Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Jalapeño Popper Pops

Jalapeño Pops

Are you ready for some football? I know my husband is. In fact, he is in the other room eating nachos and shouting at the TV. This time of year means that we spend every weekend at a football game or watching a football game.

I like to serve hand food when we are at home. I love jalapeños. These bites are milder than jalapeños poppers. You can change up the amount of heat by varying the amount of pepper that you add. You can also replace the cheddar cheese with pepper jack if you like more heat. To get this much bacon you would need to fry a pound of bacon. I find it is easier to buy it already cooked on the salad dressing aisle.

You can freeze these for up to a week before frying. Just transfer them to a plastic bag after they are frozen.  

Servings: 34-40 pieces
Time:  Active: 15 minutes; Freeze: 1 hour; Cook: 10 Minutes; Pops in about 90 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, a food processor, a silicone spatula, a mixing bowl, food prep gloves, a large plate, 2 bowls, a deep skillet, a large metal slotted spoon, a paper towel covered plate, an oil thermometer

  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 2 to 4 ounces jalapeños
  • 8ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1-2 cups of oil for frying
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing

  1. Put the cream cheese out to soften.
  2. Make sure to wear the gloves and remove the seeds and white ribs from the jalapeños.
  3. Place the jalapeños into the food processor. Chop them until they are the size of aquarium gravel. Scrape them into the mixing bowl. Repeat with the bacon and the cheese.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, crumbled bacon, jalapeños, and cheese together.
  5. Roll the mixture into 2 teaspoons sized balls. If you make them too large then they won’t cook all the way through later. Place the balls in the freezer for at least on hour.
  6. Put enough oil in the skillet to cover the pops.  Pre-heat the oil until it is 350°.  You will want to monitor the oil temperature and keep it between 320° and 350°.
  7. While the oil is heating, place the eggs into one bowl and beat vigorously. Place the crumbs into the other bowl.
  8. Dip the frozen pops into the egg and then the crumbs. You can dip them twice if you need to make sure the pop is completely encased in crumbs.
  9. Place the pops in a single layer in the hot oil.
  10. Allow them to cook until they are golden brown. I find that it is easiest to just cook one and then cut it open. If it is still frozen in the middle, turn the oil down. Use this test pop to gauge cooking time.
  11. As they finish, place them on the plate to drain.  You can place the plate in the oven on the lowest setting to keep them warm.
  12. Serve right away. Offer your guests ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stuffed Pork Chops

This week has been a rough one. I’m located in central Florida and we survived Irma. We lost power overnight and the only entrance to our neighborhood flooded so badly that we couldn’t leave for 2 days. Finally, someone removed part of his fence so we could get out, but there wasn’t anywhere to go. Even if there were, we couldn’t get gas. So, we ate eggs and sandwiches most of the week. When I finally made it to the grocery store, I bought fresh fruit. Nothing ever tasted as good as those strawberries. We, however, were lucky. Many homes in our area flooded. Some families are beginning their second week of no power. In south Florida and the Keys many homes were destroyed. In the Caribbean, many people died and some islands are now inhabitable.  

When I could finally make a real meal, I wanted it to be comforting. My husband loves Stuffed Pork Chops. This recipe allows you to use anything you would like for stuffing. I used Cheesy Broccoli Rice and served the rest as a side dish. It would be nice with Bread Stuffing or even Wilted Spinach.

I hope this finds you safe at home. Enjoy.

Servings: 2
Time:  Active: 20 minutes; Cook: 35 Minutes; Chops in about 45 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a knife and cutting board, a spoon, a large, heavy bottomed skillet that can be used on the stove top & in the oven (I prefer cast iron), tongs, a thermometer

  • ½ cup stuffing (I used Cheesy Broccoli Rice)
  • 2-bone-in, center cut, thick pork chops (8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
Stuffed Pork Chops
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚. Prepare whatever you are using for stuffing. Separate the ½ cup of stuffing that you will be using. That way you won’t cross contaminate the remaining portion. Keep the stuffing warm. Slice the garlic as thin as possible. Set aside. 
  2.  Place the pork chops on a flat surface. Lay your hand flat on top of the chop. Slice in toward the bone. Open the chop like a book and season inside and out with salt and pepper. (See below)  Rub the outside with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt, pepper and onion powder. Place about ¼ cup of stuffing into the chop. Push it far into the chop and press the edges to close. If you can’t close, you used too much.
  3. Heat the rest of the oil in the skillet over medium high. Add the garlic. Cook the chops until browned, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn, using the tongs to hold the chops closed. Transfer to the oven and bake until a thermometer inserted into the pork reads 160 ˚ (20-30 minutes-don’t overcook).