Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Grilling - Peaches and Pork

This is a recipe I found in a 2005 Cooking Light cookbook. I had not tried it before this month, but I will definitely be making it again! It was a nice light meal and something different than what we usually grill.

First, a round of applause for Mr. Gourmet.....a fine grilling job!

The finished product....

Peaches and Pork

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large peaches, peeled, halved, and pitted
6 cups trimmed arugula (I couldn't find arugula so I used Escarole)
1 teaspoon turbinado or granulated sugar (I didn't use this when I made it)

Place each piece of pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each piece to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, juice, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon juice mixture. Pour the remaining juice mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place peaches, cut sides up, on a plate; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar.

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until pork is done. Set aside.

Place peaches, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 4 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Turn and cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Cut each peach half into 4 slices. Slice pieces of pork into 1-inch-thick strips.

Drizzle trimmed arugula with reserved 1 tablespoon juice mixture, tossing to coat. Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates. Top with grilled pork strips and peach slices; sprinkle evenly with sugar.

We even had extra grilled peaches so we were able to come up with a duo of peach desserts! (actually it was a little husband/wife cook off....Mr. Gourmet won)

Enjoy! Until next dinner....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marinated Steak Kabobs (from Saucy Diva)

[This is a repost of a previous was so good we had to have it again!]

This was my contribution for the April DTD meeting. The weather is starting to get nice and these are perfect noms for the grill!
* thanks to for the great picture!

Serves 4

1/8 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning
2 oz lemon lime soda
1 pound beef sirloin steak cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
a variety of veggies and things to "kabob" (I used mushrooms, green peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, and pineapple)

1. Place meat in a large ziploc bag. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, garlic pepper, and soda in the same bag. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Chop veggies into big pieces.

3. Preheat grill for high heat

4. Assemble kabobs by threading steak and veggies onto a skewer.

5. Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook kabobs on the prepped grill for 10 minutes
or to desired doneness.

Goes great with a cold beer!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

Quick, easy and so much fun to eat!!

What you'll need:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 cups assorted vegetable pieces, such as bell pepper, onion, corn, zucchini and mushrooms
- 1 bottle of Italian dressing (you get to choose the brand!)
- 6 skewers, soaked in water for a few hours before preparing

What you do:
1. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well.

2. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Alternately thread chicken cubes and vegetables onto skewers.

3. Grill over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, turning frequently.

Cheey Potato Casserole

Whatever you're in the mood for, this recipe on how to make cheesy potato casserole will always be a real hit. The divas LOVED it this month! Special thanks to Momma Carv Diva, who shared the recipe with me. LOVE YOU MOM!

You will need:
- 8 potatoes, cubed and boiled
- 1 handful of cooked bacon bits
- Half of an onion, roughly chopped
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 2 or 3 heaping spoonfuls of light mayo
- 1 cup (or more, if you're feeling cheesy!) Cheddar cheese

Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Step 2: Boil cubed potatoes, rinse and let cool
Step 3: In a 9 x 13 dish, add cooled potatoes and all other ingredients. Mix well, and cook in oven for 40 - 45 minutes!

So easy, and soooooooo cheesy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

DTD - June 2011

Dinnertime Divas June 2011

Theme: Summer Grilling

Hosts: Cheesy Diva and Gourmet Diva

Cheesy Diva Nacho Dip
Cheesy Diva Divine Potato Bake

Take Home Recipes:
Peaches and Pork (Gourmet Diva)
Sirloin Kabobs (Saucy Diva)
Italian Chicken and Veggie Kabobs (Cheesy Diva)
Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Lemon Mustard Sauce (Dessert Diva)

The divas were reminiscing about past DTD nights and realize that they are now just distant memories! We decided we really should do a monthly blog post about our Dinnertime Diva get togethers so anyone can reference back and find their favorite recipes. So, begining this month the Diva that hosts the gathering at her house will take a few pictures and spread the DTD love.

You may have noticed there were only four recipes this month instead of the normal six. This month we sadly said goodbye to Spicy Diva as she began a new adventure in life and has moved out of state. But once a diva, always a diva, so we hope she comes back and visits often!

Wine diva was out of town so that left four divas, two baby divas, and one diva in the oven (Cheesy Diva Jr. coming this November to a kitchen near you!)

So enjoy the fuzzy pictures of our day (sorry...didn't realize my lens was smudged until the end of the day!)

Getting some appetizers while we set up our stations.

Peaches and Pork Station

Sirloin Kabob Station

A glass of wine (and Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Lemon Mustard Sauce Station) :)

Italian Chicken Kabob station

Baby Diva and Baby Divo entertaining themselves while the mommies cook!

And....since we are all educators and are FINALLY on summer vacation we decided a trip to a local ice cream parlor was in order.

Do you love our new monthly post? Check back later this week and you will find all the recipes for "Summer Grilling" posted for your convenience (check below this post to see the recipes for this month). I bet you are also waiting in anxious anticipation to see what we are cooking next month?

July 2011 "Iron Chef Divas"
For next month we all thought of an ingredient we like to cook with. We wrote them down on paper and drew out of a bowl to see who was cooking with what next month.

Drumroll please...

Cheesy Diva: Asparagus
Saucy Diva: Cous Cous
Dessert Diva: Avacado
Gourmet Diva: Cream Cheese
Wine Diva: Snap/Sugar Peas

Until next dinner.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

May Cake: Orange-Almond-Caramel Upside-Down Cake

I took this cake over to a friends to have after a delicious dinner. The overwhelming response to the cake...."Meh".

I have to agree. "Meh" was my initial thought too. It was good, not great. The texture and the topping were the shining stars of the cake. Saucy Hubby thought the orange zest was a little strong. Amazingly the cake got better after a few days. Almost like it needed time to let the flavors blend.

This turned out to be a great cake, and that almond caramel topping is a keeper. Here is the recipe in case you want to give it a whirl.


1 cup sliced almonds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round nonstick cake pan and dust with flour (THIS IS SO IMPORTANT). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (ALSO IMPORTANT)and grease and flour the paper.

Directions for the topping:
1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Drizzle with the honey. Scatter the toasted almonds over the honey. Set aside.

Directions for the cake:
1. Comine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Comine the sour cream, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla in a different bowl and lightly beat.

2. Comine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the orange zest.

3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.

4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture a 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.

5. Pour the batter over the almonds, gently spreading it into an even layer.

6. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 - 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes.

7. Holding the pan and a plate together, immediately invert the hot cake onto the plate. Peel away the parchment paper. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes.

April's Cake: Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I'm a little behind in posting for the Cake Slice Bakers. We're supposed to post on the 20th of each month, but while I'm not behind on the baking and eating of the cakes, I'm behind on the posting of the cakes.

April's cake was on of my favorites! Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake was moist and dense and the ginger added a special zing! One way that I judge pound cake is by the "crust". I like a golden brown and chewy crust and this recipe fit the bill.

The only thing I may change is to add less lemon zest. This is definately a must make again cake!

3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and ceram with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 mintues, scraping down the sides as necessary.

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, ginger, and lemon zest.

4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.

5. Place the cake in a cold oven. THurn the oven to 325 degrees and bake, without opening the oven door, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 65-80 minutes. **Mine took about 90 minutes

6. Cool the cake in pan for 15 minutes, then invert it onto rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Goes great with some fresh whip cream and raspberries!