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Rob’s Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

My California cousin, Rob sent the recipe that I am sharing with you today.  I have really been in a rut lately when I have been preparing my weekly menus.  I was feeling as if I made the same thing the same way all the time.  It can be challenging living with a diabetic because honestly we have discovered the easiest meals are the best meals for diabetics.  However, when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to give it a try as we usually have pork chops and this is a neat twist on the usual way of preparing them.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

4 pork tenderloin boneless pork chops – Beat flat with a cleaver (I have some thin sliced pork tenderloin that I will use for this recipe)

Put one cup of flour in a freezer bag and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  I will probably use 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder.

First blend together one cup of milk and one egg.

Dip the tenderloin in the milk and egg mixture first.  Then put in flour mixture and shake to coat.

Place in fry pan or fryer and cook until nice and brown.  Serve on a larger burger bun with mustard.

Rob has sent me over 100 recipes and even though he lives in Southern California, it amazes me how similar we are in the foods that are our favorites.

By the way, I want to share Rob’s background with you.  Rob is in prison in Southern California and he is 79 years old.  We met through a Christian pen pal ministry that I participate in through the church I attend.  God does work in mysterious ways as I was amazed when he revealed to me that he had previously been a chef.

Why is he in prison?  I don’t know and if he ever wants to share that with me, that is fine.  If he never wants to share that with me, that is fine too.  Our love for food has created a great bond for us.  He has no family and had no one to share his recipes with.  Now, I have most of them and hopefully I will be able to make compile a cookbook for him.  He is to be released later this year and I think that would be a great gift for him.  He told me that my letters have given him hope and a purpose.  However, I know he would love to be able to cook for others because he knows a great way to show love is the preparation of food for those we love.

Rob has become a very special person for Mr. D and me.  Rob sends recipes now that he thinks Mr. D will like and when I told him Mr. D is diabetic he started sending recipes that are better choices for diabetics.  This has been a special experience for me and I wanted to share it with you.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Marinated Chicken Wings – Our Super Bowl Choice

As I have been shopping in the grocery stores over the past week, I have been amazed at all the party food that is available for the Super Bowl.  It has truly become an event that includes food and it includes some of our favorite appetizers and fun time foods. I  I think by now many of us have broken all of our New Year’s resolutions and are ready for a special treat.

We will have the usual of chip and dip, cheese and crackers and the marinated chicken wings I am sharing with you today.  This recipe was sent to me by my California cousin and it seems to be a good one and easy to make.

Marinated Chicken Wings

20 whole chicken wings (about 4 lbs.)

1 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp sugar

2 garlic cloves/minced

1 tsp ground ginger.

Cut chicken wings into 3 sections and discard the wing tips.  Put wings in large resealable plastic bag.

In small bowl whisk the remaining ingredients until blended

Add to chicken wings, seal bag and turn to coat – refrigerate overnight

Transfer chicken and marinade to slow cooker.  Cook covered on low for 3 to 4 hours until tender.

Using tongs transfer to plate and serve.

I love buffalo wings but sometimes they are just too hot and spicy.  This seems to be a a great alternative.

I hope you are planning a great Super Bowl Sunday with special friends and family.  We aren’t big sports fans anymore but we do love the food that goes along with the game.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Lasagna Soup

Here in the foothills of North Carolina, we are experiencing unseasonably warm weather.  Last week I decided I wanted to make this soup and when I did my menu planning it was cold enough for soup.  On the day we planned to have it, it was close to 70 degrees.  I felt like turning on the air conditioner to let it get a little cooler so we could enjoy the soup.  However, the heartiness of the soup along with the pasta helped to make it very enjoyable even in warmer weather.

This is the first time I have made this soup and it was sent to me by my California cousin.  I used the whole wheat penne pasta in for the pasta and it has such a good rich flavor and you could imagine eating something italian while consuming it.  One of my favorite things about the soup is the fact that you don’t have to peel and chop lots of vegetables and most of us would have the ingredients in our kitchen.

 

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Lasagna Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 large green pepper chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

2 14 ½ ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained

2 14 ½ ounce cans of beef broth

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 cup frozen corn

¼ cup tomato paste

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 ½ cups uncooked spiral pasta

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another couple of minutes.  Drain.

Return to saucepan and stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, corn, tomato paste and Italian seasoning and black pepper.

Bring to a boil, stir in pasta, reduce heat, simmer covered 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

I am not complaining about the warmer weather even though I have noticed my tulips are beginning to peep out of the ground.  It is my understanding the cold weather is returning next weekend.  Because our snow has melted off the grill and we are experiencing warmer temperatures, I have really wanted to start grilling again.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Snowy Weekend – Let’s Have Barbecued Meatballs

Over the weekend we had a significant snowfall here in the foothills of North Carolina.  Actually, it is my favorite type of snowfall.  It began on Friday afternoon with big fluffy flakes of snow.  It continued through the night and snowed for a short period of time on Saturday morning.  I think our accumulation totals was eight inches.

Another reason I liked this snow is because it happened on the weekend and we didn’t have to go to work and could just enjoy watching it snow.  I was also appreciative of the fact that it was snow and not sleet or freezing rain.  The kids in our neighborhood had a good time in the snow but it was extremely cold all weekend.  Of course, I don’t think kids ever admit they are cold when they are playing in the snow.

Here are some pictures:


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Before the snow, I had chosen the following recipe to share with you.  I thought it was such a comforting recipe for a cold January day.  Of course, I love barbecue so it really appealed to me.  It is from a recipe book from a local cook that compiled recipes of her friends and family and named the book, “Susie’s Dinner Bell.”

meatballs

 

I hope you enjoy the recipe.  If you are experiencing a snowy day, I hope you are safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Southern New Year’s Meal My Way

In the South, a traditional New Year’s Day meal includes black eyed peas, collards and Hog Jowls.  There are variations across the South of this traditional meal but it is one that I am very familiar with here. First of all, I will say that I don’t eat Hog Jowls and have never prepared them.  Lots of times we only have the black eyed peas, collards and corn bread.  This year I have a few pieces of country ham that I will prepare to go along with the vegetables and corn bread. I see many different variations of how to prepare this meal and I try to keep it simple.

First of all, I can say that I love all the preparation for Christmas and the baking. However, by the time New Year’s arrives I am usually tired of cooking.  I think that is how this version of the New Year’s tradition came about.

Black Eyed Peas

one package of frozen black eyed peas This will serve about four people.

1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook peas according to package directions.  Usually you cover the peas with water, heat to boiling and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and add bacon grease.  Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.  Drain most of the liquid and season with salt and pepper.

Collards

one package of frozen collards – this will also serve about four people

1/8 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Splash of olive oil.

Cook collards according to package directions which are the same as above.  Cover with water – heat to boiling.  Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce to simmer for about 25 minutes.  Drain most of the liquid and add the crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  After blending add a splash of olive oil.

At one time, I would buy the dry beans, soak them and prepare them.  I would also buy the fresh collards and chop them up and cook them.  As I have worked to adjust the frozen package recipe to our taste, I must say that I am just as pleased with my New Year’s Meal prepared with the frozen vegetables.

Our family visited over the Christmas holidays and I was preparing green beans.  My granddaughter asked what we were having and I told her.  She asked me if I was making the beans with bacon.  I had to think for a minute as I was preparing them with 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease.  I responded by saying, No bacon but I am using bacon juice.  She was fine with that.  I use the canned blue lake green beans and prepare the large can of beans with a minimal amount of bacon grease.  It really does make them tasty.

I hope I have inspired you to make a tasty New Year’s meal very simply and thanks for stopping by.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Chocolate Pound Cake and Carrot Cake

My grandmother and my mother were bakers.  They enjoyed baking cakes for Christmas.  I know it was their way of showing their love for their family.  I have continued that tradition in our family and I have to say my daughters favorite is this chocolate pound cake I am sharing with you today.  It is always something she looks forward to when she visits for Christmas. And yes I made one this year and it is sitting in my kitchen now waiting for me to apply the frosting.

If you are a beginner cook, you may think this is complicated but the good part is you don’t have to worry about stacking layers. The recipe makes a generous amount of frosting.  The frosting is easy to make and you can even out any imperfections of the cake with the frosting.

Chocolate Pound Cake

1/2 pound butter

1 stick margarine

2 and 3/4 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter, margarine and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well.

Sift remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt) three times.

Add vanilla to the milk.

Add sifted dry ingredients and milk to creamed batter, alternating drya nd liquid ingredients.  Begin and end with dry ingredients.

Pour  mixture into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan and bake in a 325 degree oven for one and one half hours or until the cake is done.  ( Do Not Overbake)

Cool and Frost.

Icing

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 box or one pound of confectioners sugar

5 tablespoons cocoa

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and salt.  Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa.  Add vanilla and enough milk (gradually add the milk until it is the right consistency) After completely blended and smooth, frost cooled cake.

I usually make two cakes for Christmas and this year I started thinking about carrot cake.  It is one of my favorites and of course Ina Garten is one of my favorites too.  I was browsing through her cookbook, Foolproof,  and found her recipe for carrot cake.  I have never been disappointed with any of her recipes and so I thought this one was a great choice.

Ina’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound carrots, grated (see Cook’s Note)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Ginger Mascarpone Frosting, recipe follows
Crystallized ginger (not in syrup), chopped, for garnish
Ginger Mascarpone Frosting:
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-by-2-inch) round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour the pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, and eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. Stir in the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.
In a medium bowl, toss the carrots, raisins, walnuts, and the 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350 degrees F, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.
Place one cake on a flat serving plate, rounded-side down. Spread half the frosting on the top (not the sides). Place the second cake on top of the first cake, rounded-side up. Frost just the top of the second cake. Sprinkle with the ginger and serve at room temperature.

Ginger Mascarpone Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, cream, and vanilla together for about 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the crystallized ginger and salt and beat for 30 seconds more. Yield: frosts one 9-inch cake
Grate the carrots by hand on a box grater; if you grate them in a food processor, the carrots will be too wet and the cake might fall.

I made the cake this morning and it was an easy recipe to follow.  I did not like chopping and peeling the carrots but that is just part of the process.  I will frost the cake this afternoon and my house smells wonderful from the aroma of the cake. I am really looking forward to using the mascarpone and crystallized ginger in the frosting.  I think that will make this cake extra special.

Well, I think it is time to end this post and let the frosting begin.  I hope these cakes will inspire you to start a family tradition of baking in your home too.

Merry Christmas to you and I hope it is a very special day for you and your loved ones.

 

 

Sauerkraut Salad or Vermicelli Salad

The first time I heard of sauerkraut salad, I thought it was a crazy idea.  I have eaten it and it is very tasty.  Of course, if you look at the ingredients you will see it includes lots of sugar.  This would certainly be a conversation piece at a Christmas gathering. I don’t think I have ever eaten vermicelli salad but it sounds interesting.  It has lots of vegetables but it also includes lots of salad dressing.

sauerkraut-salad

In the South on special occasions we usually have potato salad or macaroni salad.  I think either one of the above recipes would be good alternatives.  But if you have a family member that would absolutely DIE if you did not make potato salad, you might need to make potato salad AGAIN!

These recipes are from my “Our Best Oakdale Club, Statesville, NC.  Thanks for stopping by.

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