BLENDED 5 CHEESE PASTA

BLENDED 5 CHEESE PASTA adapted from Ree Drummond  serves 8

1 pound fusilli (or desired shape)
6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 teaspoons chopped FRESH thyme
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated white Cheddar
1/2 cup grated Romano
1/2 cup grated Gruyère
FRESH ground sea salt AND black pepper, to taste
1 cup mozzarella balls, quartered
3 green onions, sliced thin and separated (greens are for garnish)

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook for 1 to 2 minutes less than the package instructions.
    Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain and set aside.
  • Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon remove bacon pieces to paper toweling to drain and remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Add butter to melt.
  • Add the thyme, onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the cream and heat until bubbly, 30 seconds.
  • Gradually add the fontina, Cheddar, Romano and Gruyère in handfuls, letting each melt into the cream before adding the next cheese.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet along with a good pinch of salt and pepper and half the bacon pieces, tossing everything together, thinning with the reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Divide the pasta into 8-ounce individual gratin dishes or 1 baking dish.
  • Place casserole on a baking sheet.
  • Divide the mozzarella pearl pieces over the top of the pasta.
  • Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to broil.
  • Broil 3-4 minutes on the center rack until the mozzarella pearls are brown and the pasta is bubbling.
  • Remove and garnish with the remaining cooked bacon and sliced green onions.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY and MENU PLANS week 20 of 2022

Normally doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for the upcoming week, but this week will be abbreviated due to vacation time and enjoying the wonderful weather. Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Here’s a little funny for you to think about while I finish my vacation:

Hot water and black cherry yogurt

I’m still reading (just been too tired to get very far at night) The Girl from Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat that is inspired by true events. It’s the story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II. I love historical novels based on WWII so have high hopes for this book.

We were a small group (about half) this year, but I still literally have thousands of images to edit, but here are a couple of favorites.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
?? ON THE ROAD
?? ON THE ROAD
?? ON THE ROAD
 

FIRECRACKER MEATBALLS

FIRECRACKER MEATBALLS
3/4 pound round
3 green onions, minced and sliced tops for garnish
2 teaspoons FRESH, FINELY minced ginger
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
FRESH ground sea salt and blac pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons QUALITY honey
2 tablespoons Ponzu sauce
2 tablespoons quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream (Mexican by Darigold adds a bit more flavor)
1-3 teaspoons Sirracha
Prepared rice or pasta
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey and ponzu sauce.
  • Add Sirracha to taste. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine ground round, minced green onions, minced ginger,
  • Panko bread crumbs, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Place meatballs on baking sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes until cooked through and tender.
  • Add meatballs to bowl of sauce, gently tossing to coat.
  • Serve over prepared pasta, drizzling with any remaining sauce.

BAKED FRENCH ONION RICE

BAKED FRENCH ONION RICE
1 cup long grained rice
10.5 ounce can French onion soup
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup butter, sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms cleaned and diced
1 shallot, minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add shallots, sauteing 2 minutes until beginning to soften.
  • Add mushrooms, cooking 5 minutes more until beginning to caramelize.
  • Add rice, stirring to coat.
  • In a bowl whisk together the beef broth and french onion soup.
  • Stir in the rice mixture.
  • Spread rice mixture into prepared casserole.
  • Dot with butter slices.
  • Cover.
  • Bake 50 minutes.

GARLIC BROWN SUGAR CHICKEN

GARLIC BROWN SUGAR CHICKEN Serves: 4
¼ cup of salt
4 cups warm water
4 medium sized chicken breasts, pounded to an even 3/4 inch thickness
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Combine the ¼ cup of salt and warm water in a shallow baking dish and stir it gently until the salt is dissolved.
  • Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Melt butter in a large baking dish.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a single layer, turning to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until combined.
  • Rub 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture evenly over the each chicken breast, pressing gently.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until surface is golden and cooked through.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.

CORN STUFFED PORK CHOPS

CORN STUFFED PORK CHOPS
3/4 cup FRESH bread crumbs
1 can Green Giant Mexican corn niblets
1 LARGE shallot, diced
2 mini red peppers, 1 diced, 1 sliced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian Leaf Parsley
4 thick pork chops (preferably bone in)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup homemade chicken bone broth

  • In a mixing bowl blend together the bread crumbs, corn, onion, chopped red pepper and parsley.
  • Slice a 3 inch pocket into each pork chop.
  • Fill pork chops with corn mixture.
  • Rub pork chops well with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Melt butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add pork chops, browning 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Add broth, cover and reduce heat to low, cooking 45 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with chopped parsley and red pepper rings.

PINEAPPLE BACON BAKED BEANS

PINEAPPLE BACON BAKED BEANS
6 slices bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 – 15 ounce cans small northern cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dried chopped apricots
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup pineapple preserves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp.
  • Remove bacon pieces with a slotted to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add onions to bacon grease and saute’ 5 minutes until tender.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the ketchup, vinegar, preserves, Worcestershire sauce and paprika, stirring until well blended.
  • Fold in rinsed and drained beans, apricot pieces, half the bacon pieces and onions.
  • Bake uncovered 40-50 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir gently to mix well.
  • Top with remaining bacon and serve immediately.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY & MENU PLANS week 19 of 2022

Doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for this week. Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

It was cold an rainy when we left home last Thursday, beautiful when we arrived here on Friday and not bad on Saturday. It turned SUPER windy and cold yesterday and is supposed to be in the 50’s and windy until we head down to the family reunion on Wednesday where it will be glorious!

Traveling is really hard for me and I have had a couple reactions, but ALL and ALL I’m doing pretty well, but keeping it simple with so much eating out. I’m also quite concerned about staying safe and well while traveling with COVID cases on the rise again. I’m quite worried that the current surge seems to have mutated making the vaccines less efficient.

HOT water and strawberry yogurt with some FRESH cherries we picked up at a roadside stand yesterday.

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING – NONE I’m on vacation 😀
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS Wednesday we will arrive in town for the family reunion and will do all our shopping for the weekend.
  • PAPERWORK, PHONE CALLS & PROJECTS – NONE I’m on vacation 😀
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING – NONE I’m on vacation 😀

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • whatever SIL decides 😀

I’m reading The Girl from Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat that is inspired by true events. It’s the story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II. I love historical novels based on WWII so have high hopes for this book.

I’ll have to do a post later with pictures from our overall trip, but for now I’m enjoying being at SIL’s house enjoying the country 😀 Here are some of her frogs, frog pond, honey bees, garden, flowers

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
CHAMISAL tennis club with nephew and his wife
Leftovers from last night’s dinner at The Whaling Station on Cannery Row
somewhere in SOLVANG with a different nephew and his family
cafe at the resort
FAMILY STREET TACO NIGHT at FAMILY REUNION
FAMILY REUNION POTLUCK – we’re bringing a 7 salad platter and an antipasto platter
OUT on the way home
DESSERT
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES FOR THE TRIP

 

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with SHERRY PAN SAUCE

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with SHERRY PAN SAUCE
4 flattened chicken breast steaks
1/4 cup flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped parsley
1/4 cup cream sherry
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey

  • Heat avocado oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Generously season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge through flour, shaking off excess.
  • Sear chicken 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
  • Add cream sherry, vinegar and parsley to pan.
  • Cook stirring constantly and scraping bits from bottom until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened.
  • Turn off heat and stir in remaining butter and honey.
  • Serve immediately.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew)

Brunswick Stew has a complicated history to say the very least. Brunswick, Georgia and Brunswick County Virginia have been dueling over the HOME and ORIGIN of the stew for many years. Brunswick County Virginia holds an annual “Stew Off” and Brunswick, Georgia displays not one, but two separate memorial sites of where they claim the first Brunswick Stew was cooked up. Historians state that the Virginia version predates Georgia by about 70 years and was even printed in early cookbooks. There is also a Brunswick, North Carolina, but they tend to just stay out of it altogether.

Credit: Robert Moss

Credit: Courtesy of Jim Auchmutey

From my research some of the earliest recipes called for squirrel or groundhog meat and used hominy claiming that these were Native American in ancestry and the basis for the first Brunswick stew. Basically it was a “roadkill” stew. Game meat such as deer, rabbit or even bear meat was often used along with corn or squash, basically what was on hand for early Appalachian settlers, and was simmered with butter, onions, stale bread and seasoning.

While today’s Brunswick stew typically uses beef, chicken or pork, it is still a thick tomato based stew that uses a variety of basic vegetables like corn, carrots and potatoes as well as butter beans. Okra is a common vegetable used and is a great thickening agent, but I personally don’t care for it so omit it altogether. It’s typically served during cooler weather, but in reality is good anytime. 😀

Virginia favors chicken and rabbit meat. Georgia’s version typically uses a mixture of pork and beef with hotter spices and often accompanies barbecue. North Carolina favors pulled pork and Kentucky, yes even Kentucky get in on this, but they call it Burgoo.
Virginians think that Georgia’s stew is too spicy and Georgians think that Virginia’s stew is too mushy and thick. Also Georgian Brunswick stew almost always has peas and Virginian Brunswick stew almost NEVER has peas. The meat and even the vegetables vary by location, but the one thing southern cooks ALL agree on is that the stew MUST have a thick paste like consistency.

This article in Southern Living is one of the most thorough to follow but, this article at It’s A Southern Thing is one of the simplest and easiest to follow.

So after all that, I offer you MY version of Brunswick Stew loosely based on an old recipe I found in my grandmother’s pile of cut out recipes. To stay out of the fray of the debate I decided to call mine EVERETT STEW making it regional to the area I was living in when I developed the recipe.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew) serves 4-6
4 medium new potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, chopped SMALL
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups homemade chicken bone broth
2 or 3 cans crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-3 1/2 pound pork butt, cut in half, trimmed of excess fat**
1 can white beans
1 or 2 cans of Mexican corn niblets
Chopped green onions for garnish

  • Spray the inside of your crock with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Stir together the potatoes, onions, carrots, bone broth, tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Nestle pork pieces down into the mixture, turning to coat well.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 5-6 hours until the meat shreds easily with two forks.
  • Remove meat, shred and return to the slow cooker along with the corn and white beans. Cook another 30 minutes on LOW to heat through.
  • Top with fresh chopped green onions.
  • Serve with crusty bread or FRESH rolls.

**NOTE: This recipe can be made quicker (2 hours simmering) on the stove top if you have leftover meats to use.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY with MENU PLANS week 18 of 2022

Doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for this week. Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Welcome to another Monday as we begin May already! Can you believe how this year is flying by?! I hope everyone had a great week and did something incredibly spring like. We’ve been doing more walking when possible. I have a lot to get done this week so will jump right into today’s post.

We leave Thursday morning to go to my sister-in-law’s house for several days before we take her to the family reunion next week. So, I decided to check out the weather for here and there and am VERY happy with the sunshine we’re going to find at her house!! Despite the distance (600 miles away) temperatures will be about the same so I’ll pack for layering, but at least it won’t be that “wet” kind of cold that gets into your bones that we have here.

Hot water and cherry yogurt

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING I have a load of laundry to do before we leave on Thursday. I’m also packing in 3 bags to make the trip easier – 1 bag for the trip down, a larger one for being at SIL’s house (before and after) and another for the family reunion. Once we’re back at SIL’s I’ll do some laundry and pack the small one again for the trip home.
  • PAPERWORK, PHONE CALLS & PROJECTS I have a bit to finish up before Wednesday so I can get them mailed before we leave Thursday, but am ahead of the game for a change.

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX I’m up to date on Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias, but am still working my way through Firefly Lane.
  • PRIME Outer Range is getting a bit strange, but I still want to see where it goes.
  • TUBI Saturday night Svengoolie had a horrible remake of Invaders from Mars on and hubby wanted to see the original which we found it on TUBI. When it was over The Goonies came on which was fun for a nostalgic Saturday night 😀
  • CABLE COOKING Spring Easter Baking, Masterchef Jr., Beat Bobby Flay and Grocery Games, DUFF, Girl Meets Farm CRIME DRAMAS Chicago series (Med, Fire & P.D.), NCIS (Original, L.A. & Hawaii), Bull, The Rookie, Law & Order (Original Remake and SVU), Magnum PI, Blue Bloods and FBI’s (Original, Most Wanted & International) COMEDIES Young Sheldon & Ghosts HALLMARK MOVIES When Calls the Heart DOCUMENTARIES Mysteries of the Abandoned SPORTS NASCAR

I’m started The Girl from Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat that is inspired by true events. It’s the story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II. I love historical novels based on WWII so have high hopes for this book,

but I also like lighter reading at times and and The Book of Sorrel by Jennifer Peel is great for 15-20 minutes before I fall asleep 😀

We took a nice walk the other evening after the day’s rain and before the night’s rain and were rewarded with some really pretty scenery and beautiful flowers.

Only carefully obey the command and instruction that Moses the LORD’s servant gave you: to Love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, keep His commands, be loyal to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul. Joshua 22:5 CSB

* NEW RECIPE
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
*BRUNSWICK STEW & HONEY ROLLS
*PATCHWORK SOUP & BUTTERMILK ROLLS
C.O.R.N Y.O.Y.O  clean out refrigerator night – you’re on your own
OUT somewhere ON THE ROAD
SIL CHOICE
SIL CHOICE
SIL CHOICE
DESSERT
 
BUTTERMILK BROWNIES TO TAKE SIL

BBQ PORK SANDWICHES

BBQ PORK SANDWICHES
2-4 pound boneless pork butt
8 ounces tomato sauce
16 ounces BBQ sauce (whatever your favorite is)
1 large onion, SMALL chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 buns

  • Whisk together the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon until well blended.
  • Stir in onion pieces.
  • Add mixture to a large dutch oven.
  • Generously season pork with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Submerge pork in sauce, turning to coat.
  • Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to low and simmer 4 hours or until meat is tender and shreds easily.
  • Shred meat into sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.

NOTE: If you prefer this can be baked in the oven using the same pan and time frame.