Baked Pork Chops with Sauerkraut and Smashed Acorn Squash

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Pork chops and sauerkraut is a very popular dish in my region, so most people grow up with it and are able to make it. The smashed squash is something I just came up with by taking inspiration from mashed potatoes while also having many winter squash that are getting very close to over ripe. This meal is easy to make and just needs a little work to make a filling dish! This recipe makes 3 adult sized servings.

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What You Will Need

  • 2 Bone-in Pork Chops, about 1 inch thick
  • Sauerkraut
  • 1 Acorn Squash, Halved and Cored
  • 2 Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 2 Casserole Dishes

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line both casserole dishes with aluminum foil. Spray one pan with non-stick spray, and place squash and potatoes in that dish. Add to oven. Place Pork Chops on second pan, and add to oven 10 minutes after squash. Bake pork chops for 25 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 400 F. Line both casserole dishes with aluminum foil. Spray one pan with non-stick spray, and place squash and potatoes in that dish. Add to oven. Place Pork Chops on second pan, and add to oven 10 minutes after squash. Bake pork chops for 25 minutes.

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Smash Burgers with Quick Fondant Potatoes and Acorn Squash

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Smash burgers are a classic form of burger that doesn’t need any altering. You simply form balls, place them onto a hot skillet or flat top, smash them thin with your spatula, then season with salt and pepper and cook one minute per side. These burgers are always delicious and are super easy to make. You can also make a lot with only a little bit of meat, which is another huge plus! Beyond that, I also made fondant potatoes and squash to go with these burgers. Fondant potatoes usually take a while to make since you cut your potatoes into large patties then cook them covered for almost an hour. This recipe makes it all so much easier, and adds a different flavor and texture with added squash. The savory broth adds amazing flavor to these potatoes and makes fondant potatoes one of my very favorite forms of potatoes. We also served this meal with a side of sliced dill pickles, and they were delicious! This recipe makes 8 burgers, which is 8 adult servings, and 5 servings of the fondant potato and squash side.

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What You Will Need

  • 4 Potatoes, Peeled and Roughly Cubed
  • 1/2 Acorn Squash, Cored, Peeled, and Cubed
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Lb Burger
  • 2 Tbsp A1
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sliced Onion, Ketchup, Mustard, and A1 to Serve
  • 8 Burger Buns
  • 2 Large Frying Pans

Directions

1. Place potatoes and squash in one frying pan. Add oil and place over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly. Begin heating second frying pan over medium heat.

2. Mix together Burger and A1 in a medium bowl. Form into 8 equal sized patties. Add broth to potatoes and squash, and boil until most/all liquid is gone.

3. Begin by adding 2 balls of meat into second pan, and smash into a very thin patty. Add salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, then flip. Salt and pepper the second side, cook for another minute, then remove patties from heat and place on serving plate. Repeat for remaining burgers.

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Garden Planning 2021

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I’ve been planning my 2021 garden since fall and have altered the plans several times. It’s important to keep a record of your plans, and I so far have 5 sketches for my 2021 garden dating back to September. This year will be my second year with a garden, and I’m planning for a 3 season garden. This means I have plans for all seasons, Spring, Summer, and Fall, and plans on what goes well together and what will go in once one stops producing. With this planning also comes many decisions. I have decided to start everything from seeds except what doesn’t use seed. I have also decided to use two new small raised beds and to use two more fabric pots than last year, however since I flipped the beds this fall, I only have one of the five bags I need filled. I’ll also be figuring out how to fill them early this spring. The soil is very compact here and not very fertile. We do have a compost bin, but it is much too small to be a hot pile, so though there is some dirt at the bottom, it will take a very very long time before I’ll get any significant compost from it.

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The Plans

As I mentioned these plans have changed and evolved over time. The first things I did when planning my garden were to make a list of all the vegetables we eat a lot of and we feel would be a fun challenge for the next year. I also sketched out a layout for the garden. Then I began to place the plants I really wanted into the sketch accounting for plant spacing. Then, when you get to your last few plants you have to make the decision of what you want to plant this year. Take into account, how much you currently have stored, how often you eat it, and if you will have the means to store certain vegetables over an extended period of time.

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Once your vegetables are picked, you can tweak your plans over the span of a few weeks. However, when you finally are set on what you plan to grow, be sure to order seeds! Seeds are in a higher demand than normal and it could take a while to get seeds or for them to come back in stock. Beyond that, it will just be deciding when you can plant things, and what can be planted once one plant is ready to be pulled. For example, I already have my garlic in the ground and it came up before the hard freeze came, so I know that will be planted until late July when it will be time to harvest. After that, I will plant beets. I denoted that by a “/” on my sketch. I have several other plants I will be doing that with, I plant to plant Peas, once it gets warm, pull the peas and plant green beans, then come August/September, I’ll be able to plant a second planting of peas. I’ll be doing the same thing with my second new bed, but with two plantings of broccoli and one planting of cabbage. I also Plant to plant potatoes once the ground is warm, and once they are harvested, I will be planting Spinach in the fall. I am in zone 6A, so my timeline will likely be different than yours, however I hope you were able to get some helpful information.

Some possible questions you may have, I’ll try and answer before hand, but feel free to ask any questions you might have down in the comments. I’ll just hop into it. The circles not within a rectangle/square are my fabric pots. I plan to plant one with horseradish, two with sweet potatoes, and two with potatoes and spinach. The rectangles on the left side of the page are 4ft x 8ft beds that are 12 inches deep. These are the beds I started with last year. The square beds on the right of the page will be 4 ft x 4 ft beds, though they have not been constructed yet. There is also a possibility for another 4 ft x 8 ft bed for onions, but that will only happen if the cost of lumber comes down significantly before May. Most people in my area have a consensus not to plant anything in the ground before Memorial Day, however, plants like peas and broccoli are very cold hardy, so their spring planting will probably go into the ground beginning to mid-May. The picture above of dates and veggies underneath will be the days I will have to start my plants inside. For them, I will probably be starting them at the end of the time frame, just so they don’t get too big, if I do have to wait until mid- or late May before planting. What else… I will be planting two rows of tomatoes, and I’ll be doing one variety per row. I will also be planting both banana peppers and bell peppers in my pepper row. I have tons on Marigold seeds, so I’ll be starting them in every flower bed around my house, and I also learned to get them in the ground super early, or they won’t sprout. I learned the same with dill last year.

That’s all I can think to clarify. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading!

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Vegetable Venison Soup

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Vegetable venison soup is a vegetable soup with some meat to make it a hearty meal. This soup is not a side dish, but the center of a meal. Healthy and tasty, this recipe is a great use of any leftover veggies you may have. When I made this soup, I used venison slices. Though the venison tasted fantastic, it was hard to eat in bigger slices, but dice into bite-sized pieced before cooking or before transferring to the soup. Otherwise, this soup tastes more of vegetables and less of meat making the dish a light and filling meal. This recipe made 5 adult sized portions.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Tbsp Butter/Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Celery
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Carrot
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Onion
  • 1 1/2 Cup Diced Potatoes
  • 5 Beef Bouillon Cubes, or equivalent
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cut Broccoli
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cut Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
  • 1 lb. Diced Venison
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce, to Taste
  • Large Dutch Oven
  • Large Frying Pan
  • Cutting Board and knife

Directions

1. Start by placing the dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil, celery, carrots, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add 5 Cups water and all bouillon cubes. Add Potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat.

2. Set frying pan over medium high heat. Once pan is hot, add venison. Stir frequently and cook for 5 minutes until everything is fully cooked. De-glaze pan with 1 cup of water then add meat and water to vegetable soup base. Return to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender and everything is hot. Add worcestershire sauce to taste, then plate and serve.

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Christmas Dinner 2020

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I really enjoy getting gifts for others, and I enjoy Christmas dinner. Ham is one of my favorite foods and so I always make a ham for Christmas and Easter. My Easter dinner also looks identical to my Christmas dinner. Since it’s been a weird year, I will be celebrating Christmas with my husband’s nuclear family, and won’t be able to make my standard dinner on Christmas afternoon. So, I decided to make my Christmas dinner last night!

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I always make the same things for holidays. For Christmas I always make a cooked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, a canned veggie, crescent rolls, and the star of the meal is always deviled eggs. Many of these foods are standard. I enjoy my ham with a brown sugar glaze and some pineapple on top (even if it does nothing for the flavor). Mashed potatoes are standard, and my gravy I made from this year’s turkey stock, and just added 3 Tbsp corn starch to thicken. Sweet potato casserole is just opening a can and a bag of marshmallows at this point. And finally, the original part of the meal is deviled eggs. I find eggs to go so good with ham, and deviled eggs are a tasty treat anyway! Mayo, mustard, and egg make a tasty appetizer and side! To cook this dinner, it only took 1.5 hours. My ham was cooked, so I just had to reheat. I then peeled and diced the potatoes, and started them boiling 40 minutes before the ham was done. I heated the gravy on the stove and once thick, would pull it off the heat when it’d boil, and I also started boiling a can of sliced carrots about 20 minutes from serving. I placed my crescents on a baking sheet and started them 14 minutes from completion, and I baked the sweet potato casserole with 7 minutes left. With about 5 minutes left I strained the potatoes and finished them with just enough time for everything else to finish.

I hope this give you some ideas and instruction for your Christmas dinner! Merry Christmas!

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To see recipes for what I make, you can click a link below!

Click here to see my recipe for Cooked Ham!

Click here to see my recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!

Click here to see my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and Honey Roasted Beets!

Click here to see my recipe for Deviled Eggs!

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