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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I had a Ham Steak in the Freezer and some Yukon Gold Potatoes in the pantry and thought why not make a Scalloped Potato and Ham Casserole.  I have never made one before and it sounded really good on what had been a snowy and cold day!  My friend Janet sent me her Mother's recipe and I looked at a few others and came up with the below recipe!


4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly I used a mandolin)
6 Yukon Gold Potatoes thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 cup cubed ham
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used a mix of Monterrey Jack and Sharp Cheddar)
1/2 tsp Cayenne or more


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish.

In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in milk.

Return pan to heat and bring to a simmer while stirring. When sauce has thickened remove from heat, season with salt, pepper and cayenne and set aside.

Spread 1/3 of the white sauce in bottom of baking dish and top with half of the potatoes. Spread out half of the onions, ham, cheese and another third of the sauce.

Season with salt and pepper. Continue layering ingredients, ending with the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for an hour or until golden and bubbly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Garlic Parmesan Cheese Bombs!

I have been seeing this quite a bit on Pinterest, we decided to have soup for dinner and I wanted a little something to go along with the soup.  These are easy and super delicious.  I highly recommend giving them a try!

1 can refrigerated biscuits (like the ones by Pillsbury)
3 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut into 4 pieces each (so you have 12 total)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 and grease a baking sheet. Separate each biscuit.

Place one piece of cheese in the center of each biscuit, pinch the sides around the cheese so it is completely encased by the biscuit dough. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes until golden.

Melt butter. Stir in garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. When biscuits are done baking, brush butter mixture over each biscuit. Serve warm.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Chunky Apple Snack Cake

Since it is Apple Season in Oregon I want to take advantage of it as much as possible.  I realized today I had three kinds of apples in my fridge, a small Red Delicious, a medium Granny Smith and a huge Honeycrisp. I figured what the heck, lets see what we can make.

I saw this recipe on the Noble Pig's website, she has been Food Blogging as long as I have.  I tweaked the recipe to make it a bit healthier and it was so good, no frosting required.

2 cups granulated sugar (I used 1 1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar and 4 Equal Packets)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup of Coconut Oil and 1/2 cup of Apple Sauce
1 Tablespoon vanilla
4 cups (6-8 apples) Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and diced coarsely
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by spraying it with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl combine eggs, oil and vanilla; add this to the sugar-flour mixture in the large bowl.

Mix thoroughly. Batter will be stiff (do not use mixer). SHE IS NOT KIDDING

Add the apples and walnuts. Pour into baking pan and cook for 50-60 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched.

Serve with whipped cream. Feel free to make this cake a day ahead, the flavor only improves.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mozzarella Stuffed Wagu Meatballs

For reasons unknown my husband purchased a pound of Wagu Beef along with our Grass Fed Beef from our local butcher.  I have never tried Wagu Beef before and had no real idea what to do with it. It seems like a fattier version of ground beef. I decided to make Meatballs and added pound of grass fed beef to the Wagu.  I made both small poached meatballs and also roasted meatballs.  I did a somewhat generic recipe so I could use them in multiple recipes.

1/2 cup milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs (I used some leftover french bread)
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 pound ground hamburger and 1 pound ground Wagu or 2 pounds regular hamburger (you can add pork or whatever you like)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (or grated on a coarse grater) from 1 small yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
(I put the onion and garlic in the food processor which turned into a mush like consistency)
Fresh Mozzarella

Combine the milk and breadcrumbs: Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs in a small bowl and set aside while preparing the rest of the meatball mix. The breadcrumbs will absorb the milk and become soggy.

Whisk the egg, salt, pepper, Parmesan, and other spices.

Add the meat to the egg mixture, add the onions and soaked breadcrumbs

Pinch off a piece of the meat mixture and gently flatten, add your cheese and form the meat around the cheese, sealing well. Continue shaping until all the meat is used.

To roast the meatballs in the oven: Arrange the meatballs spaced slightly apart on a baking sheet. bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes. (Watch closely if cooking meatballs made with lean meat.) The meatballs are done when cooked through and the outsides are browned, and when they register 165°F in the middle on an instant read thermometer. 

Freezing cooked meatballs: Let the cooked meatballs cool completely, then transfer to a freezer container or bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Frozen meatballs can be thawed overnight or reheated directly from the freezer. Reheat meatballs in a simmering sauce for 10 to 15 minutes or in a warm oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blueberry Cream Cheese Turnover

After a final trip to our local Farm Store before they close for the season, we stocked up on Blueberries and Raspberries. I have been thinking about making a berry and cream cheese turnover and today I decided to give it a try.

It is a simple recipe and so delicious, and satisfying, even for those who do not have a sweet tooth such as my husband.  I think next time I am going to use Maple Syrup for the sweetener.

1 pint blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1 brick cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar (I have Vanilla Sugar which I used)
1/2 box of Puff Pastry (a box holds 2)
1 beaten egg

Place your puff pastry on the counter and let thaw, (takes about 30 minutes)

Place your cream cheese on the counter and let is soften while you are waiting for your puff pastry to thaw.

Mix the cream cheese, blueberries and sugar together well, I used my hands.

Smooth the puff pastry on the counter and flatten with your hand, cut into 4 pieces.

Place a large dollop of the cream cheese mixture on each square, you will have leftover cream cheese blueberry mixture.

Fold over into a triangle and using a the tines of  a fork, seal the edges (you may need to move the filling around to get it to close, don't overfill)

Using a pastry brush, paint the turnovers with the beaten egg mixture, be sure and cover the entire turnover.  Using a knife make one or two small slits in the top of the turnover.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool and serve alone or with ice cream or whipped cream.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fried Potatoes and Onions

I faithfully follow the blog of Welcome Home and she shares some very tasty recipes. I noticed she posted one for Fried Potato and Onions a few weeks ago which hit home for me, it reminded me of the potatoes my dad used to fry up in his cast iron skillet on the weekends.

I requested my husband make them for me the following weekend and they were so delicious, thank you for the memories!

6 medium white potatoes (the right potato really makes the difference)
1 sweet onion
2 tbl butter
salt and pepper
2 tbl bacon fat (very important)

Slice the potatoes and onions, I used a mandolin to make it easier

Add the butter and the bacon grease to the pan, a cast iron works best

Fry the onion till just tender then add the potatoes, spreading them in a layer on the bottom of the skillet

Allow potatoes and onions to cook till golden brown and then flip to the other side and allow to continue to cook, as the onions start to caramelize you can scrape up those bits as you continue to cook the potatoes.

Cook until golden brown and a knife easily pierces the potato

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Skirt Steak with Garlic Jalepeno Compound Butter

I inventoried the contents of my three freezers, a full size one in the garage, a side by side in the garage and a french door in the house.  I am trying to use what I have inventoried.  I found this skirt steak and decided to have it for dinner.

It is super easy, just salt, pepper and cook on very hot heat.  The compound butter was delicious!

Salt and pepper the steak and squeeze half of a lime on the meat, before cooking.

Cook on searing high heat, on both sides, medium rare, 145 degrees, 4-6 minutes per side and use a thermometer

Compound butter:

grass fed butter, garlic, jalapenos, 5 cloves garlic, 2 jalapenos

Leftover butter is great for cooking eggs.

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.