Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stuffed Pork Chops

Tom and I found some "extra thick" pork chops on markdown the other day. (What can I say? I am so cheap frugal that I almost never buy meat unless it is on markdown.)
They went into the freezer with no specific plan in mind. I pulled them out yesterday to thaw- forgetting I already had thawed hamburger in the fridge! So the chops went into the fridge for a good, slow thaw overnight.

Today I wondered just how I was going to cook said chops. I decided to try stuffing them.
I set my cast iron skillet on high, with a dash of olive oil in it. While it heated, I cut deep slits into the sides of the chops, opening a pocket to put the stuffing in. I then tossed them into the hot skillet, and seared each side.

While the chops seared, I mixed together one  apple (chopped and peeled), a half a cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of (whole wheat) panko bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup of chopped butternut squash (I had some uncooked in the freezer from a couple weeks ago), and one egg. I seasoned it with sage, garlic, salt, and red pepper.

I carefully opened up the slits and poked the pork chops full of the stuffing, leaving the chops right there in the hot skillet. What stuffing didn't fit inside of the chops I sprinkled over the top.

Bake until done- about 45 minutes, to an hour at 325*
Be sure you get the pork cooked completely through! It takes longer to cook with the stuffing in them. (Meat thermometer should read 160* in the thickest portion.)

Will these be a hit? We shall see!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pho-king hot noodles

Serves 2


- 1/4 Red Onion
- 3-4 Baby Portabello Mushrooms
- 1 Habenero Pepper
- Fresh Cilantro
- 2 Green Onions
- 1 Chicken Breast -  Sliced
- 1/2  a bag of Rice Noodles
- 1 Tbsp. Goat Cheese
- 1 Roma Tomato
- 1/4 cup milk

- Spices:
- Turmeric -1 Tsp
- Paprika   - 1/2 Tsp
- Ground Cloves 1/4 Tsp
- Garlic  1/2 Tsp
- Salt
- Soy Sauce  to taste
- Chili Paste   1 Tsp

Coarse chop red onion and mushrooms, and saute in butter on medium heat.
Dice as finely as possible Habenero, add to sauteing pan.
Add goat cheese, and milk, simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add spices ( except chili paste)

Boil rice noodles as directed on bag, drain.
Add saute mixture to noodles, and continue to let simmer.

Use pan that mixture was in to cook chicken in. Add the chili paste to chicken, so that it coats the outside.  It should take about 3-4 minutes to cook.

Chop cilantro and green onion, and slice tomato to garnish with.

 Layer noodles down, stack chicken diagonally on one side, Roma tomato slices on the other side.
Sprinkle in tight formations on separate spots  green onion and cilantro.
Display with chopsticks.

This dish is an Indian/Oriental flavoring perfect for spicing up your palate.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Earlier this week, I was trying to decide on what to cook over the next few days. Daniel suggested we have some of the Stuffed Acorn Squash that we had several times back in the fall. So I bought a couple of Acorn squash.
I wish I could convey how much I love this dish. I have been snacking on the cooling stuffing mixture (prior to adding the eggs) while the squash bakes.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash (1 squash serves 2 people)
Mild Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used one per person)
Apple, chopped (with or without peel) (I had gala that needed to be used, but this is also fantastic with Granny Smith) (1/2 apple per squash)
Onion, chopped (1/2 sweet or yellow  small onion per squash)
Celery, chopped (1/2 to 1 rib per squash)
minced garlic (I used jarred for easiness)
Butter  1 teaspoon more or less per squash
sage (I used dried rubbed sage)
corn flakes or Panko bread crumbs about 1/3 cup per squash (I combined and used both) 
Parmesan cheese, grated (About 1/2 cup, or to taste)
Eggs, one per squash

Preheat oven to 350*

Wash the squash skin (rind) well. It often has a waxy coating. Since the peel is not consumed, you just really need any dirt/ contaminants off them.

Split the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. (Discard, or roast and eat seeds!)

Melt the butter, and add some garlic and sage to the melted butter.
Brush the squash well with the melted butter.
Place the seasoned squash cut side down in a greased baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven approximately 25 minutes, until the squash is just becoming tender.

While the squash is baking,  cook and crumble the Italian sausage in a heavy skillet. (Actually, I did the stuffing step first, and reused the skillet to bake the squash, allowing the stuffing mix to cool a bit in a bowl before adding the eggs)
Remove sausage to a large bowl, and reuse the skillet to cook the apple, celery, and onion. I added a bit more minced garlic here, as well as my leftover butter/ sage mixture. Maybe a bit more sage to taste.

When the onion mixture is soft (onions will be semi-transparent), remove mixture to the bowl with the sausage.

Add the crumbs and Parmesan cheese, mix well. Just let it sit without the eggs in it, until the squash is ready. 
Remove the squash from the oven, and turn over, so the cavities are facing up, ready to be filled.
Add the eggs to the stuffing mixture, and combine well.
Scoop the stuffing into the squash cavities, mounding as needed.
Carefully return stuffed squash to oven. Bake another 20 minutes, until stuffing is turning golden.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Whitney's Chicken

My friend Whitney Knight created a very tasty chicken recipe. I tweaked it to reflect the ingredients I had on hand, so I will notate where I deviated from her recipe. This was definitely a keeper, featuring chicken, avocado, and grilled onions.


 Boneless, skinless chicken breast portions (One per serving, naturally thin or pounded flat)

Onions, sliced (I used sweet Peruvian onions, 1/2 onion per serving was barely enough, we really love grilled onions!)

Bell peppers, sliced (I omitted, because I didn't have any on hand)

Ripe Avocado, sliced (I used 1/4 avocado per portion)

Portobello mushrooms, sliced

Sliced cheese (Whitney used Pepperjack. I used Muenster, because it was on hand)

Fajita seasoning (Packaged, or as you like it. I mixed a small amount of salt, garlic, smoked paprika, celery powder, and cumin)
Lime to squeeze over, if desired

olive oil

Preheat oven to 375*
Rub thawed chicken breast portions with fajita seasoning, set aside. Squeeze lime juice over raw chicken.

I used a cast iron skillet and a small amount of olive oil to saute the onions. Just before they were done, I added my sliced mushrooms, as mushrooms don't take as long to cook. (If you are using bell peppers in this recipe, cook them along with the onions.) Stop cooking just short of completely done.

As the onion/ peppers cook, spray oil or lightly oil a casserole dish. (I used a stoneware jelly roll pan. If all your chicken will fit into your cast iron skillet, just plan to use it here.)

Set the cooked onion mixture aside, out of the pan. Add a small amount more oil to the pan (if necessary) and sear/ brown the chicken portions on both sides. (My cast iron skillet would not accommodate all of the chicken, so as the pieces browned, I set them onto my oiled baking dish.)

Once all the chicken is browned, top each portion with a layer of the onion/pepper/ mushroom mixture. Top this with sliced avocado, and finally, cover the avocado with sliced (or grated!) cheese.
Place into hot oven to finish cooking. Time will vary with thickness of chicken... internal temperature should reach 160* on thermometer. Ours took approximately 25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Meet the Cooks, Updated!

Meet The Cooks

It has certainly been awhile since we updated this blog. I am beginning with our introductions. There is a new link to the updated "Meet The Cooks" post above... or use the link of the same name on the sidebar.

Since the blog began back in 2010, quite a bit has changed in our family. If you don't already know us, feel free to follow the link and learn more about our clan.
I have ten grandkids, ranging in age from a freshly minted 15 year old, down to a fourteen month old toddler.
In 2012, one of my sons (Bill Joe) passed away. He was followed a few months later by my brother, (Roger). Bill Joe had asked me many times to write a cookbook- and was the primary reason I started this blog.

Maybe one day, it will turn into an actual cookbook.

Thanks for visiting!
~Tammy~  February 2016