Sesame Grilled Pork Chops with Creamy Garlic – Leek Sauce


The pork chops themselves couldn’t be easier.  All you do is coat them with a little canola oil and sprinkle sesame seeds all over.  Grill them over medium heat until they are no longer pink inside.

What makes these pork chops so delicious is the smooth, creamy sauce.  Here’s how to make it:


2 Tbs butter

4 chopped cloves garlic

6 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes

2/3 cup  milk

1/3 cup finely chopped leek


  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add garlic and cook over medium heat until golden brown. IMG_20150712_1709221_rewindIMG_20150712_1715176_rewind
  2. Add cream cheese and milk.  Continue to cook until  completely smoothIMG_20150712_1719391_rewind
  3. Add leeks, remove from heat and pour over pork chops.


(Shown here with Grilled eggplant.)

Grilled Beets – July 19, 2015

Grill vegetables!  Everyone barbecues meat.  Vegetables are always an afterthought and I have to admit that this recipe is probably in that category as well.

Today we grilled beets. I like beets because they are a little on the sweet side for a vegetable.  Also, I like to eat a variety of colors in my vegetables – its too easy to stick with greens day after day after day.  More colors = better nutrition.

The thing about grilling beets is that you need time.  Burgers and dogs cook quickly, but beets are dense and take a while, even when you do cut them up into small pieces as I like to do.  Of course, the smaller you cut the quicker it will cook.  Experiment and keep checking them as you go.


Lots of beets

Olive oil


1.  Peel the beets.  Scrubbing them is a labor intensive alternative.


2.  Place the beets in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil.  How large?  It depends on how many beets you want to cook in each aluminum foil packet. I put three or four medium beets in each so I take a piece of foil approx. 2 feet long.

3.  Drizzle olive oil over the beets being sure to get them all.  Alternatively, you could place a chunk of butter in each packet.

4.  Salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and seal at the top.


6.  Place the packets on the grill over medium heat for approximately one hour.  Test them periodically with a fork . When they are tender they are done.


French Toast Pancakes – July 12, 2015

This one comes to you courtesy of our 10 year old son. He often thinks of ways to remake a dish with a twist.  This time I guess he was torn between having pancakes or french toast for breakfast, so decided to combine them.  Whenever possible (time/ingredients available) we  like to encourage our kids to cook and experiment.


For the Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tsp melted butter
  • 1 banana

For the French Toast Batter:

  • 1 egg
  • a little milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a little sugar
  • a little cinnamon


Sorry for the lack of specifics – My ten year old, like all creative types, is not much for exact measurements.

1.  Combine the flour, brown sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.


2. Melt the butter in a frying pan or skillet on your stove top.  You can use the same pan for the pancakes .  You want a hot pan when the pancake batter goes on.

3.  Combine the milk and eggs in blender.


4.  Add the dry ingredients to the blender.

5.  Add the banana.

6.  Add the melted butter.

7.  Make the pancakes by pouring the batter onto a hot griddle or frying pan.  Cook them on one side until the bubbles stop coming though, then flip them.


8.  Set the oven to bake on 200°.  I use the oven to keep the pancakes warm while I’m making the rest of the batch.

9.  Combine the french toast ingredients in a pie plate or other shallow container of similar size.  You need something big enough to dip the pancakes in.


10.  After all the pancakes are made, begin dipping them in the french toast batter and put them back on the griddle for a few seconds each side.  Leave it in the pan just long enough to cook the french toast batter.


11.  Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Rice Krispies Smores Pinwheels-July 10, 2015


I saw this on Pintrest and decided to give it a try.


  • 5 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 10 oz bags of marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup butter ( plus more for greasing )
  • 6 Hershey bars



1.  Line a jelly roll pan with very buttered wax paper.  Melt 1/4 cup of butter and 1 bag of marshmallows in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add Rice Krispies and graham cracker crumbs and press into jelly roll pan.


2.  Melt the second  1/4 cup of butter and 2nd bag of marshmallows in a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour and spread over the base layer.


3.  Place Hershey bars on top of that and bake in a 200° oven for a minute or two.


4.  Spread the chocolate evenly.


5.  Let cool for about 10-20 minutes and then roll and carefully remove the wax paper.


6.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, slice and enjoy 🙂


Empanadas – July 4, 2015

We have my sons friend Matt to thank for this.  His mom makes them so my son wanted to try them. We searched Pinterest for a recipe and found one that looked good. I almost never follow a recipe exactly. Most times I will tweak it a little bit according to our tastes and experience.
We have given you an ingredients list and step-by-step instructions with photos but I have a few extra notes.
1. I don’t have a big board to roll the dough out on so I cover my granite countertop in plastic wrap and roll it out on that.
2. Most often when you add cornstarch to recipe you should mix it with cold water first so it doesn’t clump.


For the filling:

  • 1 lb grass-fed top round steak
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp Tajin
  • 4 oz shredded colby-jack cheese
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbs cold water

For the dough:

  • 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup nacho-taco blend finely shredded cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup warm 2% milk

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs cold water
      1. Meat, a can of tomato sauce, taco seasoning and onion go in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker July 3

    1. It cooks overnight.
    2. In the morning the meat is shredded and put in the fridge until later in the day.


      1. Heat oil in large skillet.
      2. Add chopped garlic and brown slightly.


      1. Add cumin, coriander and tajin to meat mixture.
      2. Add shredded meat mixture and cornstarch mixture.
      3. Let cool about 5-10 minutes.
      4. Add cheese.


      1. Make the empanada dough, cover and let sit about 1/2 hour.



      1. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.


      1. Roll the dough out and cut  circles with a cookie cutter or a bowl.  I started with a smaller bowl, but switched to a larger one.  Small is probably better for appetizer sized empanadas.


      1. Make the egg wash.
      2. Brush the edge of empanadas with the egg wash.


      1. Put some of the shredded meat in each empanada.


      1. Fold them over and seal using a fork.


      1. Bake @ 375 for 15 minutes.


      1. Serve.