what’s for dinner?

i hadn’t posted in a few days, and i haven’t had a chance to finish the project i wanted to post — but i wanted to post SOMETHING! i’ve been doing SO good lately at keeping my blog fairly current. so tonite, i welcome you to the food “t.v.” show – {tami’s vittles!}

but first, a little background…

one of the best presents my mom ever gave me was her copy of the Fanny Farmer cookbook. she had written my name at the top of the cover page LONG before she actually gave me the book. i remember her using it often, and she had taped and written several of her favorite recipes in it. one of my favorites was her recipe for “goop”, a kind of homemade play-dough, we made TONS of that when i was growing up. another favorite was her pizza dough recipe, i remember her making a lot of pizzas for us too!

now i have to admit that in my old age here, i can’t actually remember if she gave me the cookbook when i moved out, or when i got married – i’m thinking it was when i moved out, but i’m sure when mom reads this she’ll let me know when it REALLY was! LOL!

we don’t have a lot of “family” items that have been handed down through the generations, just a few special ones. and this cookbook means a lot to me because mom had it first and USED it and added her own personal notes and favorite recipes to it. the cookbook is pretty beat up and doesn’t really look like much… the cover and some of the pages are stained, the book has pulled away from the spine and the covers have had to be taped together, but it’s STILL my favorite recipe book. i always reach for it first {and believe me, i HAVE a LOT of cookbooks to choose from!} AND, it’s the place that i write down all my special recipes, those that i made up myself and that turned out well. i’ll have to find another place to jot them down soon though, as i’m running out of room in my precious Fanny Farmer! i scanned the cover and a few pages of the cookbook so you could see what i was talking about!

[rockyou id=138939734&w=426&h=319]

i’m not sure where to scratch my next new recipe, there are only a few small, tiny spaces left unfilled. somehow, it just doesn’t seem the same to write them anywhere else. maybe i can add a few blank pages to the back, as the book has fallen apart again and needs to be put back together anyway! that sounds like a good idea.

i never really had any interest in cooking early on. i began experimenting after watching some cooking shows on KLRN – mostly jaques pepin, julia child and the frugal gourmet. i slowly built up my skills with some very nasty, not quite edible attempts, and worked my way up from there!

about 20 years ago {boy, that makes me REALLY sound old}, a co-worker mentioned how much it was going to cost to have his wedding catered, on implulse {i never was one to think before speaking} i blurted out that i could do it for half that! he was impulsive {translation – DUMB} enough to take me up on my offer, so without ANY catering experience whatsoever — i found myself catering a wedding ….. FOR FOUR HUNDRED PEOPLE! yep, you got that right 400! i was insane enough not to back out. i was doing the cooking in my mom’s kitchen, at at one point, i remember looking around at a veritable SEA of pastry puffs! i had to make about 650, some filled with chicken, some with shrimp, and some with cream! i haven’t been able to bring myself to make another one since! remarkably, the reception went pretty well, and the bride and groom were very happy. that led to other catering jobs, and i did several dozen weddings and events in the following years.

probably the ULTIMATE TEST of my cooking  skills came when i attempted to make Death By Chocolate for Rob when we were dating. he had been to the trellis restaurant in maryland, and had sampled it there. he brought the cookbook back for me and asked that i try to make it. so i did – 50 dollars, 10 pounds of chocolate and about 12 hours later – there it sat! the dessert is unbelievably complicated, and has numerous steps and “layers”, mousses, ganache, meringues, cake, brownie, you name it, and it’s probably IN there. BUT – i DID it! i made it, and rob loved it. i’ve never made another one since! rob brings ip up now and again, and maybe one day, i’ll make another one and surprise him!

so… now on to the “t.v.” portion of our “program”…

i’d like to share the last recipe i jotted down – the one that rob and the kiddos approved of, it’s not really anything fancy, just a semi-quick and fairly easy recipe:

“veal” parmesan

*4 boneless pork loin chops

* italian seasoned panko bread crumbs {it’s important to use the japanese style PANKO breadcrumbs, not regular breadcrumbs)

*2 eggs

* 1/4 c milk

*1 c flour

*salt and pepper

* olive oil

*parmesan cheese – grated


* 15 oz can diced tomatoes

* 2 T sugar

*2 t dried basil

* 1 t dried italian seasoning

* 1 c chicken stock


1) pound chops thin, then tenderize with a meat mallet {it works best if you place the meat between plastic wrap}, then season on both sides with salt and pepper.

2) dredge chops in flour to coat, shake off excess flour.

3) mix eggs and milk in a shallow bowl or pie pan, and pour breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl or pie pan.

4) dip chops first in milk and egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs. place breaded chops on a cookie sheet, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set coating.

5) pour enough oil in a large saute pan or iron skillet to coat the bottom, heat over medium high for 2 minutes to bring oil up to temp. {toss a few breadcrumbs into the oil to test, if they rise and sizzle, the oil is hot enough}

6) add chops, 1 or 2 at a time to pan, and cook over medium heat, turning once, til chops are golden brown on both sides. place chops back on cookie sheet, and cook at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through {time will depend on how thin you pounded the chops}

7) in the meantime, return pan to heat and deglaze with chicken stock {just add stock, then stir pan to get bits off bottom of pan}, then add tomatoes, sugar and spices and stir and cook until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. add salt and pepper to taste, then cook for 1 more minute.

8) place sauce on plate, then set chop on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

— serve with garlic bread and a nice green salad!

TRY at your own risk! i don’t really write recipes for a living, just for fun! LOL! but this one is pretty simple and pretty hard to mess up!

One thought on “what’s for dinner?

  1. What a wonderful treasure to have. My mom has something similar but she hasn’t given it to me yet. Not sure if she ever will. LOL.

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