Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!! Time for the Pickle Drop!

Tonight we went to the Pickle Drop at Mt Olive Pickles. It was so much fun. It's great because it is New Years Eve tradition and they do the drop at 7pm, which is Greenwich Mean Time (or zulu time) so the whole family can enjoy it. Plus you can be back home before all the party goers get out on the roads.

We arrived around 5:30. They were handing out pickles (of course), hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and cookies. It was nice but the combination of everyone eating pickles and drinking hot chocolate was strange but funny because everyone was doing it. They were handing out party hats and horns which the children loved. We, being kids at heart, got our hats and horns so when we counted down to zero and shouted HAPPY NEW YEAR! we were ready.

Into the barrel:

There was a good crowd, especially for such a small town. It is so nice to have a fun family activity which can become a fun tradition for all.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Braised Chicken Thighs and Vegetables

I received a wonderful new 6.5 quart cast iron dutch oven for Christmas from my dad. I love it! We have other dutch ovens, but they are used for camping and have feet on them. I wanted one I could use in the oven and on the stove top. I've already used it twice with great results both times.

Tonight's dinner came from a Cooking Light recipe but it doesn't taste like a light meal. I didn't even realize it was "light" until I was already making it. This may have to be one of the New Year dishes when everyone is trying to watch their diet.


* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups (2-inch-thick) slices carrot
* 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
* 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag, shaking to coat.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken and remaining flour mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly brown. Add carrot and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, wine, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

(I put mine in the oven at 375 for an hour with the lid on, the vegetables were perfect and the chicken was as tender as could be. Delicious!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Just remember, it's not just about the food and the presents. It's about spending time with family and most importantly about the birth of Jesus. Merry Christmas friends.

This is a lemon sour cream pound cake made in a nordic ware Christmas wreath pan. I do love my nordic ware. I colored the lemon glaze to "paint" the holly leaves and bow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peanut Butter Candy Bar Brownies

Add this to your holiday baking. It is delicious and easy. Everyone who love peanut butter will love this. They are very rich so make sure you have a glass of milk handy. I left out the coconut because I made these for our youth group and most kids are not coconut fans.

I found this recipe at myrecipes.


28 small bars or 18 large bars


  • 1 (16-oz.) package peanut-shaped peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 (1.5-oz.) packages chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 (2.1-oz.) chocolate-covered crispy peanut buttery candy bars, coarsely chopped (we tested with Butterfinger)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Combine crushed cookies and butter in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture into bottom of a greased aluminum foil-lined 13" x 9" pan, allowing foil to extend over ends of pan. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes.

Combine condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth.

Sprinkle chopped candy bars, chocolate morsels, peanuts, and coconut over crust. Drizzle condensed milk mixture over coconut.

Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in pan. Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of pan. Peel foil away from sides of uncut brownies, and cut into bars.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shrimp Scampi over Spaghetti Squash

Garlic. Lemon. Butter. Shrimp. Delicious.

This is one of our favorite "Date Night" dishes. I make this when I want something special and to get us out of our chicken rut. One thing I do to make it different from most shrimp scampi dishes is to use spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta. My family actually likes it over the spaghetti squash better. It provides a nice contrast to the shrimp but still holds the sauce.

My favorite recipe for this comes from Cook's Illustrated

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined if desired
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
cayenne pepper
Table salt and ground black pepper


Heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add 1 pound shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, about 1 minute; transfer to medium bowl. Return pan to heat and repeat process with remaining oil and shrimp.

Return empty skillet to medium-low heat; melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, add lemon juice and vermouth. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter; add parsley and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return shrimp and accumulated juices to skillet. Toss to combine; serve immediately.

For the spaghetti squash:

Cut it in half and remove the seeds. Put in a glass dish cut side down with about 2 inches of water in the bottom. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the microwave. Depending on your microwave and the size of your squash, the time will vary. It takes generally about 20-30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Thick Hearty Thighs with Chorizo

No I don't mean mine, though they could be described as big and hearty. As long as I have a love of cooking and food, plus keeping this blog, my thighs will forever be big and hearty.

This is another recipe from the Rachael Ray 365 book. Oh how this book saves dinner for us over and over. They are quick, they are easy, and they are almost always delicious. (We tried a pumpkin/sausage thing and it was horrible.)

We eat a LOT of chicken and I am always looking for something different to do with it. This will be one of my go to chicken dinners because it is easy to keep the ingredients on hand. Plus my husband kept saying how good it was when he was eating it, that makes it an A+.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
1 lb chorizo, casing removed and sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken stock or broth
5-6 medium to small red bliss potatoes, cut in half and then thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 6oz jar roasted red peppers
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Crusty bread

Preheat a large skillet or wide soup pot over medium-high heat and add the EVOO. Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt & pepper. Add the chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides for 3 minutes. Scoot the browned thighs to the edges of the pan, making some space in the center of the skillet. Add the chorizo, onions, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and chicken stock, turn the heat up to high, and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Add the potatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pan with a lid or a piece of aluminium foil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the roasted red peppers, peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley, and cook for 1 more minute to just head the peas through. Serve with crusty bread. Really. Don't forget the bread.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Study for exams or make sugar cookies?

which one would you pick? Yep that's the one I picked too. I haven't posted much lately because I had exams this weekend. I finished them today but yesterday before I took the first one, I made sugar cookies for our church youth Christmas party. Sure I could have been studying, but I HAD to make these cookies ya know?

The sugar cookie recipe is the same one I posted in October when I made the candy corn cookies. These cookies were Christmas themed for the party. I used a wilton pan you filled with dough to make the shapes instead of rolling out and cutting. It was so much easier and was not messy at all.

This is the pan:

Now that exams are over, I hope to be blogging a lot more so keep checking back for new recipes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

I made chutney but I still had some fresh cranberries left. I have been wanting to try new cranberry recipes so I went on a search. This one looked easy and delicious. I decided to give it a try, on a week night even. After all, who doesn't come home after working all day and having an afternoon class to make dinner and bake a cake for dessert? Don't look at me, this was a one time moment of crazy, but a tasty crazy.

Actually this came together easily and it had time to bake while I put the pork tenderloins on the grill, made dirty rice, and steamed some broccoli. Multitasking is the only way to get things done, especially on week nights.

This will probably be the dessert I take to our Thanksgiving feast.

Recipe found on recipezaar

4 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated (optional)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, thaw first)


* 12 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
* 7/8 cup white sugar (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 3/4 cups cake flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place 4 tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch cake pan. (The pan should have at least a 2 1/2 inch rim.) Place the pan in heated oven for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter is fully melted. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest (optional). Spread the sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the cake pan. Spread out the cranberries in an even layer over the butter and sugar mix.
3. To make the cake, begin by using a wooden spoon to cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk for about 30 seconds. Switching over to a whisk, stir in the eggs one at a time. Continue to whisk another minute until the sugar crystals dissolve. Whisk in the vanilla extract, salt and sour cream.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Whisk everything together until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
5. Pour the batter over the cranberries and bake for 50 to 65 minutes. When done, the center of the cake should be dry to the touch and spring back when lightly poked.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes (no longer as the bottom begins to set as it cools).
7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate and remove pan. Let it rest an additional 15 minutes before serving.
8. Best served warm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake and my love for Nordic Ware

I love Nordic Ware. I have so many different Nordic Ware bundt pans and other shapes. I love all the different shapes. They have pans for ever season, every occasion. I have big bundt pans, baby bundt pans, Christmas pans, Snowman pan, and many other shapes. Hopefully there will be more pictues of these to come on my blog. Have I mentioned that I love them.

One of my favorite cakes to make in my bundt pan is a lemon sour cream pound cake. My family loves it, especially the lemony glaze I put over the cake.

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake (baked in my chrysanthemum pan)


* 3 cups cake flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
* 3 cups sugar
* 6 eggs, room temp
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon rind
* 1 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease 16-cup tube pan.
Dust with cake flour; tap out excess flour.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.
Beat in lemon juice and peel.
Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients.
Mix in sour cream.
Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 90 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes.
Cut around cake in pan.
Turn out cake.
Carefully turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely.

The glaze is simple. Lemon juice and powdered sugar. I mix quite a bit and let it sit over night. Then I add a bit more before I serve it. It's delicious.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Marmalade Glazed Chicken

Remember I said we eat a lot of chicken? We're going to be having even more because I came across whole chickens for 60¢ per pound so we will be having even more chicken. Good thing chicken is so versatile so we can have it a few nights a week but still it doesn't have to be the same old boring thing every time.

Tonight's chicken dinner:

Marmalade Glazed Chicken

1 (3-3.5lb) chicken, cut up


1 cup orange juice
3 TBS honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBS light soy sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 (12 oz) jar orange marmalade
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS water

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl except for marmalade, cornstarch and water. Place chicken in a ziploc bag. Pour in marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight. (Overnight is best) Heat grill and cook chicken until juices run clear, turning once. In a small saucepan combine reserved marinade with cornstarch mixed with water and a jar of orange marmalade. (I'm always afraid to reuse marinade even though boiling it is supposed to kill any bacteria. I just can't do it. I always make up another batch of the marinade recipe to put in the sauce) Whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Baste chicken with glaze. Serve remaining sauce with chicken.

With this chicken, I served jasmine rice and roasted acorn squash.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cranberry Chutney: A Seasonal Favorite

Cranberries have such a short season and you can only find them in the markets here in November and December. I love seeing those little red orbs of goodness in stores. I know it's time to make more cranberry chutney. Last year I made it in batches and froze part of it. Only I didn't freeze enough because we ran out a couple of months ago. We use it on chicken, turkey, and pork all year long. Plus we take a big bowl of it to my Grandmother's for Thanksgiving.

Tonight we had it on roasted chicken. (I told you there would be a lot of chicken posts since it was on sale)


Cranberry/Apple Chutney

1 cup Water
1 3/4 cup Sugar
1-12 oz. bag of Fresh Cranberries
1 Apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1 Orange, zest grated and juiced
1 Lemon, zest grated and juiced
3/4 cup Golden Raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
3/4 cup chopped Pecans

1. In a medium saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.

2. Add the cranberries, apples, cider vinegar, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, raisins, and spices. Bring to a boil, than simmer gently for 10-15 minutes stirring often.

3. Remove from heat and add the pecans. Pour mixture in a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chutney.

4. Cool to room temperature and serve, or, cover and refrigerate. Bring chutney to room temperature before serving.

I leave out the raisins because we don't love them and the pecans because we have someone in our family who is allergic. This time I made a triple batch. I know there will be one more triple batch in my near future because it keeps well in the freezer all year. Plus I'll probably throw a bag of cranberries in the freezer for later.

Another reason to make this, it makes your house smell SO GOOD.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

What could be better on a cool rainy fall day than a spicy bowl of gumbo? No much. Only the day turned out to warm and sunny. The weatherman was all wrong but the gumbo was all right. We fell in love with gumbo on our first trip to New Orleans. I think we ate it at least four times that week. Every place it was a little different, just like mine. Every time it turns out a little different but it's always tasty.

The recipe I use is a variation of a Southern Living recipe and it is not an all day affair like most gumbos. I try to still make it early so it has time to cook on the stove for a couple of hours. The flavors seem to come together and leftovers are just as good (if not better).


* 2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 3 to 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1.5 cup coarsely chopped onion
* 1.5 cup chopped celery
* 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
* 2 medium-size red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 2-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
* 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
* 1-2 cups frozen okra slices
* Hot cooked rice


Cook sausage over high heat in Dutch oven 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Add enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to equal 5 tablespoons, and whisk in flour; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in broth and next 2 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add sausage and chicken; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Ten minutes before serving, drop okra in and allow it to cook. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower: our favorite vegetable

I can not believe have not done a blog about roasted cauliflower. It is something we have probably once a week. Everyone loves it. My seven year old nephew asks for it when he comes over for dinner.

It's super easy and who doesn't love roasted vegetables?

Cauliflower sliced into planks
olive oil
salt and pepper

Roast at 400 for 20-25 minutes until tender and starting to brown. We love the little brown bits, so sometimes I leave it in a few minutes longer. For three of us, I usually do two heads of cauliflower because we love it so much.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall: Roast Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Tonight I made roast chicken. Two roast chickens to be exact. Half of one was dinner tonight and leftovers for my husband's lunch and the remaining chicken and a half was deboned, cut up and stored in the freezer. That chicken will find it's way into gumbo, chicken pot pie, and taco soup.

Tonight's chicken needed something new. Just plain roast chicken can get tiring. I had a bottle of apple cider in the refrigerator and decided to add some to the pan gravy. It was delicious and a great way to use fall flavors.

To the pan juices, I added a little flour to thicken. I then added 1 cup of apple cider and 1 cup of chicken stock. I let it thicken and served it over the chicken and with mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Aren't these super cute? And they are really easy which makes them even better. Just whip up your favorite sugar cookie dough, add food coloring, and you have a cute cookie. I made these for our church youth group meeting this month. They were a big hit with the teens and adults there.

Sugar Cookies

1 Cup Butter, Softened
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Milk or Cream
1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla
3 Cups of Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the egg, milk/cream, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix only until blended.

For basic sugar cookies:
Form into 2 balls and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I usually make my dough the night before and let it warm up at room temp for a bit.

Roll out flat, cut into desired shapes. Bake for 5-8 Minutes

For Candy Corn cookies:
Divide dough (I made two batches, one colored orange, the other batch divided with 3 oz melted chocolate chips added to make it brown) Line a loaf pan with wax paper and leave some wax paper hanging over the side of the pan. Layer the colors into the loaf pan. Put it in the refrigerator to firm. When firm, make slices and then cut them into triangles.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Breasts

I rarely make anything fried, but every now and then we just have to have something fried. I don't dare make regular southern fried chicken because there is no way mine will match up to my grandmother's chicken. We have dinner with her almost every Sunday after church and she makes fried chicken regularly because we all love it.

For my pretzel fried chicken you need:

10 oz bag of pretzels, crushed finely
2 eggs beaten
4 chicken breasts, pounded flat

vegetable oil for frying

Flatten out chicken breasts. Dip in pretzel, then egg, and the pretzel again. If possible, do this at least an hour in advance so you can refrigerate it before frying. This will help the crust stay on during frying. Fry the chicken about 4 minutes on each side or until done.

One of our favorite sides with this dish is macaroni and cheese. I make extra cheese sauce for dipping the chicken or sometimes we'll have honey mustard or other mustard dip.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce

I've said before one of my go to cookbooks is Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats. I do not like to watch Rachael on TV, but I do love her recipes. I love how she takes every day ingredients but switches them around to make new dishes, dishes that come together quickly.

This recipe is one I've made a few times. My husband rarely asks for certain dishes, he is just happy to have a wife who likes to cook, but this recipe he actually asks for by name. It's one of his favorites.


* Salt
* 1/2 pound orzo pasta
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
* Pepper
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
* 12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
* 12 white mushrooms, sliced
* 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, a couple of sprigs, chopped
* 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
* 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, a couple turns of the pan
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful


Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the skillet to the heat, turn heat back a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.

To serve, pile orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Black beans and corn

You know when you ask someone for a recipe and they say, I don't really follow a recipe, I add a little of this and a bit of that? This "recipe" is one of those. I've made it several times for a crowd because it always goes over well and I've received many requests for the recipe. This recipe is great for a crowd, you just keep doubling the amounts until you have the amount you need. This particular time, I made it for an 80th birthday party for 80 people.

Here's the recipe as best as I can put it down on paper:

2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
1-2 yellow, red or orange bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick it gets)
1 TBS or so cumin
1 TBS or so chili powder
1 TBS or so chipotle chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion, jalapeño, pepper,garlic, and spices in a little olive oil until softened. Add the corn and beans and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes but it's really better when you can cook it on low for a few hours. Toss in a handful of chopped cilantro at the end. You can adjust the spices to taste, add more jalapeño if you want it spicier.

This is a picture from the Texas barbeque style dinner for 80 where I made these. It's not the greatest quality picture, but it's the best I could get since I was busy working in the kitchen. I grabbed a 12 year old who was at the party and asked himto shoot a picture of it for my blog since I'd been asked by several people for the recipe.

There was about 2 quarts left from this party and I put it in the freezer. I'm going to add more broth, rotel style tomatoes, and shredded chicken to make what I hope will be similar to taco soup.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grocery shopping and meal planning

Back when we first got married, we were living in New Jersey. We lived almost an hour from the base, so I started making a menu plan and shopping once a month. It was easier to go to the commissary once a month than go weekly, and the commissary was then (and still is) a better bargain. The only bad part about the monthly shopping when we were first married was the three flights of stairs I had to climb taking the groceries up to our apartment. I turned what was supposed to be the linen closet into a pantry and we put a small chest freezer in the dining room.

This monthly shopping is something I've continued throughout our being married even at times when we lived on base or the commissary was just around the corner. I usually spend a couple of hours going through my favorite cookbooks and recipe sites online and create the menu. I create my grocery list from this and go shopping. It takes a couple of hours to shop and put things away, but I like knowing I have everything I need (save some fresh fruit and vegetables) for at least a month's worth of dinners.

This is the menu plan I made for this month. (click on the menu for a bigger picture so you can read it)

It has 35 different dinner ideas on it and really this plan will probably last us at least six weeks. We don't eat at home on Sundays and I didn't plan for quick meals like hamburgers, hotdogs, or brats when we're late from work or nights I have class and don't have time to cook.

One thing if you try this you have to look out for is sticker shock. When they finish scanning everything and you get your total, it seems like so much. It really is a lot, but when you figure for our family, we feed three adults three meals a day (we take leftovers for lunches), it really is not a lot. The total for today was $365. There are a couple of things I'll have to pick up at the regular grocery store because they do not carry them at the commissary. If you take $365 and divide it by only the 35 meals planned, it is $10.50 per meal. Remember, this feeds three adults with 1-2 servings leftover. It is certainly cheaper than eating out.

If you make a menu plan, leave me a note and let me know how you do your plan.

365:# means the recipe comes from Rachael Ray's 365 cookbook, C Ill comes from Cook's Illustrated.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cider Vinegar Chicken and Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Don't let the picture fool you. It may look white and plain, but trust me it has a ton of flavor. This is a Rachael Ray recipe from my favorite 365 book I've mentioned here before.

4 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I cut mine into bit size pieces)
coarse black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 TB thyme leaves
3 TB honey
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 TB EVOO. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to hot skillet. Brown chicken. Remove and reserve the meat. Cover it with foil. Add another TB of EVOO to the pan then the onions, thyme, honey, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are brown and caramelized. Add the cider vinegar and stock. Turn up the heat to high and bring liquids to simmer. Add chicken to skillet, cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite garlic mashed potatoes. The sauce it delicious on the potatoes.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

First let me say, thank you to the bloggers who emailed me asking where I've been. It's nice to know someone missed me :) I started school and work at the same time after a couple of years of being a stay at home wife. It's been a transition for everyone. Plus for the last couple of weeks any of my extra time has been working on my grandmother's 80th birthday party. I hope to have pictures for the blog when it finally gets here.

Now on to the whoopie pies. I haven't had a lot of free time to cook, but I still find a little time to surf some of my favorite blog sites. When I saw the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling on Culinary Concoctions, I could not wait to make them.

It's homecoming at our church tomorrow and everyone will be bringing lots of cakes and pies. I wanted to make something a little different and this recipe fits the bill. I usually would not make a new recipe to take somewhere, but since this made little bites, I knew I could give it a taste before taking it to church. Now I just hope everyone else loves them as much as we do.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We love Greek flavors

and this is another way to have them so we don't get tired of souvlaki and Greek salad.

This dinner was a roast cut sirloin steak put in a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper. It was grilled to medium and sliced into thin strips. It was tender, flavorful, and juicy.

On the side there is couscous with chunks of feta, chopped kalamata olives, and thin strips of roasted red peppers. There is also a mix of yellow and zucchini squash and halved grape tomatoes cooked together with garlic and oregano. Of course we can't have Greek without pita, so there was grilled pita also.

It was a tasty and healthful meal.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quick and Easy: Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

I had to make pies the day after our vacation for a church dinner. We stopped at the grocery store before we even went home so I had to make something I knew the ingredients by heart. Cherry cream cheese pies filled the bill. A quick stop at the grocery store for cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, a few lemons, cherry pie fillings and graham cracker pie crusts is all that's needed. The pies turned out great and when the dinner was over, all that was left was the pie tins.

They may not be gourmet but they're mighty tasty.

1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cherry pie filling
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Whip room temperature cream cheese until fluffy and gradually add the condensed milk. While continuing to beat, add lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into prepared crust. After chilling for a couple of hours, garnish with cherries.

**I use the extra serving pie crusts and for two pie crusts, I mix 3 times the recipe so the crusts are completely full and thick. Plus sometimes I'm lucky enough to have some extra to eat out of a bowl.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's a Pioneer Woman Day

Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
Marlboro Man Sandwich with Hot Crash Potatoes for dinner.

Thank you Ree for your great recipes.

I wasn't fast enough with the camera to get a picture of the cinnamon rolls. They disappeared pretty quick.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Vacation breakfast: Fruit Fritters

On our last day of vacation, we stopped at Yana's in Swansboro, NC. It's a cute little restaurant full of 60s memorabilia. Meeting you at the door is Elvis strumming on his guitar. Elvis is cool, but we go there for the fritters.

The fruit fritters are TO. DIE. FOR. They have them in apple, strawberry, banana and peach when in season. Since there were four of us at this meal and peaches were in season, we got an order of each one. It was the delicious. I have to say, the peach and strawberry are my favorite with apple following close behind. The banana is also very good but the others would win out if I had to pick.

No we didn't eat all of them or we would have been in diabetic shock, but they did provide enough sugar to get us through our shopping. Yana's has take out boxes with the directions how to reheat them right on the box. They heat up very well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vacation dinners: Shrimp stuffed with crab, Drunken Shrimp and Scallops

Our absolute favorite place to have dinner at the beach is Frank and Clara's in Salter Path, NC. It is small and every visit we've ever made the quality of the service and food is always excellent. They bring cheese and crackers to your table while you view your menu. By now, I don't even use the menu, I get pretty much the same thing every time. The shrimp stuffed with crab or the crab cakes are the best I have ever eaten. The crab cakes are almost pure crab. They have so little filler in them, they are free form cakes because they wouldn't hold together like what most people think of crab cakes. They are so rich and delicious. They also have a wonderful homemade clam chowder that comes with every meal.

My choice on this visit was the shrimp stuffed with crab:

You get six shrimp with what amounts to six small crab cakes. It's to die for, really.

My aunt got the Drunken Shrimp and Scallops which was shrimp and scallops cooked in a wine sauce and topped with mushrooms and cheese. It was also very good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

The Omnivore’s Hundred

This started at a Very Good Taste blog and has been going through all the food blogs. I finally had a chance to do it. It's interesting because there are things I'd forgotten about and things I've never heard of before. Plus I have been putting off my assignments for one class and this is more fun than that homework.

I was surprised at how many I've had, but it's only because of our living and meeting new people while my husband was in the air force. I must say thanks to Oy for all the Thai and Vietnamese flavors and Patrice for some of the other items.

If you want to play, here’s what you do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vacation dinners: shrimp and grits, crab cakes

On our vacation to the beach we ate out a couple of times. This dinner was from Clawson's on the Beaufort, NC waterfront. It's one of our favorite places to have dinner when we're at the beach.

My dinner was shrimp and grits: The spicy deep South recipe with bacon, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and sweet pepper, served with house vegetable

My mom's dinner was crab cakes: Homemade, with pineapple-red pepper salsa

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sweet Pickles: in 30 minutes and 30 days

I started to call these cheater pickles, because making these takes shortcuts found in the store. You don't have to worry about getting the cucumbers and getting them ready. Or buying the vinegar or spices or jars. Or days of soaking, rinsing, and canning. These start out with a gallon jar of sour pickles. Some people use dill pickles too but I prefer the sour because they don't have any spice added.

1 gallon jar of sour pickles
4-5 pounds of sugar

Take one gallon jar of sour pickles

Drain them.

Slice them.

Stack them in the jar alternating pickles and sugar.

Pack it as tightly as possible and top with as much sugar as you can fit in the jar.

Be sure to wipe down the rim of the jar so the lid does not stick. Allow these to sit for at least 30 days for the pickles to soak in all the sugar. The sugar will melt and draw out some liquid turning these into the next best thing to homemade pickles. These are great because they are easier and cheaper. And delicious. Give them a try and let me know how they turn out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's for dinner?

As I said last time, there will be a lot of these posts in the future. I'm going back to school. I'll still be cooking dinner, but I don't know how often I'll get to bake or create anything special. Here is where I should say something cheesy like every dinner with my family is special, but I'll spare you.

Dinner was grilled salmon with lime (we seem to be on a lime kick), roasted brussels sprouts, and spicy roasted potatoes. The potatoes were made spicy by adding a tablespoon or so of Texas Pete to the olive oil before mixing it with the potatoes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What's for dinner?

You may start to see a lot of these kinds of posts when I don't have a lot of time to blog but I'm still cooking something.

Tonight dinner was from Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats. I can't guarantee no repeats because I do repeat our favorites. This is one of them. This cookbook has become one of my favorites. I'm no where close to making all 365 recipes, but we've probably made 25 or 30. So far they've all been good except one.

This recipe is #169. Cumin and Lime Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Creamed Corn.


* 2 1/4 lbs pork tenderloins
* 2 limes, juice of
* 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons ground cumin
* 1 tablespoon ground coriander
* salt
* fresh ground black pepper
* 6 garlic cloves (4 cloves cracked, 2 cloves chopped)
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 large yellow onion, chopped
* 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
* 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
* 2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen corn kernels (or kernels cut from 5 ears fresh corn)
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. Preheat oven to 500°.
2. Trim the sliver skin or connective tissue from the tenderloins using a very sharp, thin knife.
3. Place tenderloins on a rimmed nonstick cookie sheet; coat them with the lime juice, rubbing the juice into the meat.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the tenderloins, just enough to coat (about 2 tablespoons).
5. Season the meat with the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.
6. Cut small slits into the meat and disperse chunks of the cracked garlic cloves into the slits.
7. Roast for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes, tented loosely with foil.
8. While the pork is cooking, preheat a skillet over med-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter.
9. Add in the onions, jalapenos, bell pepper, chopped garlic, corn, salt, and pepper; cook 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
10. Sprinkle with the flour, and continue cooking 1 minute.
11. Whisk in the chicken stock and heavy cream; bring mixture to a simmer and then lower the heat to medium-low; cook until it is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
12. Add in the parsley and cilantro; taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
13. Slice the rested roasted pork; serve with spicy creamed corn.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We all scream for ICE CREAM! when it's homemade

One of summer's greatest pleasures is sitting under Grandma's carport listening to the whir of the ice cream freezers.

We usually make it a few times a summer, but so far this year we have only made it once. Our family is growing so it is becoming hard to find flavors everyone loves. This time we didn't succeed because one of the kids doesn't like any fruit ice cream, so he ended up with store bought. Oh well, more for me!

This time we made peach and banana. They were both wonderful, but the banana was my favorite.

This is the way our family makes ice cream. I have made a custard first, but this was is easy and delicious.

2 packages instant pudding (vanilla for fruit flavors)
1-2 can evaporated milk
1 quart half and half
mashed fruit (5-6 bananas, 10-12 peaches)
sugar to taste
milk to fill the freezer

A lot of the measurements will depend on what size freezer you are using. The banana we made in a one gallon freezer so we only used one can of evaporated milk. The peach was made in a six quart freezer so we used two cans of evaporated milk.

Follow the directions for your ice cream freezer. This also works well in the kitchen aid ice cream attachment but you just have to scale down the recipe.

There are no pictures of the finished product because once the tops were taken off, the bowls were filled and the ice cream disappeared. I'll try to do better if we get a chance to make some more before the summer is over.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This weekend was Bible School at our church. I signed up to make cookies. The next question was then, what kind of cookies would go over well with the kids? Of course chocolate chip was the first to come to mind, but since I didn't know what everyone else was making, I figured there would some chocolate chip cookies made by someone else. (And there was) My next favorite cookie is peanut butter so those would be it. Of course I had to figure out a way to make plain old peanut butter cookies more fun. Thanks to a bag of hershey kisses, I knew peanut butter blossoms would be it.

Here is the recipe I used, it was on the back of a bag of unwrapped hershey kisses. Boy I'm glad I didn't have to unwrap all those kisses. I made a double batch of these cookies and they were almost all eaten. The kids and the adults seemed to love them.

Peanut Butter KISSed Peanut Blossoms

* 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates filled with Peanut Butter
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Granulated sugar


1. Remove wrappers from peanut butter filled chocolates; place in freezer overnight.

2. Heat oven to 375°F. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 48 balls (about 1-inch each). Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 3 to 4 minutes. Press frozen peanut butter filled chocolate piece into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove cookies from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 48 cookies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I'd never had anything Vietnamese until a few years ago. We were living in San Antonio and our neighbors were Thai. I learned about and tasted a lot of wonderful homemade Thai food during those couple of years they were our neighbors. They also took us to different restaurants. One of our favorites was a Vietnamese place where we fell in love with summer rolls. I found a recipe online and decided to give it a try. They were good and they really are a great summer meal.

Since these turned out, I'm excited to try more new recipes, both Vietnamese and Thai.

I found this recipe at Chow.


* 12 medium shrimp in their shells
* 2 ounces dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli
* 8 (8-1/4-inch) round rice paper wrappers
* 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
* 24 small mint leaves (from 1 small bunch)
* 16 basil or Thai basil leaves
* 8 small sprigs cilantro
* 1 Thai hot pepper, serrano pepper, or other small hot chile pepper, seeds removed and sliced into very thin matchsticks
* 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-inch sticks
* 2 large scallions, trimmed, halved, and sliced into 3-inch lengths
* 4 Boston lettuce leaves, cut in half
* Peanut Sauce


1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until they are bright orange and just cooked. Drain shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them until they are cool. Peel shrimp and halve them lengthwise down the center. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Cook the rice sticks according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Clear a work surface, such as a large wooden cutting board, for rolling the summer rolls and prepare a pan that is roomy enough to hold the finished rolls in a single layer. Place all filling ingredients in separate containers, and arrange them in the following order around the board: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, hot pepper, cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
4. Fill a wide, shallow dish, large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers, with hot water. Evenly submerge one rice paper in the water for about 30 seconds, or until it is soft and pliable. Remove from the water and place on the work surface.
5. Working quickly, lay three shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 3 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of the hot pepper (if using). Place 3 to 4 cucumber sticks and 3 to 4 scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape, and place it on top of the noodle pile.
6. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding it firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire pile up to close the top. (Don’t despair, this takes some practice!)
7. Turn each roll so that the rice paper seam faces downward and the row of shrimp faces up. Place in the prepared container.
8. Serve summer rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Peanut Sauce:


* 1/2 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 small garlic clove, mashed to a paste
* 1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste
* 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
* Juice of 1 lime
* 1/4 cup water


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined, adding more water to thin the sauce if necessary.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chocolate Velvet Cake with Butter Pecan Frosting

Yes it is as delicious as it sounds. It makes a great ending to a meal or heck around here, it could be the actual meal itself. This is my go to cake when I have to make something for a church dinner or holiday meal. Everyone loves it, plus it's a simple recipe. The recipe came from Southern Living, December 2003. I've been making it since I first got the recipe and it's still a family favorite.

Sadly I don't have a picture of the cake sliced because this one had to go to a church function.

For the layers:

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Spoon cake batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

For the frosting:


2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup cup butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Stir together chopped pecans and 1/4 cup melted butter. Spread in an even layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until pecans are toasted. Remove from oven, and let cool.

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in pecans and vanilla.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

Dinner was grilled pork tenderloin marinated in hoisin sauce, pineapple juice and garlic. It was served with jasmine rice and a broccoli slaw stir fry. It was delicious and quick, almost as quick as getting chinese take out. Plus we know all the ingredients and it's made pretty healthy unlike some chinese takeout.

This is super simple.

1/2 jar hoisin sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 cloves chopped garlic

Mix together and marinate pork tenderloins. Grill to your preference of doneness.

See, it's super simple.

For the broccoli slaw stir fry:

Put a tablespoon olive oil in pan, add broccoli slaw and sliced scallions. Add salt, a bit of sesame oil, and red pepper flake. Cook until just wilted.