Monday, October 30, 2017

Baked Butternut Squash

I have always loved sweet potatoes and when I discovered this simple method of baking butternut squash and that it has less carbohydrates, well, that was delicious news to me!

2 medium butternut squash
2-3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cinnamon (optional)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)


  • Wash squash to make note of blemishes or bad spots and cut and large spots off.
  • Cut squash into two pieces right where the bottom bulbs out.
  • Cut off bottom of squash.
  • Cut off top of squash.
  • With a sharp knife, peel down the sides.
  • When sides are peeled, there may still be small stripes.  Take a vegetable peeler and peel those away.
  • Cut bottom part in half and scoop out seeds and pulp.
  • Cut into cubes and place on foil-lined pan.  I usually spray the foil lightly with vegetable spray.
  • Melt butter and brush on cubes.
  • Mix together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over top.  (This is optional but I knew I could sell Mike on it better this way!)
  • Roast in 400 degree oven for about a half hour.
  • Serve it up warm!  We ate it with Parmesan crusted tilapia, wild rice, and broccoli the other night and it was delicious!
I have also pureed the squash after baking.  However, if you simply want pureed squash, you could simply slice the squash in half, scoop out pulp and seeds, brush with butter, and bake for about 45 minutes.  Then, scoop it out.  This saves the time of peeling and cubing.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Panko-type bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying


  • Slice tomatoes into thick slices.
  • Whisk eggs and milk together.
  • Scoop flour onto a plate.
  • Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper and put on a plate.
  • Dip tomatoes in flour to coat.
  • Dip floured tomatoes into egg mix.
  • Dredge in cornmeal/breadcrumb mix to fully coat.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil in an iron skillet so that there is about a half-inch depth.
  • Heat over medium heat to get oil hot.
  • Place tomato slices in skillet without overcrowding them.
  • When the batter is browned, flip the slices.
  • Gently lift tomato slices from skillet when entirely golden brown and drain on a paper towel.
  • Serve warm!

Pancake Syrup

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white, granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon maple flavored extract


  • Stir sugars and water together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Add flavoring and simmer for three minutes
  • Serve over pancakes or waffles that have been liberally buttered!

I have been known to add a bit of rum flavoring.  I always store leftovers in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


This is a recipe shared with us from our daughter-in-law, Jessica.

20-25 cups peeled, raw tomatoes
6 jalapenos (1/2 cup chopped)
1 1/2 large onions (2 cups diced)
10-15 stems fresh cilantro
4 limes
6-8 cloves garlic
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cumin

How about these beautiful tomatoes?  Fresh from Mike's garden, washed and set out to dry...

And these jalapenos!  He brought them home from the vegetable stand and I washed them out and left them to dry as well...

Peeling tomatoes with little to no waste:

  • Dip whole tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds.
  • Remove and plunge into ice water.
  • Slide peel off tomato.
  • Cut out core of tomato and dice.
Salsa Prep:
  • Pulse diced tomatoes in food processor in small batches till thick and chunky.
  • Place tomatoes in large cooking pot.
  • Remove seeds and veins from half  to one/third of jalapenos and dice all of them.
  • Dice onions and add to jalapenos.
  • Pull leaves off cilantro and add to onion/jalapeno mix.
  • Juice limes (I even added the zest from a couple of them.) and add to onion mix.
  • Mince garlic and add to onion mix.
  • Sprinkle in garlic salt and cumin and give mixture a stir.
  • In small batches, place onion mixture into food processor and puree.
  • Stir pureed mixture into tomatoes.
  • Bring mixture to boil and gently boil and stir for about three to five minutes.
Canning Salsa:
  • While awaiting salsa mixture to come to boil, place clean pint jars in oven set to 200 degrees.  
  • Place jar lids in pot and bring water to boil to sterilize them.
  • When salsa is ready, place one jar at a time on a towel and dip salsa into jars with a ladle.  
  • Fill jars to within 1/2 inch at top.

  • Place lid on jars and screw jar ring on jar.  Do not screw on ring too tight.
  • Place jars of salsa into boiling water bath where water covers jars one-to-two inches.
  • Bring to gentle boil and allow to boil for 40 minutes
  • Remove water bath from heat and allow to cool for five minutes or so.

  • Lift jars from water bath and allow to ping and seal.
Yield: 9 pints and a 1/2-3/4 cup sampler
*Note: My first batch was a wee bit runny.  So, I drained out some of the tomato juice after we diced them for the next batch and it was much better.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

4 bone-in center cut pork chops
2 Tablespoons Steak Seasoning
2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 cup diced onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup


  • Rub both sides of each pork chop with the Steak Seasoning.
  • Pour oil into skillet and heat to warm on medium heat.
  • Place pork chops into skillet.
  • Sear both sides until chops are golden brown.
  • After one side is browned, add diced onions to skillet so that they can begin to saute as well.
  • Remove chops from skillet and place in slow cooker on low heat.
  • Stir soup into onions and remaining bit of oil loosening and blending to add the bits of flavor from the chops that are left in the pan.
  • When blended well and all bits are stirred into the soup mixture, pour into slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for at least four hours but not longer than eight hours - depends upon the thickness of the chops.  (The thicker the chop, the longer the cooking time needed.)

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and use sauce for gravy!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Steak Seasoning

2 Tablespoons coarse ground pepper or peppercorns that are hand ground
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried garlic
1 Tablespoon dill
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes (I have substituted with ground red pepper and it is just a bit hotter.)
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons dried mustard (I have substituted with mustard seed but like the ground mustard better.)

Stir all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Use as a rub or for seasoning roasts in a slow cooker or even sprinkle on hamburger when grilling.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad

This is one of those recipes I remember my grandmother serving when we would go to her house.  She would always serve this dish at spring and summer visits and I remember it well.  I never got her exact recipe for this dish.  I found The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Macaroni Salad and it tastes very similar to my Muffa's.  So, I tweaked it a wee bit and it is very close.  Maybe next time I will add a bit of mustard or mustard powder or mustard seed to the dish and see if that is what it needs to be more Muffa-like.

3 cups elbow macaroni
1 large jar pimentos
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 heaping Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 heaping teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook elbow macaroni as directed on package.  Rinse, drain, and allow it to cool.
  • Add diced onion, pepper, and pimento to macaroni but do not stir till all ingredients have been added.
  • Dollop in relish, Miracle Whip, Ranch dressing.

  • Splash with vinegar and sprinkle in salt and pepper.
  • Give this all a gentle stir to blend well but not break up macaroni noodles.
  • Chill in fridge for an hour or so and serve cold.
I'm taking mine off to the family reunion today.  I hope it hits the spot as much as my Muffa's used to do!