Ember Days Wednesday and the Autumn Equinox

Can you feel the changes in the air? Today is the Autumn Equinox, the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere. For us, summer is officially over. While some celebrate the Autumn Equinox all day, an Equinox is not a day-long event.

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Politics and a Pork Tenderloin Supper

Welcome to the 9th day of September. It’s National Teddy Bear Day, National Care Bears Share Your Care Day, National Boss-Employee Exchange Day and National Wiener Schnitzel Day.

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Welcome to New Mexico

Every year on June 14, America celebrates the birth of the United States Army, created in 1775. Formed from armature troops of volunteer soldiers defending the American colonies against a perceived British tyranny, the U.S. Army is older than the very country it defends.

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Castaway Skillet Supper

Hey there, how’s life in 2021 been so far? We’re still on such a roller coaster ride in California, half the time I don’t know if I’m coming or going. We’re open, we’re closed. Stay home unless your skiing. Depressed? Shop retail. Just don’t go inside a church, because that’s where the virus thrives.

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Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday

No National Days jumped out at me for inspiration. There was National Pralines Day, but I’m not a candy maker. A pro at eating candy, just not big on making it. Our other choice – National Parchment Day. Goes well with Pralines, doesn’t it?

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One-Skillet Vegetable Chicken Sass

Do you enjoy trying out new recipes? Me, too. Now that my laptop has returned from the dead, I have a ton of recipes I had saved for later that I get to try. This spicy vegetable packed chicken supper is just one of many new dishes I was eager to try.

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Chicken Spinach Skillet Pie

Today is the first day of Spring, and National Poultry Day. Hubby and I are getting the garden started early this year. We want to get a jump on fresh vegetables. We are especially anxious for this year’s tomato crop. I see sauces and salads in our future.

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Green Chile Chicken Skillet with Home-made Chips

This is one of those lovely little dishes that comes together with almost no effort. It could be served as a snack, a meal or anything in between. Depending upon your heat level, add more chilies as desired.

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Lemon Garlic Skillet Chicken and Dining with a Friend

On my desk is a calendar of National Dates, Church Feast Days and other Holidays. Whenever I am stumped as to what to share, I look at the calendar in hopes of inspiration. Sometimes it works really well for the blog as well as meal planning. Other times I just stare at it and scratch my head.

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Cornbread and Beef Skillet Pie – Oh My!

Lately it seems that I have fallen in love with my cast iron skillets all over again. It is amazing all the different delicious meals that can be had in a single skillet. That and they make a great door stop!

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One Skillet Taco Macaroni Skillet Supper

My guys love Macaroni and Cheese. They love tacos. So why not give them what they love in one dish? Better still, this is a skillet supper. As in one pot or skillet is all it takes. Gotta love that!

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Beefy Spanish Skillet Nachos

Not that long ago, I was cruising through a collection of Pillsbury recipes on line. For the most part, Pillsbury recipes are basic, not too complicated, with ingredients that are easy to recognize. My guys really enjoy simple, down home eating. I came across a recipe for Skillet Nachos. It was an interesting spin on the usual nachos. As a Pillsbury recipe, it called for “brand” ingredients, a certain kind of canned tomato, a particular taco seasoning and so forth. While I am sure those are all fine ingredients, it’s not what I happen to have in my pantry. If I can avoid shopping for special, brand-name ingredients, I do so.

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Mediterranean One-Pan Chicken Thighs

This chicken dish reminded me a great deal of another delicious chicken dish with the briny-saltiness of green olives, Spanish Chicken. For those of you who have been following along for a while, you know Spanish Chicken was one of Brother Dear’s favorites. While the two dishes are similar, this is a simplified rendition, but just as delicious. Although warm dinner rolls aren’t part of the ingredients, they should be. I made little salty chicken sandwiches with mine – very delicious.

You know me, I played around with the original recipe. Two ingredients were left out completely. One was anchovies. Sorry folks, I don’t like those little fishes. Not on pizza, not in a salad and nowhere near my chicken, thank you. The other ingredient is one I do like, but thought it was overkill. The recipe called for capers. To me, having green olives and capers in the same pan was a battle for attention. Hubby is not a fan of either. I went with the green olives simply because they are big, easy for Hubby to skirt around. Besides, his dislike for the olives meant more olives for Kiddo and I.

This is one chicken dish we will be enjoying again soon. It’s delicious.

Mediterranean One-Pan Chicken Thighs
1 small red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 Skinless chicken thighs
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 cup pitted Large Green Olives or to taste
16 oz Diced Italian Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice red onion into rings, break apart and set aside. Peel and flatten garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet, add oil and swirl the pan to coat in oil. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with sea salt and pepper to taste. Sear thighs until golden on both sides. Set chicken aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, add the sliced onions, chopped garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

Add the olives and diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Return chicken thighs to the skillet. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place skillet in the oven and bake, covered, for about 40 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve hot. This chicken is delicious with crusty, warm dinner rolls to soak up the juices.


Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Assorted Vegetables

Happy Father’s Day everyone! Now I know it’s a special day for dear old Dad, but I didn’t want to break from my Sunday Chicken temptations. I hope you don’t mind.

The inspiration for this recipe came from dashrecipes.com – the original post from Donna Elick over at The Slow Roasted Italian (I’m a huge fan!!). Her recipe is a little different (hey, I love to tweak!) in that it calls for 24 oz of frozen summer vegetable blend. I decided to make mine with a couple of my favorite squash and some baby carrots. This recipe would work well with corn, broccoli, green beans – just about any combination of vegetables that appeal to you or that you happen to have on hand will do the trick.

The most striking part about this dish is the fragrance – the aroma of fresh Rosemary browning into the chicken is incredible!  I truly wish the pictures could capture that scent for you. Long after dinner had been served, the kitchen smelled wonderful.

Be sure to adjust the cooking time based on the size of your chicken breast. My chicken breasts were fairly plump, so I cooked them a bit longer than the original recipe called for.  It’s an easy meal for a wonderful, colorful and oh so yummy weeknight treat or a relaxing Sunday evening. Just think, the chicken and vegetables cook up in the same pan – how great is that!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Assorted Vegetables
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 lemons
Kosher salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1 Zucchini, coin cut
1 Crooked Neck Squash, coin cut
1/2 Cup Baby Carrots, split lengthwise

Preheat skillet large enough to hold chicken breasts and vegetables over medium high heat.

While the skillet warms, chop rosemary and mince the garlic. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle tops of breasts with 1 tablespoon Rosemary, set aside but have at the ready.

Add oil to skillet. Add garlic, stir and immediately place chicken in skillet seasoned side down.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining tablespoon of Rosemary while one side browns. Let breast brown nicely, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook about 15 minutes longer, turning midway through. (You’ll want the chicken to no longer be pink)

Remove chicken from pan.  Spread desired vegetables into bottom of the pan, squeeze the juice of one lemon over vegetables. Return chicken to pan, place on top of vegetables. Squeeze the juice of remaining lemon over chicken breast. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are to desired tenderness.

To serve, place chicken on a large serving platter and surround with vegetables. If desired, pour any pan juices over entire dish just before serving.

Tip: You can either squeeze lemon through a piece of cheesecloth to prevent seeds from falling into the pan or use a hand-held juicer.

Suggested side: Simple Linguine tossed with a little minced Garlic and Butter


Hope you enjoy!

One Skillet Pork Chops in Mushroom-Onion Gravy

Do you shop at one of those big box stores? Recently, Hubby and I made our monthly Costco run. Buying in bulk, when done right, saves money, and all you need to do is set aside a little time to break down the giant packages into more reasonable portions. Take those giant packages of pork chops for example. Forty thin-cut pork chops works out to fifty-cents per chop. For us, forty pork chops equates to the meat needed for six meals. These are easy to break down into smaller portions, and stored in the freezer. Buy a roast that can feed an army, cut it into smaller roasts, and you can easily transform one giant roast into three or four two-pound roasts. One package of stew meat becomes two stews, with plenty of left overs for lunches during the week. For our little family of three, breaking down those big box store containers into manageable servings works well while stretching our buying power.

This one-skillet supper is super easy to whip up, takes little time to cook and is perfect for a mid-week dinner. Don’t have thin-cut pork chops? That’s okay, just increase your simmering time to about 20 minutes, depending upon thickness.

One Skillet Pork Chops in Mushroom-Onion Gravy
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 pork chops, thin cut
8 oz crimini mushrooms – sliced
1/2 Onion, cut into thin slivers
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Lightly salt and pepper pork chops. Set aside.

Peel onion, cut in half and then slice half of the onion into long, thin slivers. Set aside.

Wash and remove stems from mushrooms. Slice mushrooms thin and set aside until ready to use. (This can be done earlier, held in bags until ready to cook).

Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add one teaspoon of oil to hot skillet and give the pan a good swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Sear pork chops in hot oil for 2 minutes per side. (You may have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your skillet to avoid over crowding).

Remove chops from skillet, place on  a sheet of foil and seal to keep the chops warm.

Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to same skillet, swirling to distribute. Add sliced mushrooms and onions to the pan. Sauté until lightly brown and the mushrooms have begun to release their juices, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one or two minutes or until all flour has been absorbed.

Add both chicken and beef stock. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to gather all the brown bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. The gravy will begin to thicken.

Add the chops back into the pan (along with any drippings), spooning the gravy over the chops. Continue to simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes longer or until pork chops are heated through, allowing the gravy to reduce by half and thickened. If necessary, cover and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until pork chops are tender. Taste the gravy, add more salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer chops to a large rimmed serving platter or casserole dish. Pour all the gravy over chops and serve.

The gravy is delicious and can be served over mashed potatoes. The mushrooms and onion slivers add both texture and flavor to the pan gravy.

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