So my Chicago sorella has been telling me I must try Pioneer Woman’s artichoke pasta, as well as her new potatoes and garlic heads in olive oil and wine. The potatoes are in the oven as we speak, but the artichoke pasta we made last week…


This is us getting ready to cook.


The pasta we used for the dinner.


Delicious garlic.


The onion.


These are the two cans of artichokes, tomatoes, and the garbanzo beans that we added for some protein.


We also added mushrooms because we love them, and because the boys weren’t eating with us, and because we could.


All sauteed together. Yum!


Adding the cream. Corelyn said, “Do you want to capture this moment?” And yes, I did, very much so.



We also had to add chicken broth. This lead to a soul searching dicussion about when we opened the said chicken broth. It took us nearly five minutes to recollect when it was opened.

We had opened it for the Crock Pot unveiling, Tuesday night, and this was Friday of the next week. This was 10 days since the open date.


As you can see, it needs to be used within 10 days. What ensued?

“Do you think that we can use it?” Jennie

“Umm…I think so. I don’t know. What do you think? I am sure it’s fine. It’s been 10 days.” Corelyn

“Ok. Well ok.” Jennie

10 minutes later…

“Hey, so did you decide to use the chicken broth?” Corelyn

“Oh, yea, it’s in there already.” Jennie

“Oh…ok.” Corelyn

Needless to say, we didn’t die.




Finished product.



This lasted us days, TWO days as leftovers. So good.

cutting squash

Corelyn and I got Kabocha Squash from the farmer’s market. We followed the directions on the sticker on the squash.




The inside looked liked other squashes we had seen, so we proceeded with glee and excitement.



We decided to keep the seeds to bake later.



Then we took the squash and stuck it in a pan.



These are our seeds. Corelyn is putting them out to dry.



We took this much butter (aka what was left in the stick in the fridge) and melted it.




Then we stuck the lightly buttered squash in the oven. We gave them about 25 minutes, and then Corelyn flipped them.





Meanwhile, our vat of Pasta sides was cooking. There were to be four of us, so we made three boxes with an eye towards leftovers. If we had made the sides according to directions, we would have needed 8 tablespoons of butter. We just used 2, instead.




Then we put some cinnamon on the buttered squash, and left them in the oven for another 25-30 minutes.




And of course, there was enough for leftovers after all.

Last week Jennie and I tried our hand at making pork chops. I don’t think either of us had ever cooked pork chops before, at least not on our own or outside the supervision of the “Shake n’ Bake” box directions. So we turned to Real Simple magazine and found this delicious looking recipe for cranberry stuffed pork chops with roasted carrots. YUM! So, here we go…

The task of purchasing said pork chops fell to me. From what I learned from liquid packaging solutions, is that pinker was better and there should be very little liquid in the packaging. Check!



MMM. Delicious looking raw meat. Well…Sorta.

I chopped some carrots while Jennie prepared the cranberry stuffing. It involved dried cranberries, apricot preserves and coriander. And it looked scrumptious…



Next, she cut pockets into the pork chops about 3 inches deep and stuffed with cranberry mixture. I did take pictures of that, but they all look like the raw chops are bleeding, so I’ll spare you those images. Next we fried both sides of the chops for about 3 minutes each side.


Then they went into the oven, along with the roasting carrots, for about 7 minutes. In the end, we actually gave them about 15 minutes, since our oven tends to under cook things.



IMG_0019Experimenting with new meat options is serious business…



While the pork and the veggies roasted in the oven, we decided to open a pomegranate, because it’s pomegranate season and we’re very excited about it!

The finished product was delicious, after we extended the cooking time of the pork chops by a few minutes…

IMG_0032And naturally, we added brussel sprouts, because we’re obsessed with them.


My sister reminded me this morning I neglected to review the dish. The overall feeling was that the chicken was delicious, but the veggies were mush, so I’d like to do those separate from now on. The chicken was NOT boiled tasting or “wet” but rather a perfect texture. And dinner was ready when we got home, which meant we had time, for once, to watch a movie!