Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lemon Pepper Pork Cutlets

Turn ordinary pork cutlets into a company-special entrée by using freshly grated peel and pepper as a delicious, easy rub. Then top with a creamy lemony sauce for the finishing touch. Serve with steamed asparagus and wild rice pilaf.

Lemon Pepper Pork Cutlets

4 pork chops, boneless, 1/2-inch thick (about 12 ounces total)
1 tablespoon lemon peel, grated (about 1 lemon)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice , fresh

Place each chop between two pieces of plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness. Stir together lemon peel, sugar, pepper and salt in small bowl; rub mixture on both sides of cutlets. Coat cutlets in flour; shake off excess flour.

Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown cutlets quickly, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Pour drippings from skillet; discard drippings. Wipe skillet with paper towels. Add cream and lemon juice to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until cream is reduced by one-half. Pour cream sauce over cutlets.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

I love these quick one skillet meals don't you?  So easy to make and so good! 

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lb ground chuck, browned 
salt and pepper to taste
1 box egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup of beef broth

Brown beef in large skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain beef, pour in bowl and set aside. Using same skillet, saute onion and garlic until tender. Add beef back in and stir.

In large deep skillet, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for a full minute until lightly golden. Slowly pour in cream whisking until incorporated. Whisk in beef broth and stir as sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Simmer on low heat until egg noodles are ready.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain well and serve with stroganoff.

Photo source: flickriver mooshee85

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stuffed Peppers

I can remember when I was a little girl and I would come home from school and walk into the house to find the most incredible aroma coming out of the kitchen.  My Mom was making stuffed peppers and I knew that smell well. I also knew that my Dad would be hanging around the kitchen asking her over and over again,  how long would it be until they were ready.  Stuffed Peppers were his favorite.  Saturday I made these and took them to my Dad.  He was so excited he had tears in his eyes! 

Stuffed Peppers

6 bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon minced garlic
 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
 Pinch red pepper flakes
 2 cups white rice, cooked
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cups mozzarella or  provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling water, boil the cleaned peppers for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and dry on paper towels. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, pork, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Cook until the meat is no longer pink and break up lumps while browning. I usually cook mine about 5-6 minutes. Add parsley, rice and tomato sauce and stir. Taste mixture and add more salt and pepper as needed. Pour enough water into the bottom of a baking dish to about 1/8-inch deep. 

Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 35 to 40 minutes. 

Hint: crinkle up small pieces of aluminum foil and tuck between peppers if you are having a problem with them sitting upright. 

Remove from the oven sprinkle with both cheddar and mozzarella a cheese on each pepper. Place back in the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs

These are so good as an appetizer or as a main dish for any meal. Serve them on a toothpick or over a fluffy bed of rice. They are delicious and very addicting....sweet and savory all mixed up into each bite. And for a little kick, add as much as you want with some red pepper flakes! 

Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (any brand)
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch red pepper flakes (optional and only if you want a kick)
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup crushed pineapple

Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl mix well. Form mixture into 1 to 1 1/2-inch meatballs. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the meatballs and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. You just want to brown them at this stage you will cook them through later. 


In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, pineapple juice, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey together.

When the meatballs have browned, pour the sauce ingredients over the meatballs and gently turn the meatballs to coat them in the sauce. Heat the sauce for about 3-5 minutes.

In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup cold water. Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the sauce being careful to mix around the meatballs so you don't break them apart. Continue to simmer the meatballs in the sauce over low heat until sauce is thick and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. If sauce gets too thick you can add water. Serve over rice. 

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Walnut Brownies

Now here's a recipe that dates back to my Mom's oldest recipes. you might remember your Mom or Grandmother making old fashioned walnut brownies. Try them with pecans or macadamia nuts!  YUM!

Walnut Brownies

2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
4 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper leaving extra paper on each end to use as a handle for removing brownies later. Then lightly grease the parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, combine cocoa, shortening and butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour, blending well. Fold in chopped walnuts and spread batter evenly into bottom of the lined and greased baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Fudge Marshmallow Topping

2/3 cups Hershey's cocoa
4 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
4 cups miniature marshmallows

In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa, shortening and butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add eggs, vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows. While mixture is still warm, pour over the cooled brownies.
Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before cutting.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fried Potatoes and Onions

We had a lot of  fried potatoes when I was growing up.  I like to think it was a Southern thing and no one made them like my Mom.  Oh sure, we loved  her creamy mashed potatoes .... but fried potatoes and onions?  Now that was a whole different story.  Sometimes she would add some fresh green beans from her garden that she had cooked all day with ham hocks.  Now that was a supper!  And she always made fried potatoes with with soup beans and corn bread. When you think about it, you never see skillet fried potatoes on the menu of a restaurant. You might see home fries or hash browns but its hard to find good old country fried potatoes and onions. Looks like you'll have to make them yourself!  Go ahead.  This is what memories are made of.  

Skillet Fried Potatoes and Onions 

6 medium white potatoes 
1  sweet onion 
2 tablespoons bacon grease (the secret is the bacon fat!) 
2 tablespoons butter 
salt and pepper to taste 

Slice the potatoes and onions.  Melt the butter and the bacon fat over medium high heat in a large skillet (I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet). Fry onions until just tender and then add potatoes, spreading them in a single layer on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. 

Allow potatoes and onions to cook until golden brown on the first side and then flip and fry on the other side.  Onions will start to caramelize so you want to scrap up the bits as you turn them. 

Turn down heat to medium and cover.  Continue to fry, flipping  a few more times until all the potatoes and onions are golden brown. Serve as a side dish with anything. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

I love Chilean Sea Bass. It is the filet mignon of fish.  It’s the most incredibly delicious and uniquely buttery fish I have ever tasted. There’s simply nothing else quite like it.  The first time I ever tasted it was on a vacation in Las Vegas 10 years ago.  I was looking over the menu at a nice seafood restaurant and couldn't decide what to order.  The waiter suggested the pan seared Chilean Sea bass.  I had never heard of it and I was a little reluctant.  That's when he promised that if I didn't absolutely love it, he would give me dinner on the house that night. He was that sure.  So I said, okay why not.  When it came on a beautifully garnished plate, I was immediately curious.  It looked so good.  And then I took a bite. My taste buds exploded!  The flavor was incredible.  I couldn't put down my fork.  

I decided I would make it at home and went to the closest seafood house and bought my first fillets. I made it and it was delicious.  I would like to say it's like sweet buttery crab because of its most and tender texture. But it's not.  I would like to say it's like lobster because its so buttery.  But it's not.  Maybe a cross between both of those flavors but really unlike any other fish you will ever taste.  I seared it in Star Lemon Peel Olive Oil and served it over CaraMia Marinated Green Asparagus.  What a wonderful combination! 

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

2 pounds of Chilean Sea bass filets
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Olive Oil with Lemon Peel                    
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped
Light sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
1 jar of Cara Mia Marinated Asparagus

Pat the fish filets dry with a paper towel. You want to absorb most of the moisture.  Heat the butter and lemon Peel olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until oil begins to ripple and smoke lightly. You want your skillet very hot to sear the skin of the fish.

Fry the fish skin side down for about 5 minutes until crisp and brown. Carefully flip the fish over and sear for about 3 minutes or until lightly golden.   Fish will flake nicely when done. Sprinkle with a little parsley and dill. 

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Serving Suggestion: Pictured with Cara Mia Marinated Asparagus! Delicious! 

Cara Mia Asparagus is available at select Walmart, Savemart, Schnucks, Smith’s, Ingles, Brookshire’s stores in either the produce section or canned vegetable aisle and online at

STAR Lemon Infused Olive Oil is available at Raley’s, Food Lion, Savemart and online at

Be sure to shop at Star Fine Foods for their other infused Garlic Oils. I use them and love them all!

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!

Friday, April 10, 2015

♥ Ravioli and Meatball Casserole

This was one of those throw it all together recipes that ended up being absolutely delicious and I will make it over and over again! I make a mean Italian meatball and when you throw them in with some little ricotta stuffed ravioli and then top it all off with more cheese you've got a winner!

Ravioli and Meatball Casserole

1 (26 ounce) Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, Onion, sauce
1 (24 ounce) package frozen cheese filled ravioli
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup of Colby Jack cheese

First cook the ravioli as directed on package, drain and add to a large bowl. Toss with about 1 cup or so of tomato sauce and set aside. You can add as much sauce as you like to the ravioli at this point. I like mine with less sauce. Next make your meatballs.

Italian Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs, fresh or dried
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 eggs

In a large bowl, lightly mix all ingredients by hand, but do not pack down meat mixture. Take a portion of meat in hand, and roll between palms to form a ball that is firmly packed but not compressed. Repeat, making each meatball about 2 inches in diameter. In a large, heavy pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add meatballs in batches. Do not crowd. Brown well on bottoms before turning, or meatballs will break apart. Continue cooking until browned all over. Remove meatballs to a shallow dish with about 1/2 cup of the sauce and then let meatballs cool slightly; cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 16 meatballs.


Ravioli Casserole

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add all the ravioli to the dish and then top with half the cheese. Add your meatballs and top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with parsely and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. At this point you can add more sauce as needed. I like mine on the dry sauce so I don't add any, but you can make it as saucy as you like.

Bake for about 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and fully melted. Serve with those garlic knots I put up earlier today!

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♥ Garlic Knots

So easy to make and so buttery good!  And the aroma coming out of my kitchen while these are baking is out of this world. The hardest thing about these is waiting for them to bake!  

Garlic Knots

 1 3/4 cups of warm water at 115 degrees
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt or course salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
5 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced and crushed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Combine water, olive oil, salt, sugar, and active dry yeast in a larger bowl. Mix so that yeast dissolves then add the flour and mix well.
Cover the bowl with a warm hand towel or greased plastic wrap and set in a warm spot until doubled in size (usually 1-3 hrs).

I then chill the dough for about 15 minutes to make it easier to work with, but you don't have to if your time is limited. You can oil your hands to help keep dough from sticking to them. Divide the dough in two parts. I throw the dough on an oiled surface several times to flatten it and then roll it into a rectangle about 5" x 16" and 1/2" thick. Next I use a pizza cutter to make 1/2" x 5" strips.

Sprinkle dough strips and work surface with flour. Taking the strip nearest to you, roll it back and forth to create an even rope. Tie into a knot (over, under, and through) and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Place knots about an 1 1/2" apart. Using lots of flour to keep the dough from sticking to itself while making your knots makes it so much easier. Continue making the rest of the knots with the second half of the dough. After each sheet pan fills up, cover with a dry towel, and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise.

Preheat oven to 400° degrees. After knots have doubled in size, take off the towel bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Garlic Topping

While knots are baking, make garlic topping. Warm the olive oil, butter, and garlic in a small saucepan. Add chopped parsley and set aside. While the knots are still warm and just out of the oven, brush with the garlic oil and season with salt. Serve warm with your favorite pasta dish!

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♥ Almond Croissants

I love croissants with tea or coffee and a little honey or butter. There is truly nothing like a warm buttery croissant fresh out of the oven. The recipe really isn't that hard but it takes some practice getting the shape right. Someti...mes I don't even bother and just make them as simple as I can. They still taste just as good! 

Almond Croissants

4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (no more than 110 degrees)
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes. Add the bread flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, and salt to the dissolved yeast and water and mix the dough on medium speed for about 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to fold a shape.

Shape dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle, and then cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10-inch by 15 shape. Fold the dough into thirds, again, and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Repeat this process one more time.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough diagonally to make 20 triangles and then roll the croissants up from the base curving the ends slightly to make a crescent shape. Arrange each finished croissant on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each pastry. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry and then sprinkle them with the sliced almonds. Bake the croissants for 14 to 16 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown and the almonds are toasted. If desired sprinkle the powdered sugar over the tops of the warm croissants. Or drizzle some honey and a few additional almonds over the top. Oh Yum! 

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