Monday, December 30, 2013

Caramel Apple Pork Chops - Easy & Tasty Entrée

I found this easy, tasty caramel pork chop recipe at one of my go-to sites - ( It had over 1,400 reviews, almost all positive.

Prep time is about 20 minutes and cook time is 25 minutes. It serves 4.


4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tart apples (I used Honey Crisp) - peeled, cored, and sliced
3 tbsp pecans (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated over.

3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.

4. Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and pork chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

Excellent and Easy Cream of Celery Soup

Recently, I came across this nice cream of celery soup recipe at while searching for a way to use some leftover celery. After finding the recipe, I discovered that the celery had passed its useful life. Since I now had my heart set on this recipe, I went out and bought more celery. The recipe is from

Prep time is 10 minutes; total time is 55 minutes; and it produces six servings.


- 3 tbsp nutter
- 1 & 1/2 lbs celery ribs, sliced (cross wise. The celery will be puréed.)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp flour
- 6 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3-4 dashes hot sauce
- salt to taste
- white pepper to taste (color of pepper is important to keep creamy appearance of the soup)
- celery leaves to garnish

- In a large pan, melt butter; add celery, onions, and garlic
- Cook over medium-low heat until soft
- Add flour and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat
- Add chicken broth an bay leaf; bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes
- Remove bay leaf and purée in small batches in a blender or food processor. (Instead of that slower process, I left the ingredients in the cooking pan, and puréed them using a hand-held immersion blender. That seemed to work just fine.)
- Add cream, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt and pepper
- Reheat and simmer 5 minutes
- Garnish with celery leaves

Bob Evans Easy and Delicious Sausage Stuffing - The Sacrilegious Version

I love sausage stuffing. In a search for an easy and tasty version for Thanksgiving, I found this excellent one at Since our local Publix does not carry Bob Evans sausage, I ended up using Jimmy Dean sausage. I liked the recipe so much that I made it again for Christmas dinner. 

For Thanksgiving, I served it with a white gravy. For Christmas, I served it without gravy. It was nice both ways, but since I love gravy, I prefer it that way.

This takes about an hour total to make, and makes 8 servings.

- 1 pound Bob Evans Savory Sage or Original Recipe Sausage Roll. (Both times, I used the Jimmy Dean sage flavored 1 pound roll.)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 14-ounce package of cubed stuffing. I used cubed stuffing flavored with herbs and seasoning.
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I skipped this seasoning because the cubed stuffing was already seasoned.)
- 2&1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup melted butter


In a large skilled over medium heat, crumble sausage. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally until sausage is brown.
Place cubed stuffing in a large bowl. Add sausage mixture. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Pour broth and butter over the top, and toss to combine.
Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

One of these days, I'll try this with Bob Evans sausage.

Cranberry-Apple Chutney, Easy and Great with Turkey & Ham - Good Housekeeping

Several years ago, my wife started making a Good Housekeeping Cranberry-Apple Chutney to go with Thanksgiving Dinner. ( Since she is no longer able to cook, she asked me to make it for Thanksgiving. It was so good, I made it again to go with our Christmas ham dinner. I love it, and it's really easy to make:

- 5 oz. of pearl onions (1&1/2 cups) (I bought the Birds Eye all natural frozen version)
- 8 dried Calimyrna figs, chopped (1 cup)(I used Kalamata Crown Figs)
- 1&1/2 cups waters
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 medium Pink Lady or Gala apples, peeled and chopped (2&1/4 cups)
1 bag (12 oz.) cranberries (3 cups) picked over

1. (This first step is only necessary if you buy fresh pearl onions. For the frozen ones, I used the simple stove top cooking instructions on the package. This undoubtedly makes the preparation much faster.)
Fill 3-quart saucepan with water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Add onions and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Drain onions and add to medium bowl of ice water to stop cooking; drain again. When cool enough to handle, slice off and discard root end of onion; squeeze from opposite end. Onion will slip out of skin. Repeat with remaining onions.
2. In a 5-quart saucepan, stir together figs, water, sugar, vinegar, and coriander seeds until sugar dissolves. Heat to boiling; then add onions and apples. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Add cranberries and simmer 10 minutes or until a few cranberries pop; stirring occasionally. (Instead of just letting a few cranberries pop, I waited until most had popped, creating a thick sauce.) Spoon chutney into serving bowl; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or up to 4 days.

There were 10 of us for for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. This was enough for all, with lots left over. My wife and I enjoyed the leftovers for 3 days.