Category Archives: Pork

Breakfast Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Stromboli

We traveled back to Pennsylivanna recently, and I was rummaging through the kitchen trying to find a dish to prepare for breakfast. Low and behold, I found a frozen homemade pizza dough in the deep freezer at the house. I always try and make a double or triple batch to keep on hand in case of an emergency. 

As we continue down the journey of relocating, I press on at trying to be resourceful with staple pantry items. I have been utizling several of my stowed away items from one of our three freezers for it seems like months. Now if we were in the middle of blizzard we would be safe and never hungry! However, since we are moving I have found it a challenge but the good news is we just cleared an entree refrigerator/freezer combo out completely and it is up for grabs.

Nevertheless, I sure felt lucky to be back in my kitchen, and bake breakfast for my hubby. As far as I am concerned apartment baking leaves little to be desired.  I am looking forward to a spacious kitchen. 
Recipe yields: 4 Servings 


1 pound of homemade pizza dough, if frozen allow to completely thaw

1/2 pound fully cooked breakfast sausage

3 eggs, scrambled seasoned with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon of salt free garden blend seasoning

1 tablespoon dried Parsley

1/2 cup shredder 2 % cheese monterey jack

Scant olive oil, optional 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper down on a half sheet baking pan. Set aside. 

2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a rectanglar shape. Scatter the sausage evenly on the dough. 

3. Layer the scrambled eggs on top of the sausage. Next, add the cheese evenly on the top of the eggs and generously sprinkle the dried parsley & salt free seasoning on top of    

    the cheese. 

4. Take the longer side of the rectangle, start to roll up the dough (like a cinnamon roll). Continue to roll and tuck the seal on the bottom side. 

5. Seal the ends of the Stromboli, and fold them under the dough. Lastly at an angle cut with a sharp knife a few steam slots to allow for thorough baking. Place the dough 

    (seal down) on parchment paper lined sheet pan. Brush with olive oil. 

6. Place the Stromboli in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool slightly before slicing into. 


Golden Apple and Raisin Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes & Carrots

I love my slow cooker! We were out and about yesterday since it was my sister’s last day in town, and my husband was coming back to NC, I wanted to make sure we all came home to a hot homemade meal. 

It only took me a few minutes to brown the meat and throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Before you knew it, we were out the door to enjoy the beautiful Eastern North Carolina 80 degree weather. 

The house sure smelled good once we got home. 

This recipe Yields: 6- 8 servings 


1 Tablespoon of olive oil

(1) 2-3 pound boneless pork loin

8 ounces unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon chicken base (I prefer penzeys)

8 ounces of boiling water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley 

1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 medium- large sweet potato, quartered  

1 (1 # bag ) of baby carrots

1 small yellow onion, quartered 

1/2 cup raisins 


1. In a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat brown all 4 sides of the pork loin in the olive oil.

2. While the meat is searing, go ahead and mix the next nine ingredients in the slow cooker vessel (applesauce-garlic). Turn the slow cooker on the low heat setting. 

3. Once the meat is finished browning cut in half and rotate the meat in the applesauce mix. Place the pork sides next to one another on top the applesauce mixture. Now arrange the carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, & raisins on top of the meat. Cover the dish with the slow cooker lid and allow to cook for 8 hours on low. 


Savory Caramelized Onion Monkey Bread


My husband loves bacon. On the weekend, I generally make him a dish with bacon. Everything in moderation right? If you are a vegetarian like me you can always use a tofu soy based alternative to make this recipe vegetarian. 

I saw the foundation of this recipe in the December 2016 issue of Taste of Home Magazine. The original is a good base for any savory Monkey Bread. But as you all know, what good is a recipe if I cannot modify it. No fun, I’ll tell you that. So here is my twist. 

Recipe Yields: 12 servings


1 can of reduced fat refrigerated canned biscuits

1 green pepper, seeded and diced

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1Tablespoon freeze dried chives 

1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, 2% shredded

6 oz of bacon, cooked (roughly 6 strips), diced

Canolia Oil Cooking Spray 

Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Graciously spray a bundt pan. I used my trusty stoneware one. Set aside. 

2. Quarter the biscuits and place them in a medium bowl. Spray the biscuits with cooking spray. 

3. In the meantime, spray a sauté pan with cooking spray, and heat the pan to medium heat. Once pan is to temperature sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add green peppers to the onion mixture, and continue sautéing for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly before adding the contents to the prepared biscuits. 

4. Place all the remaining ingredients together in the prepared biscuit medium bowl. Fold everything together to incorporate all the ingredients together. Place evenly all the ingredients together in the prepared bundt pan. 

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until Monkey Bread is golden brown. 

6. Allow to cool in bundt pan for 5 minutes and then invert the dish into wire cooking rack. Enjoy! 

Pesto Crumbled Sausage Rotini Bake

We have an abundance of basil in the herb garden. I love making homemade pesto with it! 

This recipe is a great way to use up your basil before the nights get too cold and start to frost. 
You can also use store bought pesto if you don’t have basil in the garden or if you are pressed for time. 

Serving 4

Prep time: 15 minutes. 

Bake time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup prepared pesto  

3 cups cooked rotini pasta (I use Dreamfields wheat pasta that cooks white)

1 cup cooked crumbled Italian sausage 

2 Tablespoon fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Cooking spray (divided)

8 by 8 baking dish

: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. 

1. Place pesto, sausage, pasta, and a 1/2 cup of the Italian cheese in the empty pasta pasta pot (why use another bowl). Mix together the ingredients and place them in the 8 by 8 baking dish. 

2. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and place in the preheated oven at 360 degrees for 20 minutes. 

3. Remove from oven and enjoy with some garlic bread! 


Spicy Slow Cooked Peppers

This time of year the homegrown peppers are bountiful. We are lucky enough to have neighbor’s with a beautiful thriving garden. They are very generous and always share their harvest. This recipe is a good way to use up some of those peppers from the garden. Bonus is this recipe freezes really well which allows you to enjoy the harvest more than one time a year.

I made this recipe for our monthly RD meeting. I try and feed the team a home cooked meal to show my appreciation. This recipe makes a lot of peppers so it is good for a meeting or potluck.

The picture below is a half buchel of Hungarian Hot Peppers we canned which  are also good for stuffing.

Prep time:30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours on low


1 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

3 green onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 large banana peppers, tops cut off and seeded

8 large bianca sweet long peppers, tops cut off and seeded

64 ounce low sodium spicy V8 (you might not use all of this)

Tools for the job:

6 quart slow cooker

Pepper seeder


1. Caution wear food safe rubber gloves. Remove pepper stems. Carefully remove seeds and membranes; set peppers aside. Combine the tomato sauce, sausage, beef, quinoa, cheese, onions, garlic, sriracha, salt and pepper; stuff into peppers.

2. Stack peppers longways in slow cooker. Pour V8 over peppers and place cooker on low heat for 8 hours.



Special Tip: The banana peppers can be very tricky sometimes they are hot and sometimes they are not. So if you want to be on the safe side I would recommend using the bianca peppers which are a more sweet pepper. 

Kick’n Chive Ham & Cheddar Scones



My husband and I were lucky enough to travel to Hawaii this past May. One of the things we enjoyed most was drinking coffee on Kona, the Island of coffee. We drank so much coffee on Kona one night, I could not even fall asleep. There were so many coffee shops and coffee farms on Kona, I think at one point I got “coffeed out” if that is even such a thing. Ask my family they will vouch for me on that. This sign in this picture below somes it up.

IMG_7748 There was one special spot we liked to go in Kona called
Daylight Mind. It was a hidden gem the locals loved. Our tour guide, Katie, from Hawaiian Outdoor Guides for the National Volcano Park told us that you can almost guarantee to see Dolphins in the morning while you are enjoying your coffee. And of course we did :)

IMG_7750This restaurant/coffee shop is a true coffee cafe! We adored this place! The location is perfect! Right on the water with beautiful views of the ocean (picture below). I love the top deck seating area. 


The coffee is so good and the service is stellar. Honestly we wish we could have went there every day. They even offer yoga in the mornings which I wish I would have had time to attend class.

They offer coffee classes and also have beautiful baked goods from mango macadamia nut sourdough bread to sweet blueberry scones and savory cheddar and chive scones.

IMG_7745This place made me want to go home and open a coffee shop. I love the vibes of this place and it truly is the perfect place to start your day! Especially when you are on vacation. 

These scones pictured above inspired me to make these scones in the recipe below. It was one of the bucket list of recipes I wanted to make after our trip to Hawaii. I must say posting this recipe makes me want to plan another trip to Hawaii.

Yields: 16 mini scones    Prep Time: 15 minutes


2 cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 Tablespoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of roasted garlic powder (from Penzey’s one of my new favorite spices)

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cubed

3/4 cup of Non Fat Buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce

1/3 heaping cup of diced finely lean ham

1 cup shredded 2% mild cheddar cheese

1/4 cup of fresh chives, chopped

Essential tools for the job & prework:

  • Mini Scone Pan; sprayed with cooking spray
  • Oven preheated to 425 degrees


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour,  baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles wet sand appearance.
  2. Stir in hot sauce, buttermilk, cheese, ham and chives until all ingredients appear wet.
  3. Evenly divide the batter into the prepared mini scone pan. Place the scone dish into the center rack of oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly browned.
  4. Allow the pan to cool on wire rack for 5 minutes and remove the scones on the pan and allow to cool on wire rack or serve right way.
  5. Enjoy!





Fresh Greek Pasta Salad

A gentleman I work with gave me a “Greek”cucumber. I couldn’t wait to try it. To be honest I did not know there was such a thing. Lo and behold there is and it  is actually called Armenian Cucumber. 

These cucumbers are more mild and perfect for salads once seeded and peeled. 

I made this pasta salad using all my garden finds. Having a garden can be very rewarding. 

Yields 4 servings


2 cups of uncooked rotini whole wheat pasta

1/2 cup kalamata olives (cut in half)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1 cup Greek cucumber, (peeled and seeded), diced

1/4 cup balsamic dressing 

1/2 cup crumbled fat free feta

3-4 fresh leaves of basil


1. Cook the rotini according to the package but one minute less. Strain & Rinse with cold water.

2. In a small bowl mix together olives, tomatoes,cucumber,feta& dressing. 

3.Fold in the rotini and garnish with the basil. 

4. Enjoy! 

P.S. If you are letting this salad sit overnight than you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of dressing before serving.

Muffuletta Pizza

One of my husband and I’s favorite vacations we went on was New Orleans in 2011. The culture in NOLA is very unique and welcoming. The food is amazing and like no other. We even attending a one of a kind cooking class at the New Orleans Experience to advance our skill-set on Creole Cooking.When we stayed in NOLA, we stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Ashtons.  In the morning we had an elegant breakfasts and the hostesses even prepared vegetarian entrees for me. For the rest of the day we would scout out local restaurants to eat. One of my husband’s favorite new foods he consumed on the trip was a muffuletta sandwich. The ingredients on a muffuletta vary from where you purchase one; however, one element says the same there is always a marinated olive salad spread topping off the sandwich.  There is also some type of pork (ham, prosciutto, mortadella), beef (salami), & a cheese (provolone, swiss, mozzarella) on the sandwich.

Fridays are generally Pizza day at our home (homemade). Growing up Pizza Friday Night was always something I looked forward to as a kid. My mom would get us our favorite pizza and we would go next door to First Row Video and return a movie. It was the only day of the week we were permitted to have pop (and the way it should be), eat in the living room and watch TV at the same time. My husband’s family had a similar tradition with Pizza on Fridays, several years later, my husband and I still practice the tradition and look forward to the occasion.

I have made several variations of muffuletta dishes from pasta to the traditional sandwich, maybe even some muffins. This is a new favorite and a way to honor the tradition of Pizza Friday and take my husband I back to NOLA without a plane ticket.

This pizza recipe yields six slices


1 lb Pizza Dough, Fresh (link attached my our recipe) or store bought for $1-2 at the deli of the grocery store (If you are using frozen dough make sure to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight). If using dough that has been in the refrigerator allow the dough to come to room temperature an hour before placing in the preheated oven.

2/3 cup of Jarred Muffuletta Mix

1 Cup of precooked diced ham

1/3 cup of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Crumbled

1/3 cup of Italian Blend Shredded Cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Form the dough to fit a deep dish pizza stone. I like to roll my dough out and then press the dough into the dish. Once the dough is rolled out, gently place fork marks randomly to allow the steam to escape during the baking process. If you skip this step large bubbles may appear during the baking process.
  3. Once the dough is ready, place the muffuletta spread evenly on the dough leaving 3/4 of an inch boarder of the dough around the rim for the crust.
  4. Sporadically add the diced ham on top of the muffuletta spread. Place the pizza in the oven and allow it to bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish with oven mitts from the oven.  Sprinkle both of the cheeses on-top of the pizza evenly. Return the dish back into the oven to bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the pizza from the oven place on cutting board and cut pizza to your portion liking and serve.



Apple Maple Bacon Scones



Breakfast is my favorite meal to make or shall I say bake? Two weeks ago my husband and I went to the Beaver County Maple Syrup Festival at Bradys Run Park. This was our second year attending this show. The event has numerous venders for arts and crafts. The show also holds a large pancake breakfast (which get there early because there is always a long line). You can pretty much purschase anything maple flavored down to maple syrup cotton candy! Which by the way I had to purchase for my nephew. 

This year the festival was the first weekend in April. The event is usually the last week in March or first weekend of April. 

The best item to purchase is their local maple syrup and freshly ground whole grains. I love purchasing their cornmeal and buckwheat. There is nothing quite like freshly whole grains & pure maple syrup. 


3/4 cup Buckwheat 

1 cup diced apples (peeled) (3 extra small)

3/4 cup diced fully cooked bacon

2 1/4 cup AP flour

1 TB baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp maple extract

3 TB pure maple syrup 

1/2 cup cold butter, diced

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, & set aside. 

2. In a medium glass bowl whisk flours, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.

3. Cut in the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Work the flour and butter with your fingers & hands until the texture is course and resembles wet sand. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl whisk the egg, buttermilk, maple syrup and extract. Add the liquid ingredients into dry and also the apple & bacon. Work the dough with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are moist. Be sure not to over mix. 

5. Place the dough on a heavily floured surface. I like to do this on parchment paper. Form the dough into a 14 inch circle, cut into 8 large scones. 

6. Place each scone on the prelined parchment paper. I was able to line all 8 on one sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. 

7. Remove the scones from the pan and allow to cool on wire rack. Enjoy!


Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is a favorite in this house. I am always looking for ways to reinvent the wheel with this dish. This recipe was developed by having leftover pulled pork that my husband slow cooked on his smoker. I generally freeze the leftovers in small containers for pulled pork nachos, or enchiladas. And now every once and awhile pulled pork mac and cheese.

I made this dish for lunch last weekend when we were working on the belushi. I know my sister-in-law loves my mac and cheese. I even named the dish after her Julie and Josh’s Favorite Mac and Cheese.

Serves 4-6


  • 2 cups of dry. macaroni noodles (dreamfields or smart taste)
  • 2 cups plus 1/4 cup of 2% sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded pulled pork
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2  cup Fat Free sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, optional
  • BBQ Sauce, an add on right before serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray and 8 by 8 glass dish with cooking spray.
  3. Cook macaroni according to the directions on the package.
  4. In the meantime measure out milk, sour cream, and egg substitute. Mix together with fork.
  5. Once cooked and drained place noodles back into the pan.
  6. Add the pulled pork to the pan and stir.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Add cheese and stir.
  9. Add liquid ingredient mixture, salt, pepper, and mustard. Fold until incorporated.
  10. Now pour noodles into the glass dish.
  11. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese & bread crumbs for an added flare.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  13. Top with BBQ sauce, about 2 TB on each piece of the Mac and Cheese.