Monday, April 23, 2012

My Mortal Food Enemy

There is a food item that is my mortal enemy. Thy name be DONUTS.

We got a couple dozen donuts to sell at our yard sale this weekend. Someone at the bakery has gotten very creative with the donuts decor. A customer informed us someone in a bakery downtown had invented a maple bar donut with bacon in the middle. It looked like a hot dog heart attack. Who comes up with this stuff?

I am completely convinced that the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden was dripping with maple bars, the bacon stuffed variety being the low hanging fruit.

Unfortunately there were a few left over.

My story is like any other. I was in a meeting at work. Poised around the conference table. The donuts beckoned to us from their innocent white box. I grabbed a maple bar and took that first sinful bite. Suddenly, a coworker is convulsing in laughter. Puzzled I asked why. She informed me that she had never seen anyone enjoy a donut so much. The shame was evident in the redness that overtook my face.

It took a long time before I ever touched another one. And I only do now when no one is looking. The feeling of shame remains the same.

Now for this weeks menu.

2 pork tenderloins
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat pork tenderloins generously with mustard. Oil a 9x13 inch baking dish. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange tenderloins in pan, and brown the meat. Turn to brown evenly. Transfer meat to prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until desired doneness. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in the same pan used to cook the pork. Cook shallots in butter until soft. Stir in Marsala, mustard, and cream, and cook until volume of liquid is reduced by half. Slice pork, and place on a serving dish. Spoon sauce over meat, and serve. Serve with stuffing.
Calories: 463 | Total Fat: 26.1g | Cholesterol: 163mg

My Two cents: I made boxed pasta salad, artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms to go with this instead of stuffing. The weather had turned and we were nearing 90 degrees so I wasn't "feeling" the stuffing. Jocalynn asked, "Is there mustard on here? To which we said no. Then my son asked, may I have mustard to dip in? HAHA! Both ends of the spectrum. We told him to dip in the "yellow" sauce. Joe said this had good flavor that he hadn't had before with pork chops. I used fat free milk and cornstarch instead of heavy cream to reduce the fat content.
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 pinch salt
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
2 1/2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 lbs uncooked meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms and a pinch of salt; cook and stir until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in fresh rosemary. Add flour and stir to coat the mushrooms; cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Whisk in beef broth, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Turn heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Slide prepared meatloaf into the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of the meatloaf. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove pan from the oven and gently remove meatloaf to a serving platter. Skim off any extra fat from the surface of the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat to reduce until thick, about 5 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Calories:  313 | Total Fat: 16.5g | Cholesterol: 139mg

My Two cents: We had a friend over for dinner and some X-Box Zombie killing fun. It's always nice to have a guest reviewer for the meals.The husband said this tasted more like a Salisbury steak than a meatloaf. He loved the mushroom sauce - said he would love to use it as toothpaste. Which got us talking about all the different flavors of toothpaste/ floss we would like to experience. Our guest, TJR, said she liked the sauce and the kids were all over it. Jocalynn hammered hers and had THREE servings! I grabbed the veggie packet from the freezer without a second thought. It was until I was plating the meal that I realized I had double potatoes.


4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp rosemary, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 slices rustic Italian or sourdough bread
1 cup packed baby greens
8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

Heat a grill to medium-high heat or have a ridged grill pan ready. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the rosemary in a small bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken; place in a pie plate or shallow plate. Pour oil mixture over chicken; turn to coat. Let stand at least 10 minutes or up to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to grill with some of marinade clinging; discard marinade on plate. Grill chicken 5 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink in center and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Brush remaining 2 tablespoons oil over both sides of bread. Place on grill and cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to serving plates; top with greens and cheese. Carve cooked chicken diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices; arrange over cheese. Top with remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary. 

Calories: 450 | Total Fat: 26.5g | Cholesterol: 101mg

 My Two cents: The husband had signed up Jocalynn for a soccer clinic so I made this to go in picnic form. I used the George Foreman grill to cook these up in a jiffy. 5 minutes on the grill that the sandwiches were good to go. The tasted as good as they look. Joden was more excited for dinner on the go than for the dinner itself but they ate it up. I loved the quick marinade and fast prep time.

1 extra large zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 pound large shrimp - shelled, deveined, & halved
1 large tomato - peeled, seeded and diced
8 cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 leaves fresh basil, torn
ground pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste
garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Grease a baking sheet. Cut the zucchini in half the long way, and scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving a thick shell of flesh. Brush both halves of the zucchini with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and place them, cut sides down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the zucchini are hot and beginning to release beads of moisture, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the oven. Reduce the oven heat to 450 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook and stir the garlic and shallot until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the shrimp, diced tomato, mushrooms, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, and the cooked garlic and shallot into a bowl, and stir to mix. Season to taste with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Stuff the mixture into the zucchini halves, and sprinkle each zucchini with about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Bake the stuffed zucchini in the preheated oven until the cheese is browned and the filling is cooked through and hot, about 20 minutes. Serve with Broccoli cheddar rice.

Calories:  267 | Total Fat: 17.4g | Cholesterol: 95mg

 My Two cents: The weekend is such a busy time for us. We are constantly working on something around the house with other engagements sprinkled in. This weekend was no exception. Yard sale in the morning, reinventing the garden area, birthday party, and helping with tree removal at my nieces house. We were a weary lot by dinner. So I made the main course with no sides. This hit the spot. Shrimp are packed with protein to replenish the calories we had burned throughout the day. I only wish I would have had larger zucchini's to fill. Just wait till July when my garden is over run by giant zuc's!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced thin
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until completely browned, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a slow cooker. Add the onion to the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Place the pears and asparagus atop the chicken mixture. Mix the garlic, balsamic vinegar, apple juice, rosemary, ginger, and sugar together in a bowl; pour over the asparagus. Season again with salt and pepper. Cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours. Serve with Rice

Calories:  309 | Total Fat: 7.4g | Cholesterol: 69mg

 My Two cents: I totally forgot this was a crock pot meal. So about an hour beforehand, feeling crippled from my work and recently refreshed from yet another shower (it was 93 degrees! - in April) I put this all in a pot on a simmer for an hour and a half. I tossed in the asparagus in the last 15 minutes.  The pears were canned because the ones I had bought at the start of the week were already mushy.

Eat well, Love often!


  1. I know what I am having for dinner tonight- Open Faced Chicken Sandwiches! Yum!

    1. Oh please tell us how it comes out!

  2. Um....that coworker is an anorexic bitch...lust sayin
    Donuts are effing delicious and anyone who denies that is troubled in my opinion......

    1. Actually she is the exact opposite! And not generally a jerk.

  3. Creamy mushroom meatloaf! YUMMMMMMMMM. That sounds HEAVENLY and will be appearing on a plate near ME very soon! Thank you!

    1. Yum! Come back and tell us how it comes out!

  4. My friend just admitted to having an affair. Right in the middle of our cardio kettle bell class. With donuts. You make me laugh and I am making those chicken sandwiches.Erin

    1. Sounds like a good time for a donut intervention. Perhaps I should find a photo online of what I assume I looked like and post it somewhere so donuts will never cross my threshold again.

  5. I do believe my mortal food enemy is ice cream, specifically Ben & Jerry's. Lucky for me, the chance of pints of this sitting around a table during a meeting are slim to none. However, a late night trip for a pint, happens more than I'd like to admit!

    1. Unless you work at Ben and Jerry's I guess. LOL!

  6. Those donuts and those sandwiches and pretty much everything here looks amazing! As usual.:)
    I love banana cream and lemon meringue pie. Maybe they're weird pies to love, not very popular, but do I ever love them. They are your donuts.

    1. Ohhh key lime pie! Yum! I love lemon meringue and key lime anything - yogurt, pie, ice cream, cake! Awesome!

  7. I thought you would have said your mortal food enemy is MINT! But I guess that's not exactly a FOOD.

    I think I would love to try the shrimp zucs!

    1. I would love mint guilt free if it were not for my stupid allergy.

  8. Wow! They all look delicious. And I love doughnuts too.

    1. Oh Gia, do they call to you too? Then turn on you by engulfing your brain things with fried sugary goodness and guilt?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. First off, I think your coworker sounds like a bit of a jerk. We *all* make that face when we eat doughnuts. They're the devil's work. Tasty, tasty, devil's work.

    Also, I think I will have to try that balsamic pear chicken recipe!

    1. She is actually a nice person and totally was not meaning to ruin them for me for life. Please come back and let us know how the chicken comes out.

  11. Oh, I'd love to try the chicken sandwich. It looks simply enough for a kitchen-amateur :)

    1. Most all of the recipes I take on are simple and can be done in 30 - 45 minutes. Try it and let us know how it comes out.

  12. This is me with cake. And cheesecake. And any kind of chocolate...

  13. Those all look delicious! Love that "I got the one filled with self loathing" - ha!

  14. I really, really have to get out my crock pot from the box. Great!

  15. "I got the one filled with shame" BAHAHAHAHA!

  16. The verdict is in: ANYTHING with Dijon Marsala sauce if pharmaceutical grade AWESOMENESS! We had turkey tenderloins, which were marinated in some lemon pepper heavenly juices. yummmmm


What's cookin'?