Copywrited Material

All photos on this website are copyrighted and owned by Cheryl Dunkin. Using photos without permission is Illegal.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Al Pastor with Avocado Crema

I am an avid watcher of the Food Network show, The Kitchen.  I watched one last week and Jeff Mauro made this delicious Pork Loin and when I found one in my freezer, I decided to make Grilled Pork Tenderloin Al Pastor with Avocado Crema.

It was a little hard to find the Achiote Paste, but my local Tienda carried it.  The flavor of the meat was delicious, for sure it will be a part of my rotation.

1 cup pineapple juice
One 1-ounce package achiote paste
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/2 pounds each, trimmed of silver skin
Neutral oil, for oiling the grill grates and drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1-inch rounds
Freshly ground black pepper
Avocado Crema, recipe follows
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Avocado Crema:
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup Mexican cream or sour cream
1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Add the pineapple juice, achiote paste, chipotles, garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to a food processor and puree until uniform. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade for glazing. Put the remaining marinade and the pork in a resealable plastic bag and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge, rotating if necessary halfway through.

Heat a grill to high heat; clean and oil the grill grates.

Thread the onion rounds on the skewers, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onions, developing a deep char on each side, about 10 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.

Lightly season the tenderloins once more, then grill on all 4 sides, frequently basting with the reserved marinade, until golden brown and the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, tent loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.

Mince the cooled onions and season again. Slice the pork and serve with a dollop of Avocado Crema and garnished with chopped cilantro and charred onions.

Avocado Crema:

For the avocado crema: Put the cilantro, Mexican cream, avocado and lime zest and juice in a food processor and run until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap pressed on top until serving, to keep the avocado from browning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jalepeno Tuna Noodle Casserole

My Sister In Law gave me some fancy Tuna she bought at a Seafood place at the beach. It had Jalapeno's in it, so I thought maybe it would be good in a Tuna Noodle Casserole, which I have not made in a decade at least.

I found a recipe on the web and added in some yummy extra's like bacon, water chestnuts and peas.  The topping was potato chips and cheese.  I am not normally a fan of Tuna Noodle Casserole, but this changed my mind!

10 1/2 ounces cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced celery
6 ounces albacore tuna
6 ounces cooked egg noodles
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 can of sliced Water Chestnuts, chopped
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper

Topping, 1/2 grated sharp cheddar and several handfuls of crushed potato chips


Mix the cream of chicken, mayonnaise and milk together in a large bowl.

Add the diced celery and onion, water chestnuts, bacon, mushrooms and peas

Fold in the tuna, followed by the cooked egg noodles, mix well

Salt and pepper to your taste.

Place in a casserole dish. Cook at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, then remove and add the topping replace, and cook approximately 10 more minutes, till the topping is crispy and brown.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Perfect Sunday Roast Chicken

I think there is nothing better than a Sunday Roasted Chicken, and there is nothing better than that crispy yummy skin.  I have tried many different methods, massaging it with olive oil and butter and then I read about something that sounded interesting and it worked fantastic!

I read an article that indicates you can combine baking powder and salt and rub on the skin and let me tell you it works.  It is a bit of a process as well as the baking powder and salt.


1 whole chicken, giblets, etc removed
Baking Powder
Orange cut in half, skin on
Onion cut in half and peeled
Black pepper

For best results, salt the bird several hours before roasting (mix equal parts baking powder and salt) and rub into the skin, then let it air-dry, uncovered, in the fridge, also sprinkle on pepper.

The baking powder's a drying agent, producing really crispy skin (don't worry, there's no lingering chemical aftertaste).

Place the orange and onion half into the cavity of the bird and roast

 If using a vertical roaster, put the bird on upside down so the juicy dark meat will “baste” the white meat keeping the breasts moist. If using a rack, start roasting breast side down for the first 30 minutes for the same effect. The crispiest skin is had from using a convection oven, then an electric oven, and lastly a gas oven.

 For gas ovens, we recommend roasting at a high temperature. Anywhere between 400 degrees F and 450 degrees F will lend the best results, just be certain to use your exhaust fan. Crispy skin is the goal but don’t overcook the meat in the process! Always check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer and pull the chicken out of the oven about 10 degrees early.

Residual cooking will continue as the bird rests.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Veggie Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

We were going to grill pork chops for dinner and I wanted a veggie and pasta combination of some sort to serve as a side.  I had half a box of gluten free pasta and some veggies.  The dressing I came up with for this salad is nothing short of amazing and so good for you to boot!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1/2 Box Pasta (your choice but I used small (rotini)
Handful of small grape tomatoes
1/2 Red Bell Pepper diced into small pieces
3 green onions, diced
Olives (optional, but I did not include because my hubby hates them)

Cook your pasta to Al Dente and rinse in cool water, drain and set aside.

Add your diced veggies and tomato

The dressing:

2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeds removed
1 lime, juiced
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Hot Sauce to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Whir in a food processor, stick blender or blender

Mix with your pasta and refrigerate till ready to serve

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Apple Galette

It is Apple season here in Oregon and my favorite apple, the Honeycrisp finally comes down enough in price that I feel ok buying them.  They are a very flavorful and crisp apple.  I had a few in my fridge and decided to make an Apple Galette, so easy and so good!

4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/2 cup brown sugar, you can use a little less
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 pre-made pie crust (the rolled kind in the freezer department)
Egg wash (egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
Turbonado Sugar (sugar in the raw) for dusting on top of crust

To make the pie:

Thaw the pie shell and flatten with your hands after you place it on a baking sheet (I use a Silpat also)

In a bowl mix the apples, spices, sugar and raisins

Place the apple mixture in the middle of the pie crust, leaving about a 2 inch edge of dough

Carefully fold the dough towards the middle of the pie as shown, folding as you go

Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle the Turbonado Sugar over the crust and the apples

Preheat oven to 400°F

Bake for approx 20 minutes checking for too much browning around the edges and placing a piece of foil over it if it is getting too dark

Let cool and serve alone or with ice cream or whipped cream

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Impossible Ham and Cheese Quiche

My Sister In Law used to make this Impossibly Easy Bisquick Pie on Christmas morning, she used crab and cheese.  I have fond memories of it and thought why not give it a try with ham and cheese.

My palate has changed quite a bit since then but it was still pretty tasty and good for a change and so easy!

1 1/2 cups cut-up cooked ham
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 medium green onions, sliced
1/2 cup Original Bisquick™ mix
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs


Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate with pan spray.

Sprinkle ham, cheese, onions in the pie plate

In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour over ham mixture.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Artichoke/Spinach Dip Quiche

I made Artichoke/Spinach/Green Onion dip earlier in the week and had quite a lot leftover.  I decided to turn it into a Quiche, I figured why not!  I added a few mushrooms and some bacon and it turned out so tasty, I had enough to make two Quiches.  If you don't have leftover dip you certainly could buy some already made.

2 pre-made pie shells unbaked
Artichoke/Spinach Dip (I had about 2 cups)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
6 large mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup Italian 4 cheese blend or Parmesan
8 eggs, beaten
1 can fat free evaporated milk
Black Pepper
Dash of Onion Powder

Since the cheese is so salty no added salt is needed.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Place some cheese in the bottom of each pie shell, add in your Dip, the bacon, mushrooms, and the rest of the cheese.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add in the pepper and onion powder, then whisk in the entire can of evaporated milk.  Mix well and pour into the pie shells evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then turn the oven down to 350 and bake an additional 20 minutes, check for doneness and cook a few minutes longer if needed.

Let cool and serve.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Roasted Hatch Chili, Roasted Corn and Onion Salsa

It is Hatch Chili season and in Oregon we are lucky to have a local place that roasts them for you.  The smell is amazing and the taste is too.  They taste a little like a Jalapeno, a very mild one.  You could use a Jalapeno if you wanted to.

We purchased two pounds of the roasted chili's and some fresh corn.  My husband immediately made a salsa.  We were grilling flank steak and we both thought it would be delicious on the steak.

1 ear of corn, roasted
3 small roasted, peeled and seeded chili's, diced
1 very small red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix well and let sit for the flavors to develop.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tamale Pie, II

I make Tamale Pie a few times a year for my husband, I used to put a bunch of unneeded stuff in it and try to fancy it up.  In the end he likes it fairly plain, so I decided to make him one last week and keep it basic.

He likes the basic style even more than the one I used to make.  It is super simple for a weeknight meal, pair it with a salad and you are good to go!

1 pound of ground beef (I use grass fed 85/15
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 can of black beans, drained (optional, can make it go further by adding more beans)
I small can fire roasted green chili's
1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
1 small can of creamed corn
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook your ground beef, adding the spices towards the end, pour into a bowl and add the beans, Fire Roasted Chili's and an additional seasoning you like, pour into a cooking vessel of your choice.

In a separate bowl, mix the Jiffy Corn Bread Mix and the Creamed Corn and the egg the corn bread calls for, pour this over your meat mixture and cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Optional: add cheese at the end and serve with Cilantro and Sour Cream, perhaps Salsa as well

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Company Pot Roast ala Ina Garten

I purchased a beautiful Pot Roast and asked my Hubby to make it for me on a rainy summer Sunday.  He of course, cannot do anything the easy way, he looked up a recipe from Ina Garten and decided to make it.  I was in charge of everything else so I roasted carrots and baby red potatoes.

It was very delicious and flavorful, the gravy has a thick and a bit chunky texture because she indicates you should blend in some the veggies from the roast so don't expect a super smooth gravy.

One (4- to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 All-purpose flour
 Good olive oil
2 cups (4 carrots) chopped carrots
2 cups (2 onions) yellow onions
2 cups (4 stalks) chopped celery
2 cups (2 to 4 leeks) chopped leeks, white and light green parts (we used and had green onions)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy (we used Sherry)
One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

2. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the roast in flour, turning to coat all sides (including the ends). In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear without moving for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Carefully add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for an hour. Turn the heat down to 250°F (120°C) to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer. Roast for a total of 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160°F (71°C) internally.

4. Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the surface of the sauce.

5. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth.  We used my stick blender.

6. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stove top over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir the butter mixture into the sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, which ought to take about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

7. Remove the strings from the roast and slice the meat. Pile it onto a platter and serve it warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beef Lo Mein

I love Beef Lo Mein at Chinese Restaurants and wondered how easy it would be to make at home, turns out pretty darn easy!  The prep work is the most time consuming, the actual cooking is pretty quick.

I found a recipe on Pinterest and hubby took over and made it for me.  The conclusion; better than any Restaurant!  I skipped the mung beans and bamboo shoots because I don't like them!  We also doubled the recipe!


4 oz. flank steak
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
1 teaspoon oil, plus more for cooking
8 oz. fresh lo mein egg noodles or regular white noodles
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups of mung bean sprouts (we skipped this)
1 medium carrot julienned
1/2 small red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced winter bamboo shoots (we skipped this)
2/3 cup snow peas
1 scallion, julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Slice the beef into thin 2-3 inch strips and mix well in a bowl with corn starch, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and oil. Set aside.

If using white noodles, boil them in about 2 quarts of water, rinse in cold water and drain. If using lo mein egg noodles, you can skip this step. If you can't get lo mein or other fresh noodles at your Asian grocer, fresh or dried linguini pasta will do also.

Cut your veggies and have them all ready for cooking. Heat the wok until smoking slightly and add a couple tablespoons oil to coat the wok and sear the beef. Take the beef out of the pan and set aside.

Add the garlic and all the vegetables to the pan except the dark green parts of the scallion and the snow peas. Stir-fry on high heat for a minute and add the wine in a circle around the perimeter of the wok.

Add the noodles and beef back to the pan and mix well from the bottom up for about 30 seconds. Then cover the wok for one minute. Remove cover and add the remaining tablespoon of regular soy sauce, the dark soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, bean sprouts and snow peas.

Mix well and stir-fry for another minute, or until any remaining liquid has evaporated. Plate and serve!

I love our cast iron WOK, it gets hot and holds the heat well.  It is Coleman brand!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cherry Sour Cream Pound Cake

It was Father's Day and I had a pint of fresh Oregon Red Cherries and decided to make a Pound Cake. I found a recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake and added my Cherries. 

Pitting the Cherries takes time and is a pain in the rear but worth it.  This turned out to be a delicious cake.  My Husband who is not a sweet eater, loved it!

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups of pitted cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated.

Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg 1 at a time.

Add vanilla and cherries, fold in

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  (This cake took almost 90 minutes to cook, probably because of the added moisture from the Cherries)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shrimp and Grits

I found Wild Shrimp on sale at my local New Seasons and decided to make Shrimp and Grits.  It has been quite some time since I made it. I paired it with sauteed Rainbow Chard (in butter and tons of garlic, topped with Balsamic Vinegar).

It was a memorable meal, YUM!

1 pound of Shrimp (Wild Preferred) peeled/de-veined
2 Tbl of Butter
3 cloves of garlic chopped finely
1 slice of bacon diced

4 cups water
Salt and pepper
1 cup stone-ground grits
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain. In grease, add garlic and cook for several minutes, add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink. 

Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp on top. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Baked Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I poached 2 breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 10 soft taco sized flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup green taco sauce (mild)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, lime juice, honey, chili powder, and garlic and mix to coat.
  3. Lay out your tortillas, and divide chicken evenly on the center of each tortilla. Top each one with cheese.
  4. Roll each tortilla tightly, leaving the ends open, and place them on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  5. Spray the tops of the taquitos and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then serve with Cilantro Lime Cream.
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ham, Egg and Cheese Strata

I made a large Strata a few years ago when my brother was in town and it was well loved by everyone. I decided it was time I gave it another whirl. It is easy and I am letting it sit overnight and then I will just pop it in the oven tomorrow, pair with some fresh fruit and I am done!

Super easy breakfast if you are having friends over or even for Christmas Morning!

You can mix and match the meats and cheeses to your liking and to make it even more healthful you can use fake egg product.

1 loaf french bread
12 eggs
1/2 cup half and half, (or you can use 2.5 cups whole milk and skip the half and half)
2 cups whole milk
1 ham steak cubed
1 Jalapeno, diced small (optional)
3 cups Shredded cheese of your choice I used a cheddar jack mixture
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp tarragon
1 tsp dried or fresh chives
1 red bell pepper cubed
bunch of green onions chopped

You will need a 9X13 pan, greased and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

cut the bread into thick slices and butter each slice, then cube, place into greased pan, continue until the bottom of the 9X13 baking dish is completely covered and then some

Sprinkle your ham, onions, red bell pepper over the bread

Sprinkle on a half of your cheese

In a bowl, break your 12 eggs and add your milk and heavy cream and spices and beat until well incorporated. Pour over the bread mixture it should come to the top edge of the bread/ham/cheese.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until your knife comes out clean, place the remaining cheese on and remove from oven. Let sit for 5 minutes or so and the cheese will melt and the strata will firm up.

(or do as I did and after combined leave in the fridge overnight and cook at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or a knife comes out clean)