Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday.....

We had a full schedule today.  We are getting ready for our trip to Dominica so Frank got all the scuba gear packed this morning.  While he was doing that I threw together a slow cooker dinner because I knew we would be out running errands all day.

I started out by making a BBQ Sauce

I placed 3 short ribs in the slow cooker and poured the sauce on top.
Set it to low and we were out the door.

We met my friend, Mary Agnes, at the grocer where we buy our stock for the food pantry.  We loaded up 2 truck loads of food and then headed to the pantry.  Thankfully, the 8th grade class was available and helped us to unload, carry down, mark and stock all the groceries.  What was going to be a 3 hour job was done in 55 minutes!

Since we had some extra time now.  Frank and I walked around town.  It was a gorgeous day, nearly 70*and the sun was sparkling off of the water.  We stopped in a store that features products made by local artists and artisans and picked up a housewarming gift for a friend.  She is having a home party tonight and it is the first time I will have been to her new home.

Then, we got an ice cream and just strolled along, window shopping and enjoying the weather, while we ate it.  This was followed by a run to the bank, to the hangar to drop off the rent check and to the farm store for dog and chicken feed.  The baby chicks are in already.  I don't need any new chicks this year but probably will be ready for some next year.  We bought our little Miss a tire swing shaped like a horse.  I can't wait to see her face when Frank hangs it in the tree for her.

When we got home the house smelled heavenly.  I put some rice on to boil and opened a can of sweet corn.  In half an hour, we were sitting at the table enjoying these short ribs.  Perfect recipe folks. Easy, Peasy and Delicious.

I had a few minutes before I leave to get Kirsten and head to the party so I thought I would share the recipe.  You're welcome.

Slow Cooker BBQ Short Ribs

3-4 Meaty Pork Short Ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. catsup
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. honey (I used tangerine honey)
2-3 shakes hot sauce
juice of 1/4 lemon

Place short ribs in bottom of slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.  Combine the catsup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, honey, hot sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Pour over ribs and cook on low for 6-8 hrs.  Print Recipe

Monday, February 20, 2017

How the White House celebrated Washington's Birthday #PresidentsDayRecipe

Happy President's Day.  I remember when we celebrated this day as Washington's Birthday and also celebrated Lincoln's Birthday.  Now we set aside this day to honor all of our Presidents.

I received this cookbook as a gift and was very excited when Sue of A Palatable Pastime and a fellow member of our Holiday Fun with our Food Bloggers group decided to host a President's Day event. Sue asked us to share  a recipe that was President's Day related by theme, a POTUS family recipe or perhaps a recipe served to the POTUS by White House Staff.

This book was perfect for this event.  It not only includes tons of recipes, it also includes menus for special occasions such as Washington's Birthday!  This book contains an index of "Varieties of Seasonable Food to be obtained in our markets during the year" along with instructions on how to butcher, process, prepare and obtain said foods.  Much of the meat is game as is indicative of the times.

They also have a section for "Menus: Breakfast, Luncheon and Dinner for the Holidays and for a week in each month in the year".  I, of course, turned to February and discovered this menu for Washington's Birthday.  As you can see I had a huge selection of items I could make and they all came with recipes, even for coffee and tea.

I had some pork stew that I had taken out of the freezer for a dinner that didn't get cooked so when I saw the recipe for Country Sausage, I knew I was golden.  I adapted this recipe to use the two pounds of stew meat which eliminated the need to add any chine fat.  

If I lived in 1887 when this edition of this cookbook is dated, I would have minced the meat as instructed.  Fortunately, I live in 2017 and have a handy dandy Kitchen-Aid.  I ground my meat twice, first using the large grinding plate and then again using the smaller grinding plate.  I mixed in the seasonings with my hands as instructed but instead of encasing it in intestines or muslin, I simply made them into patties and fried them up.

To be honest with you, this pork sausage could have used a little bit of the chine fat.  I would definitely use country ribs or pork shoulder with a little more fat content next time I make this sausage.

But we enjoyed it none-the-less.  I served it up with a Tortilla Espanola that I had made for this month's FoodnFlix.  They are spicy and wonderful.  I ended up with 12 patties from 2 lbs of meat. Served two each with this dinner and put the rest in the freezer.  We have been enjoying them on breakfast sandwiches and mixed in with scrambled eggs.

I am linking this post to Foodies Read.  You can see what other foodie books people are reading by clicking on the link.  I am also excited to see the other recipes that my blogger friends made for this event.  You will find links to those recipes right below mine.

Country Pork Sausage
adapted from The Original White House Cook Book, 1887 Edition.

2 lbs pork stew meat
1 T. salt
1/2 T. black pepper
1 T. rubbed sage
1 t. ground savory

Run the pork stew meat through your meat grinder twice, using the large plate the first time and the small plate the second grinding.  Add the salt, pepper, sage and savory to the ground pork and mix in thoroughly using clean hands and 1/4 water to the mixture and continue to knead with your hands until water is absorbed and the seasonings are evenly distributed.  Form into patties of desired size. Place patties in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the patty, until golden brown and an internal temperature of 150-160* is met.  Print Recipe

Happy #President's Day We are sharing recipes that honor our past presidents and their birthdays.


Banana and Pineapple Salad #CrazyIngredientChallenge

The ingredients for this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge are bananas and onions.  I was really kind of stumped with these ingredients.  I did a google search which did not help me too much.  I did find out though, that evidently banana and onion juice are supposed to cleanse your chakras.  I don't know what that means and I really have no desire to investigate it any further but I did link to the site in case you are interested.

I also found a recipe for banana and onion soup that I thought sounded interesting but it was a little too suggestive of baby food for my liking.  I found that some curry recipes also include bananas and considered doing that as well.

Then I remembered a salad that I used to make for my kids when they were young.  It was simply iceberg lettuce, canned pineapple chunks, sliced bananas and a dressing made from the pineapple juice and miracle whip.  I haven't made it since they were toddlers and I never included onions but I thought I would rewrite this recipe to please my palate which is much pickier today than when I was a brand new wife and mother trying to survive on a shoestring budget.

I switched to Romaine lettuce and decided to add some red onion slices to the party.  I still wanted to use the pineapple juice in the dressing but wanted to include other flavors as well. 

When I went into the refrigerator for the Miracle Whip, I spied some Gourmet Garden Cilantro in a tube.  Perfect!  What is better with tropical flavors than cilantro? 

I lined a platter with the Romaine and then scattered the bananas, that I had tossed in a little lemon juice, over the top.  I followed this with some pineapple chunks and some thinly sliced red onion.  I only had a 15 oz can of pineapple chunks but you could certainly use fresh or just buy one of those little cans.  My husband made short business of the leftover pineapple and pineapple juice.

Drizzle the dressing over the top and you are ready to serve.  I think this salad was perfect because I have the tropics on my brain constantly.  Only 4 more days until my dive trip!!!  wooohoooooo......

Try serving this salad as a side with my Island Pork Tenderloin and Black Beans with Rice.  Add a Rum Punch  and a Pina Colada Trifle for dessert and you too, will feel as if you are visiting the Tropics.

Please take a look at what the others are sharing using Bananas and Onions.  You will find their links right underneath my recipe.

Tropical Salad

1 head Romaine Lettuce
1 banana, sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice
1/2 of a 15 oz. can Pineapple Chunks in it's juices
1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
1/4 c. juice from pineapple chunks
1 T. cilantro paste or fresh cilantro, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and dry lettuce leaves.  Tear into bite size pieces and place on a platter.  Distribute the banana, pineapple and onion over the lettuce.  

In a small bowl, combine the Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise with the pineapple juice and cilantro. Whisk together until smooth.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle some over the salad and serve the rest on the table for people to add to their salad as desired.  Print Recipe

Banana and Onion Creations

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mom's Cornflake Pork Chops for #SundaySupper

Shelby of Grumpy's Honeybunch is hosting Sunday Supper this week with a theme of Pork Chops.  Is it just me or does everyone hear Peter Brady saying Pork Chops and Applesauce in his attempt at a Bogart accent whenever this topic comes up?  I'm probably dating myself with that little aside.

My regular readers know that we eat a lot of pork in this household as we raised our own hogs up until we moved recently.

These handsome guys were from our last batch.  Since that time we have been purchasing our meat from a friend who we know raises their hogs humanely, hormone free and with no unnecessary antibiotics.  That same friend also provides us with our beef but today we are talking pork....specifically pork chops.

I have shared all kinds of pork chops with you in the past.  We have them Carribean Spiced in the summer.  Cider Glazed in the fall. Oven baked with BBQ Sauce in the winter and Grilled with this heavenly Blueberry BBQ Sauce.

Today's recipe, like the Peter Brady memory, is a throwback from my childhood.  My mom made these pork chops when I was a kid and, in turn, I made these pork chops for my kids.  It is a winning recipe for so many reasons.  They are easy, can be ready in less than an hour, is made from common household pantry items and they are always a huge hit with the family.  I am not sure where my mom got the original recipe.  Probably on the back of a package of corn flakes.

I don't know about you, but I am very excited to see all the great recipes brought to the table for Sunday Supper today.  You can find them right below this recipe.

Easy Cornflake Pork Chops

4-6 Pork Chops 
2 eggs
2 T. milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. thyme leaves
1 1/2 c. cornflake crumbs
2 T. butter, melted

Scrape and pat dry the pork chops.  Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, onion powder and thyme together in a shallow dish.  Place the cornflake crumbs and butter in a sealable plastic bag, close and shake to evenly distribute the butter in the crumbs.  Dredge both sides of the pork chops in the egg mixture and place, one at a time, into the cornflake crumbs.  Shake the bag to coat and remove to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Repeat for all the chops.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops.  Print Recipe

More Wonderful Pork Chop Recipes

Pork Chops

Pork Chops

And More Pork Chops

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Weekly Menu and A Book Review

This debut novel by Emma Healey was one I picked up from Barnes and Noble for my nook when they offered it for a nominal cost.  It has been sitting on my virtual bookshelf for a while now but I had caught up on all my mandatory reading and all the books I had ordered that I wanted to read so I opened it up on Sunday when I was not feeling well and spending the day in bed.

Elizabeth Is Missing

I was transported to the other side of the pond where I met Maud, an elderly woman suffering from dementia and her daughter, Helen, who is her caregiver.  Those who know me will realize how deeply this story would impact me, having been a caregiver for my Mom who also suffered from this terrible disease.  It was a terribly hard story for me to read which is a testament to how well Ms. Healey captured the disease and manifested how it affects not only the person with the disease but all of the family and friends who deal with it as well.

Maud's disease keeps her travelling from the past to the present confusing people and event from here and now with those from her childhood.  This is a very real part of the disease.  For the last few years of my mother's life I was her sister.  When I would introduce her as my Mom, she would whisper to people that she was really my I was the one who was confused LOL.

Of course, my mom (as far as I know) did not have any terrible tragedies to mix up with everyday events as Maud does.  I think my mom had a pretty happy childhood and adulthood because even with this terrible disease she was always happy, laughing and loved to socialize.

I pretty much had this book figured out but it still held my attention and was worth reading in my opinion.  I think that it is a splendid first novel for this author and would read another of her novels if/when it is written.

On Monday I went to the docs and got some antibiotics but still spent most of the day in bed finishing this novel. Our dinner plans with Kim and Kurt were cancelled so we are going out this Monday instead.

Tonight we are meeting Amy and Doug for dinner after Mass.  The rest of the week is typical, Aunt Irene, Food Pantry, choir, a home party to attend.....oh yeah and packing!!!!  We leave in the wee early morning hours for our Dive Trip to Dominica.  A lot of people have been asking about Dominica so I have a video to share with you of our trip from 2008.

I cannot wait to go back.  There will be no Weekly Menu next week but I am sharing this week's with you below.  Stay tuned for recipes and photos.

Dinner out with Amy and Doug

Baked Pasta

Out with Kurt and Kim

Tenderloin Grillades
Cheesy Grits

Oven Baked BBQ Country Ribs
Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

Kielbasa and Broccoli Casserole

Stracciattella for #SoupSwappers

Welcome to our 2nd edition of Soup Saturday Swappers.  I started this group last month and we are already up to 31 members.  The nice thing about this group is that it is so friendly and relaxed.  We post a soup recipe on the third Saturday of each month based on a theme chosen by one of the members.   Busy and can't post one month?  No problem, we will see you when your life permits. Don't like the theme?  Next month there will be a theme you may love.  Thought you were going to post but didn't get a chance to make the recipe?  Didn't think you could post but found a recipe and decided you could?  Great, either way.  We don't have to sign up ahead of time.  The linkzy code can be found on the event page and you can join in the fun as long as you post sometime during that third Saturday.  Are you a blogger interested in joining?  Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook Page.

This month, our party is being hosted by Kathy of A Spoonful of Thyme.  Kathy invited us to Go International.  Kathy says, "tell us about a favorite soup that you enjoy that has roots in another country".   The fun part of this event is that we have members from the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia...from all over the world.  So what you share may be home cooking to you and what they share may be a dish with which you are very familiar.

I decided to take a trip to Italy for my recipe.  I made this wonderful Stracciatella Soup.  Some folks call this Italian egg drop soup but the literal translation is "little shred". I just call it delicious!

I served this soup as the first course at a dinner party that I hosted for some of the people with whom Frank worked before he retired.  It was perfect because it is easily adaptable to the amount that you need, it is quick and easy to make and can be set aside and rewarmed right before serving.  I adapted this recipe from one found on by Chef John.  

I followed his suggestion of serving it with a drizzle of good olive oil but omitted the sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes because my hubby is spice sensitive.

You will find all the other International offerings linked below my recipe.  I can't wait to see what the others have brought to share.

Stracciatella Soup
adapted from; submitted by Chef John

8 c. chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. semolina flour
4 eggs
3 T. Parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 c. grated 3 cheese blend, Parmesan, Romano and Asiago
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Place chicken broth in a large pot over med high heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, parsley, cheese, cayenne and nutmeg.

Whisk the egg mixture into the broth, stirring constantly.  Return to a simmer and cook until the cloudiness dispels and the soup clears. 

Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of good olive oil.  Print Recipe

More International Soups

Friday, February 17, 2017

Indian Cod Curry for #FishFridayFoodies

Did you ever notice that the best recipes are made by layering flavors?  You take simple ingredients and layer flavor upon flavor until the end result is a perfect blend that soothes the soul with each bite.

That is certainly the case with this wonderful Cod Curry made after Sneha of Sneha's Recipe volunteered to host Fish Friday Foodies and chose Indian Curry as her theme this month.  I found a recipe on that started off with all of the lovely flavors that we love in an Indian Curry.  I imagine you could use a prepared curry powder but then you would miss all the wonderful delights to your senses.  The feel of the spices in your hand, the smell of each individually and then melded with the others.  The beauty of the warm and comforting colors of these spices.

How could it get better?  Well, how about caramelizing some onions.  Caramelized onions, in and of themselves, are a gift from heaven.  Then stir in those delightful spices and smell it transform into something that makes the saliva glands release and the stomach start to grumble.

The third layer adds the heat of jalapeno peppers with the brightness of lemon and the distinct flavor of cilantro.  Just when you thought it couldn't get better, you add in some tomatoes with their juices and scrape up all the tasty brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Bury your fish filets in this savory sauce, cover and let the flavors permeate as it cooks through.  Yes, I know that your stomach is screaming that it wants this now but be patient, fish cooks quickly.

Serve this delectable fish and sauce over some steamed rice and your night is perfect.  The final and most important sense is satisfied as you take a bite.  The fish is delicate and flaky.  The sauce is mildly spicy and transports you to an exotic locale without ever leaving your house.

Interested in joining Fish Friday Foodies?  If you are a food blogger, we would love to have you.  We post a fish/seafood recipe on the third Friday of each month based on a theme chosen by one of our members.  Please leave your email in the comments below or request to join on our Facebook page and I will be happy to add you.  Next month we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Irish Fish and Seafood dishes.  Make sure you scroll past my recipe below to see all the other wonderful Indian Curry recipes being shared.  If they are all as good as this meal, you are going to want to make them all!

Cod Curry
adapted from submitted by JenniferB3

1 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 t. garlic paste
1 t. ginger paste
2 t. cumin
2 t. coriander
1 t. cardamom
1/2 t. turmeric
pinch of salt
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (or more to taste)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 lb. cod fillets, cut into serving size pieces
Steamed Rice

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and caramelized.  15-20 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger, cook and stir for a minute and then stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and salt until fragrant.  Add the jalapeno, cilantro and lemon juice along with the tomatoes and their juices.  Bring to a boil. Cook and stir, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Return the sauce to a boil and then nestle the fish in the sauce.  Reduce heat again, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve over steamed rice.  Print Recipe

More Indian Curry Recipes