Sweet Soy-Glazed Pork Chops
Recipes / January 17, 2019

Serves 2 to 4 4 tablespoons soy sauce2 tablespoons canola oil1 tablespoon light brown sugar3 cloves garlicSalt and pepper4 thin-cut bone-in pork chops (4 ounces each)2 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces each), halved lengthwise1 small onion, cut into 6 wedges1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise and seeded2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks2 teaspoons white vinegar In a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag, combine 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the brown sugar, garlic, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the pork chops and smush them around to cover with the marinade. Pre-heat a grill pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Brush the zucchini, onion, and jalapeno with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and grill until the zucchini and onion are tender and charred on both sides, 7 to 8 minutes per side. While the vegetables are cooking, in a medium bowl, combine the butter, vinegar, and the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a cutting board and right away cut them into bite-size pieces. While still hot, drop them in the bowl with the butter-soy-vinegar,…

Ruby Red Gin-Gin Mules
Recipes / January 10, 2019

Serves 4 1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup water1″ knob peeled fresh ginger, sliced into coinsIce cubes1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice3/4 cup ginTonic water In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, warm the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger. Bring to a simmer and then immediately turn off the heat. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. To assemble the drinks: Add a few ice cubes to each of 4 glasses and pour in 2 tablespoons of the ginger syrup. Divide the juice among the glasses and top each with 3 tablespoons of gin and a liberal splash of tonic water. Stir and serve. My notes: The original recipe used blood orange juice, but I couldn’t easily get a hold of blood oranges. I think the grapefruit juice worked and still makes the drink look pretty. (Pretty is a criterion for a good cocktail, isn’t it?) Probably the most interesting thing about this recipe is the ginger-infused simple syrup. That was yummy and could be used in a variety of cocktails! Cheers!

Chicken Noodle Salad
Recipes / January 9, 2019

Makes 2 servings 4 ounces soba or spaghetti noodles2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce1 teaspoon sesame oil1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey1 clove garlic, minced3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger1 cup shredded chicken breast3 scallions, thinly sliced1/2 teaspoons sesame seedsSmall handful of cilantro leaves (optional) Cook the noodles according to directions, until they are tender yet still firm. Drain the noodles and immediately run them under cold water to stop any additional cooking. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice winter vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger. Place the noodles in a medium bowl and pour the vinegar dressing over them. Toss in the shredded chicken. Garnish with the scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. My notes: I have been taking this salad to work for my lunch. It’s refreshing after all the heavy food I ate over the holidays. Veggie spaghetti noodles work well in this this dish, and you could definitely use shrimp, steak, or tofu instead of chicken. I will be making this dish, or a version of it, a lot! Hope you enjoy it also! Recipe adapted from The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme.

Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
Holidays , Recipes / December 14, 2018

Chocolate-Dipped MacaroonsMakes about 40 cookies 1/2 cup unsalted butter4 eggs3/4 cup sugar5 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise* 1/2 teaspoon salt5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, then set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the melted butter, coconut, and condensed milk. Scrape inside of vanilla beans and add seeds to bowl. Add salt. Stir together all of the ingredients until well combined. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons to shape generous 1 1/2-tablespoon-size balls. Drop the coconut balls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies evenly and arranging about 20 cookies on each sheet. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave.  Dip the…

My Thanksgiving Favorites
Holidays , Recipes / November 16, 2018

For most of us, our Thanksgiving menu is based on tradition. Next Thursday is not a day to try out a bunch of new recipes on the family. Although it can’t hurt to try out one (or two) new recipes. You never know when a new recipe is going to become part of your family’s favorite food memories. Anyway, since I will be mostly making dishes I’ve made several times before, I thought I would share some of my tried and true Thanksgiving recipes. Dried Cherry and Cranberry Sauce This is probably the first dish I ever made for a Thanksgiving dinner. It actually started with a similar dish I saw Martha Stewart make, but this version has more flavor. The dried cherries really help to cut the tartness of the cranberries, and this is one of those dishes where I am often asked to share the recipe. It’s super easy, not a lot harder than opening a can! Emeril’s Cornbread and Andouille Dressing I grew up in the Midwest, and we always made dressing with white bread. My husband is from the South, so my mother-in-law makes cornbread stuffing. I gotta say, cornbread stuffing is better. We also lived…

Bonus Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Smokies
Recipes / November 2, 2018

My youngest son insisted I make this recipe from Damn Delicious. Bacon-Wrapped Smokies 1 package beef cocktail sausages, drained and rinsed 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into quarters 1/2 cup light brown sugar Black pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish, optional Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper/silicone baking mat; set aside. Wrap each sausage in a piece of bacon and dredge in the brown sugar; pressing to coat. Carefully place the wrapped sausages, seam sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the brown sugar has caramelized and the bacon is crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, seasoned with pepper and garnished with the parsley, if desired. My notes:┬áLove this super easy recipe that’s great to take to parties. My son even got in on the fun and helped me put these together. He also came up with the idea of just dredging the bacon in the sugar and then wrapping the sausages. (And he didn’t even eat too many sausages while we were working!) Adapted from Damn Delicious by Chungah Rhee.

Slow-Cooker French Toast
Recipes / October 24, 2018

Slow-Cooker French Toast For crumb topping: 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 4 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes For French toast: 1 (20-ounce) loaf challah, sliced 2 cups milk 4 eggs Zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup blueberries 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans, optional Make the crumb topping: Combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the cold butter, toss to coat, and then use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. Lightly coat the inside of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray. Cut the challah slices in half crosswise; arrange them in the slow cooker in several layers, overlapping slightly. In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the batter evenly over the bread slices. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the bread slices. Top with the blueberries. Cover and cook the French toast on low heat for 3 hours or on high for 1 1/2 hours, until a knife comes…

Bonus Recipe: Party Queso
Recipes / October 17, 2018

My week has been a little crazy, so I’m behind on trying out new recipes. So instead I thought I would share another recipe from Magnolia Table. Enjoy! Party Queso 2 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 jalapeno, finely diced* 2 pounds Velveeta, cut into cubes 3 cups heavy cream** 1 15-ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 cups diced tomatoes 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (optional) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Tortilla chips, for serving In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the Velveeta and cream and heat until melted, whisking occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the beans and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Serve warm with tortilla chips. My notes: When my family taste-tested this, they thought it was a little bland, so I added some chili powder to give it a little kick. *If you don’t want all the heat of the jalapeno, remove the seeds and ribs of the pepper. **I only used 2 cups of heavy…

Chicken Pot Pie
Recipes / October 10, 2018

Chicken Pot Pie Vegetable oil cooking spray 4 tablespoons 1/4 small white onion, finely chopped (optional)* 4 carrots, peeled and diced 1/2 cup flour 2 32-ounce boxes chicken broth 2 22.6-ounce cans condensed cream of chicken soup 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken** 1 cup frozen peas Salt and pepper 2 8-ounce tubes refrigerated crescent rolls Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13x3 (deep) baking pan with cooking spray. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter oven medium-low heat. Add the onion (if using) and saute until tender and translucent. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot. Whisk in the chicken broth and continue whisking until the flour is fully incorporated. Stir in the chicken soup. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken and frozen peas. Taste and season if necessary with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Open crescent dough and unroll the contents. Press the perforations together inside…

Szechuan Noodles
Recipes / September 27, 2018

This is a great lunch dish since you don’t even have to heat it up! Szechuan Noodles 6 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup tahini 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup dry sherry 1/4 cup sherry or white wine vinegar 1/4 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil 2 tablespoons sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 pound spaghetti noodles 2 red or yellow bell peppers, sliced 4 green onions, sliced (optional) Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Puree the sauce. Boil the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. While still warm, toss with three-quarters of the sauce. Add the bell peppers and green onions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add remaining sauce, as needed, to moisten the pasta. My notes: This is a long list of ingredients, but you can adjust the ingredients and measurements to your taste or what…

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