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Who are the Roulades, you ask? It isn’t a who . . . it’s a what! A dish cooked or served in the form of a roll, typically made from a flat piece of meat, fish, or sponge cake, spread with a soft filling and rolled up into a spiral. And, it comes packed with the flavors you love, because you combine your favorites to create your own “special dish.”


Spinach and Sausage Pork Loin RouladeSpinach and Sausage Pork Roulade
This eye pleaser delivers on flavor, with chopped spinach and slivered almonds combined with Italian sausage and a variety of herbs and spices all rolled up into a roll-cut or butterflied boneless pork loin roast. Lea usually serves this with Fennel-Potato Au Gratin. We also have a version with holiday-time seasoning. You can find the recipe here.


Cranberry-Lemon Pork Loin RouladeCranberry-Lemon Pork Loin Roulade
Here is a delicious pork dish that is elevated to formal dinner status and delivers the flavor that its presentation promises. This tasty treat combines the flavors of cranberries, lemon, mustard, and brown sugar to titillate the tastebuds and please the pallet. Finish your servings with a tablespoon of pan-drippings sauce or pork gravy, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley or micro greens. An excellent side dish for this roulade is the Roasted Parmesan Baby Potatoes.


Parmesan Stuffed Chicken RouladeParmesan and Gloucester Chicken Roulade
Based on our delicious Parmesan Stuffed Chicken Breast Another pallet pleaser is this cheesy roulade which goes together quickly and delivers superb, rich, flavor while keeping sumptuous chicken breast the star of the show. Parmesan and gloucester cheeses are combined for this roulade, but, of course, any cheeses you prefer can be mixed and matched to take the flavor in the desired direction. An excellent side to accompany this dish is our savory New Potatoes and Mushrooms in Brown Gravy


Flank Steak Bacon and Spinach RouladeFlank Steak Bacon Spinach Roulade Medallions
Chopped spinach, crispy bacon and earthy mushrooms combine with your favorite steak seasoning to create a colorful and delightful roulade that dresses up the dinner plate and takes the meal to a new level of appeal. This is a dependable entree that pleases every time. An excellent side with this roulade is our Twice Baked Potatoes.


Parmesan Beef Braciole Beef Parmesan Braciole
The traditional braciole (the word is commonly pronounced /bra’zhul/) is the name given to a roulade (typically pork, chicken, beef, or fish) that are filled and rolled, browned and then braised in a sauce. This is an Italian flavored roulade with thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil and black pepper, baked in a tomato sauce and served on a parmesan crisp.


Larry ties pork roulade with cook's twineRoulades are fun, very flexible, and can add an element of class to everyday meals. The fillings are the fun part, allowing you to be as creative as you like, taking the flavors in your favorite directions. Meat roulades give you all the flexibility you need to wow the family and your guests with striking presentations without may limitations. One rule of thumb, however: always roll the meat with the grain running end to end so when you slice it later, across the grain, the beef will be more tender. For those who are intimidated by the thought of creating a roulade, visit our How To Truss A Roulade page. Enjoy!

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Now that Christmas dinner is past, and the leftovers have been relegated to stews and casseroles, it’s the right time to be thinking about a change of pace with dinners that differ from seasonal classics while still delivering on flavor. Pork may be the ideal alternative, and we’ve collected a few of our favorite pork chop dishes to help you with mealtime planning.

Apple-Raisin Thick Cut Pork Chops
Apple Raisin Pork ChopThis is a delicious main dish that has been a favorite for generations and passed down in cookbook after cookbook. The apples and raisins combine to create a fruity and savory flavor, while apples and pork are just a natural pairing. Combined with touches of ginger, mustard and cinnamon, this hardy mealtime offering is well liked by diners of all ages. Get the recipe here.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops
Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin ChopHere’s a dish that hits all of the taste buds with a sweet-sour sauce, umami flavor from a quick browning sear in a very hot pan, and salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Thick center-cut pork chops finish in a balsamic vinegar and brown sugar sauce. These chops are as attractive as they are tasty, and really turn up the satisfaction ratings. Get the recipe here.

Coriander Boneless Pork Chop Cubes
Coriander Pork CubesLooking for a savory pork chop recipe with a dash of pizzaz? These thick cut pork chops get cubed into bite-size portions, marinaded, seasoned, and pan seared for that great earthy umami flavor that comes from a quick, hot, sear. Served over chicken flavored couscous or rice, and finished with fresh chopped coriander or parsley, this flavorful combination will become a family favorite. Get the recipe here.

Grilled or Roasted Stuffed Loin Chops
Stuffed Thick Cut Loin MedallionThis can be a really fun adventure. Have your butcher cut some extra thick loin medallions. You’re going to marinade them, stuff them, grill or roast them, as you like, and prepare a dish that is not only attractive and tasty, but will dominate the table when you dress it with a drizzle of hot balsamic reduction, and garnish with a cilantro or parsley twig. Get the recipe here.

Vino Pork Loin
Pork Loin Bites over CouscousThis is a savory plate of comfort food that is certain to please the heartiest of appetites. Taking a Cajun cue from Emeril’s Essence, we use a homemade version of the spice to bring pork to a whole new level. Use as much, or as little, as you like, to make this dish your own. We like it served with a side of Island Rice Pilaf. Get the recipe for this delicious pork dish here.

From roasted to pan fried, and smothered to breaded, our selection of savory and sweet pork chop recipes will give you many tasty options for your mealtime. Bone-in or boneless, thick-cut or thin, budget-friendly pork chops are a favorite option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Pork chops is what is “in”!

Corn, is a large grain plant first domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Over time is became one of the most versatile food staples throughout history. Originally maize, it became known as corn which could be consumed in any number of ways; roasted, baked, fried, boiled, ground into meal for any number of uses. We are celebrating corn in its many forms in this listing of recipes that will help you appreciate the most appealing and tasty dishes easily prepared at home.

Marjorie’s Corn and Peas
Corn and Peas Side DishThis is another amazingly good recipe from the Thistlethwaite family. I fondly remember a number of delicious Thanksgiving dinners when Marjorie (J.B.’s mother) would bring this delicious vegetable dish. Combining shoe-peg corn and frozen peas with sour cream and spices, it goes together quickly, and certainly stands out on the table. The recipe is located here.

Texas Style Creamed Corn
Texas Style Creamed Corn with BaconThis corn is so delicious with barbecued ribs or brisket! Most of Texas’s best barbecue restaurants serve this style corn with coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans. Add bread, pickles, onions, and hot sauce, and you have a feast! You can even add in some bacon crumbles as shown above. The recipe is located here.

Texican Street Corn
Texican Street CornThis is a delicious ear of corn! Cooking in the microwave retains all the flavor and sweetness other methods often cook out, and clean up is so easy; no shucking, no frustration trying to remove the silks. We like them without any cheese just as well, although you can take this in many flavorful directions by using your favorite cheese.The recipe is located here.

Creamy Creamed Corn
Creamed CornThis recipe comes as close as possible to the flavor of the creamed corn at one of our favorite BBQ joints in Central Texas. Combining heavy cream, cream cheese, butter, sugar, salt and pepper in a slow cooker, it is a delicious blend of flavors that goes very well with every barbecue dish. Get the recipe here.
For a spicy version see Poblano Creamed Corn.

Campfire Chicken Dinner with Roasted Corn
Roasted Chicken Dinner in FoilWhat a fun recipe this is! A chicken quarter, or breast, potatoes, carrots and roasting ears, all in a single foil pack. Can actually be cooked on the campfire, or roasted in the oven, for the fun of an “outdoor” meal with all the flavors and variety of a home meal. This can be served right in the foil for easy after-meal cleanup!
The recipe is located here.

Poblano Creamed Corn
Poblano Creamed CornThis recipe is based on a favorite side dish we enjoy at a barbecue restaurant in Bee Cave, Texas, near Austin. I actually based the sauce in this dish on Southern creamed corn slow-cooker style recipes, and added the roasted Poblano chili for that unctuous earthy flavor. This requires special attention, and quite a bit of stirring, to successfully obtain that slow-cooker intense flavor. This is delicious with any barbecue flavored dish. The recipe is located here.

Cornbread Casserole
Cornbread CasseroleThis is an oldie, but goodie! This is so simple, and goes well with lots of homemade meals! The recipe doubles easily, too, for bigger gatherings! Combine whole kernel corn, cream-style corn, and sour cream with a store-bought cornbread mix. A quick and easy favorite, it takes only 5 minutes to prepare, and even the kids love it! The recipe is located here.

Golden Sweet Cornbread
Golden Sweet Skillet CornbreadSkillet cornbread, historically known as hoecakes, is cornbread made like a pancake. Inside, it’s dense, but creamy. Skillet cornbread takes it up a notch or two with even texture, and sweetness throughout. This is an American classic that pays homage to our pioneer ancestors. The recipe is located here.

Celebrate corn! And, share with us your comments, thoughts, and favorite recipes, to be shared with others. Best regards from our kitchen to yours!

If your family or friends are planning a holiday season pitch-in dinner where the meat is already planned, you need to be able to pull out a few ideas for side dishes that can go together easily, have great eye appeal, and deliver with flavors as good as the dish looks. Celebrate the casserole, hero of overly busy homemakers for centuries! Here are some carry-in ideas to help get you started.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Baked Macaroni and CheeseThis is a recipe by Alton Brown that we adapted to fit our family’s preferences. Alton’s recipe calls for Panko bread crumbs for the topping, which we don’t always have on hand. We usually make coarsely ground bread crumbs from any crusty bread we have around, such as French or Italian bread or baguettes. You can find our recipe here.

Cornbread Casserole
Cornbread CasseroleThis side is a bread accompaniment that fits right in with any meal, whether it is a holiday gathering, a family dinner, or a camp out. The cornbread casserole is likely as time tested as any dish we could name. This simple recipe uses a boxed mix, is quick to assemble and cook, and yet, it is one of the best comfort foods you can add to any meal. You can find our recipe here.

Orange & Gold Potatoes au Gratin
Orange and Gold Potato CasseroleThis is an eye-catching dish that always pleases, with color to provide the visual “pop,” and the lusciousness of the waxy Yukon Gold potato combined with the silkiness of the sweet potato. They are layered with ricotta or cottage cheese, and your preference of Romano cheese (creamy), Asiago cheese (saltier), or Parmesan cheese (salty and nutty). You can find our recipe here.

Sour Cream and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Horseradish and sour cream potatoesMashed potatoes are one of the most beloved dishes for pitch-ins, often with two or three versions making an appearance. This variation stands out because of its eye-catching silky finish derived from using red or gold potatoes, and pairs very well with brown gravies and sauces due to a hint of horseradish. You can find our recipe here.

Creamy Four Cheese Macaroni
Four Cheese MacaroniOne of America’s favorite dishes, this recipe is adapted from “The Best of Cooking Light,” and is one of Lea’s favorite recipes. In fact, she said this cheese combination of Fontina, Parmesan, extra-sharp Cheddar, and Velveeta, is one of the best tasting she has ever made. If you like mac ‘n cheese, we think you will really like this recipe! Find it here.

Classic Cranberry Salad
Lea Mixing Cranberry SaladLarry’s mother, Marjorie, always made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is so delicious with turkey! We enjoy it mostly with the turkey sandwiches the day after the holiday! Give cranberries a ride in the food processor, add sugar and orange, marshmallows and nuts to create a chilled salad that is even better the day after. You can find our recipe here.

Casseroles fit the pitch-in bill because now there are portable carriers that can be heated or cooled, as appropriate, to keep your food in the food safety zone until service. At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes, according to foodsafety.gov. Check it out, to keep your food safer. And, share with us your comments, thoughts, and favorite recipes, to be shared with others. Best regards from our kitchen to yours for the holiday season!

Salads add eye appeal to a table setting, and contribute delightful flavors to complement the main course and other side dishes. Delicious salads may include fruit salads, chicken, egg and potato salads, as well as the ever-popular, leafy, mixed greens salads. Today we are listing some of our favorite salads that can be eaten before the meal, or as a side dish to accompany the protein served during the main course.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad
Cauliflower and Broccoli SaladCombine cauliflower, broccoli, onion, bell pepper, and pimento with a creamy sweet and sour dressing to make a colorful salad for holiday meals. This salad is delicious any time of the year, but, it is a favorite in our family since Marjorie Vaughn (Larry’s mom) first made it salad in 1973 for our family Christmas dinner. Find the recipe here.

Cheesy Pear Salad

Cheesy Pear SaladThis is a pretty salad when served assembled, and really catches the eye due to the contrasting colors. The flavor is delicate, with just a hint of sourness from the French dressing, which complements the pear and cheddar flavors perfectly. Give this one a try. It will quickly become a favorite at your house, too. Find the recipe here.

Chicken and Fruit Salad
Chicken and Fruit SaladLea created this recipe during the heat of August 1966 for a radio station “no cook” recipe contest. The judges voted it number one! It is a surprisingly delicious twist on everyday chicken salad that delivers a variety of fresh fruit flavors and the crunchiness of pecans and celery in a shredded or chunked chicken. Oranges, grapes, a banana, and an apple make an appearance along with salted almonds.
Find the recipe here.

Cranberry Salad
Lea Mixing Cranberry SaladLarry’s mother, Marjorie, always made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is so delicious with turkey! We enjoy it mostly with the turkey sandwiches the day after the holiday! Give cranberries a ride in the food processor, add sugar and orange, marshmallows and nuts to create a chilled salad that is even better the day after. Find the recipe here.

Iceberg Wedge Salad
wedge-salad_rThis elegant wedge salad with crumbled blue cheese is a steakhouse staple great for a simple lunch, or dressed up for a special occasion dinner. Fresh ingredients make this salad very elegant, and the wedge presentation makes it an eye-pleaser. Here are three versions: the classic, with blue cheese, another with red pepper aioli, and a third with cheddar cheese. Find the recipes here.

Seven Layer Salad
Seven Layer SaladWhen you talk about eye-pleasing salads, the Seven Layer Salad immediately comes to mind. With its striking layers of color from lettuce, cauliflower, green peas, cheddar cheese, and topped with onion rings, sliced boiled eggs and crumbled bacon, this salad promises great flavors, and delivers on the promise every time. Find the recipe here.

Green and Gold Pea Salad
Green and Gold Pea SaladA colorful salad that delivers on savory flavors, this salad combines cooked peas with American cheese and spices to create a creamy dish with the subtle pop of mustard in the background. This recipe dates back to Lea’s Junior High School days and has been a long time family favorite. This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, and often appears on leftovers plates as a side. Find the recipe here.

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad with Black Olive Tapenade
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Black Olive TapenadeA bright and appealing salad that is a summertime favorite gets all dressed up for the holiday season with luscious sliced mozzarella, bright red tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, topped with a black olive tapenade.
Find the recipe here.

Dinner Table SettingAs the holiday season approaches, we begin thinking about those wonderful times the family gets together and shares a sumptuous way-out-of-the-ordinary meal. The traditional family dinner at our house wasn’t as much about the menu as it was brimming with opportunities to gather around the table with loved ones to catch up, and share stories while enjoying a delicious meal. The centerpiece of the meal, (excluding, for the moment, the desserts), was a delicious protein, which was often a beautifully roasted bird.

One of our favorite memories of days gone by was our “talent show” the afternoon of Christmas Eve, when we would each perform a skit, usually humorous, because few of us had any theatrical talent. It was a fun couple of hours, and was a great time of family sharing. Afterwards, most of us were in the kitchen preparing goodies for that evening’s Birthday Party for Jesus. Good food and seasonal drinks lined the table as we held hands as we stood in a big circle around the table, each telling what we were grateful for, and then gave thanks before eating our fill.

Roasted Tangerine ChickenTo highlight your table, and delight your guests, prepare a bird that really stands out. One of the more colorful birds we have had good success with was the basted Tangerine Roasted Chicken with its bright orange tone created by the combination of molasses, tangerine and lemon juices, and a touch of Lemoncello. The bird shown here was a large one, weighing a little over five and a half pounds.

Birds carved at the table seem to please guests the most, because we eat with our eyes first, and watching the bird being carved stimulates anticipation and excitement. Another attractive bird is the Peppercorn Encrusted Roast Chicken. If you like crispy skin, you might like the stuffed Italian Roast Chicken which is roasted in a hot oven, and stuffed with flavorful herbs, orange wedges and garlic. Another eye pleasing recipe is the Roasted Worcestershire Sauce Chicken with Balsamic Glazed Hericot Vert and Corn on the Cob.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey BreastIf you want something a little out of the ordinary for your get together, you might consider the spatchcocked Roasted Cornish Game Hens, the very flavorful Pepper Crusted Turkey Breast, or, the very elegant Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast that always gets o-o-hs and a-a-hs when presented.

Don’t throw that carcass out when cleaning up after your meal! Stick it back in the fridge to be used in another favorite dish that usually follows the next evening or so, Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Luck Supper made with the meat left on that carcass, combined with some fresh vegetables, and topped with sumptuous spoon dumplings. It’s easy to make, fills the house with wonderful holiday aromas, and delivers a very satisfying meal for the evening after the feast.

Potluck Supper

What are your favorite memories or traditions? What dishes make regular appearances at your family’s gatherings?

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