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  • June 2018
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Pork with Fennel and Mustartd

Pork w/ Fennel

From: The Illustrated Quick Cook


  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Lg Onions, sliced
  • 3 Fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 2.5 lb Lean Pork cut into cubes (I used boneless pork chops)
  • 8 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 Cup Dry White wine
  • 2 Tbsp whole/coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Handful flat parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 Cup Milk


  • Heat oil and add onions & fennel cook for 5 minutes
  • Add pork and cook 5 minutes
  • Add garlic, wine and mustard. Bring to boil and allow to bubble for 3 minutes
  • Stir in paprika, parsley, sage and rosemary.
  • Whisk in flour
  • Add in milk
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes
  • Let cool and transfer to freezer safe container
  • Stores 3 months
  • Defrost in fridge overnight the microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 minutes more.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

The cookbook pic!


From: The Illustrated Quick Cook


  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 Celery Ribs, finely chopped
  • 4 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 9 oz pancetta, cut in small cubes
  • Handful Flat Parsley, finely chopped
  • Handful Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbls Tomato Paste
  • 1 Can Chopped Tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 Can cannelloni beans (14 oz each) rinsed and drained well
  • 2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 10 oz Frozen Green Beans
  • 8 oz Frozen Peas
  • 10 oz Small pasta shapes


  • Use a pot large enough to hold everything.
  • Heat the oil
  • Add onions cook 6-8 min
  • Add garlic, celery and carrots cook 10 minutes
  • Add pancetta, cook 5 minutes or until brown
  • Add herbs, tomato paste & canned beans. Season w/ salt and pepper
  • Add stock, bring to a boil then cover w/ lid and simmer for 35 minutes
  • Add Green beans and peas cook for additional 5 minutes
  • Let cool completely before transferring to freezer safe container
  • Freezes 3 months
  • To serve, defrost overnight in fridge then transfer to large sauce pan. Add pasta and simmer until pasta is cooked to your liking. Top with parmesan.

Few things to add with this one. See all that ‘finely chopped’ stuff? The Pampered Chef Food Chopper is a MUST have. We flew through the prep and had this simmering away in minimal time, with all of our fingers in tact.

What are cannelloni beans? They are white beans in cans, quite popular. Sound it out while looking at the canned beans section you will find them! The recipe actually called for borlotti or cranberry beans, but my small town food store didn’t carry them. So I went with what I knew to have neutral flavor with enough meat to hold up to a soup.

Also, frozen peas and green beans don’t come in 8 or 10 oz so I got the closest I could and used the whole bag. It’s ok. It just made the soup chunkier with nutritious goods like veggies!


Sweet Corn Chowder

The cookbooks picture

From: The Illustrated Quick Cook


  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 6-8 Medium Potatoes, cut bite-size chunk
  • 2 12oz Cans of Corn
  • 5 Cups Hot Vegetable Stock
  • Handful Flat Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbls Heavy Cream (only at serving time)


  • Heat oil in saucepan. Use a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients.
  • Add onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until soft. Season w/ salt and pepper
  • Add potatoes and cook on low for 5 minutes
  • Add corn
  • Add all stock, bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender
  • Cool completely before transferring to freezer safe containers.
  • Good for 3 months
  • To serve, defrost in fridge overnight. Heat in saucepan until hot. Stir in cream.

Serves 8

Linguini w/ Lemon, Baby Artichoke & Asparagus

Adapted from Cooking Light Through The Seasons (411 calories 8 WW points)

This recipe argued with me from the get go. I had to adapt it from the original recipe because it’s darned near impossible to find 24 fresh baby artichokes in SEPA and happy hunting on the Papparedelle pasta. No, not even Wegmans. Only I could need more than one thing that the mighty Wegmans doesn’t carry.

Instead of papparedelle pasta (which looks like slightly thinner, longer lasagna noodles) I used linguini. I believe this will up the calorie intake a bit but not overly much.

Instead of fresh baby artichokes I went to Wegmans olive bar and got the baby artichokes there. Bonus because they are already cleaned and prepared and ready to use. After looking at the recipe for the fresh artichokes I realized it’s a good thing that I couldn’t find fresh ones because I never would have put in the effort to clean, trim and cook them.

Once we started cooking we got a bit skeptical because there really isn’t a sauce on the pasta. I was concerened because pasta not drowned in sauce isn’t pasta.

The Man asked to put the recipe in rotation so I know it was good. I gave up on counting artichokes at the olive bar at 17, next time I’ll go to 24, they were good.

Printable Recipe


  • One Box Linguini (make it whole wheat if you can)
  • 24 Baby Artichokes (canned/jarred if you must)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Asparagus
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • Cook pasta according to the box
  • Heat 1tbls EVOO in a large skillet, cut artichokes in half and cook until slightly browned
  • Zest and juice half the lemon into a bowl. Add the artichokes to the bowl
  • Trim and cut asparagus into bite size pieces
  • Heat 1/4 cup water into the same skillet and add asparagus, cover and cook 5 minutes
  • Drain and add the artichoke mixture
  • Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid
  • Add pasta and cooking water to artichoke & asparagus
  • Drizzle with 2 tbls olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
  • Serves 6, top each serving with 3tbls of cheese (yes 3)

If you hubby doesn’t use all of his three tablespoons of cheese, feel free to finish his share on yours. I did!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

I decided to stop being angry at this recipe.

This is also FoodNetwork’s picture. You don’t want to see what mine looked like.

The meat was absolutly delicious and the carrots were perfect.

The rutabaga and potatoes not so much.

While rutabagas begin as the hardest root known to man they turn extremly soft.

Fingerling potatoes start out all pretty and petite but even when cooked in liquid they were dry.

So I’m changing the recipe you can go to Food Network if you want to give the real recipe a try! Although, I do reccommend that you get chainmail gloves before going one on one with a rutabaga.



  • 4lbs Lean Raw Corned Beef Brisket
  • 3 tbls (or less) Pickling Spice
  • 1lb Large Carrots, cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1lg white onion, quartered
  • 1lb Red Potatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 C Horseradish
  • 1/3 C Sour Cream


  • Put corned beef in a large slow cooker and sprinkle with pickeling spice
  • Layer carrots, potatoes and onion, in this order for even cooking
  • Add enough hot water to cover the meat by at least 1 inch
  • Cook on high for 7-8 hrs

For the sauce:

  • Boil 1 cup of the cooking liquid until it’s reduced by half
  • Mix with horseradish and sour cream

It was the best corned beef I’ve ever had. It didn’t need the sauce at all but we used it more for the potatoes.

I only used about 2 tablespoons of horseradish as well. Horseradish scares me, the smell, the look, the spice.

Make sure to get “corned beef brisket” and not just “beef brisket” there is a difference.

Corned beef is a brine cured beef, usually brisket. The “corn” part referring to the grains of course salt used to cure it.

Brisket is one of the 8 primal cuts of beef and comes from the lower chest. Brisket is often braised or smoked to within and inch of leather. If it’s not done properly you will not be happy. Very long cook times for both corned beef and regular brisket are usually required. And well worth the wait.


Oh what your not Polish? Fine then. Holubky. No not Slovak either. Ok, what about töltött káposzta, holubtsi, balandėliai, kohlrouladen or holishkes. No, Hungarian, Russian, Lithuanian, German or Yiddish either I guess. 

I’m 3 out of 7. I’ve had some Golumpki in my time. I’ll give it to you in English, stuffed cabbage. That is the only time you will hear me call it that. Not only is Golumpki fun to say but it also sounds a lot better. 

I channeled my Nanny (the moms mom) for this one. I have no idea how she made hers. She passed away when I was 21 or 22, which was before my stove and I had even met. I’m going to call it her recipe and pass it on as such until one of my aunts, uncles or older cousins corrects me. Although, I’m pretty sure she didn’t use Chunky Style Garden Veggie Prego sauce. What?! Somethings should be updated for ease. 


  • 1 to 1 1/4 Meat Loaf Mix or Ground Beef
  • 1 Head Savoy Cabbage
  • 1 White Onion (chopped)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Palm Full of Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Less than full Palm of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Tbls Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbls Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper (if you choose, I forgot, can’t hurt though)
  • 1 Jar Prego Chunky Garden Veggie Sauce


  • Pre-heat oven for 375
  • Peel leaves off of the cabbage one at a time so that you have large full leaves
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the cabbage leaves for 2-3 minutes
  • While the cabbage is boiling saute the chopped onions in a Tbls of olive oil
  • Once the onions are translucent, not yet browned, remove them to a large bowl.
  • Stare** together the onions, meat, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, spices, tomatoes until thoroughly combined.
  • Working with one leaf of cabbage at a time and with the spine of the leave facing you put a handful of the meat mixture in the natural curve of the leaf. Tuck the sides as you roll making a neat little package
  • Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and line the Golumpkis up in 2 rows
  • Pour sauce over
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake for 1 hour
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes

I got about 14 rolls using the Savoy cabbage. Savoy leaves are much smaller than a normal green cabbage, which held less meat and was the reason why I got so many. If they were any bigger it might have been a bit much on the filling. You can use either green or Savoy. We were really happy with the way they turned out.   

Since I didn’t know how many leaves of cabbage or how big they were or how much stuffing was needed I bought just over 2 pounds of meat loaf mix and made it all. I currently have almost a pound of cabbage stuffing at home in my fridge thinking about what I can possibly do with it. CRAP! I meant to Google that today. 

**What the heck is stare? It’s stir. My nanny from deep in PA farm country, or what used to be farm country, always said stare instead of stir. Oh the woman was a trip  

Rachel (1) Rutabaga (0)

That is a rutabaga.

That is the hardest vegetable known to man.

That almost cost me all my fingers this morning.

That better taste frickin’ delicious tonight.

Someone said I should do some slow cooker stuff. (Hi Reggie!!) Someone said they liked corned beef (Hi Hunny!!) Someones too accommodating (Why, hello there self!)

J/K March’s Food Network Magazine had a delicious looking picture of slow cooker corned beef w/ vegetables and cabbage. Oh my did it look good. I immediately started a list of what I would need and began on this slow cooker adventure, 8 darned days ago! I don’t think it meant that slow.

First, we bought a 4 pound brisket instead of a 4 pound corned beef brisket. I now have to figure out what to do with a 4 pound brisket.

Then, they only had a 2.5 lb corned beef. Okay there are only 2 of us no big.

Once the corned beef was purchased I kept forgetting to get up early enough to make it.

Finally, I dragged myself out of bed a whopping 5 minutes early determined that I could do it quickly and all would be right with the world.


Any normal slow cooker dish could probably be put together in 5 minutes and left to simmer all day for a big ole pot of goodness. Rutabaga’s are no normal ingredient. It’s like sawing through a piece of cinder block. My knife was stuck, the blade wouldn’t wiggle. I switched to the biggest knife we had and it was still no use. I tried serrated and that almost cost me my hand. Nothing but sheer will and determination was going to get through this thing.

Alright, fine, it’s not that hard. Just don’t go trying to cut the thing in half. I had to slice it in 1/4-1/2 inch sections and then cut the sections for what kind of resembled the wedges that the recipe called for.

EWWW not to mention the darned thing is covered in wax that has to be peeled away. Don’t use your serrated veggie peeler!! The teeth get clogged. Use a straight edge one. OR better yet, skip the blasted vegetable!

I repeat, it better taste fricken GOOD!

You know I always attributed a slow cooker to being only slightly harder than having a chef. Plug pot in. Add meat. Add veggie. Add liquid of some sort. Work. Home. Dinner done. I was as wrong as a natural blonde can get.

Either I’m getting up early in the AM to get it all ready OR I’m making 2 meals the night before and still getting up early to put it all together, which isn’t even the worst part. I still have work to do when I get home. There is some cabbage thing that needs microwaved and  a sauce to be reduced. GAH

There is a ton of extra worry too. That thing is cooking on high on my tiny counter space for 8 hrs. I’ll be lucky the kitchen is left. Yes, 8 hrs. Yes, on high. No, I do not think there will be anything left when we get home. I always thought long and low (7hrs) or high and fast (4hrs). Apparently a rutabaga needs to be cooked within an inch of its life. J/K it’s cause of the brisket, which I’m pretty sure is the toughest meat out there. The best, when done properly too.

1 hour and 10 minutes until the rutabaga and I meet again.

By the way, a rutabaga is a swedish root vegetable that is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.