Caramelized Pork Slices

I picked caramelized pork slices for my first recipe to follow.  I found this one in my Taste of Home Cookbook.  I was a little skeptical at first that it would be so delicious; orange juice, brown sugar and molasses sounded a little too simple of a combination to make a delicious feast.

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Please forgive the quality of my pictures; I do not like my new camera!  If you’ve been following me since my first post in 2011 I think you’ve seen some beautiful pictures of food (a few not so good but for the most part….).  However my beloved camera has a fleck of something between the lenses so I decided to spring for a “cheap” camera; either I don’t know how to use it or it really sucks!  I am leaning towards the latter as I don’t want to be the one at fault!  If I’d realized the pictures were so bad I’d have gotten out the old camera but alas I have eaten dinner so there is nothing to show now.

Caramelized Pork Slices

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin cut into one inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Flatten pork slices to 1/2 inch thick.  Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium high; brown pork on both sides. Remove and set aside; keeping warm.  In same skillet reduce heat slightly and saute garlic for one minute.  Add brown sugar,  orange juice, molasses, salt and pepper. Return pork to skillet and cook until pork is cooked through flipping occasionally.

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A couple of amazing things happened as I cooked this.  The “sauce” sort of candies as it cooks; hence the caramelized….  I used a really big skillet so my husband was in awe of watching the “searing hot flavor bubbles” dance in the pan.  I flipped my pork a few times; I probably should have let it set on one side a bit longer to intensify the caramelization but I got antsy.  I tried not to change anything about the recipe; I even measured my oil, salt and pepper; I did however squeeze my own orange juice for the tablespoon it needed. If I make it again I probably wouldn’t saute the garlic; I prefer a fresher taste to my garlic and sauteing at that intense of a temperature in such a large pan it lends to browning; which brings out a nutty flavor but can easily get bitter if taken too far. Taste of Home credits Elisa Lochridge with this recipe and I must say “way to go Elisa” a delicious recipe indeed.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Chicken Marsala ~ light version

I decided to give a light version of Chicken Marsala a try.  Over all it came out pretty well; not perhaps as rich as the versions with butter but still quite tasty indeed.  I made enough for just the two of us and only counted for 4 1/2 points on my weight watchers program!

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  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 o.z. chicken breast – cut into 2 ~ 4 o.z. portions flattened slightly
  • a sprinkle of thyme, salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs cold water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

In medium skillet heat olive oil and saute mushrooms about 5 minutes.  Push mushrooms to side and add chicken breasts, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes each side or until browned.  Add Marsala and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook about 5 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Combine cold water and cornstarch in small bowl.  Add to simmering broth; stir until thickened.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Meatloaf ~ plain and simple meatloaf

I haven’t posted in quite some time and I’ve promised a few of you I would get back to it.  I’ve gotten in to several new projects that are taking so much of my time that I haven’t really taken time to create any new recipes lately.  I have a tendency to throw things together without keeping track of what I am doing so I need to get back in the habit of keeping track of these things.  So without further ado I will post a simple meatloaf recipe I made the other day.  This is another from the family cookbook.  My sister Pam gets the credit for this one!

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  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices soft bread
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup milk or tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients and shape into a loaf.  Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  If desired top with ketchup or bbq sauce the last 30 minutes of baking.  I used a mix of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.  When we were kids we always used open-pit bbq sauce so go with the flavor you like.  Sometimes I will just use straight ketchup too.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushrooms

I made Salisbury Steak today for the first time ever.  I remember hating it as a kid but it was basically hamburger patties with instant gravy when we’d have it at school.  I made a meatloaf type patty and used lots of mushrooms in the gravy; it went beautifully with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Salisbury Steak

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 slices bread – torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup onion – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 onion sliced

Combine beef, torn bread, diced onion, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Form into 4 patties.

In large skillet sear patties over medium high heat for about 3 – 4 minutes each side. Add beef stock and onion slices; cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make gravy.

Salisbury Steak Gravy

  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbs ketchup
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup beef stock

In skillet cook mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes until tender.

Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Add cup of beef stock, ketchup and Worcestershire; bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold beef stock and add to boiling liquid stirring until thickened.

Remove patties and onions from skillet and place into large casserole pan.  Smother with mushroom gravy and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly and patties are cooked through.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly


Steak Burritos ~ using up some leftovers for a tasty quick dinner

I’d picked up a little steak on sale the other day and needed to use it up.  I decided to make some burritos with the leftover corn and black beans from a few days earlier and I had some extra cooked rice too.  I like my beef medium to medium rare so adjust accordingly for the cut of meat used.

Steak Burritos

  • 8 o.z. steak
  • 3/4 cup leftover corn and black beans or 1/2 cup corn and 1/4 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp cumin seed crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt if desired
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup leftover cooked rice
  • 1 Tbs diced pickled jalapeno
  • soft tortilla shells, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and any other desired toppings.

Thinly slice beef and set aside.  In skillet begin warming corn and black beans.

Once heated add steak; sprinkle with crushed cumin and salt; cook for about 3 minutes then stir.

Add tomato and rice; stir and remove from heat.

Serve in tortilla shells with desired toppings; should be enough for 4 – 5 large burritos.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I see recipes all of the time for exotic grilled cheese sandwiches and they always sound and look so good but when it comes down to it I can’t resist the comfort of a Kraft singles on toasted white bread.  It’s nothing fancy; but it brings out those warm and fuzzy feelings.

It can be made in a skillet or on a griddle.  I have one of those awesome griddle / waffle / pancake makers from the 70’s …. it’s yellow and all mine!  Mom always had a silver metal one but I found this on a yard sale a few years ago and I couldn’t resist.  Once I opened it I was even more thrilled; I don’t know that it had ever been actually used!

I use it often for pancakes and I love it for grilled cheese.  I’ve tried waffles once, but I usually go with pancakes ~ guess I need to work on a waffle recipe.

Anyway, back to the grilled cheese.  I always lightly butter my bread. I don’t like to make it greasy on the outside with too much butter so I just use a little.  I remember mom telling us as kids to use the tub of margarine because butter would burn; I know now that this is not true unless you overheat the surface to begin with so butter for me; always butter.

Two slices of Kraft singles every time.

Of course the bread will go on the griddle butter side down with cheese between the slices and butter on top of the top piece.

Time will vary.  I use my griddle on a relatively hot setting; I try to not turn the dial so it’s the same temperature for pancakes too…. if using a skillet I would go for medium – medium high heat.  2 minutes usually does the first side then about 3 minutes for the other side.  Just keep an eye on it.  You can cook faster but the cheese won’t melt so a total of 5 – 6 minutes seems to get everything hot throughout.

Once both sides are toasted I like to flip back over to the first side for about 30 seconds.  This makes sure the top is warm too and allows a few seconds for the bottom to cool and release any steam and stay crunchy.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Bruschetta Pasta and Grilled Salmon

I couldn’t resist using some more of that fantastic basil I have in my garden. It is flourishing right now despite the dry weather we are having. This pasta dish came out perfectly. I love the way the fresh ingredients play off of each other; the heat of the pasta adds just enough warmth to bring all the flavors together so there is no need to cook the “sauce”. Adapt to your liking; we went heavy on the garlic and the jalapeno was just an extra touch that sounded good. We did sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on at the table.

Bruschetta Pasta and Grilled Salmon

  • 2 Tbs fresh basil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs diced jalapeno
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 12 o.z. sockeye salmon
  • 8 o.z. dry spaghetti

Combine basil with olive oil and chop(see my fresh basil post for a great technique).

Stir together chopped basil, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper, jalapeno and lime juice.  Set aside.

Prepare pasta as directed.  Grill salmon as desired; we did ours about 3 minutes per side sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Drain cooked pasta and toss with bruschetta mixture and butter.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Meatballs and Creamy Mushroom Sauce

These meatballs are very similar to the italian meatballs I made a few weeks ago.  I like the egg and cheese combination; it doesn’t make a moist meatball but they work very well with a variety of sauces without falling apart like some do. The mushroom sauce I made with this needs a little work I think; perhaps a beef broth or a little more seasoning will make it perfect.  I did enjoy this so I will post as I made it.  Add some cayenne or crushed red pepper to the sauce if you like a spicy kick; I went with a bit of crushed red.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup parmesan or other hard cheese ~ we used a spanish cheese I had picked up a while ago
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms ~ finely diced
  • 1 /4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 egg

Combine all ingredients.  Form into about a dozen large meatballs.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes; place meatballs in 2 quart casserole pan.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

  • 3/4 pound mushrooms ~ sliced and/or diced
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs additional butter
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 cup water ~ or broth
  • 1 cup cream

Sauté mushrooms in 2 Tbs butter until tender; about 10 minutes.  Once all liquid is absorbed add 1 Tbs butter and flour; stir until well flour is mixed and add water.  Heat until thickened.  Add cream; pour over meatballs and bake covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with noodles or rice.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Just a little Meatloaf ~ jalapeno meatloaf

I was using up the last of a package of ground beef and decided a little meatloaf sounded good.  I just had about 12 o.z. of beef left so adjust this to your liking if you want to make more, but the jalapeno was a great touch and we really enjoyed our lunch with a augratin potato too.

Jalapeno Meatloaf

  • 12 o.z. ground chuck
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 cup diced fresh jalapeno
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coarse bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Form into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  I like to top mine with ketchup or bbq sauce and bake a few minutes longer.

I actually sprinkled a little brown sugar on top of the ketchup for this one.  It makes a great compromise at our house as I prefer the bbq and Charles prefers ketchup.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Tuna Salad ~ blackened tuna, pasta, and avocado

I love to make something new with leftovers.  I intentionally cooked some extra blackened tuna the other day just so I could make a salad.   I decided to make one with pasta and avocado for a new twist.

Blackened tuna salad

  • 10 o.z. tuna (I used 2 ahi tuna steaks that were about 5 o.z. each)
  • 8 o.z. uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

Cook tuna as desired ~ as I mentioned I went with my blackened version; cool until ready to use.  Cook pasta according to package.  Drain, rinse, and chill pasta.  Add mayonnaise and chili powder.  Break apart tuna and stir into pasta mixture.  Chill and serve with diced avocado seasoned with lime, salt and pepper.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly