The First Thursday in May

It’s been a while since I’ve had a good rant. I know I’ve been sharing my faith daily in both little ways (the passages at the end of each post – most are part of our daily readings), and in big ways, acknowledge days of great religious significance. For me personally, today’s recognition as National Day of Prayer really doesn’t affect me. Every day is a day of prayer.

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BBQ-Rub Roasted Game Hens with Vegetables

Today is National Pie Day. So I bet you are wondering what roasted game hens have to do with Pie Day. Nothing and everything.

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Stick a Feather in Your Cap

And call it Macaroni. Yep, today is National Macaroni Day. When most Americans think Macaroni, we think Thomas Jefferson and the French Delicacy Macaroni and Cheese. Okay, maybe not everyone is aware the Thomas Jefferson served Macaroni and Cheese at a State’s Dinner in 1802, but we do think Mac and Cheese.

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Holy Thursday Roasted Supper

One of the traditions in our house is to have some sort of roasted meat on Holy Thursday. We aren’t lamb eaters; although I do love Lamb Gyros. Kiddo has to be in the mood for a Lamb Gyro, and Hubby says no way. He’s not really keen on strong flavors.

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Sheet Pan Fried Chicken with Biscuits

Who doesn’t like Chicken and Biscuits? Talk about homey-comfort food! While we didn’t always have mashed potatoes with our fried chicken, you can bet there were biscuits on the table. But then, my Pops made the best biscuits on the planet, hands down.

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An Oktoberfest Bratwurst Vegetable Supper

Here it is the end of October already and I have yet to share an Oktoberfest meal with you. To be honest, I don’t know much about Oktoberfest except that in Germany it is a big deal and here in America it is like Saint Patrick’s Day – an excuse to drink beer. Still, I wanted to do something colorful and festive for my family that involved beer – as in something cooked in beer. The solution? Bratwurst, of course.

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One-Pan Complete Rosemary Chicken Supper

Who doesn’t like an entire meal that cooks up in a single pan? I know, there are plenty of one-pan wonders out there. What I like about this one, aside from the convenience of a single pan, is that the vegetables are some of my favorite.

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One-Pan Flank Steak Fajitas Bursting with Flavors

If you are like me, you really like the ease and convenience of a one-pan or one-pot meal. While this dish requires a little more, in the spirit of one pan cooking it rocks.

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Clucking Little Foil Packs of Goodness

No sooner do we get home from a holiday vacation when I start dreaming of next year. My sister and I don’t get to see one another as much as we would like, so spending a few days with her on the Oregon Coast was very special. We are talking about doing it again, only this time renting a beach house or condo. So naturally, I’m thinking about simple meals I could whip up without having to pack up an entire gourmet kitchen.

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Greek Inspired Lemon Chicken

This recipe comes to us from Pampered Chef. It’s been years since I last attended a Pampered Chef party. What about you? Those were always fun. A great excuse to get together with my female friends, have a few laughs and eat some good food. I’ve got a ton of Pampered Chef gadgets. Everything from Apple Peelers to Zester – literally everything from A to Z. When I make my Slow Roasted Kahlua Pig without the Pit, you better believe I use my big clay roaster from Pampered Chef. It has served me well over the years.

This recipe is popular among clay bakers. The clay baker allows the chicken to get a golden color that seems to be lacking in most glass casserole dishes. I suppose you could finish the dish off under a broiler for a few minutes to achieve that same golden roasted goodness.

The only things missing from this delicious dish would be a nice salad and maybe a loaf of warm, buttery bread or sourdough dinner rolls. Of course, a glass of wine is always welcomed.

Greek Inspired Lemon Chicken
3 Lemons, divided
¼ cup Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
8 New Red Potatoes
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium red onion
8 oz white mushrooms

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Using Zester, zest two of the lemons. You should get about 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Set zest aside.

Cut one of the zested lemons in half, squeeze out the juice. You should have about 2 tablespoons of juice.

In a mixing bowl, combine the zest and the juice from the lemons with the olive oil.

Peel and press garlic over the lemon mixture.

Add oregano, salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Arrange chicken in a rectangular baking dish with a rim. (Pampered Chef has some very nice clay baking dishes).

Brush chicken breasts with the lemon mixture.

Cut the potatoes in half and set aside.

Cut the bell pepper into strips and set aside.

Cut the onion into wedges and set aside.

Thinly slice remaining lemon and set aside.

Combine the potatoes, bell pepper strips, onions, lemon slices and mushrooms with the remaining lemon juice mixture in the mixing bowl.Toss together to coat well.

Arrange the vegetables on the pan around the chicken. Bake in heated oven for 1 hour or until breasts reach 180 degrees at their thickest part.

Bush chicken with pan juices after 30 minutes of roasting, and again at the end.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetables One-Pan Wonder

I can’t believe yet another recipe inspired by Eat At Home Cooks – an entire dinner cooked up in a single baking pan! (Link to original: While she uses small white potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, I went with small red potatoes for added color and some fresh Rosemary to the mix. Our green beans are similar, but rather than use black pepper to season, I’ve gone with Lemon Pepper instead for a little added zip. Kiddo adores Lemon Pepper on his green beans, as do I. While she uses thin cut pork chops seasoned with Smokehouse Maple Seasoning, I preferred the thicker boneless chops seasoned with Mesquite. I mean, if you can cook an entire one-pound pork tenderloin in about 30 minutes, you should be able to bake up some yummy pork chops in the same amount of time, right? Although our seasonings were different, the same basic concept of baking everything together on one large rimmed baking sheet is the same.

Tasting is believing – and this one-pan supper is oh so wonderful. I had never “roasted” green beans before. They were delicious, tender without turning to mush. The potatoes took on the beautiful flavor of the Rosemary and the Mesquite Seasoning was the perfect final touch to the pork chops. Nothing dried out in the oven, each part of the meal cooked to perfection, each retaining their individual flavors – delicious!. A few minutes of prep work, a little seasoning and thirty minutes later you are sitting down to a bright, scrumptious meal. Yeah, this is one I’ll be repeating – maybe changing up the green beans for Asparagus just to give a little variation.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetables One-Pan Wonder
olive oil, as needed
2 lbs small red potatoes, cut in half
1-2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed and cleaned
2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
2 lbs. boneless pork chops
2-3 tablespoons Mesquite Seasoning or to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line one large, rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Brush foil-lined pan with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

Cut potatoes in half. Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat. Season potatoes with salt, pepper and Rosemary. Toss gently to blend. Nestle potatoes on one section of the baking pan.

Spread green beans next to potatoes. Lightly drizzle green beans with olive oil, then season with salt and Lemon Pepper. Toss to blend.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (2)

Half of the baking sheet should now contain the vegetables, leaving the other half for the pork chops.

Drizzle pork chops with a little olive. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Mesquite seasoning. Place on baking sheet seasoned side down. Drizzle top side with a little olive oil and season to taste.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (3)

Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and give the vegetables a good shake. Turn pork chops over, rotate the pan and return to oven. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes longer or until pork chops are cooked through and potatoes are fork-tender.

To serve; plate chops on individual plates with plenty of vegetables. (No serving platters to wash).

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (5)



Dijon-Lemon Chicken Vegetable Foil Packs

My husband thinks I’m crazy.  We’ve been married for over thirty years, and in that time I have given him ample reason to think I’m just a little nuts. Recently we made plans for our summer vacation. We’ve decided to return to an old favorite stomping ground – Yellowstone.

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