Goat Cheese, Cranberry, and Walnut Stuffed Pork Chops

So easy and simple to make and, OMG! It really is as delicious as it sounds…

All I did was mix one package of goat cheese with a good handful of chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries.

 

Then I took thin, bone-in pork chops, and just pressed them out with my hand to make them a little bit bigger… I was going to stuff the pork chops but I didn’t buy them thick enough… so I went to plan (B). There is always a plan (B) if you want one…

then I put  about a handful of the goat cheese, cranberry, and walnut mixture into the center of each pork chop, pressed the mixture out a little, and rolled them up.

Then I dipped each pork chop roll into an egg and milk mixture, then into a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs that I seasoned with a little smoked paprika, and black pepper.  Next, I placed them on a copper rack that fits into a copper tray, them put them into our outside oven on 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes later we had the a delicious pork chop roll up meal that was tender and moist, yet also had a crunchy panko crust. I served this with potato salad, that my sister, from another mother, Holly, made, and peas. Big shout out to my sister, Holly, who loves to cook as much as I do, and who always cooks too much, like I do, and always shares what she makes with Bill and I…

So loving this beautiful Christmas season of spending time with family and friends.  Cooking is what makes me happy, but sharing what we have, no matter what that might be, with those we love is what always warms my heart, not just at Christmas, but all year-long…

Merry Christmas!

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Heartwarming Update

I wanted to post this update to my previous post, Random Acts Of Kindness. I spoke to our daughter, Shantel, and she told me that she was in the laundry room at her apartment complex again yesterday finishing up her laundry, and a man came in and asked her if she had some clothes in a washer with tide pods in it and quarters in the slot yesterday..? Shantel said yes, and he said he was the person that removed her clothes, and used the washer with her tide pods and quarters. He didn’t say why he did that, but he did give her money back and said he was sorry.

I asked Shantel if she knew him and she said she didn’t, but that he told her he sees her in the laundry room a lot and he said he felt bad about what he did. I asked if she got his name, she said no, but he sounded like he was an older man, and that he seemed to really be sorry about what he did.

 

I believe in miracles, do you?

Merry Christmas!

Random Acts Of Kindness

Our daughter, Shantel, had a mixed experience with kindness yesterday. Here is a little summary of how her day went:

After Shantel got home from work, she found out she needed to go to the Post Office to pick up a package. She didn’t have time to schedule a ride with Dial-a-Ride, so she had to call Uber. When she arrived at the Post Office, the Uber driver took her in, helped her get in the back of the line to wait her turn, then he returned to his car to wait for her to come out. I think it is important to note here that Shantel gets herself to work everyday, lives alone, and takes care of herself,  goes to her own doctor appointments, goes to get her own groceries (she goes to the Customer Service desk and asks for assistance to select her grocery items) etc. However, this Post Office did not have anyone that could assist a disabled person through the line…

Shantel said she was standing in line at the Post Office, with her long, white cane, with the red at the bottom, which is pretty much a universal sign that the person using the cane is blind or visually impaired. She said she waited, and waited, and never seemed to move up in line. At first, she said she thought it was just very busy, due to the Christmas mailing season.. But finally, a lady working behind the counter, noticed that Shantel couldn’t tell when the line was moving,  and that people behind Shantel in line were going around her, even stepping over her cane to get in front of her. So, that Post Office worker, went outside, and asked the Uber driver if he would come in and help Shantel keep her place in line, which he did…  I say, THANK-YOU to the Post Office worker for noticing, and helping Shantel, and THANK-YOU to that Uber driver for going above his job to help Shantel keep her place in line. And SHAME on all the people that felt the need to go around Shantel, instead of simply letting her know the line was moving forward…

Then, when Shantel finally got home, she got her laundry together and made her way to the laundry room at her apartment complex. She put her clothes in a washer, put her tide pods in, and put her quarters in the slot. Then she remembered she forgot something back at her apartment. She said she left the laundry room, and made her way back to her apartment, got the items she forgot, and when she came back, someone had removed her clothes, put their own clothes in and used her money, and tide pods, to do their own laundry. Again, to whoever did that, SHAME on YOU!!

I was so upset when I talked to Shantel and heard all of this. I told her I thought what happened was awful, and that I was sorry it happened. I asked her how she felt about it. Shantel said “mom, people do stuff like that all the time, I just had to learn to deal with it.” Well, as her mother, I can tell you, I will never accept that kind of bad behavior.

Shantel, Papa and I are so, so, proud of you and how you live your life. I wish life were a little easier for you, but you are, and always will be, our HERO! Never let the bad behavior of others dampen your kind heart, and beautiful spirit. Keep letting your special light shine brightly, and I hope you always keep practicing Random Acts of Kindness every chance you get! We love you Shantel.

Merry Christmas.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Split Peas And Ham Soup

Yesterday was our weekly cleaning and laundry day for Bill and I. So it was a perfect day for me to make my split pea and ham soup in the slow-cooker. It’s fast and easy, and is the perfect meal to make when I still want something home-made, but I don’t really have the time to spend hours cooking… I just put on Christmas music and got busy…

I chop up a whole sweet onion, spray my slow-cooker with non-stick cooking spray, and put the onion in.

 

Then I pick through and rinse a bag of dried split peas

Trim the fat from a ham steak, and chop it into bite size pieces. Keep the bone as it goes in the soup as well.

Put the ham, the bone, and the split peas into the slow-cooker with the onion. Add three bay leaves, some granulated garlic, coarse black pepper, and salt (I used no-salt seasoning mix) into the slowcooker

Add about one and a half boxes of chicken stock, put the lid on and set the slow-cooker on high until the liquid begins to boil, then turn to low and let it simmer until you are ready to eat (about five to six hours).

I had mine with a salad. Bill had his with buttered saltine crackers. No matter how you serve it, it is delicious, and so much better than anything you will ever get out of a can. If you love split pea and ham soup like we do, this is the only way to go…

So enjoying this beautiful Christmas Season. Hope all of you are finding ways to enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy, and that you are also finding ways to express your love for one another… I show my love by cooking, and feeding my loved ones, which always makes Bill say he is such a lucky man…. I can’t help but think that he also must be thinking to himself “now if I could just get her interested in baking as well…” Ha!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

House Alarm Beef Stew

I guess I can call this stew that from now on..

Now is the time of year when most folks that love to bake, bake… I don’t, but I love to cook.. so I cook. And I am often asked to share my “recipe’s” with others, and I am happy to do so..

Today, I made a roasted vegetable beef stew.  I’ve made this dish many times over the years, including since we have been full-time RVing, in my slow-cooker without any problem.

But, today, I put the stew meat in my slow-cooker, with a packet of beef stew mix, two cups of good red wine and one cup of water, some corse black pepper, some dehydrated onion, some dried thyme, dried oregano, and some granulated garlic. Turned it on low and left it to do its thing while Bill and I attended 8:00 a.m. Mass, went to Walmart to pick up my prescriptions, then to Costco…

However, today, just as Bill and I were leaving the parking lot of Costco, I got a call from the Administrative Assistant at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Park, letting me know that the neighbor next to us reported an alarm was sounding in our rig, and had been going off all morning…

Well, you gotta know,  Bill and I made a beeline back to our home to see what was going on. I was praying all the way that nothing was wrong with our home, and asking the Lord to please keep our home safe, and not let it blow up or anything…

Long story short… we arrived home, Bill entered our rig and checked everything, and sure enough the propane alarm was sounding loudly, but nothing was on. No heater, no stove valves, nothing but the slow-cooker on low simmering our stew meat for dinner…

So, with the all clear within our home, I proceeded to roast in our outside oven (omg they smell wonderful roasting), the purple potatoes, carrots, and onions, that I chopped and seasoned with garlic, black pepper, and olive oil, then I added them to the beef stew meat.

I usually add fresh beets to the roasted vegetable mix, but I couldn’t find any that were worth the price, so I bought two cans of canned beets and added them to the stew.

I served this with warm, buttered, beer bread that I made from scratch… and winner, winner, a delicious “house alarm beef stew” dinner was served.

I hope all of my readers are enjoying this beautiful Christmas Season. I hope you bake, if you love to bake, cook, if you love to cook.. But most of all that you spend time  to reflect on what is important to you, and spend time with the people that you love, and that love you. And, if you get the chance, from the words in the song of Dolly Parton “I hope you dance”.

Merry Christmas!

Stay Tuned.

Leeks, Bacon, Mushroom, Lasagna

Yesterday, after Bill and I completed our daily exercise walk together, he went outside to work on some of his maintenance of our motorhome projects. With a home on wheels, there is always something to adjust here, or tighten up there…, So while he was working on his projects, I tackled one of my own projects for the day.

As many of you know, I don’t enjoy baking, I am more than happy to leave that to Bill and Shantel, but I love to cook. So yesterday, I made a delicious leek, bacon, and mushroom lasagna. OMG, we LOVE this dish. But, be warned, there is nothing about this dish that is calorie friendly( except that I used fat-free half and half  instead of heavy cream). However, “all things in moderation” so we only have this dish a few times a year.

I found this recipe on the internet from the Eat Smarter website. I adapted it just a bit, with spices and mushrooms etc., to suit our tastes.

Ingredients:

Leeks – I used 2

butter – I used about 2 oz

Salt ( I don’t cook with salt, or add salt to my food because I am on a low sodium diet for health reasons. I use other spices to substitute for salt)

3 tablespoons flour

16 oz beef broth (I used reduced sodium)

6 oz whipping cream ( I used fat-free half and half)

About 6 oz of shredded sharp cheese (use more or less to your taste). You can use any kind of cheese you like.

Oven ready (no cook lasagna noodles). I used 8 but you can adjust to the amount you are making. Or you can use the lasagna noodles you boil if you want to take that extra step.

Thick sliced bacon (I used reduced sodium).  Use as much or as little as you like.

I started with cutting two leeks ( a mild member of the onion family) into rings.

Then I placed the separated leek rings in cold water to let them soak so the sand that is in between the leaves can sink to the bottom. This is a very important step because if you don’t do this you will end up with…

all of this sand in you finished dish. Not good!

I added mushrooms that I cleaned and sliced to the recipe because both Bill and I love them, but if you don’t like mushrooms, simply omit them…

I fried bacon in a cast iron skillet, to ensure it got really crisp, then I removed the bacon from the skillet and

sautéed the leeks, minced garlic, and mushrooms in the fat rendered from the bacon.

Then I made the sauce using the same fat left in the skillet from the bacon and adding a pat of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour. Cooked that until the flour and butter looked a little brown. Then I added the beef broth and cream (half and half) and whisked to insure there were no lumps. Simmer until it comes to a light boil so it will thicken.

The next step is to spray a baking pan with non-stick spray and place a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of the baking pan. Then line the pan with oven ready lasagna noodles.

Top the lasagna noodles with the leeks/mushroom mixture, and top that with cheese and crisp bacon pieces (if you don’t eat bacon, or don’t like bacon, you can leave it out or replace with chicken, beef, etc.)

Continue to layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, leeks/mushroom mixture, bacon, and cheese until all the ingredients are used.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown (about 40 minutes).

I served this with a Normandy – Style Vegetable Blend, and YUMERS!!! Dinner was served.

This is one of mine and Bill’s favorite dinners. But like I said, it is not calorie, or figure friendly… but oh my, it is well worth the extra exercise to walk/hike it off every once in a while… 🙂 And, it freezes really well.

Stayed Tuned!

 

Christmas 2017

We are all fixed up and ready to celebrate this wonderful season with little touches of Christmas throughout our tiny home. We have a tiny Christmas tree that looks so pretty lit up at night. And Bill loves the little Santa bucket filled with Christmas chocolates. 🙂

Our tiny Santa’s hang above the dashboard between our Santa hats and they keep a close eye on who is naughty or nice… I love the center piece on the dashboard. I put tiny light in it that are battery operated and I can set them to stay on or blink. So pretty at night.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas for us without the Virgin Mary sitting on the sofa shelf along with another metal Christmas tree that has tiny ornaments on it, and beside that, is our Poinsettia Centerpiece.

Even my favorite wine, Butter, is decked out with a Christmas scarf and hat…

 

Can’t forget the bathroom with the marching soldiers soap and snowflake kleenex box…

 

And the Santa rug in front of the shower will make sure we all have a goodnight!

 

Bill and I will keep Christ in our Christmas because we know Jesus is the reason for the season. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas season from our home to yours.

Stay Tuned!

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