Pork – The Other White Meat

When I was a kid, the slogan for pork was “the other white meat”. Do you remember that? Back then, everything had a slogan. “Beef – it’s what’s for dinner.” Wendy’s had a little old lady saying “where’s the beef” to promote that Wendy’s didn’t cut corners. I loved their square hamburgers as a child. I fact, it was probably the only restaurant I ordered a hamburger instead of chicken sticks.

Today, the slogan for pork is “Be Inspired.” What does that mean? What about eating pork inspires me? And what does it inspire me to do? I guess you can probably tell I was an advertising major in college and work in this field professionally.

This specific recipe came to me by way of my nephew. When Brock was little, he used to grab any pamphlet or brochure that was within his reach. As a tall kid with long arms, he gathered quite a few over the years. While shopping with his mom at Hy-Vee, Brock picked up this recipe card for me. They were on their way down to see me and Brock knew I loved to cook. I have to say, he did good because this is one of my favorite recipes. Lots of great flavor with all the seasons rubbed on the pork tenderloin.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

1 # pork tenderloin
6 slices of bacon
toothpicks
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano

Bast pork tenderloin with olive oil. Mix together spices and rub on meat. Wrap pork tenderloin in bacon (using toothpicks to secure. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Let it cool slightly before cutting. Makes for four servings.

Calories per serving: 260 calories, 2 g. carbs, 31 g. protein, 14 g. fat, 5 g. sat. fat, 1 g. fiber, 95 mg. cholesterol, and 320mg sodium.

Chicken Bites

Who doesn’t love chicken bites? For my sister and I, we are big Chick-fil-a fans. I guess the obsession started when we were children. Southern Hills Mall had a Chick-fil-a restaurant in their food court. I had no idea how weird it was for them to have a store in Sioux City, IA. Back in those days, their restaurants were pretty much in the south. We loved the free samples of their nuggets. We also usually went to Sioux City on Sundays because it was the one day my dad had off from work. And if you are a fan, you know Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays.

I remember the first time I realized Chick-fil-a was in Kansas City. A Hope House co-worker walked into the office with a Chick-fil-a bag. I grilled Jenny where she got their deliciousness in town. It turns out Johnson County Community College had a location in their food court. But she also informed me that they had just opened a location in Olathe. At that time, I lived in Independence. You have to really love a fast food restaurant to travel 40 minutes just to get it. But I did.

Just before I moved from Independence to Lenexa, a Chick-fil-a opened near my house. The first question my sister asked, “How close are you to Chick-fil-a?” She was in luck, they had also opened a location by Oak Park Mall.

The recipe I am about to share come from a Taste of Home magazine. I may not be Chick-fil-a but it has excellent flavor.

Chicken Nuggets by Annette Ellyson

1 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. poultry season
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 # boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 canola (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

In a large ziplock bag, combine the first six ingredients. Flatten chicken to 1/2 in. thick and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add bag and shake. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil for 6-8 minutes turning frequently.

Fireworks

As a kid, I remember seeing jars of seasoning on the tables at Pizza Hut. I didn’t understand what they were doing there. To this day, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone using them on pizza…except on an occasional dare from one child to another. Yet to this day, you always get asked if you want red pepper flakes or parmesan cheese even when you do carry out at any pizza place.

When I worked at SAFEHOME, my friend and co-worker Michele brought in these crackers with red pepper flakes. They had a little bit of kick but I couldn’t stop eating them. I looked online and found a similar recipe. I decided to make it with oyster crackers instead of saltine crackers. Yes, you loose a little of the seasoning but I think the flavor is more manageable this way.

Crackers a la Yvette

1 package of oyster crackers (or one box of saltine crackers)
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 (1 oz.) package of dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 c. canola oil

Combine ingredients in a gallon sized zipped bag. Shake every 10 minutes for an hour. Let them sit for a few hours for eating.

Crunchy Parfait

I don’t know if any of you shop at Hen House. Although it isn’t where I buy the majority of my groceries, they sometimes have really great deals in their ads. Plus, they double coupons of $.50 or less. In the front of their store, they sometimes have special inserts with coupons and recipes. I got this recipe from one of their inserts promoting General Mills products. I thought this recipe was pretty good so I decided to share it. With low fat yogurt, this is a healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.

Crunchy-Topped Strawberry-Kiwi Parfaits
1/2 c. Banana Cheerios

1 T. almonds
3 oz. of low fat vanilla or peach yogurt
1 large strawberry, chopped
½ a kiwi, chopped

Bake the almonds and Cheerios at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes. Let cool. Layer yogurt, strawberries, kiwi, and Cheerios mix. Repeat layering. Serve immediately.

Recipe modifications:

  • I only had Honey Nut Cheerios so I used those.
  • I omitted the almonds.
  • I used vanilla yogurt when I made it.

Breakfast Bites

I found this recipe in a recent issue of Taste of Home. I don’t know that I have ever baked a recipe with Phyllo Shells but I thought I would give it a try. You can’t go wrong with cheese and bacon. By using Ricotta cheese, you significant cut the fat content from cheese. Plus, the creamy texture helps blend the other cheeses for perfect baking in these tiny crusts.

Makeover Mini Bacon Quiches by Julie Hieggelke
1/2 # bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/2 c. reduced-fat Ricotta cheese
1/2 c. Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of black pepper

1 box of Phyllo shells (15 count box can be found in the freezer section)

Cook and crumble bacon. Mix with cheeses and egg. Spoon into shells. Bake at 350 degree for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes:

  • I used Fat Free Cheddar Cheese in this recipe. It melted just fine with the other cheeses.
  • I omitted the onion. When I do this, I usually sprinkle in a little onion powder.
  • You could probably substitute egg white substitute and veggie bacon in the recipe.
  • Great recipe for a brunch or shower.

Fruit Dip

I remember the first time I tried this fruit dip. My Uncle Tom and Aunt Annette made it at my Grandma Fletcher’s house. I have tried many dips since then but this is still one of my favorites.

Fruit Dip by Tom and Annette Fletcher

1 small jar of marshmallow creme
1 brick of cream cheese (8 oz.)

Soften cream cheese at room temperature. Use a mixer to blend with marshmallow creme. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Notes:

  • This is one of those cases where you can use Fat Free Cream Cheese.
  • My favorite fruits with this dip are grapes, strawberries, and nectarines.
  • Serious vegeterians can eat this dip. I remember one of my friends saying the product that prevents her from eating marshmallows isn’t in marshmallow creme.

Swiss Steak

You have probably read by now some of my crazy cooking stories about my Grandma Fletcher. She is one of those people who doesn’t really use recipes or changes them up a little bit. Today, I thought I would share one of my favorite dishes– Swiss Steak. For years, I tried to make it but it never turned out as juicy and tender as it did when Grandma made it. As I have expressed before, that’s when you have to watch someone make their recipe. That is how I learned the true art to making this recipe delicious. I hope you enjoy this Crock Pot recipe as much as I do.

Swiss Steak by Shirley Fletcher

1 package of minute/cubed steak (I usually use 3 or 4 of them)
flour
pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 can of stewed tomatoes
V8 small can (or pour in some tomato juice)

Lightly grease a pan with EVOO and heat. Flour and pepper cubed steaks. Place in hot pan. Cook til somewhat brown and flip. (Note: you are only half cooking these so don’t worry about them not being done.) Meanwhile, pour the can of stewed tomatoes into a food processor. Blend slightly. Add a small can of V8 or enough tomato juice to cover the stewed tomatoes (approximately 4-6 oz.). Blend a little bit more. Pour a little bit into the bottom of the Crock Pot. Place first steak on top of it. Cover with a tomato mixture and repeat until all steaks are in the Crock Pot and all the tomato mixture has been used. Cook on a low heat for 4-6 hours.

Notes:

  • My Grandmother added the leftover flour to the pan and makes a little gravy. She adds this to the Crock Pot as well.
  • This is a great recipe to serve with the Classic Potato Casserole, Jack Stack’s Cheesy Corn, and Garlic Poppy Seed Spirals.
  • Cubed steaks are flatten steak so they can be really expensive. Buy the meat when it is on sale and freeze it or check the fresh meat counter for specials. I like Price Chopper’s minute steaks the best because they don’t fall apart as easily.

Eggs Benedict Casserole

I found this recipe in a recent issue of Taste of Home. It won a top prize and was created by someone from Liberty,MO so I thought I would give it a try. Makes a great brunch dish.

Eggs Benedict Casserole by Sandie Heindel
3/4 pound Canadian bacon, chopped
6 English muffins, split and cut into 1-in. pieces
8 eggs
2 c. 2% milk
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika

Hollandaise Sauce
4 egg yolks

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. butter, melted

  • Place half of the bacon in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish; top with English muffins and remaining bacon. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and onion powder; pour over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, constantly whisk the egg yolks, cream, lemon juice and mustard until mixture reaches 160° or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Reduce heat to low. Slowly drizzle in warm melted butter, whisking constantly. Serve immediately with casserole. Serves: 12 servings

Nutritional Facts: 1 piece with about 2 tablespoons sauce equals 286 calories, 19 g fat (10 g sat. fat), 256 mg cholesterol, 535 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and made it in an oval dish. I used non-stick spray but it was still really messy.
  • I think you could substitute leftover Easter ham in this recipe. Asparagus or spinach would also be a good addition to this recipe.
  • I used Thomas Light Whole Wheat English Muffins. Each muffin has 8 grams of fiber and is low in fat.
  • I used skim milk instead of 2% to cut out fat.
  • I didn’t have a double boiler so I used a metal bowl over a pan of hot water to make the Hollandaise sauce. It worked just fine.
  • If you use the egg yolks, save the eggs white for a cake or omelet.
  • I would also suggest using the Knorr Hollandaise Sauce packet. It’s way easier and healthier for you.
  • I sprinkled it with a little parsley before serving.

Egg Salad

Not sure what to do with those left over Easter eggs? Why not make egg salad. My mother has the easiest egg salad recipe.

Egg Salad by Kathy Bourek
Hard boiled eggs
Miracle Whip salad dressing (I use the Light kind)

Hard boil desired number of eggs. Peal away shell and rinse off. Cut and remove yolks. Dice up egg whites in a small bowl. Cream yolks (usually too soft to slice) over egg whites. Add a spoon full or two of Miracle Whip. Stir. Test to your desired taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Notes:

  • I like it best on wheat bread. You might want to dress it up with lettuce and slice of tomato.
  • I also Rachael Ray serve egg salad on a toasted baguette last week. She put out bowls of possible toppings including crisp bacon, crisp Prosciutto ham, diced tomatoes, slicked olives, and paprika.

Neapolitan Cupcake

When I was a kid, I remember my Grandma Fletcher always had this frosted glass egg shaped candy dish on her coffee table. Back in those days, you could buy Brach’s Pick-A-Mix candy by the pound at Pamida or the grocery store. Grandma loved those orange peanuts, butterscotch disk, and those flavored caramel/toffee chews the most. But sometimes, Grandma would scoop an assortment of Brach’s candy which might include the Neapolitan chew.

The Monday after the Super Bowl, one of my co-workers was telling me about this amazing cupcake she had tried at a friend’s Super Bowl party. She had found the recipe on Pinterest. It was a brownie base with strawberry cake topped with butter cream icing. Theresa got me the recipe so I made them. I didn’t love them the way she did so I was worried I had cooked them wrong. Theresa tired my cupcakes and said they were great. Although this isn’t my favorite dessert recipe, I think you might really like this if you loved that classic Neapolitan candy as a kid.

Neapolitan Cupcakes

1 box of brownie mix
1 box of strawberry cake mix
1 can of butter cream frosting

 Mix brownie according to box directions. Fill muffin cups half full. In a separate bowl, mix cake mix according to instructions. Spoon cake mix onto of brownie mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and top with frosting.