This Little Piggie Went To Market

Sesame Ginger Garlic Pork Loin Chops (Ignore that toddler finger in the photo lol)

This little piggie went into my tummy.

When I was a kid, my imagination was just as active as it is now. And no, my parents never put me into much needed therapy hehe. But when I would hear that old rhyme, I always imagined piggies, dressed in cute knee length dresses, pushing a shopping cart through Jewel with little piggie kids being freely allowed to throw packs of Twinkies and ice cream into the cart. Because piggie parents are cool like that. I also always felt sorry for the little pig that stayed home. WHY did he stay home? Was he in trouble? Too busy reading Charlottes Web? Eating roast beef? As to that, do pigs eat roast beef? My mind would envision him with plate, napkin around the neck and snout buried deep into his food.

Yes. I was a strange strange child. Continue reading

Oink. Oink I say. Oink.

Spicy Sweet Southwestern Pork Chops

I have mentioned before that we love pork in our household. I’ve mentioned it more than once actually. because…well… we love pork. Or at least, I love pork and my family is forced to follow along in my cloven footprints because of it. I have posted quite a few porky recipes in here (especially when one considers that I am primarily a baking blog… pork cookies anyone? A nice baked pork and rice pudding perchance?) with one of my personal favorites being My ode to Anthony Bourdain . I’m still waiting for him to leave his wife and come find me and take us all (my husband and kids have to come too…) away to live in fatty pork sin.

Last night I was talking to my brother about my and Russ’s future plans for our land here. We hope to someday have animals, including raising a pig or two a year. The problem would arise at slaughter time. After I got the pig out of our bed where it would be ensconced watching old Porky Pig cartoons, took back the TV remote and box of Twinkies from it, I would be lost. I’d be sitting there with my knife…ax…machete…spoon (hell, I don’t know what I’d use to kill a poor innocent piggy!) bawling hysterically, asking the pig to please do me a favor and just fall on the knife…spork…spoon…ax… and make it easier. Truthfully though, when we get to the point of slaughter, we’d have to send them out to someone because unless it was a case of the poop hitting the fan world wide, and we HAD to do it, neither my husband nor I are the slaughtering types. Continue reading

I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing

You know you want this....

Anyone else remember the Coke commercial that had that song in it? How many of you can still sing it word for word? Lol. As advertising goes, that one was classic.


I have been a fan of Coca-Cola for just about my whole life. Oh yeah, I cheated every once in a while and tried “that other brand” but I always came back to Coke. It was always a very brief, based on desperation sort of flirtation. The other colas seriously don’t measure up for me. I remember one day, my brother Steve and I were downtown (from Chicago originally remember) and there was a stand set up to do blind taste tests of Coke and ahem… THAT brand. We both tried it and Coke won with no problem.

So when Kara from Coca-Cola contacted me a while back and asked me if I would like to recreate one of their delicious chef recipes that they have up on
My Coke Rewards , I was totally thrilled. I had seen many recipes over the years using Coke as an ingredient, but to be honest, the idea always seemed strange to me. Not anymore. I won’t say that I will suddenly have up 400 recipes utilizing Coke, but you’d darn well better believe that I will recommend trying it in this one. Even though I put my own twist on this recipe, Chef G. Garvin is still my new hero when it comes to pork tenderloin.

So what have I made you ask? The original recipe was Pork Loin With Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce. That sounded good…all the ingredients (besides the Coke) were things I used in cooking anyway but I wanted to spin this a bit differently. And oh my, was this delicious. The first words out of my husbands mouth were “oh sh**, this is good!”. Compliments galore indeed:-P if you are a meat eater, you’ll love this. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, still try the BBQ sauce from this recipe. It is beyond amazing. Sweet, spicy, fruity, a little teeny bit tart. You can find the original recipe from Chef Garvin at the above link. Mine is different but the integrity of the original recipe is still the same. I added some pineapple chunks, some curry paste, used a mix of pineapple and orange juice and subbed red pepper flakes for the jalapenos and I seasoned the pork itself differently. So try his if that tickles your taste buds, mine if you want the spin off 🙂 His is Happy Days, mine is Laverne and Shirley 😛

Pork Loin With Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

  • 2 1 pound trimmed pork tenderloins (mine were closer to 1.5 lbs each)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt free Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce-
  • 2 tbsps canola oil
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup orange-pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits
  • To Serve-
  • Good quality hamburger buns
  • sliced sweet onion
  • sliced tomato
  • romaine lettuce
  1. Start by mixing all the seasoning for the pork. Rub the pork well with some olive oil then rub it all over with the seasoning mix.
  2. C’mon… rub better than that. Get your hands dirty…
  3. Place on a medium hot grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the temp registers at about 135 degrees. At that point, start basting with the bbq sauce, rotating the meat to help caramelize the sauce and make it stick. Cook until the meat reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees, then remove from the grill and set aside to rest before slicing.
  4. The original recipe just has this being served with sauce on it and sauce on the side. I went a step further, sliced this up and served it on buns. It is oh so tender, oh so flavor filled
  5. For the BBQ Sauce-
  6. Add the canola oil to a medium saucepan. Add in the garlic, onions, shallots and curry paste. Saute until the onions are softened and tender.
  7. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the pineapple chunks. Simmer over medium low heat for about 20 minutes. Add in the pineapple pieces and simmer for another ten minutes, stirring frequently

Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola, but Coca-Cola is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not those of Coca-Cola.

Here Piggie Piggie!!

I’m pretty sure that by now I’ve made it clear that I like pork… piggie… oinker… the other white meat… the… ok, I’ll stop now. But only because I can’t think of any other names for pork. Except for Wilbur.

Contrary to still popular belief, pork is not going to make your arteries clog up and run off screaming into the night (though I’d like photos if they do, please. That would be cool as hell to see. Just sayin’) nor does it need to be outrageously fatty NOR and this is the biggest nor (can a nor have a size?) does it have to be cooked until it is the texture of your shoe sole. I had been cooking mine to about 145 for many many years and was tickled to see that the pork people and the “we tell you what you are allowed to do with your food so that we don’t ship you off to a porkie re-education camp” people (hey, that’s a valid enough description) have started saying that I was right all along. I tihnk they were watching me and learned something is what it is *cough cough*

So for the longest time I had been wanting to try to make a stuffed pork loin but I was..well… chicken. I was afraid the process would be more trouble than it was worth, was afraid the stuffing would fall out and I would be left with hollow pork and was afraid I just wasn’t good enough.

But I did it. My slicing wasn’t very professional though in my defense my cheap arse knives didn’t help lol. And since the roast I used was quite large I could only roll it so much. Obviously, rolling meat that is thick is more difficult than rolling a thin piece of meat. (Am I the only one who is finding this whole train of thought rather disconcerting… almost obscene?)

But it was tasty as all git out (what the heck does that mean anyway?) no matter the thick pork (ok, now that DOES sound bad) or the poor cutting. And now that I’ve done it, I can only get better at it.

So give this a try. It tasted great (says the woman nibbling at a lukewarm piece of pork as I type this -and dripping everywhere) and for the most part, wasn’t difficult.

Fruity Rolled & Stuffed Pork Loin

  • 1 6 pound pork loin (If you use a smaller one, I’d leave the stuffing amounts the same)
  • 1 jar cranberry chutney (I got mine at whole foods a while back) or a can of whole berry cranberry sauce (If you use cranberry sauce, add about 1/4 cup of minced onions)
  • 2 small granny smith apples, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 slices of bread, toasted and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Ok, the cutting part- First, to make it a bit easier, freeze your pork loin for about 30 minutes just to firm it up.
  2. Now rinse it off, dry it well then lay it out on a clean towel. Yes, you could use a cutting board but I am sure it will slide, making cutting more difficult.
  3. Lay the pork on it’s side and using a sharp knife (not a cheap wal mart one like I have lol) cut down through the roast ALMOST  to the bottom. Leave about a half inch edge.
  4. Lay the roast open as far as it will go. Using a sharp knife, again cut the thick side of the meat down to ALMOST the edge, leaving about a half inch edge.
  5. Do this until you can’t make another slice down. I did it twice with the large roast but probably could have done it three times had I been more sure of what I was doing so a smaller thinner roast would probably take two cuts.
  6. You will end up with a long more or less flat piece of meat. Lay it fully open and if necessary, pound it down to an even 1/2 inch or so thickness. Again, large roast; couldn’t really do this. Small one would be much easier. Cover meat and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. In a medium saucepan, mix the chutney, brown sugar, cherries and apples. Cook over medium heat until simmering and apples are starting to soften and cherries are swelling, about ten minutes
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the toast cubes. Let mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
  10. Spread fruit mixture over meat, leaving about a half inch border.
  11. Working from a short side, roll the meat up. Don’t roll too tightly or all your stuffing will end up leaking out.
  12. Tie the meat up in three or four areas with kitchen twine.
  13. Place in a foil lined 13×9 baking pan. Sprinkle with the herbs and spices and salt and pepper.
  14. Bake at 350 until a instant read meat thermometer stuck into the meat (NOT the stuffing) comes out with a temp of about 145 degrees, about 90 minutes (smaller roast; less time.)
  15. Let the roast sit for about ten minutes before slicing. NEVER cut a roast fresh out of the oven… all the juices will leak out. Letting meat rest insures that you have moister meat.
  16. Slice; drizzle with the pan juices and enjoy. Also… be proud of yourself. This wasn’t just making a box of mac and cheese. 🙂



Oui Oui Monsieur and Madame!


You must read this whole post in a very bad cartoonish French accent. Unless of course, you are French or French Canadian in which case I would appreciate you trying to read this in  sayyyyyy, a Russian accent, just to shake things up a little. Of course, if you can manage an Antarctic accent, I’d REALLY be impressed. Mind you, I have no Earthly idea what that would sound like (Polar Bear maybe?) but that’s what would make it impressive.

I know y’all are used to coming here for decadent treats and things that make you fat just reading about them but every once in a while I like to post something different. If for no other reason than to make you cry. I mean, if for no other reason than to prove I can.

Having been a foodie for years if not a food blogger, there aren’t a whole lots of foods I haven’t tried. Ok, so I haven’t tried Fugu and I never will. Nor have I had Caviar… again by choice. And while I bought a bottle of Truffle Oil a few months back, I haven’t used it yet because I can’t get past the fact that it smells like old gym shoes one would find in a teenage boys locker. But you know what I mean. At 47, I’ve eaten a lot of different foods.

But one I had never tried until now was Cassoulet. I had read nine gazillion recipes for it, had seen it on menus, had heard others talk about it here and there, but had never made it or eaten it. I think I was scared off by the recipes that usually had 322 directions and 58 ingredients. It just seemed too much trouble. And I won’t lie. For all that this is considered “French Peasant Food” by many, aka NOT the kind of food one would find in a fancy restaurant, but one one would find in the homes of the locals, it WAS a bit of work. One pot meal? Yes. One pot to prep? No. Plus lots of step by step prep work. As for the taste, read the recipe, see if you want to make it yourself and then scroll down for MY opinion of cassoulet.

So now I can say I have had cassoulet. I can also add it to my repertoire of foods I have cooked. So, if like me, you always thought it was too much trouble, give it a try. Let me know what you think of this famous dish.

French Cassoulet

1 cup Kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt
1 cup Granulated sugar
10 bone in chicken thighs (about 3 1/2 pounds), skin and excess fat removed
6 slices High-quality sandwich bread , cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons Unsalted butter , melted
1 pound Dried flageolet beans or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
1 Medium onion , peeled and left whole
1 Medium head garlic , outer papery skin removed and top 1/2 inch sliced off
1 teaspoon Table salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
6 slices Bacon (about 6 ounces), chopped medium
1 pound Boneless pork loin roast (blade-end), trimmed of excess fat and silver skin and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Small onion , chopped fine
2 Medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained
1 tablespoon Tomato paste
1 sprig Fresh thyme ( I subbed 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
Ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups Chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup Dry white wine (I used a dry Riesling)
1/2 pound Kielbasa sausage , halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1. Brining the Chicken: In gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water. Add chicken, pressing out as much air as possible; seal and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from brine, rinse thoroughly under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Preparing the Topping: While chicken is brining, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position; preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and butter in small baking dish. Bake, tossing occasionally, until light golden brown and crisp, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature; set aside.

3. Bring the beans, whole onion, garlic head, salt, pepper and 8 cups water to a boil in a stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat.Turn your oven off for now. You won’t need it for a while.

4. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are almost fully tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain the beans and discard the onion and garlic.

5. While the beans are cooking, fry the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until just beginning to crisp and most of the fat has rendered, 5 to 6 minutes.

6. Using a slotted spoon, add half of the bacon to the pot with the beans; transfer the remaining bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high; when the bacon fat is shimmering, add half of the chicken thighs, fleshy-side down; cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

7. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned on second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate; repeat with remaining thighs and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.

8. Return pot to medium heat; add pork pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add minced garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, and pepper to taste; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

9. Stir in chicken broth and wine, scraping up browned bits off bottom of pot with wooden spoon. Submerge the chicken in the pot, adding any accumulated juices. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes.

10. Remove the cover and continue to simmer until the chicken and pork are fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes more.  Preheat your oven to 425.

11.  Gently stir the kielbasa, drained beans and reserved bacon into the pot with the chicken and pork; remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the croutons evenly over the surface and bake at 425, uncovered, until the flavors have melded and the croutons are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Now for what I thought of it.  Whenever it’s a recipe I haven’t made up or adapted to my own likes, I like to say what I thought of it and since I made this by the recipe, here you go.

Brutal honesty? I don’t think I’ll be making this again. It was a lot of work to make for a dish that to be honest, had very little flavor. I found myself wanting to dump a cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce on it. Not for the heat, but to give this a little pizzazz. I know it’s SUPPOSED to be fairly plain standard country food but it was just…. bland. The meat was wonderfully tender, the beans were fine so each separate component was good but put together the sum of the WHOLE didn’t equal the sum of the PARTS in this case.

So I can say I have tried cassoulet. It wasn’t horrible by any means… but I guess I just like foods with more layers of flavor. But please… give this a try! You aren’t me and you may love it!

The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan

The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan is happy... and full of Manhattanites 😛

“Meatloaf, Scmeatloaf!!!” Anyone else love the movie “A Christmas Story”? You know the one… set during the depression, narrated by Ralphie, the main character? I love the scene where they are sitting down to dinner and meatloaf is being served. He lets out a groan and mumbles under his breath, “Meatloaf, Schmeatloaf” and the narrator says something to the effect of  “My brother had not eaten voluntarily in three years” followed by the mother getting him to eat in ways which still leave me both grossed out and laughing my butt off. I definitely identify when the narrator says “My mother had not eaten a hot meal in twenty years”. Yeah… I can get behind that one :-P.

Meatloaf  has a really really bad reputation and so many people are convinced that they absolutely hate it. I personally think they just haven’t had a good one. Because made incorrectly, meatloaf can be some nassssttttyyyyyy stuff. I actually knew someone once whose idea of making meatloaf was to take ground beef, throw in some oatmeal, salt and pepper and then bake that. *shudders* There you have the reasoning behind the bad rep. People don’t do anything to season it well or they cook it until it is a rock; they don’t glaze it etc etc etc. Add all the bad skits in movies and on TV surrounding it and it’s no wonder no one likes it.

Personally, I love meatloaf.  Well, when I am the one that’s made it.  By now, you know I can’t do anything that is screaming “I’m PLAIN!!!!”. I have to give things a bit of kick. Not necessarily heat; just a lot of flavor. I’m not any different when it comes to making meatloaf. I want flavor, not a dry crumbly loaf that tastes only of ground beef. B…o…r…i…n…gggggg.

So give this a try if you like meat loaf. Give this a try if you think you dislike meatloaf. Give this a try if you are the parent or s/o of a meat loaf hater. If you still don’t like it (or they don’t), I’ll make something sweet and creamy. Ok, so we all know I’ll do that anyway but you get my drift. Give it a try.

This meat loaf is HUGE by the way. Seriously. This could be a small uninhabited island if it weren’t a meatloaf. Or a rocket ship to Pluto, which btw, IS a planet. So feel free to cut this in half. I make it big here because we like the leftovers for lunch for a month or twelve. Nuttin’ better than a meatloaf sandwich. YUM!

Chili Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Aka The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan

  • 2 pounds ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
  • 2 pounds ground veal
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion (I use red onion because it tends to be more flavorful)
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic (yes, you read that right)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick brand “Perfect Pinch Steak Seasoning” (or your favorite steak seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (optional. It doesn’t really add heat in this amount, just a nice smokiness.)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 8 deli slices sharp cheddar or Colby cheese (I used 4 slices white cheddar and 4 slices Colby)
  • 1 small (3 ounces) can chopped green chilies (drained as well as one can drain a can of chilies)
  • GLAZE-
  •  2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a LARGE baking pan with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the loaf ingredients other than the meats, the cheese and the green chilies.
  3. Add in the meat and mix well. Clean hands are the best tool for this because it’s hard to break up lumps otherwise. Remember; this is a lot of meat.
  4. Scoop half of the meat mixture out onto the baking pan. Shape into a large (did I mention how large this was?) loafish shape.
  5. Make an indentation all through the center of the meat, leaving about a half inch edge. Think of it as making a moat. 😛
  6. Pour the chilies on top and spread to the lip, edge, moat… whatever you want to call it.
  7. Lay the slices of cheese on top of this.
  8. Take the other half of the meat and cover the bottom half, sealing well around the edges (bye bye moat).
  9. Bake at 350 for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  10. About halfway through baking, mix all the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon about half of it over the top of the loaf and continue cooking. Heat the rest in the microwave and serve on the side with the meat loaf or drizzle over the top of each slice.
  11. This makes great sandwiches the next day drizzled with some of the glaze and a slice or two of fresh tomato

Yummy meat loaf, home made mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Can we say yummy!?



Show Me The…Pork??


No, you may NOT reach in and snag a blackberry *smacks your hand* Make your own darn it!

I think that it has been established that I like pork. Maybe even love it and want to bear it’s oinky children. Though trying to imagine how said children would sound when laughing rather frightens me considering I tend to snort like a pig when laughing hard (maybe that’s not info I want out there on the web. Hmmmm…). As well as what their nose would look like. I don’t have the smallest schnoz in the world myself so join that with a piggy nose and Lord help the child socially. Plus, that only being able to cool down by rolling in the mud part could cause issues. I can see it now… “Junior, how many times do I have to tell you not to come into the house after you’ve been wallowing?!!!” But…but…*snort snort*… MOMMMMMM… I was hotttttt and…*snort snort*… you said no more 3 hour cold showers!” “No dear, no more cold showers. You’ll need those later when all the women see your nose. Now go get one of your brothers and the axe so I can make dinner”.

Maybe it would better if it were the children of a Llama. I don’t think I’d ever eat llama meat. Food for thought…. or dinner. *Snorts* I crack me up.

I started a pork loin roast marinating a few days ago. Yes, a few days. I like to do a two day marinating time usually and meant to make this last night but it didn’t happen that way. Why? Because I’m a lazy slug. What can I say?

I was worried that the three days would lead to an overly salty piece of meat with the texture of liver. I was pleasantly surprised when that was far from the case. We ended up with a pork roast that my husband ate I think 4 pieces of, I ate two pieces which is rare for me (unless I’m eating mid rare beef in which case just set a side of beef and a knife in front of me). Let’s just say that out of a four pound pork loin there is enough left for a sandwich. Add in the salsa that I made (which my husband actually tried…GASP!!) So yeah… it turned out. 😀 So if you’re a pork fan or like to have fruity relish/salsas with meat, this may be for you.

The marinade is an extreme adaptation of one from all recipes recipe. The salsa is me though as with 99.9% of the things we think we are creating, I am sure there are 500000000 variations online somewhere.

Roast Pork Loin In An Asian/Mex Fusion Marinade

With a Blackberry Peach Salsa

  • 1 3 to 5 pound pork loin
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced thin
  • SALSA-
  • 1 6 ounce container blackberries
  • 1 large peach, chopped
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Leave the lime halves in the marinade. Add the pork roast, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You heard me; 450.
  3. Put roast in a foil lined pan. Again, why make more clean up for yourself if you don’t have to. I want to give a huge kiss to whomever invented foil. On a side note, remember when it was “Tin Foil” not aluminum foil. If you do, that means you too are old like me. Welcome to the club 😀
  4. Cook roast until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees; about 40 minutes. Start checking at 30 and frequently there after. It goes up quickly at that temp. But doing it this high, you get a nice crispy outside and a juicy inside.
  5. While it cooks, make your salsa (can also be done earlier in the day)- mix your salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning but remember all flavors will get stronger as it sits.
  6. When pork is done, let it rest for about ten minutes before cutting. Drives me nuts when people cut meat the second it comes out of the oven. LET IT REST! The juices go back into it and make it that much juicier and more flavorful.
  7. Slice as thin or as thick as you like and serve with the salsa.


Pigging Out


I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are trying to buy a house. To be specific, this house right here *points down to photo*

Housing prices in this part of the country are pretty darn good especially if you consider that this has ten acres of land along with the house and pool. We’re slowly working through the process and have gotten to the point where they have it listed as “pending” now when one tries to find it online. I love seeing that word. Pending. Such a lovely word 😀

I have a ton of plans for the land when we get it (I refuse to say “if”). I want a huge garden; big enough that we can share with family as well as let local churches and food banks have some. I plan on planting a lot of fruit trees and fruit bushes & vines and nut trees with the same goal in mind though I know that will take longer before they produce. We also want to have chickens, sheep and some pigs to use for meat and in the case of the chickens, eggs. I also love the idea of my youngest being able to grow up learning to care for the land and animals. The garden tub, nice kitchen and pool have no bearing on the decision to get this house. Nope, none at all *cough cough*

I have joked more than once that I can see us getting these animals and instead of them being food, they will take over the household. I will get up in the mornings to see a Sheep wearing my fluffy pink robe and pink slippers. The chickens will use up all my tea bags and steal my chocolate stash. And the pigs will hoard the remote for the TV and I’ll be forced to watch the movie Charlottes Web 17 times a day.

But assuming we can ever find the heart to have the animules slaughtered (I have extreme doubts and see all our future meat still being wrapped in plastic and on styrofoam trays while the animules get fat as houses) one of the things I will be making  frequently is the dinner I made tonight. (Was that a smooth segue into the recipe or WHAT?! *grins and moves along knowing that yes, I AM a dolt 😛 )

I had 4 bone in extra thick pork chops I had gotten on special and I didn’t want to just fry them up and serve them. B…o…r…i…n…ggggg. My husband suggested stuffing them but as much as I don’t go by the certain foods for certain seasons thing, even I have to say that something about stuffed pork chops screams Autumn to me. So I played. If I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn good. The pork chops are fork tender and the sauce is awesome. It’s sweet, fruity, spicy and fragrant and has a nice curry flavor without tasting like it is just a curry dish. It has much more flavor than that and this is coming from a woman who loves curry. The sauce was stupendous on the coconut rice I made. So if you like pork, like fruity sauces, like a bit of heat, you’ll probably love this. Give it a try. 🙂

Bone In Pork Chops With A

Spicy & Sweet Curried Apricot Sauce

  • 4 large bone in pork chops
  • SAUCE-
  • 2 20 ounce cans apricot halves (either syrup or juice; syrup= sweeter sauce, juice= not so much so. I used one of each)
  • 1 large jalapeno (seeded if desired. I kinda liked the heat and really, it isn’t too intense 😀 )
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  1. Spray a large fry pan with cooking spray. Let pan heat over medium high heat for about 2 minutes
  2. Add pork chops (two at a time; never crowd your pan) and sear on both sides.
  3. In bowl of food processor or blender, mix all sauce ingredients while chops are browning.
  4. When all the chops are browned, add them back to the pan. Pour the sauce over them and cover the pan. Turn the heat to medium low and let simmer until fork tender, about 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the chops.  Adjust the heat if the sauce seems to be sticking.
  5. Serve the chops with extra sauce; perfectly with some Basmati rice to soak up a few gazillion spoonsful more of the sauce. I made coconut rice to go with it and the flavors melded so so well.


Just a different view cause they were both so shiny and purty I couldn't choose lol

Mmmm, Pork!!

Also known as

“Mr. Bourdain, I’m ready for my close up!”


Those who have watched his show will know that is a phrase used many many times by Anthony Bourdain on his travel/food show “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”. I totally love that show. I am conservative enough that I admit that there are times I cringe at his language and his general attitude about life but I watch anyway. Maybe I enjoy it because he IS so different than I am; I dunno. Here is the link to his travel blog if you’d like to go look at it.

He Likes Pork

One thing the man makes no bones about liking is pork. Shoulder, chops, pulled, baked, fried, fat, belly, you name it, if it oinks, he will eat it and merrily drip grease everywhere in the process with no excuses. How can you NOT like someone who likes pork? I can not like someone who likes liver maybe (or at least be very frightened of them… they HAVE to be insane) but to not someone who likes pork would go against every fiber of my being. Point being…. go watch the show! They have it on netflix 😀

Long story short, Mr. Bourdain is a hot pork lover. If it weren’t for that pesky “I’m married, he’s married, I’m fat and he’s hot, he’s wealthy and I’m broke, I’m fairly conservative and rarely cuss and he uses the f word fourteen times in each sentence, I live in the boonies, he lives…well…everywhere” thing, I just know we could be a happening sort of a couple. I mean… he likes pork! I like pork! Need I say more? P…E…R…F…E…C…T couple.

I also like spicy foods and so does he. Again…perfect for each other. So today I made (yes finally. Hey; I couldn’t chew anything harder than doughnuts for petes sake!) pork chops for Anthony. You see that… I’m on a first name basis with him. Perfect coupleeeeeeeee. Anthony, you getting all this?  You’re gonna talk to your wife right? Mrs. Anthony, please don’t fight destiny. He likes pork.

So go and get out some nice thick meaty pork chops (am I the only one thinking that that sounds a wee bit obscene after the rest of this post? Where’s the pork, Anthony?!) and some hot sauce (pork… hot… we both like… perfect coupleeeeee!) and make these pork chops. If you don’t like spicy, I don’t know what to say other than “I’m sorry”. I suppose you could omit the hot sauce in this, but you’ll hurt my feelings. And Anthonys (there’s that first name thing again; didya notice that? Huh huh huh?) and you don’t want to make him angry.

Crispy Buffalo Style Pork Chops


  • 6 6 to 8 ounce boneless pork chops (nice thick meaty ones (giggles again) )
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot; use your favorite)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Poke holes all over the chops on both sides with a fork. In a large bowl, mix the  buttermilk and hot sauce. Add chops to the milk and let marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 8.
  2. In another large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and spices. Mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13×9 inch pan with foil (for easier cleanup) and set a rack in it.
  4. Heat enough oil to 350 degrees in a large pan to where you have about 1/4 inch of oil.
  5. Shake off excess buttermilk, then dredge chops in the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour. Dip again in the buttermilk then again in the flour (You don’t HAVE to do the double dip. One dip in each works fine if you want a thinner crust.). Carefully add chops, not crowding pan (3 at a time works for a good sized skillet) and cook over medium to medium high heat (about 5 to 6 on an electric stove) five minutes on each side. Careful when you turn them. Use tongs and a flat thin spatula or you’ll end up pulling off the coating. After the chops have browned on both sides, put on the rack and cook in a 350 degree oven until the pork has an internal temp of 145, about 15 to 20 minutes. Contrary to popular belief, pork does NOT have to be a dry piece of leather to be safe.
  6. Serve with a good quality bleu cheese dressing just like you would for buffalo wings. Yes, I know I had said I was going to make a bleu cheese pan sauce with these (ok you knew it if you have my fan page liked on facebook anyway 😛 )  but if I hadn’t gotten dinner on the table, my whole family would have divorced me 😀


You Put Da Lime In Da Coconut


And then you feel better,
Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning.

One of the strangest songs ever written. Every time I think of it, I think of the Muppets Episode where Kermit sang it.  Yes, I realize my TV viewing leaves something to be desired… like maybe sophistication and intelligence but in my defense, I’ve been surrounded by kids since I was 21. What do you expect? Just please…. don’t get me started on The Fresh Beat Band *shudders* or Yo Gabba Gabba. I’ve been known to rant on the subject of our children’s brain cells being fried by the junk they advertise as educational television these days. Not to mention the perception kids must have of adults as babbling idiots by the time they reach school age if they watch those shows. Ok, I got myself started didn’t I? Ummm…oops?

Sunny Dayyyy… chasing my caressss awayyyyyyy!!! Lalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaa. Can you tell me how to get- how to get to Sesame Street!?

Now THAT was good kids TV. Cute puppets, kids learned their letters and numbers as well as moral lessons. We already know I’m easily amused so stop laughing; it’s not nice. Sesame Street taught you that. I know it  did. 😛

I’ve also mentioned that I love anything curry. So today I was playing around and wanted to do something interesting with the boneless pork Loin roast I had. Methinks I succeeded. I cut the roast into chops and marinated them in a coconut milk/lime/curry marinade and then cooked them up in the same marinade. By the time it was done, they were fall apart tender infused with the luscious taste of the marinade which had cooked down into a creamy sauce. I served this with a spicy peach & cranberry chutney I’ve been making for years, an extra squeeze of lime over the meat, basmati rice that we covered in the sauce and Broccoli florets. I tried to carry the flavors over from the sauce to the chutney and I think it worked well here.

Boneless Pork Loin Chops in a Coconut Curry Sauce

  1. 3.5 pound pork loin roast, cut into chops of desired thickness ( I made 10 chops from it. This gives us enough for 2 meals. You can make them thicker or thinner but that will affect cooking time so be aware of that. This can also be cut in half just using boneless chops for less people if you don’t want to use a whole roast)
  2. 2 15 ounce cans coconut milk
  3. 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  4. 1/4 cup lime juice
  5. zest from one lime
  6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon onion powder (NOT onion salt)
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Put your chops in and push them down under the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Longer is even better. You can marinade for up to a day. Mine was in for about 3 hours and I think it would have been even better for a full day.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 about 20 minutes before you need to get the meat started. Foil line a 13×9 inch pan then spray it with cooking spray. That will reduce your mess plus the chops won’t stick as much.
  • Put your chops, one by one, into the foil lined pan. Carefully pour 1 1/2 cups of your marinade over the chops (just discard the rest) and cover the pan with more foil. Cook in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how thick you cut your chops, uncovering the pan after 45 minutes to give your sauce time to thicken up some. When you can  easily pull a piece off of a chop with a fork, they are done. Serve them with the chutney and preferably with some rice to soak up all the saucy goodness. Make sure you squeeze some lime juice over the meat for each serving. It adds that indefinable oomph that makes the dish great.

Sweet & Spicy Peach Cranberry Chutney

  1. 2 15 ounce cans sliced peaches in juice or light syrup
  2. 1 15 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce (you can also do this w/out the cranberry sauce if you just want a Peach chutney. I have done it both ways.)
  3. 1/2 cup raisins
  4. 1 red onion, chopped
  5. 1 clove minced garlic (again; I used the kind in the jar. Ninety percent of the time, it works perfectly for your garlic needs)
  6. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use less if you don’t like spicy)
  10. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  11. 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • Dump everything into a medium sized sauce pot. Stir well to combine. Cook over medium heat until reduced by about half and thickened. This will take anywhere from an hour and a half to 2 and a half hours. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and if it starts to stick, turn your heat down to about 3 or 4 on an electric stove, low heat on a gas stove. This can be used the day it is made but it’s even better the next day.