Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

Yield: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless Loin Pork Chops
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Sage Powder
  • 2 cups Sauerkraut
  • 1 Sweet Onion – chopped
  • 1 Slice Thick Pepper Bacon (natural if possible) – chopped
  • 1 Apple – Peeled and Grated

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the pork chops and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other ovenproof skillet) over medium high heat. Sprinkle salt, pepper and sage on one side of the pork chops. When you can flick a drop of water off your finger tip into the pan and it sizzles and evaporates immediately, the pan is ready. Place the pork chops seasoned side down in the pan. Add salt, pepper and sage to the now ‘up’ side of the meat. Let the meat sear and carmelize in the pan 4-6 minutes per side (turn them only once) depending on the thickness of the chops. You are not cooking them all the way through – just searing the outside. Remove the chops to a plate and reserve. Place the chopped bacon directly in the same pan and cook over medium heat until crispy. Add the onions and the apples and sauté until the onions are soft. Add the sauerkraut. If necessary, add some chicken broth or a bit of water to give the pan some liquid at the bottom (about 1/8th of an inch or so). Add the pork chops back into pan and smother with the sauerkraut mixture. Cover the pan with a piece of foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes to allow the pork chops to tenderize and cook all the way through. Serve immediately or reserve and reheat the next day.

Sandy’s Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

  • 2 c. Flour
  • 10 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tbs. Grated Orange Peel
  • 1/3 c. Cold Butter
  • 1 c. Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 c. Orange Juice
  • 1/4 c. Half/Half Cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. Milk
  • 1 c. Confectioner sugar
  • 1 tbs. Orange Juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift flour, 7 tsp. sugar, baking powder, salt and soda together in large bowl.  Stir in grated orange peel.  Cut in butter until coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

Combine cranberries, orange juice, half/half cream and egg.  Add to flour mixture and stir until soft dough.  Turn onto floured surface and knead 6-8 times.

Either drop by tablespoon or form dough into 8″ circles and cut into 10 wedges.  Separate wedges and put on ungreased baking sheet.  Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake @ 400 for 12-15 minutes.

Cool.  Glaze with mixture of 1 cup Confectioner’s sugar and 1 tbs. orange juice.

Yummy 🙂

Flourless Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 15 mins

Serves: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries or nuts (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat in two egg whites and the vanilla extract until the batter is moistened. You’re looking for a brownie-like, thick and fudgy batter consistency. If it seems too thick, add another egg white – then a 4th one if it still seems too thick.

Fold in chocolate chips, cherries or nuts.

Spoon batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds per cookie sheet.

Bake about 14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.

Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto wire racks. Cool completely.

 

Note: This recipe came from the “internet” somewhere, but we can’t remember where nor when.  They are delicious and I would like to give credit, but simply can’t.

Shrimp & Fake Pasta

We wanted a flour free noodle dinner and saw these lentil “fettuccine” in Whole foods and decided to try them.  This recipe turned out to be quite tasty and satisfied the hungry man in me!  I recommend this “fake pasta” product!.

  • 1 package of “Tolerant” Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettuccine, 8 oz
  • 1 jar of Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, 24 oz
  • 1 package frozen Shrimp
  • 6 button Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Sauté shrimp in olive oil and garlic.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil, garlic and butter.

Add 1 jar of Rao’s Marinara Sauce and 1/4 cup cream to mushrooms.  Cover and simmer.

Cook 1 Package of “Tolerant” organic Red Lentil Mini-fettuccine in one gallon boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain.

Add shrimp and Fettuccine to tomato sauce.  Bring to boil and stir.  Remove from heat and serve.

Warm Berry-Thyme Compote

Recipe found in Sunset Magazine July 2008

Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Stip in 1 ½ cups each blackberries and blueberries, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice.  Cook until juices are released from fruit, about 4 minutes.  Stir in 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, then 1 cup raspberries.  Add more sugar and lemon to taste, depending on sweetness of berries.  Serve warm over ice cream.  Makes 6 servings.

= 100 cal per ½ cup

fruit heart 130

French Toast with a Twist

On the Teen Kids News T-V program Feb 22, 2015, Andrea, a student at the Culinary Institute of America demonstrated how to make French Toast with a Twist.  Here is the recipe for you to try yourself!  It looked really good to me.  Or was I just hungry!

 

French Toast With a Twist Recipe

  • Use a knife to cut a pocket inside a piece of bread that’s about an inch thick.
  • Mix 4 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup of strawberry jam, one spoonful of nuts and a pinch of salt.
  • Use a spoon to add the filling you just mixed into the bread pocket.

then

  • Whisk four eggs, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Place stuffed bread into batter and coat both sides.
  • Take battered bread and place into pan.
  • Cook until both sides are golden brown.

finally

  • Feel free to add pecans, fruit and maple syrup to spice it up!

 

Minden’s Chicken

Ingredients:

    • 1 Costco organic chicken, cut up into pieces
    • 1 Tablespoon rosemary chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked Paprika
  • 1.5  teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil (you can use part butter too)

Directions:

  • If you have time, heat the above marinade ingredients (oil, paprika, rosemary, and salt) in a saucepan for a few minutes to blend and melt salt.  Don’t worry if you don’t have time to heat the ingredients; you can just mix them.
  • If you have time, put chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag with the sauce to marinate in the fridge for several hours/overnight.  Don’t worry if you don’t have time to marinade.
  • Coat a cookie sheet or broiling pan with aluminum foil and lay the chicken pieces out. (If cookie sheet doesn’t have sides, folds the foil up  1/2 an inch at the edges to retain juices.) Better not to bake in a deep pan so the skin gets crisper.
  • Baste with the above sauce.  (If you used your first batch of sauce as a marinade in the Ziploc, you’ll need to make a second batch to baste with, which gives it more flavor.)
  • Bake chicken for about 1 hour at 375 degrees, turning and basting with sauce a few times while cooking.
  • Also barbeques well.  Baste a few times while cooking.
  • Easy to serve with roasted potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. (I like to roast in avocado oil since it’s a “high heat” oil.)

 

2015 Dietary Guidlines

The internet news is buzzing today because the latest Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s has just been released and seems to be upsetting some people and making others happy.  Soda makers are unhappy, but egg producers are happy.  I wish I could afford a dietitian to cook my meals. I would tell them to go read the report!

Some people in my family like to complain that the government’s guidelines are always changing.  But they never  have read the actual reports.  Instead they just are going by what the news media says.

This time I went out and found a link to the actual Health.gov website where the current report is available for all to see and read.  You can read it online or download PDF’s of the report.  It is broken up into separate PDFs per chapter, so you don’t have to download the whole thing.

Click here or type the address into your browser.

http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/

You still have to exercise and eat your veggies!!
And me, I like to jog over to Starbucks. Coffee is “approved” now!

Jim’s Cherry Burgers

Hamburgers used to be one of my favorite items.  I have since switched to turkey burgers, but you might really enjoy these.  This idea came from Science News (Vol. 155, 4/24/1999, pgs. 264-266) in a discussion about a way to lower the cancer risk associated with the production of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) during the grilling of meat.  Simply put, the scientists found that mixing antioxidants into meat prior to cooking will lower the production of HCAs.  Now, I’m in no mood to mix vitamins into my hamburger.  But, they also discovered that tart cherry pigments constitute the most effective antioxidants for meats. I have a fondness for pineapple burgers, hamburgers with a slice of pineapple on top, so mixing cherries into hamburger meat seemed reasonable.

  • 1 lb. hamburger or bison burger
  • 13 whole cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 hamburger buns
  • Mustard and ketchup and onions

Remove the pits, grind the cherries in your blender and mix by hand into the meat, thoroughly.  Grill or fry the resulting mixture normally.

The treated meat has a subtle tartness and a really mild cherry flavor that doesn’t detract from the keynotes of the hamburger.  The meat is more succulent than you would expect.  The burgers seem richer and more filling.  Use ketchup, mustard and onions to taste!

Go ahead, try it.  The worst that can happen is that you might have to buy some ice cream to mix with the leftover cherries!  The best is that your hamburgers will have 90% fewer carcinogens in them and you get to have ice cream after the burgers.

 

Jim’s Peach Salad

This is a great little recipe we saw in a Sunday magazine somewhere.  We have since lost the magazine and can’t give proper credit. We tried the recipe, it was so good that we scribbled down the ingredients and have since enjoyed it regularly. This is a great salad that you should try whenever you can get fresh peaches.

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pound peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, sliced and/or diced
  • 1 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbs. small basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the onion, peaches and tomatoes in a bowl.

Whisk together elsewhere the vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the fruit bowl, add the cheese and basil and gently toss.

Serves about 4.

Bertha’s Dinners

This is a bit of history for the old timers to dream about.  My mother Bertha, circa 1950, did all the cooking, and these were my father’s favorite dishes.  You need to remember that Dad worked in a meat packing plant, and I ended up with a stent in my later years!  Pick one main dish and one or two vegetables!  Maybe add boiled potato.

Main Dishes

  • Country style sausage
  • Ground beef – fried onions
  • Stewed chicken – noodles
  • Roast pork
  • Brown beef stew with vegetables
  • Loin ribs – sauerkraut
  • Breaded pork loins
  • Baked ham – green peas
  • Beef loaf with Creole sauce
  • Boiled beans with diced ham
  • Beef stew with fresh vegetables
  • Baked pork loin with applesauce
  • Minced ham & scrambled eggs
  • Tenderloin tips on toast
  • Creole spaghetti with ham
  • Corned beef hash
  • Barbecued loin ribs
  • Beef rib roast
  • Pork liver
  • Fresh Minnesota bullhead – tartar sauce
  • Fresh Iowa catfish – tartar sauce

Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Buttered carrots
  • Sauerkraut
  • Creamed peas
  • Fresh lima beans
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Creamed cauliflower
  • Baked beans
  • Creamed new potatoes with peas

Bertha’s Cold Salads

Here are 2 salads from circa 1950, served by my mother Bertha.  Yes, both were yummy.

Apple Salad

  • 5 or 6 apples, wash & cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup nuts
  • ¾ cup Miracle Whip salad dressing to moisten

Mix together & chill

Pea Salad

  • 2 cans peas without juice
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ to ¾ cup of Velveeta cheese, small cubes
  • Miracle Whip salad dressing to moisten
  • Salt & pepper

Mix together & chill

Minden’s Salmon

He buys a 2 1/2#  wild salmon roast at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market (it’s mercury-free, which is hard to find these days.)  The roast is less expensive so he filets it himself, just takes some practice.

Filet: with a long thin knife, cut around the midsection of bones & remove. Then slide the knife between the skin & flesh to remove skin. Lay the filets out flat and pull the small bones out with needle nosed pliers (nice cooking stores sell special fish bone removing pliers which are really nice and make the job easier.)

Lay the filets out on a broiler pan covered with foil. Fold the thin flaps of skin under the main body of the filet to give it a consistent thickness. Slather the top with melted butter. Broil on one side only — occasionally turn the heat down to 350 degree bake (he toggles between broil & bake a few times so the top doesn’t burn) for approximately 12-18 minutes. Squeeze lemon over the top.

It’s VERY good.

Debra’s Carrot Raisin Salad

“This is a recipe I made way back in sixth grade home economics class and it’s still a favorite!”

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and brown sugar.  Add carrots and raisins and stir until coated.

Makes about 4 servings.

Sandy’s Green Soup

Green Soup is extremely low in fat and high in protein and vitamins which makes it a perfect food for high nutrients while dieting.  When pureed, the taste of the vegetables blends into the Split Peas so no matter how many vegetables you add, it still tastes YUMMY!

  • 1 Pkg. Split Peas
  • ½ Cup diced Ham
  • ½ Onion diced finely
  • 1 Cup diced Carrots
  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 2 14.5 Oz. Cans of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 TBS. Chicken “Better than Broth”
  • 6 Cups Water
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2/3 Cup Milk

In a large pot, sauté the diced onion and ham in 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil until onions are wilted.  Add the carrots and sauté for a few minutes more.  Rinse Split Peas and add to the pot.  Add all other ingredients EXCEPT Egg Yolk and Milk.  Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until peas are completely cooked.  I usually use Kale, Cabbage, Kohlrabi Greens, Spinach or any other high nutrient leafy greens.  Add several different kinds.

Separate egg yolk and white (discard white) and blend egg yolk and milk with wire whip.  Using immersion blender, puree soup until all ingredients are completely creamed.  Slowly blend in egg/milk mixture to further “cream” soup.

Makes approximate 10 to 12 servings.