“Throw It Together Tuesday”

So today is Thursday and I’m posting about what I created on Tuesday. Does that tell you how my week has gone so far? Anyway’s, Tuesday my wife and I had to babysit our two grandchildren Wednesday Renee 5 (Yes, that’s her real name, but we call her Winnie) and our grandson Finn who’s 2 and comparable to an F5 tornado with legs and arms. I had thawed out some chicken without any intent on how I was going to prepare it and I knew we wouldn’t be eating until later on that evening after my daughter came home and took the kids upstairs. (we live in a 2 family home and they live upstairs) so it was going to be a “wing it” kind of supper.

I made the kids a couple of grilled cheeses (Winnie says that my grilled cheeses are the best in the whole world) and rummaged through the fridge to get inspired. I came upon a small, unopened, container of Ricotta cheese, a pound of bacon and some fresh mushrooms. I also had a red pepper and some sweet onions as I always do, and despite the kids running around and my granddaughter asking me one hundred times if she could help me cook (she loves to cook), the creative juices began to flow and the light bulb above my head went form dim to bright.

I was going to make “Ricotta stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon.”   Let the creating begin . . .

 

“Ingredients”

  • 3-4 medium/large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (you want them large enough to be able to cut a pocket)
  • Small container (about 1-1/12 cups) Ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb bacon (about 10-12 strips)
  • 1 onion (I used sweet) chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any kind) chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Salt, pepper or your favorite seasoning for the chicken
  • Butter (about 2 tbsp)
  • Toothpicks (optional and obviously not to eat)

“Putting It All Together”

Set oven to 350 degrees

Saute onions, peppers and mushrooms in pan with butter just until softened. Add garlic and saute a couple more minutes. Remove from stove top and let cool for a few minutes.

Veggie's

Veggie’s

Using a paring knife, start at one end of chicken breast and gently cut to the other side to form a pocket. Do not cut all the way through. Season both sides of chicken breast.

In a small bowl combine Ricotta cheese and cooked veggies. Mix well

On a piece of wax paper, lay out 3 strips of bacon

Take chicken breast and using a spoon stuff pocket with Ricotta mixture.

Place the stuffed breast over the 3 strips of bacon and bring the ends up to meet on top. Secure with toothpicks.

Place on cookie sheet or cast iron pan and then repeat process for remaining breasts.

Ricotta Mixture

Ricotta Mixture

bacon wrapped chicken before cooking

bacon wrapped chicken before cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any Ricotta or bacon left over, I just place it on top of chicken before baking it. (optional)

Place in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ricotta stuffed chicken with bacon

Ricotta stuffed chicken with bacon

I hope you enjoy the music selection I’ve chosen for today, I’m calling it “Theme Song Thursday” Also, if you get a chance, please take a jog over to my other sites for some enlightening, funny and sometimes even educational post’s and pages; www.jamesrsirois.com    “Blogging Around With The Original Domestic God” and

www.iamperfectlychangedandawesome.com    Have a great day Y’all! Peace, Light and Love to all! Jim

“Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops . . . YUM!”

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

 

                                                            “Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops”

 

Performing all the tasks of the “Original Domestic God” can occasionally get, well . . . predictable and boring. (Cue really big yawn) and that includes cooking meals as well. And while it’s true that I have never in my life had a cooking lesson, I can, with great ease, comprehend the instructions written in a “how to manual,” er um . . . “recipe.”  

This “Domestic God” has also become well-versed in morphing recipes and testing out new food combinations that I believe will taste great. Yeah, sometimes that doesn’t go as planned and even my “Domestic dog and Domestic cat’s” won’t eat it. While my wife will politely come up with some excuse not to eat it, my middle daughter Sarah will come right out and say; “hey dad, what the hell did you make, this is terrible!” Then my wife will start to chuckle, I’ll laugh and soon we’re all laughing and I’m on the phone ordering a pizza. Luckily for me and my wallet, that doesn’t happen very often.

My “bacon, apple, stuffed, pork chops” is one of those recipes. I tweaked it just a little bit and the result was stupendous! The aroma that fills your house will make your mouth water (but not like when your mouth waters before you barf), but in a good way. So break out that tablet, iphone or pen and paper and get ready to write down this awesome recipe you can serve your family anytime. The prep work is a tad bit time consuming so don’t try to make this on a night when you’re pressed for time.

 

Ingredients for Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Chops

Ingredients for Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Chops

 

                                                                            “INGREDIENTS”

 

Cast Iron pan (my favorite, go-to pan or Dutch oven)

4-6 thick cut (1 1/2-2 inches) bone-in pork chops

3 sm/med apples (I use gala, but you can use what you like) cored and chopped

10 strips bacon cut into bite size pieces (before cooking), I actually used the whole package. There’s always room for more bacon! “Those who think bacon is bad for them should give up thinking!”

1 med red onion, chopped

3 sage leaves, finely chopped- 3 cloves garlic (1TBSP jarred, chopped garlic)- 2 stalks celery finely chopped- 1/4 cup chopped pecans- 2 tsp brown sugar- a few red pepper flakes (not too much now)

2-3 TBSP Lard

Toothpicks

Salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika

 

“LET’S GET COOKING”

Set oven to 350 degrees

Melt lard over med heat and add bacon pieces. When bacon begins to crisp, add chopped apples and chopped red onions. Cook until the onions are softened and add garlic, chopped pecans, sage, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook an additional 3 minutes, remove from heat and transfer mixture to another pan or bowl to cool down.

Stuffing Mixture for Chops

Stuffing Mixture for Chops

 

While stuffing mix is cooling down, take your chops and using a sharp paring knife start at one end of the chop and wiggle the knife through it as you cut to the opposite end. You want to form a pocket 4-5 inches long and about 3 inches deep (about 70% of chop)

Next, season both sides of chops with salt, pepper, chili powder and smoked paprika. Put about 2/3 of the stuffing mixture in a separate bowl. The other 1/3 you have left over (if you don’t have to use all of it) you can put it on top of the chops later, but you don’t want the spoon/fork that’s touched the raw pork to touch the extra stuffing mixture.)

Take each seasoned chop and using a spoon or fork put as much of the stuffing mixture into the pocket as it will hold. Place toothpicks through chop to hold all that deliciously goodness in. Repeat with other chops. If you run out of stuffing mixture, use the other 1/3 you have set aside.

Heat the cast iron pan/Dutch oven over medium high heat. Place chops in pan and sear 2 minutes on both sides. Transfer pan/dutch oven into preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. If you have any stuffing mixture left over, evenly distribute it on top of chops and bake for another 5-6 minutes. Remove pan and let chops sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

And for your listening enjoyment, how about some Carly Simon? I know you’ll like this song as much as I do and the title is so appropriate;  “The Stuff (ing) That Dreams Are made Of!”

 

Or maybe you might like to hear some Weezer and . . . “Pork and Beans!”

 

Peace to you my fellow bloggers, foodies and Super Hero Mom & Dad Chef’s!

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Is Getting Easier . . .

So, me and my entire family have put ourselves on a healthy eating regiment, hell bent on losing some serious weight we gained after our record breaking 112+ inches of snow. When you’re stuck in the house, you tend to cook totally awesome, comfort food. Notice I didn’t say healthy, just comforting. At the beginning it was tough as I had to end my affair with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, but wait, I found Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt (you can’t see me right now, but I’m doing my happy dance!)

Luckily, I am very creative and have worked out some recipes that are not only healthy, but taste great too! I used to think that combination couldn’t exist. I was wrong . . . it can. It just takes a little planning. For example last night’s dinner consisted of; Marinated pork chops cooked on the grill, Buttercup squash with maple butter and smokey, roasted, onion and garlic, red potatoes. Everything was delicious! I have also learned that the key to eating healthy and losing weight is everything in moderation.

Since beginning my healthy eating plan, I have lost about 11 pounds and boy I can’t believe how much better I feel. Watch for my next few post’s on how to tame your sweet tooth! Today’s music selection is going to be light . . .like me!

marinated, grilled pork chops

marinated, grilled pork chops

Squash with maple butter

Squash with maple butter

 

smokey roasted red potatoes

smokey roasted red potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ Chicken Get Inside There . . . NOW!

Last night was “Whip It Together Friday!” No, it had nothing to do with anything kinky or fetish like, unless you like rubbing BBQ chicken all over yourself? Anyway, I was really not in the mood to cook something that took dedication or a huge commitment last night so I went searching to find something I could “whip” up. Bing, Bang, Boom, . . some chicken tenders, a small container of ricotta cheese, a package of frozen pastry sheets, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce and an onion.

I seasoned the tenders, baked them in the oven and when they were done I tossed them in the BBQ sauce. While they were cooking, I defrosted the 2 pastry sheets, sliced half an onion and caramelized it and then combined the onions with the small container of ricotta. As soon as the BBQ chicken was all good, I rolled out the 2 pastry sheets and placed one on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I spread the ricotta mixture on the pastry sheet, added the BBQ chicken and then topped it with the cheddar cheese. Carefully, I placed the second pastry sheet on top of the first and using a fork, crimped it together. I made 3 small slits to vent it, brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled a little sea salt and Parmesan cheese on top.

Into the 375 degree oven it went for about 25 minutes and voila! A BBQ chicken thingamajig . . .  I served it with a Cesar salad and it was “awesome!”

BBQ chicken Pastry

BBQ chicken Pastry

BBQ chicken ricotta pastry

BBQ chicken ricotta pastry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy the music to eat by tonight. Let me ask you this; “have yo got all your summer stuff together yet?” You do know, it’s right around the corner, right? Here, let me help you . . .come visit me at www.summeractivitiesandgamesforkids.weebly.com

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just type it in the search box and hit enter . . .that’s it . . . and you’re off to a great start to the summer!

 

not sure why I posted this last video, it has nothing to do with chicken . . .I just had a wicked nostalgic flashback . . .I hope you like it anyway!

Jimbo’s Burger Deluxe

Do you like burgers? What kind? Are you a purest who likes a burger on a bun, void of any condiments or are you a pile as mush of everything you can on it burger lover? I enjoy both, it really depends on what kind of mood I’m in. A simple thin burger on a toasted bun with nothing on it can be just as satisfying as one loaded up with every condiment known to mankind. Grilling season has begun again (you can’t see me, but I’m jumping up and down with joy right now!) and it’s time to get creative with the burgers.

The  “Jimbo Burger” is both easy to make and even better to eat. It’s so good that condiments are not required, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add them. You can put anything your heart desires on it, it’s your burger! What I like about this burger is its full, rich, taste. And because I’m on the “D” word, Ya, that’s “Diet” for all of you who don’t know what that is. Then again, if you don’t know what it is, you’ve probably never had to be on one! In that case . . . screw you! I’m just kidding, you’re lucky because “Diet’s” suck! Anyway, because I’m on the “D” word, a small Jimbo Burger is very satisfying.

So without further ado, here’s how you make a “Jimbo Burger Deluxe”

INGREDIENTS

1-2 pounds ground beef, depending on how many people you’re feeding. (I get the 85% lean burger as it still has a little bit of fat for flavor)

1 cup crushed Dorito’s (I use original cheese flavor, but you can use which ever one you want)

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 egg

1-2 TBSP steak sauce, your choice. (I use A1, but generic or even Worcestershire sauce is totally cool)

slices of cheese to top burger with (I use American, but you can use cheddar, low fat, Swiss, etc . . . )

Jimbo Burger Deluxe

Jimbo Burger Deluxe

85% lean ground beef

85% lean ground beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the slices of cheese. Mix well . . . I used my hands (clean of course) and form into patties. You can grill them, fry them, or whatever way you’re comfortable cooking them. Add the slices of cheese to top of burgers when burgers are done. Serve on a toasted sesame seed bun. The secret to a great burger is; A. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of your burger before cooking them. B. Place it on the grill or pan . . . and leave it alone! The reason some burgers come out crappy is because people feel the need to continuously flip them. That is not necessary! I flip my burgers 4 times max.

Jimbo Burger mix

Jimbo Burger mix

Jimbo Burger Pattie

Jimbo Burger Pattie

Jimbo Burger's Deluxe

Jimbo Burger’s Deluxe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you head to my awesome music selection for today, I wanted to let you know about my website for “all things summer!” Summer is literally right around the corner so why not get prepared now? You can find anything and everything you need for summer without leaving your house! I humbly invite you to check it out!   www.summeractivitiesandgamesforkids.weebly.com   Go ahead, your kids will love you for it . . . and you just might find something for yourself!

So today’s music selection is obviously sticking with the burger theme so I hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

 

If you have the time, after you check out my summer website, stroll on over to;

www.themusicalcookbook.com

www.jamesrsirois.com

www.iamperfectlychangeandawesome.com

www.chameleondirectmarketingandcopy.com

www.aworldinchaosandturmoil.weebly.com

It’s Grilling Time Again . . . Finally!

It’s grilling time and time for fun

Now that winter’s gone and Spring has sprung

The burger’s, well, they’re almost done

The ketchup sits on top my bun

The winter chill has gone, for now

Oh look, it’s time to eat my cow!

Can’t you hear it, that beautiful sound? You know the one, that electrifying sizzle as the steak hits the super heated grill or the sound of the marinade dripping from the chicken as it causes a beautiful flame to engulf  its caramelizing skin. O K so cut me some slack, I have just spent the last six months caged up in the house because winter held me prisoner. Kind of like the Deathly Hallows! The winter of 2015 was the snowiest winter in our recorded history. Yup, when we do things up here in Boston, we do them the right way! Can you say 110.3 inches of snow and bitter cold with temps dropping to 10 below zero with wind chills of forty five below zero?

Ya, you’d be jumping up and down too when the temperature went above fifty degrees. Actually, it’s in the low sixties today, but with a little bit of a sea breeze. That’s the price you pay for living so close to the ocean. So I went and bought a brand new grill on Friday and today we are going to christen it with cheese burger’s, hot dogs (not for me, I hate hot dog’s) and sweet Italian sausage with caramelized onions and peppers.

 

Better Homes and Gardens Grill

Better Homes and Gardens Grill

All this delicious goodness is going to be served with both my home made macaroni and potato salad. I make the best potato salad evuh! It’s easy; Cut up both red and russet potatoes and boil in pot until fork tender. Drain well and let cool. Using a potato masher, gently mash the potatoes until they’re broken up and squished a little bit, not like you would if you were making mashed potatoes. Add salt, Coarse black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chopped celery, chopped red pepper, chopped red onion,crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and some mayo. gently fold everything together and place in fridge for about an hour. It’s Awesome!

macaroni salad

macaroni salad

potato salad

potato salad

The macaroni salad is made the same exact way except I don’t put bacon in it. I am so excited that the sun is shining and the temperature is warming up and summer is just around the corner! But more than that, I can’t wait to find new and exciting recipes to cook on the grill! For today’s music selection, I decided to go with a warm weather, spring kind of theme, I hope you like it. Please feel free to visit my other websites and don’t miss out on my free monthly newsletter on I am perfectly changed.

www.iamperfectlychangedandawesome.com

www.chameleondirectmarketingandcopy.com

www.summeractivitiesandgamesforkids.com

www.jamesrsirois.com

The Super Hero’s Of Cooking

Have you got one or two “favorite pans” or pots that you seem to use religiously? I do! One is my “cast iron pan” and the other is my “Lodge stockpot”. My cast iron pan is so incredibly versatile and the food that comes out of there is unbelievable. There is nothing better than cooking a perfectly seasoned steak on the cast iron frying pan. You start it on top of the stove searing it on high heat for two minutes on each side and then transfer it to a hot oven to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes depending on how you prefer your steak. Just before I put them in the oven, I like to add a pad of butter on top of each steak. Once the steaks have sat for about 5 minutes, they’re ready to go. And man oh man are they delicious!

I also use my cast iron for roasting red and gold potatoes. They come out perfect every time. Cut and quarter your potatoes, add some olive oil, salt, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and some smoked paprika and toss them in the cast iron pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about an hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. (Hint; I actually stir fry them in the cast iron pan for about 5 minutes before I place them in the oven. Be very, very, careful the cast iron pan gets extremely HOT! Make sure you use pot holders or oven mitts when placing the pan in the oven.)

My cast iron pan is also awesome for making BBQ or seasoned chicken and pork chops.  The possibilities are endless. How about making a green bean casserole from scratch using real fried onions, mushrooms and fresh green beans? I’ll post that recipe later! That’s what makes my cast iron pan one of my hero’s. P.S. clean up is very easy, but you “must” remember to take good care of your cast iron and it will take good care of you for many, many, years.

roasted-smoked, potatoes

roasted-smoked potatoes

Cast iron pan

Cast iron pan

roasted smoked potatoes

roasted smoked potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My other unsung hero is a red, Lodge stockpot that my daughter got me for Christmas. That pot (the cooking kind) is amazing. I have made beef stew, chicken, corn, chowduh (I’m from Boston), mashed potatoes, chicken soup and many more culinary wonders using this stock pot and I love it! It’s ceramic inside so clean up is a breeze. I told my daughter that for Father’s Day she can get me the next size up so I can make bigger and better things!

Lodge stockpot

Lodge stockpot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your listening enjoyment today, I thought it best to stick with the hero theme, so turn it up, and dance like you mean it! But before you go and get all sweaty and stuff, Please feel free to visit my other sites about direct response marketing, Raising your vibrational frequencies and even about games and fun for kids during summer vacation.

www.chameleondirectmarketingandcopy.com

www.iamperfectlychangedandawesome.com

www.summeractivitiesandgamesforkids.weebly.com

www.jamesrsirois.com