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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1 whole pork tenderloin, apporox. 1 pound
1 lime, zest finely grated
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. (Watch video HERE for by by play.)  Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin.
2. Place the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and garlic powder in a small, lidded jar and shake to combine. Pour half of the marinade mixture into a 1-gallon resealable bag, add the chipotle pepper, and move around to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible and place in a container to catch any leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, rotating the bag halfway through the time. Place the remaining marinade in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Remove the tenderloin from the bag and allow to sit at room temperature while preparing the grill. Remove the reserved marinade from the refrigerator.
4. Brush the grill with vegetable oil and set to medium-high heat (I set mine at 400 degrees). Remove the tenderloin from the bag and place in the center of grate. Discard bag with marinade. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.  (I turned every 2 minutes for a total of 15.)
5. Remove the tenderloin from the grill and place on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a basket, and pour on the reserved marinade. Wrap tightly and rest for 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and slice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
* (Alton Brown)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cheesy Taco Sticks

  • 1 lb. ground beef (I use 1/2 pound.)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (I made my own mix and used a heaping tablespoon of seasoning.)
  • 1 tube Pillsbury Pizza Dough
  • 5 colby jack and cheddar cheese sticks, halved
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted (I halved the butter recipe, so 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of both spices.)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
  3. Cook the ground beef in a skillet, breaking up with a wooden spoon until fully browned and crumbled. Drain any fat and return skillet to stove top. Mix in the taco seasoning packet (but no water) (I added a little bit of water.), and stir until fully coated. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.*
  4. (If desired, watch THIS video for a play by play.)  Spread the pizza dough out until it's flat and cut in half horizontally and then sliced 4 times vertically, creating a total of 10 small rectangles. Place about a tablespoon or more of the taco meat in the center of each pizza dough, top with a halved cheese stick and then carefully roll up the pizza stick, making sure to pinch all seams closed.  Turn stick over so that the sealed side is face-down on the baking sheet.
  5. Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, and parsley in a small bowl and brush it on the tops of the cheesy taco sticks. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown on top.   Be sure to check on sticks as they bake.  (I actually baked mine at 400 for about 12 minutes because I got nervous.  They should be golden brown (see pic).) Serve hot with your favorite taco toppings!
*You can use leftover taco meat in this recipe. But if you do make the full 1 lb. of ground beef, you will have lots of leftover taco meat, so you can freeze it and save for later use!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  • 2 cups miniature farfelle pasta, uncooked
  • 3 cups {either 2, 15-oz. frozen bags/cans, or 3-4 corn on the cob}
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
  • 6-8 strips hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (or queso fresco or feta -- add cheese to preference (we like 1/2 cup)
  • Optional: 1/2 canned cup black beans
Dressing (I actually doubled this for leftovers, so if you'd like to also, just double the dressing ingredients!)
  • 1/2 cup full fat regular mayo no substitutes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper


1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Make sure the pasta is completely dry.

2. Corn: If using corn on the cob, heat the grill to medium. Pull back the husks to the base and take off all the silk from each ear of corn. Fold back the husks into place.

3. Place the ears of corn in a large bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes and then remove from water and shake to dry. Place the corn on the grill, cover the grill, and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning the corn every 5 minutes.

4. (You'll know the corn is done when the kernels are tender and easily pierced with a fork.)

5. Corn: If using pre-roasted canned/frozen corn, drain (canned) and allow to dry. If using regular canned/frozen corn, heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until very hot. Drain (canned) corn and place in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once in between or until browned. Avoid stirring too often as this will keep the corn from getting a good roast.

6. Meanwhile, prep the veggies.  Chop the avocado into small pieces, chop the green onions, coarsely chop the cilantro, very finely chop the jalapeño, and cook then crumble the bacon. Crumble the cheese. Add black beans if desired.

7. In a large bowl, combine the completely dry and cooled pasta, cooled corn, avocado, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, bacon, and cheese. **If you don't plan on eating this in one sitting and immediately after making, don't add the bacon, cheese, or avocado. Add those in separately right before enjoying.**

8. Toss together.

9. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until completely combined.

10. Toss with the salad and enjoy!


Southern "Cowboy" Caviar

1 28 oz. can Maisa or Hommeny beans, drained
2 14oz. cans black-eyed peas
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
8 oz. bottle zesty Italian dressing (or make your own!)]
salt and pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and if possible, chill overnight.  Serve with Fritos or Tostito Scoops.

*Recipe from Sue Blanas

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bacon Ranch Chicken Sliders

  • 1 package (12 rolls) Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (My fave is Primal Kitchen brand.)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered Hidden Valley Ranch mix (or make your own!)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup cooked, diced or shredded chicken
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.  (I like to put a piece of parchment above the foil.)
  • 2
    Without separating rolls, cut entire "loaf" in half (horizontally) like giant sandwich and open-side up on baking sheet.
  • 3
    In a small bowl, combine mayo and ranch mix. Spread mixture on both sides of rolls. Sprinkle half the cheese on the bottom half of the rolls, top with chicken, and then bacon, and then remaining cheese. Place top half of rolls on, sandwiching them together. Cover rolls with foil and place in oven for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted throughout.
  • 4
    Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cutting board and slicing individual rolls.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chicken Saltimbocca

This unflattering pic doesn't do this dish justice!  It's super easy and really yummy!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 medium chicken cutlets (If you can't find cutlets, just buy breasts and pound them until thin.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. The roux should have a wet sand consistency. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and whisk constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Lay a slice of prosciutto on each piece of chicken, spread with some ricotta and top with some spinach. (I mixed my chopped spinach into my ricotta.)  Roll up each cutlet and secure with a toothpick or two.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Wait until pan is hot to add chicken, then sear it, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken broth "gravy" mixture to the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks and spoon over the pan sauce. (Trisha Yearwood)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mediterranean Tuna (or Chicken) Orzo Salad

  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (Do not use regular mustard.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta (measured when dry)
  • 2 cans (5 ounces EACH) canned tuna or chicken, drained (You can also totally use a rotisserie chicken!  Throw chicken into food processor and pulse.)
  • 4 full, canned roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely diced (I used less.)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (very loosely measured)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Begin by prepping the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking briskly. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge while prepping the rest of the salad.
  2. Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing and pour into a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients: drain the tuna or chicken and add to the pasta. Coarsely dice the roasted bell peppers, coarsely chop the olives, finely chop the parsley, dice the red onion, and chop the cucumber. Add all the ingredients to the pasta.
  4. Toss with the dressing to taste (you can use all of it or less) and top with the feta cheese. Toss and enjoy immediately!
The amounts of toppings are general guidelines -- obviously adjust to your personal preferences (if you like more parsley, add more. If you hate it, it's fine to omit or reduce it.  Same goes for the peppers, olives, feta, cucumber, and red onion.)