Friday, June 20, 2014

Food and More Food…Plus a Wish Come True!

While we’re not gourmet cooks, we do like to ‘play with’ different food combinations or iterations…based on recipes, leftovers and basic concepts.

Another breakfast for me…a leftover breaded pork cutlet topped with an easy over egg and a touch of Tabasco.  This is my kind of wake up food!

We bought some lavosh crackers from Costco.  One day when I was trying to figure out what to make for lunch, I decided to make Lavosh Pizza.  I covered the crackers with mozzarella, sharp cheddar and asiago cheese.  Then I applied cracked red peppercorns, garlic powder and an Italian spice mix.  Finally, I added some pre-packaged ‘real’ bacon bits and I put the crackers in the microwave on high for 1 minute.  As Guy Fieri would say…“Winner, winner, turkey dinner!”

Did you know that lavosh bread comes to us from Armenia?  Anglicized lavosh is also called lavash or cracker bread.  The bad news is that the large lavosh crackers that I used in this recipe were an opportunistic buy by Costco and they don’t normally carry them in stock.

This is Laurie’s dinner plate featuring a couple of my favorites and several items that she loves too.  Oven roasted potatoes, marinated mushrooms, sautéed squash and zucchini, pickled beets and a nice thick breaded baked boneless pork chop!  As for me…it’s all about the roasted potatoes and that pork chop… 

I saw a quiche recipe somewhere and I decided that I’d give it a try.  I tried to find the recipe that I based this creation on but despite looking through Laurie’s plethora of recipes and then after checking some of the blogs I follow…I couldn’t locate it and I gave up...

I started with a frozen pie crust.  I added lots of top notch mild sausage that I purchased at Benton’s Hams over on US Hwy. 411 in Madisonville.  As you can see, cheese…both sharp cheddar and asiago…was the next key ingredient.

FYI…Benton’s also sells fresh pork ribs, sirloin and ribeye steaks plus other items to walk-in customers.  We’ve never bought the ribs but we do buy the ribeye steaks fairly regularly.  They are very good…and they are much less expensive than any comparable steaks you can buy at the supermarket.  For more on Benton’s, just go to

Of course I added plenty of spices as well…cracked red peppers, garlic, onion flakes and black pepper.  Laurie added the parsley for color…
Then I encountered a little problem… As I recall the recipe called for evaporated milk…something that we didn’t have on hand.  I ended up substituting some half and half and a bit of 1% milk.  It ended up being too much ‘thin’ liquid…

The upshot was that we had to bake this quiche much longer than the original recipe called for…just to absorb and bake of the excess liquid.  Still, the finished product didn’t look too bad…

As you can see, we thought that our attempt at a quiche turned out alright.  It wasn’t as spicy as we would have like but it did eventually solidify and it was pretty tasty.  The leftovers provided me with a couple of satisfying lunches…

Well…with no large lavosh or lavash crackers to work with…and decent pizza hard to come by here in East Tennessee…I looked for another alternative.  I found these little pizza crusts in our local Food Lion.  Then I brushed the crusts with olive oil and applied ready to use pizza sauce to the 2 on the left.  Laurie wanted a true ‘white’ pizza so I left the sauce off the other one.
I tried different combinations of cheese, spices and meat on these 3 individual pizzas.  I covered the crusts with combinations of sharp cheddar, asiago, mozzarella and an Italian cheese mix.  I think that I even put a bit of goat cheese on one of them… Then I added the meat, using Genoa salami, pepperoni, and sausage. 

We were quite pleased with the finished results!  This made a nice dinner…with only about 12 minutes in the oven.  But…we’re still looking for those large lavosh crackers…

One of Laurie’s many wishes since we’ve moved to East Tennessee is that she could replace the old built in oven that came with the house.  Well…her wish finally came true! 

One day, as we were preparing for a wine tasting party, I looked over and noticed that the clock had gone out on the old oven.  Then we discovered that the control panel had ‘died’ and due to the age of the oven, replacement parts were no longer available.  From my miserly viewpoint, this was a ‘bummer’!!

Due to the restricted space available, we called our contractor for advice.  Dean Connaster stopped by measured the space and called his appliance store contact.  Much to Laurie’s delight a double oven, (at a good price), was the best choice for the space…replacing a small cramped oven and a microwave.  In the photo above, Dean’s subcontractor Terry…who also does a lot of maintenance work around our home…is busy enlarging the space just a little so everything would fit.

Laurie’s wish is complete!  She now has a brand new double oven.  I was very happy that Terry made it fit in the space.  I had envisioned a major reworking of our kitchen and cabinetry and my wallet was trembling in fear!  When we moved into our home we’d traded all of our packing materials and boxes with a neighbor who was moving.  In return, we’d obtained a wine cooler, a small refrigerator and…a microwave!  Consequently, at least I didn’t have to go out and buy a replacement for the one I lost…

Laurie’s already made some great baked pork chops in the new oven and when we have company, she’ll be able to bake different dishes at different temperatures at the same time…making her a happy woman. (Happy wife, happy life!)

Just click on any of the photos shown above in order to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I know Laurie must be thrilled with those pretty double ovens and whew, your wallet is safe. The ovens look very nice in your kitchen too. You guys sure eat well and how fortunate to live near Benton's.

  2. The new oven looks great and I'm sure you are now her hero. All of the meals look delicious and I think you will have to quit saying that pork steaks is all you can cook - inventing dishes makes you a real chef.

  3. The new oven looks awesome and you're both happy, way to go! I'm drooling over that pork cutlet with the egg, pure heaven! But, of course, I'd go for any of the food, it all is creative and looks delicious. I've never heard of lavosh bread and will check it out. GF would like it all too, I bet!

  4. I am so happy for Laurie. It is so nice to have a new oven. That is one good thing that came out of Hurricane Sandy for me; the oven. It really makes a difference.
    The quiche and pizza and breaded pork chops all look great.
    Blessings, Catherine

  5. Im happy by Laurie for the new oven!
    I need a new oven too and hubby promess me for Christmas times:)
    Would be lovely!
    Congrats to Laurie lol