Microwave Artichokes with Herb Sauce

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Spane really likes artichoke heart salad, so I thought it was times for him to try a real artichoke. Problem is A) I don’t have a large pot and B) I really don’t want to heat up my kitchen putting something on the stove top to cook for that length of time. What to do?

Well, microwave it, of course! I prepare my artichokes as I would for normal steaming by cutting the tips off the outer leaves, and actually taking about an inch off the top to make a nice presentation. I removed the stem to cook in the water. Then they’re ready for their quick trip in the microwave, followed by the refreshing cold of the refrigerator, and waiting to be presented at the dinner table with some nice herb dipping sauce.

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Cheesy Potatoes

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I have been making this recipe for a holidays for quite a long time, and even made it for Ascencia when I was Guest Chef at Mother’s Day. I have pictures of it, but not of its preparation. So, I am putting it in again, and it’s changed just a little bit, for the better, of course.

I don’t usually use canned soup, but this is the exception. The original recipe calls for Cream of Mushroom soup, but Cream of Potato soup is much better. The original recipe also calls for hashed brown potatoes, but, I think the Southern cut frozen potatoes are better as well.

This is a very simple dish to make, and I always get raves when I make it. It makes a lot, and can easily be doubled or even tripled if you have a lot of people to feed.

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Barbecue Feast – Asian Pork Chops, Fillet Mignon and Barbecued Baked Potatoes

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barbecued Asian pork chops

Barbecued Asian Pork Chops

A funny story here. My friend Amber and her husband, Stevie went to the local Home Depot some time in 2010, and I was looking at Weber barbecues. The last one I had got toppled by a BVM Sister – the Sister was not hurt, but the Weber was a goner. The Weber at the Home Depot was on sale, and Stevie said I should get it, and I could keep it their house until Spane and I found a place with a yard. Stevie has one of those big drum barbecues, and he barbecues enough for a few days on that grill, so he likes to use mine for smaller meals. I get to “borrow” my barbecue about once a year. We’re good friends, and we laugh about this all the time.

So, tonight I decided to do kind of like Stevie does. I cooked a few things on the barbecue so I won’t have to cook tomorrow. I grilled a fillet mignon, bake potatoes wrapped in foil, and the Asian pork chops.

Amber came by tonight and shared our dinner. The Asian pork chops were moist, tender and full of flavor. The steaks with their blue cheese were just fine, accompanied by the wonderfully smoky baked potatoes and balsamic grilled vegetables. It was a great dinner to share with a very good friend.

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