Baked Spaghetti Squash & Chicken Thighs

posted in: Chicken, Vegetables | 0

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Chicken Thighs with a side of Cucumber salad and Cantaloupe makes for a wonderful light Summer meal.  Squash and Cucumbers were harvested from the garden.

Bake the Spaghetti Squash and the Chicken Thighs in a pre-heated 375ºF oven for 45-60 minutes.  Ensure that the internal temperature of the Chicken Thighs measures 180ºF with a digital thermometer.

Fresh from the garden ... the season's first Spaghetti Squash.  At my local grocery store Spaghetti Squash goes for $1.29/lb which can quickly add up!!  It's hard to beat freshness like this.

Trim fat/excess skin from the Chicken Thighs and rub Extra Virgin Olive Oil and your favorite Chicken seasoning on/under the skin.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

Halve the Spaghetti squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.  Rub Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the squash and season with salt & pepper.  Arrange squash in a 9x13-inch casserole dish, cut sides down.

Bake the Spaghetti Squash in a 375ºF oven until just tender, 45 to 60 minutes.  Rake a fork back and forth across the squash to remove its flesh in strands…like spaghetti!

Pork Rib Roast

posted in: Pork | 0

A Boneless Rib Roast is the rib portion of the loin, closest to the shoulder. A similar cut to the center pork loin but with more marbling and better flavor, some compare it to the prime rib in beef.

The rib end has slightly more fat than the center of the pork loin. It adapts well to a brine, marinades, glazes, dry rubs, and for maximum tenderness do not cook a pork roast more than medium, ~150ºF.

Cut your own Boneless Pork Rib Roast from a pork loin and $ave.  It allows you to determine what size roast best meets your needs.

Rubbed a small rib roast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned lightly with Jans Dry Rub.  Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 5 hours.

Roasted at 350ºF until the internal temperature reached 150ºF.  Rested under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.

The Money $Shot ... Roasted Pork Rib Roast with a side of steamed squash and Cauliflower mash

Save on Boneless Pork Loin Roasts & Center Cut Pork Chops

posted in: Pork | 0

In my quest to save as much $$ as possible these days I like to shop for meat at Costco.  It's hard to beat their quality and price!  Nowadays you can't be too careful ...  First time I've seen "Born, Raised, and Harvested in the USA" on a label but then I never paid that much attention before - You can bet I will from now on!!

With just the two of us left at home it pays to buy the whole Pork Loin and cut my own.  Sometimes upwards of $2 a pound.

I was able to portion out 9 meals for the 2 of us for less than $3 a meal for the protein.  It's called being frugal!!

Vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer with one small Pork Loin Roast seasoned and ready for tonight's dinner.

Dehydrating Tomatoes from your garden

posted in: Vegetables | 0

When blessed with an abundant crop of tomatoes in your garden you have many choices ... one of them should be dehydration.  What better way to enjoy for many months the fruits of your labor from your garden.  It was time to dust off my Cabela's 80L Dehydrator.


  • Cut the tomatoes in quarters, half, or ¼" slices depending on what kind of tomatoes you have harvested
  • Scrape out all the seeds without removing the pulp from the tomato
  • Sprinkle seasonings over the tomatoes - if desired (dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Salt)
  • Place to tomatoes, cut side up, directly onto the dehydrator racks
  • Set the dehydrator temperature to 140ºF
  • Place the filled racks into the dehydrator for 6-9 hours
  • A few hours thru the dehydrating process, rotate the racks top to bottom - front to back
  • Repeat the rotation every few hours until dried

Storing Dried Tomatoes

  • Select airtight containers like zipped plastic freezer bags, jars, or plastic containers with tightly-fitting lids
  • Use the smallest possible container for the amount of prepared dried tomatoes. The less air exposure, the better
  • When using zipped plastic freezer bags, squeeze out excess air before sealing. If possible, vacuum seal bags

Where to store Dried Tomatoes

To store in the pantry or on a shelf:

Place sealed containers in a cool, dry, dark place, maintained at about 60-70ºF. If completely moisture-free, dried tomatoes will keep flavor and texture for up to a year. However, most dried tomatoes will have remnants of moisture that will permit mold to develop. Store dried tomatoes in refrigerator or freezer as a precaution.

To store in refrigerator or freezer:

Seal tightly to prevent freezer burn. Label with date. Dried tomatoes can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator and maintain flavor and texture for about 18 months.

Pickled Refrigerator Jalapeno Peppers

posted in: Vegetables | 0

After today's harvest from my backyard raised bed garden I decided to put up some refrigerator pickled peppers for my Son.  I'm a wuss when it comes to all peppers but my Son and oldest Granddaughter eat peppers like candy.  As with the Claussen-style Garlic & Dill Knockoff Pickles I put up the other day I morphed a half dozen recipes into one.  I harvested enough Jalapeno peppers for 2 pint jars.

BrineMakes enough for 4 Pint Jars

  • 2¼ cups of Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2¼ cups of filtered water

Spices for each Pint Jar:

  • ½ tsp Pickling & Canning Salt
  • ½ tsp whole Peppercorn Medley
  • ¼ tsp whole Cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp whole Coriander seeds
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 whole Garlic clove - or more to taste

Directions:   MAKE sure to wear gloves when handling Jalapeno Peppers!

  • Sterilize pint jars & lids according to standard canning procedures
  • Discard stem ends and slice jalapenos into ⅛" rounds
  • Add all spices to each pint jar
  • Heat Brine until just before it starts to boil
  • Pack each pint jar with sliced jalapenos
  • Pour hot brine into each jar, leaving ½" head room
  • Add jar lids and rings, making them "finger tight"
  • I tightened the lids and shook/turned upside down to mix spices - then loosened to "finger tight"
  • Allow jars to cool to room temperature
  • Store in refrigerator and allow to marinade at least 3 days before eating
  • Good for several months
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