Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cook It Up Cookbook Challenge - October Edition



I'm hooking up with Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking and Cook It Up: A Cookbook Challenge hosted by Trish Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity

This month was crazy somehow.  J was out of town through part of it, we were out of town, I had surgery, Paul had a handful of evening soccer games, Emma was very rarely home, and the Tornado had a couple of evening school events.  Needless to say that didn't make for much time to cook dinner.  When I was searching around my cookbook stash at the beginning of the month I knew I was going to need to a book that could deliver on quick - both in terms of prep and cleanup.  When I came to a couple of battered old cookbooks with those plastic comb bindings I knew I had found exactly what I needed!

When J and I got married I didn't cook.  Didn't know how and had no interest.  But the first summer we were married J ended up going on what was supposed to be a 4 day business trip that ended up stretching into about 3 weeks.  The fact that I, a college graduate, couldn't figure out how to cook a simple dinner all of a sudden seemed absolutely crazy and I decided to fix it.  That Christmas my grandmother gave me 4 cookbooks by Holly Clegg.  Her focus was on quick and healthy and everything I made out of the books was not only easy but it was GOOD!  But as time went on and I got a little more experienced I continued trying out new cookbooks and new trends and Holly's books drifted towards the back of the pile.

Now the 1 I ended using this month, Trim and Terrific American Classics was published in 1996 and is now out of print.  Given then age of the book you'd expect a lot of really dated ingredients but apparently Holly was into fresh ingredients before fresh was cool because everything is easy to find and there's not a can of cream of mushroom soup to be found!

Here's the recipe for the Smothered Pork Chops we had the other night:

1 onion, finely chopped (I used about half but really should have listened and used the whole onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon browning and seasoning sauce (never heard of this but found it by the Worcestershire sauce)

In a skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the pork chops and brown on both sides.  Add the water and bring to a simmer.  Dissolve the flour in the chicken broth and stir into the skillet.  Add the browning sauce to give the gravy a nice color.  Cook, covered, over low heat for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender - My pork chops were thin so it was more like 25 to 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings Calories per serving 192

I'm scared of gravy but this was everything a gravy should be - smooth, thick, flavorful, and amazing over mashed potatoes.  While this may not be the most impressive dish it was tasty and filling without being to heavy.

In addition to her regular healthy recipes she has books tailored to diabetic diets, those going through cancer treatment and even arthritis.  Her freezer friendly book offers tons of great family friendly recipes with instructions for cooking immediately or for freezing/thawing later.  She has a number of recipes you can try at her website - Holly Clegg.  If you're looking for healthy yet family friendly she's definitely one to check out!


20 comments:

  1. I like that some of her cookbooks use recipes with consideration to folks with diabetes and arthritis , you don't always find something like that.
    To be honest I had never heard of Holly Clegg. It's my day for the library so I will see what they have on hand for her cookbooks.

    Pork chops sound great!

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    1. I think she's fairly regional but I definitely think she deserves to be better known!

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  2. Well, I've never heard of browning and seasoning sauce or Holly Clegg... must do some investigating!

    October got away from me and I didn't mange to focus on any of my cookbooks. Fingers crossed for November...

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    1. She's fairly regional but I think she's worth knowing about! Time keeps getting away from me as well. A pause button would be lovely!

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  3. Yum and so cool that she uses fresh ingredients. This dish sounds like one my peeps would eat..LOL

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    1. My family is insanely picky but they eat most of her recipes. It doesn't feel like "health" food!

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  4. The pork chops sound yummy! I'm always scared to cook them because they dry out so easily (I seem to be better at the tenderloin), but the smothered onion topping helps that I'm sure!

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    1. I've made my share of dry pork chops! I think the fact that this summers in liquid for awhile helps with that.

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  5. Oh, I'll have to look for her cookbooks. I'm all about easy cooking!

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    1. She's worth trying if you can find her books!

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  6. Sounds yummy! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

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  7. This sounds like a nice weekday meal. I'll have to try it. Thanks!

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    1. We enjoyed it and it was nice to have a quick meal that didn't feel like one!

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  8. LOL scared of gravy. Been there. Yummy and filling is always good. Fancy is totally over rated ;)

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    1. It's one of those things that I'm scared to make! Not anymore though!

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  9. That sounds great. Love a simple recipe!

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    1. They were really good! I'm looking forward to making them again!

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