Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Men and women are totally different.  I know you get that.  I thought I got it until this morning.  I heard a noise that woke me up.  I IMG_8114rlistened and I heard another “bump”.  I immediately woke up the Butcher.  I asked him if he heard the noise.  He said he had but he wasn’t concerned.  I was beyond concerned.  I was ready for action.  I told the Butcher to lock our bedroom door.  He looked at the clock and announced it was 6:00 and he was getting up.  I again told him to LOCK OUR BEDROOM DOOR!  He said he had to get dressed.  I again told him to “LOCK OUR BEDROOM DOOR!”  At that point he asked me how to lock the door.  He got dressed, stumbled out of the bedroom and shut and locked the door behind him.  I immediately got out of bed and opened the door.  If something happened to the Butcher I didn’t want to be locked in the bedroom by myself.  Well, the long and the short of it is, there was no one in our house and we were both safe.  We did have a great laugh over the incident.  If you can’t picture it then I apologize for taking up your time; However, if you do get it I hope it makes your day a little brighter.

Now, for a really simple, easy and delicious side dish.  These Garlic Smashed  potatoes can be dressed up or dressed down.  They will go with anything.  A definite favorite in our house.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

4 pounds of red skinned potatoes scrubbed and quartered
8 cloves of peeled garlic (you can cut back if you want–I love garlic)garlic smashed potatoes
6 TBLS of butter
1/3 cup of milk, or 1/3 cup of the potato water
salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes and garlic in a pan and cover them with water. Turn the burner on high. Bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Turn the burner to simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook for approximately 40 minutes. The potatoes and garlic should both be fork tender. Drain the potatoes and garlic. Leave a little of the potato water for mashing. Add the butter and use a hand masher to “smash” the potatoes and garlic. If necessary, add milk until potatoes are of the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. The use of the potato water will slightly intensify the taste of the garlic. If you are like me, the potatoes can not have too much garlic in them. This is a recipe that can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger dinner party. The proportions above will easily serve 10 people.  pork and garlic smashed potatoes

until next week…From our Butcher Block to your Table.



West Side Market

The Butcher and I went on a date/field trip yesterday to the West Side Market in Cleveland  This isIMG_8114r really a fun  place to visit.  It was a little cool yesterday–in the 20’s.  I thought it would be a great day to be inside the Market–how wrong I was! When you are inside the Market you are experiencing the temperature outside the Market. My feet were numb.  We know some of the vendors at the Market.  I was commenting on how cold it felt.   They told me I should have been there when the temperature was in the teens–I thought not!

The cold weather did not stop me from shopping.  I bought bunches of asparagus, seedless grapes, lettuce, peeled garlic, and yellow and orange peppers.  There were so many fruit and vegetable vendors I wasn’t sure where to spend my money. They had every fruit and vegetable imaginable.  I am not sure where they got such beautiful produce this time of the year, but you name it and they had it.   I also got some fantastic Pretzel Rolls.  When we got home, I took a Pretzel Roll and put two slices of Buffalo Wing Chicken Breast topped with 2 slices of Provolone Cheese on the roll.  I put this in the microwave for 60 seconds–the Butcher raved about this sandwich.  You would have thought I had  slaved for hours in a hot kitchen to come up with this creation.  Another great sandwich combination is smoked ham with Swiss Cheese.  These are simple and delicious.  On a cold day like this a cup of soup and a warm sandwich sounds very good.

We were also right by Progressive Field where the Indians will host their home opener on April the 4th.  When you look out the window and see snow flying it is hard to imagine baseball is just over a week away; Hopefully Mother Nature will be cooperating!

Keep warm!  Know that this snow is going to be giving way to Spring very soon.  Don’t anyone complain that it is too hot this summer.  I, for one, can not wait for the warm weather–the warmer the better!

Keep warm and until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.



White Chocolate Peanut Clusters

I want to share a real treasure that is right in our backyard.  C.J. Dannemiller has been in business since 1935.  You do the math–that’s a long time.  I stopped in on Saturday.  I got to talk to Jim Dannemiller.  I told him I wanted to make some white chocolate Mauri-1covered peanut clusters.  He directed me to the Roasted Spanish Peanuts with skins.  Of course I also bought cashews, peanuts in the shell, Deluxe Mixed nuts and raisins.  Their products are amazing and their prices will please you.

White Chocolate Peanut Clusters

1 pound of White Chocolate Discs (I use Merckens–they are easy to work with)
1 pound of Spanish nuts with skins

Note: If you prefer Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate simply substitute the preferred discs for the White Chocolate and follow the instructions below.

Put the White Chocolate Discs in a microwave proof bowl and heat on high for 60 seconds. Stir the discs and return to the photo (11)microwave. Heat at 30 second intervals until the White Chocolate is soft and will easily receive the Spanish nuts. Stir in the nuts. Take a spoon and scoop up the mixture and drop onto a waxed paper. Allow the candy to set up at room temperature. If you have 5 minutes you can make this dandy candy.

Be sure to stop by C. J. Dannemiller’s at 5300 S. Hametown Rd., Norton, Ohio 44203 330.825.7868   Tell Jim the Butcher’s Wife sent you.   They are great neighbors.

Until next time…From our Butcher’s Block to your (12)

Carrot Raisin Applesauce Muffins

This is a must if you want a healthy delicious breakfast. You can eat then leisurely or they are great to grab when you are on the go.Mauri-1 You can play around with this recipe.  I love carrot cake so this was a great choice for me.  Also, if you want to dress these up for evening you can use a cream cheese icing on them and they can be transformed into a delectable dessert.
Carrot Raisin Applesauce Muffins

5 carrots washed and trimmed
20 oz. pineapple chunks in natural juice
1 cup of water
2 Coconut flour (3 1/2 oz. each)
4 cups of oats
2 cups of natural applesauce
4 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons of vanillaphoto (9)
6 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 1/4 cup of dark raisins

Optional ingredients  1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, also you can eliminate the coconut flour and increase oats to 5 cups.

If using a metal pan preheat the oven to 360 degrees. If using a glass pan preheat the oven to 340 degrees.

Cut carrots in chunks and put in your food processor. (I used a Ninja Blender) Add the Pineapple chunks, juice and water to the blender and blend until carrots are smooth and everything is blended together put this carrot pineapple blend into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together with a spoon. Take muffin tins and coat the bottoms and sides of the tins. Fill the tins with the mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 23 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let the muffins cool. Take a spatula and loosen the muffins from the pan. Remove from the pan(s) and place on a cookie sheet. Put the muffins in the freezer on the cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen, you can remove the muffins from the sheet and place them in a freezer bag and return them to the freezer. You can remove the amount you want to use.

Microwave for 25 seconds and the muffins will taste like they have just come out of the oven.

Enjoy! This is a great way to start the day no matter what the weather is like outside.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

Sherman Provision Pulled Pork at Copley Creekside Farmers Market

The Butcher’s wife has been given an honor. Jane Snow has asked me to be a “guest chef” at the Copley Creekside Farmers Market ( ) on Thursday June 27th from 3:00 p.m. until Mauri-17:00 p.m.  This is such an honor; However, I am a little nervous.  I am not a gourmet chef.  I cook simple, easy meals.  Not knowing what the weather will be like, I am going to bring some of my pulled pork, ready to go.  If the weather cooperates, I will possibly grill or use a frying pan to do some demonstrations onsite.  I would love to see a lot of my Sherman Provision supporters at the event.  Please stop by the tent to say hello and sample the goodies.  I am running the recipe for my pulled pork.  This has certainly been a favorite this year.


5 pounds of trimmed pork butts

2 TBLS Sherman Provision Smokey Barbeque Rub

1 Bottle Sherman Provision Original Barbeque Sauce

Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or use a slow cooker on high) Rub the pork butts with Sherman Provision Smokey Barbeque Rub Place the pork butts in a roaster pan with a lid (or the slow cooker) Cook for 6 to 7 hours. (pork will be fork tender) Allow meat to cool and remove from the bone

Step 2 Reduce oven to 225 degrees (or slow cooker to low) Put the meat back in the pan (or the slow cooker) Pour Sherman Provision Original Barbeque Sauce over the meat Shred the pork with a fork and cook an additional 1 to 2 hours

Hope you enjoy this recipe, and I look forward to seeing you on Thursday at the Farmers Market, if not before at Sherman Provision.  Have a wonderful day.  Enjoy this beautiful sunny weather.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

Chicken and Dumplings

Well, I am pulling out all of the stops this week.  You can’t get much more “comfort food” than Chicken and Dumplings.  This was aMauri-1 staple in my home when I was growing up.  My mom also made big fat noodles to put with the chicken and broth.  Nothing was so warming as a bowl of my mom’s chicken and dumplings.

Chicken and Dumplings

3 whole breasts with skins and bones (or 1 whole 3 pound chicken)
2 cups diced carrots
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
32 oz of boiling water with 4 teaspoons of Sherman Provision Chicken Soup Starter
1 cup of frozen peas (optional)


1 cup self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk

Roast the chicken breasts in a 350 degree oven until done (about 1 1/2 hours)–whole chicken will take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours to roast. Remove the chicken and all but about 1 Tablespoon of the chicken fat from the bottom of the roasting pan. Saute the carrots and onions over medium heat for 5 minutes in the roasting pan. Add the flour, stir and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Slowly add the 32 oz. of broth stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add peas, if desired and simmer over medium heat.

grandma-lulay-chicken-and-dumpling-recipe-photo-420-FF0202GRANDA03Make the dumplings. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork. Stir in the milk. Do not over work the dough. Mix just enough to combine. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 3 to 4 times to combine. Roll to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch by 2 inch strips.

Bring the broth mixture to a boil. Gently drop in dumplings, stirring once to make room for all the dumplings. Quickly cover with a lid. When you hear the mixture boiling, turn down to low for 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid.

After 10 minutes gently fold in about 2 cups of chicken pieces and simmer until chicken is warm. Salt and pepper to taste. Dish up a bowl and enjoy!

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

Chili Weather is here!

This is definitely chili (and chilly) weather.  There is nothing like a hot bowl of chili to warm you up when it is freezing cold outside.Mauri-1  This is a simple recipe–but very tasty.  Two secrets, 1) add the seasonings to the meat and onions and 2)  cook the chili for 2 days.


2 Pounds of Ground Beef (ground turkey can be substituted)
2 diced onions
4 Tablespoons of Chili powder (hot, regular or a combination)
1 Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
2) cans of Tomato Puree (28 oz. each)
2) cans of diced tomatoes (15 oz. each)spices
2) cans of dark kidney beans

Put the diced onions and the ground beef in a 5 to 6 quart roaster pan. Over medium heat cook the meat and onions, stirring frequently. If necessary, drain the ground beef after it is cooked. Add the Chili powder and the ground Cumin to the cooked meat and onions.  Stir. Over low heat simmer the meat and onions and spices for 5 minutes. Add the Tomato Puree and the Diced Tomatoes and simmer for 5 hours. Watch the Chili.  Stir the chili with a wooden spoon.  You want a bare simmer. If you prefer a thinner consistency you can add water to your chili. Cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day warm and cook the chili for an additional 2 hours. Add the undrained kidney beans to your chili and heat for an additional 45 minutes.  Chili always tastes better the second day.

Finely grated Mexican cheese is a great topping for chili. Serve with saltine crackers.

The snow is supposed to fly tonight. Keep warm and safe. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.