F2T Food Prep Fri-YAY- Lemon-Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Slow-Cooker Maple-Glazed Pork Chops & Homemade Chili

Happy F2T Food Prep Fri-YAY!

Today it’s all about comfort food! That fall chill in the air always puts me in the mood for something heart warming. By now, we have enough recipes to be able to start interchanging weekly menus depending on what you’re in the mood for on any given day.  Of course, I’ve added three new ones just in case you’ve made them all and you’re looking for something new.  I’m cooking these meals right along with you for my family and these have definitely earned my family’s stamp of approval!

I can hardly believe it’s nearing the end of October! This weekend is my favorite of the whole year.  It’s Kaden’s birthday weekend! He’s turning 13 and I can hardly believe how quickly time goes by.  I’m not going to get mushy or I’ll start crying into my computer.  I just really can’t believe he’s going to be a teenager.  Ok, I’m crying. This year, Kaden is requesting raw oysters and a moist layered chocolate cake.  What does this mean for me? It means we’re going out to dinner because I don’t do raw oysters.  It also means my mom will be baking the cake because no one makes a chocolate cake like my mom!

My role in Kaden’s birthday this year is the party of course, the unforgettable gift and morning cake! I started morning cake when he was little because it was a special way for me to celebrate with my little man as soon as his eyes opened.  It gives him something to look forward to first thing, like Christmas morning. He comes downstairs to a decorated kitchen, gift and a magical candle-covered cake. It’s also a great way to celebrate before school to start the big day out on the right foot.  This year his birthday falls on a Saturday! Oh happy day!

Have a wonderful weekend and as always, I hope you enjoy!

Kim xo

Homemade Chili

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups ketchup
2- 12.5 ounce cans diced roasted tomatoes
1 red and 1 green bell pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
2- 12.5 ounce cans northern white beans
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons cumin
1 dash cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Optional topping: 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or taco cheese blend
salt & pepper to taste

Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Add chopped onion and bell pepper, simmer until softened. Add spices and stir until well coated. Add ground beef and brown. Add all remaining ingredients, stir until blended and simmer on stovetop for about 20-30 minutes to blend flavor. (May also be transferred to slow-cooker on low for 6-8 hours). Serve in bowls and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese.

Serves 4-6


Lemon-Parmesan Shrimp Scampi with Fresh Asparagus

4 cups cooked, deveined, cleaned and rinsed large shrimp
1-14.5 ounce can chicken broth
1 cup white wine
4 garlic cloves- chopped
4 tablespoons butter (2 tablespoons reserved)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 fresh lemon
1 bunch (approximately 1 pound) asparagus
4 cups cooked penne pasta (or your favorite pasta)
4 slices ham

In an ungreased pan, place ham and fry until crispy.  Remove and set aside until cool. In a separate pan over medium high heat, melt butter.  Add garlic and cook until translucent.  Add wine and cook about 10 minutes.  Add chicken broth and cook for 15 minutes until reduced slightly.  Add shrimp and asparagus.  Cover until asparagus is steamed and shrimp heated through, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in parmesan cheese and reserved butter. Serve over pasta. Top with crumbled ham.

Serves 4

Slow-Cooker Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

6 bone-in pork chops
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
8 garlic cloves – roughly chopped
3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a pan over high heat, drizzle olive oil.  Season and sear pork chops on both sides.  Remove and place in slow cooker. Return pan to heat, add garlic and apple cider vinegar.  Add orange juice and scrape pan.  Pour over pork chops.  Spoon mustard and sprinkle brown sugar over each pork chop.  Meanwhile, cut butternut squash in half and remove seeds.  Cut each half lengthwise and into three sections to create 12 chunks total. Place squash on top of pork chops and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Pour maple syrup evenly over squash. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Serve pork chops atop lightly mashed squash.

Serves 4-6



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