Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Author: jshontz

Fool Proof but without any proof Quiche

Fool Proof but without any proof Quiche

Let’s pretend this is a photo of a beautiful quiche, ok? And it’s all steamy, and delicious smelling, and puffy. Puffy is a very important quality in quiche. And don’t tell me you can’t smell food photos. You may need to get your nose checked, […]

Curry Chicken Chili

Curry Chicken Chili

I’ve been making this chili a couple times a month for awhile now. (Though this is the first time I’ve made it with chicken. I’ve been using ground beef, and it’s been amazing. But I only had chicken, and it was equally amazing.) It was […]

And Another

And Another

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How on earth has another year passed already?

You know what is the biggest difference between last year and this year?
Reading his own birthday card!

My child, my amazing child, is READING HIS OWN BIRTHDAY CARDS!!

Obviously that’s not the only difference this last year has made, but I’d say that’s a pretty exciting difference. Wouldn’t you?

Other changes include:
Hailey
A gorgeous niece added to the family.

photo.JPG
A newly developed sense of…ahem…style*.

*Who am I kidding, I wish I was half as stylish as this kid!

And about 4 inches of vertical growth! I think I may have to keep up this feeding him thing…

By the way, I really need to thank Alton Brown for the most amazing Angel Food Cake recipe ever. The birthday boy was especially pleased.

A few notes about the recipe:

1. I didn’t have cake flour, so I made my own by measuring a cup of all purpose flour, and then taking two tablespoons out. I then added two tablespoons of cornstarch and mixed well.
2. I didn’t really wait for the egg whites to reach room temperature. I forgot. But it was just fine!
3. I used vanilla extract because that’s what I had. But it was just fine!
4. I used my new oven. This has no bearing on the recipe, per se, I’m just really excited about it still.
5. I served this cake with home made whipped cream, sliced strawberries, and homemade caramel sauce. Yeah mama!

Well, if this isn’t inspiration

Well, if this isn’t inspiration

Then I don’t know what is. I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile. And while I’m kind of sorry about that, I also really enjoyed the downtime. I took some time to take photos just for fun. And because I wasn’t trying to get […]

Dreamboat

Dreamboat

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you My KitchenAid Stand Mixer: (The folks at KitchenAid have no idea I exist, and I’m not getting paid or perked in any way. I’m just seriously in love with my mixer, and my amazing husband who gave […]

When the holidays are over

When the holidays are over

Pork Roast
You put away the decorations. Take down the lights.

Pork Roast
Pack up the tree shaped cookie cutters,

Pork Roast
and tuck away the red sprinkles.

Pork Roast
It’s kind of sad.
More than kind of.

Pork Roast
Just taking down all the Christmas lights leaves me feeling a bit dim.

Pork Roast
It’s important to find something warm and comforting to look forward to.

Pork Roast
Something to make your spirits bright, even as you stack the last of the storage boxes in the garage.

Pork Roast
Knowing that dinner’s waiting in the crock pot when you get home is pretty darn comforting.

I know, I know. “Pork roast? Come on, Jo; two weeks ago I was gorging myself on honey glazed ham and pierogies.
Roast is so…not festive.”

I hear ya! I do. But I think what I need now is comfort food. And the added luxury of not having to come up with a full dinner menu is so nice. It makes the transition out of the holiday mindset just a little easier.

So. Merry…happy…Thursday.

Pork Roast in the Crockpot
Serves 4 with leftovers

I have to admit, I did not use a recipe or write down what I was throwing into the crockpot, so this is an estimation to the best of my memory. Feel free to add or subtract whatever spices you prefer.

2 pound pork shoulder (or other cut of meat suitable for roast)
1 quart beef or vegetable stock (enough to cover the meat in the crockpot)
1 medium onion, sliced into big chunks
1 or 2 large turnips, sliced into half-rounds
6-8 red potatoes, cut into evenly sized chunks
1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
Rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, oregeno and thyme to taste

Pour the stock into your crockpot and add all the seasonings. Stir gently to combine. (If you like a thicker, more gravy-like sauce at the end, add 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch to the stock with the rest of the seasonings.)
Cut the pork in half, or smaller, to ensure that it’s covered almost completely in the stock. Then add the vegetables on top of the roast.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. You just need to make sure the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160F.

A new take

A new take

Remember those bacon things? Sometimes I like to mix it up, without having to work or think too hard. Quick and easy, same steps, sweet not savory. Should I be calling these apple turnovers? That just doesn’t seem like something I’d do. Call something by […]

The things I do for love

The things I do for love

I should like cherry pie. I really, really should. But I just don’t. It’s ok, you can call me crazy. There are just some things I cannot like. No matter how sweet and pretty they are. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you on […]

The Dangerous Bars

The Dangerous Bars

Dangerously Delicious Bars
“Why dangerous?” you may ask. “They can’t be that bad for you, right?”

They’re not!

“So then what’s with the overly dramatic title?”

I have these ingredients on hand 99% of the time.
ALL the ingredients.
And these bars are so fast to throw together that you can basically have them done before you give it a second thought.

Dangerous.

“Yeah, but I’m not a food blogger. I don’t have fancy ingredients around 24/7. I’m not in any danger.”

I see.

You don’t have things like…
Dangerously Delicious Bars
Butter?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
How about brown sugar and vanilla?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Oats?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
No uh, chocolate chips? Peanut butter?

Do you see what I mean?!?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
And friends? These babies are good. Like made 5 times in the last month good.

I took these bars to my son’s school for Parent Teacher night, and I was stopped in the hallway twice by someone who wanted the recipe!

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Layers of crumble…

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Chocolate…

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Followed by more crumble.

I swoon!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
Adapted from allrecipes.com

Makes 1 9×9 inch pan

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats (quick cooking works best)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the oats and stir until everything is moistened. Turn heat to low and continue to stir this mixture until the chocolate is ready.

At the same time, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir often to prevent the chocolate from burning. When the mixture is completely melted and smooth, remove the pan from the heat.

Pour just over half of the oat mixture into the 9×9 pan. Use a spatula to spread and compress the oats. I used a sheet of parchment and pressed the mixture down with my hands. When you have a smooth surface, pour the chocolate over top, and use your spatula to spread and smooth the chocolate. Carefully drop the remaining oats over top to create clumps.

Freeze the pan for 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight. Allow it to sit out at room temperature to make the bars easier to cut.

And while you’re at it, you might as well make a double batch and keep one in the freezer.
You know, for emergencies.

Chicken Sausage Calzones

Chicken Sausage Calzones

Calzones are so great for those times when you have a lot of random ingredients that you need to use up. For instance, we bought some chicken and apple sausages from Costco. I really liked them, but Nick didn’t care too much for them. When […]