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Category Archives: Meat

Rob’s Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

My California cousin, Rob sent the recipe that I am sharing with you today.  I have really been in a rut lately when I have been preparing my weekly menus.  I was feeling as if I made the same thing the same way all the time.  It can be challenging living with a diabetic because honestly we have discovered the easiest meals are the best meals for diabetics.  However, when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to give it a try as we usually have pork chops and this is a neat twist on the usual way of preparing them.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

4 pork tenderloin boneless pork chops – Beat flat with a cleaver (I have some thin sliced pork tenderloin that I will use for this recipe)

Put one cup of flour in a freezer bag and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  I will probably use 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder.

First blend together one cup of milk and one egg.

Dip the tenderloin in the milk and egg mixture first.  Then put in flour mixture and shake to coat.

Place in fry pan or fryer and cook until nice and brown.  Serve on a larger burger bun with mustard.

Rob has sent me over 100 recipes and even though he lives in Southern California, it amazes me how similar we are in the foods that are our favorites.

By the way, I want to share Rob’s background with you.  Rob is in prison in Southern California and he is 79 years old.  We met through a Christian pen pal ministry that I participate in through the church I attend.  God does work in mysterious ways as I was amazed when he revealed to me that he had previously been a chef.

Why is he in prison?  I don’t know and if he ever wants to share that with me, that is fine.  If he never wants to share that with me, that is fine too.  Our love for food has created a great bond for us.  He has no family and had no one to share his recipes with.  Now, I have most of them and hopefully I will be able to make compile a cookbook for him.  He is to be released later this year and I think that would be a great gift for him.  He told me that my letters have given him hope and a purpose.  However, I know he would love to be able to cook for others because he knows a great way to show love is the preparation of food for those we love.

Rob has become a very special person for Mr. D and me.  Rob sends recipes now that he thinks Mr. D will like and when I told him Mr. D is diabetic he started sending recipes that are better choices for diabetics.  This has been a special experience for me and I wanted to share it with you.

Thanks for stopping by.



Marinated Chicken Wings – Our Super Bowl Choice

As I have been shopping in the grocery stores over the past week, I have been amazed at all the party food that is available for the Super Bowl.  It has truly become an event that includes food and it includes some of our favorite appetizers and fun time foods. I  I think by now many of us have broken all of our New Year’s resolutions and are ready for a special treat.

We will have the usual of chip and dip, cheese and crackers and the marinated chicken wings I am sharing with you today.  This recipe was sent to me by my California cousin and it seems to be a good one and easy to make.

Marinated Chicken Wings

20 whole chicken wings (about 4 lbs.)

1 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp sugar

2 garlic cloves/minced

1 tsp ground ginger.

Cut chicken wings into 3 sections and discard the wing tips.  Put wings in large resealable plastic bag.

In small bowl whisk the remaining ingredients until blended

Add to chicken wings, seal bag and turn to coat – refrigerate overnight

Transfer chicken and marinade to slow cooker.  Cook covered on low for 3 to 4 hours until tender.

Using tongs transfer to plate and serve.

I love buffalo wings but sometimes they are just too hot and spicy.  This seems to be a a great alternative.

I hope you are planning a great Super Bowl Sunday with special friends and family.  We aren’t big sports fans anymore but we do love the food that goes along with the game.

Thanks for stopping by.


Lasagna Soup

Here in the foothills of North Carolina, we are experiencing unseasonably warm weather.  Last week I decided I wanted to make this soup and when I did my menu planning it was cold enough for soup.  On the day we planned to have it, it was close to 70 degrees.  I felt like turning on the air conditioner to let it get a little cooler so we could enjoy the soup.  However, the heartiness of the soup along with the pasta helped to make it very enjoyable even in warmer weather.

This is the first time I have made this soup and it was sent to me by my California cousin.  I used the whole wheat penne pasta in for the pasta and it has such a good rich flavor and you could imagine eating something italian while consuming it.  One of my favorite things about the soup is the fact that you don’t have to peel and chop lots of vegetables and most of us would have the ingredients in our kitchen.



Lasagna Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 large green pepper chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

2 14 ½ ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained

2 14 ½ ounce cans of beef broth

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 cup frozen corn

¼ cup tomato paste

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 ½ cups uncooked spiral pasta

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another couple of minutes.  Drain.

Return to saucepan and stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, corn, tomato paste and Italian seasoning and black pepper.

Bring to a boil, stir in pasta, reduce heat, simmer covered 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

I am not complaining about the warmer weather even though I have noticed my tulips are beginning to peep out of the ground.  It is my understanding the cold weather is returning next weekend.  Because our snow has melted off the grill and we are experiencing warmer temperatures, I have really wanted to start grilling again.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Snowy Weekend – Let’s Have Barbecued Meatballs

Over the weekend we had a significant snowfall here in the foothills of North Carolina.  Actually, it is my favorite type of snowfall.  It began on Friday afternoon with big fluffy flakes of snow.  It continued through the night and snowed for a short period of time on Saturday morning.  I think our accumulation totals was eight inches.

Another reason I liked this snow is because it happened on the weekend and we didn’t have to go to work and could just enjoy watching it snow.  I was also appreciative of the fact that it was snow and not sleet or freezing rain.  The kids in our neighborhood had a good time in the snow but it was extremely cold all weekend.  Of course, I don’t think kids ever admit they are cold when they are playing in the snow.

Here are some pictures:











Before the snow, I had chosen the following recipe to share with you.  I thought it was such a comforting recipe for a cold January day.  Of course, I love barbecue so it really appealed to me.  It is from a recipe book from a local cook that compiled recipes of her friends and family and named the book, “Susie’s Dinner Bell.”



I hope you enjoy the recipe.  If you are experiencing a snowy day, I hope you are safe and warm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Southern New Year’s Meal My Way

In the South, a traditional New Year’s Day meal includes black eyed peas, collards and Hog Jowls.  There are variations across the South of this traditional meal but it is one that I am very familiar with here. First of all, I will say that I don’t eat Hog Jowls and have never prepared them.  Lots of times we only have the black eyed peas, collards and corn bread.  This year I have a few pieces of country ham that I will prepare to go along with the vegetables and corn bread. I see many different variations of how to prepare this meal and I try to keep it simple.

First of all, I can say that I love all the preparation for Christmas and the baking. However, by the time New Year’s arrives I am usually tired of cooking.  I think that is how this version of the New Year’s tradition came about.

Black Eyed Peas

one package of frozen black eyed peas This will serve about four people.

1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook peas according to package directions.  Usually you cover the peas with water, heat to boiling and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and add bacon grease.  Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.  Drain most of the liquid and season with salt and pepper.


one package of frozen collards – this will also serve about four people

1/8 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Splash of olive oil.

Cook collards according to package directions which are the same as above.  Cover with water – heat to boiling.  Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce to simmer for about 25 minutes.  Drain most of the liquid and add the crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  After blending add a splash of olive oil.

At one time, I would buy the dry beans, soak them and prepare them.  I would also buy the fresh collards and chop them up and cook them.  As I have worked to adjust the frozen package recipe to our taste, I must say that I am just as pleased with my New Year’s Meal prepared with the frozen vegetables.

Our family visited over the Christmas holidays and I was preparing green beans.  My granddaughter asked what we were having and I told her.  She asked me if I was making the beans with bacon.  I had to think for a minute as I was preparing them with 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease.  I responded by saying, No bacon but I am using bacon juice.  She was fine with that.  I use the canned blue lake green beans and prepare the large can of beans with a minimal amount of bacon grease.  It really does make them tasty.

I hope I have inspired you to make a tasty New Year’s meal very simply and thanks for stopping by.

Happy New Year everyone!


Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Again

Every September we take a week long beach trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  We started visiting that beautiful place over 35 years ago.  As much as things change, I can honestly say there are so many things that are the same on that Island.  We marveled at how many businesses and restaurants are still there and operating successfully. This picture is of the lake at Sea Pines Plantation.  It was my favorite picture from this years visit.


This year was a little different for us.  We love to ride our bicycles but as I am still trying to recover from my weak thighs due to taking Cipro, I was not able to do that.  However, we rented a beach umbrella and chairs for the week and became beach bums. The weather was great except for Wednesday when tropical depression Julia produced lots of rain.


Another thing that was different this year was deciding not to eat out every night.  When I was younger I thought retired people didn’t eat out so much because they didn’t have as much income.  It is true that I am more budget conscious than I was in the past; however, I don’t have the appetite I had before.


We decided to chose one restaurant each where we wanted to eat.  We celebrated our anniversary at the Quarterdeck Restaurant beside the lighthouse in Harbour town.  We had a wonderful meal and watched the sun set over the harbor.  Mr. D wanted to eat at One Hot Mama’s and I chose New York Pizza as my favorite. We ate at Plantation House Deli for breakfast one morning and that was when it was pouring down rain from Julia on Wednesday.

I brought some things with me to prepare and we would go to Publix’s or Fresh Market and decide what we wanted to eat that night.  All turned out well and we did not feel deprived. I will say that after staying on the beach all day we were tired and were glad that we could stay in.  That is probably an age thing but we had a very nice Villa and a great time.


I am sharing a recipe from one of the food brochures I browsed through while visiting Hilton Head.  It is much too hot here right now to even think of soup.  I am hoping it will be cooler soon.


We did visit South Beach where the Salty Dog Cafe is located and of course we ate at Hilton Head Ice Cream as no visit would be complete without that.

My Mother and Daddy loved the mountains and they would go every year for a week and stay in the same cabin at Maggie Valley and I thought that was the dumbest thing ever.  Now we do the same thing at Hilton Head Island and as I am older and maybe wiser, I think it is about the smartest thing you could ever do.

Thanks for stopping by.


Fried Chicken With Milk Gravy – A Work In Progress

Over the past week or so, I have been nudged into frying chicken.  My California cousin sent more recipes and he included a fried chicken recipe.  I really thought he was very brave to send a cousin in the South a fried chicken recipe.  As I read it, I realized it was very similar to the way I prepare fried chicken.  Then to confirm that I needed to make some fried chicken, I was sitting in a training class at work and the leader said every woman in the South should know how to make fried chicken.  I decided then and there that I would make fried chicken.

Have I made fried chicken before?  Yes I have but several years ago I gave my electric frying pan away.  It was a specialty frying pan and was very heavy and I just felt as if it was quite cumbersome.  I have tried to fry several things including okra on the stove top and it just does not work.  A few months ago, I purchased a new light weight electric frying pan.  I love using it and the consistency of the heat is a great plus in frying food.

I browsed through my California cousin’s recipes and several other cookbooks by Southerners to decide how to fry my chicken.  Here is what I came up with.

Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy

4 to 8 chicken thighs and breasts ( I used boneless breast and cut it half lengthwise)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 quart of buttermilk

1 cup shortening

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup water

First of all, I washed my chicken and placed it in a shallow bowl and covered it with buttermilk.  I let it marinate in the refrigerator for about two hours.  I drained it and I do believe I should have rinsed it off and patted it dry.  My breading started to come off when I was frying it and I believe it is because the buttermilk was still on the chicken.

I mixed together all of the dry ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag.  I placed the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, 3 pieces at a time. Reserve any unused flour mixture for gravy.

I put the shortening in the electric frying pan and set the temperature to 360.  I used Crisco oil and I am thinking maybe I should have used the crisco solid shortening instead.  I added the two tablespoons of butter to the oil and after it melted, I placed the chicken in the oil. I placed all of the chicken pieces in the oil skin side down.  Then turned to brown on all sides.  I added 1/2 cup of water to the oil and covered the pan and reduced the heat to 220 degrees.  I cooked it for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken was tender.

To crisp the crust, remove the cover and cook at 360 degrees for an additional 5 minutes or until desired crispness.


As you can see from the above picture, the breading did not crisp up as much as I wanted it to.  Also, maybe I should have double breaded the chicken or used an egg wash. When I fry the chicken again, I will rinse and pat dry after marinating it in the buttermilk.  I may also use an egg wash when breading the chicken.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.

I will say this was the chicken was moist, juicy, and flavorful. On to the milk gravy and I will say, I have never tried to make milk gravy before. However, this seemed so easy and it turned out well. The milk gravy recipe is from Betty Feezor’s Carolina Recipes Volume II.  The basic chicken recipe is from her cookbook to but I did make some variations in the spices and she did not marinate her chicken in buttermilk.


After chicken is fried, remove it and all but 1/4 cup of fat.  ( I estimated that the bottom of my pan had a small amount of fat covering the surface).  Set temperature to 210 degrees.  Add the remaining flour from coating the chicken and brown it slightly, stirring constantly.  Gradually add two cups of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stirring constantly.  Cook at 210 degrees about 5 minutes, stirring to keep gravy smooth.


I was very pleased with my first attempt at milk gravy.  It amazed me how similar the recipes for fried chicken were from Dorie Sanders, Mrs. Wilkes, and Betty Feezor.  I will definitely try this again and I am sure I will make Mr. D very happy. It will make me very happy if the breading doesn’t slide off the chicken.  I know I can do this.

Thanks for stopping by.


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