Hamicide Will Not Be Necessary

Cleanser is sprinkled in my bathroom sink, toilet, and bathtub, waiting for me to scrub things clean. Boxes are filled with Christmas decorations, stacked neatly by the attic door,  expecting to be put away. My bedroom, which looks like gorillas have been living in it, wails every time I walk through.

So what am I doing?  Writing about ham. And yes, you read that title correctly, it’s hamicide. Continue reading

I Love Myself…and Pork

I’ve been listening to the little voice in my head for the past couple of weeks.  No, I’m not schizophrenic, (although nothing would surprise me). You probably have  a little voice who says things to you too.  For most of my life, I didn’t even notice her.

But a couple of years ago, I was working with a very astute woman named Barbara, who said something that really made me think, and it’s  stayed with me ever since. Continue reading

Step-kids and Lasagne Sundays

My kids were gone for a mini-family reunion at their dad’s house for the Fourth of July and I missed them, so I wanted to cook something wonderful when they returned. It was Sunday and my Italian soul longed for lasagne. It was just special enough that my devious plan, to get them (including my daughter’s boyfriend)  to stay for a meal, worked. Now that’s success. (See what my mother taught me? You bribe your kids with food.) Continue reading

A Pat on the Back, Porkchops and Poached Pears

Porcine heaven on a plate.

Porcine heaven on a plate.

Remember, almost a year ago when my friends, my kids, and their friends helped move me into an apartment that needed a lot of work? Well, it still needs a lot of work and since I’m almost over the embarrassment of living in a place that desperately needs a paint job, I figured it was time to pay back my friends Mandy and Bjorn. Continue reading

New Year Slow-Cooked Pork and Sauerkraut

In Western Pennsylvania, there are traditions you just have to keep.  One is pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. I may not live there currently, but I’ll be damned if I’m giving up this tradition, it’s too good.

It’s said to be good luck to eat pork on New Year’s Day because pigs root forward, so, your year will start in a positive direction, unless you’re a pig. Continue reading

Italian Turkey Meatloaf – Oh Baby Baby

I’m a week behind on my blog because I’ve been working like a maniac on my new internet store. It’s going live this week (if the computer gods are with me) and I can’t wait to share it with you guys! There’s some fun stuff, so don’t do all your holiday shopping yet.

I’ve been cooking this week and have a couple recipes to share. Remember a few months back when I was all-atwitter about the new Italian spice I ordered from a website called Ciao Pittsburgh? The spice is called Aroma and I’ve already gone through one jar. I used it on sliced zucchini, and onions sautéed in olive oil and it was wonderful. Even the teenagers loved it. I sprinkled it on pounded chicken breasts and marinated them in Italian salad dressing – again – very good.

And this week I made turkey meatloaf with it and again — yum. Just so you know, these people don’t pay me to say anything about their product. (Note to self:  Figure out how to get people to pay me to say stuff about their products.)

I just talk about ingredients and products I think are good and I like this spice.  As I said before, it makes my house smell like the Italian store, which I can never get enough of.  I can’t say, sprinkling it in my bra helped my love life, but maybe I just wasn’t around the right guys.

I haven’t tried the picante blend they sell but I’ll bet it’s great on veggies. (Dang, maybe that should have gone in the bra.) Anyway, here’s the turkey meatloaf recipe. It’s healthy, good for you, and tastes great. If you don’t have any Aroma, you can use Italian seasoning as a substitute.

Italian Turkey Meatloaf

Yummy Italian meatloaf that's even great cold!

Yummy Italian meatloaf that’s even great cold!

1 lb ground turkey

1 garlic clove finely minced

2 eggs

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

¾ cup Italian style bread crumbs

1 cup oats

2 tsp. Aroma Seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste.

Additional parmesan or mozzarella to sprinkle on top

Mix together all ingredients and place it in a large glass baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until brown. Pour tomato sauce over and sprinkle with parmesan or grated mozzarella cheese, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with additional sauce if desired.=

Quick Tomato Sauce

2 cans stewed tomatoes (Kirkland or S&W) processed in a food processor until mostly smooth

2 cloves finely minced garlic

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup merlot

½ tsp. Aroma Italian seasoning

Saute garlic for about a minute, then add tomatoes, Aroma seasoning and merlot. Stir over low heat about 15 minutes. Pour over meatloaf.

 Sauteed Zucchini and Green onions with Fresh Rosemary

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 small green zucchinis sliced into ½ inch pieces

6 to 8 green onions sliced into 1 inch long pieces

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in pan and add zucchini, onions, and rosemary. Saute over high heat until browned but not too soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with turkey meatloaf.

Seeing Blessings, Not Curses

My friends, Bob and Debra had everything a year ago. A thriving business, a gorgeous new home, and tons of friends. They still have the friends, the business and the home,  but Bob can only see it from a hospital bed.

ALS is ravaging him. In less than a year, he went from being healthy to looking gaunt, unable to move and barely able to speak. But rather than be its victim, Bob’s using it as a platform to raise money and make a difference, and Debra is sticking right beside him. Horrible illnesses like this are even worse when the people involved are as nice as Bob and Debra.

Here are tiny glimpses into how nice:

Continue reading

Mommy Meals

A “MoPork shops-001mmy Meal” is a meal that makes your kids look at you like with the kind of affection you can only count on from your dog. I’ve never won a beauty pageant but I imagine it’s like the adulation beauty pageant winners and CEO’s get all the time. Although it’s not enough to make me put on a bathing suit with heels, or run Walmart (I’m sure they’ll call soon) I admit; I love the adoration – even from the dog. I remember giving it when my mom cooked.

Mommy meals make you feel like you’re in your mom’s house. You walk in, savor the aroma of your favorite dish, plop down on the couch and know you’re home. Continue reading