Saturday, January 24, 2015

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

As a kid, pork chops were one of my favorite. But I tell you what – I can’t cook ‘em worth a darn. And so I just stopped making them at home, and enjoying them at other people’s places... say... my mom’s. (Mom cooks some pretty spectacular pork.) Then I saw this and thought maybe... just maybe, I could make non-leathery pork chops too.

And true story – it worked! I forget about things I have in the oven, and this was no different. I cooked it for about 1h 15 mins, and still, it was perfectly juicy! I’ve made it a number of times, but haven’t been able to capture a picture of it, just because of lighting or whatever. (Whatever = it was actually too messy to clear a spot to take a picture.) The picture shown is actually the least good lookin’ version I’ve made. But it’ll do until I make it sometime when there is better lighting.
Please enjoy this tasty pork chop number:

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops 
4 boneless pork chops, 1/2" thick
Olive oil
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/2 tsp black pepper

Line a pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a shallow bowl combine the parmesan, bread crumbs and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, pour 2-3 tbsps of oil. Coat pork chop with olive oil and then coat in the cheese mixture. Press the mixture over the chop to make sure it is well covered. Place the pork chop on the pan. Continue with remaining chops.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


As a note – I plan to try a few things in place of the bread crumbs. Crushed corn flakes isn’t a good substitute. (The corn flake substitution is shown.) With the corn flakes, I have returned to leathery. Perhaps it needs something to clog holes so that pork chop goodness doesn’t slip out between the corn flake cracks. J

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

No Bake Granola Bars

Ok. Seriously cool. Not only is this similar to the granola bars I’ve fallen in love with at the Reh-Fit Centre, they’re also a more reasonable size, and I found a nifty “Nutritional Information Calculator” do-dad on the internet!  ( These took a couple of tries to get them to as tasty as desired, and might take a few more to establish how many the recipe should actually make. This time ‘round, they were sliced into 12.

The original recipe found on the internet can be found here:  The author of this recipe makes suggestions to customizing the bars – and so I added and took away and such until I came up with this:

No Bake Granola Bars
¾ cup peanut butter (chunky, all natural)
1/3 cup honey
1 ½ cups rolled oats
¼ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted, unsalted
1 tbsp millet
1 tbsp toasted buckwheat
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
½ cup dried fruit
4 shakes of salt (no idea how to measure that)

Mix together all ingredients except peanut butter and honey.
Microwave peanut butter and honey until warm. Stir together.
Add peanut butter mixture to oatmeal mixture.
Pres into a pan lined with saran wrap.
Freeze for 45 minutes.
Cut into bars; enjoy. (Nutritional information is provided below for both 9 bars or 12 bars. However many you decide to cut them into.)

(Store remaining bars in refrigerator. Wrap individually in saran for easy portability.)

(And I couldn't figure out how to get these to go side-by-side. Sorry pals.)
Nutritional information at 9 bars per recipe.

Nutritional information at 12 bars per recipe.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Estouffade Provençale

Over the Christmas break, I usually try to take on one bigger meal at the folks’. Something that is a bit out of the ordinary, but close enough to “home” that they can enjoy the leftovers for a while. This was the meal that I prepared this year. It was another dish from one of the themed potlucks – this one was for French Food. This one fit the bill in that it could cook while I was out of the house, and was fairly easy and had fairly easy ingredients. It is a bit heavy on the chopped items end of things, but I think it’s worth it. To find the original recipe, please search here:

To follow my adaptations, please follow here:

Estouffade Provençale
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
250 g bacon, sliced in 1 inch pieces
6 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 pounds stew beef, trimmed
1/4 cup flour
156 ml can concentrated tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups cooking wine
salt and pepper
1 cup black olives

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the bacon, celery, sliced fennel, and crushed garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, slice the stew beef into about 2 inch pieces, and trim off all visible fat. When the  
vegetables have softened, scoop them into a separate bowl. Return the Dutch oven to medium heat, and heat the last tablespoon of olive all. Add the beef to the skillet and brown on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (little or no salt may be needed as the bacon and olives add quite a bit.)

Stir in the flour and mix well to coat the meat. Return the vegetable / bacon mixture to the Dutch oven.
Thin the tomato concentrate paste with a little wine, then mix it all with the wine. Pour this on top of the meat, and stir everything together.

Add in all remaining seasonings.
Cover and cook in a 275º oven for 6 hours. Stir in the olives 30 minutes before serving.


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