Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burgers

Fathers Day is coming up this weekend and I wanted to get this awesome burger recipe posted so you can make them for your father or husband. It’s a great twist on two favorites; Philly Cheese Steaks and Burgers.

My father passed away two years ago after battling heart disease, for over 30 years. He lived a long time with a disease that killed most of his brothers at a much earlier age. My dad was a good christian man, who would help anyone and was always there for my mother, who is blind. I think he lived as long as he did because he felt the need to take care of her.

I’m also lucky enough to have a great father-n-law, John. John has always been very supportive and a great help on projects around the house. As I was once a builder and re-modeler, we usually make a pretty good team with projects my wife wants us to complete.

.Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burger

John has a gift for building furniture, which I do not possess. He has made many of the pieces in our home. For Christmas, this year, he made us a built-in entertainment center for our great room. Last week Continue reading Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burgers

One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paella

One Skillet Cod and Sausage

I’m not a big fan of boxed rice mixes because of the sodium and preservatives. But like most families I am always looking for shortcuts, but I try to find healthier versions which are lower in sodium and fat. But when I find a product that makes my life easier I will incorporate my own ingredients into the recipe to make a quicker healthier dish.

I found this McCormick Paella Rice Mix at our local Jungle Jim’s food market. It had been in my pantry since October. Jungle Jim’s is a Cincinnati specialty grocery and a regional favorite. If you are ever in the Cincinnati area it is must see for foodies.

I had taken cod loins out of the freezer earlier in the day and wasn’t sure how I was going to fix them. The kids love cod made into homemade fish nuggets. I need to post the recipe for cod nuggets but it is usually a last-minute dinner idea and not on my food blog agenda. So the rice mix in the pantry and voila, Paella.

Paella (Valencian: [paˈeʎa] or [pəˈeʎə], Spanish: [paˈeʎa], is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-nineteenth century near Albufera lagoon, a coastal lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.[1] The dish is widely regarded as Spain’s national dish

The three best known types of paella are Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe[citation needed] and consists of white rice, large white beans, flat green beans, tomato, meat (chicken and rabbit), salt, oil, water and seasoning such as saffron, rosemary and occasionally lemon. Optional ingredients include artichoke, pepper and chicken liver. Seafood paella replaces meats with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans.  All types of paellas use olive oil.

Courtsey of

To make this a more substantial meal for my family of five, I added a bag of Uncle Ben’s Ready long and brown rice, 90 seconds in the microwave and it is ready to go. I also had mixed sausages in the freezer, so I added them. You can substitute any type of proteins in this dish, as it is very versatile, such as shrimp, chicken, white fish or sausages. If chorizo is to spicy for your taste, substitute Italian sausage.

One pot, 40 minute dish, start to finish. This dish would make a great Lenten meal just leave out the chorizo and add shrimp with the cod.

Check out my Cheap Meal Guide at the bottom of the post.

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Continue reading One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paella

Smoked Pork Shoulder

I love smoked meats. I’m not sure what it is; the rubs, the meats, the flavors, or the way the smoke tantalizes the neighborhood with that sweet smoky wonderful aroma.
I have smoked just about every type of meat and seafood (smoked trout or salmon makes an awesome dip: upcoming post) over the years using many different methods and cooking styles. Today I usually just use my Weber gas grill with a cast iron smoker box. I prefer apple or alder chips with some hickory chunks thrown in for good measure. This is one of my recipes for pork shoulder. I hope you enjoy.

Serve with my roasted veggie hash recipe posted on the blog. The veggie hash is one of my kids favorites and a great way to get them to eat more vegetables.

Continue reading Smoked Pork Shoulder

Pork Chops simmered in a White Wine Mushroom Gravy served with Cheesy Grits

Like most of you, we have a very busy family life. I cook fresh meals 5-6 times a week instead of feeding my family fast food or pizza everyday. This is not to say that we don’t eat fast food or pizza on occasion. I try to make new variations of recipes most nights of the week. I use the crock pot once or twice a week and also make large quantities of dishes to freeze. I try to make the ordinary extraordinary. It is not usually fancy, just good comfort food that I try to keep as healthy as I can.

Tonight I made a version of pork chops in gravy.

This is a simple pork chop recipe with a few variations to make it my own.

Continue reading Pork Chops simmered in a White Wine Mushroom Gravy served with Cheesy Grits