Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops

I know most of us are always looking for an easy meal to make for our families. I prepare most meals for two but when the grandchildren are coming for a visit or I know I'm having guests I double and triple up meals.

First I want to say if you all didn't know by now I love pork and will prepare it often.  It cooks easily and depending on the day and time you can marinade or add any herb (thyme, rosemary, dill) to it and it will do fine.

My most favorite cut is the tenderloin or loin end but I'm not opposed to any actually. The butt cut is usually the moistest grade.  Pork rocks in my house.  The below is an example of one easy and delicious family meal.  I served it with a baked sweet potato and applesauce.  Yummy!

Here's what I did. When I was at the store the other day I bought 4 thinly sliced boneless pork chops and decided to make stuffed pork chops with them.  I had some stove top stuffing and created my version of a stuffed pork chop. 

This meal is very easy to put together.  Bottom one pork chop, center 1 to 2 T. stove top stuffing, Top the other pork chop.  Press slightly and place a little oil in the bottom of a baking dish.  Place stuffed pork chops in dish and season with salt, pepper, parsley and paprika.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dish in the oven uncovered for 10 minutes and then covered for 30 minutes. ** Check after 20 minutes.  Depending on your oven they might be done.

Applesauce and a baked sweet potato as sides.

Happy Easy Cooking,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cucumber or Zucchini Dip

I've been wanting to make this dip ever since I saw it was a recipe from Taste of Home Magazine.

They call it Cucumber Dip but I used a medium zucchini and it turned out great so I believe either vegetable can be used!

Here is the recipe.  Use the cucumber as it is written or substitute a grated zucchini as I did.

1 large cucumber or *medium zucchini cut, skinned, seeded and grated
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup sour cream
3 T olive oil
4 tsp. fresh dill *I used dried fine dill
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. *garlic powder or 3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp.* salt

Hubby liked it! Note: He didn't ask and I didn't mention there was zucchini in

  Grate cucumber or zucchini.  Place grated cucumber or zucchini on paper towels and squeeze several times to remove excess moisture.

In a medium bowl place sour cream, dill,  yogurt, oil, vinegar, salt and garlic.  Stir well  then fold in cucumber or zucchini and stir until mixed.  Refrigerate until chilled.,

Serve with crackers, pretzels, raw veggies or pita bread if you like.  Yummy!

FYI: Some Smart Shopper advise: Cut Spending Costs

In today's world you must be a smart shopper in very aspect of you and your families needs.

 Here's a few of my suggestions to help you be a SMART SHOPPER!

I have found clipping coupons to be helpful for non generic products but if you can be happy with generic why not?  I do use generic items for everyday needs but there are some things I won't use generic. Truth be it is important to me that quality and price be of uppermost importance.

I have tried numerous generic items and some just don't pass the test.  If the product doesn't have the quality that the name brand does I will not just use it because it is cheaper.  Sometimes there just isn't a substitution for what you are looking for as far as quality and taste. 

I prefer fresh or frozen items before canned especially generic.  I have found that some canned vegetables have ends and pieces that a name brand won't have.  

When shopping for meats and poultry I will not skimp so I rely on flyers and in store specials.  When I shop and  I find that a particular cut of  meat or a certain poultry product I use is on sale I'll stock up for several meals. That is the smart shopper way.

I also try to buy only what I need.  This takes some discipline but I am not in favor of the buy one get one free idea.  I don't think it is usually a deal that is unless you really can use the item at that time.

Most often when it comes to our clothes needs I feel  buy one( example $25.00) and  one get one 50 % off is usually not worth it.  It winds up costing $37.50  for two but do you or I need two of those items?  I usually don't.  Take your time and do the numbers and make sure they fit your needs. Excess shirts, pants and blouse etc. just clutter your closet and as much as I like two of some items it'll still looks like you have the same thing on when the style is the same. (unless it is a black, white or cream color tee then I might do it).  They are basic colors.

Also one of my suggestions is to use your credit card only when absolutely necessary.  I have started to live on my debit card allowance and that way I control what I spend.  Also cash is good too!

One last thing is that I have become an online shopper.  I want to find the lowest price for items I intend to buy so I scout the internet to check prices.  You'd be amazed at how much you can save buy checking prices and if you decide to buy in store bring prices with you so you can compare and mention it to the sales person.

There are many ways to smart shop and these were just a few that came to me today that I felt might be worthy of sharing.

I hope it helps to make you a SMART SHOPPER TOO!

As always,