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Stuffed Artichokes.

How excited are you for Friday trivia tomorrow? I got 3 more questions comin’ at ya!

 

 

Have you ever had stuffed artichokes?

 

 

I never had. Not until 2003.

 

 

And for the record, I ate them at an ex-boyfriend’s house on most holidays. Yep, I said it.

 

 

The relationship didn’t stick, but the artichokes sure did. I think my husband is happy on both accounts.

 

 

 

My mom had never had them, and I didn’t know anyone who had. Sad to say, I am not very cultured. Unless you consider never leaving home and being afraid to use public restrooms cultured.

 

 

A few years ago I created this ‘stuffing’ for the artichokes, after learning how to prepare them first.

 

 

 

If you are looking for a recipe that does not include butter, oil or cheese – you have come to the wrong place, my friend. But I hope you’ll stay. 🙂

 

 

 

I bought this 4 pack of artichokes from Trader Joe’s for $3.99. Talk about a deal.

 

 

In my grocery store, they are $2.50 a piece. Not that this matters, because I think money grows on trees I love them so much that I am willing to pay $5.00 for artichokes and $7.00 for avocados. I have no idea where all of my money is going.

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These are beauties. ‘Round these parts you don’t see such elegant artichokes.

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You’d think I lived in a remote area of town. I don’t. 

 

 

 

I do this one of two ways. This time, I cut the top off of the artichoke before boiling.

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Sometimes I do it after. I believe after is the best way, in order to keep the artichoke from browing. But I have never had that problem, so I do it my way.

I am such a rebel.

 

 

 

The prickly leaves should be trimmed off.

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Unless you enjoy cuts on your tongue and cheek.

 

 

 

Hey, some people do. You may like that kinda’ thing.

I’m not judging.

 

 

 

You can see I was practicing my karate chopping skills and took off a huge hunkin’ chunk of the bottom left artichoke.

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Don’t do that. Please don’t follow my lead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I let them drain for about 5-10 minutes. It can be done longer, but I am extremely impatient.

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Chances are, those that know me and are reading are thinking ‘No! She is definitely not impatient at all.’

 

 

 

 

I have talked about panko before. I adore panko. My lobster mac adores panko.

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You should, too. It is nice.

 

 

 

This is how I created the stuffing for the artichokes.

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Otherwise known as – a myocardial infarction in a saucepan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The panko and cheese create an incredible stuffing.

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Toasted, cheesy, and crispy – yet soft. Remember that time I wished I could eat breading as a meal? This is one of those times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artichokes need to be reallllly pulled apart to get the stuffing inside.

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Do you think I didn’t take a couple spoonfuls for myself?

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You don’t even know me.

 

 

 

If you really knew me, you’d know I ate quarter-cupfuls of the mix.

 

 

 

Isn’t this incredible?

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I dumped a bit of water in the bottom of my small baking dish. I love the ‘casserole dishes for two.’ I have one from pampered chef.

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Unfortunately, a casserole that can actually fit in the ‘casserole dish for two,’ only feeds me. And then, I need to make a dish for my husband in a ‘casserole dish for six.’ That should satisfy him.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the stuffed, baked artichokes.

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If you are not familar with eating the ‘meat’ from the leaves, you simply pluck a leaf, and scrape from the top down with your teeth. Buttery, toasted, cheesy stuffing included.

 

 

 

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Stuffed Artichokes

4 artichokes

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

3 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut stems off of artichokes. Place upside down in a large pot and fill with water. Boil for 20 minutes. Artichokes should be submerged in water, so you may need to place a bowl or other object on top.

Remove artichokes from pot. Let drain upside down for 10 minutes. Cut off the top 1/2-1 inch of artichoke. Trim remaining leaf tips if sharp. 

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/8 cup butter. Add chopped garlic, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and any other fresh herbs or seasons you desire. Stir until mixture comes together. It will most likely be dry, so add the remaining oil and butter. Add in the parmesan cheese, a squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juiced, and stir until lightly golden brown.

Pull apart artichoke leaves and spoon mixture evenly inside. Place artichokes in a baking dish and add 1 inch of water to the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Place foil over the artichokes and bake another 25 minutes. 

Serve with clarified butter and a dish to discard leaves.

 

 

 

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Remember when I made Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi’s??

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinde from Gluten Free Taste of Home made Gluten Free Pumpkin Gnocchi’s for all of you gluten-free peeps out there. Check out her site, and try out her recipe!

 

 

 

Also, a HUGE shout out to Seth from Boy Meets Food for spending alot of time with me yesterday regarding my wordpress issues.

 

 

 

 

And if you are craving more buttery, sugary goodness, follow How Sweet It Is on Twitter and Facebook.

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(I’m having some wordpress formatting issues (spacing between photos and lines) that no one has been able to figure out – I apologize if the formatting of this post is goofy!)


I think the title says it all, but could there be a more fabulous combination?

 

 

Well, assuming you like pears. And figs. And gorgonzola.

 

A lot of people are not fond of all 3 said foods.  Maybe I should stop while I’m ahead. 

 

 

I LOVE pears, figs, and am more than passionate about gorgonzola. 

 

 

You may be thinking ‘is there a food she does not like?’

Why, yes. Yes, there is.

 

 

It would be vegetables. 

All vegetables. Except for corn. Which is, like, a fake vegetable.

 

 

 

This was one of the juiciest pears I have found in a long time.

 

 

I chopped it up, snuck multiple bites, pouted because I couldn’t just eat the entire thing, the threw it in a small dish with some sugar and cinnamon.

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Crumbled gorgonzola.

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I could eat this as my entree and dessert. Who am I kidding? I already do.

 

 

 

 

One of my most favorite foods on the planet.

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Fresh, juicy figs.

I also enjoy dried figs. I don’t discriminate.

 

 

 

 

The incredible fig spread I bought last week at Whole Paycheck Foods.

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The pear, figs, and gorgonzola went into a ramekin.

I only added the figs and gorgonzola once the pears were roasted, and allowed it to roast for 5 more minutes.

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Truth be told, it really could be eaten like this. The juiciness of the roasted pears combined with the soft, pungent gorgonzola creates a world of flavor.

 

 

But as much as I love it alone, I love my pants tightening around my waist more, and added some flaky empty-calorie-filled puffed pastry.

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I know you think I’m joking.

I’m not.

 

 

Just call me by my new nickname – ’puffy pastry’.

 

 

Serve it with fresh figs.

And crispy, flaky layers topped with fig spread.

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Roasted Pear, Figs and Gorgonzola Puffed Pastry

1 large bartlett pear

3 fresh turkish figs

2 tablespoons gorgonzola

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon fig preserves

1 sheet Pillsbury puffed pastry.

Preheat oven to 400.

Thaw puffed pastry according to directions. Once thawed, place in oven and cook according to directions – about 15 minutes. Once cooled, slice pastry into squares.

Chop up pear and place in ramekin. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Chop figs into quaters. Once you remove the roasted pear from the oven, cover with chopped figs and gorgonzola. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Spread fig preserves on 1 side of 2 puffed pastry squares. On a third square, spread both sides with fig preserves. Assemble one square on plate, fig preserves-side up. Place spoonful of pear, fig and gorgonzola mixture in middle of square. Top with 2-spread-sided square. Place on another spoonful of pear mixture. Top with 3rd puffed pastry square, fig preserves-side down.

Serve with fresh figs.

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I am slowly increasing pants sizes…

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…one cup of gorgonzola…

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…at a time.

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Do you know any good personal trainers?

 

 

Oh wait. I am one.

 

 

The gravy stain on my shirt and popped-off buttons caused me to forget.

 

 

I am staging a gorgonzola-free intervention. With myself.

 

 

And my pants.

(Become a How Sweet fan on Facebook!)

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Asiago Breaded Pork Chops.

 

Although I have been suffering from an aversion to meat this year, I have been craving pork. Tenderloin, chops and pulled (my ultimate fave!) – you just can’t go wrong!

 

 

This is another dish my mom made often – and still does. We never got sick of it because it is THAT good.

 

You need 4 boneless pork chops.

 

 

 

4 thin, boneless pork chops. THIN makes all the difference. (Doesn’t it though?)

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Trim off all of the fat.

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This is something I have to do because if I see or bite into (blech!) the tiniest piece of fat, gristle, vein, muscle, etc, I’m done. No more meat for me. It is one of the reasons I have a hard time eating the meat I prepare, because I see everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenderize the pork with a fork.

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The breading is a mixture of corn flakes and seasoned bread crumbs.

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Best. Breading. Ever.

 

 

Period.

 

 

 

This meal is very simple to prepare. Takes less than 15 minutes!

 

 

 

 

There are only 2 steps before it hits the skillet:

 

 

1. Dip and soak the chop in some milk for about a minute.

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2. Then press the chop into the bread crumb mixture.

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Pan-fry to seal in the juices and the outside coating .

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Now for the best part. Asiago.

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One of my most favorite cheeses.

 

Which doesn’t say much since I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. But if you have never tried asiago (in ways other than a light sprinkling on your spaghetti) you are missing out!

 

 

 

 

Top each chop with a small handful of cheese. Lots o’ rhymes going on today.

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It was a ‘2-handful’ day.

 

 

I also add a bit of chicken stock into the skillet to keep the chops moist as they bake. Pork chops are known to come out dry, but I promise if you try them this way, they will be super moist.

 

 

 

 

Take cover before hittin’ the oven!

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Ohhh I can taste it now…

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These are tender, juicy, cheesey and every other word that would fall in those categories.

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You know what else is awesome? Making a gravy using the bits left in the pan and serving it with mashed potatoes. It’s da’ bomb.

 

 

 

Who even talks like that? I’m so embarrassing.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the breading is my favorite part.

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I wish breading was considered a meal. A healthy meal, even. Served daily.

Like ‘honey, I’m home! Can we have breading for dinner?’

I would totally eat that.

 

 

 

 

You can’t say no to this.

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Asiago Breaded Pork Chops

4 thin, boneless pork chops

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup milk

1/2 cup Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup asiago cheese, grated or crumbled

 

Preheat oven to 325.

Trim fat off of pork chops and tenderize with a fork.  Heat skillet on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. In separate bowls, pour milk into one, then breadcrumbs and corn flakes into other.

Dip chop in milk and let soak for about a minute. Dip in bread crumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Add to skillet and let cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until breading is golden brown.

Take off heat and add 1 cup chicken stock to skillet. Also add 1/4 cup asiago cheese on top of each chop.

Cover and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes. Make sure the chops do not dry out. If the skillet becomes dry, add more chicken stock.

 

 

 

 

Serve with some of that delicious homeade applesauce I’ve seen floating around blogworld.

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Anyone want to give me a good recipe for it?

 

Please try these. And be happy. Forever.

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