Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: January 2009

Pork and Green-Bean Stir-Fry

I have been putting off the inevitable. During my last Costco shopping trip, I bought a platter of pork chops. Somehow, they ended up in the freezer without being divided and bagged. I finally pulled them out of the freezer to thaw, but we will […]

The Diary of a Novice Gardener: Survey the Spot

We have lived in this house for three years now and still no garden. This year, I am determined to take the time to start one. My friends and family, who are experts on the subject, have clammed up forcing me to do my own […]

Magic Magnets Science

One day while I was at Target, I picked up some Cars, the movie, magnets from the dollar bin. Mason and Everett went nuts over them allowing me to get dinner finished and on the table.

To play Magnets :
– Collect different types and sizes of magnets.
– How many places in the kitchen will the magnets stick.
– Discuss how magnets work- Magnets are attracted to magnetic properties such as iron or steel.

(Use caution with little kids. As they can pose a choking hazard and a more serious threat if swallowed)

Crock Pot Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Vegetables

I have some wonderful bone-in pork chops waiting to be transformed into something spectacular and yummy.  It is the end of the month so the pantry and refrigerator are pretty bare, leaving me with not much to work with. The recipe I decided to try […]

Beef – Is on the Menu….All Week!

Earlier in the month I bought a package of steaks and pork chops. Somehow the packages ended up in the freezer before they were divided up and sealed. Needless to say they had to be used before frost bite set in. I had four huge […]

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Source: The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce recipe follows)
1 (1 1/4 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat and silverskin

Put the teriyaki sauce and pork in a sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to four hours.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the pork from the bag and discard marinade. Place the pork on a roasting pan and broil until an instant-read thermometer reads 155 degrees, about 15 minutes, turning once. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Chinese Year of the Ox

Happy New Year! Today we celebrated Chinese New Year. This week we worked on making Chinese Lanterns and masks. Today the kids thought it would be fun to make fortune cookies. Adelin made all the fortunes to hide inside. For dinner we had Teriyaki Pork […]

Fortune Cookies for Chinese New Year

For Chinese New Year we decided to make our own fortune cookies. They proved to be harder than anticipated. Fortunately we were able to make one really good one for show while the rest, well… in Mason’s words, “Where are all the cookies?” I started […]

The Diary of a Novice Gardener

When I was very little, our family would take a drive out west of town to pick the wild blueberries that grew along the fence by the highway. Once we got them home mom busied herself in the kitchen washing the berries and boiling the water to make jars of homemade jam. I have always envisioned a homestead with raised gardens, dotted with fruit trees of every kind. It was no surprise decades later the first thing I wanted to do when Stephen and I bought our first home was plant a garden in the back yard. I wanted to enjoy the satisfaction of growing my own fruits and vegetables.

We had little money as newlyweds just starting out and I savored the thought of having a healthy vegetable and herb garden. I worked for hours hoeing the hard dirt to make it soft enough to mix in the nutrients it lacked. Then finally, with great anticipation, I planted the seedlings. The hard work paid off in the weeks that followed. It was exhilarating to walk out back and pick herbs for our morning omelet. Or to fill my apron with the green beans, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. However I was unhappy with my meager supply. Grated the squash and especially the zucchini took off and grew to considerable size. Still the tomatoes green beans and herbs were lacking.

Growing vegetables is like baking bread, every gardener has their own opinion. Some say you can grow green beans next to corn while others insist it is impossible since corn needs nitrogen which in turn will harm the beans. Still in a book I read recently they say green beans need nitrogen too and the author suggested growing green beans next to corn. It is enough to give any novice like myself a headache. I just want to plant, water and wah-la, have great tasting and abundant fresh fruits and vegetables.

My dad grew up on a farm. But never did I think to ask him about the tricks of the trade. It was not until after I started my own family that I began to think about my childhood and the memories that I want to create with my children. So while visiting this summer I sat down with the master farmer to pick his brain and get all the insider tips.

My dad did not say much. Instead he gave me a brochure for an Aero-garden and told me to go experiment with the rest. My mom came in the room and reminded my dad of when he planted a hydroponics garden. Apparently all you do is dig a trench or use a vented planter. Fill the trench or planter with wood shavings or chips. Not bark. Next plant you plant in the wood chips. You can grow tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers to name a few. Finally give the plant a good drink with a mixture of liquid fertilizer and water. Sounded simple enough, yet I was still searching for the secrets behind a Martha Stewart worthy garden.

A few days later I went to visit my Great Aunt and my Grandmother, dad’s mom and aunt. They both grew up on a farm. Grandma Penny is the person who taught my dad. So it figured I would get some help there. They told me the same thing. You have to experiment. They added the most important key to gardening is adequate water and food. Then they suggested I visit the local feed store or garden center and ask someone there who knows the area and is knowledgeable about gardening. It was clear I was going to have to put in my own work and figure it all out by myself.

Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry

This is my favorite recipe for broccoli beef. I like to eat it on a bed of cabbage or lettuce. The kids like with Chinese noodles. 3 tbsp soy sauce 1/4 cup beef broth 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp sugar 3 cloves garlic , […]