Prunes and Pork Chops

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. This is because the Covid finally caught up with me, which actually made me quite angry emotionally, but physically felt like a bad cold and a little tiredness. I’m out of quarantine and feeling 100% better. I did cook quite a few things before and after.

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Roll

I’ll start with dessert. If it was good enough for George Burns to eat first, it’s good enough for the rest of us. This dessert I’ve been wanting to make for about a month. After making the strawberry jelly (in my Pampered Chef food processor), I couldn’t procrastinate trying to roll some dough. What I still struggle with in baking is rolling out dough to a certain size and shape. My rectangles are always a bit wonky and my rounds never are. I did come a little closer to an actual rectangle this time, and with the help of a tape measure, I got the dough to about where I needed it to be. Added the filling and did a less than ideal roll, but still workable. After adding the frosting, and serving warm, it was definitely peanut buttery and jelly-ish. Reminded me of a lunch sandwich, which isn’t bad at all.

With the weather being a bit unfocused, about every other day has been a bounce back to winter. Soup is always good on a cold wintery day. Two soups were in order between the warmer days: creamy chicken and broccoli and pork meatball with wonton noodles and baby bok choy. Cheese and broccoli soup is one of my favorite, I just never thought about adding chicken—now I will. This was my first time working with wonton dough and bok choy. The bok choy added a nice flavor of which I add more next time. Working with wonton dough was surprising though. The recipe called for the wonton dough to be cut into strips. I did not expect it to “fluff” up and be an Asian version of pasta. Both soups hit the spot on the cold days.

Scalloped Potato-Topped Beef Pot Pie

Making the scalloped potato pot pie was a risk. My husband does not like scalloped potatoes (I know, how is that possible). I wasn’t sure if he would want to try it, or would it just be me eating it. When he saw the dish, even he wasn’t sure at first if he would have any for the reason stated above. But, he did and…he liked it. If it were just the potatoes, I’m not sure he would have. It was the filling that won him over, the potatoes were just a topping. This recipe goes on the make again pile.


While out shopping for ingredients, I noticed avocados were on sale. I got a craving for guacamole looking at them, so I bought three. Usually I wait too long to cut them open. This time the Guac god was watching out for me because when I cut them open, they were beautiful inside. Bright green and oh so creamy when mushed. After adding some seasoning, jalapeños, and tomatoes, it was absolutely perfect. It lasted several days before starting to brown, and on that day it was all gone.

Nothing says Midwest like meat and potatoes. In this case chicken, potatoes, and a few other veggies. Throw in some lemon and thyme and you get, lemon-thyme roast chicken. What made this dish was the lemons. The recipe called for lemon juice, lemon zest, lemons in the chicken while roasting, and sliced lemons mixed with the potatoes and veggies. I had wondered if it might be too much lemon, but one bite in and it was immediately evident the lemon lifted the dish to a new level. Everyone made a similar comment during our Sunday family dinner (the peanut butter and jelly roll was the dessert).

Is it a breakfast bread? Dessert bread? A meal all its own? The baba rustico bread leaves us to your own imaginations as to when and how to eat it. I had it as all three, even adding some peanut butter once. It’s a bread with prosciutto, salami, and provolone cheese baked in.

Pork Chops with Prunes and Garlic Fried Rice

Last, but not least, is a recipe with prunes. Not an ingredient one sees a lot of when cooking. I can’t even remember the last time I had a prune. It was a key ingredient in the sauce reduction of which to smother the pork chop. The quartered prunes added a refreshing sweetness to it all. I added the garlic fried rice as a side. Fried rice is something I’ve wanted to try making for quite a while. So, when I saw a recipe with garlic, I just couldn’t pass it up. It went quite well with the pork chops. There was enough left over of both to make burritos for lunch, and used what remained of the rice to go with the orange chicken this evening. Gave me a duh moment that when I make rice next time, make extra to use throughout the week in other dishes.

Just curious, when did you last have prunes? And, have you ever put them in a recipe? Which one?

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