½ cup Diced Apple
¼ cup Bacon, uncooked and diced
½ tsp Garlic, minced
½ cup Milk
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
2 cups Bread Cubes
1 Boneless Pork Loin, about 8 inches in length
Additional salt and pepper for pork
In a small sauté pan over medium heat cook bacon with diced apples until bacon is near crisp. Stir in Garlic and sauté for about 1 minute- remove mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly . In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. For bread cubes you can use any bread that is handy such as day old sandwich bread or a loaf of Italian bread. For a variation you can also try rye bread, or even whole wheat. Cut bread into ½ inch cubes and stir into egg mixture. Allow bread to fully absorb egg. Stir in apple mixture and set aside. Keep the sauté pan used for apple mixture to make the gravy.
To prepare pork loin cut into the loin about one third from the top (which will be the fatty side). Make the cut by holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, and slice the loin horizontally, stopping one inch shy of going through the whole loin. For the second cut you will hold the knife in the same way and start your cut at the end of your previous slice- but going the opposite way. Cut the lower portion of the loin in half stopping one inch shy of going through the whole loin. This will make the pork loin lay flat on your cutting board. Once the loin is cut flat, place stuffing over the top, leaving one inch empty for rolling. Roll pork towards the empty area and then place the seal side down onto a greased baking sheet.
Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes. Until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into the center of the roll. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then slice to serve.
½ cup Butter
½ cup Flour
½ cup Apple Cider
2 cups Chicken Stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Use the same sauté pan that was used to fry bacon for making the gravy. The bottom of the pan should have bacon drippings and will help to add flavor to your gravy. In that pan melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, stir in flour. Allow to cook, while stirring for 2 minutes over low heat.
Add cider and chicken stock and simmer until well thickened. About five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir any juice drippings from the pork loin pan into your sauce for added flavor.
Grilled Stuffed Portabella Makes 2 Large Mushrooms
2 large Portabella Mushrooms
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Bread Cubes
¼ cup Bacon, Cooked
½ cup Spinach
1 tsp Garlic, Chopped
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Clean mushrooms by brushing with a damp paper towel. Using a small spoon, scrape the gills from the mushroom.
Pour equal amounts of olive oil and vinegar on the stem side of each mushroom. Allow to marinade for about 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium heat, about 350 degrees.
Cook bacon until crisp in a small sauté pan. Leave about 1 tsp of bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest. Stir in washed spinach and sauté until wilted. Then stir in bread cubes and sauté for about one minute of medium heat. Remove stuffing mixture from sauté pan and place in a small mixing bowl. Stir in egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Drain the remaining balsamic marinade from the mushrooms into the stuffing mixture, stir to incorporate.
Fill mushrooms with stuffing.
Place each mushroom on the preheated grill. Close lid and cook for about 10 minutes. After ten minutes place slices of mozzarella cheese on top of each mushroom. Continue cooking until cheese is melted and browned. Serve hot.
In the depths of winter, after months of comfort food, I find myself craving veggies and fruit. In the cold weather season I am often making more starchy heavy foods, and vegetables are sometimes forgotten. In an effort to integrate more fruits and vegetables into our diet I have been making smoothies for me and my husband. I keep all of the ingredients in the freezer, so that I have them on hand. I use different ingredients almost everytime, so that I dont get bored with one flavor. The staples of my smoothies are: spinach, yogurt, banana and carrot juice. Todays smoothie included:
Increments will depend on how much you want to make. I filled a four cup liquid measuring cup with my frozen fruit, and that made two large glasses. Feel free to experiment with adding the fruit that you like. No matter what I have tried I have not had a bad result. The smoothies never taste “healthy” and would be great for kids.
I whipped this soup up on a whim with ingredients that I had on hand. That is the beauty of soup, you can add and subtract ingredients and still get a great result. When I opened my refrigerator today before lunch I had one cup of cooked multi grain pasta, some random veggies and Italian sausage. One half hour later I ca up with a flavorful, healthy, vegetable soup. Here is the recipe, but feel free to make it your own with ingredients that you have.
Quick Vegetable Soup
1/4 pound Ground Italian Sausage
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 cup Zucchini, small diced
1 Carrot, small diced
1 Small Potato, small diced
1 cup Cabbage, chopped
1 cup Pasta, cooked
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Cook sausage in a medium sized saucepan, if there is an excess of grease, drain it. Add stock, canned tomatoes (with juice), and veggies. Simmer until vegetables are tender. If you have cooked the pasta ahead, add it then cook for another five minutes. If you would like, add the uncooked pasta in with the veggies and simmer until all are tender. Season to taste.
These crackers are a simple solution for your crunch craving. Made with spelt flour and multi grains they can accompany any healthy meal or light snack. They can also make a great addition to your next potluck along side a tray of cheeses or some dip.
Multi Grain Crackers
Makes about 2 dozen crackers
2 cups Flour, I prefer white spelt
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Warm Water
2 ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black Pepper
Grains and Seeds of your choice for sprinkling
1 Tbsp Additional Oil For Sprinkling
Combine flour, baking powder, water, oil, salt, pepper. Knead until all ingredients are well combined. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out onto a floured surface. Roll as thin as you prefer. Cut into your preferred shape then brush with olive oil. Then sprinkle with the grains and seeds of your choice. I like poppy seeds, flax seeds, rolled oats or spelt, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds. Place onto greased sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees until golden brown. Depending on the thickness bake 6-8 minutes.
It is that time of year! No, not Christmas! Corn Season! I love fresh sweet corn and I wait until prime season to eat it on the cob. But when it is the middle of winter and I am craving a taste of summer, all I have to do is open the freezer. Every year I freeze dozens of corn, cut off of the cob in quart portions. It is easy and the process is on that I have helped with since I was little. Now, I am a bit faster at cutting it off the cob, though!
Here is a video of me demonstrating freezing corn on Good Company Today, Cleveland
4 quarts Fresh Sweet Corn
1 quart Water
1 cup Sugar
4 tsp Salt
Remove husk from corn. Cut kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Place in a large stock pot with water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Then add sugar and salt, boil for five more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Divide evenly among quart freezer bags and freeze.
If you like this simple recipe you can find more in my book, Celebrating Simplicity the Starter Kitchen. Get a copy at Barnes and Noble.com
Here are some construction and completion photos of our new wood fired oven.
Humble beginnings… Our project begin as a hole in the ground. My husband worked endless hours on this project (with help from friends) and now he can eat the benefits!
Then came the footers
These poured wall will be able to withstand anything from natural disasters to bulldozers.
We bought the oven as a kit from Forno Bravo. That way we didn’t have to worry about the oven not functioning properly after we built the dome ourselves. We are very glad we went this route. It took a bit of effort to get the heavy cement dome to the top of our structure, but with a little help from family we got it done.
There are three layers of ceramic insulation over the dome, then a thick coat of stucco.
Finally, my assistance was needed! I worked long hours on this mosaic.
After all of the hard work we have a truly amazing result! We had custom doors made by and Amish Craftsman. My husband designed and had the worlds best oven tools made by a local welder.
Keep checking back to see all of the food I am testing out in our new oven!
After quite a long break I am ready to get back into blogging… What have a been up to in my absence? Working on a patio oasis that would rival the best of Rome… well my husband did most of it = ). The best part of it all? My new wood fired oven! With only a few cosmetic additions to go, we are almost ready to unviel it to the world. So, here is a sneak peak of our first pizza in the oven.
This pizza was surprisingly great for our first attempt! The next few attempts, lets just say our beginners luck wore off! As part of a summer series I will be sharing it all, the contruction, the cooking- the good, and burnt. Keep checking in, in a week or two we will be ready to go.
This dessert is so simple, yet so good that it is a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth! Last week we had some folks over for dinner and my husband requested cream puffs for dessert. I was not in the mood to pipe out cute little puffs, so I did this version instead. I have seeen this dessert before with cream filling and chocolate, but thought a little fruit would make it better. When I made it I made a homemade cherry filling for the bottom. But, I think canned cherry filling would be just as good in a pinch. You could also use your favorite kind of fruit, or even jam.
Cream Puff Cake
For cream puff layer:
1 stick Butter
1 cup Water
In a medium sized saucepan melt butter with the water. Remove from heat and let cook slightly. With a wooden spoon stir in one egg at a time. Once all combined spread batter onto the bottom of a greased 13×9 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
1 can Cherry Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 small box Vanilla Pudding
2 cups Milk
2 cups Whipping cream
1 cup Powdered Sugar
Spread canned cherries over the puff pastry shell. Then, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with vanilla pudding powder and milk until smooth. Pour over cherry layer. Whip cream until soft peaks form then add powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread over pudding layer.
¼ cup Whipping Cream
¾ cup Chocolate Chips
In a small saucepan over low heat bring cream to a simmer then stir in chocolate chips to melt. Let cool slightly then drizzle over the top of the cream puff dessert.
Chill completed dessert for a few hours then serve. This dessert is good for up a 3 or 4 days.