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White Chicken Enchiladas

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The first 3-D movie that I remember seeing was Jaws 3-D, back in 1983.  It promised to be scarier, more gory and, in general, more over the top than the original due to the dramatic 3-D effects.  Of course, these effects were only visible when wearing those disposable cardboard 3-D glasses.  (Personally, I loved the 3-D glasses.  I probably even saved them and took them home.)

Nowadays, people have 3-D televisions in their home and some “fancy pants” theaters are on to 4-D movies.  I would expect to find an assortment of  3-D movies and equipment at an electronics or retail superstore, but at Johnnies?  While shopping, I found a product at Johnnies labeled 3-D, the  3-D break apart chicken steaks.  I was confused, it caught my attention.  Why would a food product contain 3-D in it’s description?  What was the connection, the reasoning, for the 3-D labeling?  I googled the product and came up with no explanation.   So, I developed my own conclusion……..this chicken must be better than the original.  Extra special, perhaps out of this world delicious.  A technological advancement  for the poultry world.

These  3-D break apart chicken steaks are essentially pre-shredded raw chicken, pressed together to form a patty or steak.  You cook or grill the chicken, fully frozen,  in a skillet at 350 degrees.  When the top side of the steak defrosts, you flip and begin to shred.   It’s almost magical to watch.  What starts as a patty ends as finely shredded chicken in a few minutes without much effort.  The chicken steaks are 4 oz. and sold frozen in packs of 10.  (The pressed patty is 4 oz, but when shredded I determined that one “chicken steak” yielded approximately 3/4 cup of shredded chicken.)

I have been drooling over a particular mouth watering recipe for chicken enchiladas.  I thought that this recipe would be the perfect opportunity to poll the test audience on this 3-D chicken.  Usually, I would cook and then shred the chicken myself, using breasts or boneless thighs, which costs me extra time.  By using the breakaway chicken, I probably cut 20-30 minutes off of my prep time.

I realize that this post sounds very technical.  In an attempt to impress you with my fabulous photography and editing skills, and to show you how this chicken simply “breaks away”, I have included pictures to further explain the cooking process.

Raw 4 oz. Chicken Steak, uncooked

Chicken Steak, cooked on one side and flipped

Almost completely cooked, beginning to shred

One chicken steak yielded 3/4 cup shredded chicken

Once your chicken is cooked, you can use it in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken.    (Just be sure to cook thoroughly before serving as it is raw chicken.)  The most obvious being Chicken Cheese Steaks, which would be super delicious and easy.

I, however, had something cheesier, creamier and more calorie packed in mind…..which leads us back to the chicken enchiladas.


White Chicken Enchiladas

Servings: 6

Start to Finish: about 1 hour

3-4 break apart chicken “steaks” cooked, shredded

2 cups chicken broth

1 T. oil

cooking spray

corn tortillas

1 large onion, diced

(2) 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 cup sour cream

2 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 T. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry tortillas a few seconds until soft, no longer than 20 seconds.  Do not allow to become crisp.  Place tortillas on paper towels to drain.

Heat 1 T. oil in separate skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for a few minutes, until softened.  Add chicken, half of the green chilies and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Stir together.  Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir.   Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot.  Remove from heat.

In a large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour.  Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute.  Slowly pour in 1  1/2 cups chicken broth and whisk frequently.  Cook for another minute or two, until slightly thickened.  Stir in the other half of the chilies.  Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream.  Add 1  1/2 cups grated cheese, stirring to melt.  Ad 1/2 teaspoon paprika.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Pour some of the cheese sauce mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Assemble enchiladas: Spoon chicken on tortillas, one by one.  Top with remaining shredded cheese and roll up.  Place (seam side down) in casserole dish.  Pour remaining cheese mixture over the tortillas.  Top with extra cheese, if you’re feeling crazy, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I loved using the breakaway chicken!  It really is a time saver and the chicken comes out perfectly shredded.  The chicken is not heavily seasoned, making it perfect to use in any chicken recipe.  Remember, you can add favorite seasonings and toppings while the chicken is cooking.  Maybe the  3-D isn’t so much in the mild flavor, but in the special (cooking) effects.  I have never seen anything like this product.  It was like conducting a scientific experiment.

Johnnies also carries a break apart beef steak as well.  I intend to give these a try, they would be great to use for cheese steaks or even fajitas or tacos.

Put a Little Spice in Your Life….

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February is universally known as “The Month of Love”.  Valentine’s Day is February 14, and on this day millions will exchange cards, send flowers and present wrapped sparkly gifts to show love to their Valentines.  Supposedly, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so I thought I’d get creative in the kitchen.  I knew that I could find some recipes and ingredients that would “spice things up a bit”.

Johnnies carries Franks RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce and it came highly recommended.  This product is so versatile that you can use it for anything and everything.  I became obsessed about finding different ways to use this sauce.  I would love to say that I found 101 ways to use Franks Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce, but I settled for 10 instead.  Recipes for dips, meatballs, wings, shrimp, ribs, turkey, burgers, chicken, salads and even dessert.  I pulled all of the recipes (except for the frosting) from Frank’s very own website,  Some (of the recipes) are predictable.  Some are a bit more unconventional.  All of them require 15 minutes or less to prepare.  (not including cooking times….)  Johnnies carries a super size 64 oz. bottle of Franks RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce, so I had enough sauce to try several of the recipes below.

Here we go, hopefully you will find one or two to try.


1 cup  FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce
8 ozs  Cream Cheese
cut raw vegetables or tortilla chips to dip

PUT Cream cheese in shallow soup bowl.  POUR  FRANK’S RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce over.  Serve with veggies or chips.


3/4 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 cup FRANKS RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce
36 (1 inch) frozen meatballs

COMBINE barbecue sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce in large skillet. Heat to a boil.  STIR in meatballs. Simmer, covered, about 10 min. until meatballs are heated through. Stir often.

Tip: This recipe can easily be doubled and heated in a slow cooker for a party buffet.


2 1/2 lbs. chicken wing pieces
3/4 cup FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce

BAKE wings in foil-lined pan at 500 °F on lowest oven rack for 20 to 25 min. until crispy, turning once.  TOSS wings in sauce to coat.

Alternate Cooking Directions: Deep-fry at 375°F for 10 min.
Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 min., turning once.
Grill over medium heat 20 to 25 min., turning often.


1/3 cup FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. grated peeled ginger
1 1/4 lbs. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 cup chopped green, red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion

HEAT Sweet Chili Sauce, oil, garlic and ginger in medium skillet. Cook over high heat until sauce is bubbly.  ADD shrimp, bell peppers and onion.
STIR-FRY about 3 min. until shrimp turn pink and coat with sauce.  SERVE over rice, if desired.


2 full racks pork spareribs, trimmed (about 6 lbs.)
1/4 cup prepared seasoned spice rub for ribs
1/2 cup FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

TO COOK RIBS: prepare grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (250°F). Sprinkle ribs with spice rub. Place ribs on rib rack or in foil pan. Cook on covered grill 2 1/2 to 3 hours until very tender.

MIX Sweet Chili Sauce and barbecue sauce.
BASTE ribs with sweet chili mixture during last 15 min. of cooking. If desired, grill ribs over direct heat at end of cooking to char slightly.

To ensure that ribs will be very tender, score membrane on underside of ribs with sharp knife.
Bake the ribs at 250°F for 3 hours or until very tender. Baste with sauce during last 15 min. of baking.

Note: Indirect Grill Method – Set drip pan filled halfway with water under grilling rack. Arrange coals around drip pan. Place food on rack over drip pan. Cover grill. If using a gas grill, turn gas off under drip pan.


1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 tbsp. oil, divided
1 tsp. each minced ginger and garlic
1 tbsp. minced oinon
1 cup FRANK’S REDHOT Sweet Chili Sauce
1 to 2 heads bibb lettuce, pulled apart to make 12 lettuce cups

PREPARE filling: brown turkey in 1/2 tbsp. oil in large skillet until cooked through. Transfer to bowl.  SAUTE ginger, garlic and onion in remaining oil until soft and lightly golden.  ADD Sweet Chili Sauce and cooked turkey to skillet. Simmer 5 min.  SERVE filling in lettuce cups, spooning about 1/4 cup filling into each cup.

Jazz it up, sprinkle the lettuce cups with one of the following garnishes: sliced red onion, cilantro leaves, scallions, chopped peanuts, julienne carrots, or bean sprouts.  Serve with extra Sweet Chili Sauce for drizzling.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup FRANK’S REDHOT Sweet Chili Sauce
6 (4 oz.) ground beef patties
6 large Kaiser or hamburger rolls, split and toasted

MIX mayonnaise with Sweet Chili Sauce; set aside.  GRILL or broil patties about 10 min. for medium rare.
SERVE burgers on rolls with lettuce and tomatoes. Spoon Sweet Chili Mayo on burgers before covering with top half of rolls.


1 cup honey barbecue sauce
1/3 cup any flavor FRANK’S RED HOT  sweet chili Sauce
3 to 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces

MIX barbecue sauce and Frank’s RedHot Sauce. Reserve 2/3 cup to serve on the side.  GRILL chicken over medium direct heat for 45 min., turning pieces occasionally.  BASTE chicken with remaining 2/3 cup of the barbecue sauce mixture. Cook 15 min. longer until no longer pink near bone. Serve reserved sauce on the side.


1 lb. boneless sirloin steak
1 (5 oz.) pkg. mixed salad greens
3 cups assorted cut-up vegetables such as red bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup Asian sesame salad dressing
1/4 cup FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce

GRILL steak over medium-high for 8 min. per side for medium-rare or to desired doneness. Set aside.
PREPARE salad: toss salad greens, red pepper, carrots, cucumber and red onion in large bowl with salad dressing.
THINLY slice steak and toss with FRANK’S RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce. Arrange salad on four serving plates and top each with a portion of steak.

10) Dessert

Finding a “spicy” dessert idea proved more difficult.  Frank didn’t have any easy answers for me, but as I love chocolate and I love cupcakes, I decided to attempt a new cupcake creation.  (maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of CupCake Wars….)  What resulted was a Dark Chocolate Cupcake with a Sweet Chili Cream Cheese Frosting.  I simply added the Sweet Chili Sauce to my buttercream frosting.  For those who were brave enough to give them a try, they were a surprising success.  

Sweet Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups confectioners sugar

(1) 8oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frank’s RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce

Sift together the cinnamon with the confectioner’s sugar.  Beat in the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Mix in vanilla.  Add the Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce to taste.  (I think I added about a 1/2 cup.)  Spread on cooled cupcakes of your choice.  (I used a devil’s food cake mix)

Please, let us know what you tried and how you liked it!  And if you have your own recipe using Franks RED HOT Sweet Chili Sauce, send it to us!  We would love to hear from you.

Rice with Shrimp

By RecipesNo Comments

Two years ago, we took a family vacation to Costa Rica.  It was the first time our children had been outside of the country, and it was a thrilling adventure from start to finish.  Driving a rental car through the jungles and towns of Costa Rica can adventurous, but we also tried some really unique experiences like off-road ATVing and Zip Lining 600+  feet above the forest floor!

Arenal Volcano, November 2010

We brought back lots of photos, souvenirs and memories…..anything to remember the time well spent in this beautiful country.

When traveling out of your comfort zone, you often find yourself “forced” to try different and unusual foods.  For some, this is the reason they travel.  For others, this is the reason they don’t.  We enjoyed lots of fantastic foods (as well as one meal that I prefer to forget).  After returning home, I started looking for a recipe of a dish that we ordered several times on our vacation, Arroz con Camarones.  Rice with Shrimp.  It was simple and it was something that we really enjoyed.  It was another way to bring the memories of our trip home.

I recommend using Johnnies’ Wild Texas Shrimp.  You will notice that the bag is labeled I.Q.F. (individually quick frozen) Shrimp.  The shrimp are separate and loose in the bag, as opposed to being frozen in one solid block, allowing you to thaw the exact amount needed.  For this recipe, use half of the bag.

(An additional note, this shrimp is not peeled or cleaned, so allow time for this process.)

Costa Rican Rice with Shrimp

Time: 1 hour start to finish

Servings: 4-5 (next time I need to make a double batch, ’cause we love it!!)

1 lb. of frozen shrimp, peeled and cleaned

1  1/2 cups of uncooked rice

2 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/3 cup chopped carrots

2 cups of water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon turmeric (key ingredient)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil and then add the turmeric.  Next, add the onions and garlic, cooking them until they are tender.  Immediately add the chopped tomatoes, red pepper and carrots.  Saute for 10 minutes.

Next add the shrimp, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 more minutes.

Add the rice, water and parsley, bringing it to a boil.  When the level of the liquid is just below that of the rice, lower the heat to a simmer.  Cover this and let it cook for 20  minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Going “Hawg Wild”

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The Christmas Season has come and gone, quickly.  As always, it was magical.  A brief pause to celebrate life’s blessings.  But this year, the star of the show wasn’t the 6 dozen homemade cookies I shouldn’t have eaten.  It wasn’t the children waking up at the crack of dawn excited that Christmas had finally arrived, and it wasn’t the angelic voices of the choir as they sang our favorite carols on Christmas Eve.

The star……of the Christmas Eve buffet was the (Farmland) Hawg Wild Pork Wings.


Of course it was my mother who introduced these treats to us on Christmas Eve.  And, I witnessed children, young and old, coming for seconds and thirds to try this new finger-licking delicacy.  The wings are 4 oz. of pure pork delight.  Meatier than their poultry counterparts, they are fully cooked and sold frozen.  (approximately 12 pieces per bag)

The only downside to these “dawgs” is…. that there is no downside.  There’s no recipe to follow, no secret ingredient to guard.  If you’re looking for a “time consuming, slave in the kitchen all day kind of pork”, keep looking.  These dawgs only need to be coated with your favorite bar-b-que sauce and reheated.  Reheating can happen in a deep fryer, on the grill or in your oven.  We chose to use the oven and they were ready in no time, and perfectly tender.  It doesn’t get any easier than that.

These “Dawgs” will be the hit of your next party (Super Bowl, perhaps?), but I also think they would be perfect for a family dinner night, especially when you’re short on time.  Just throw in some Colossal Fries or Mashed Potatoes and you’ve got yourself meal.


*If you’ve never tried Johnnies Colossal French Fries, then stop what you’re doing and run (as fast as you can) to Johnnies.  These oven baked fries are amazing!!



The Great Chili Cookoff

By RecipesNo Comments

With cold weather in the forecast, I’m suddenly craving a big, bowl of chili.  Why is it that when it gets cold outside , we get Chili on our minds?  (Or maybe it’s just me?)  That’s kind of ironic, we eat chili when it turns chilly?  Chili is the perfect compliment to watching football on Sunday afternoons….or watching the snow fall.

Johnnies carries a pre-cooked ground beef product, something I’ve never even thought about buying before.  But, it saves some time, and since the meat is pre-cooked, there is less mess and no excess fat to drain.  (For those watching their fat or cholesterol intake, this beef contains no more than 20% fat.)  Sold frozen, in 5 lb. bags, it’s perfect when cooking for large groups.  I made a big pot of this Chili over the weekend and got rave reviews.  (Even a vegetarian gave it a “thumbs up!)

This recipe does require a bit more cooking time than my previous recipes, and perhaps some additional cooking skills, but sometimes you have the time.  You could probably toss everything together in a crock pot or slow cooker and let it cook on low all day.

Maybe you have your very own award winning, top secret recipe for Chili?  Maybe not.  This one has some unique ingredients that work surprisingly well together.


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Number of Servings: 8

1 and 1/2 – 2 lbs. of Johnnies pre-cooked ground beef

1 (14.5 oz) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice

1 (12 oz.) can or bottle of beer

1 cup of strong brewed coffee

2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste

1 (14 oz.) can beef broth

1/4 cup chili powder

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon each: oregano, cayenne pepper, salt

optional:  2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans

Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot and place the pot over medium heat.  cook and stir the onions and garlic until tender and/or translucent.  Pour in the ground beef, tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and broth.  Season with chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, cayenne and salt.  (If adding beans, add  at this time.)  

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.


Christmas is less than two weeks away!!  If you’re still searching for that perfect present or need some things to fill their stockings, don’t forget that Johnnies has a large selection of chocolates and candies.  Candy canes, Swedish fish, chocolate covered pretzels…..We’ve got it.

Hoping your holiday season and the New Year are filled with much joy, happiness and success.

Buffalo Sliders….or not

By RecipesNo Comments

I’ve finally pulled myself away from the dinner table.  After several days of holiday dining, the last thing I should be thinking about is food, especially turkey.   With leftovers, I’ve certainly had my fill.  But with a family of tweens and teens, family meals don’t stop. And while some people are heading out to hunt down their buck.  I’d rather just head out to the store and pick up exactly what I need.  Which for now, is Chicken.

We eat a lot of chicken in our house, usually two “family” meals a week.  Johnnies offers a great, easy to use, poultry product.  Tyson raw boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Sold in 5 lb. bags, the chicken (breast) fillets are individually frozen, making it convenient to cook only the amount necessary.  No need to thaw the entire pack.  They are also available in 3 different sizes.  (4 oz., 5 oz. or 6oz.)  And, since it’s Johnnies, you can be sure the price is right.  For a 5 lb. bag of 5 oz. breasts, the cost breakdown was $3.33/pound.  That’s Johnnies everyday price, no bonus card or coupon needed.

One of our favorite chicken recipes is for Buffalo Sliders.  In the summer, we throw the chicken on the grill.  But, as colder weather settles in, I put the chicken on a baking sheet and bake in the oven.  Start to finish, straight from the freezer, is around 45 minutes.  I prefer this new method as the chicken remains juicy and tender.

Buffalo Sliders

(4) 5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

olive oil

granulated garlic

salt and pepper

3 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup hot sauce

Season the chicken breasts with olive oil, granulated garlic, salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet and cook thoroughly at 350 degrees.  (I threw my chicken in frozen and it was fully cooked in 45 minutes.)

While the chicken cooks, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce.  (You might want to taste the sauce before adding the chicken, as this sauce is a bit spicy.  Add more butter if it’s too hot for you to handle.)  Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and coat thoroughly.

We absolutely love this chicken, so this is where we stop.  But, the original recipe was for Buffalo Sliders.  If you wish, place the chicken on small slider rolls and top with lettuce, sour cream and/or blue cheese crumbles.  Either way, it is sure to become a family favorite.

Want to Get into the Holiday Spirit….Johnnies is currently accepting toys for Mont Alto Fire Company’s Christmas for Kids.  Toys will be accepted through Friday, December 9.

We ask that the donated toys are new.  In return for donating, Johnnies will give you a $5 gift card toward any Johnnies’ purchase.

Shortcuts to a Feast

By RecipesNo Comments
As we approach the Holiday Season, life seems to take off.  We’re busy shopping for the perfect gift and celebrating the season with friends and family.  Before we know it, we’ll be ringing in the new year.
Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away.  My mom is the “hostess with the mostest” in our family.  She spends hours prepping in the kitchen and we manage to sit down and clear our plates in less than hour.  If you are the chief cook and bottle washer in your family, you might appreciate a few shortcuts.  Something that will satisfy the masses and still allow you a chance to kick up your feet and relax for a minute or two.
I went to Johnnies in search of time saving, quality products.  As my mom prepares many items from scratch, I knew I needed to find items not only quick to prepare, but superior in taste as well.
Here’s what I found.
Chef Pierre Traditional Pumpkin Pie (Unbaked)
This is a 10 inch pie available pre-baked or ready to bake. Johnnies has an extensive variety of desserts.  (Black Forest, Triple Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake….)  I choose something more traditional.  This pie baked while we ate.  It was delicious served with a bit of whipped cream on top. (ice cream might be even better!!)

Hanover Whole Bean Blend (frozen vegetables)
This bag of frozen veggies contains Green Beans, Golden Beans and Petite Whole Carrots and promises 11 servings.  (All for the bargain price of $3.40.)  I threw the veggies in some boiling water and they were ready in minutes.   We just added a dash of salt and pepper and a bit of butter and they were good to go.  A quality product for an unbelievably great price.

Idahoan Real Mashed Potatoes
16 servings per 13 oz. bag
I added boiling water to the mix and stirred until ready.  Very simple.  (I bet you could even try adding milk for a creamier texture.)  The critics were skeptical about these potatoes, but even my daughter asked for seconds.  This was the biggest time saver.  No boiling the potatoes.  No beaters to clean.  No last minute scramble to whip the potatoes.  Plus, the price is right again.  $3.00 for a bag with 16 servings!!

Vanee Ready to Use Roasted Turkey Gravy (50 oz. can)

Ready made turkey gravy, from the can to the table.  Just heat and serve.  Tasty, and even better when served with those leftovers.  Think hot turkey sandwiches with gravy, my husband’s favorite.

Pigs in a Blanket
I know this is not something one would normally find on their Thanksgiving table.  But, it would be ideal for a holiday party or a cocktail party. Who doesn’t love pigs in a blanket?  These franks are already wrapped, just pop in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown.  You can’t go wrong.  They were gone in minutes.  These little piggies come in two sizes, suitable for a small family gathering or a larger, more grand affair.

Make a trip to Johnnies to take advantage of these time saving shortcuts, and don’t forget your coupon.

Mushroom Pork Tenderloin

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Sometimes I forget about pork, the other white meat.  I think I tend to forget about it because it’s hit or miss for me.  You see, Pork and I have this love-hate relationship.  (I’m willing to take all the responsibility for this quarrel.  It’s a meat that I tend to overcook.)  As a result, I’m always searching for a new and exciting, “can’t mess up”, top notch recipe for pork.  With the right recipe, pork will knock my socks off.  I love when it’s been cooked to perfection, full of flavor and deliciously tender.  But, 9 times out of ten, I’ve cooked it dry and we chew and we chew and we chew….everyone instead commenting on the taste, not the chewy texture.

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon this recipe for a Mushroom Pork Tenderloin.  The interesting part is that this recipe takes the cooking stove top, something I’d never tried before with Pork.  And the end result is a mild flavored, tender dish.  That’s my kind of pork.

Mushroom Pork Tenderloin

Servings: 3

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes


1 lb. Center Cut Pork Loin Filet

1 clove garlic, minced


2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onions

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

salt and pepper to taste

water, as needed, for cooking

1 Tablespoon flour

3/4 cup cold water

Rub pork on all sides with garlic, then sprinkle with paprika.  In a large skillet, brown the pork in butter.  Add the mushrooms, onions, lemon juice, marjoram, salt and pepper.  Turn meat to coat with seasonings.  Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes adding water when/if needed.  (or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees  and juices run clear)  Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and cold water until smooth.  Stir into the pan juices.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Slice the pork and serve with gravy.

Johnnies carries frozen Center Cut Pork Loin Filets in a variety of sizes.  I was able to find a 2 lb. filet, perfect for our family of 4, with a few leftovers.  (If you are using a larger portion of pork, you might want to cut it into two smaller pieces to be sure the entire cut remains tender.) While you’re at Johnnies, check out their selection of spices.  Everything is sold in bulk sizes, this saves  running out of your favorite seasoning. And, in case you missed it, you now have a printable coupon to use ($5.00 off your purchase of $25.00 or more….)   You might as well look around a bit and stock up for the holidays.

Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp

By RecipesOne Comment
When I think about Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp, I can’t help but think about Scampi, Scampi, Scampi.  (Obviously I’ve been listening to the Johnnies commercials?!)
Shrimp used to scare me.  Actually, I used to be afraid of all seafood.  And certain wild game, stinky cheese and, the worst of all, green veggies.  I was a picky eater.  Thank goodness I grew out of that.   But anyway….. I think most people like shrimp and many more love shrimp.
It’s an item most often reserved for restaurants menus and special occasions.  But shrimp is so easy to prepare.  Why save it only for special times?
One of my favorite shrimp entrees to serve and eat is Shrimp Scampi.
When you see smell someone order Shrimp Scampi, you can’t resist being lured in.  It’s the perfect blend of butter, garlic, butter, pasta and…..more butter.  And the presentation, so elegant, when in actuality, it’s a meal that can be thrown together in minutes.
I have  tweaked and combined several awesome scampi recipes to come up with this one that I want to share with you.
Shrimp Scampi
Prep time and cook time: 15 minutes
(doesn’t include time needed to peel shrimp!)
Servings: 6

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
½ of medium onion, diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 lb. of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
8 oz. angel hair pasta
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, just until onions are translucent.  Add shrimp and saute, turning once, until just cooked through.  (about 2 minutes)  Add wine, hot pepper flakes, lemon, salt and pepper.  Stir and reduce heat to low.
Boil water for pasta.  Cook pasta until just done.  Drain.
Remove skillet from heat.  Add pasta and toss.  Top with grated parmesan and parsley.

*Just in case you have already have a “to die for” scampi recipe, I’m including this recipe for a tasty shrimp appetizer.
Spicy Marinated Shrimp

½ cup olive oil
1 (or 2) Tablespoons Cajun or Creole Seasoning
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, shelled

Combine first 7 ingredients in baking dish.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake until shrimp are cooked through, stirring occasionally.  (about 10 minutes)

I bought a 2lb. bag of  Wild Texas Shrimp at Johnnies that I used for both recipes.  I prefer to buy the whole raw shrimp and peel myself, but Johnnies offers a variety of sizes, preferences (peeled vs. whole) and prices to suit your individual needs and preferences.

Braised Beef Brisket

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Fall is coming.  I can feel it in the air.  Summer is over and school is back in session.  For me, it’s back to a routine.  A busy routine filled with homework and sporting events.  But even with all of our busy schedules, I feel it’s important to make time for family meals.   I like to believe that our lives are improved by these casual dinners.   Our relationships strengthened by the gathering together of families.  It’s a chance to wind down and share the highs and lows or our day.

When in reality, my kids are over the moon when we hit the drive-thru on the way home from a night jammed too full of activities and carpooling to cook at home. And, realistically most people don’t have the time or the desire to whip up something from scratch. (And, with kids, it’s not always easy to please everyone anyway.)
But there are times when a certain recipe is worth the time. It’s worth the effort, it can be the occasion.  There are even fabulous meals with virtually no prep involved.
One such magical product is a beef brisket.  A brisket is a wonderful piece of meat. It doesn’t require a lot of tedious prep or fancy footwork. If you are patient and allow the meat to slow cook, the end result will be purely delightful.  Upon completion, the meat should fall apart and simply melt in your mouth.

But, to make it even easier, you can use a precooked brisket.  It eliminates the cooking time for you and allows you to simply look as if you’ve spent the day in the kitchen.  This brisket is so easy, you can opt to reheat in the microwave it or “boil it in the bag.”

My family loves this “recipe” and they beg and plead with me to “make”  it again….and again.   Johnnies carries various sizes of braised beef brisket, so it’s easy enough to find a size to suit your family unit.  It’s ready and waiting, practically begging you to take it home. (And guess what, this week it’s on sale!!)

(Pre-cooked) Braised Beef Brisket
Sizes available  from 2-5 lbs. (I used a 3 lb. brisket for my family of 4 and had plenty of leftovers)

Combine ingredients and place in a large roasting pan, crock pot, or microwave.  (make sure to include all of the liquid goodies sealed up with the meat….)  Cover with foil and reheat in 300 degree oven.  (Unless of course you decided to microwave.  Then, no foil!)    My 3 lb. brisket took about an hour to fully reheat. Brisket will be fork tender when finished.   It was also tender enough to pull apart, if preferred.  Serve with cooking liquid.