Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Year, New Kitchen

Photo by Gayle Martin
Sometimes you have to hit the restart button, as was the case with my kitchen. My house was built in 1965, and I purchased it in 2008. For the most part it was a lovely home, and I certainly got a good deal, but it had one ugly kitchen. Somewhere along the way someone had laminated melamine onto the cabinetry, ruining the original wood surface underneath, which had been beautiful. Why someone would do that is beyond me, but melamine was all the rage in the 1980s and 90s, and perhaps they thought they were modernizing it. Melamine however doesn't age well, and it had turned dull and dingy. It also had tile countertops. Tile countertops look great when they're now, but they don't age well either, nor are they the safest surface for food preparation. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I could never get the grout clean.  

Photo by Gayle Martin
Over the past ten years I've done a fair amount of updating, including replacing all the major kitchen appliances, but I still had ugly cabinetry and countertops. That is until this past January. I saved up my money and had it ripped out to the bare walls. The tile flooring also had to be replaced as it actually wasn't actually a floor tile, and it was extremely slippery when wet. Let's just say that whoever remodeled this kitchen before did it cheap, and they got exactly what the paid for.

So, after three intense weeks of having my dishes, cookware and appliances all piled up in my dining room, and dealing with dust, table saws and power tools, it's gone from being the ugliest room in the house to the prettiest. I'm still waiting on a new window blind, and then it will be officially finished.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Grandma’s Tomato Soup Salad Dressing

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
My grandmother was an amazing cook. We all loved her meals, and, fortunately, between my sister-in-law and all the cousins, we have most, if not all, of her recipes. This was one of my favorites.


  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • garlic powder to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate leftover dressing in a mason jar or plastic container. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rosie's Recipe -- Vegetable Potpourri

Sometimes I spend so much time worrying about the main course that I forget about the side dishes. This timeless, historic recipe is quick and easy, and would complement any meal.



   1 1/2 cups cut cabbage
   1 cup sliced carrots
   1/2 cup chopped onions
   1/2 cup chopped celery
   1/4 teaspoon salt
   1/2 cup boiling water

Combine and cook until tender. (20 minutes.) Makes 4 servings.
Modern adaptation: Omit salt and use chicken stock instead of water.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Creamy Slow Cooked Pork Chops

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
I have no doubt that Rosie would have loved to have had a crock pot in her day. Unfortunately, they didn't exist at the time. In fact, I don't recall my mother buying a crock pot until the early 1970s, and it was quite a novelty at the time. Pop something in, turn it on, go about your business, and by dinnertime, it's done.

This recipe was inspired by a video I saw on Facebook about an easy way to prepare pork chops in the crock pot. I added a little cream, and the results were surprisingly good. The pork chops were moist and the cream sauce was delicious. Best of all, it was super easy to prepare.



   6 to 8 pork chops
   1 can cream of chicken soup
   2 tablespoons half and half or milk
   1 package ranch dressing mix

Blend soup and half and half in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Wash pork chops thoroughly and place half of them in the crock pot. Pour in half of the soup mixture. Stack remaining pork chops on top, and pour in remaining soup mixture. Top with ranch dressing mix. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 4 to 6 hours. Serve over rice.