Plum Peachy Seared Pork Chops!

peach plum pork signed

Summertime is the best time to experiment with fruit recipes! I’m finding lots of fresh peaches and plums in every food store and farm stand! Lately I’ve been craving fruit with pork, so I figured now is the time to get creative!

This next recipe was one that I decided to play around with while I was searching for new  ways to prepare bone-in pork chops! I looked everywhere but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in a fruity pork recipe. I’m happy to say that my experiment worked out to be just what I wanted…the pan seared pork chops and the combination of the earthy sautéed garlic and green onions, tart plums, sweet peaches and acidic balsamic vinegar, all made for a very dark rich sauce that was perfectly delicious! I just wanted to drink it!

The title of my recipe came from my VERY helpful followers on Facebook! Thank you to everyone for your ideas!

Plum Peachy Seared Pork Chops
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4 bone-in pork chops
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped
1 plum, pitted and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, sliced thin (save some for garnish)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine (not cooking wine)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a very large oven safe skillet on med/hi heat.
Mix together the salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle over the pork chops.
Sear the pork chops in the skillet for about 3-5 minutes per side. Make sure to get a nice dark brown color on both sides of the pork chops.
Then remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped peaches and plums along with the garlic. Stir and sauté for about 1 minute then add the green onions, balsamic vinegar and white wine.
Stir and cook for about 2-3 more minutes.
Then add back the seared pork chops and any drippings to the sautéed fruit.
Place in the oven on the center rack, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve warm with the fruit and pan sauce spooned on top.
Garnish with extra chopped green onions.
My Recipe Journey
Plum Peachy Seared Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped
1 plum, pitted and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, sliced thin (save some for garnish)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine (not cooking wine)DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a very large oven safe skillet on med/hi heat.
Mix together the salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle over the pork chops.
Sear the pork chops in the skillet for about 3-5 minutes per side. Make sure to get a nice dark brown color on both sides of the pork chops.
Then remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped peaches and plums along with the garlic. Stir and sauté for about 1 minute then add the green onions, balsamic vinegar and white wine.
Stir and cook for about 2-3 more minutes.
Then add back the seared pork chops and any drippings to the sautéed fruit.
Place in the oven on the center rack, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve warm with the fruit and pan sauce spooned on top.
Garnish with extra chopped green onions. 

Scalloped Eggplant Casserole!

This is a recipe I had saved in a folder for about 3 years. I found the recipe on the cooking site. It was posted by one of my favorite cooks from that site known as Dugger. I have tried a few of his recipes and was never disappointed!

This casserole is so easy to make and the flavor is just perfect! Oven roasted seasoned cubes of eggplant that are layered with pieces of white bread and cheddar cheese. Then it’s coated in a egg/milk mixture, melted butter and baked until golden brown. This can be served as a side dish to any meat or fish. Or serve it as a main dish with a salad!

I’m writing the recipe as I made it, but go check out the original version here!

Scalloped Eggplant Casserole

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
7 slices white bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups milk – I used low fat
1 and 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus extra to season the eggplant cubes.
2 Tbls. melted butterDIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Set aside. 
Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.
Place the cubed eggplant into the greased dish.
 Toss the cubes with the olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Then spread out the seasoned eggplant in a single layer.
Bake on middle rack uncovered for 10 minutes.
Then toss and bake for another 10 minutes.
Then remove the eggplant from the dish and
spread 1/2 of the bread cubes evenly in the bottom of the dish.
Top the bread cubes with 1/2 the roasted eggplant and 1/2 the shredded cheddar.
Repeat these layers again and pour in the egg/milk mixture.
Press down slightly on the eggplant and bread cubes.
Lightly and evenly drizzle with the melted butter.
Bake on middle rack, uncovered for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve warm.
8-10 servings as a side dish 

Simple Banana Split Pie!

banana split pie whole signed

I was given this recipe by a Facebook follower named Richard Allen Jernigan. This is what he said…
“I have a recipe for you. It is very easy, and you may even find other simple variations in addition to the ones I have listed. It actually tastes as if it has more calories than it has, and it is very good for the hot summer since it is so light. I got this from a fundraiser cookbook a group in my hometown in WV did back in 1978. It has always been a hit!”

Just by looking at the title, ingredients, easy of preparation and Richard’s glowing review, I knew this was something I had to try! I was so tempted to tweak it! And I was a little worried that maybe there was a mistake in the ingredients and directions because I looked at other Banana Split Pie recipes on the Internet and couldn’t find any that were as simple as this one! But I resisted the temptation and was extremely pleased with the results! This Banana Split Pie recipe was not only easy but it really does taste just like a banana split! Light, fluffy whipped cream mixed with bananas, Maraschino cherries and pineapple! Then topped with chopped peanuts and drizzled with chocolate syrup! My hubby requested this pie for his birthday! Everyone raved about how delicious this was! All plates were scraped clean…I love it when that happens!

Simple Banana Split Pie
Simple Banana Split Pie!
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3 large ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
8 oz. jar Maraschino cherries without stems, drained, chopped and squeezed dry of liquid
6oz. can crushed pineapples, drained and squeezed dry of liquid
12 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed ( I used fat free)
9 1/2″ wide graham cracker pie crust (1 and 1/2 ” deep)
1/2 cup lightly salted dry roasted peanuts, crushed
chocolate syrup to drizzle on top of pie
Make sure the cherries and pineapple are thoroughly squeezed dry of excess liquid.
If that is not done the pie will become runny.
Then in a large bowl mix together all the fruit. Now fold in the whipped topping until it is well combined with the fruit. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker pie crust, evenly.
Top with the chopped peanuts. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavor of the fruits to blend together with the whipped topping.
Before serving drizzle the entire top of the pie with chocolate syrup.
Serves 8-10
Chocoholics: Use chocolate crumb shells instead of graham cracker shells, and chocolate whipped topping instead of regular
Nuts can be optional because there are people who don’t like nuts, as well as those who are allergic to nuts. You can also use other nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.
Thank you so much Richard Allen Jernigan for this perfect pie recipe!
My Recipe Journey



Easy Skillet Chicken Parmesan

I know that chicken parmesan has been around for ages! There are so many recipes out there that it’s mind boggling!

This technique, that I found on many Internet cooking sites, is just an easier version of chicken parmesan because you don’t have to bread each piece of chicken! And you don’t have to layer the sauce and mozzarella! Just pour the tomato sauce over the seasoned, sautéed chicken. Then add the cheese and bread crumbs on top and bake to brown!

Here are some more very similar versions of this technique that you might like from…Recipe Girl
 Allrecipes.comFood NetworkWhole Foods Market…and Betty Crocker!

I’m showing this recipe the way I made it!

 Easy Skillet Chicken Parmesan

 1 lb. of pasta cooked according to package
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin and cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs – I like 4C brand
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.  ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
about 32 ounces homemade tomato sauce – jarred is fine also
1 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese – I use part skim

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix together the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese
with about 2 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
Spread out the bite sized chicken pieces in a single layer.
Mix together the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano and thyme.
Then sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the chicken pieces.
On the stove top, heat a large oven proof skillet to med/high heat with 1 tbls. of olive oil. Saute seasoned chicken pieces in 3 small batches until browned. Adding more olive oil as needed for each batch. When all the chicken pieces are browned, put all the pieces back into the skillet and pour some of the tomato sauce over the chicken. Just enough to cover the chicken completely, but save some to add to the pasta when serving. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Then sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake on middle rack, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted, and bread crumb topping is nicely browned.
Place desired amount of cooked pasta in each dish and top with more tomato sauce.

Then add desired amount of the chicken parmesan on top and serve warm.
Serves 6


Easy Skillet Apple Pie!

I never thought to make an apple pie in a skillet, but it is truly a great idea because it’s so quick and easy! I found this recipe here on a food blog called Lemon Sugar!

This is one of the best apple pies I have ever tasted! The brown sugar and butter form an almost caramel like sauce in this pie! You can make this with a scratch pie crust if you want, but I just used 2 sheets of refrigerator pie crust. You can usually find these kinds of pie crusts in the section of the grocery store where they sell refrigerator biscuit dough.

I slightly tweaked the recipe because I didn’t have the same items mentioned in the original recipe. I used my new favorite Gastrolux  pan!  See those pans hereI was very happy with my results! I will be making this many more times in the future!

Easy Skillet Apple Pie

2  sheets of refrigerator pie dough – allow to come to room temperature for about 15 min.
6 Tbls. butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
2 Tbls. granulated white sugar
5 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced – I used Fuji apples
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a 10-12 inch oven safe skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon to the skillet, and mix well. Cook sugar mixture for about 2 minutes, then  add the apples, and mix well to coat the apples completely. 
Sprinkle the apple mixture with salt and lemon juice.
 Mix well and then remove from heat.
 Unroll the 2 room temp pie dough and cover the apples with crusts. They crusts will overlap. Push the edges of the dough into the skillet.  Do not pinch the pie dough on to the skillet, just tuck the edges down the inside of the skillet.  Sprinkle the entire top of the dough evenly with the white sugar and cinnamon. If using a shallow skillet, put the skillet on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch anything that might bubble over the edge of the skillet.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned.
 Let cool before serving…if you can wait that long!
 Serves 10-12


Skinny Chocolate Banana Souffle

I love it when I come across a chocolate dessert recipe that is not only easy, but low fat and low calorie! It’s a dream come true! This dessert is so light, airy and creamy with just the right amount of chocolate/banana flavor!

I found this recipe here on a cooking blog called Skinny Taste! I made it as written except I baked my soufflés in 2 larger ramekins instead of 4 smaller ones. I sprinkled my soufflés with coconut powder instead of powdered sugar because I love anything that includes coconut, plus it was perfect with this dessert! This is a ‘must try’ recipe!

Skinny Chocolate Banana Souffle

2 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3 Tbls. sugar
powdered sugar or powdered coconut for garnish - optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease 4 – 6oz. ramekins or 2 – 12oz. and place on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl mix together mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
Then sift in the cornstarch and cocoa powder. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl beat the egg white with the sugar using an electric hand mixer set on the highest setting. Keep beating until soft peaks form. This should take a few minutes.
After you reach the soft peaks stage, gently fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites/sugar mixture into the banana mixture. Then do the same thing with the remaining egg white mixture, gently folding until well incorporated.
Pour this mixture into the greased ramekins in equal amounts.
Wipe the edge of the ramekins if any of the mixture dripped on the insides because this will keep the soufflé from rising properly.
Bake for 15 minutes if using the smaller ramekins,
or 18 minutes if using the larger ones.
When done baking remove immediately from the oven and
 garnish with powdered sugar or powdered coconut if desired.
This must be served quickly before it starts to deflate.
Serves 2-4


Fried Pasta Stix

I came up with this recipe as a way of using up some leftover cooked lasagna noodles. I love the crunchy baked ends of lasagna! That is exactly what this tastes like when dipped into your favorite pasta sauce! So good and very easy to make!
Perfect for an appetizer or snack!

Fried Pasta Stix

3 cooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbls, grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 cup pasta sauce
corn oil for pan frying

Pat the cooked lasagna noodles dry.
Then cut them in half crosswise.
Then cut them into 1 inch strips lengthwise. You should have strips that are about 5 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide.
Heat about 1/2 inch of corn oil in a 9-10 inch diameter frying pan(non-stick if possible)
In a large flat plate, mix together the
 seasoned bread crumbs, garlic powder and grated cheese.
Press each side the noodle strips firmly into the bread crumb mixture and set aside.
When oil is hot, place 3 breaded strips into the hot oil and fry on each side for about 2 minutes or until nicely browned.
Remove from oil and blot on paper towels.
Continue until all the strips are fried.
Serve warm with warm pasta sauce for dipping.
Serves 2 people

Spicy Beer Bread

I have been looking for the perfect Beer Bread recipe for a long time! I definitely found it with this next recipe! I love how easy this is to make with just a few simple ingredients! This bread is nice and hearty with a slightly sweet and slightly spicy touch! The beer flavor comes through perfectly! This would also be amazing with some shredded cheddar cheese mixed into the batter or even just sprinkled on top! This recipe makes one loaf, but I think I’ll have to double it from now on because one loaf disappears too quickly!

This recipe is from a fellow member named Paula. I tweaked it slightly to give it a little more spiciness! I’ll show my changes in red.

Spicy Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbls. sugar
12 oz. beer – I used 10 oz. and sipped the other 2 oz.
4 Tbls. Herdez Tomatillo Verde Cooking Sauce – I used 8 Tbls.
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease one loaf pan and place on a cookie sheet.
Mix together all the ingredients except for the melted butter.
Do not over mix. Just mix enough to combine it well.
Lumps are okay.
Pour into the greased loaf pan and pour the melted butter ontop.
Bake on center rack for 55-60 minutes.
You need to bake it until completely cooked through because this is a dense batter.
So let it brown really well or else the middle may still be slightly raw.
When done baking remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing.
I usually wait about 30 minutes.
Then try not to eat the entire loaf all by yourself like I did!

Recipe adapted from Paula @

S’mores Kiss Cups!

I love S’mores and have tried many different variations of this classic recipe! So why not try one more?

This recipe was shown to me by my childhood friend Kathleen Izzo. She knows that I’m a recipe feind, so she posted the recipe on my Facebook wall. And as soon as I saw it I knew I would be making them because they looked so heavenly and so easy to make! Well, I simplified it even more and it turned out great! These were sooooo good and very addicting! The cute tiny size makes them easy to pop in your mouth! Perfect with a cold glass of milk!

S’mores Kiss Cups

7 graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbls. butter, melted
10 marshmallows, cut in half
30 chocolate Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the first three ingredients together and mix well.
Using a small melon baller scoop and press the graham cracker mixture
into each cup of a mini muffin pan. You should have enough to make 20 mini cups.
Bake the cups for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
Remove from oven and place 1 Hershey’s kiss into each mini cup.
And place one half of each marshmallow, cut side down, on top of each kiss.
Press lightly to slightly flatten each kiss.
Place back into oven and bake for 1-2 more minutes to soften the marshmallows.
Then remove from oven and allow to cool completely for 15 minutes.
In the mean time melt the remaining 10 chocolate kisses
 in the microwave until spreadable.
Carefully remove cooled S’mores from the pan with a small spoon.
Place on a serving platter and frost the tops with the melted chocolate.
Serve warm or room temp!



Watermelon Dippers!

It’s watermelon season so I’m always looking for ways to serve this naturally sweet fruit! I love serving it this way because it’s fun to dip and I love the contrast of the creamy, tangy dip with the cold, sweet watermelon! It’s just perfect!

I found this recipe here on the
National Watermelon Promotion Board website.
Go check out that site for lots of cool  ways to use watermelons in recipes!

Watermelon Dippers

8 oz. sour cream – I used fat free
4 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 servings of watermelon cut into thick sticks

In a small bowl mix together the first 3 ingredients.
Serve with the watermelon sticks for dipping.
Serves 8