APRICOT PINEAPPLE PORK CHOPS with SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE

APRICOT PINEAPPLE PORK CHOPS with SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE

PORK CHOPS
4 boneless pork loin chops (no thicker than 1/2 inch)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup Smucker’s Apricot Pineapple jam
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously season pork chops.
  • Using the pan you cooked the bacon in, heat over medium high heat.
  • Add pork chops and sear for 2 1/2 minutes per side. Remove to baking sheet. Keep warm in pre-heated oven for 7 minutes.
  • In the same pan add onions to remaining bacon drippings and saute’ until soft.
  • Add jam and continue sauteing until heated through and slightly reduced.
  • Add pork chops to pan, turning to coat well.
  • Serve with a small amount of sauce over each pork chop.

SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE
3 slices bacon, chopped, cooked crisp (save bacon drippings)
1/2 head red cabbage
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup + 1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • Wash and shred cabbage.
  • Cut onion into thin rings.
  • In a dutch oven bring 1 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white vinegar to a boil.
  • Add shredded cabbage and onion rings.
  • Cook until tender, but still crisp. DRAIN.
  • Add 4 tablespoons bacon drippings, 1 cup water and apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and flour whisking until well blended.
  • Add the cabbage and onions, coating well.
  • Heat through.
  • Top with crumbled bacon before serving.

HOMEMADE CHUNKY APPLESAUCE, PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER & PUMPKIN RAISIN BUTTER

In the fall it ALL begins with apples which ultimately leads to applesauce!   Once you have the applesauce THEN you can begin the butters.

HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
5 large Apples (I like Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburns)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can peach nectar (Papaya or pineapple are good too)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (I often use orange juice instead)

  • In a large sauce pan pour nectar over raisins and let sit while you prepare apples.
  • Wash, core, peel and chop apples.
  • Add water to sauce pan and stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and mix well.
  • Add apples and cook over medium heat until until apples are tender and mush easily.
  • Mush to desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool and chill.
  • Can be kept in refrigerator for a week though it never lasts that long around here. When my apples are at the height of the season and falling off the tree I make this in huge batches and put it up in canning jars for the following year.

PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER
2 cans (15 ounce each) LIBBY’S solid-pack pumpkin
4 cups apple cider
2 cups applesauce (recipe above)
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground gloves
1 cup golden raisins

  • Combine everything except the raisins in a large dutch oven until well blended.
  • Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring periodically until thickened. Add raisins at the 1 1/2 hour mark.
  • Ladle into sterilized jars.
  • Water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool jars and make sure seals are secure.

PUMPKIN BUTTER
2 cans (15 ounce each) LIBBY’S solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup golden raisins

    • Combine everything except the raisins in a large dutch oven until well blended.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
    • Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered , stirring periodically until thickened ans spreadable (about 20 minutes).
    • Ladle into sterilized jars.
    • Water bath for 15 minutes.
    • Cool jars and make sure seals are secure.

ITALIAN PORK CHOPS

ITALIAN PORK CHOPS
4 boneless pork loin chops
1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 strips bacon, chopped and cooked crisp (reserve bacon grease for searing pork chops)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup diced pastrami
1/2 cup heavy cream
Prepared egg noodles

  • Preheat oven to 275°.
  • Pound chops to 1/4-1/2 inch maximum.
  • Generously season chops with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Add avocado oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear chops 2 1/2 minutes per side and transfer to baking sheet to keep warm in oven.
  • Add onions and mushrooms to skillet, sauteing until starting to caramelize, about 10=15 minutes.
  • Add Marsala to pan and de-glaze and reduce until almost evaporated.
  • Add beef broth, pastrami and cream. Simmer until reduced by half and beginning to thicken.
  • Stir in bacon pieces.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve over pork chops and noodles.

SPAM & TATERS

This is not the prettiest of pictures, but I guarantee you that your hubby won’t care what it looks like!  Super flavorful and rib sticking casserole dish for race or football day.

SPAM & TATERS
1 pound YUKON potatoes, washed and cubed
1 can spam, cubed
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
3/4 cup milk
FRESH ground black pepper.
1 cup shredded EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese
2 thin slices cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish.
  • Add spam to hot skillet and cook until browned and crisp.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender.
  • Drain potatoes and cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss spam and potatoes.
  • Melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until golden.
  • Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickens to a creamy texture.
  • Blend in cheese until melted.
  • Pour cheese sauce over and gently toss to coat.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish and top with cheese slices.
  • Bake 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
  • Serve and enjoy!

CHICKEN CAESAR MAC & CHEESE

CHICKEN CAESAR MAC & CHEESE
3 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1 1/4 + 1/4 cups shredded SHARP cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup Ken’s Caesar salad dressing
1 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
10 pieces bacon, diced, cooked and crumbled

  • Add cooked macaroni, chicken and 3/4 of the bacon pieces to a large baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth and golden.
  • Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Stir in the cheeses (except the 1/4 cup SHARP) until well blended.
  • Stir in dressing.
  • Pour mixture over macaroni and chicken and fold together until well coated.

TOPPING
1/3 cup Panko
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon minced FRESH parsley

  • Toss Panko crumbs and melted butter until well blended.
  • Sprinkle over the macaroni mixture.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Top with remaining bacon pieces.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

HONEY BBQ CHICKEN

This week I made just chicken legs which are wonderful for leftovers, lunches etc… Just a hint of sweet from the sugar rub and then a bit of a bite from the cayenne pepper also in the rub and with the jalapeno ketchup influence in the sauce.  I served it with homemade chili and it was a HUGE hubby hit.

I love this recipe for a several reasons. 

  • 1) It is extremely flavorful
  • 2) It produces tender, juicy and flavorful chicken
  • 3) It is extremely easy!

HONEY BBQ CHICKEN
12 pieces of chicken (I like leg quarters or just plain leg and thigh pieces)
RUB
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon FRESH ground Sea Salt (I use Himalayan pink)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Pat chicken dry.
  • Combine rub ingredients until well blended.
  • Rub over chicken pieces and refrigerate in a shallow dish for 2 hours prior to cooking.

SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup Jalapeno ketchup
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Heinz mustard
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

 

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Grease grill rack.
  • Place chicken pieces on rack in baking dish.
  • Roast 25 minutes or until 165°.
  • Brush with sauce and turn. Brush again. Return to oven for another 5 minutes or until 170°.
  • Serve with remaining sauce.

CHEESY CORNBREAD PUDDING

This recipe is great all by itself, but I like to make it along with the BROWN GRAVY MEATBALLS for two reasons. The first reason being that I use the bacon grease to brown the meatballs in and the second being that the brown gravy is absolutely delicious over the corn bread pudding. These two recipes compliment each other PERFECTLY 😀
CHEESY CORNBREAD PUDDING – serves 6
4 LARGE eggs
1 cup buttermilk (NOT low-fat)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 batch CORNBREAD (see below), cubed
1 pound bacon diced and cooked crisp
1 cup shredded Gruyere or baby Swiss cheese
1 green onion, diced for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 6-8 ounce ramekins with non-stick spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, cream and pepper.
  • Gently fold in cornbread cubes, bacon and 3/4 cup of cheese.
  • Spoon into prepared ramekins.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown and set in the center.
  • Garnish with green onions.

CORNBREAD
1 cup PLAIN yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (NOT low-fat)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 LARGE egg

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray an 8 inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt ending with a well in the center.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together buttermilk, butter and egg. Pour into the dry ingredient well, mixing until JUST combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 25 minutes until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY!

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CHICKEN in OREGANO CREAM SAUCE

CHICKEN IN OREGANO CREAM SAUCE
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon dried oregano
FRESH oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, reserving a bit for garnish
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2+ 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken breasts 2-4 minutes per side until golden and ALMOST cooked through. DO NOT WIPE OUT SKILLET.
  • Transfer chicken to baking sheet and top with half the Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.

 

  • Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to hot skillet.
  • Add tomatoes, cooking 2-4 minutes.
  • Add a sprig of oregano, half the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant, garlic is golden and tomatoes are blistered.
  • Season with half of the dried oregano salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove to platter.

 

  • Add remaining butter to pan.
  • When butter is melted add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add cream, broth, tomato paste, remaining Parmesan cheese and remaining oregano, stirring frequently and cooking until desired consistency and starting to bubble, 2-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in last 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • Plate chicken, tomatoes and top with sauce.

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BROWN GRAVY MEATBALLS

This recipe is great all by itself, but I like to make it along with the CHEESY CORN BREAD PUDDING for two reasons. The first reason being that I use the bacon grease to brown the meatballs in and the second being that the brown gravy is absolutely delicious over the corn bread pudding. These two recipes compliment each other PERFECTLY 😀 the CORN BREAD PUDDING will post in a couple days.
BROWN GRAVY MEATBALLS makes 30 golf ball sized Meatballs and 3 cups of gravy
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon beef base
3 tablespoons WONDRA
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional – mainly for color)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • Whisk together the onion, half and half, cornstarch, egg, salt, nutmeg, allspice and pepper.
  • Add beef and pork, mixing to combine.
  • Portion into 30 meatballs, roll and set aside.
  • In a large skillet melt butter and avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Add meatballs and gently brown all over, but do NOT cook all the way through. Transfer meatballs to baking dish.
  • Add 3 1/2 cups broth to pan and deglaze scraping up all the bits from the pan.
  • Stir in beef base and bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk together the WONDRA with remaining broth and kitchen bouquet if using. Add to gravy stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Pour gravy over meatballs, cover and transfer to oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

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SLOW COOKER CRUSTLESS SHEPHERDS PIE

Somehow between picture 1 and picture 2 my camera broke a spring in my lens and now we’re on the hunt for a new camera. We found an upgraded model that has the new necessary lens as well as a different long lens so hubby and I will both have camera bodies, but it is going on a Thanksgiving special for A LOT off so we’re waiting to buy it!  So these pictures aren’t the best quality for today.

SLOW COOKER CRUSTLESS SHEPHERD’S PIE

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup flour
FRESH ground salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 can Green Giant white shoe peg corn
2 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, diced
1 can cream of mushrooms soup or 1 1/3 cup soup substitute + 1tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons snipped chives

  • Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick spray.
  • Brown the ground beef and onion together until there is no more pink.
  • Drain off grease.
  • Add to crock pot in an even layer.
  • Top with celery and carrot pieces.
  • Combine water and milk in a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk in cream of tartar until smooth.
  • Add potato slices to milk mixture, coating well. This will prevent browning while slow cooking.
  • Drain potato slices REALLY WELL.
  • Evenly arrange potato slices over the carrots and celery.
  • Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and half the cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle the flour cheese mixture over the potato slices evenly.
  • Dot with the diced butter.
  • Whisk together the soup and 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Spread soup mixture evenly over top of everything.
  • Cover.
  • Cook on low 5 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Top with remaining cheddar cheese and cook another 20 minutes until melted and gooey.
  • Garnish with chives.
  • Cut and serve.

NOTES: Canned green beans or frozen peas make a great substitution and/or addition for the corn.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, SHOW AND SHARE, TUTORIALS & TIP , DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP , WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , CREATIVE CIRCLE, DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY

BACON GRUYERE SMASHED POTATOES

BACON GRUYERE SMASHED POTATOES serves 4-6
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds red or white rose potatoes, washed and halved
2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon FRESH minced thyme
1/3 cup milk
4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked crisp
1/3 cup grated Gruyere or baby Swiss cheese

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat in a large skillet
  • Add onions and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes until onions are soft. Reduce heat to medium low and cook an additional 45 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in thyme during the last 5 minutes.
  • While onions are caramelizing cook potatoes in salted, boiling water for 20-25 minutes until tender. Drain and add potato pieces to mixing bowl.
  • Add milk, remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Coarsely mash potatoes to desired consistency.
  • Stir in bacon and onions.
  • Top with cheese and let stand covered until cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

OMG CHICKEN

OMG CHICKEN serves 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup Caesar dressing **
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese ***
1-2 tablespoons FRESH chopped oregano

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • Generously season chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange chicken breast in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Top chicken with dressing and back 5 minutes more.
  • Top with cheese crumbles and oregano.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • **Also works well with Italian dressing or a combination of Ranch and balsamic dressing.
  • ***Mozzarella also works well for a flavor combo.