The Shady Porch: 01.12

1.30.2012

Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes and Chili

I made chili the other night and served it our favorite way - over spaghetti. If you haven't tried chili spaghetti, I recommend it! We top ours  with shredded cheddar, onions, jalapeno peppers, and sour cream. It's really delicious. 
However, I recently found a new way to serve chili and thought it would be nice to change things up...especially since it involved making my Jalapeno Cornbread , too!
Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes and Chili
Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes with Chili
The idea I found was to make chili toppers using a cornbread recipe. These chili toppers were pictured sitting atop the bowl of chili. Brilliant? Sure...but I decided to take it a step further. I used my Jalapeno cornbread batter to make full sized pancakes! We had chili pancakes for dinner tonight! I set out the same toppings we usually have with the chili spaghetti and it was awesome! It was a fun way to serve the chili and it was nice to get a bite of jalapeno pancake in each bite too. My hubby and brother were actually licking their plates...that's right chili on a plate...how weird is that? 
Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes
Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes
Both recipes, my Very, Very Good Chili and the Jalapeno Cornbread have been posted previously, so I won't share the recipes here. To make the pancakes, I prepared the cornbread according to recipe, but instead of baking, I used our electric griddle and fried them. Cornbread pancakes cook the same way regular pancakes do, so watch for the bubbles then flip them. 
To serve, I layered a pancake and then a spoon of chili and then another pancake and then more chili and, finally, topped it with my favorite toppings. It was fun to change up the presentation of our traditional chili dinner! Have you ever changed the presentation of a family favorite? If so, what? How was it received?   
-adapted from this  "Cornbread Topper

Yummy bite of Chili and Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes
Yummy bite of Chili and Jalapeno Cornbread Pancakes



1.29.2012

Cheesy Potato Popper Wraps...great as a meal or a snack!

This is dish is ideal for dinner or your next game day get-together! These tortilla-wrapped poppers make a great presentation when cut on the diagonal and piled high on a platter next to a bowl of sour cream. Sour Cream with Chives would boost the flavor even more! This dish is so hearty, it can be served as an entree or an appetizer.
Potato Poppers Wraps by The Shady Porch
Cheesy Potato Poppers...perfect for the big game
Cheesy Potato Poppers

Ingredients: 
3 cups frozen, diced potatoes or hash browns (fresh diced potatoes would work well too)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1-16oz. container sour cream, divided
3/4 cup cooked bacon pieces
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 T. melted butter
14 flour tortillas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Cook potatoes according to package directions (we baked ours
Stir together cooked potatoes, cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, bacon, onions, salt and pepper.


Warm tortillas (a microwave steamer is ideal for this).
Next, spoon mixture into the center of each tortilla and roll burrito-style. 
Brush with butter* and place seam-side down on baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. 
Cool for 3-5 minutes, cut diagonally into halves and serve with remaining sour cream.


Cheesy Potato Popper Wraps by The Shady Porch
A hearty appetizer or a meal...Potato Poppers
Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 12-14, depending on the number of tortillas you use and how you slice them.  *Ours didn't brown as well since we forgot the butter...still tasted great!

Other recipes you might enjoy...


1.27.2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini


We love sandwiches at our house! I think a warm grilled sandwich is one of the great comfort foods. (Grilled cheese immediately comes to mind, along with a big YUM!) The  panini is a toasted  Italian sandwich filled with various combinations of meats, cheeses, and usually vegetables.  This particular recipe combines the delicious flavors with chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, Ranch dressing and Dijon mustard.  It is quick and easy to prepare making it a great weekday dinner choice for busy families!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini with tater tots
The perfect crunchy sandwich with the perfect crunchy side dish.

1.25.2012

Rock 'N Share #13

Welcome!  This is the 13th Rock 'N Share party and last week was our biggest party yet! THANK YOU for making it a great place to come!!  I can't wait to see what you've crafted and cooked up this week or what you've decorated and repurposed, sewn or photographed too!  

Presenting this weeks Rock 'N Share Features now in the
(There was another tie this week)
Feel free to pick up a Feature button on the sidebar.

  
  These are all  great blogs full of fun projects that you'll find inspiring!
Stop by and say, hi!  They'll make you feel welcome!  
 Congratulations!
Thank You for joining the party!

Now Let's Party!

The only requirement is a link back! (No link back = No features)--- a text link at the bottom of your post, or a Rock 'N Share button (see below)! You may copy and paste the text link provided below onto your blog post, in the event you are not sure how to do it otherwise. The Shady Porch






Please follow The Shady Porch! 
Although, it's NOT a requirement, I would appreciate it & I will always follow back
 **Just leave me a comment, so I'll know!**
I also ask ...
* Everything be family friendly!
* Link up your own projects...something that you've created. Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share...no repeats from previous parties!
* Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page! No Etsy shops or other businesses!
* Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!
**I will be sharing my personal favorites on my Facebook page throughout the week!**
Most viewed posts make the weekly Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!
Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see if you've been featured!



1.23.2012

Saving Money; Cutting Clutter...my quest! #1

Since the new year began I've been thinking about having a recurring post sharing some of the changes I want to adopt in our home. I guess you could call them resolutions, and maybe this idea is to force some accountability on myself. Whatever the motive, I think it will help me stay on target, and, perhaps, someone else will be encouraged to stay on course with their 2012 wish list, too.

Money Saver #1 - Weekly Meal Planning
One of my targets for the year involves budgeting, and one of the areas that has always hindered our success has been weekly meal planning. We don't eat out often, but, when we do, it's usually because I failed to plan our dinners for that week. There is nothing wrong with eating out, but I've found that, if it's a rush decision, we tend to make less healthy choices for the sake of time and, in these situations, we are not thinking of the effect on our budget, either.   

Dinner Menu for week of 1-23 
Chicken Lo Mein with Peanut Sauce
Did you know?  I can make 4 large servings of this 
Lo Mein for the same price our favorite local
Chinese restaurant charges for a single entree.
Dessert will be leftover birthday cake! Yes, yesterday was a +1 day on my age-meter.  
Here's another tidbit...if you are not into the meal planning but want to save money by taking advantage of your grocer's sales, there is a website that will do most of the work for you! Check out Food On The Table.

Operation Organization
I've always believed the adage of "there's a place for everything and everything has it's place." However, this is not in full practice at our house and, as a result, I have pockets of clutter. As with every new year, I wanted a fresh start....so, I've decided to tackle these clutter pockets sooner rather than later. 

New burlap covered oatmeal containers taking care of the mess!
 

Clutter Dilemma # 1 - The space above my built-in oven has evolved into a dumping ground for grilling utensils, large kitchen utensils as well as odd pots and pans. I've had this space organized at times but obviously had not tackled the real problem because it always goes back to being a clutter pile. This 'before' shot is embarrassing but is necessary to illustrate my progress in the quest to de-clutter!    

My Solution -Make a home for all of the large cooking utensils that do not fit in my kitchen drawers and find a new home for the seasonal grilling utensils. I also added more S hooks to the rods so I can hang more of my kitchen wares.


3 of stages construction  - full sized container,
 container cut in half and finally sliding the top 
into bottom half for stability

How I made my utensil canisters for Zero $$:
  1. I took empty oatmeal boxes and cut them to the height I wanted to accommodate the utensils. Then cut a slit in the top portion of the oat container and slid it inside the bottom half to reinforce the new container. NOTE - Our local grocer brand oat boxes actually work better than Quaker brand because the rolled top has a little give but the plastic ring on top on Quaker containers creates a bulge when you slide it into the bottom. 
  2. You might want to put a quick coat of paint on the oat container so the container colors don't show through your material. 
  3. I chose to cover my new canister in burlap since I already had it on hand and my goal was to spend no money on this project. I simply hot glued the burlap to the canister in sections smoothing as I went.
If I decide to use these containers on the kitchen counter in the future, I would probably embellish them with ribbon and add a fleur de lis or rooster using a Sharpie marker. 

Since I hope to make this a regular weekly post, I would love to hear your input. I hope you've found something useful, inspiring or humorous...this makes me think of a Clint Eastwood line from "Heartbreak Ridge" - "You can rob me, starve me, beat me or kill me. Just don't bore me. (I'll really try to not do that!)  8D


Less Mess = Less Stress

1.20.2012

A Field of Poppies - Newsprint & Crayons


I see so much that inspires me lately that I have trouble deciding what to do first. I like the newsprint canvas art that I've seen with the silhouette of birds or trees so I ripped up newspapers and decoupaged them to the canvas using Mod Podge. This all took place some weeks ago and time just slipped away and I got caught up in life and didn't finish it. 
Next thing I know the melting crayon art pieces attracted my attention and I thought I would try making something along those lines. When I went to get a canvas the only one I had was the newsprint canvas. So I've married the two and made something completely different. 

Art: A poppy field - crayons on a newsprint canvas by The Shady Porch
A poppy field - crayons on a newsprint canvas
With the newsprint background I felt that the red crayon would pop and that made me think of a poppy field and that's how I got started. I took my crayons and melted the end over a candle and then make my strokes on the canvas. It was back and forth melt crayon, stroke on canvas and repeat. Some strokes were chunky leaving a heavy amount of wax while others were merely a smear, which made it so interesting not knowing what was coming in each stroke!  I created the poppy blooms first and then added the stems. It looked good at this point, but I wanted to add the grassy field and cloudy sky. I created the field using various colors of green crayons and finally the horizon is white and graduates from light blue to dark. 

Art: A poppy field - crayons on a newsprint canvas by The Shady Porch
Just adding the white horizon at this point...
I did stage this shot so you could see the work in progress.
The burlap was thrown in to hide my keyboard and I was
petrified I was going to catch it on fire! LOL!
Once the poppy field was complete, I took my blow dryer and did a little melting and it really made the colors appear darker. I didn't want to make it runny or have it bleed, so I did very little with the dryer. 
I'm happy with the final piece and have to say that it was really fun! A neat benefit of the early newsprint treatment was the Mod Podge sealed the canvas and,  if I got a drip or something that didn't look right all I had to do was scratch it off and there was no evidence it had ever been there!




1.18.2012

Rock 'N Share #12

Wow & Welcome!  Wow, I can't believe this is already the 12th Rock 'N Share party!! I am blown away by that! Welcome Rock 'N Share Partiers! I couldn't do it without you and frankly, I wouldn't want to!! You are an amazing group...blessed with talent, creativity and awesome gifts! You are the party! I LOVE reading your posts and seeing your projects and I know that you inspire me and others too! Thank you for being here and let's do it again!

Here are this weeks Rock 'N Share Features that are now in the
 Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery
Feel free to pick up a Feature button on the sidebar.



Pepperoni Pizza Crescents by Mess for Less
These are all  great blogs full of fun projects that you'll find inspiring!
Stop by and say, hi!  They'll make you feel welcome!  
 Congratulations!
Thank You for joining the party!


Now Let's Party!

The only requirement is a link back! (No link back = No features)--- a text link at the bottom of your post, or a Rock 'N Share button (see sidebar)! You may copy and paste the text link provided below onto your blog post, in the event you are not sure how to do it otherwise. The Shady Porch

Please follow The Shady Porch! 
Although, it's NOT a requirement, I would appreciate it & I will always follow back
 **Just leave me a comment, so I'll know!**
I also ask ...
* Everything be family friendly!
* Link up your own projects...something that you've created. Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share...no repeats from previous parties!
* Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page! No Etsy shops or other businesses!
* Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!
**I will be sharing my personal favorites on my Facebook page throughout the week!**
Most viewed posts make the weekly Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!
Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see if you've been featured!


Mozzarella Sticks the Easy Way

When out to eat at a restaurant and looking at the appetizers, one that always lands on the want list is mozzarella sticks! We love the crunchy coating and the oozy cheese center that is perfected by the dip in the marinara sauce. We don't make them at home...that is until recently!

A plate of Mozzarella Sticks and marinara sauce for dipping
Mozzarella Sticks wrapped in egg roll wrappers
served with marinara sauce
I ran across a recipe on Pinterest...surprise, surprise!  What really caught my eye, besides the tantalizing picture, were the easy instructions! There was no three bowl dipping assembly line needed on this one! They're simply wrapped in egg roll wrappers! How easy is that?! Easy peasy, I say!

1.14.2012

Ranch Crock Pot Pork Chops & Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Here's a Sunday dinner that practically cooks itself while you get all the kudos. That's right...just allow the busy cook's best friend, Mr. Crock Pot, do all the work. This is an easy recipe that I've made even easier using some of today's modern conveniences!
 
Ranch Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

1.11.2012

Rock 'N Share #11

Welcome to the Rock 'N Share!  
It's evident by looking at the projects with the most views this past week that 2012 has everyone looking toward saving, sprucing and storage...which sounds like good starting points for this new year! I loved all of these tips and apparently everyone else did too!  

Here are this weeks Top 3 projects!




Ideas To Make Life Easier by Alderberry Hill
Under $10 Door Redo by Space 46


These are all  great blogs with projects that you'll find inspiring!
Stop by and say, hi!  They'll make you feel welcome!  
 Congratulations!
Thank You for joining the party!
Be sure to get your Rock 'n Share Gallery Button! (sidebar)
You can see all the inductees to the Rock 'N Share Gallery

Now Let's Party!

The only requirement is a link back! (No link back = No features)--- a text link at the bottom of your post, or a Rock 'N Share button (see sidebar)! You may copy and paste the text link provided below onto your blog post, in the event you are not sure how to do it otherwise. The Shady Porch

Please follow The Shady Porch! 
Although, it's NOT a requirement, I would appreciate it & I will always follow back
 **Just leave me a comment, so I'll know!**
I also ask ...
* Everything be family friendly!
* Link up your own projects...something that you've created. Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share...no repeats from previous parties!
* Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page! No Etsy shops or other businesses!
* Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!
**I will be sharing my personal favorites on my Facebook page throughout the week!**
Most viewed posts make the weekly Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!
Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see if you've been featured!

1.10.2012

Cheesy Ham Pasta...a leftover makeover!

Well, our refrigerator was full of holiday leftovers and I faced a familiar problem - what to do with leftovers that had been really good the first time? I am not a fan of reheat and eat. Most times, I like to take the leftovers and make another delicious meal, something completely different, if possible.  We had leftover ham and I went in search of inspiration, and I found just the thing...Cheesy Ham Pasta!


Cheesy Pasta with Ham #pasta #recipe #ham #30minutemeal
Serving of Cheesy Ham Pasta
My ham had originally baked with a honey mustard glaze so I was a little concerned that the glaze flavor might interfere with the new dish, but after tasting it I felt that it was mild enough that the new ingredients would still win the flavor battle. After all, this recipe has nacho cheese and cheddar, too!


1.08.2012

Arty Vase of Button Flowers

My internal calendar has been messed up since the new year began! I have this weird feeling that Spring is upon us - and it's early January! I suppose it could be due to the unseasonably warm weather (high 50's & low 60's) lately, or that the hubby is starting track conditioning already, but whatever the reason, I've been wanting to do spring crafts!  Then I found a sweet spring flower button art wall project by Mondocherry on Pinterest that spoke to me!  (see below)
Vase and Flower Art made out of buttons by The Shady Porch
Vase of Spring Flowers 

1.07.2012

Chicken Noodle Soup...Healthy Comfort Food



There's nothing more soothing on a chilly day than a delicious bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. It's like getting the best hug ever from a old friend. 
In my recipe search, for the Crazy Cooking Challenge, I found several I liked but the one I selected to try came from...Not So Perfect Housewife. Unfortunately, when I went back to learn more and to introduce myself and the challenge, I realized that there had not been a post since 2009. This makes me kinda sad. I loved reading about this family and her other recipes look really good, too. Being a newbie to blogging (almost 200 days!) and running into this silent blog makes me wonder what the average blog life is? Anyway, I digress....back to the challenge!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup by The Shady Porch
Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

1.04.2012

Rock 'N Share #10

Time for Another New Year Party!

HAPPY 2012, EVERYONE!  I hope your New Year Celebrations were fun-filled! More importantly, I pray that 2012 holds great blessings for you!

As we all do, I set some goals for the new year and one happened to be to find new parties to join in 2012! I'm still going to be faithful to my old friends, but I want to make new friends this year too! I happened upon a site last night that I think will eventually help me with my goal...it's called LinkyHere.com! It's a place to link up your party by date or theme and of course, to find new parties to join! Check 'em out! 



Thank you for coming to the Rock 'N Share!  
Now, allow me to introduce the latest inductees to the Rock 'n Share Gallery! These were the top 3 viewed posts (there was a tie) entered last week...
 Southern Quiche by Country Momma Cooks
FINITO...New Bath Reveal! by Beyond the Portico
Favorite Projects of 2011 (Toilet Paper Wall Art)  by Life on Mars
These are all  great blogs with projects that you'll find inspiring!
Stop by and say, hi!  They'll make you feel welcome!  
 ---------
Congratulations!
Thank You for joining the party!
Be sure to get your Rock 'n Share Gallery Button! (on sidebar)
You can see all the inductees to the Rock 'N Share Gallery

Now Let's Party!

The only requirement is a link back! (No link back = No features)--- a text link at the bottom of your post, or a Rock 'N Share button (see sidebar)! You may copy and paste the text link provided below onto your blog post, in the event you are not sure how to do it otherwise. The Shady Porch

Please follow The Shady Porch! 
Although, it's NOT a requirement, I would appreciate it & I will always follow back
 **Just leave me a comment, so I'll know!**
I also ask ...
* Everything be family friendly!
* Link up your own projects...something that you've created. Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share...no repeats from previous parties!
* Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page! No Etsy shops or other businesses!
* Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!
**I will be sharing my personal favorites on my Facebook page throughout the week!**
Most viewed posts make the weekly Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!
Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see if you've been featured!

1.03.2012

Easy Buttermilk Waffles makes breakfast a treat!

Big breakfast weekends are the best! They have the feel of a get-away B&B weekend, but at home. A big breakfast weekend happens when the weekday rush gives way to favorites that take a bit more time and attention in the preparation - pancakes, biscuits and gravy, or, this past weekend's feature...waffles, which were a end-of-holidays treat!
Easy Buttermilk Waffles

In the event that some of you may have been recent recipients of a waffle iron (Are we the only house to get Christmas appliances? no?), this recipe might be timely for you! Enjoy!

The batter will be really thick but the waffles are light with a crispy, golden outside.

Waffles
Scald 1/2 cup of corn meal with 1/2 cup of boiling water.
Add: 1 cup of buttermilk
           1 egg
Beat well
Stir In: 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
Then add: 6 T. melted shortening
  
Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray. Add batter to waffle iron and bake until browned or until the timer tells you its done.
Note - we add pecan or blueberries once we've poured the batter on the iron.
These waffles may be mixed the day before!  This recipe makes 6 Belgian (large extra-deep) waffles. 

When preparing pancakes or waffles, prepare a double batch and freeze the extra for quick weekday breakfast treats or to serve up in a waffle and ice cream dessert!  

Recipe source-What's Cooking In Kentucky? cookbook 


Other breakfast recipes you might like...