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  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 chicken quarters
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.

Layer the pineapple, bell pepper, and onion in the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (SBJ Barbecue Sauce is great for this). Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I used a ground sea-salt garlic combo) and place on top of the barbecue sauce.

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F for thirty minutes. Dollop the remaining barbecue sauce over the chicken and bake another thirty minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Serves 2

A couple weeks ago I had leftover lamb souvlaki and leftover lamb chops, about three of each, that I threw into the freezer because I was tired of eating lamb. Today I pulled it out, deboned the chops, and had about 2 cups of cooked lamb. What to do, what to do. Here is what I came up with. It turned out delicious. I prepared the vegetables the same way that I do to make briam, right or wrong, whatever, it worked very well.

  • Ingredients: all approximate
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups 1″ diced eggplant
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell or sweet pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 14-oz can tomatoes, pureed
  • 2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of oregano
  • 2 cups cooked lamb, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, sliced
  • Feta crumbles, optional

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and stir fry the eggplant until it’s slightly brown. Remove to large bowl and set aside. To the saute pan, with more olive oil as needed, add onion and pepper. Stir fry until onion is transparent. Remove to the large bowl with the eggplant. With more olive oil as needed, stir fry the zucchini until slightly brown. Remove to the large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the saute pan, with a little more olive oil, stir the garlic and red pepper flakes for half a minute. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and tomato paste and wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and oregano. Stir over heat until it’s well incorporated. Stir in lamb and large bowl of vegetables.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Arrange sliced potatoes over the top, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half, depending upon the thickness of your potatoes. Serve warm sprinkled with feta crumbles, if desired. Serves 4.

Notes: I used my oven-safe skillet with high sides to bake it in, but I think a 9×9″ square baking dish is the right size. If you didn’t have the exact vegetables stated in the recipe, substitutions should be okay. This was me emptying my refrigerator/freezer. I’m thinking fresh green beans would be a wonderful addition. Remember that the vegetables will add their water to the dish as they cook down, make sure the sauce isn’t too runny at the beginning. I used three orange mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings.

Bigos is a Polish hunter’s stew. In Alaska where I live, a hunter’s stew would be moose, caribou, bison, musk ox, deer, or the like. You would not see pork. All the meat in this recipe is pork. If you eat a lot of pork, then you might actually have a lot of this in your freezer like I do. I’m going to give you the recipe the way I made it. It serves 4 people. The base recipe feeds a ton of people and can be found at simply recipes. I make mine with prunes and beer, but simply recipes gives you an alternate to use tomato. There are also a lot of mushrooms in this. Lastly, the recipe’s original author says it’s meant to be a dry stew and I have done it that way in the past, but I like it better with more liquid. I’m telling you how to do this the way I like it.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms (porcini would be best, but I’ve never used it)
  • 1 T. bacon fat or cooking oil
  • 1 lb. pork shoulder (1-2 country-style pork ribs will do), cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
  • Salt
  • 3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, large chop (I used button and oyster)
  • 12 oz. bottle beer
  • 1/2 lb. kielbasa, cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/2 smoked ham hock (I sliced a good portion of meat off the bone to use for a different purpose. You’ll want to use the part with the bone here.)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh Polish sausage (I used 2 uncooked bratwurst), cut into 1″ slices
  • 1 lb. fresh salt-cured sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 10 prunes, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp. horseradish (optional for a little kick)

Break the dried mushrooms into bite-size pieces and submerge in hot tap water for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat bacon fat or oil in a very large saucepan. Brown the pork shoulder pieces. Remove to a large bowl. In the same saucepan over medium heat, stir in onion and cabbage. Stir frequently. When it begins softening, sprinkle with salt. Once the veges are soft, remove to the bowl with the pork. Stir fresh mushrooms into the saucepan and stir over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt. Once the mushrooms are slightly browned add the beer and stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain the dried mushrooms from the soaking water and retain the water. Stir the soaked mushrooms into the saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients, except the prunes and the horseradish.

Bring to a boil. If it looks too dry, add a little of the water from the soaked dried mushrooms. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer a couple hours. Add mushroom water as necessary. Remove pork hock and let it cool until you can remove the meat from the bone. Return the meat to the saucepan and discard the pork hock bone and fat. Stir in the prunes and let simmer another thirty minutes or so.

Just prior to serving, stir in the optional horseradish. Serve with a crusty or savory bread.

Serves 4. Tastes even better as leftovers. I haven’t tried to freeze it, but I think it would freeze well. Enjoy!

This recipe originates with Jamie Oliver. It is gluten-free. I have made it many times and it’s incredibly delicious. My blog has turned into a place for me to remember how I did something in case the recipe goes away at the original site. That really happens a lot. So, my pictures are awful. But rest assured, the food is good!

  • Ingredient List
  • One whole chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter and equal amount olive oil
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • Zest of two lemons
  • One handful fresh sage leaves, whole
  • 8 cloves garlic, whole or smashed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pat chicken dry and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on all sides.

Remove chicken to plate. Drain fat from pan. Add milk, lemon zest, garlic cloves, and sage leaves. Return chicken to pan. Cover the pan and bake at 375 degrees F, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool enough to handle. Stir and scrape the curdled milk product in the pan. Remove the bigger sage leaves and discard them.

Pull the meat off the bones of the chicken and serve it with the “sauce” in bowls over mashed potatoes or polenta or rice or mashed cauliflower, whatever or nothing.

I’ve got herbs growing on my back deck for the first time. And included in those herbs is sage. It was so nice to just pick what I needed instead of wondering whether or not the store would have fresh sage. On this day I served the chicken dish over Creamy Cheesy Baked Polenta, but I’ve also served it over Twice-Baked Cauliflower.

I don’t know what it is about this dish, but I really like it and make it frequently. I’m going to give you the recipe for two servings, so feel free to double or triple, etc. if you are feeding more . . . or a teenager.

  • Ingredients
  • Flour
  • Seasoning (at least salt and pepper, but whatever you like)
  • 2 pork chops (boneless or not, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 2 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 2 tsp. chili powder (I use ancho chile powder if I have it)
  • Water

Flour and season the pork chops. Heat a small skillet and add the oil. Brown the pork chops in oil and cook a little while. They don’t need to be cooked all the way through yet.

While that is happening, open your beans and drain them in a colander. Rinse with water. Drain well and pour into a small bowl. Stir in onion and chile powder.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

If you are using an oven-proof skillet to brown your pork chops, then remove the chops and stir in splash of water, enough to swirl the pan around and stir up the browned bits. Stir in the spiced kidney beans and place the chops on top of the beans.

If you are using a different baking dish, spray it with non-stick spray. Spread the kidney beans evenly across the bottom of the dish. Remove the chops from the skillet and settle them atop the beans. Splash a bit of water in the skillet and stir up the browned bits. Pour the water over the chops and beans.

Place either the skillet or the baking dish into the oven, uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until the meat reaches a temperature of 145 degrees F. This doesn’t take long because you’ve done much of the cooking already. The beans turn a bit crispy along the edges and are so, so tasty!

Dinner is served! Cheesy Vegetables, Pork Chops with Chili Beans, and Spicy Sweet Potatoes.

This is what happens when the grocery store pickup service makes a noodle substitution. And I’m very happy about it. These are mung bean noodles that go by various names: Saifun or bean threads or glass noodles or cellophane noodles. They are gluten-free. I received two packages and have made lunch three times so far. Please, no scoffing. I will be the first to acknowledge I have no idea what I’m doing. But I do know what I like and I like what I’ve done with these noodles. There are many recipes online for Ants Climbing a Tree and I started with the one at Saveur. The recipe then morphed because I couldn’t get the ingredients called for and that caused me to improvise.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 oz. (approximate) Chinese dried bean thread noodles*
  • Boiling water
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. Chinese bean sauce or oyster sauce**
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided (I use the low-sodium version)
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Cover noodles with boiling water and let stand for 4 minutes to soften. Drain and stir in sesame oil.

In a 12″ frying pan, heat canola oil and stir fry ground pork until cooked. Stir in ginger and garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, another minute or two.

Stir in red pepper flakes, bean or oyster sauce, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then stir in noodles. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and scallions. Serve warm.

Yield: 2 bowls

*I am seeing these sold in bundles and 4 oz. is 2 bundles. The packages I most recently purchased had three bundles, so I used two bundles each time I made this. What surprises me about these noodles is how well they stand up to the cooking process. They’re not mushy after all the softening and simmering. Amazing.

**The recipe calls for NO red pepper flakes and instead Chinese red chile bean paste. But I couldn’t find that. So the first couple times I made this using oyster sauce and red pepper flakes. Delicious. The next time I made this I had found Chinese bean sauce, but it’s not spicy. Oy! So, I kept using the red pepper flakes to spice things up a bit. Still Delicious! So there!

This is what I used as pictured. When I used oyster sauce, the color of the dish was much lighter, but still full of great flavor.

This is a super fast and delicious dish. The recipe started at OneGoodThingByJillee. Hers makes a ton, so I’ve cut it down and changed it slightly. I use Old El Paso brand Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells. There are ten shells in each box. In an 11×7″ baking dish you can fit 8 shells and that makes plenty for three people. They stand up beautifully, so there’s very little finagling. They are gluten-free. If you do not have access to these beauties, you’ll have to eyeball things to make it work. Jill has instructions on her site on how to make hard-shells from soft corn tortillas. I did try that one time, but I found it to be too tricky. The very best thing on Jill’s site is her recipe for taco seasoning and I make that ALL the time. I added a triple-recipe below.

  • Baked Taco Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning (or one store-bought envelope)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (1/2 of a 15oz. can) refried beans
  • 8 Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese
  • Toppings of your choice (sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, etc.)

Prepare an 11×7″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a frying pan, brown ground beef. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and then stir in tomato sauce and refried beans. Set the taco shells into the dish as pictured. Distribute the ground beef mixture evenly into all the taco shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all the shells. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with your favorite toppings. Voila! Done! Inhale!

  • Triple-Batch Taco Seasoning Ingredients
  • 6 Tbsp. chili powder (I use ancho chili powder)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. pepper

Mix all together and use 2-3 Tbsp. for each pound of meat. For tacos, I sprinkle it over cooked ground beef, then stir in a little water and cook until the water evaporates. I also use this mix on beef or chicken fajita-makings and other types of meat. I sprinkle it on before or after cooking, it just depends. No rules! This batch should last you a good long while.

This recipe comes from apinchofhealthy.com and I’ve made it many times over the years. It’s a one-pot meal with delicious flavors.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into apx. 1″ cubes
  • Cajun or Creole seasoning, about 2 tsp.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. cured sausage links, sliced (I use andouille)
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • Hot sauce (like Tabasco)
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1-1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Season the chicken with Cajun or Creole seasoning and salt and pepper. Heat a little bit of oil in a large pot. Add the seasoned chicken and stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Continue frying until the onion is translucent and the celery is no longer crisp.

Stir in the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Keep the pan over heat and stir in the thyme, bay leaf, sausage, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in hot sauce to taste and chicken broth. Lastly, stir in the rice. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and let simmer 15 minutes without taking off the lid. Remove lid and stir. Take a little bite. If the rice is not nearly done enough, cover and return to very low heat for another 5-8 minutes. If the rice is done, let the pot sit, covered yet unheated, for about 5 minutes. Stir. Sprinkle with green onion. Serve warm now. Serves 4-6 people.

My mother makes a mean shrimp Louie. It’s simple, but delicious. She also uses crab instead of shrimp when she has it available. I’ve changed the recipe a bit to suit what I have on hand and my own taste.

  • Salad Ingredients (measurements dependent upon how many people are served)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Red onion
  • Shrimp, cooked and shelled
  • Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Sweet pickle relish
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice

Tear lettuce into bowls. Decoratively slice tomatoes, avocados, eggs, and a little bit of red onion onto lettuce in each bowl. Place shrimp on top.

The dressing ingredients are not exact. Here is what I do . . . Stir the mayonnaise so it’s smooth. Stir in enough ketchup to turn the mayo a pink color. Stir in sweet pickle relish, a fair amount. Stir in a splash of Worcestershire sauce and enough lemon juice to create a dressing-like consistency.

Serve the dressing on the side so each person can add an amount they like.

It’s Cobb Salad y’all! I do love it. I make this with any variety of things. Pictured is a 32-cup Tupperware bowl, so you can mentally figure my quantities. Can you see what’s in the bowl?

Today I used one whole chicken breast, boned and skinless, sliced into thin strips. I marinated it for a short while in about 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. dried rosemary, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I added salt and fresh-ground pepper as it was put into the saute pan. I stir-fried the chicken slices over very high heat in olive oil until it browned quite nicely. Then I let it cool down so as not to wilt the salad. I have also used lemon-pepper and another time I used a southwest seasoning and another time just salt and pepper to season the chicken. I do this differently every time I make it. Whatever you feel like doing at the time will be fine.

Also in this particular salad is a base of two small heads of torn romaine lettuce, a couple handfuls of baby spinach leaves, three hard-boiled eggs, five slices of crispy oven-fried thick bacon, sliced green onion, grated sharp cheddar cheese, pitted and sliced black Kalamata olives, three sliced mini sweet peppers, sliced grape tomatoes, sliced green onion, one and a half chopped avocado, and chopped cucumber. Just before I serving, I sprinkle on croutons. Where is the bleu cheese, you ask?

My dad gives me an entire round of Stilton every Christmas. I slice it into wedges, vacuum-seal the wedges, and freeze them for use throughout the year. I usually run out around early November. Bleu cheese dressing goes well on salads and sandwiches, so I make a lot of it. My Cobb Salad is always served with Bleu Cheese Dressing. Always.

  • Bleu Cheese Dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Garlic powder
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Bleu cheese, crumbled

Stir the mayonnaise to get out any lumps, thin it to a dressing-like consistency with buttermilk. Stir in a dash of garlic powder and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Stir in crumbled bleu cheese. Let it sit awhile, if you can wait.