Side DIsh

French Onion Rice and Pork Chops

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice

When I was first married I had to fix pork chops at least once a week for my husband.  He adored pork.  But I think I ruined it for him by overcooking it.  I cooked them to death.  I could do a pork roast ok, but the poor little pork chop was like leather.  So as the years went by he changed his tastes and didn’t ask for them too often.  I figured out if I told him we were having pork chops for dinner he would either suggest we go out or he might bring home a pizza.  I kept a package of pork chops in the freezer for quite a while. I’d pull it out to thaw and he would put it back in the freezer!  It worked!

I think if he were still here he might like this pork chop recipe.  I think it would be good with chicken too.

French Onion Pork Chops and Rice

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Plank Grilled Zucchini Boats with Cous Cous

From MiddleSister:

My husband actually picked this recipe to support my healthy eating.  Poor thing, the next morning, I found an empty leftover take out pizza box.  But, I loved it.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light’s Way to Cook Grilling cookbook.  I changed it up quite a bit.  I grilled and then stuffed the zucchini.  It suggested stuffing and then grilling.  I added bacon and flavored olive oil.  Personally, I think you would get much better flavor out of the shallots and spinach if they were sauteed and then you added the broth.

While it really was quite filling and satisfying as a main dish, I think next time, I would serve one as a side dish to a chicken breast with Chimichurri or a lemon-basil chicken breast.  You could also chop up the zucchini and mix it in with the cous cous, but then use a larger skillet. I would still salt and grill it because the flavor of the zucchini alone was amazing.

Zucchini Boats

I just can’t decide what to take to Yahoo Shine Supper club this month.  So, I’ll take this one over with my beets.

Gonna Be Fresh from the Garden Roasted Beets

I had these beets I bought at the produce market and could not decide what to do with them.  I’m sure I had something I mind when I picked them up.  Have you ever done that?  I do it all the time.  So I trimmed them and roasted them.  They were so good and fresh tasting.  The Yahoo Shine supper club came along with the right idea at the right time.  I am glad to take these there.

As a child we always had pickled beets that were sweet and I guess that is what I always thought they tasted like.  I don’t remember them any other way.  But roasting fresh vegetables brings out a sweet natural taste I just love.  Krista planted beets in her garden last year.  I think I’m going to give them a try this year.

Here we go – already expanding what was going to be a very small, selective summer garden.  I went out to cut some thyme the other day and discovered the yard man thought it was weed and pulled it out when he was doing the initial heavy cleaning from the winter. I knew I should have been out there with him.  But the wind was blowing and I had shown him what I wanted cleaned up.  And this thyme had survived the winter very well.  I’ll never find another German thyme plant in El Paso again!  So I must add that to my ever-growing list of plants to watch for.

My kids give me gift cards to the local garden centers for my birthday and Christmas. They are my favorite gift.  I can look forward to shopping and savor the benefits all Spring and Summer long.  I save them until it is time to go shopping in the spring.  I am about to launch into garden mode around here.  I’ve seen things begin to green up and the weeds are doing very well on the borders of the beds.  In about October I always decide I won’t do anything but my flower pots around the patio.  But…….that hasn’t happened just yet.

But back to these beets. It’s called Recipes and RAMBLINS for a reason folks. :)

Roasted Beets

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

This is my first time to participate in the Foodie Pen Pal.  It was fun to learn about another blogger and gather some things to send her that were of interest and some things to tell her about the area where I live.
The Lean Green Bean

I was matched with Angie.  Check out her story I Love Tangie.  She makes and sells homemade cleaning products.  (Like her own laundry detergent.)  She is into a recycled world to save our planet.

I must say I will read her news and try to be more conscious of my world.  I recycle what I can.  I don’t use spray cans.  But I did pollute the air with Aqua Net when I was a teenager.  In wild, windy West Texas you had to have something to paste that bouffant hairdo in place.  Oh my, memories!  We will save that memory for another time.

Even more exciting is the package I received from Krystin.  She lives in Edmond, OK. She has lots of opportunities for family entertainment in her area on her blog.  Last week it was all about Easter events for the little bunnies on the Saturday before Easter. Sell a Metro Home  I’ve learned a lot about Edmond, OK just reading it.

I need to go visit Krystin.  She also listed all the places for a little retail therapy nearby.  I thought Oklahoma was like the Drummond Ranch (Pioneer Woman) with miles of open space.  She makes it sound like she is surrounded by miles of shopping malls.  I can go for that.

She sent me a package with the best of Oklahoma “foody stuff”.  Some Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly for my spicy side; some bar-b-que sauce and gravy mix for a taste of great Oklahoma cooking, and some dried okra. (Cuz I mentioned I liked okra.)  If you haven’t had it, you should look for it in your whole food section of your Sprouts.  It is delicious!

Oh and did I mention she lives just minutes from an historic round barn? Aracadia Round Barn History   It’s on the historic Route  66.  Built in 1898 and restored in 1992.   This would be a great school field trip. It would be a little far for the kids in El Paso, but it would be amazing to see.  She sent me a post card with a little about it.  So I had to do some research on it.  You will find it very interesting – just like her site.

Edmond, OK Treats

Thank you, Kristyn for the great package and the geography and history lesson.  I’m always open to learning about something new and exploring new tastes.  I used the jelly in a Sweet and Spicy Cole Slaw for some sliders.  It was a great hit.  Here’s what I did.

Every other Sunday evening I meet with a Casa group (from my church) for a pot luck dinner and a study.  The pressure is on to come up with something good and different.  I’m usually counted on to bring a dessert.  This last Sunday I was in the mood for something different.  And I had made this pork which I could not possibly eat all by myself.  So I came up with this quick slaw and got some rolls and we had sliders.  I thought that would be different.

As it turned out there was no dessert.  We had fried chicken, Irish soda bread, a relish tray, stuffed mushrooms,  my pork and slaw and more bread and meatballs in a cream sauce.  We were all thinking heavy on the meat I guess.  It usually results in a rather well-balanced meal.  Next time I’m sure we will all resort to our usual offerings.  Normally we are very traditional.

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Sliders

The pulled pork was so easy to make and smelled so good I wasn’t sure I would wait to serve it to have a slider.  But I waited.  I made the slaw to serve with these sliders.  Everybody loved it.

I used the Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly I got from Krystin (my March Foodie Pen Pal).   But you could use any pepper jelly or red chile flakes and Sweet ‘n Low for the sweet taste.  This is a quick slaw that sets up fast.  I think this would be good on almost anything.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

 

Favorite Family Sides for Easter

Holiday Meal Side Dishes

I don’t know about you but in my family there are certain sides that must accompany each holiday meal.  At Easter, Andy equals broccoli rice, Amy equals deviled eggs, Krista equals rolls and mashed potatoes.  No one would say anything but it would be akin to disowning them.  So, I have whipped up some of these to be ready for Sunday.  We are adding fruits and vegetables because that is what Cameron (my oldest grandaughter) likes.  Maddie must lick the bowl when I am baking…see all of my cupcake recipes.  Oh yeah…there is ham.  That is a given, but really my group gathers round for their favorite side dishes.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Deviled Eggs

Carrots

KiStrawNana Salsa

I am taking all these family favorites to Saturday dishes which starts tomorrow morning.  I hope you will join us there.  It promises to be a grand collection of side dishes if you are still making your shopping list.

Saturday Dishes

Happy Easter

 

 

Cauliflower Cakes with Avocado Ranch Cream

Time to eat our vegetables again. I created this dish for the Alphabet Challenge. This challenge is organized and coordinated by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic. What a great idea! This is where on or around the 15th of each month I will publish vegetable recipes and share them at the link party with other bloggers. If you are interested in joining us you can find out more here.

I picked the letter C for cauliflower. Cauliflower is very popular right now. I have learned many, many new ways to make it. I got this one and changed it just a little from the Healthy Foodie. I can’t be as healthy as she can so I added this avocado cream to it (its kind of healthy).

Cauliflower Cakes with Avocado Cream

I got nutritional information about cauliflower here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2390/2 Cauliflower per cup has 25 calories, 30mg of sodium, 5g of carbohydrates and 2g of protein.

Check out the link party below (must be registered to enter) and don’t forget to check out the Eating the Alphabet Pinterest board. There you can keep track of all the recipes that are added month-to-month but also find new recipes from last year too. What’s your favorite fruit, vegetable, grain or legume that starts with the letter C or D?


Green Food! I Mean Green…Really Green.

Green Food?  Really?  I’ve heard of Green Eggs and Ham.   When I “Googled” green food I got a whole list of organic, naturally grown food.  That was not quite what I had in mind.  Not that there’s anything wrong with those, of course.  I was thinking St. Patrick’s Day not natural food.

I made a list of naturally green food:  peppers, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, kale, green beans, leeks, green onions, spinach, lettuce, peas, zucchini, Granny Smith apples, kiwi, honeydew, green grapes.  Then of course there are all sorts of herbs.  Cilantro, parsley, chives, tarragon, mint… the list can go on.

So what was I worried about?  There are plenty of green food items I use all the time.

I wanted to make something green for Saturday Dishes.  (I’ll get to St. Patrick’s Day green a little later with cookies, cakes and whatever else.)  I did come up with a roasted Napa Cabbage, Broccoli, and Leek dish and to go with it a Green Cilantro Rice.

I know you either like or hate cilantro.  I happen to like it….a lot!  Huevos Rancheros and Chicken Tacos aren’t complete without it.  If you like it this rice is very easy and tasty.

What other green foods can you think of?  Link it to Saturday Dishes sometime this weekend.  We will open the show early tomorrow morning so come back and link up your green.  Sweetened or unsweetened is fine!

Broccoli, Leek and Napa Cabbage

Green Rice

Asparagus and Portabello Mushrooms in Garlic Mustard Sauce

I have decided to participate in the Eating the Alphabet Challenge.  This challenge is organized and coordinated by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic.  What a great idea!  This is where on the 15th of each month I will publish vegetable recipes and share them at the link party with other bloggers.  If you are interested in joining us you can find out more here.

This first challenge was the letters A and B.  I assigned my oldest daughter the A because I like several “B” vegetables.  She finally turned in her homework.  She made an interesting mushroom and asparagus side to go along with what sounded like some really good steaks (balance in everything).

Asparagus and Mushrooms

The nutritional data comes from:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2363/2

RAW ASPARAGUS has 27 calories per 134g; 0 grams of fat; 3 mg of sodium and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

RAW PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS have 23 calories per 1 cup serving; 0 gram fat; 5 mg sodium; 4 grams carbohydrates.

 

Check out the link party below (must be registered to enter) and don’t forget to check out the Eating the Alphabet Pinterest board. There you can keep track of all the recipes that are added month-to-month but also find new recipes from last year too. What’s your favorite fruit, vegetable, grain or legume that starts with the letter A or B?

Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts-Eating the Alphabet Challenge

We now return to our eating healthy schedule since Valentine’s Day is over.  I have decided to participate in the Eating the Alphabet Challenge.  This challenge is organized and coordinated by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic.  What a great idea!  This is where on the 15th of each month I will publish vegetable recipes and share them at the link party with other bloggers.  If you are interested in joining us you can find out more here.

This first challenge was the letters A and B.  I assigned my oldest daughter the A because I like several “B” vegetables.  She is late with her homework!  I am sure we will see something soon.  I thought I had a bag of beets and broccoli in the freezer.  It turned to be Brussels sprouts and butternut squash.  That worked for my part of the job.  I decided to do a little nutritional investigation on my assignment.  This could prove to be very beneficial.  I only checked 1 source for my information:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2363/2

Butternut squash has 41 calories per 1/2 cup of cubes; 0 grams of fat; 8 mg of sodium and 22 grams of carbohydrates.  (squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, without salt)

Brussels sprouts have 28 calories per 1/2 cup serving; 1 gram fat; 16 mg sodium; 6 grams carbohydrates; rich in vitamin C and A, iron and calcium. (Brussels sprouts, cooked, baked without salt)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts

Check out the link party below (must be registered to enter) and don’t forget to check out the Eating the Alphabet Pinterest board. There you can keep track of all the recipes that are added month-to-month but also find new recipes from last year too. What’s your favorite fruit, vegetable, grain or legume that starts with the letter A or B?

Southern Yellow Cornbread

This is the base for my Southern Cornbread Dressing.

Southern Yellow Corn Bread

  •  2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix the soda with the buttermilk and set aside to develop.  Mix cornmeal and salt.  Add the buttermilk and eggs.  Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons butter in a baking pan (9 x 13”) is ok for a nice thick slice of cornbread.  I bake mine in a cast iron skillet.   Melt the butter in the skillet while preheating the 350° oven.  Add the butter to the meal mix and stir in quickly.  Let this sit for about 20 minutes before putting it into the oven.  This allows the cornmeal to absorb the liquid.

Put the skillet back into the over to keep hot after adding the butter to the corn meal mixture.  Pour the mixture into the hot pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  You want to hear a little sizzle when you pour it in.  Bake until a nice brown crust has formed around the edges and bottom.  We will refer to this recipe a lot.  This is one of those regulars with good food.