Super Moist Pork Chops and Mushroom Sauce


I found myself in the kitchen on New Years Eve.  I spent the afternoon and into the night baking and cooking.  Here is a recipe I found online.  Honestly, I tried to find it again and could not.  I cannot take credit for it as someone else already posted it, however it goes as follows…

Ingredients 4-8 pork chops

26 ounce can of Cream of Mushroom soup (or two 10 ounce cans)

2 cups milk

1 cup water


olive oil

bay leaf (optional)

In a large skillet, brown for five minutes per side.  In a large mixing bowl, pour in 2 cups of milk, one cup of water and a large can of Cream of Mushroom soup (26 ounces). Preheat oven to 350. Once each pork chop has browned for 5 minutes per side in a pat of butter and olive oil, add them all to a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Add a bay leaf or two and pour the milk,water, soup mixture onto of the pork chops.  Place them uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  The last 10 minutes add some slices of mushrooms and continue baking until complete.

WHen you take them out of the oven, allow them to set and cool slightly.  I placed these on a bed of rice and had a side of Jim Lane mashed potatoes and black eyed peas.

Today, I used the left over sauce for dipping my stuffed rolls (see previous post).


Make It Fun!

God Bless.

Super Fantastic Stuffed Rolls


I have been inside.  For a while inside my own head, but lately in the kitchen.   It has been a mild winter.  I remember growing up, there was a white Christmas every year.  Now before you chime in that it is due to global warming and all that other jazz, it was because we visited my grandparents in a different state; One that is quite accustomed to receiving snow every year.

I surfed the web looking for fun things to make.  I visited the local grocer and picked up a few veggies that I typically do not cook.  I picked up green cabbage, red cabbage, and leeks among others.

For this blog, I will share some super fantastic stuffed rolls.  I find it interesting that we label food as “German, Chinese, Mexican, etc”.  For the most part, food is food, though it may be prepared or cooked differently in different regions of the world, or even avoided due to beliefs or preferrences.  In Afghanistan, I had some of the tastiest kabobs and falafels. In the US we also have kabobs as do other countries, though food tends to be affiliated with particular regions of the world.

This particular recipe may be more German in origin though when I looked up steamed rolls, there was some slight variation.  I modified these even more.

I shall give credit to for the original recipe though as stated, I did modify it.  Here is the link to the original recipe.


I spent New Years eve in the kitchen working on this and then again today, I added a few more things to stuff the rolls.  Ready?  Here we go.

First, prepare your dough.  This takes the longest to make, so while the dough is rising, you can prep the other ingredients.  Second, thaw the meat. The original recipe called for ground beef however I preferred to add ground chicken.  If you have a food processor or grinder it may speed up the prep time.  I chose to purchase already ground chicken though you could grind your own.  In the food processor, I shredded half a green and half a red cabbage and carrots. I minced some garlic and a very small amount of red onion (VERY SMALL AMOUNT).

Total Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients needed:

4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast (or if you have it in a jar, follow the label.  Mine was 2 1/4 teaspoons to equal one packet)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

4 cups cabbage, cut fine
1/2 cup onion, cut fine (I used possibly 1 teaspoon of onion, just enough for flavor)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb hamburger (I used chicken instead)
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper (optional) (not added)


1     DOUGH: In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast.
2     In a saucepan heat milk, sugar, butter and salt just till warm (115-120 degrees F) and butter is almost melted; stir constantly.
3     Add to flour mixture; add eggs.
4     Beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, then three minutes at high speed.

5     Stir in as much remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.

6     Turn out onto a floured surface.
7     Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).
8     Shape into a ball, and place in a greased bowl; turn once.
9     Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 hour).
10   Punch down and cover; let rest 10 minutes.

11   FILLING: In a large frying pan, cook the cabbage and carrots together until the cabbage is completely softened and golden.
12   This process can be hastened by adding a half-cup of water (or so) and covering the pan, but eventually cook all the liquid off before proceeding.
13     Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, if desired.  I used adobo seasoning, a crack of black pepper and tiny amount of sea salt
14     In a separate pan, brown the hamburger and add the garlic and onions.
15     Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, if desired.
16     Mix the cabbage/carrots with the hamburger thoroughly. ( I just spooned in each ingredient separately into the roll)
17     You may complete this part of the recipe in advance,refrigerating until needed, or just before you are ready to assemble the rolls.

ASSEMBLY: Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and a thickness of about 1/4 inch. ( I found this to take too much time.  I pinched off a portion of dough, flattened it in my hand, worked it out thinning and pulling in all directions like in a pizza shop then stuffed the rolls)  Sure, mine don’t look cook book picture perfect, though the taste was fantastic.
18   Cut into squares of 3 inches by 3 or 4 inches by 4.
19   By the spoonful, place some filling mixture into the center of each square, apportioning all of the mixture among the squares.
20   For each, bring the two opposite corner ends of the dough square up to meet one another, then do the same with remaining ends and pinch them (all 4) together with your fingers.
21   You will see that you now have open slits along the diagnals; pinch these together as well, making a seam of each.
22   Water on your fingertips will facilitate them staying”glued” together.
23   The end product should be a square with a seam running from each corner to the center where all four are joined.
24   Set the squares on a baking sheet (if you had trouble keeping the seams closed, you can flip them over so that the seams are against the baking sheet, thereby keeping all the filling in place and making a nicer presentation).
25   Let raise 30 minutes.  ( I totally missed this step.  I filled them and put them in the oven)
26   Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 °F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
27 Brush on a small amount of melted butter and sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt on the top of each roll.

Enjoy!!!    For other fillings, I used the following in different rolls:  macaroni and cheese, chicken and rice, chicken/rice/cheese/veggies

On New Years Eve, my wife and I sat up all night and dipped these rolls (the original recipe) into a mushroom gravy (see next post).  WOW, the combo was overwhelmingly amazing.  Even the kids loved it.

Again, I give credit to for this though with most things, tinker with the recipe and make it your own.  It was really tasty.

Make It Fun!

God Bless.



I completed my first triathlon a few weeks ago. After several near death experiences in Afghanistan in 2012, I made up my mind to train for triathlons after seeing a dust covered triathlon magazine. I was still in the country when I happened upon it. Afghanistan was dry and dusty and the magazine really motivated me, taking my mind off the negative things and providing hope for the future.

I tried training on my own for some time and my wife hired a coach for me. This has improved my overall fitness and kept me accountable. It is too easy to not push myself or to say, “I will do that later”. Having someone I am accountable to has made a huge difference.

I stood on the white powdery sandy beach of Florida, looking out at the beautiful ocean. The early morning waves were gently rolling in to shore as the sun broke over the horizon. I looked out at the sea of people with different colored swim caps, most of which were still standing on the beach and many were looking stressed or concerned. Maybe it was pre-race jitters. My wife held my hand and asked if I was nervous. I drew in a deep breath from the sea air and smiled. “No, I actually am not nervous”. I looked around and enjoyed the moment. I’ve exited many different types of aircraft to be met by gravity and the feeling of relief when my parachute opened above me. I’ve had all manner of rockets and mortars explode near me. Even my vehicle was destroyed by a roadside bomb while I was inside. This day, I was not nervous. My family was with me and in a matter of minutes, I would find myself swimming in the open ocean, trotting up on the shore to straddle my bike and zoom around. I coasted the streets, thanking the police for coming out to block traffic and keep us safe. I encouraged others by saying “good job” as I passed them and more frequently when others passed me. After turning my bike back in at the transition point, I looked down at the ground and saw I did not need to take anything with me. I began to run. At first, my hips felt awkward but with each step I became faster. Still, on the run I would encourage people. I continued to get faster and I thought of my coach encouraging me to sprint the last three minutes. I found myself sprinting the last half mile, faster and faster, arms pumping and legs like a piston. I crossed the finish line to see my smiling wife.

I didn’t even notice the person handing out finisher medals. I ran right past him/her. I knew I had completed my first triathlon and was happy.

Make It Fun!
God Bless.