Slow Cooker Pork Chops

March 14, 2011 · Posted in Pork · View Comments 

As promised, here is one of the savory recipes for our meal plan this week. This is a busy month for us with lots of different activities so my meal plan for the week is pretty simple. Yesterday, we had Pork Chops slow cooked in a honey soy sauce served over rice, broccoli and some homemade rolls. The pork chops turn out really tender and tasty.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Summary: A delicious meal made in the slow cooker that comes out tender and tasty.


4-6 pork loin chops (depending on size of your family)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Teaspoon Chinese Five Spices


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, honey, orange juice and spices.
  • Place pork chops in slow cooker.
  • Pour honey soy sauce mixture over the top of pork chops.
  • Set slow cooker to low setting and cook for 6 hours.

Noel’s Quick Notes:

Plate pork chops over cooked  rice of your choice and spoon honey soy sauce mixture over the top. Serve with your family’s favorite steamed vegetables.


Can substitute beef or chicken in place of pork chops.

Serves: 4-6 people

Cooking Time: 6 hours

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Cook Time: 6 hours, 5 minutes

Meal Type: Dinner

My Family Rating: 5 stars



Family Style Chili

March 6, 2011 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

There’s delicious flavor with a classic comfort food. Here’s another one of my Family Style Chili recipes with a touch of sweetness and just the right amount of kick. Makes enough for one family meal plus enough for lunch leftovers. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Family Style Chili


1 pound sweet Italian sausage, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, diced and seeded or unseeded depending on amount of heat you prefer
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon Taco seasoning
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Chopped onion (optional)
Dairy sour cream (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

In a skillet, cook and stir sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until sausage is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat.

Add to slow cooker sausage mixture, jalapeno, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Set slow cooker to low setting and cook 6-8 hours.

To serve, ladle chili into bowls or homemade bread bowls. If desired, top each serving with cheese, chopped onion, and/or sour cream, cilantro and crushed red pepper.

 What do you serve with your Chili?


New Meals On The Menu

February 13, 2011 · Posted in Fish & Seafood · View Comments 

I have found that we are really enjoying Tilapia. Over the past few years, I’ve been introducing new types of seafood into our weekly menus and this fish is one that’s affordable and real simple to make. It can be baked, grilled or pan-fried. I’ll substitute fish on the menu for chicken or meat, depending on the grocery store deals for the week. If they are not at their best price per pound, I’ll stock up on fish.

Tilapia with a Creamy Lemon and Dill Sauce


6 tilapia fillets
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons Italian dressing
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 Tablespoon dill


Coat the fish on both sides with flour.

Heat dressing in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add fish; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with fork. Remove from skillet; cover with foil to keep warm.

Add broth and lemon juice to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring frequently with whisk. Add cream cheese and dill; cook 1 minute or until melted, stirring constantly. Pour over fish. Sprinkle with extra dill.

What are some new meals on your menus?


Dad’s Quick-Mex Supper-Cooking With Kids Week

January 12, 2011 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

A delicious and quick baked egg and chili casserole-has the flavor of chili rellenos made especially for dad. Madly popular, this is one version out of many.

Dad’s Quick-Mex Supper


4 eggs

4-ounces Monterey Jack cheese

4-ounces Cheddar cheese

4-ounce can Ortega whole green chilis

1/4 cup of your favorite mild salsa

4-ounces Mozzarella cheese

1 package corn tortillas

Lettuce and Dressing

Sour Cream (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Beat 4 eggs in a mixing bowl until foamy. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish or cake pan. (like the one you use to make brownies.) No need to grease the pan.

Sprinkle the jack cheese all over the bottom of the cake pan on the top of the beaten eggs. Then sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top of that.

Slice the chilis lengthwise and place the chilis on top of the cheese, spreading them over the whole pan. Dot each of the chilis with a little salsa-no more than a 1/4 cup total. Top off with Mozzarella cheese.

Place the pan in the oven uncovered.

Take the tortillas out of package and wrap them in foil, making a tight packet. Put them in the oven to warm.

After about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clea, remove pan from oven and cut big squares with a spatula and serve directly onto dinner plates. Serve with tortillas, lettuce and dressing.

Serves 4

Cook’s Note: We decided to use just Cheddar cheese when making this dish as we already had some shredded. Recipe reflects all three types of cheese being used.  Green or Red Taco sauce can be substituted for salsa if desired. If packaged shredded cheese is not available, cut a bar cheese in half and use your grater! Exact ounces don’t matter. The different kinds of cheeses make this dish interesting, but exact quantities of each kind don’t matter.



A New Year Of Menus For Busy Moms

January 2, 2011 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

We made it through another year of planning our days, and our menus. This year we start off with a traditional family meal that brings us closer together, with new resolutions with anticipation and excitement for the future.  By gathering everyone around the dinner table for a memorable meal, you’ll be starting a new family tradition.

With this feast featuring classics such as Lemon Rosemary Roasted Turkey, Honey-Roasted Red Potatoes, Cream Peas and with mainstays such as cranberry sauce, you’ll have a family-pleasing meal. Add a simple Apple Bundt Cake for dessert; you’ll find your family will thank you for it!

When you make such a fantastic feast such as this, you can definitely feed your family a few different meals with plenty of leftovers. I’ll be sharing those leftover recipes like Turkey Enchilladas with you throughout the upcoming week.

 Let’s start off with the main course, Lemon Rosemary Roasted Turkey; the ingredients used to help flavor the turkey can be used on chicken breasts or a whole chicken. By rubbing the the oil and spices under the skin, you are working the flavors into the turkey with the result of a juicy, flavorful bird.

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Turkey


1 12-16 pound turkey

3/4 cup Calolea Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves, pressed

2 Tablespoons rosemary, dried or fresh

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Salt to taste

1 lemon, sliced


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt; set aside.

Rinse the turkey, inside and out; pat dry. Loosen the skin from the breast by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Be careful not to tear the skin.

Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the oil mixture under the skin and rub remainder all over the turkey, making sure to cover the thighs and legs. Place a few lemon slices under the skin, and inside the turkey. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.

Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 1/3 cup water to the bottom of pan. Roast in the oven for 4-5 hours or until meat thermometer measures 180 degrees F.

Next, we add these delicious sweet potatoes to the meal. You’ll be surprised at just how effectively an appropriate side dish can enhance a menu, elevating it from ordinary to extraordinary.

 Honey-Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes


6-8 red potatoes, quartered

2 Tablespoons onion, diced

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon powdered mustard

1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

Pinch of salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×12 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a single layer in baking dish. In a small bowl, combine onion, butter, honey, mustard, rosemary, salt a pepper. Pour over potatoes.

Bake for 35 minutes or until tender, stirring approximately halway through the cooking time.


Fast Family Dinners:Broccoli, Cheddar And Ham Strata

November 17, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Get into your comfort zone this fall and winter season with some Fast Family Dinners. Enjoy delicious baked casseroles, baked until bubbly. Life is good for a busy mom who stays one step ahead of the game.

Broccoli, Cheddar and Ham Strata


1 Tablespoon Calolea California Garlic Olive Oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 bag (1-pound) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

2 cups Italian Herb bread crumbs (I used Ritz crackers pulsed in food processor with Italian Seasoning and Oregano)

1/2 pound sliced deli ham, chopped

1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

6 large eggs

2 Tablespoons fresh dill or chives ( I had dill on hand)

1 Tablespoon honey mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish or your Deep Covered Baker with nonstick baking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook another 5 minutes.

Place bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in broccoli-onion mixture, ham and bacon.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, dill, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over bread crumbs mixture, stirring to mix ingredients. Transfer to your baking dish or baker, and top evenly with shredded cheese.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes 8 servings


Holiday Entertaining With Raley’s Dailies:Turkey Stuffed Rolls With Cranberry Glaze

November 11, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

For me, holidays are all about family. And in my family, it’s all about the food and sharing the comfort of a meal together. Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. From re-creating my Grandmother’s stuffing to baking that traditional pumpkin pie and drinking hot apple cider, there’s something about those flavors and aromas in the air that bring back wonderful old memories of this holiday.

And every year, I can look forward to Thanksgiving being one of my favorite memories. This year we will be celebrating with my husband’s family in Silver Springs, Nevada. Somehow, we will manage to fit a dozen or so people around the dinner table and enjoy some traditional Thanksgiving favorites. This year, I was asked to bring a Pumpkin Soup and Bread.  I haven’t decided quite yet, which recipe I’ll make, but my first challenge will be in transporting it 3 1/2 hours away. The rest is easy as pie.

Holiday Entertaining With Raley’s Dailies

If you’re needing some ideas on Thanksgiving recipes or want to be a little daring and add a new dish to your menu, Raley’s Something Extra Holiday Edition Magazine is now available at Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill foods Grocery Stores. If you’re not in to cooking turkey the traditional way but want all the Thanksgiving dishes, my Turkey Stuffed Rolls With Cranberry Sauce is featured in the magazine on page 62-63. If you have one of those stores near you, pick up a copy and check out my recipe along with some others that look delicious and helpful in creating a wonderful meal that is simple for holiday entertaining with family. I was challenged from Raley’s along with a few others to create an easy holiday family meal using at least three of their new Raley’s Dailies items (marked in red) and in 30 minutes or less. I definitely think this recipe will make your day!

 If you don’t have one of those stores near you, you can go to Raley’s website and click the tab SE Mag and review the magazine there. The recipes are a little bit harder to read online unless you use the zoom feature so I thought it was about time I share it here on my kitchen tips site.


Turkey Stuffed Rolls With Cranberry Glaze

Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 30 minutes Serves: 6-8


1 (1-lb.) package Raley’s Mild Italian Sausage Roll

1 Tablespoon Raley’s Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 Tablespoons Sunnyside Farms butter, divided

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1 Raley’s Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

1 (6-oz.) package Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffin’ Seasoned Corn Bread

1 (6-oz.) package Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffin’ Classic Dressing Seasoned

2 cups Raley’s Chicken Broth

3 Tablespoons Raley’s Apple Juice

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Raley’s Salt and Pepper Grinders, to taste

2 (17.6-oz.) packages turkey breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

Cranberry Glaze (recipe follows)


Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked thoroughly. Drain, reserving 1 tbsp. drippings from pan; let cool.

Meanwhile, heat oil and 1 tbsp. butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onion and apple and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Place stuffing in a large bowl; add cooked onion mixture, cooked and drained sausage, broth, apple juice and seasonings. Stir until stuffing mixture is moistened; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Scoop 1/4 cup stuffing onto each cutlet. Roll up and secure with a toothpick; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add remaining 1/2 tbsp. butter in the same skillet used to brown the sausage. Brown turkey rolls on all sides over medium-high heat. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook for an additional 10 minutes or until done. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Serve with Cranberry Glaze: Stir together 1 (14-oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce and 1/4 cup Raley’s Apple Juice in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering.

Recipe tip: This recipe make a large amount of stuffing. If you are not using all of the stuffing, freeze and use anoter time. If you’d like to serve it along side the cutlets, bake remaining stuffing in a buttered 2 -quart casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Nutrition per serving: 620 calories, 37 g protein, 25 g total fat (8g sat.) 62 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 85 mg cholesterol, 1840 mg sodium



Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

October 5, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Pinto Beans are a budget-friendly staple in our house and I make them quite often during the month as a quick and easy weeknight meal.  I can always find dried Pinto Beans on sale at the grocery store and there are several different ways I like to cook them. Here’s one of my recipes on how to make these delicious beans!

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans


1 16 ounce package dried Pinto Beans


1 /2 teaspoon Creole Rub (optional)



In a colander, wash and rinse pinto beans. Place beans in a 8 quart stockpot. Fill stockpot with 3/4 cold water, cover and let soak overnight. 

Next day, drain beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in slow cooker. Add 6-8 cups hot water to slow cooker or enough to make it 3/4 full. (The amount of water will also depend on how big your slow cooker is.) Add Creole Rub and salt. Stir until combined. (Add the salt to your liking and always taste as you go.)  Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.

Recipe Note: Serve cooked pinto beans with your favorite shredded cheese, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, avacado, rice or corn cakes.

One of our favorite ways to eat these beans, is to serve them in a taco salad. Add cooked beans in the bottom of the taco shell, add shredded lettuce and top with a few of the above toppings.

These are so easy to make and again very budget-friendly! Leftovers can be placed in ziploc bags or air tight containers and placed in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator and toss in the microwave to re-heat.




Pork Chops with Apple Spice Gravy

September 8, 2010 · Posted in Pork · View Comments 

Here is a delicious recipe I found while working on my weekly meal plan and adjusted it a bit to my liking. The sweetness of the apples and brown sugar combined with cinnamon and a little bit of curry really make this dish yummy! Served with curry rice and a green salad.


Pork Chops with Apple Spice Gravy


1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

6  pork chops (family pack)

Salt and pepper

4 Tablespoons flour

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Curry powder

2/3 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash allspice or nutmeg


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt oil over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper; coat lightly with flour on both sides. Brown the chops in the oil for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange the browned chops in a 9x 12 baking dish.

To the skillet with drippings, add the sliced apples, butter, and brown sugar . In a bowl, mix apple juice, cornstarch and seasonings  until smooth and pour over the apple mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the apple mixture over the chops. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Yes, this dish does take an extra 15 minutes to cook. Not the usual for my 30-minute family dinners, but it’s worth it!

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen

Visit my A Busy Mom’s Kitchen Amazon Kitchen Store  for some of my recommeneded appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning. For high quality kitchen tools for your kitchen, visit www.

Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.  





Saturday Weekend Warrior:Cooking Up Meals

August 2, 2010 · Posted in Beef, Main Dishes · View Comments 

photo credit: quinn.anya

Saturday Weekend Warrior

By dedicating a few hours each weekend, I am saving myself a lot of time during the week. This week as we gear up for Back to School, we need to start thinking about meals that are not only simple and quick, healthy and nutritious but also keeps to our weeknight school schedule. Try planning a few meals ahead of time, freezing them, than pulling out and placing in the refrigerator the day you decide to use that meal. It’s that easy. Here’s a simple dish with meat, potatoes and vegetables all in one!

Cooking Up Meals: Make IT Now- Bake IT Later!

Family Dinner For Six


1 pound lean ground beef

1 medium size onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6 medium size  Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced

1 cup corn kernels

4 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

1 large can diced tomatoes with juice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onions. Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add tomatoes with juices and corn to the meat mixture. Stir until all ingredients are combined. 

Lightly spray a  rectangular 9 x13 baking dish with baking spray. Layer sliced potatoes along the bottom of baking dish. Spread hamburger mixture over potatoes evenly. Add another layer of sliced potatoes over the top. Drizzle with a little ketchup.

Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are done. Let cool. Place in freezer, wrapped tightly or in refrigerator if you plan on using this meal within 1-2 days.  When ready to bake, defrost in refrigerator. Reheat in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a green salad and french bread.

Recipe Tip: You could substitute green beans for the corn or even add celery or diced green bell pepper.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen

Visit my new Amazon Kitchen Store  for some of my recommeneded appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning. For high quality kitchen tools for your kitchen, visit www.

Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.  






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