Category Archives: Pork

Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops

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Grilling season is here! I reek at grilling. It is just not my comfort zone. Thankful that my husband enjoys it! I enjoy the prepping and planning and whatnot as LONG as he can grill it! Works great!! (PS. I am working on learning to grill. I no longer burn off all my arm hair!! HIGH FIVES!!!! One step. at. a. time.)

Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops 

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of salt
4 pork chops (about 3/4″ thick is great!)

Mix together the Dijon, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper. Put in a large Ziplock bag ~ pour the marinade over top and mix. Seal bag. Freeze. (OR at least marinade in fridge for 4 hours – overnight.)

If you froze the meat, thaw completely. Grill over lowish heat. Grill about 6 minutes per side. Though this is hard to trust as all grills grill differently. Just grill till cooked through……

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “Tried and True Recipes.”

Well we are on the topic of grilling….. do you find that you are grilling a lot this time of year?? Any favorite grilled recipes your family enjoys???

A few more grilling recipes…..

marinated Chicken Breasts

Grilled Vegetables 

BBQ Chicken Kabobs

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Pizza Dough for the Grill 

Brat Burgers

Ranch Chicken Wraps

Beer Brats

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Basic Burgers

Grilled Asparagus

Mushroom Side Dish

Little Bit of This…..Little Bit of That……

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Just a few recipes,  a few food related a few NON ~ food related.

First…. the ones we can eat.

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Crock Pot Cheese Tortellini 

I saw this recipe on Cooking Up a Sale a little while ago. It looked real good, real easy. Well, it is, we enjoyed it! I hope you will too! To read Lisa’s tips, go here….. you will find the recipe here.

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Homemade “Velveeta” Cheese

My family’s favorite casserole has a good amount of Velveeta cheese in it. I really haven’t cheese in a long time. BUT it is nice to serve their favorite dish, right?!?!? So I wanted to have the “right” cheese for it. I had seen homemade Velveeta recipes before, but was nervous to try. Not sure why, it seemed simple enough. A friend of mine DID try it and her family enjoyed. That gave me the courage to give it a go as well. Happy I did, it worked out GREAT for the casserole as well as in scrambled eggs and grilled cheese! A keeper for sure!!!!!   Does this seem interesting to you??? Will you give it a try?!?!?   PLEASE let me know what you think!!!! (I do SO enjoy hearing from you 😉 !!!!

My notes for this recipe are ~
*Use less salt (maybe 1/2 tsp. – 3/4 tsp. only).
*ALSO, I used a Pizza Blend cheese ~ while it was good, next time I will use either Colby, as it calls for, OR a Sharp Cheddar.
* Oh, ALSO, you know those rectangular food storage containers from Rubbermaid??? They  hold about 20 oz. or 2 1/2 c-ish??? Anyways, I lined one of those with plastic wrap and chilled the cheese in it overnight. Worked well.
* One more thing. I had to mix mine in my food processor a bit longer then 1 minute. You are just looking for a nice smooth cheese.

Oh, yes, here is the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Feed. My adapted version is below, Enjoy!!

Homemade “Velveeta” Cheese
1 TB. water
1 1/2 tsp.  powdered gelatin
12 oz. Colby cheese, shredded (3 c. about)
1 TB. dry milk powder
1/2 – 3/4 tsp.  salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. plus 2 TB. skim milk

Line a rectangular plastic container with plastic wrap.

Put water in small bowl, add gelatin, stir, let set 5 minutes. Pulse cheese, milk powder, salt, and cream of tartar in food processor until combined, just a few pulses.

Meanwhile, bring milk to boil in small pan. Take off heat, add softened gelatin and stir til dissolved. With processor running, slowly add hot milk mixture to cheese mixture until smooth, about 1 – 2 minutes. Taste, add more salt if needed.

Pour cheese mixture to prepared container, smooth the top nicely. Wrap tightly and chill at least 3 hours, or overnight.

On to the recipe you CANNOT eat…….

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Homemade Ant Trap

So. We have ants. Do you??!?! Those little buggers just appear as the weather warms. We needed to get rid of them BEFORE they got rid of us……… I ran out of the ant gel we usually use. So, lickity split, a friend told me to check out Pinterest for an ant killer “recipe”. Found it here. Made it. Watched the ants drink and get all drunk and stuff and then, BOOM!!!! They were gone. Now, some of their friends (who apparently did not get the memo about the honey concoction that kills) came a-calling a day or so later. But, they are gone now too.  Sorry guys. You don’t  belong in my house.

Try out this homemade version (IF you have ants and let me know what you think!!) I used honey as the sweetener.

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Homemade Stain Remover

Stains!!!! DO you have stains!?!?!? Do your kids or loved ones have stains?!?!?!? Silly question, right?!?!?!

Here is my favorite stain remover. Now, it makes more than you need for 1 stain, but wait a day or two…….your pile of stained clothes will use the whole batch RIGHT up!!!!!

Here is the recipe.

Here is the “proof” it works.  (You know those strange “grease like” stains that. just. appear?? Well, it got rid of that! It also does really well with the white long sleeve shirts that have dirty cuffs…..) Please don’t scrutinize the picture too much, it looks like part of the stain is still there……I must have missed a spot, in real life, the stain DID come out…….

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Put the leftover in a bottle, at YOUR OWN RISK ~ as this will happen.

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I still keep the leftovers, overflowing bottle and all. I just keep the leftovers in my utility sink (to contain any overflow…..cause there WILL BE overflow……), shake it up when I need it. Good to go.

I would enjoy knowing if ANY of this caught YOUR attention, as it did mine!! Thanks as always for reading!!!!

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers ~ 2 Ways!! & Acorn Cookies

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Check out the new feature on Favorite Family Foods!

I wanted to have a place were you wonderful readers can participate a bit more! Check it out right here and let me know what you think!

It is Weds. ~ we ALL know that means “Aldi Ad” time!!

Thanksgiving is fast approaching so I AM sure you KNOW there are a LOT of good things in this ad! To many to list, I just picked a few things that jumped out at me!!! Check the full ad(s) out here!!

Aldi Ad for Nov. 14 ~ Nov. 20

* 3 lb. bag of Sweet Potatoes ~ $1.29

* 1 bunch of Celery ~ 49¢

* 10 lb. bag of Potatoes ~ 99¢ (Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes)

* 12 bag of fresh Cranberries ~ 99¢

* 3 lb. bag of Onions ~ 49¢

* Fresh Pineapple ~ $1.29

* Turkey prices range from $1.19 ~ $1.49 per lb.

* Ham prices range from 99¢ ~ $1.49 per lb.

* Ground Italian Sausage ~ $2.49 per lb. (you will find a recipe below…..↓..)

* 16 oz. Butter ~ $1.99

* 8 oz. Cream Cheese ~ 99¢ (Pizza Dip and Pickle Rolls)

* 8 oz. Cheese Blocks ~ $1.49 (Fiesta Corn Chip Dip)

* 8 oz. Crescent Rolls ~ 99¢ (Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls)

* 12 oz. Brown & Serve Rolls ~ 99¢

* 12 oz. Hawaiian Rolls ~ $2. 29 (Mock White Castles)

* 29 oz. can of Sweet Potatoes ~ $1.29 (Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes ~ tho I prefer with real sweet potatoes)

* 6 oz. can of French Fried Onions ~ $1.99

* 14 oz. can Cranberry Sauce (whole berry or jellied) ~ 89¢

* 15 oz. can of Pumpkin ~ 99¢

* 11-12 oz. CHOCOLATE CHIPS  (semi-sweet, milk, white or butterscotch) ~ $1.29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

* 8 oz. Cashews ~ $2.49

* 48 oz. Ice Cream ~ $2.69

* 16 oz. Jumbo Shrimp ~ $7.49

*12 oz.  Cocktail Sauce ~ $1.29

THE Recipes.

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers ~ 2 Ways!!

This is my FAVORITE way to eat a stuffed pepper. Something about the grill, the thinner pepper, the cheeses and the sausage ~ makes it really good and a favorite around here! I hope you enjoy this and make it too.

* Look for the banana peppers that are a little bit bigger and straight, you will thank me LATER when you are stuffing your peppers, those skinny curved ones give you a run for your money!

* Try to keep the meat level with the top of the pepper, else the “meatball” wants to pop out while grilling and might just be annoying……

* I serve this with plan spaghetti noodles and some spaghetti sauce. Wala, spaghetti and “meatballs”!

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers 
about 24 banana peppers (medium)
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 TB. dry  minced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, just a bit
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
To prepare the peppers ~ cut the tops off and cut around the seedy part to loosen it from the edges and just pull that whole center out, seeds and all,  set aside and proceed on. When you have them all done, smile and get a bowl ready for your sausage stuffing. Mix the sausage, seasonings and cheeses just till combined well. Carefully stuff each one, it will take some time, just go little by little.  (My husband sprinkles with just a touch of seasoned salt to give those peppers some seasoning.) Grill on low for about 25 minutes or so, till the meat in cooked through and the peppers are tender and browned/blackened. Serve with noodles and spaghetti sauce. Enjoy.

But WAIT! There’s more…..

Here is an indoor way to cook these SAME peppers! Follow the same directions, changing only a few things!

  1. Put the stuffed peppers in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Bake @ 350°, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain.
  3. Warm up a jar of spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce and pour over. Bake for another 25 – 30 minutes.
  4. Top with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and broil till a lovely brown color.
  5. Serve over noodles!

 Enjoy!

Acorn Cookies


(Not a TRUE Aldi recipe….as it does NOT feature a “special” item. Sorry. But Aldi does currently carry EVERYTHING for it…..but the Caramels. Sorry.)

We are so QUICKLY speeding towards Thanksgiving, much to quickly. This time of year IS so festively fun and giddy-fying. I have WAY to many fall recipes I want to share…..with NOT enough time. (There is always next year …… right?!?!?!)
AS far as choosing what to share, that WAS hard. But these as so pretty on a cookie platter, I just needed to share the recipe. The cookie is sorta “shortbreadish” and the caramel and the nuts….yum.  They are time-consuming to roll out, but sit at your table with some good music to sing with or good company to chat with and you will be done in NO time!!
* Do not put ALL the chopped walnuts in the bowl when dipping from the caramel. The walnuts will start to clump together from the caramel yumminess. I start with 1/2 c. ~ when that is gone wipe out the bowl and then add another 1/2 c. ~ etc. till all the cookies are dipped.

Acorn Cookies

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. butter, melted
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts}
24 caramels (about 1/2 lb.)
2 TB. water
1 – 1 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and vanilla ~ with your mixer, till well combined. Add the sifted flour mixture. Mix till all combined.  Mix in the chopped walnuts till thoroughly mixed.
Roll into 1/2″ balls. Shape into an acorn-like shape. Then place on an ungreased baking sheet, space about an inch apart ~ they do not rise a lot.(Lay the “acorn” on its side, for best results.) Bake @ 350 for 15-18 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Meanwhile……
Melt together the caramels and water. You can do this in the microwave, stirring every 45 seconds or so till melted and smooth OR you can melt in a double boiler. Dip the wider end of the “acorn” into the caramel then dip into the finely chopped walnuts. Place on wax paper to cool.
Yields about 150 “acorns”.
Enjoy!!!
Recipe from Mom W.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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I cannot seem to get enough squash this time of year. How about you?? Do you have any certain way you enjoy eating squash?  A fun recipe to share??? This looks fancy, but is simple to put together, I loved the sweetness from the cranberries…..the sausage…the squash….the spinach…sweet red pepper…OH, I just enjoyed it all! I hope you do too!!! (Have I mentioned that I LOVE fall recipes????)

Now, I will be honest and say that I am the only one in my family who enjoys squash ~ acorn or butternut.  BUT they all enjoy the filling, so I bake a batch in a pan for them without the squash and enjoy the squash ALL myself….they don’t know what they are missing!!!!

* As far as the rice goes, I used leftover brown rice. Feel free to use whatever you have ~ white, brown, wild ~ it is all good.

Stuffed Acorn  Squash 
1 acorn squash
1/2 lb. sausage
1/3 c. onion, chopped (I used red)
1/2 c. red pepper, chopped
1 egg
2 TB. milk
1 c. fresh spinach, cut up a bit
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. cooked rice
1/2 c. cranberries
salt & pepper to taste

Cut the acorn squash in half, clean out the seeds. Put cut side down in a 9″ x 13″ pan and fill with about 1 inch of water. Cover tightly. Bake @ 350* for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, till tender.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage with the onion and red pepper. Till no longer pink. Drain. Add the egg (beaten), milk, spinach, bread crumbs, rice, cranberries, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.

Flip the acorn squash halves over and fill with the sausage filling. Bake, uncovered, @ 350* for about 40 minutes till filling it HOT and starting to brown on the top and the squash is soft. You can either eat it out of the shell or scoop it onto your plate. Enjoy!

Last days to partake in the Fall Give-away!!! Thanks to ALL for your fun/helpful/kind/enjoyable comments. I love it!!!

Quick BBQ Pork Sandwiches & Crunchy Ice Cream Balls (Ice Cream Series Part 2)

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The Aldi paper makes me giddy…..
Sale prices are good from June 6 ~ June 12.

* Millville Corn Flakes Cereal is $1.49 for an 18 oz. box. This was a treat I made for Cinco de Mayo…just took me a few to many weeks to post, doesn’t mean you cannot STILL enjoy it.
* Hormel Fresh Boneless Pork Roast is $1.59 per lb. I have included a recipe for Quick BBQ Pork Sandwiches.
* Strawberries $0.99 each. Enjoy Strawberry Lettuce Salad!
* Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese Block, they are $1.79 each. I like to have this on hand and give a kick to things like…..Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip and any other time you want a kick of heat!

Here is the much anticipated 😉 second installment of a sensational ice cream series!! (Try to resist the urge to jump, leap and squeal with joy..you may hurt your computer or wake up your kids!!) Cinco de Mayo, was a few weeks ago and we wanted to have a little fun with it and make some Mexican treats. Pico de Gallo, guacamole, a couple of salads with cilantro AND last but not least…..”fried” ice cream balls. Didn’t want to literally fry them….though that sounded GREAT ~ I went with good ol’ fashioned corn flakes. We had enough left over to eat with the kids the next day too and they still had a crunch to them!  I served these with caramel sauce and peanut butter sauce, chocolate sauce would be good too.

Crunchy Ice Cream Balls   
2 c. finely crushed corn flakes
3 TB. melted butter
2 TB. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
vanilla ice cream
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the ice cream and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet. (I used the box of vanilla ice cream from Aldi, not sure what the ounce is…sorry….it yeilded about 16 scoopsish.) Pop in freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Mix the crumble topping all together, set aside. Take out ice cream and form into nice balls. Roll in the topping, it helps if the balls are slightly melty….by slightly, I mean slightly ~ if they are too hard, the coating will not stick. Cover with a nice coating and put back on wax paper. Freeze till ready to serve.  Enjoy.

Love sandwich meals in the summer, they are usually quick to put together and easy to clean up…. This one I make a lot.

*I usually make this with leftover pork from a pork roast. This time though I cooked a roast overnight and in the morning shredded and THEN put it back in the crock pot with the BBQ sauce and let it cook in the crock pot on low for about 6-7 hours. (No need to simmer the sauce 1st to thicken.) It worked well and BONUS, had enough to freeze for another meal! Love it!

* I really am not good at measuring the ingredients for this, I usually just eye-ball, makes for a little bit of a different turn out every time. Add more sugar if you like it sweeter, more mustard for a kick, etc. Whatever your family likes!

Quick BBQ Pork Sandwiches  
1/4 c. sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. dry minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
 1 1/2 c. ketchup
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. butter
3 TB. Worcestershire sauce
2 TB. lemon juice
1 TB. mustard
1 1/2 lb. (about 3 c. or so) cooked shredded pork
Combine all but the pork in a large pan. Simmer till thickened. Add the roast and serve on buns.

Recipe from Taste of Home.

 

Brat Burgers

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I was going to call these ~ “Deconstructed Brat Burgers” ~ but wasn’t so sure about the title…..maybe “Reconstructed Brat Burgers”….then decided it was too much to say. I have been contemplating these for a while now, wondering how I would make them, what to put in them and what to top them with! I told my husband the other night about my plan and he said “why not leave a brat as a brat?” My genius response was “cause.” So here you go. My family enjoyed these and I hope your’s does too!

* I think brats are ment to be topped with mustard and onions, so that is what I put in it. Have fun with your toppings. We went with tomato, lettuce, ketchup and BBQ sauce. Sorry if we broke some brat rules….

* Double the onion mixture if you want more for the top! Just put 1/2 in the meat and set the other 1/2 aside. I WILL be doing this next time for sure!

* If you are looking for a good burger bun….try these!

Brat Burgers  
1 1/2 lb. good quality brats
1 TB. mustard
1 1/4 c. onions, chopped up small
1 TB. butter
1/4 – 1/2 c. beer
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Saute the onions in butter till tender and are a lovely brown color (15 minutes or so). Add the beer, (the rest goes to the cook IF you like that sorta thing or your husband or save for another use) seasoned salt and garlic powder. Cook till liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes on low. Set aside to cool a bit. Squeeze the meat out of the casings (sorry) and put in bowl, add the mustard and cooled off onion mixture. Mix well and form into 6 patties. Grill on low for 6-8 minutes (remembering to close the grill lid, don’t be distracted by your dirty hands….). Flip and cook another 5 minutes or so. Cooking time varies when lid is left open depending on each grill. Serve on buns with desired toppings. Enjoy!!

As always, thanks for reading and for your comments ~ they are really fun and greatly appreciated and helpful too! If you want to be updated with each new post you can do that by clicking the “follow” button on the right side or “liking” on Facebook. Thanks again and as always….enjoy! I do! Feel free to forward on to your friends if you think they may like to read too! 🙂

I just linked this recipe to lifeasmom.com. She has something called a recipe swap over there where you share your recipes….it was all about “man” food for Father’s Day, this seems like a perfect Father’s Day weekend food! Check out some other “manly” dishes! have fun!

Also linked to Six Sister’s Stuff.

Cordon Blue Casserole

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I am always on the hunt for “kid” friendly as well as “adult” friendly meals. Something we can all enjoy. This is one of those dishes. There is nothing scary in it…..scary means, green in my house. Why do kids have a hard time with the “green” veggies?? They are GOOD!! I make them eat a little bit when I make them cause I REFUSE to have picky kids…thought that is easier said then done! I just hope their pickyness goes away!  But for now…I will still make those veggies! and they will still have to TRY them, even just 1 bite!  Anyways, this casserole gets gobbled up each time. I serve it with some kind of potato and a veggie of some sort. Look for a yummy potato recipe coming your way! IF you want a delish green bean recipe that your kids WILL gobble up, than look no further then right here!! By the way, this dish is a GREAT way to use some leftover ham from Easter….

*If you are unfamiliar with ground nutmeg in white sauces, then you may omit it. I grew up with it, my grandma always added it, so it is a flavor I am comfortable with. Try a bit if you are unsure, it really is not a super STRONG flavor…..

*I like my casseroles to be sorts thin in the dish, not TOO thick, that way they cook up all nice and crispy around the edges. If you like your thicker, then cook in a 8″ x 8″ pan. I think this serves about 4. At my bestest guess.

Cordon Blue Casserole
2 c. cubed cooked turkey (I usually use chicken)
1 1/2 c. cubed, cooked ham
1 c. shredded cheddar
1 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
2 c. milk
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (I just add a pinch!)(which is an 1/8…I guess..)
salt and pepper to taste, remember that ham is salty!
Topping:
1 c. dry bread crumbs (LOVE Panko bread crumbs)
2 TB. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 – 1/2 c. cheddar cheese (LOVE cheese!)

Combine the turkey, ham and cheese in a large bowl and set aside. In a sauce pan, saute` the onion in the butter till tender. Add the flour, stir to form a paste. GRADUALLY add the milk in, stir constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute or until thickened. Add mustard and nutmeg. Mix well. Remove from heat and pour over meat mixture. Mix well and pour in 9″x13″ pan.  Toss the topping ingredients together and put on top. Bake uncovered @ 350* for 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Hull PRCS Cookbook.