Category Archives: Pork

More Summer Crock Pot Meals

I promised more summer slow cooker recipes, and I never break a promise. Unless I promise you we can get a dog when you turn seven. Then all bets are off.

I haven’t tried any of these recipes yet, but I’m adding them to the list, and I’ll be trying them soon! If you try one, let me know how it turns out. Or if you have a great summer crockpot recipe to share, please do so!

Here’s a slow cooker classic…

Grandma’s Sloppy Joe’s from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

or, for something a little different…

Sloppy Chicken Joes

Sloppy Chicken Joes from Better Homes and Gardens

I really want to try this…

Cedar Planked Salmon from A Year of Slow Cooking

I’m making this one tomorrow…

Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas from Real Mom Kitchen

or maybe this one (isn’t the picture fantastic?)…

Pineapple and Green Chili Pork Tacos also from Real Mom Kitchen

and of course, we mustn’t forget dessert…

Step 7, 369

Black and Blue Cobbler from Fix-It and Forget-It

and another summer fruit cobbler…

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler from 4 Hats and Frugal

I love using the crockpot in the summer because it’s less heat in the kitchen. And you know what they say… “If you can’t stand the heat, have someone else make dinner.”

Yeah, that doesn’t work at my house, either. So I stick to my slow cooker!

Happy Summer Cooking!

Advertisements

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I’m pretty sure my kids can see right through me. I think they figured out that I don’t know anything. I’ve never been good at acting. I just didn’t think they’d catch on so soon.

My parents know everything. When I was a little girl, I would ask them questions, and whatever they answered, I knew to be The Truth. Even if it didn’t make sense. I’m still not sure how my dad had to walk to and from school uphill both ways. I guess it was some strange cosmic thing where you live at the bottom of the hill but you’re also at the top…? I don’t know. All I know is, my dad said it, so it must be true.

Also, I’m still trying to figure out where they sent our dog Bingo. I’m sure it’s a lovely farm. I’d like to visit him.

As for my kids, I’m wondering how many times I can say, “I don’t know, honey, that’s just the way God made it” before they start whispering to each other, “Don’t bother. She doesn’t know anything. Let’s go look it up on wikipedia.”

I was hoping I’d learn some things before they become teenagers and really know more than me, but it’s all going by so fast, and I’m pretty sure I’m getting dumber by the minute.

I guess I should be happy that my kids are smart. And I am. But if I have to hear the words, “Actually, Mommy…” one more time, I’ll… Well, I don’t know what, because my brain already punched out for the night. But I’m sure it will involve  the “little Smart-mouths” getting “something to cry about.”

Even my two-year-old has added the word “actually” to her vocabulary. The other day she pointed to the book I was reading and said, “That’s mine.” I told her that no, it was Mommy’s book. But apparently her wise older siblings already informed her of my stupidity. She calmly replied, “Actually, it’s mine.” Sigh. Et tu, Elmo?

Sometimes when my kids ask me a particularly hard question, I just stuff their sweet, inquisitive little faces with food. It’s a win-win.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (I used a mix of hot & sweet)
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 4-6 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
  • tomato sauce for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Remove casings from sausage. Brown sausage over medium-high heat in a skillet, breaking up into crumbles.
  3. Drain the can  of tomatoes and reserve juices. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl. Remove sausage from skillet and add to tomatoes. Add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and oregano. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour reserved tomato juices into a baking dish. Remove tops, seeds, and membranes from peppers. Place peppers in dish on top of the juice. Fill the peppers with the sausage mixture.
  5. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp mozzarella cheese over each pepper. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes, or until peppers are soft and cheese is melted. Serve with tomato sauce, if desired.

Click here for printable version

The Reviews:

Elmo: I don’t like it. (She was talking about the peppers. Actually she had several helpings of the sausage)

Batman: Mmmmmmm…. I love it!

Curious George: I tasted it, and I don’t really like it. Then: I sort of like it. Then: I like it.

Sarah Crewe: I like the pepper but not the stuffing.

Don Corleone: I love it!

I didn’t think the kids would eat this dish, so I thought four peppers would be enough. (Of course I thought that. I dumb, remember?). I think next time I’ll make six peppers and give each Critic their own.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Maybe one day I’ll learn some stuff, and then I’ll share it with my kids. For now, I think I’ll embrace my ignorance. At least it gets me off Homework Duty.

Summer Crock Pot Recipes

It’s hot.

I mean really, really hot. I think the temperature today reached eight-hundred million degrees. Roughly.

Of course, I’m a whiny baby when it comes to hot weather. Anything above 80˚ is hot to me. Once the temperature reaches 90˚, forget it. I’m done for.

I’ve had a stuffed peppers recipe that I’ve been meaning to share, but it’s been too hot to even think about using the oven. So instead, I’d like to share some summertime slow cooker recipes I’ve been collecting. Some of these I’ve tried and love, and others I will be trying very soon.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sooooo good! My whole family loves this. I don’t use pork tenderloin, as suggested, though. I usually use whatever kind of pork roast-type thing is on sale. You can even take it right from your freezer without defrosting (but you might have to cook it longer). Really tasty topped with cole slaw.

Easy and Tasty Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches Almost the same thing as above, but with chicken. Easy. Tasty.

Chicken Tacos We love tacos. I like this recipe because you can just take the filling out of the crock pot, put it in a tortilla, and call it a taco. Extra toppings are nice, but not necessary. For example, if you don’t have any sour cream because when you were standing in the dairy aisle at the store thinking ‘Do we have sour cream at home?’ and finally decided that yes, you do remember seeing some sour cream at the back of the fridge, but then when taco night rolled around and you removed said sour cream from the back of the fridge you realized  it expired three weeks ago, well, it’s okay. Skip the sour cream. It’s still good. Oh, and when your husband says, “Do we have any sour cream?” don’t yell at him. It’s not his fault.

I am also excited to try Creamy Chicken Tacos. The best part is, it has cream cheese in it, so there’s no need for any of that rabble-rouser sour cream.

John McCain’s Rib Recipe (in the crock pot) Haven’t tried this one yet. But I’ve been thinking about ribs A LOT  lately. Don Corleone isn’t a big fan of ribs, unlike the complete carnivore that he married. But I think he’ll just have to deal with it one night. Or maybe two:

Barbecue Beef Ribs Haven’t tried this one yet, either. But I will, I tell you. I will indeed!

Hawaiian Chicken Drumsticks. Oooooh…. I’m so excited to try this one! I love when the word “Hawaiian” is included in the title of a recipe. Even though Hawaii is hot.

I will continue to share summer crock pot recipes as I try them, and if you have any favorites, please share 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying the weather, wherever you are!

Crockpot Teriyaki Pork Chops

U.S.A.!! U.S.A.!!

Two major events that will go down in history happened in the last two days. One, Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals. And two, I made a dinner that every member of my family enjoyed.

I do realize that one is significantly more important than the other (but I won’t say which one).

Whenever the leader of a major terrorist organization is captured and killed by Navy Seals, you should make teriyaki pork chops in your slow cooker. That’s just good sense.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Chops

  • 4-5 boneless pork loin chops
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and brown both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). Put chops in slow cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients (except cornstarch and water) in a small bowl. Pour over chops. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  3. Remove chops from pot and keep warm. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add to sauce in the slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve over rice.

Teriyaki Pork Chops


Do you believe every single Critic loved these chops?

Don Vito Corleone: It’s delicious!

Sarah Crewe picked up her chop with her hands and ate it like a barbarian. She was afraid if she cut it on her plate, some of it might touch her applesauce. But, she said: I like it!

Batman: This is really good!

Curious George: I like it! 

Elmo: Yes. Chicken. 

The Navy Seals rock! They know how to whack a bad guy when they find one. Here are some movies where the villain also gets his/her comeuppance:

The Wizard of Oz:

"I'm melting! Melting!"

Die Hard:

Bye-bye, Hans!

Raiders of the Lost Ark:

Ewwww... that's just gross. But deserved.

Saturday Night Live It’s a Wonderful Life Lost Ending:

Mr. Potter getting his butt kicked

Tombstone:

"You tell 'em I'm coming! And Hell's coming with me!"

Inglorious Basterds:

Re-writing history

Terminator 2:

"Hasta la Vista, Baby"

Charles Bronson, in any movie:

"Goodbye"

This is so not my area of expertise, so VC had to help me!

And now I leave you with this last thought:

“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” -George W. Bush

Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs with Spicy Onions

Shhh… Listen!

Do you hear that? The crack of the bat as it sends the ball flying out over left field… The cheers of the crowd as the ball soars up into the blue sky, and out of the park… The exuberant sound of the announcer as he declares, Harry Kalas-style, that the ball is “outta here…”

That’s right, my friends, it’s baseball season!

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out to the crowd

Field of Dreams

"That's what I wish for. Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases - stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag." -Field of Dreams

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack

I don’t care if I ever get back

"Red, it took me sixteen years to get here. You play me, and I'll give ya the best I got." -The Natural

‘Cause it’s root, root, root for the home team

If they don’t win, it’s a shame

"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." -The Pride of the Yankees

For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out

At the old ball-game!

"Man, this is baseball. You gotta stop thinking. Just have fun." -The Sandlot

Hooray for baseball! Hooray for hot dogs! Hooray for Kevin Costner and Gary Cooper and Dennis Quaid, and Hooray for the dog in The Sandlot! Hooray for ballparks and mascots and announcers and favorite teams! Hooray for hot dogs! Hooray for baseball caps that 4-year-olds wear all day and night, even to bed! Hooray for Roy Halladay!

Did I say Hooray for hot dogs yet?

Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs with Spicy Onions

This recipe is from Rachael Ray

  • 4 hot dogs
  • 2 tbsp grill seasoning
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, sliced 1/4-inch think
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 hot dog buns

Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler. Make a slit lengthwise down each hot dog, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place the grill seasoning and hot dogs in a plastic bag; shake to coat. Place the hot dogs on a baking sheet and stuff each with 2 or 3 strips of cheese.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the brown sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  3. Butter the insides of the buns and place face up on the baking sheet with the hot dogs. Broil until the cheese is melted and the buns are toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Assemble the hot dogs and top with the caramelized onions.

If you cook it, they will come.

Don Corleone declared these hot dogs “super awesome” and “the epitome of what a hot dog should be.” I completely and wholeheartedly concur. These hot dogs are so good that every time I see the picture on the page I clipped out of Rachael Ray’s magazine, I decide we need to have them again.

The kids are happy to have plain hot dogs. The onions are very spicy, so I don’t even offer them. And that’s fine, because a night where all four kids happily eat their dinner without a single complaint is sooooo okay with me!

"You know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball." -The Rookie

"There's no crying in baseball!" -A League of Their Own

"Do you want to quit, Tanner?" "Crud, No! I want to play ball!" -The Bad News Bears

Here’s to baseball and hot dogs!

Go Phillies!

 

Easy Hot and Sour Soup

Did you know that March is Music in Our Schools Month?

Did you know that students who study music generally perform higher on their SATs than those who don’t?

Did you know that students who study music generally hold a higher GPA than those who don’t?

Did you know that schools that produce the highest academic achievement spend about 20-30% of the day on the arts, with special emphasis on music?

Did you know studies show that students doing poorly academically caught up to, and even surpassed their fellow students in reading and math when given music lessons for seven months?

Did you know that high school students who are in band or orchestra are less likely to use drugs and alcohol?

Ouch!!!

Oops, sorry, just tripped while getting off my soapbox 😉

All of the facts above can be found at:  http://www.mpsaz.org/rhodes/staff/krkuczynski/6th/files/musicfacts.pdf

Yes, it’s true, music education is extremely important. Do you know what else is extremely important? Movie musicals! Like The Sound of Music!

One of the first times we went out, my husband (who was then just a cute college boy I liked) and I were going for a walk, and ended up at a gazebo in a park near our college. There we shared our first kiss, and I said, “This is just like in The Sound of Music” and he said, “I never saw that movie.”

I couldn’t believe it. Don’t worry, he has seen it quite a few times since, and really likes it a lot! (Really!)

"There were times when we would look at each other... I could hardly breathe."

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what we looked like that night back in  college 🙂

Easy Hot and Sour Soup

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup pork, cooked and diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • scallions, sliced, for serving

*We like our soup really hot. You might want to start with 1/4 tsp and add more later.

Directions:

  1. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat to a simmer.
  2. Add pork and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. While simmering, combine oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Add to broth.
  4. Add bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and cook for about another 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Garnish with green onions.

Hot and Sour Soup

Don Corleone and I really love this soup.  I usually make it for lunch for us.  One time I asked the kids if they wanted to try it, and they politely declined.  It’s okay, it’s pretty hot, so I wasn’t going to make them eat it.  Plus, it’s nice to eat lunch without hearing, “How come you get to have that and we don’t???”

"Silver white winters that melt into springs/ These are a few of my favorite things"

"You brought music back into the house. I had forgotten."

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with the children. Only the governesses."

"Do, a deer, a female deer/Re, a drop of golden sun..."

"My fellow Austrians, I shall not be seeing you again perhaps for a very long time. I would like to sing for you now... a love song. I know you share this love. I pray that you will never let it die."

Wow, it was really hard to narrow down images from this movie!

"The hills are alive with the sound of music"

And finally…

People are weird:

And last but not least… Nothing says hilarity like a cat in a Julie Andrews pose:

Happy Music in Our Schools Month 😀

 

 

 

 

 

Cheesy Chicken and Ham Bake

Whoa, Momma! I have two words for you.

Comfort. Food.

Get out your slippers and your snuggle blankie because this is one of those meals that makes you want to forget your troubles and curl up on the couch with a plate of cheesy goodness.

This dish is called “cheesy” for a reason. Because it’s loaded with cheese. But that’s not the only kind of cheesy I’ll be discussing today. One definition of “cheesy” I found is:

of poor quality through being overdramatic, excessively emotional or clichéd

Boy, do I love cheesy movies. In fact, I love cheesy movies so much that I’m having a hard time narrowing down my favorites.  So I will randomly pick a few and revisit the topic sometime in the future.

1. Mannequin

"That teaches him to mess with a man and his mannequin."

Long before Kim Cattrall was wreaking havoc in New York City with her girlfriends, she was wreaking havoc in a department store with Andrew McCarthy as a mannequin come to life. It’s pure gold!

2. Dirty Dancing

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

She did it! She did the lift! Every time I watch, my heart leaps into my throat in anticipation, but she nails it every single time! Way to go, Baby!

3. 13 Going on 30

"I'll have a Pina Colada, not virgin. Wanna see my ID? Totally have it!"

Genius idea- a 13 year-old-girl magically becomes herself at 30… and many shenanigans ensue! Okay, maybe it’s not completely original. But I don’t care. I LOVE this movie. It’s one of my bad day go-tos.

4. Clueless

"Okay, so you're probably going, "Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what?" But seriously, I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl."

Mel: You mean to tell me that you argued your way from a C+ to an A-?
Cher: Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?
Mel: Honey, I couldn’t be happier than if they were based on real grades.

Such a cute movie!

5. The Brady Bunch Movie

"Put on your Sunday best, kids; we're going to Sears!"

The title and picture say it all.

Which brings us to…

Cheesy Chicken and Ham Bake

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 2 oz. swiss cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, dvided
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 cups cooked, diced ham
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Cook and drain macaroni.
  2. Combine bread crumbs,  1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp melted butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, melt 4 tbsp butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Cook until bubbly, stirring constantly. Pour in milk and bring to a boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in cheddar, swiss, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Mix in chicken and ham.
  5. Pour the drained macaroni into a 9×13-inch ungreased baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the whole dish and top with tomato slices. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken and Ham Bake

"You gave us too many vegetables"

This is what they serve in heaven on the cheese cloud, right in between the french fry cloud and the giant “All Exercise is Strictly Prohibited” sign. Not all of my critics were quite as enthusiastic, however:

Sarah Crewe: It is extremely unique and pretty good. (High praise, indeed)

Batman: It’s a little too cheesy and I don’t really like it. (He’s the one that doesn’t like cheese, so no surprise there)

Curious George: It’s good. Do I have to eat all my vegetables?

Elmo loved it. She’s getting to be a better eater every day!

Don Corleone: Is one of the ingredients ‘deliciousness?’ This might be my death row meal. (We all should have one, just in case)

6. Titanic

"They've got you trapped, Rose. And you're gonna die if you don't break free. Maybe not right away because you're strong but... sooner or later that fire that I love about you, Rose... that fire's gonna burn out..."

Oh, come on! We all loved that movie when it came out! It wasn’t until years later that it became “cheesy!”

Here’s wishing you a very cheesy day!