Friday, April 24, 2015

Copycat Zax Sauce

Zaxby's is one of the local fast food places my grandson and I enjoy. I always order a salad, and he orders chicken fingers with an extra Zax sauce. I think the sauce might be his favorite part. When he learned there was a recipe for a copycat version of Zaxby's dipping sauce, he wanted to make it at home to see if it could be as good as the original.

This sauce takes only about 5 minutes to make, but it needs to chill to let the flavors blend. Once the sauce was ready, he was the first to try a taste test, and it passed his rigorous dipping sauce standards. He said it really did taste like Zax sauce.







Zax Sauce (copycat version)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup catsup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise and catsup. Add garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are well blended. Cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving. Serve as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders.








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Making Memories Monday

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dresser Repurpose for Laundry Room

I can't take any credit for this dresser remake. This is my daughter's project, and she did the planning and the work. It turned out so well and is so useful in her laundry room, I just had to share it. I didn't get a before photo, but she started with an old dresser that was well-used. First she removed the mirror and several of the drawers.




She gave it a new look with a little sanding and a couple of coats of white paint. She also refreshed the original hardware with some metallic-type spray paint. The drawers were replaced with colorful storage baskets to match the decor.

Next, she added an ironing table on the top. This part was my contribution to the project. I made the ironing board in the same way I had previously made an ironing table for the top of my clothes dryer. We made hers 17.5 x 40 inches to fit the top of the dresser, leaving room at one end for her iron.

To make her laundry chores a little easier, she used a discarded bar stool as an accessory for the ironing table. She recovered the seat of the stool with the same print fabric that we used on the ironing board. Her finished project has proven not only to be pretty, but to be a useful and practical part of her laundry room.





Reusing furniture by giving it new purpose and new life is both economical and environmentally friendly. I'm so glad she had a creative vision for an old, discarded dresser and a forlorn bar stool.


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Whole Wheat Sourdough Apple Muffins

Discarding sourdough starter bothers me, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to use the unfed starter on baking days before feeding my starter. This apple muffin recipe is one I like a lot -- it's hard to beat muffins filled with apples and pecans. I'd like to have more recipes to choose from to utilize the unfed starter, so if anyone has a good one, please send it my way.




Print Recipe

Whole Wheat Sourdough Apple Muffins

1 cup unfed sourdough starter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped apple (about 1 large apple)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine sourdough starter and sugar. Add eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the sourdough mixture. Add apples and pecans. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake about 20 minutes, or until muffins test done with a toothpick. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. When muffins are cooled, add glaze.


Glaze

1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add milk and stir until smooth. Place glaze in a small zip top plastic bag. Snip off one corner of the bag and use to pipe glaze onto muffins.





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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pork Chops and Rice

This Pork Chop and Rice recipe is one of those meals I love to make because of the quick prep time. Once the ingredients are in the casserole dish you can forget it while it bakes. After you pull it out of the oven and serve it, though, your family won't likely forget this delicious meal.






Print Recipe

Pork Chops and Rice

3 - 4 center cut pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper as desired. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown pork chops on both sides.
Prepare a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine rice, water, soup, thyme, onions, and mushrooms in the casserole dish. Place pork chops on top of the rice mixture. Cover and bake for about one hour or until rice has absorbed the liquid.





I used Riceland rice in my recipe in support of Arkansas farmers.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Blueberry Cream Muffins

If it's a muffin and it has blueberries, chances are I will like it. I have many, many recipes for blueberry muffins, but I have never decided which one is my favorite. It's a good bet that my favorite is the one I happen to be eating at any given moment. The muffins I made today are bursting with fresh blueberries and are made with sour cream for extra flavor and moistness.





Blueberry Cream Muffins

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat eggs, gradually adding sugar. Stir in oil and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the dry ingredients. Add the remaining dry ingredient mixture alternately with sour cream to the egg mixture. Coat blueberries with the reserved flour mixture. Gently fold blueberries into batter. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until muffins test done. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins to a wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 12 muffins.










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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easy Candle Embellishment

Candles are a great way to add color and softness to any decor. I love candles of all sizes and types, especially the scented kind. My favorites are the clean, lemony citrus fragrances. Candles can be used to make a room formal or to add a homey atmosphere. Especially during the Christmas season, I may add bows to my candles, and other times I might spruce up a candle by adding a tassel or two. Candle embellishment can be done in lots of easy ways.



I started this embellishment project with a plain brown candle. I wanted to use the dark brown to complement the dark wood in the room and as a contrast to the blues in the decor. The color was right, but it looked just too plain Jane. It needed some embellishment that would also coordinate with the peacock theme of the room.



The solution for this candle was simple. I took a trip to my Hancock fabric store and found some shiny blue/green braid. I used the braid to embellish the candle by cutting three strips the measurement of the candle's circumference plus a small amount to lap over. Working with one strip at a time I used my BFF glue E6000 to attach the braid around the candle. Once the glue was dry, my project was finished. No skills required except cutting and gluing.



Candle embellishment is one of the easiest ways to make unique decor for your home. So many possibilities for inexpensive yet lovely decor can be found with a little imagination and glue.





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Thrifty Thursday wk105

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pork Roast

For serving a crowd or just a hungry family, this Pork Roast recipe can't be beat. I don't know where the recipe originated, but my niece Jena was the source of the recipe for me. She makes hers in a crock pot and cooks it on LOW all day, but even though her husband warned me "not to monkey with the recipe" I made mine in the oven at a low temperature in a cast iron Dutch oven. Everyone at my house loved it. I think the blend of spices in the Italian dressing and the slow cooking are what makes this roast so tasty.








Pork Roast

1 pork shoulder roast -- bone-in kind (mine was about 7.5 pounds)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian dressing
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

Vegetables --
Small red potatoes
Baby carrots
1 large yellow onion (or small pearl onions)

Preheat oven to 280 degrees F. Place roast in a large dutch oven and season with salt and pepper as desired. In a medium bowl, combine Italian dressing and soup. Stir until well mixed. Pour dressing mixture over roast. Cover and cook for 5 - 6 hours, until meat is done and pulls away from the bone easily. Vegetables need to be added before the roast is done during the last 1 to 1 1/2 hour of cooking time.





This large coated cast iron Dutch oven is what I used to cook my roast. It turned out great this way, but I know it's also very good cooked all day on LOW in a crock pot. I cooked mine in the oven because I didn't get it started early in the morning.




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This recipe was shared with:
Full Plate Thursday
Weekend Potluck