Pork Chops With Caramel Pears And Sage. Listening To Flocks And The Lookout.


No camp food on offer today.

Today is all about elegant and easy.

That’s what you get with this recipe for Pork Chops With Caramel Pears And Sage. The earthiness of the sage is so good contrasting with the sweet pears and the pork is the perfect vehicle for them to ride on.

Pork Chops With Caramel Pears And Sage


2 bosc pears, cored and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
4 pork chops, about 250 g (8 oz) each
50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
20 large sage leaves
250 ml (8 oz) chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
Steamed carrots and green beans, to serve


1. Toss the pear slices with sugar and set aside. Season the pork with salt and pepper.

2. Melt half of the butter in a skillet. Add the sage leaves and cook ove high heat for about 3 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Add pork chops to the pan and cook over medium heat for 3–4 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and keep warm.

4. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the pear slices and cook for 2 minutes each side until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside with the chops.

5. Pour stock into the skillet and simmer for 3 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.

6. Serve the pork and pears with the sauce, sage and steamed vegetables.

Serves 4

Recipe from Delicious. Magazine

Chicago-based husband and wife duo Flocks And The Lookout have a new album out titled ‘Hills And Valleys’.

Plenty of thoughtfully constructed, folksy tunes pepper the album. I’m really liking “Wake Up” with its lulling vibe.

“I won’t leave your side”

Check out Flocks And The Lookout on the band’s Website, where you can learn of an upcoming show in Chicago and buy their music.


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Bacon Swiss Burger Pasta Casserole. Listening To Pete RG.


Every summer our neighbors host a group of trail mending volunteers. The volunteers set up a camp of tents in a field I can see from my kitchen window.

The dates for this annual occurrence are never the same, but range somewhere from the end of June through the end of July.

There is one constant. Once the tents go up, the weather deteriorates into days of violent thunderstorms. It’s like clockwork.

Poor campers.

Right about now I bet those soggy tent-dwellers would love some Bacon Swiss Burger Pasta Casserole.

The over-the-top Bacon Cheeseburger gets deconstructed in an over-the-top pasta dish.

Lots of beef, lots of cheese, lots of bacon, lots of condiments.

That’s a lot of lots of in this super comforting casserole. It’s extraordinarily good in a dry kitchen.


Bacon Swiss Burger Pasta Casserole


2 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.

2. In a large skillet, combine beef and chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until beef is browned and crumbly. Drain well.

3. Add diced tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt. Stir until combined then add the Swiss and cheddar. Once combined stir in the pasta.

4. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with panko and bacon.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Note to make ahead: Wrap the uncooked casserole and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine

Well, an EP titled ‘Lightening Strikes’ couldn’t be more perfect for this thunderstorm packed day.

“Still Here” is from Pete RG’s latest release. I love that smooth, warm voice.

Check out Pete RG on his Website, where you can learn of an upcoming show in Philadelphia and buy the music.


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Angel Food Cake With Fresh Cream And Berries. Listening To The Key Of H.


When I asked Max Greenwald, a friend of my daughter and member of The Key Of H, what his favorite dessert was, he quickly replied, ‘Angel Food Cake…with cream…and berries’.

So, here to celebrate his barbershop quartet’s first album release, I made an Angel Food Cake…with cream and berries. The light, airy cake is perfect paired with the bounty of sweet berries hitting the markets this time of year.

Angel Food Cake With Fresh Cream And Berries


1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Mixed berries, to serve


1. Sift together the cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar four times (this helps the cake get its light and airy texture).

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks begin to form, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed add the reserved 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is very glossy.

3. Use a rubber spatula to fold the sifted flour mixture into the egg white mixture in 4 small increments.

4. Spoon the batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.

5. Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and top of cake appears dry. Immediately invert pan and cool completely, about 1 hour.

6. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan, helping to release the cake from the edges. Gently pull the pan off and transfer to a serving plate. Serve cake with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

Fresh Whipped Cream


2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespooons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium high. While mixer is running, add the sugar and vanilla. Keep beating until soft peaks form.


The Key Of H (Fletcher Passow, Max Greenwald, Isaac Jacobs, and John Kotz) just released their first album. The songs range from traditional, funny, whimsical to popular, all done in an exacting barbershop vocal harmony. It’s a true a cappella treat.

‘Dancing Queen’ is not on the album, but a fun take on the Abba classic.

This video is from awhile back, but gives you an idea of how enchanting it is to watch these entertaining and very talented guys.

Check out The Key Of H on Facebook and the Website, where you can download their album for free.


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Blueberry Granola Pancakes


Change up your pancake routine with this yummy version. Granola and blueberries give these healthy pancakes texture and sweetness.

Blueberry Granola Pancakes


2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups fat-free milk
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granola with fruit and nuts
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Maple syrup, additional granola and blueberries, to serve


1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, applesauce, oil and vanilla until blended.

2. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in granola and berries.

3. Heat a greased griddle over medium heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn and cook until second side is golden brown. Serve topped with maple syrup, and some more granola and berries if you like.

Note to make ahead: Freeze cooled pancakes between layers of waxed paper in a resealable plastic freezer bag. To use, place pancakes on an ungreased baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat in a preheated 375°F oven 6-10 minutes. Or, place three pancakes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1-1/2 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 6

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine

I wanted to play some Dad themed music, so I did a search and stumbled upon Paris-based band Dad. Even before listening to the songs I was drawn in by their self-description: “DAD plays hard and fast and never looks back. We’re like Jackson Pollock painting the streets from the back of Steve McQueen’s motorcycle.”


I like this quirky, electro-retro tune.

Check out Dad on Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.


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Red Shoe Diary Cocktail. Listening To Eleanor.


There is plenty to toast this weekend. Tomorrow is the first day of summer and (here in the US) it’s also Father’s Day.

If you are looking to make a different drink to celebrate, why not give a cheerful Red Shoe Diary Cocktail a try. The tart blood orange gets balanced by a sweet honey syrup. Campari gives a hint of bitterness while the Pisco adds a floral note.


Red Shoe Diary Cocktail


1 tablespoon honey
1½ blood orange wheels
2 ounces dry vermouth
2 ounces Pisco
1½ ounces Campari


1. Shake honey and 1½ teaspoon hot water in a jar until honey is dissolved.

2. Muddle 1 blood orange wheel in a cocktail shaker. Add vermouth, Pisco, Campari and the honey syrup. Fill shaker with ice and stir until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds.

3. Strain into cocktail glasses. Cut remaining half of blood orange wheel in half and garnish the drinks.

Serves 2

Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine

Love at first listen.

‘Talk It Out’ is from Mobile, AL band Eleanor’s debut album “The Canyon”. Cocktails are in order for those tough conversations.

Check out Eleanor on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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Paprika Shrimp With Hummus And Mint. New Music from Mercies.


This dinner screams ‘summer meal’ to me. It’s light, fast, and full of bright flavors. Just cook up some shrimp with a dash of paprika then serve with warm pita bread and cooling sides of minted hummus, cucumber and lettuce.

Paprika Shrimp With Hummus And Mint


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
1 1/2 cups plain purchased hummus
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
Pitas, warmed, for serving
Romaine-lettuce leaves and sliced cucumbers


1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink, opaque, and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in paprika then lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Remove from heat.

2. In a bowl, stir together hummus, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and mint.

3. Serve shrimp and hummus drizzled with oil, sprinkled with paprika, and topped with mint leaves. Arrange lemon wedges, pitas, lettuce leaves, and cucumbers alongside on each plate.

Serves 4

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine

California-based indie band Mercies released their latest album, ‘Blue Against Green’, this past March. “Only At Night” contains the album title. It’s a lovely song made all the better from Josh Rheault’s twangy vocals.

“We brushed the tops of the trees
Blue against green
We heard the white water weep
Same song it sings
A song for the night”

Check out Mercies on the band’s Website, where you can learn of an upcoming show in L.A. and buy their music.


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Short And Sweet. Browned Butter Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.


Last month I revisited a recipe for Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats. Man, I love that brown butter thing. Oh, I’m also kind of into the peanut butter thing. So, put them together in these crispy treats and we’ve got a bit of dessert heaven going on. And did I mention that prep is only about 20 minutes? Sahaweeeet.


Browned Butter Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups crispy rice cereal such as Rice Krispies


1. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish.

2. In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. The butter will melt, foam, then become clear golden before finally starting to turn brown. Stir frequently and do not leave the butter unattended as it goes from perfect brown to burned very quickly.

3. As soon as the butter becomes a medium brown color, add the marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt. Stir until mixture is smooth and flecked with browned butter bits. Remove from heat and, working quickly, stir in the cereal.

4. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. Gently press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool and set for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. (Crispy rice treats will keep, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for up to 4 days.)

Recipe from Joy The Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Here’s a short song.

“All is well all is right
Sweet child close your eyes
And say Good night”

And a sweet song with all of that parental love shining through.

“Of all the things that you might be
Most of all you’re
Dear to me”

Check out Rissi Palmer on her Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy the music.


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