About Me

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My husband, Mike, and I moved from NJ to Southwest Florida in September 2006. I currently work at the Punta Gorda Library and fill my free time with crafts, reading and my experiments in the kitchen.  Our fur kids, Buddy the dog and Nibbles (aka Brutus) the cat, keep us entertained all day. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My go to recipes.

Everyone has a set of "go to" recipes that they make when time is short. Here are some of my easiest and tastiest go to recipes.


I got this recipe for Brown Sugar Pork Chops from Weight Watchers many years ago.  It is yummy andy you can make it with bone in or boneless chops.

2 pork chops (boneless or bone-in)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
a sprinkling of low sodium soy sauce
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with Pam and place chops in dish.
2. Top each chop with 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp brown sugar
3. Sprinkle with low sodium soy sauce.
4. Cover casserole with tin foil. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes. 
5. Remove tin foil. Bake an additional 15 minutes.
6. Serve chops with sauce made by butter, brown sugar and soy sauce.

We enjoy this served with a side of rice and some vegetables or a salad.

Orange and Rosemary Chicken

I don't remember where this recipe came from.  I played around with the original recipe until I got it just right. I hope you enjoy it.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved  (or 1 can of white whole potatoes)
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 oranges (squeezed halves reserved)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
2 tsp.  salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water.  Bring to a boil over medium-highheat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain and set aside. (Skip this step if using the canned potatoes) 
  2.  Crush the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and put in small bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 orange and the olive oil.  Add the chicken and turn to coat. 
  3.  Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
  4.  Add the chicken, cover and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.  Turn the chicken; add potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining orange.  Add the squeezed orange halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Pork with mango barbecue sauce

I didn't have any barbecue sauce in the house, so I came up with this tasty recipe. This recipe is great for those days when you are working late and will not have time to "whip something up".   It is also great for pot lucks.

4 pound pork roast
1 cup mango rum
1 pkg frozen mango (or 2 fresh mangoes cut up)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce to taste

  1. Place pork roast in crockpot. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in crockpot. 
  3. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours 
  4. Take pork out of crockpot. Place on plate and shred with fork (watch out it is hot). Return shredded pork to crockpot. 
  5. You can eat like a stew or place on a tasty roll. 

Kathy's Awesome Chili
"Here's a chili recipe you'll love using meatloaf mix.. Other ingredients include beer, strong-brewed coffee, unsweetened cocoa powder and ground cumin."

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground meatloaf mix
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
1 cup strong brewed coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans
1.Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic, and ground meatloaf mix in oil for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.
2.Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Season with chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt. Stir in 1 cans of the beans. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Let me know if you try any of these and then share YOUR favorite go to recipes.

Friday, July 4, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!! - Barbecue for two.

With no family nearby, planning a 4th of July barbecue is a little lonely.  What is a girl who loves to cook to do???  Make a special barbecue for her husband and herself. 

I started up the charcoal grill and threw on two turkey burgers and two steak burgers.

While the burgers were cooking, I sliced up some onion and dusted them with flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper. I then fried them until they were golden brown and crispy.   I also spiral cut a zucchini and did the same.

When the burgers were cooked, I threw American cheese on the steak burgers and some feta cheese on the turkey burgers.  

Here is the steak burger with bacon, frizzled onions, and cheese on a pretzel bun.

Here is the turkey burger with frizzled zucchini, onions, and tzatziki on a pretzel bun with some frizzled zucchini on the side.

Both of us were FULL....but we left a little room for dessert.

Mike had strawberry shortcake.

Since I am allergic to strawberries, I had black cherry shortcake.  It was delicious because I cooked some fresh black cherries in some black cherry balsamic vinegar.  OH YUM.

So, it is possible to have a delicious, gourmet 4th of July barbecue for two.  

I have to make special mention of the turkey burgers.  Heartland turkey burgers from Walmart were a BIG surprise.  Delicious and juicy without that weird turkey taste.  I recommend them highly.

Happy eating!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This meal inspired me to post again!

It has been so long since I posted a food blog.  I have been feeling rather uninspired.  Until today!

After a wonderful visit to the Punta Gorda History Park Farmers Market, I was inspired to make something delicious with corn on the cob. After looking around to see what other ingredients I had on hand, I decided to make Frogmore Stew or Low Country Boil.

New red potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, and shrimp boiled in a pot with Old Bay Seasoning.  I did not have the hot sausage that the recipe I found called for, so I substituted chicken and apple sausage.

I cut the original recipe from 12 servings to 2 servings.

4 cup water
2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
10 new red potatoes
2 corn cobs cut into 3 pieces each
2 chicken and apple sausages cut into pieces
12 shrimp

Place the 2 tbsp of Old Bay Seasoning in the four cups of water. Bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes.  Add sausage and boil for 5 minutes. Add corn cobs and boil for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and boil for another 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink.  Drain and enjoy.

Dinner was delicious and it has inspired me to start keeping up with my food blog again.