Defeat Garden

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

It is very hot today.  As I type (at 7:00 pm) it is still 100 degrees!  And while, yes, that kind of temperature is normal in my state during the summer, it’s normally not quite this hot until the end of July or into August.  That said, I’ll try not to complain too much more about the heat 🙂

I didn’t really make a recipe today so much as cooked some food.  But, my family all liked it, so I thought I’d share it with you.


It’s pork chops (cut in half) with mashed cauliflower and the reduced marinade.  Simple, really, and all doable on the stovetop.

My friend who’s been watching my kids for me for the last couple of weeks gave me a bunch of marinades that she had because her silly boyfriend doesn’t like to experiment with seasonings/spices/herbs.  So I’ve been taking advantage of the ready-made marinades.  I’ve decided that I should really do some of that on my own, because the man, the girl and the boy have really liked it both times so far that I’ve made them!

All I did was throw the marinade in a bag with some water and olive oil, then tossed the pork chops in for about 15 minutes.  Tonight it was a chipotle marinade, and last time it was a fajita seasoning.  I’m also looking forward to trying the tequila flavored one… 🙂

While that was sitting, I chopped up a head of cauliflower and boiled it on the stove.

When I started cooking the pork chops, I put the rest of the marinade in a small saucepan and boiled it for about 10 minutes.  I drained the cauliflower and then mashed it with about 3 T of butter, some salt & pepper, and a little garlic powder (because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to actually peel and chop the garlic).  Spoon some of the marinade on top of the cauliflower and some on top of your meat, and:

Voila!  Dinner is served!

So, not really a recipe, but a good, fairly quick, and healthy dinner.

Now to sit back and relax indoors in our lovely air conditioned house 🙂

And check out this amazing idea for a sandwich that I found earlier today:

Definitely a new blog for me to follow 🙂


I’ve been so horrible about updating this blog.  I blame it on the fact that I normally make the same recipes over and over.  In fact, I just made one tonight that I posted waaay back at the beginning!  So I think I may try to re-vamp the blog into more of a weekly update rather than a recipe only blog.  Although it will probably still be mostly about food.  That is mostly what I think about every week! 

We’ve been working on our garage for the last week or so.  OK, I admit it, it’s mostly been the man working on the garage.

However, I have been helping a bit.  And running all over town picking up supplies and such.  So I am helping 🙂  I even lifted (part of) a full siding box!  (I am nowhere near strong enough to lift a full one – those suckers are heavy!)

This is the best before picture I have:

And here is how it looks tonight (we’re so close to being done, I can almost…um…taste it!):

So I haven’t really been cooking much.  Although I did make a side of asparagus on Wednesday evening that my Dad (who was helping with said garage) was pretty impressed with.  I thought that was funny, because I was just being lazy with it…just an onion sauteed in butter with chopped up asparagus.

I am going to try a new asparagus recipe this week, though.  I was at Trader Joe’s and saw a mixture of asparagus, red onion, and mushrooms.  I was going to buy it, but then realized that I could probably get twice a much for the same price if I just bought the ingredients and made it myself.  And besides, I’m kind of getting tired of takeout.  So I’m going to make that some night this week.  Then I’ll try to post it on here!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a picture of the girl’s breakfast earlier this week.  She said it was too pretty not to take a picture of:

Classic peanut butter and banana tortilla roll-up – with a 10-year-old twist 🙂

Yum.  That is all I have to say right now!  We just finished supper, and it was delicious!

Interested?  Read on, my friends!

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Wow, this was delicious!  I was in the mood to make a new dish this week, and even though I didn’t really feel like cooking tonight, I pulled this one together pretty quickly.

I’m not really sure where I got the recipe from, but I think it was from an old Rachel Ray magazine.  I cut out recipes when I see something that looks good, but then forget to mark where I got them from!  I’ll give you the recipe I have and put my changes in parenthesis.

4 large fennel bulbs – quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced (I used 2 rather large fennel bulbs, but I had to go out of my way to get them – the fennel at the store I went to this weekend were small and rather sickly looking…)

2 cups dried cranberries (I did not use this much!  Maybe 3/4 or 1 cup)

2 cups pecan pieces, toasted (I only used about 3/4 cup, and I didn’t take the time to toast them)

1 bunch parsley leaves (I cheated and used dried!)

1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1 T dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 2 T olive oil

salt and pepper

4 pieces sweet Italian sausage (except I had hot Italian sausage…whoops!)

*Combine the first five ingredients in a big bowl.  I got to use the slicer that my lovely sister bought me for a Christmas gift to do this.  Those things scare me!  The first time I ever had one, I was washing it before I used it, and I dropped it.  Silly me, I caught it…on my hand…and sliced myself pretty good.  I then threw it away and haven’t used one since!  But I managed, and it was actually pretty nice.  I was just very very careful 🙂

*Combine the vinegar, mustard, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a smaller bowl with salt & pepper to taste.

It looks kind of silly like this.  This is a pretty basic salad dressing, so if you ever want a nice light salad dressing, you can do this!

Cook the Italian sausage in a pan with the rest of the olive oil.  Cook it until it’s nice and browned on the sides.  I think that the next time I do this, I will slice the sausage before I cook it – it sure is easier to slice when it’s cold!

Once your sausage is cooked, combine the veggies with your dressing.

The boy helped me with this part – I told him to smile, and this is what I got:

I can’t decide if he was scared or just being silly 🙂

You can toss the sausage into the salad if you want, but we had ours on the side tonight.

Enjoy!  It’s got a nice light flavor that I think would be great for summer picnics.  Too bad it’s February!

Another delicious meal.  Although I can never seem to get it to turn out as well as my Grandmother’s roast.  There was just something about it!

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I have made this so many times, but I never realized it wasn’t on here!  I thought I should rectify that situation today.

Isn’t it beautiful?  🙂

It’s made out of 4 (well, 5) ingredients, so that qualifies it as easy enough for anyone to make, right?

1 head of cauliflower (or you could probably use a package of frozen)

1 pound sausage (I love it with spicy sausage, but the man likes it less spicy)

1 8 oz package of cream cheese

about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (I use half cheddar and half mozarella, but you can use any kind, they’re all good!)

Cut up the cauliflower (unless it’s already cut up), boil or steam it until it’s cooked through, then mash it (with a potato masher or fork – but much easier with a potato masher!) and mix in the cream cheese.  You can also do this step in the food processor.  This is a great way to fool your children (or other picky eaters) into thinking that they are eating mashed potatoes and then surprise them with the truth!

Cook the sausage through.

Shred your cheese (unless it’s already shredded 🙂 )

Now you layer it together – half the cauliflower mixture, half the sausage, half the cheese, and repeat

Bake it at 350 for half an hour, and it should be nice and browned on top and absolutely delicious!

Enjoy 🙂


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