Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops 

4 boneless pork chops
1 T. olive oil
1 C. parmesan cheese (I used Kraft)
1 C. Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

On a plate combine the last 4 ingredients. Rub the pork chops with olive oil and then dip (coat) each one in the cheese mixture. Press the mixture over the pork chops to make sure they are well covered in it. Line a pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the pork chops on the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Source: Janet's Appalachian Kitchen

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spatchcocked Lemon-Thyme Chicken

Spatchcocked Lemon-Thyme Chicken
Serves 4
1 whole 4-5-lb. chicken
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
3 lemons, thinly sliced
8 fresh thyme sprigs
3 small shallots, peeled and smashed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the head of the chicken, cut along one side of backbone with kitchen shears, then the other side, to remove it. Flip chicken over and press firmly on breastbone to flatten. Pat dry with paper towels.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil in the center of a baking sheet. Place lemon slices, reserving 4, and 3 thyme sprigs in a single layer on top of oil. Toss shallots and garlic in 1 tsp. oil, season with salt, and place on top of lemon and thyme. All of this will flavor the chicken as it cooks.
Place chicken, skin side up, on top of the aromatics. Carefully tuck 2 lemon slices and 1 thyme sprig under the skin of each breast. Drizzle chicken with 1 tsp. oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with remaining thyme sprigs
Roast chicken until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165°, 40-5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces and serve.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Twas the Night Before Yuletide

Artwork by Willow Arlenea

 Twas the Night Before Yuletide
Author Unknown

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow  shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.

The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.

When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.

“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed,  
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed.  
“What caused the earth's shudder?  
What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.

Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.

Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.

As she passed by them the old crone's perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.

“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I've come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”

“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn't filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that's mulled or other hot brews.
“There aren't any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”

She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let's play.”

They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.

They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.

Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree's finery.

They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.

The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
"Happy Yuletide, my children," she whispered. 
"Good night."

Monday, December 1, 2014


By EileenDalla

Tears of our Mother.
Standing in the rain, feeling it on my skin,
Tasting it on my tongue,
letting it fill my eyes.
Becoming one with our Mother,
Opening myself and allowing Her to fill my soul.

Tears of our Mother
Washing me clean and giving me renewal.
Breathing her breath,
Seeing as she see’s
Dancing in her arms.
Turning to face her…, to accept her into my heart.