Saturday, September 29, 2012

Michael Symon's Italian Pork


Olivia saw this recipe on the television show, "The Chew."  She made it and fell in love with it.  Instead of pork tenderloin on skewers she substituted pork chops,  She also had leftover pine nut mixture that she used on a salad as a warm dressing.  Mouth watering yet?  You have to love recipes that easily morph into something else!  Makes leftovers so much more interesting and appealing don't you think?  You are going to want to try this one!

Michael Symon's Italian Pork


1 pound Pork Tenderloin (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup Pine Nuts
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Golden Raisins (soaked in water for 30 minutes and then drained)
2 cloves Garlic (sliced)
Juice and Zest of 1 Orange
1/2 Bunch Parsley (leaves only)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 pound arugula
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of crushed red pepper chile flakes

salt and pepper


1) Soak 6-inch skewers in warm water with a sprinkle of salt for at least half an hour.

2) Preheat grill or grillpan to medium-high.

3) Skewer the pork tenderloin cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side

4) Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and fry. Once golden brown, add the garlic, raisins, Orange Zest and Juice, and chili flakes and combine. Remove from heat, add the parsley, and pour the sauce over the skewers to serve.

5) Toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve with skewers.

This is the warm raisin, pine nut, and orange juice mixture in the pan.

Warm pine nut mixture piled on a pork chop...  
(I seriously wish I could eat this meal again right now.  It is THAT good! -Olivia)

Left over raisin, pine nut mixture makes a DELICIOUS warm salad dressing the next day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Yesterday was the first official day of fall and when fall comes, we think of warm comfort food to help us through the transition.  This recipe certainly fills the bill.  Best of all, it is kid friendly, because what kid doesn't like sloppy joes and tater tots?  Olivia came up with this fabulous combination and I'm sure it is delicious.  It is just  the thing to take the chill off during some cool autumn night.  Hope you like it!

Sloppy Joe Casserole

1 pound of lean ground beef
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons dried, minced onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1 small package of tater tots
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1)  Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet over medium high heat and drain off any remaining fat in the pan.
2)  Mix in the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dried onions, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to the ground beef.  Cook it over medium heat for a few minutes until completely combined.
3)  Pour the mixture into an 8" x 8" pan and arrange (or pile on...nothing says you have to line your tater tots up in perfect lines! :)) your tater tots on top.
4)  Bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the tater tots begin to brown.
5)  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the tater tots, and bake for another five minutes until the cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


If you like home canned corn, you will love making it into Mexican corn.  Mexican corn makes a nice side dish for Mexican night at your house.  You can even make scalloped corn with it for a little extra something, and if you like corn in your cornbread, try adding a drained jar of this to it.  You will love it.  Olivia whipped up this batch recently and boy is it good!

Start w ith clean fresh corn

Like this!

Olivia uses a cool trick of inverting a jar in the bottom of the bowl and then using the jar bottom as a stand for the corn ear while she is cutting.  The cut corn falls to the side and keeps things nice and tidy.

  Fresh cut corn.

You are going to mix different colored peppers and whatever type of pepper you want depending upon how spicy you want it and diced onion.

Heat and sterilize your canning jars in your pressure canner.

Heat the lids slightly to soften the rubber seals

Use your funnel, fill the jars to within 1/2 an inch, cover the corn with hot water, add a little salt and wipe clean the jar rim before covering with a hot lid and ring.
Process 85 minutes at 10 pounds pressure and wait for the music all home canning lovers live to hear...the sound of jars "pinging" so you know the lid  is sealed. 

Canned Mexican Corn

Recipe adapted from:  Ball Website

You will need:
3 lb corn in husks (about 4 ears) per pint jar
3 medium purple onions, chopped
3 colorful bell peppers, chopped (You may use green, yellow, orange, or red peppers.)
2 hot peppers, chopped (You may use any kind you like.)
Salt, optional
Glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.) PREPARE pressure canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) HUSK corn and remove silk. Wash corn cobs. Cut corn from cob.
3.) MIX in chopped onion and peppers
4.) SPOON corn and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp salt to each jar, if desired.  Cover the corn mixture with boiling water, still leaving 1 inch headspace.
5.) REMOVE air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more corn and hot liquid. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
6.) PROCESS filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 85 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Canning Potatoes

Home canning potatoes is a great way to avoid peeling potatoes on a day when you really want something home cooked, but don't want to go to all of that bother.  By canning your own potatoes, you can have mashed potatoes whenever you like, have a quick side dish, or even have a  head start on making homemade potato soup.  I have grown and canned my own potatoes in years past.  This year Olivia grew and canned her own potatoes.  She will no doubt reap the rewards this winter.  If you have ever wanted to give this a whirl, here are the instructions.  Enjoy yourself!


1)  Wash and peel potatoes. Place in water to prevent darkening. If desired, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. 

2)  Drain. Cook 2 minutes in boiling water and drain again. For whole potatoes, boil 10 minutes and drain. 

3)  Sterile your jars by immersing them  in hot boiling water.

4)  Fill jars with hot prepared potatoes, leaving no more than 1-inch headspace.  

5)  Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. 

6)  Cover hot potatoes with FRESH boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace and covering all pieces of potato. 

7)  Process quart jars for 40 minutes at 11 pounds pressure.

8)  When the canner and jars are completely cooled, remove them from the canner, dry them, and label.  

Enjoy your potatoes!