Help Make A Couple in the Kitchen America's Next Pork Crock-Stars!

We were notified today that we are contestants in America’s Next Pork Crock-Stars!

But we need YOUR help to win.

Please vote for our recipe by following the voting directions* below. You can vote once per day per email address through Halloween. Have more than one email address? Vote more than once!!! And forward to your friends!

Thank you for your support!

*Voting Directions:
  • Scroll down to the bottom
  • Choose “Chris and Amy White Inspired Pork Chops” in the drop-down menu
  • Enter your email address
  • Repeat if possible, for each of your email addresses, daily until October 31st
To see the recipe, go here.


Halloween Hummus Bites

Amy writes:

Chef Dave, the culinary teacher at school, started up a cooking club for students this year. I decided to join in on the fun, and once every couple of weeks we have a great time cooking up food that is easy to prepare, and then, of course, we eat up!

Being the excellent teacher he is, Chef planned the first meeting as an introduction to the kitchen and to the club. So, instead of club members doing the actual cooking that day (as we do now), he did a demonstration on how to make red pepper hummus. Many of the students had never tried hummus, and when they saw how easy it was and tasted how delicious, they were hooked. Meanwhile, I now had my plan for a simple appetizer to serve as our neighbors came around on Halloween night! Notice the festive colors, perfect for Halloween, and sort of spooky looking, too!

Halloween Hummus Bites
Makes 24 "bites"


1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 packages mini fillo shells (found in frozen food aisle)
24 whole black olives, pitted

Place chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, and all but one roasted red pepper in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix, then slowly drizzle in olive oil while processing until smooth. Take fillo shells out of package and place on a serving tray. Carefully spoon red-pepper hummus into fillo shells. Chop remaining red pepper into small pieces. Stuff the red pepper pieces into the hole in the olive. Top each filled fillo shell with the stuffed olive and serve at room temperature.


Squared Cider Doughnuts: Secret Recipe Club

It's a beautiful fall weekend here in Connecticut and we are in apple mode. Unfortunately, we haven't had any free time to go apple picking ourselves, but bestie Joanne's industrious mother somehow managed to get a few bushels gratis and gave a dozen to Joanne to share with us. Thank you so much, Mrs. K! Chris is loving his annual apple pie!

Anyway, seeing all those apples made us hungry the cider doughnuts we missed by not going picking. But it just so happened that our assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club had the perfect recipe for them. That blog is Veronica's Cornucopia! Veronica's blog is awesome - filled with all types of recipes from sweet to savory, as well as inspiring stories ("Thankful Thursdays") and interesting projects "The Postcard Project"). We very much enjoyed browsing Veronica's Cornucopia, but those "Easy Apple Cider Doughnuts" of hers really got us going. As promised, they were 1) easy, 2) tasty, and 3) the perfect fall treat!!! And we had plenty to share with the neighbors because we got 24 doughnuts (plus doughnut holes!) from following Veronica's recipe.

The most important ingredient

Make, knead and roll the dough

Cut out doughnuts and punch out the holes

We didn't adapt the recipe whatsoever except for making our doughnuts square because all we had on hand for cutting them was a square biscuit cutter. Here is a nice tip for cutting out the doughnut holes - use the top end of a baster (without the suction thingy)! It is just the right size and the doughy circles pop right out with a light tap.

Fry them up

Coat them in cinnamon sugar while they're hot

Squared Cider Doughnuts
"Easy Apple Cider Doughnuts"
recipe from Veronica's Cornucopia
Makes 24 doughnuts plus 24 doughnut holes


canola oil for frying
1 egg
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
2 cups baking mix (we used Bisquick)

Preheat oil in a large pot, skillet or deep fryer to 375 degrees, checking the temperature often using a candy thermometer. Whisk together egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, cider and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour and baking mix. On floured surface, with floured hands, knead dough several times and roll to 1/2-inch thick.  Cut with a donut or biscuit cutter, and make holes in the center of each. Carefully drop into hot oil. Working in batches of six, cook until golden brown, flip, and cook other side until golden brown. Adjust the heat on the burner as necessary to keep the temperature steady at 375.  Drain on sheets of newspaper or paper towels. Mix together remaining 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon; while doughnuts are still hot, coat in cinnamon-sugar. Eat while still warm!


Slow-Cooker Panettone Stuffing

When yet another big cardboard box arrived on our doorstep, Chris was wondering what I had bought now (I may or may not have a little Internet shopping problem...). Fact is, it was more treats from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. This time, we received not one but two large packages of Bauducco Panettone - one was with Hershey's chocolate chips, and one with Sun-Maid raisins and candied fruits. In case you're not sure what panettone is, it is an Italian bread-like cake that is usually served around the holidays. Once we opened the box, our creative cooking juices started to flow.

A few days later we planned to make a pork loin for dinner. Sick of plain old veggies or potatoes, we wanted a side dish with pizzazz! Something different! That's when it came to us. We'd make stuffing out of the panettone!

It was a brilliant idea, really, and we're quite proud of the results. The basis of the recipe is my grandmother's bread stuffing, but we made a few adaptations. For the bread, we (obviously) used the panettone with raisins and candied fruits. Of course, this had an inherent sweetness that needed some balance. To bring in savory flavors, we added onions, celery, sage leaves, and chicken broth, and we cooked it in a slow-cooker to make life easy.

Yummy, yum, yum! Sweet, savory, moist and nicely browned, this one is a keeper, and may become our go-to holiday stuffing. It paired nicely as a side to our pork and apples that we had browned then braised in white wine, sage and a dash of port. 

Break up panettone

Saute onions, celery and fresh sage in butter

Add chicken broth and allow vegetables to soften

Mix vegetables and panettone together

Allow to cook three hours in a slow-cooker

Slow-Cooker Panettone Stuffing


1 26.2-ounce package Bauducco Panettone with Sun-Maid Raisins and candied fruits
1 stick unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 teasoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Break the panettone into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onions, celery and sage and cook until softened, about four minutes. Add chicken broth and continue to cook, about three minutes more. Pour broth mixture onto bread pieces and mix well. Rub sides of slow-cooker with butter or cooking spray to avoid sticking, then pour stuffing into slow-cooker. Cook on high for one hour. Stir well, then turn slow-cooker to low. Cook another two hours on low.  


Cheesy Pancetta Hash Brown Bites

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, we were sent two coupons to try Simply Potatoes brand products for free. When we saw their Shredded Hash Browns in the refrigerator section, we knew we would look no further. Those shredded potatoes were headed straight to our muffin tin where they would soon become our "Cheesy Pancetta Hash Brown Bites."

What's yummier than potatoes mixed with pancetta and cheese? Not much other than not having to share! This recipe made two dozen individually-sized "bites" which were both easy to make and to serve. Having the potatoes already shredded was a huge time-saver. Browning nicely in the muffin tin, they have that crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture that everyone adores. These are the perfect accompaniment to any meal, and are particularly delicious as a "bed" for a fried egg. Since the recipe makes so many, they'd be great for entertaining, or can be frozen and reheated for another time. 

Mix together shredded potatoes, shredded cheese and diced pancetta...

Place mixture in muffin tins...

Add half-n-half, and bake.

Go ahead and give them a try. And experiment a little! Try a different cheese, throw in some sauteed onions and peppers. Let us know how you like 'em!

Coming out of the oven, nicely browned and crispy!

Cheesy Pancetta Hash Brown Bites

1 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
4 ounces diced pancetta
1/2 pound gouda cheese, shredded
2 1/2 cups half-n-half
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, pancetta and cheese. Fill the cups of two muffin tins with this mixture. Place a pinch of both salt and pepper into each cup. Then pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of half-n-half into each cup. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing from pan. Serve hot. 


Harvest Coffee

The fabulous folks at Foodbuzz, along with the gorgeous guys and gals at Godiva, sent us two Tastemakers two more pounds of coffee. Yesterday we tried the Pumpkin Spice blend and added a shot of Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur given to us by our friend Joanne. Hot, spicy, and full of the flavors of fall, this could be our new favorite coffee drink. We loved it, and think it would be a wonderful beverage to enjoy with pumpkin pie, cinnamon buns, spice cake, or any of your favorite fall treats. We especially loved having it in the new Tervis Tumbler also sent to us via the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. It kept the drink hot for over an hour, without being hot to the touch. Amazing! Thanks again, Foodbuzz!

Harvest Coffee


4 ounces Godiva Pumpkin Spice Coffee, brewed
2 ounces Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

Pour all three ingredients into a large mug or insulated tumbler, stir and enjoy!


Black Garlic Scallops with Yuzu-Cucumber Salad by Ming Tsai (Don't try this at home!)

After accepting an invitation to OpenSky, we purchased two unique ingredients being promoted by chef Ming Tsai. Those ingredients were a) expensive, b) not able to be found anywhere where we live, and 3) things we've never cooked with before. They are black garlic and yuzu juice. When the package arrived, we were so excited we wanted to try them right away. This is our cautionary tale...

First, a description of the ingredients in case you've never tried them. Black garlic is garlic that has been fermented at a high temperature for several months until it turns black. It has a soft, paste-like texture similar to a dried apricot. We found its flavor to be like sweet molasses mixed with the tangy zip of garlic without the acidity or pungent odor. Yuzu is a tart and sour citrus fruit that is rarely eaten as-is but the juice and rind of which is often used in Asian cuisine. Very interesting indeed.

Since it was our first time using either of these exotic ingredients, we decided to try the recipe suggested by Ming Tsai in the promotion, namely, his Black Garlic Scallops with Yuzu-Cucumber Salad. We followed the recipe almost exactly, differing only by using about half the amount of Greek yogurt called for, and we served it with some sushi rice.

In the end, all we can say is, "Really?!?!?!?" Honestly, it was terrible. Perhaps the worst thing we've eaten in a long time. The yogurt took on a thick, curdled-like consistency ruined the whole dish. And we used half the amount! While our scallops were cooked perfectly, the so-called "sauce" that they were in was nearly inedible. And there was not enough sweetness anywhere in the recipe to balance the intense sourness of the yuzu juice. It was heart-breaking to see such beautiful (and expensive!) ingredients ruined in this way. We just don't get it.

We can say we had a good time plating the dish. We tried two different styles: Chris made thin ribbons out of his cucumber "salad" and served the scallops on the side, while I decided to slice them thinly and use them as a bed for the rice and scallops. After all was said and done, we scraped the "sauce" off the scallops to eat them, and ate the rice and cucumbers together. We were both hungry and disappointed by the time "dinner" was over, and we had no idea whether not we like black garlic OR yuzu juice!

Although we'll give you the recipe (which we got here on the OpenSky website), we do NOT suggest trying it! If you have any other suggestions on how to use our black garlic or our yuzu juice, please let us know.

Black Garlic Scallops with Yuzu-Cucumber Salad
Cooks' note: the slight changes we made are noted*


12 large scallops
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves of black garlic, minced
1 cup of white wine
1 1/2 cups of Fage non-fat Greek yogurt
*(we used 3/4 cup)
1 English cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch slices
*(we used a regular cucumber)
2 tablespoons of Yuzu juice
Kosher salt and pepper
Canola oil for cooking
*(we used olive oil)

Heat saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add scallops and sear on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove scallops from the pan and set on a paper lined plate. Add more oil if needed to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onion and black garlic and saute until soften about 2-3 minutes. Add wine to deglaze the pan and simmer until the wine has reduced in full. Reduce heat to low, add yogurt and stir until incorporated. Add scallops back into the pan, toss to combine and check for seasoning. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the cucumbers and yuzu juice, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.


Tagine of Golden Chicken with Potatoes and White Beans

We purchased a tagine last winter and have done a few experiments with it, making flavorful meals in this earthenware coned dish. Why is it shaped this way? The conical cover rests on the flat base and allows for any condensation that occurs during cooking to return to the base and braise the meat and/or vegetables in it. In this way, any meals made in a tagine are truly one-pot wonders. You can even serve the tagine in the base!

This week's wonder is adapted from the cookbook 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker. The golden color on the chicken comes from the aromatic spices turmeric, saffron, and cinnamon, which also offer plenty of exotically warm flavor. The potatoes and white beans round out the meal to make it a hearty one; we're sure you could use other root vegetables instead of potatoes, or chickpeas instead of white beans (as Crocker does). A slight problem we encountered was that our tagine is on the smaller side and we had a bit of overflow (not to mention a very small, very brief fire...) during cooking. All that did was set us off in search of an even bigger tagine!

Cook onions and potatoes in tagine first

Remove vegetables and brown chicken in spice mixture, meat side down

Turn chicken, add cinnamon stick and broth and bring to a boil

Return vegetables to tagine

Cover and simmer

Add white beans, cover, and continue to cook until done

Tagine of Golden Chicken with Potatoes and White Beans
slightly adapted from 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker


2 tablespoons melted butter
20 strands saffron
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 medium potatoes, diced
salt to taste
4 chicken thighs
1 cup chicken broth
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 of a 14-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
parsley for garnishing

In a bowl, combine melted butter, saffron and turmeric; set aside. In the bottom of flameproof tagine, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and potatoes and cook for five minutes, stirring often; remove vegetables from tagine and set aside. Add chicken, meat side down, to tagine and cover with spice mixture. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is browned on meaty side. Turn chicken over. Add broth and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Return onions and potatoes to tagine, cover with tagine lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring once. Stir in white beans, replace lid and simmer for additional 15 minutes until beans are heated and chicken is cooked through. Discard cinnamon and serve garnished with parsley.



The Great Fried Oreo Experiment

It's fair season, and everyone's talking about what they're frying at the local fairs these days. Twinkies, Oreos, cheesecake slices, butter (yes, butter) - it seems just about everything has been dunked in batter and deep-fried. Since the weather hasn't really been conducive to fair-going, we wanted to bring the fair food home, but what to fry?

The answer came earlier this week via a text from neighbor D: "Can you fry an Oreo?" We texted back, "Like, in general, or can WE fry an Oreo?" We're sure you know what he meant. And thus began The Great Fried Oreo Experiment. As with any experiment, we started with a little research. On the Internet it seems people are all about frying Oreos in pancake batter.   Food Network Magazine's "The Fry Guide" (September 2011) suggested using their Basic Batter  to fry "sandwich cookies." Amy thought they'd be delicious with just a simple tempura coating. A quick meeting of the minds, and we decided to try all three on a dreary Sunday evening (not conducive to fair-going).

We used Double Stuf Oreos (sorta forgetting the part about freezing them first), and we prepared our FryDaddy by bringing peanut oil up to 375 degrees. We then prepared the batters. For the pancakey one (bottom left in picture above), we used Bisquick, following the directions for making pancakes. The Food Network Magazine recipe was: 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup cold club soda (top of the "triangle" in picture above). We used McCormick Golden Dipt Tempura Seafood Batter Mix to make the tempura-dipped ones (bottom right in picture above).

All three batters looked alike "raw," so we decided you only needed the one photo

The results? Naturally, not one was pronounced bad. Each one had a hot crisp coating, warm chocolate cookies and melty creamy center. But the unanimous favorite amongst the four taste-testers (D, J, Amy and Chris) was the Food Network Magazine recipe. We knew we had that subscription for a reason! Check out our pix and fry one yourself!

Top row: Tempura (Second Place)
Middle row: Food Network Magazine's Basic Batter (The All-Around Favorite)
Bottom row: Pancake Batter (Honorable Mention)