TOMATO SWISS STEAK

I recently ran across a recipe for “Swiss Steak en Casserole” from an old 1958 booklet of recipes that was quite similar and it reminded me of this recipe I make primarily in the winter because of its “comfort” quality of rib sticking goodness, which means I haven’t made it in a few years since it hardly gets cold here.

I have NO idea why this is called Swiss Steak. I just know my mom called it that and so did her mom. Grams said it had something to do with how the meat is prepared, but don’t quote me on that! That conversation was eons ago. But, as I typed this my curiosity got the best of me so I looked it up.

According to Wikipedia, “Swiss steak is meat, usually beef, prepared by means of rolling or pounding, and then braising in a cooking pot of stewed tomatoes, mushroom sauce, or some other sauce, either on a stove / log (cooker) or in an oven. In England and in some parts of the United States such as the Deep South, it is also called smothered steak. The dish does not stem from Switzerland, as the name suggests, but from the technique of tenderizing by pounding or rolling called “swissing“. So that was clear as MUD 😀

Mom used to add sliced green peppers and I ALWAYS picked them out so I don’t bother to add them now. Green peppers and I are NOT friends – never have been, never will be especially now with no stomach tolerance. I do use quite a bit of FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns instead. I remember it sometimes being served with mashed potatoes, but I prefer the sliced potatoes cooked in the sauce. I cannot be sure of the original measurements or even the original ingredients as I have adjusted it over an over through the years to suit our tastes. I know the original recipe called for water, but I love using the buttermilk as it makes a thicker, more flavorful gravy.

I also remember a similar recipe using a brown style gravy with mushrooms that was using this same cut of meat like a faux stroganoff.

TOMATO SWISS STEAK

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of tenderized round steak
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1-2 teaspoons FRESH ground tri-color pepper
1 large shallot, sliced
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Bisque Soup
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Yukon potatoes, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cut the round steak into 6 to 8 serving-size portions.
  • Add flour into a shallow bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Generously season each piece of meat on both sides.
  • Dredge each steak in flour mixture, pushing down to secure flour to meat.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Quickly brown each piece of meat and the remove it.
  • Add the shallot and bell pepper if you are using it, stirring to sauté for a few minutes, scrape up bits from bottom as you go. Scoot shallots and peppers to the edges of the pan.
  • Alternately layer potato slices in the middle of the shalllots.
  • Whisk together the tomato bisque and buttermilk.
  • Add meat pieces over top of the potatoes.
  • Pour tomato soup mixture over everything.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

NOTES:

  • Using the vinegar makes a tangier sauce – just depends on your mood. 😀
  • In the winter I like to make this with sliced carrots also which add some GREAT color.
  • I also sometimes make this with sliced baby red peppers instead of green peppers.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 8 of 2018

GOOD MORNING! Here we are in week 8 of 2018 and a long weekend too.

We had a quiet, wet weekend.  We did go to the Farmer’s Market Saturday, but it was raining and my favorite vendors weren’t there so we headed to my favorite grocer with the best produce and did a little shopping and ate lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants which is still kind of hard for me because of the spice, but I muddled through with a plain cheese quesadilla that I’m still munching on.  I’m giving doggy bags a new meaning with how many additional meals I get after we get home.

This was the official NASCAR season kickoff weekend at Daytona and the drivers did NOT disappoint.  It was action packed and fun.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

We had to switch from heat to air conditioning this past weekend and I’m hoping this is not indicative of the weather to come.  We’re supposed to be in the mid to high 70’s with higher humidity and a chance of thunderstorms ALL week, but right now it’s just gray and foggy. I AM NOT READY for summer – I WANT SPRING!!!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Nothing much right now.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • I was doing really well on the road to recovery when I developed a new bacterial infection.  The doctor put me on a serious antibiotic to fight it and I was doing really well for the first week.  On day 8 she decided to extend the prescription another week which seemed fine. But, 2 days later I ended up with severe side affects and have been pretty miserable since Saturday night, but I have stopped the medication and seem to be getting better though I need to call her office tomorrow when they open back up.
  • I also tried on lots of clothes over the weekend and have several large donation piles again.  The weight loss is a double edge sword as I’m now smaller than my skinny clothes and are eventually going to need to buy new clothes and I am not fond of clothes shopping.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

I have an elderly neighbor that lives alone that I often take dinner too or a batch of goodies when I make some for hubby.  The door bell rang the other day and she was standing there with these beautiful pink and red tulips for Valentine’s day as a thank you – She’s so sweet to me!

We also had some worrisome moments when Sady couldn’t quite be found.  But, the crematorium called me and explained what happened and then the sweet woman actually drove her remains to our local vet so we didn’t have to wait another week to be home where she belongs.  Nice people make such a HUGE difference in our lives!  I need to dig out the baby pictures for Sady, Dickens and Gunner to have them in the area too.

INSPIRATION

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing as I’m still battling yet another infection
  • LIVING AREAS… lots of mopping and vacuuming as we’re having a little rain each day – just enough to make a mess
  • KITCHEN… I NEVER again want a kitchen that is a thoroughfare! Between hubby and the dog going in and out constantly it always needs cleaning!
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… I need to plant the barrels soon, but am waiting to make sure we don’t get a late freeze
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

OLYMPICS are on the DVR daily for awhile.  The winter Olympics are my absolute favorite and I watch them ALL! Thank goodness for DVR’s! 😀

  • I’m now reading BOOK #11, Change of Fortune of JANA DELEON’S Miss Fortune series. It’s a fun read that makes you laugh out loud.

COMEDIES

  • BIG BANG THEORY, YOUNG SHELDON
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, LIFE IN PIECES

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, WISDOM OF THE CROWD, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM, BLINDSPOT, MACGYVER, SCORPION
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0, ELEMENTARY
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED, 911

DRAMAS

  • THE GOOD DOCTOR, THIS IS US, THE RESIDENT

SYFY

  • Z NATION, the WALKING DEAD, FLASH, SUPERGIRL, DC LEGENDS
  • ORVILLE, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE X-FILES, THE ALIENIST starts later this week

COOKING

  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS, BAKED IN VERMONT
  • KID’S BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MON
TUES
WED
THUR
FRI
SAT
SUN
2 times a day
B-FAST
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
2 times a day
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink

LUNCH

2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
DINNER

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER MEATBALLS

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

CHIPOTLE PEPPER SHREDDED PORK 

 

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

CAST IRON SKILLET ROAST CHICKEN

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS

I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years, but recently found a name for them on a package of ground beef from my grocer. It’s a cute name and really fits the recipe – it’s so country fair or carnival like! If you have left over Sloppy Joes they substitute well for the ground meat mixture also to make a quick weeknight meal.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS
1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck)
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 large Russet potatoes (BAKED)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use non-stick if you have it, but if using cast iron oil it slightly before adding ground meat.
  • When pan is hot add ground beef and onion, sauteing 8-10 minutes all the while breaking meat into small crumble sized pieces.
  • Pour off excess grease. I actually pour it into a stainless steel colander over a paper towel lined paper plate so it can drain REALLY well. I can also use the spatula to break the meat apart even more into that small crumble.
  • Add BBQ sauce, mix well, cover and simmer on ow 10 minutes.
  • Starting lengthwise slice potatoes into quarters and theft each quarter ion half.
  • Arrange 4 pieces of potato on each plate.
  • Generously salt and pepper potatoes.
  • Top with a spoonful of beef mixture.
  • Top beef with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, green onions and sour cream to taste.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS
Years ago one of my VERY favorite treats were Eagle Brand 7 Layer bars A.K.A. as Magic Cookie Bars with sweetened condensed milk, BUT, they were so heavy and calorie packed. This recipe is a WONDERFUL substitute for that recipe and the bars are still moist and tender AND they taste amazingly similar – kind of like a loaded Blondie that strives to be overindulgent! This recipe also makes smaller portion which is great for just 2 people

BARS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon (I use Red Ape)
Heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted coconut pieces

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, whisking until smooth.
  • Add the heaping Cookie Butter, and stir to blend.
  • Add the flour and salt, stirring until just combined DO NOT OVER MIX!!!! – these are like brownies and overtaxing will make them tough.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips, raisins and coconut.
  • Set pan aside while you prepare the streusel.

STREUSEL
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats DO NOT USE quick or instant oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoonS cinnamon, to taste
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips

  • Using the same bowl you made the batter in add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form.
  • Sprinkle streusel evenly over top.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. Test with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean, you’re good to go. EVERY oven is different so start checking these at the 30 minute mark.
  • After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter and 2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
  • Immediately and evenly drizzle Chocolate Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
  • Allow pan to cool for at least 30 minutes cutting.
  • Lift out foil and place on cutting board.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

When I went to bed last night it was a balmy 73 degrees.  As I lay there watching the news I was astounded that the weatherman said today’s high would be 46 with wind and rain.  Actually I didn’t believe him, but lo and behold I woke to thunder, rain, wind and 46 degrees.
That’s when I decided it was time to pull the Honey Baked Ham bone out of the freezer and make some split pea soup for dinner.  We’ll probably split a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it.
I’ve been making this recipe exactly the same way for over 20 years.  It’s that good – needs no updating. It’s smooth, creamy, chunky, slightly sweet and savory too! The beer gives it a pungent punch too.
I wrote and prepped this recipe and then forgot to post it so last night refers to last Sunday LOL 🙂

SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 Honey Baked Ham Bone
2 cups ham pieces
3 quarts water
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
5 large stalk celery, leaves included, chopped
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups split green peas
2 cups split yellow peas
1/4 cup barley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper & white pepper mix
1 bottle beer – Mystery ingredient – choose your favorite flavor
crispy bacon pieces for garnish

  • In a large stock pot, bring ham bone* & water to a boil. Boil until the meat is falling off the bone, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours)
  • Remove the bone and let cool enough so you can cut the meat off the bone. You should have about 8 cups water left.
  • In the mean time add the carrots, celery, onion (4 cups total) and seasonings to the water and return to a SLOW boil for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • While the vegetables are boiling, rinse the peas and pick out any bad ones.
  • Cut the ham pieces off the bone. Refrigerate the ham pieces and discard the bone.
  • After the vegetables have cooked 45 minutes or until tender, add the peas and barley, cooking for another 1-1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender.
  • Add the beer and ham pieces back in and cook another 30-45 minutes.

NOTE*: I always save my honey baked ham bones after the meat is all cut off. I then freeze them and save them for future soups. I always get at least 2 cups of meat off when I boil the bone.

This makes a huge batch and I always freeze it in several batches (3-4) for future easy weeknight meals.  We usually pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

TODAY’S TRIVIA as heard by hubby on an old game show – Campbell’s soup used to fill the bottom of the bowl with marbles so the vegetables would be at the top giving the appearance of more vegetables in each bowl of soup. That trick was not done here – what you see is what you get.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD with or without Chicken

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (I like to use a lemon olive oil)
large egg yolk, beaten
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Torn Romaine lettuce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons

  • In a small food processor combine 7 ingredients until well blended. Garlic and anchovies should become one with the liquid ingredients.
  • Fold olive oil mixture into beaten egg until well blended.
  • Season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper.
  • Pour over torn lettuce and sliced green onions.
  • Top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss well and serve immediately.

NOTE: When I use chicken I use chicken tenders with salt and pepper browned in a little butter and then shredded into the salad.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

YUMMY HOMEMADE CELERY SEED DRESSING

CELERY SEED DRESSING
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional as I’m allergic)
2 green onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 cup olive oil (I use a lemon olive oil bu a vegetable oil works too)
1/3 cup vinegar (I sometimes use a flavored rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)

  • In the bowl of a food processor mix together the sugar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed and onions until well mixed.
  • Gradually add in the oil and vinegar alternately.
  • Chill before serving, but us also good heated.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 7 of 2018

Good morning! Here we are about to start yet another new week.  I hope your weekend was great.  Mine was full of errands, chores and stormy weather followed by a SERIOUS cold front!

I had a few tests last Friday due to the new infection and while we were out we picked up my wedding ring that had been at the jeweler to be sized.  Our jeweler is in this cute little town and when we are normally there all the local antique stores are closed.  But, we lucked out and they were actually open! YAY! I LOVE ANTIQUING. When I go through an antique store I’m always on the lookout for old recipe boxes WITH recipes!  I lucked out on Friday and found a gorgeous large oak recipe box stuffed full of old handwritten recipes and a ton of newspaper clippings. I am having so much fun going through them AND will be making some retro meals too! LOL 😀 some of the recipes were written in German so I’m still not sure what they are, but I have a German neighbor that I’m going to see if she can translate them.

I found this over the weekend and have adopted it as my new motto:

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

The weather is still super crazy here.  Friday and Saturday were in the mid to high 70’s, true flip flop weather with a heavy rain and thunderstorm moving in and making it wet, but by Saturday dusk it was suddenly 55 degrees and dropping fast to an overnight low of 39 degrees.  Then we had a high of 40 yesterday with a windchill of 31-33 all day. The rest of this week is supposed to be in the low 50’s with off and on rain and thunderstorms and then back into the high 70’s by the weekend. Like I said, completely wonkers on the weather front.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Honey Nut cheerios with banana slices with milk and a cup of Green Tea

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • my recent post about my unplanned gastric bypass RECOVERY UPDATE
  • my recent post about FEELING BLESSED – OVARIAN CANCER
  • What we’re saving in the food bill is being spent on clothes.  I went through several totes of my “skinny” clothes over the weekend and even those are now being donated 🙁 I’m not a real love of shopping girl so this makes all of this a real chore for me.  I did buy a few new bras and tops on Saturday while I was out, but am holding off on pants until I finish losing weight.  My skinny jeans are too big, but passable for a while longer.
  • I have been ebaying (or at least trying to) many items (mostly antiques and collectibles), but am now thinking my peace of mind is worth more than the money that can be made from all these items and am in the process of sorting though and donating many items to the local abused women’s resale shop so they can benefit from them. I just can’t move them again or justify the time involved with the smaller items.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

INSPIRATION

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing – I will sure be glad when we’re out of here and can stop this overwhelming process.
  • LIVING AREAS… time for a serious deep clean
  • KITCHEN… time for a serious deep clean
  • STUDIO… is just storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… not much
  • BLOG… a little more recipe updating and future post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR / MOVIES

The Olympics are at the forefront of everything being watched.  Winter Olympics are my favorite! Go Team USA! 😀

MOVIES

I’ve taped a few of the Hallmark Valentine’s movies to watch during down time.

READING

I’m now reading ONCE HUNTED, TWICE SHY an EVERLASTING SERIES NOVEL by Mandy Roth

COMEDIES

  • Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, The Good Place, American Housewife, Better Late Than Never, Life in Pieces

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdom of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS

  • The Good Doctor, This is Us, The Resident, Elementary

SYFY

  • Z Nation, The Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC LEegends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files

COOKING

  • Guy’s Grocery Games, Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, The Grill Dads, Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby and Damaris, Baked in Vermont, Kid’s Baking Championship, Worst Cooks in America, Giada

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MON
TUES
WED
THUR
FRI
SAT
SUN
2 times a day
B-FAST
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and  Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
BACON & EGGS
TOASTED FRENCH TOAST
2 times a day
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 time a day

LUNCH

2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
DINNER 6-8 ounces

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

6-8 ounces

CHICKEN PARMESAN LASAGNA

6-8 ounces

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

6-8 ounces

CASHEW CHICKEN

6-8 ounces

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

6-8 ounces

GRILLED SWORDFISH with LEMON BASTING SAUCE & SALAD with HOMEMADE CELERY SEED DRESSING

6-8 ounces

C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

A YUMMIER lighter Chicken Marsala

I loved Italian food long before I met hubby. I’m also a creature of habit. When I find a dish that I absolutely adore I will try it every time I go out to find who makes it best. Unfortunately, for this recipe no one anymore seems to make it quite like it was originally made and I was forced to make my own recipe. LOL I also found out that I have to hide the wine or hubby makes it disappear without benefit of the recipe/meal 😀 I’ve been making this lower fat version of this recipe for about 8 years and really like it a lot. If we happen to go out to a nice Italian restaurant I do indulge in the full fat version just to keep trying to find it made like when I was a kid.

CHICKEN MARSALA

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons avocado/olive oil
1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings and then separated
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup sweet cooking sherry

  • With a mortar and pestle grind the oregano.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Coat the chicken pieces well with the flour mixture.
  • In a heavy skillet, heat oil and butter.
  • When oil and butter is hot, saute’ onions and mushrooms until just carmelized.
  • Set aside onions and mushrooms and place chicken breasts in skillet and brown on both sides about 6 minutes per side over medium heat. Remove and set aside, but keep warm.
  • To the skillet, add the wine, lemon juice and sherry. Stir, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce is partially reduced and begins to thicken.
  • Return onions and mushrooms to the skillet.
  • Plate chicken breasts.
  • Spoon sauce over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Serve with Parsleyed Herb Noodles.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE

When I went to the grocery store February 25, 2010 I ran across some awesome meat deals and these pork chops were perfect for a new BBQ sauce I wanted to try. Dave over at My Year on the Grill has been raving about a raspberry chipotle sauce that I can’t get here either, but left me craving raspberries and at $4.99 a small box that craving was going to go unsatisfied until I ran across this raspberry vinegar at $3.99 a bottle – a much better deal and it made an awesome sauce. So this recipe was developed on February 26, 2010, but is so worth the rerun!

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE
6 tablespoons Alessi raspberry blush vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons grandma’s molasses
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 thin pork chops
skewers

  • Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk all the ingredients (except pork chops) together until well blended over a medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Skewer each pork chop with 2 skewers (this helps them lay flat).
  • Generously salt and pepper each side.
  • Bring your grill to temperature.
  • Brush each side with sauce.
  • Spray grill surface with PURE.
  • Place chops on grill, grilling uncovered for 2-3 minutes total, turning once.

 

hubby approved

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

MEMORIES FADE and YOU DO GET BETTER

MEMORIES FADE and YOU DO GET BETTER, but there’s always a niggling in the back of your mind keeping you alert and cautious… I wrote the post below 7 years ago and while I feel incredibly Blessed to have avoided most of the pitfalls of cancer, I still wonder with WHY, why me? I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs and I eat incredibly well with scratch cook and yet my health is a continual issue, still even now.

A New Beginning… and oh SO Lucky

I’ve been struggling with a way to get back into the swing of things here in blogland. You see just 2 months ago today I was struck with those words that we all fear hearing from our doctor. You know,  any phrase that includes the words cancer, chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. For me it was the worst Christmas present imaginable so I persevered and didn’t really let on to most of the family in the beginning – no sense ruining anyone else’s holidays since no further testing could be scheduled until after Christmas.

You truly do go through the 5 stages of grief augmented with periods of disbelief and a lack of comprehension.  It doesn’t matter how well schooled you are or how intelligent you are, those words hit you like a ton of bricks.

Last year when I began my food blog, Always Eat On The Good China, I developed the name after reading a letter that Erma Bombeck wrote when she knew she was dying from cancer.  I even put a quote from her on my side bar that I found extremely poignant.

It was around that same time that I had an appendicitis attack – I still had my appendix and it had been chronic since I was 9 years old.  Or at least I thought I was having an appendicitis attack.  We now know that I was having pain from my ovary that was growing into what was being described as a cantalouped size mass.

Fortunately for me at my well woman exam the nurse practitioner noticed what she thought was an enlarged uterus and she ordered an ultrasound because she feared uterine cancer.

The ultrasound was on the Tuesday after Christmas. The words changed, but stayed the same, cancer was still in the phrase, but now it was ovarian cancer.  To it they added terms like tumor and oncologist.

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My brand new doctor (I’d never met him prior to the ultrasound tech calling him into the exam) in a brand new town thought I was in shock because I didn’t cry and react hysterically. He just didn’t know  me well enough to know I was really okay.  But, I’m a fixer, so my next phrase is always, what next?  What next turned out to be a referral to MD Anderson Cancer Center and an oncologist, whom I adore by the way!.  She and her team made it possible for me to stay both positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Their Motto is “making cancer history” which struck me as the right positive note for me.

The next 2 weeks and 5 days were a whirlwind of blood draws, X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, chemical stress tests, consultations, clearances and…

I underwent surgery on the 1st knowing full well all the fine print, legal jargon and potential pitfalls of this diagnosis.  I also knew that because of the size, I would awake to only a possible pathology.  I awoke to hear things like “self-contained”, “non-invasive cancer” and “surveillance” as well as the cantaloupe was actually a volleyball with a balloon twist.  While we are still awaiting final pathology I am now at home after a week in the hospital and catering to the whims of a 10 inch zipper through multiple layers of muscle and the needs to get my energy back and regenerate the tissue.

With that, for now, I’ll leave you with this email story that crossed my desk.  True or not, it’s heart warming and endearing and worth the read.  I choose to believe in the bright and positive.
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Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named ‘Lucky.’

Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s other favorite toys Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease….in fact; she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her…what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him! The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called. It made Mary sad, but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body  felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.
He had covered her with his love.
Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It’s been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free.
Lucky… He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.
Remember….live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget….the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most Credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us.
 
If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
A small request
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating.
Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer.
Amen