Dinner at the Ritz?

During one of our “sister’s” weeks, I made a scrumptiously, delicious dinner. It consisted of baked acorn squash, sauteed Swiss chard, & a Texas-style marinated pork tenderloin.

We cut the acorn squash in half, coated the baking pan & edges of the squash with coconut oil – I think that it gives the squash a good flavor as it cooks. The squash is baked cut side down at 350degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes (depending on the size of the squash).


Swiss chard is a member of the spinach family but is much heavier leaf with much larger veins. In my opinion, the stem & stalk are the “best” part of the vegetable. Be sure to rinse the leaves & stalk to make sure that all dirt is removed.


I lay the leaves down with them folded together and cut out the largest part of the stalk. I cut the stalks into 2 or 3 inch pieces to cook. The stems take longer to cook so I cook them first. This vegetable can be cooked in any oil or fat that you choose. My preference is either bacon fat or butter.

Melt your fat & drop the stem pieces into it & cook until they are “fork-tender.” I take the folded leaves and cut them into about 1″ strips. I put them into the pan with the stems and cook them until they “wilt.”


I will post the recipe for the pork tenderloin marinade either in the comments section or in a separate posting. I marinated the tenderloins overnight so they would absorb the most from the liquid.?? They were cooked at 350 degrees for approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

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All said & done, we had a very delicious meal that the whole family could enjoy!



Please remember to laugh often, dance as if no one is watching, & sing as if no one is listening! Peace!


Cranberry Orange Stuffed Pork Chops

Finally, I have something to post without “coconut” in the title!

Ever since Deb fixed that luscious tenderloin when she was here last month, I have been looking for new things to try.  Easter week was the perfect opportunity to snap up some great deals on meat, including some gorgeous butterfly pork chops.

From there, it was just a matter of time in finding the right recipe, which is not easy in the cyber world where recipes exceed the millions.  I narrowed it down to a few contenders, and ultimately chose one from www.spcookiequeen.com .  Check out her website to see the original recipe, and all the other fabulous things she has available.

What made this the final winner? It was simple, used items I already had on hand, and would go from pan to dinner in under 30 minutes.  Now, that’s my kind of meal.

I realized even Jennifer would like this: you brown and bake the chops in one pan!

Cranberry-Orange Stuffed Pork Chops (an adapted recipe from spcookiequeen.com)

  • 4 Butterfly pork chops (split chicken breasts would also work)
  • 1 Cup sourdough bread crumbs (I used our weekly homemade bread)
  • 2 Tbls. dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbls. dried onions (although fresh is always best, this provides a lighter flavor)
  • 2 Tbls. coconut oil, melted
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one small orange
  • 1 Tbls. coconut oil (for cooking)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cranberries, onions, coconut oil, zest and juice. This can be made ahead and set in the refrigerator until time needed.


Heat a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet) with 1 Tbls. coconut oil.

Divide the filling among the pork chops.  Fold the chops to close them, then seal them with a toothpick.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.






Place the chops in the heated pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side.


Remove the skillet from the stovetop and place in the oven.  Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until done.  You may use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.


I served the chops with some fresh cut pineapple and fresh baby spinach lightly sauteed in coconut oil, olive oil, salt and pepper.


While the recipe was quite simple and quick to prepare, it tasted like I’d slaved for hours.  Gotta love that!

And, yet another bonus:  the stuffing would blend beautifully with chicken breast.  What more could you ask for?

Hope to see you at the table real soon!

Until next time,