All posts by Dave


I was planning on just doing some simple pork chops tonight, but while wandering around the grocery store today, I came up with other ideas.


I took the pork chops and pounded the hell out of them until they were nice and flat. I dusted them with flour, dunked them in egg, then coated them with panko bread crumbs. Those got deep-fried in a cast-iron skillet in canola oil at around 350°. When they were done, I let them drain on a wire rack over paper towel, then sliced them up and served them over some instant yakisoba noodles and mixed veggies. All three kids ate them up!


This was a request from Kirsten and is one of Alton Brown’s recipes. They’re not particularly difficult to make, but they are a bit time-consuming to fold them all up.

Potstickers at the Ready

The tricky part as well is getting the right amount of filling in each one. Too much, and it oozes out the side when you seal them up. I have a round plastic half-teaspoon measure that I used. From the picture, I got 46 potstickers made, with was the number of wontons on the package, I still had some filling left over, so I packaged that up for another purpose.

At this point, I guess you could just put the pans in the freezer, then bag them up if you want to make them another day. Instead, I just put a damp towel over them to keep them from drying out so I could use them later.

Now for the fun part:

Cooking them also takes a bit of time, as you can only do a handful at a time. I had the oven set as low as it could go and dumped the finished ones into a serving bowl in the oven to keep them warm.

Once they were done, I served them on noodles with stir-fry veggies.



Per request from Thing One, tonight was enchilada night. It was a pretty simple recipe to put together and I got her to help roll them up as well. Since nobody would have eaten them if they were too spicy, I left out the chipotles, although I did cut up one to add into some “special” ones which I marked with toothpicks after I rolled them up. Those tasted nice and smoky and weren’t too hot, although it still probably would have been too much for the kids.

Chicken Enchiladas

Also, the stewed tomatoes were a little too big coming out of the can, so I used my food chopper right in the pan after cooking to cut them down a bit.

Everyone liked them, although Kirsten thought they could have used a little less sauce.


My Cub Scout pack had its Blue and Gold banquet the other day, and I was tasked with making cupcakes for dessert. With plenty of time available, I wanted to do something a little nicer than just cupcakes out of a box, so I used a recipe that used boxed cake mix as a starter, but with some additions.

Cub Scout Cupcakes

Here’s what I did:

Cake ingredients
• 1 box of white cake mix
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/3 cups water
• 3/8 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup sour cream
• 4 large egg whites

Frosting ingredients
• 1 cup shortening
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons almond extract

Cupcake instructions:
Preheat oven to 375° for at least fifteen minutes.

Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and blend with a hand mixer on medium speed for two minutes.

Spoon batter into cupcake cups. I use a spring-loaded disher and put 3 tablespoons into each, which fills them a little over half full.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool in the pans for about five minutes, then remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Frosting instructions:
Place shortening and softened butter in mixing bowl. Whip until completely blended. Add the salt.

Slowly add powdered sugar in small increments until all is incorporated. After the first 3 cups have been added, add the almond extract.

If you want to color the frosting, use the gel coloring (you can find it at Hobby Lobby, of all places!), not the liquid kind you find in the baking aisle at the grocery store as that will make the frosting too liquid before the color gets deep enough.

This makes enough for 24-36 cupcakes, depending on how much batter you use for each.

Lasagna Rolls

Since Kirsten had her class last night, we didn’t have much of a Valentine’s Day dinner, so I decided to do something a little nicer for tonight. Lasagna sounded nice, but I went a little more “fun” and did Lasagna Rolls instead.

Chicken Lasagna Rolls

They’re a little more putzy to put together because you have to roll them up individually rather than just layer everything up. Also, they’re chicken instead of ground beef, so I guess that makes them healthier. Everyone liked them except for Thing Three who suddenly decided that he didn’t like the red sauce mixed up with the chicken. Oh well.

Chili Dogs

Kirsten is away at a class this evening, I was out much of the day running errands, and Things One and Two had piano lessons after school, so I needed something quick for dinner. I went for something that I’ve never actually made here at home: Chili Dogs. I figured the two boys would probably chicken out and just have plain hot dogs (and I was right), but Thing One and I would feast on what we usually only would ever eat at Great America.

Chili Dog

Not a whole heck of a lot going on here… I heated up a can of no-beans Hormel chili on the stove, heated up some cheese sauce and the hot dogs in the microwave, and diced up part of a small onion for myself. Voila! If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the sound of roller coasters…

Orzo Carbonara

I wanted to make a pasta dish, but I also wanted to do something new rather than just spaghetti and sauce. I’ve always seen orzo in the store and I finally remembered to look up a recipe so I could try it out. I settled on Orzo Carbonara.

Orzo Carbonara

Pretty easy to put together, plus it has bacon in it, so it’s got to be good! Even Thing Two, who normally won’t eat pasta unless it has red sauce liked it. Funny, because this is essentially pasta with some cheese which is pretty close to the macaroni and cheese that he wouldn’t touch. Oy.