cooked it on the stove top. It was so quick, simple, and delicious. I found a habanero-jalapeno-chipotle Gouda cheese at Aldi the last time I was there, so I used that for the grilled cheese sandwiches we ate alongside the soup. The spicy grilled cheese was the perfect compliment to the sweet, creamy soup. If you haven't tried this soup, you simply must. For such a short ingredient list, you'll be amazed at how flavorful it is.

I made these chipotle pork tostadas with pine-apple salsa in soft taco form, and they were as delicious as I remembered (it had been far too long since I made them). The sweet salsa pairs so perfectly with the spicy pork. I prefer them as tostadas for the crunchy element, but Joe likes them as soft tacos because they're easier to eat. Either way, they're fabulous.

With the frigid weather we've been having lately, comfort food is pretty much a must, and these Swedish meatballs are a great comfort food. They have such fantastic flavor, and the gravy is to die for. I always serve them over egg noodles with butter and parsley. If I'm feeling ambitious, I make my own egg noodles. (I wasn't feeling ambitious this time.)

Heaven knows we've had enough snow this year to make snow ice cream! This is a once-a-year tradition for us, and something the boys look forward to every winter. It's more about the method than the flavor in this case; the boys love collecting the snow and mixing the ingredients. (We always add sprinkles, too.)

These ranch chicken tacos have become one of my family's favorite meals. They are so simple -- just 3 ingredients to make the filling! -- but they are so incredibly good. We always top ours with lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheddar, and ranch dressing. I could seriously eat these once a week...if not more often than that.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I'm really looking for to a lack of snow as well. I've almost forgotten what it's like to look out the window and not see mounds of snow.