Peach Pit Jelly

One of my favorite things about summer here in the south is that you can find peaches everywhere… and if you’re lucky enough to live near an orchard, you can grab a whole box of them without spending a fortune. There’s so much you can do with those peaches.

We spent a little time this past weekend and now have a big box of them sitting on the kitchen counter. We made a big batch of ice cream last night and I’m looking forward to “putting up” the rest of what we can’t eat over the coming days.
Eat them straight from the box of course (after washing them), but then there’s peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach crisp, and even savory dishes like peachy crockpot chicken, or something like apple and peach chutney.

Peach Collage

And do you know what all of those dishes along with pretty much every other recipe have in common? You don’t use the pit. Even when you can or freeze your peaches, those are removed first.

Being frugal at heart, I couldn’t just let them go to waste. There’s still so much flavor from the little bits and pieces of flesh left on. So why not put that to good use and make a batch of peach pit jelly?

The recipe below is from the very first Kindle cookbook I published - Homemade Jelly and Jam Recipes.

Peach Pit Jelly
 
Ingredients
  • peach pits, enough to half fill a large kettle
  • enough water to cover pits
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin
Instructions
  1. Prepare 4 half pint jars and lids by sterilizing them, keeping them hot, and get your hot water bath canner ready.
  2. Throw peach pits from cooking, eating or canning project into a large kettle, cover with fresh water (a couple inches over the pits) and just set aside on the counter overnight.
  3. Note: You want to end up with at least 4 cups of juice after boiling. The more pits you have in the pot of water, the richer and darker the jelly will be.
  4. The next day put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil, cooking for about 30 to 45 minutes at a nice, rolling boil, but not too hard. Stir occasionally. Remember, you want to end up with 4 cups of juice, so add more water if you need to, and continue to boil.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit long enough to handle.
  6. Set up a 'jelly bag' over a pot, or lay several sheets of cheesecloth in a large colander suspended over a large pot.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared strainer and allow to strain; do not push or force it.
  8. When totally strained, measure 4 cups juice into a large cooking pot, stir in the sugar until it's dissolved, and put back on medium-high heat to return to a boil.
  9. When it boils, stir in the pectin, and return to a rapid boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  10. Test with your cold metal spoon for doneness by dipping the spoon in the liquid and removing. When jelly no longer drips from the spoon and slides off slowly in a sheet instead, it has jelled properly.
  11. Remove the pot from the heat, skim off any foam, and ladle hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving about ¼ to ½ inch headspace in jar. Apply the lids and process in hot water canner for 10 to 15 minutes (adjusting for altitude.)
  12. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then remove jars to a towel covered counter, leaving plenty of room in between jars for air circulation.
  13. Let sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  14. Yields 4 half pint jars.

 

Homemade jelly made from peach pits

Green Tea Lemonade – Starbucks Inspired

I had a request today to come up with a recipe for some green tea lemonade. This recipe is inspired by the green tea lemonade sold at your local Starbucks.  It’s such a fun iced drink with just a right bit of kick to it to get you through your hot summer day.

Please note that I said inspired. I don’t consider this a complete copy cat recipe but encourage you to give it a try.

This was surprisingly easy to make and turned out quite tasty. I’m giving you several options for sweetening your new favorite drink. I used local honey in mine, but feel free to substitute to your liking and sweeten to taste. My drink was only very slightly sweet… just enough to take the edge of the lemon juice.

Green Tea Lemonade - Starbucks Inspired
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp of honey or 1 packet of stevia or 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 green tea bag
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • juice from 1 large lemon*
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Pour the honey, sugar or other sweetener of your choice into a mason jar or similar container. Add the tea bag and pour the boiling water into it. Allow the tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let it go longer than 5 minutes or you'll end up with a bitter tasting drink. Discard the bag and stir until your sweetener is completely dissolved.
  2. Add a cup of very cold water and the lemon juice to the mixture. This will allow it to cool down considerably. Give it a little taste and add more sweetener if needed.
  3. Pour over lots of ice and enjoy.

You can easily double this recipe and store the resulting tea lemonade concentrate in the fridge for the next day.

* Tip for getting the most juice out of your lemon. Either roll it on the counter for a few minutes, pressing down with the palm of your hand, or stick it in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Looking for a great lemon juicer? This is the one I use.

Variation:

Try making it with your favorite flavored green tea (like strawberry, pomegranate etc.)

A glass of green tea lemonade

Cucumber Dill Dip

This is my favorite go to dip for the summer. The flavors are fresh and delicious and it goes with just about anything. It’s quick and easy to throw together and best served with some fresh veggies.

Perfect for a summer cookout or even a light lunch or after-school snack. This is always a favorite around here.

The recipe is from my latest Kindle Cookbook “My Best Dip Recipe” available on Amazon.com.

Cucumber Dill Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Pour into a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cucumber and mix together with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. This also makes a wonderful salad dressing.

Cucumber Dill Dip Recipe

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I am in love with cauliflower right now. I like it raw, I like it steamed, I like it turned into fake mashed potatoes and I love it in soup. The recipe below couldn’t be any simpler. It’s just a handful of clean ingredients most of which I usually have on hand. Speaking of which, if you don’t have one of the oils used, feel free to use just olive oil or just coconut oil. Just melt the coconut oil before drizzling it on the cauliflower.

I often roast 2 heads of cauliflower when I roast a chicken and then use the bones to make chicken stock. I serve the chicken with half the veggies, setting the other half aside to make this soup the next day along with the chicken stock. Works like a charm.

You can also play around with spices. This is a very basic soup. Add some fresh herbs to make it interesting, or stir in a can of coconut milk in the end and season with plenty of your favorite curry powder. Yum!

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • More salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop the cauliflower and set it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Back at 400F for 25 minutes or until your cauliflower is pretty soft.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Chop the onion and cook it until it becomes translucent (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the cauliflower and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until everything is very soft.
  7. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in your kitchen blender until smooth.

 

home made cauliflower soup

Simply Sauteed Okra

I’ll let you in on a secret. I used to think that I don’t like okra. The only way I’d had it was deep fried with a corn meal breading. It was ok if it was well done and really fresh, but nothing to write home about. I’d never touches okra in any other way shape or form. I didn’t grow up with it and my husband described it as gross and slimy. I never gave this southern staple a chance.

A few weeks ago my friend Nikki totally changed all that for me. We went over for a barbecue at her house and she had roasted some Okra from her garden in some olive oil and salt. They were the most delicious little appetizer/snack. We munched on them while the boys grilled the meat.

When I went to the farmers market on Wednesday, I picked up a basked of red okra and talked to the lady at the stand about cooking them. She recommended sauteing them with a little salt and pepper. I decided to play around with it a little bit and came up with my own 3 ingredient recipe. It’s super simple and comes together in a flash.

Sauteed Okra
 
Ingredients
  • fresh okra
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Slice the okra into bite-sized chunks (discarding the tops). If you're in a hurry, cut them into smaller chunks.
  2. Heat some coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the sliced okra to the pan and let it cook. Occasionally move them around in the pan until they are soft and start to brown a bit on the edges.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

I didn’t give any measurements in the recipe on purpose. Cut up about 2 medium sized okra pods per person. Use enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the pan. If the Okra starts to stick to the skillet, add a little more. Season with salt to taste.

Okra pan fried in coconut oil

Curried Pork Stew From The Slowcooker

I love playing with spices and different types of cuisines. Curries are something we’re fairly new to and I wanted to try something simple, but delicious that my family would love. This curried pork stew fit the bill perfectly.

The recipe is from Tracy Robert’s new cookbook “Simple Crockpot Dishes For Busy Moms“. It’s a great book with lots of tips and yummy recipes.

I loved the fact that I can cook it in the slowcooker, which is important on those busy days when I’m not sure if I’ll have time to cook a healthy dinner.

The apple gives it just the right amount of sweetness that pairs so well with the pork. And of course it has plenty of curry powder. Make sure you get a curry powder with flavors that your family will like. We prefer certain brands over others, or you can of course make your own blend.

The best part about using curry is that it has plenty of turmeric powder in it. This is a very healthy spice that’s been shown to reduce inflammation. All in all a very healthy dish. Just add some veggies or a salad along with some rice and you have a filling meal for the whole family.

Crockpot Curried Pork Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs pork stew meat cut in cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Approx. 2 TBSP oil for browning
Instructions
  1. On stovetop in heavy skillet, heat oil on medium high.
  2. Brown pork and transfer to crockpot.
  3. In small bowl, mix water and curry powder.
  4. Once pork is removed from skillet, pour curry mix into that skillet and whisk to loosen brown bits from bottom and sides of pan for flavor. Stir mixture well.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over pork in crockpot.
  6. Add apple and onion to meat.
  7. Pour curry mixture from skillet over all of the ingredients.
  8. Cover, cooking on low temperature setting for 7 to 9 hours until pork is tender.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Curried Pork Stew From The SlowcookerVariations:

  • add some sliced carrots to the crockpot when you add the meat.
  • Throw in a handful of dry lentils to cook along with the meat. Increase the water slightly.
  • Add leftover cooked veggies during the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with some Kimchi on top of the stew

Should you have leftovers, this is just as good warmed up the next day.

Ready for more of Tracy’s delicious recipes?

 

Simple Crockpot Dishes For Busy MomsSimple Crockpot Dishes For Busy Moms

Tracy is a busy homeschooling mom who loves to create meals from scratch, but also realies on simple, easy meals frequently.

There’s nothing easier than throwing ingredients in a slow cooker and, a couple hours later, putting something delicious on the table that everyone in the family loves.

She put this ebook together to help women achieve the success of feeding their family real food that doesn’t require hours of slaving over the stove to make.

Slowcooker Chicken Broth

Yesterday I shared a great recipe for roasting a chicken in the crockpot. Today, I want to tell you know to take the leftovers from that meal and make a wonderful chicken broth that you can then use as the base for soups and stews or just sip throughout the day.

This is a great way to make that one chicken go even further. Make the stock instead of buying chicken broth in a can or box. Take some of the stock along with a little of the meat from the chicken and whatever leftovers veggies you have in the fridge. Add a little rice and you have a delicious meal that’s also good for you. Best of all, it cost you almost nothing. Frugal cooking at it’s best.

Slowcooker Chicken Broth
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • onion (optional)
  • carrots (optional)
  • celery (optional)
  • herbs and spices (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken carcass to your slow cooker.
  2. Fill the slow cooker to within an inch with water.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add veggies, herbs and spices as desired.
  6. Cook on low for 12 to 24 hours. The longer your stock simmers, the better it gets.
  7. Strain through a colander and store the finished stock in the fridge for up to a week (or freeze for up to 6 months).

 

Making Chicken Stock in the Crockpot

 

Slowcooker Roasted Chicken

I love a nice roasted chicken. Not only does it make for a great Sunday dinner, but you can also pull some of the meat of the bones and add it to other meals throughout the week. And let’s not forget about the bones. They are a great base for making your own chicken stock to use as the base for soups and stews.

The only problem with roasting chicken is that it takes some time if you’re cooking it in the oven. I often found it easier to just grab a hot and ready roasted chicken at the grocery store.

That is until I figured out how easy it is to cook a chicken in the crockpot. It takes only a few minutes to prep and then practically cooks itself. I can start it in the morning and have it ready by dinner. It’s less than half the price of a cooked chicken from the store and I know exactly what’s in it and what it’s seasoned with.

Give the recipe below a try. Feel free to experiment with the seasonings. Add some celery to the bottom of your slow cooker and mix and match your favorite spices and herbs. Add some garlic or onion powder, some thyme or rosemary to come up with different flavors.

Slowcooker Roasted Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Take out your chicken and remove any giblets. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry.
  2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. Thickly slice your onion and add it to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  4. Lay the chicken on top of the onion.
  5. Cook on High for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is done. I cook mine until the meat starts to fall of the bone.

 

Golden-roasted chicken, with a bowl of Greek salad.

Save the bones from that chicken and tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a fabulous chicken stock from them in the slowcooker.

Scotch Eggs

In my quest for easy grab and eat breakfasts and lunches, I came across the idea of making scotch eggs. While many recipes call for a covering of bread crumbs, I thought just wrapping and baking boiled eggs in pork sausage might do the trick and it worked out beautifully.

Two half scotch eggs and salad

You can use one pound of your favorite breakfast sausage, or just pick up some ground pork and season it with a few of your favorite spices. I used salt, pepper, garlic, ground fennel, sage and cayenne pepper. I didn’t measure anything, but just added a good dash of each.

Scotch Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 lb pork sausage
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling and peeling your eggs. You're looking for hard boiled eggs, but not have them be over done. I added my eggs to cold water, brought it to a boil and boiled them for 8 minutes.
  2. Allow the eggs to cool, then peel them.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375
  4. Divide your sausage into six parts and roll each one out into a thin, oval shaped paddy. Wrap one of these around each egg and pinch the corners closed. You want the egg to be completely wrapped in sausage.
  5. Place the eggs into a muffin tin and bake them for 15 minutes. Take them out and pour out as much of the grease as you can.
  6. Return them to the stove and cook for another 10 o 15 minutes or until the sausage is fully cooked and nicely browned.

If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can also lay them on a baking pan. Just make sure it has at least a small rim to keep the fat from running off the tray.

These eggs are great for breakfast or lunch. For lunch I usually serve them along a side salad.

Egg Muffin Cups – Portable and Healthy Breakfast

One of the hardest things for me to do is to eat within an hour or so of waking up. I just don’t have the appetite and definitely don’t feel like cooking yet.

In the past I’ve done well by just grabbing a bar or drinking a shake. But with this whole foods thing it usually involves cooking eggs and the likes.

What’s a girl to do? Make the eggs ahead of time in a convenient, portable form. I’d been making breakfast casseroles and fritatas for a long time. Cooking my scrambled eggs with some veggies in a muffin pan was a no brainer.

I whipped up these egg muffins last night. It was quick and easy to do. The hardest part was scrubbing the muffin pan when I was all done.

Egg Muffins

They make a great portable snack or a grab and go breakfast. I made mine with sun dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach and black olives, but feel free to use your favorite omelet ingredients instead.

Egg Muffin Cups - Portable and Healthy Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 9 eggs
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes (diced)
  • ¼ cup of diced bell peppers
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives
  • 1 to 1.5 cups chopped spinach
  • coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.
  3. Get out a large bowl and crack the eggs into it. Whisk them until smooth.
  4. Add the veggies and give everything a good stir.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into a muffin tin that makes 12 regular muffins. I used a ½ cup measuring cup to make it easier to transfer the egg mixture.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the egg is set and the tops start to get golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing the egg muffin cups from the pan.
  8. Allow them to cool completely before storing them in the fridge.

These egg muffins can be eaten cold, at room temperature or reheated in the microwave.

 

Zucchini Noodles With A Simple Meat Sauce

I’m eating clean according to the rules laid out in Whole 30, which means no grain, no dairy, no soy, no legumes etc. The think I knew I was going to miss the most was pasta. It’s my favorite type of food and I knew I needed to find some substitutes. I tried various miracle noddles, but to be honest, I’m not a big fan.

I remembered seeing some things online about zucchini noodles, but thought I needed a fancy vegetable spiral cutter to make it work. While I was pinning some Whole 30 recipes to get ideas, I came across someone using a julienne peeler. Since zucchini and squash are in season (and growing in my garden), I thought it was the perfect time to give this a try.

I went off to one of my local grocery stores that supposedly carried these types of peelers. Sadly, none cut be found. But I was determined to make “pasta” and decided to give it a go with just a regular plain veggie peeler.

It worked out great. The end result was wide “fettuchini-like” ribbons of yellow squash and zucchini. I started out peeling the zucchini and just kept going around until I hit the core with the seeds. I saved those to use in soup later this week and ended up with a big pile of veggie noodles from just one small zucchini and squash.

Zucchini and Squash "Noodles"

What you see on the plate above is the huge serving I ended up eating for lunch. If you’re cooking for more people, you obviously want to shave a few more veggies.

Next I made up a simple meat sauce from scratch. I’ve been reading labels of packaged foods religiously for the past few days and there were just too many additives (mostly sugar) in prepared pasta sauces. I got a small packet of lean ground beef (it was just over 1lb) and browned it up with a little onion, some salt and pepper.

I took half that mixture out once it was cooked to use in a different meal later on in the week. You can refrigerate the cooked ground beef for a few days, or freeze it for longer storage.

Next I added some garlic and cooked it until the garlic was fragrant. I added a can of diced tomatoes and seasoned the cooking sauce with Italian spices. You can use a seasoning mix, or just add a little basil, oregano, rosemary etc. I let the sauce simmer while I cooked my veggie noodles.

This was surprisingly simple and quicker than boiling pasta. I took out a large non-stick skillet and heated it over medium high heat. I added the zucchini strips without any oil or seasonings and just moved them around the pan until they started to get floppy and noodle like. That’s it.

I put the finished noodles on my plate and topped them with some of my sauce. I ended up with about 3 servings of sauce. Here’s what it looks like.

Zucchini and Squash Noodles with Sauce

Zucchini Noodles With A Simple Meat Sauce
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 medium zucchini
  • 2 to 3 medium squash
  • ½ lb to 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (for more sauce, use a large can)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • italian seasoning to taste
Instructions
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel around the veggies until you reach the seedy core. Set the vegetable "noodles" aside while you make the sauce.
  2. Brown the ground beef with salt, pepper and onion.
  3. Chop the garlic finely or use a garlic press and add to the meat mixture. Continue cooking until the garlic becomes fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and season to taste.
  5. Allow the sauce to simmer while you prepare the vegetable noodles.
  6. Get out a non-stick skilled and heat it over medium to medium high heat. Add the vegetable shavings (no oil or seasonings) and move them around while they cook. Once they become floppy like noodles and are done to your taste, move them to plates and top with the finished sauce.

 

 

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Is there anything better than a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream, freshly churned? While it takes a little time to make a custard style ice cream, it’s well worth the effort.

If the recipe below sounds like a little much, cut it in half for a smaller portion of ice cream. But really, who are we kidding. It won’t take long for your loved ones to gobble up this yummy vanilla custard ice cream. And if there are leftovers, they’ll store in the freezer for a week or two.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 24 large egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Run the tip of a sharp knife lengthwise down the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out into a small cup.
  2. In a large saucepan, put the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract; stir together; put saucepan over medium high heat and bring just to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, put the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  4. Remove 1 cup of the cream/vanilla mixture and very slowly start drizzling a steady, but slow, stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  5. Continue whisking, and add another 1 cup of cream/vanilla mixture, drizzling a steady stream into the egg yolks, then add another 1 cup in the same way, then 1 more cup - for a total of 4 cups. Add egg mixture to saucepan, whisking well.
  6. Now,take the bowl of eggs and pour into the saucepan with the remaining cream/vanilla.
  7. Put saucepan back over medium high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Test with a wooden spoon; when the mixture coats the wooden spoon and sticks well, it's thick enough. You can test with a candy thermometer; it should read 170 degrees. BE SURE not to let it boil. This is your 'custard' to make the ice cream.
  8. Pour custard through a fine sieve (or line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth) into a stainless-steel bowl which is sitting in a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water.
  9. Let the custard cool in the bowl/ice bath, stirring several times until cooled completely.
  10. Remove stainless-steel bowl with cool custard, cover well with plastic wrap (pressed on the surface of the custard) and put in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. (Stir a few times to help prevent skin from forming.
  11. Remove from refrigerator and uncover; peel off any skin that may have formed.
  12. Fill your ice cream maker with cold custard and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
  13. Store in freezer in covered freezer container.

 

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

For more delicious homemade icecream recipes, grab a copy of the Homemade Ice Cream and Other Frozen Treats ebook here.

You’ll find instructions for making ice cream with and without an ice cream maker and 100 recipes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and popsicles.

Get your copy today!

Pork Cordon Bleu Recipe

On our last evening in Germany, my mom made pork Cordon Bleu for all of us. It was a delicious meal and a perfect ending to a busy but fun trip and a great time visiting with my German relatives. I thought I’d share her recipe with you today. There are a few minor tweaks I had to make because the smoked ham and cheese she uses are a little harder to get here (and when you can get them, they are quite pricey). 

If you’d like to make this exactly as my mom makes it, look for mild or young Gouda cheese and smoked ham called “Schinken Speck”. I find it tastes just as well with sliced ham and I often use mild cheddar cheese instead of the more expensive Gouda.

We do not add any sauce to our cordon blue, but a slice of cut lemon is a nice touch for a special dinner. With a fresh salad and a side of potatoes, this is one of my favorite meals.

Pork Cordon Bleu
 
Ingredients
  • 6 pork thick pork chops (without bone)
  • 6 slices of gouda or mild cheddar
  • 6 slices of ham
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup butter
Instructions
  1. Start by butterflying the pork chops. Use a sharp knife and slice down the length of the chop. Here is a simple video from the National Pork Board.
  2. Don't cut all the way through the meat and pound it out just a bit. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on the inside of the pork chop. Fold the chop together and secure the open side with a toothpick. Repeat with the other chops and set them aside.
  3. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them with a fork. Pour the bread crumbs into a second bowl and season them with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  5. Dip each stuffed pork chop into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture, coating all sides. Gently place the meat into the frying pan. Cook them for for 5 minutes on each side or until the meat is cooked through and the cheese in the center is melted. Lower the heat as needed to keep the breadcrumb coating from burning as the chops cook.
  6. Remove the finished Cordon Bleu from the pan and set them on a cloth or paper towel to remove any excess grease before serving.

 

My Mom's Pork Cordon Blue Recipe

German-Style Iced Coffee or “Eiskaffee”

On a hot afternoon like today, I wish I could head back to my German hometown and stop by the local ice cream place for an “Eiskaffee”. It’s a sweet, delicious take on iced coffee. It’s quick and easy to make and the end result is more of a sweet treat than a beverage. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

You can just as easily turn this into a treat for the kids by making an “Eisschokolade”. Just replace the coffee in the recipe below with chocolate milk.

Iced Coffee Made With Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cold coffee
  • 1 to 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • sweetener of choice to taste
  • Optional: instant coffee of cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Scoop the ice cream into a tall glass. Pour the cold coffee in and top with whipped cream. Add a sweetener of your choice if needed. I find the vanilla ice cream sweetens up the coffee enough for me. If you prefer it sweeter, either use an artificial sweetener that dissolves well in cold liquids, or add a little sugar to your coffee while it's still hot, then allow it to cool and use the sweetened version in your iced coffee.
  2. If you're making this for company, consider adding a sprinkle of cocoa powder or instant coffee to the top of the whipped cream.

 

 

Eiskaffee - German Style Iced CoffeeVariation: Try making your german style “Eiskaffee” with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla for a yummy Iced Mocha style drink.

Homemade Zucchini Bread Recipe

One of the kid-friendliest ways to use up a bunch of zucchini is to “hide” it in a yummy breakfast bread like the one below. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know it’s got a nice serving of vegetables right inside the warm loaf of yummy breakfast bread. My husband even went so far as telling our daughter she could only have 1 slice for breakfast since it wasn’t all that good for you… she gobbled it up and declared it was the best banana bread I’ve ever made.

The recipe is from “The Zucchini Cookbook” available on Amazon Kindle.

Homemade Zucchini Bread Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat eggs, canola oil, grated lemon rind, egg and vanilla extract until completely combined. Add zucchini, stir until well combined. Add flour mixture, stir just until well mixed. Fold in walnuts.
  4. Divide batter evenly two loaf pans and cook for about an hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack. Let cool completely on wire rack.

 

Sliced zucchini bread with walnuts