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Archive for August, 2014

My dad comes for supper every week and we all like pork chops, so I fix them quite often.  I found this recipe from The Kitchn on Pinterest and thought it was a nice change up from a basic baked pork.  The panko bread crumbs give the chops a really nice crunch and the Italian seasoning really shines.

This is definitely going into the regular meal rotation!

Panko Italian Pork Chops 1

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 bone-in pork chops

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1 heaping tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and set aside.  In a shallow pan (I used a cake pan), combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning.  In a second cake pan, lightly beat the eggs and set aside.  Put the flour in a third pan.  These will be your breading stations.

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Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Dredge the chops in the flour, then the eggs, and then coat with the bread crumb mixture.  Cook in the skillet for about 2 minutes on each side just to make a good crust.

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Place the browned pork chops on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Allow the chops to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. 

Panko Italian Pork Chops 2

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader!  Grab a book, give us the first line or two and your opinion on it.  That’s all there it to it.  My book today is “Viola In Reel Life” by Adriana Trigiani and here are the first lines:

“You would not want to be me.  No.  I’m marooned.  Abandoned. Left to rot in boarding school in the dust bowl of Indiana like the potato we found in the cupboard in our kitchen in Brooklyn after months of searching for it.”

These first lines makes Viola’s life sound really bad, but, thankfully, it isn’t.  She is just very unhappy with her circumstances.  Ms. Trigiani is one of my favorite authors and she doesn’t disappoint with her first young adult novel.  Usually YA fiction is not my thing, but Mr. Trigiani’s characters and descriptions are just as good as always. 

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Ham and cheese sandwiches make great lunches and I love finding new ways to make them.  One of my all time favorites are these little Hot Ham & Cheese Rolls that I have made for years, but when I found these cuties at The Girl Who Ate Everything, I just had to try them!

Her recipe was my inspiration, but I used some of our favorite flavors instead of the mayo/mustard combination.  We loved them with Veggie Pasta Salad.

Ranch Ham & Cheese Pinwheels 1

1 pkg. Pillsbury refrigerated thin pizza crust

9 pieces thinly sliced sandwich ham

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I didn’t have enough so I supplemented with cut up provolone slices.)

2 tbsp. ranch dressing

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with non-stick spray and set aside.  On a large piece of wax paper also sprayed with non-stick spray, roll our the pizza dough and form it into a rectangle.

Spread the ranch dressing over the pizza dough and then layer the ham slices over that.  You may need fewer or more slices to cover the dough depending on the size of your ham.  Then sprinkle the cheese over the ham. 

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Carefully roll the dough into a log beginning with the longest side.  Chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes so it will be easier to slice.  Slice the roll into approximately 3/4 inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-14 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese and ham are hot.

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Ranch Ham & Cheese Pinwheels 2

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I can tell summer is winding down because I am starting to crave soups and stews like crazy.  The temperatures aren’t cooperating just yet but as soon as the cooler weather starts, I am all over a big pot of spicy beef vegetable soup or chili or hamburger stew.  Yum!!!

Since it’s not quite time for those yet, I am sticking to some old favorites this week along with a new dessert to try if I have time.  The new fried pork chops I made last week turned out really good, but I hate the way the house smells after making fried food.  I quickly remembered why I don’t fry much. 

Grilled pork chops with oven fries

Sausage bake with salad

Enchilada beef dip with chips and salad

Slow cooker pineapple pork loin with butter roasted potatoes

Pizza night

Caramel apple upside down cake (new)

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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I hadn’t made a “fancy” dessert in a while and when I had the urge a couple of weeks ago this Chocolate Mousse Cake from Diethood fit the bill.  How can you go wrong with a chocolate cake base topped with mousse and whipped cream?  That’s right, you can’t!!! 

Chocolate Mousse Cake 1

For the cake:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 large eggs

2/3 cup granulated sugar

For the mousse:

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp. water

For the whipped vanilla frosting:

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

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For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form cake pan with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Remove this from the heat and add the vanilla.  Set this aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until they are well blended.  Pour the water into a large skillet and put the skillet over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.

Place the bowl with the egg mixture into the simmering water.  Whisk this constantly until the egg mixture is lukewarm, about 2 minutes.  You may need to adjust the heat a little to keep the water from coming to a full boil.  You just need a gentle simmer.

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Remove the bowl from the water and, using an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture until cool and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

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Add about 1/3 of the flour/cocoa mixture at a time to the egg mixture.  Gently fold this in with a spatula.  Fold about 1 cup of the cake batter into the melted butter.  Then pour the melted butter/batter into the remaining cake batter.  Gently fold until it is completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan.

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Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely in the pan on a rack.  Run a knife along the edge of the cake and open the spring to release the cake.

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For the mousse:

Pour enough water into a skillet to reach a depth of 1 inch.   Bring this water to a simmer.  Pour the chocolate chips into a glass bowl and place this into the simmering water.   Turn off the heat and stir until the chocolate is melted.  Remove the bowl from the water and allow the chocolate to cool.

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Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and salt until soft peaks form.  Mix 3 tbsp. water into the melted chocolate.  Slowly pour the whipped cream over the chocolate and gently fold it in until just incorporated.  Spread the mousse over the top of the cake only.

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For the whipped cream topping:

Combine the cream, vanilla and sugar.  Beat on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Place the whipped cream into a zip top bag fitted with a large decorating tip.  Pipe the whipped cream along the outside of the cake cover the bare cake up to the mousse.  Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 2

Chocolate Mousse Cake 3

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Are you ready for another crazy Stephanie Plum adventure?  Do you need a fun summertime book to read poolside?  Then look no further than Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum book, “Takedown Twenty”!  Here are the first lines:

“It was late at night and Lula and I had been staking out Salvatore Sunucchi, better known as Uncle Sunny, when Lula spotted Jimmy Spit.  Spit had his prehistoric Cadillac Eldorado parked on the fringe of the Trenton public housing projects, half a block from Sunucchi’s apartment, and he had the trunk lid up.”

It doesn’t matter how many of the Plum books I read, they still make me laugh out loud.  The characters and the scrapes they get themselves into are priceless! 

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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Happy Monday once again!  Really? It is really Monday AGAIN?  Yep, it sure is and here we go into another week of fun-filled adventures or just a week of normal work schedules and daily living. That’s ok too.  I kind of like our little routine.  I did treat myself last Friday by trying out the new nail salon in my little town for a much needed pedicure.  My poor feet were feeling a little neglected, but they got the spa treatment and a nice pretty coat of polish. 

I also got quite a bit of blogging done Saturday.  I had neglected this little space shamefully this summer, but I am now back on the wagon with several posts scheduled and more new recipes to try. 

Have a wonderful week!

Grilled Italian burgers with oven baked fries and fresh fruit

Best homemade tacos (new) with fresh veggies

Pan fried pork chops (new) with butter roasted potatoes and fresh veggies

Pizza night

Grocery night

Salisbury steaks with butter roasted potatoes

Apple crescent roses (new)

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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