Radio Interview

I am excited to share that I recently had an interview at KCHO radio in Chico about Cast Iron Pam: Healthful Home Cooking

The other day I found out it is airing on Friday December 21, 2012 at 10 AM. The show is called Nancy's Bookshelf. 

Nancy interviewed me about "Cast Iron Pam Healthful Home Cooking" and another lady on her cookbook about Paleo diet crockpot cooking.

I hope you get a chance to hear it. The station numbers are 88.9 FM in Redding and 91.7 FM in Chico/ Red Bluff at 10 AM. 

You can stream it from them as well.

Ranch Beans

Ranch Beans


2 qt. Chicken Stock (have 2 qt. extra on the side to add to beans to keep them from getting dry)

2 LB Pinto Beans (dry) -picked through and rinsed- let sit in a bowl with water to cover them while you get everything else ready then drain them discarding the water

1 tsp. dry ginger- this helps to prevent the gas toots

Put in a 10 qt. Dutch oven and bring to a boil with the lid on.

Once it boils reduce heat to simmer.


1 can of SPAM- cut up and fried to just get it browned or a meaty Smoked Hamhock (not smoke flavored really smaoked)

1 TBS garlic- diced-minced- or crushed

1 TBS Paprika

3 TBS Onion flakes - or 1/2 lg. Yellow Onion


Replace lid on Dutch oven.

Simmer about 4 hrs. 'til beans are tender, stirring every 20 min. so they don't stick and add more broth if needed. You want to keep the beans covered- a few will float on top.


After the beans are tender, add:

1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes and diced green chilies (that's 1 item not 2 different)

1 7 oz. can of diced green chilies

1 TBS Chili Paste (taste it first it may already be as hot as you want)

 Continue to cook another 30 minutes -until beans to where you want them.



I cook them on my barbecue with the lid closed over the Dutch oven.

I made them so they were thick NOT soupy. There was plenty of sauce but they didn't run all over your plate.

Raviolis with Pesto Sauce

Raviolis with Pesto Sauce

1 Lg. bag of Raviolis-cook according to package directions  and set aside

Saute together in a 5 qt. cast iron dutch oven:

3 TBS Olive Oil

2 cups Mushrooms-sliced very thin

1 Red Bell Pepper

Once mushrooms are reduced in size and are dark in color (NOT burned) add:

4 cups Broccoli Florets

1/3 cup Water

Cover with a lid and cook 4 mins. to steam broccoli.

Add raviolis to vegetables.


Heat up a small cast iron frying pan on medium heat and add:

1 TBS Olive Oil

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

Very carefully roast the Pine Nuts just until they begin to get golden in color and remove from heat. NOTE:  Pine Nuts go from being golden to burnt in a matter of seconds DO NOT leave them for even a second. 

Once the Pine Nuts are done put them in a blender with:

1 cup Spinach

1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese-grated

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Cook pesto just to get it hot.

Pour pesto over raviolis and gently stir together to coat the raviolis well.

Serve with a salad and french bread and you've got a very yummy dinner.




Rice Patties

Rice Patties


We eat a lot of rice at our house so there's usually some left over. 

I needed something for dinner, looked in the fridge and saw the left over rice. Then I saw grated cheese, and eggs. 

That's when I came up with an idea for a new recipe, Rice Patties.


Mix together:

4 cups leftover cooked Rice

7 oz. can of Spam- sliced and chopped into squares- cook 'til crispy but NOT burned, or you can use  1/2 cup of Bacon Crumbles

2 Tbsp. dried Onion

1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

2 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese

8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese

6 large Eggs

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Black Pepper 

2 Tbsp. Chili Paste


Form into palm size patties.

Pre heat a cast iron frying pan on medium heat.

Add 1 Tbsp. Canola or Olive Oil.

Place patties in frying pan and cook until crusted over and lightly browned, flip ONLY once. Continue to cook until crusted over and lightly browned.



You can use bacon instead of Spam.

Ricotta Cheese Substitute

The other night our daughter wanted Manicotti for her birthday dinner.

I went shopping the day before and thought I got everything I needed and was sure I had the cheese at home. Only come to find out I 

needed Ricotta cheese after all. I was really stuck. 

Everyone knows Manicotti and Lasagna is ALWAYS better the next day so I wanted to make it ahead and eat it the next day. What was I 

going to do with out Ricotta or Cottage cheese? So I looked in my fridge and found I had cream cheese and sour cream. 

Then I mixed equal parts of both to make the texture right and tasted it. It tasted great so I went ahead and used it instead of running out 

to the store which is 8 miles away. I was hoping it would go over well, sweating while I waited to see everyones comments. 

Whew, it worked! No one knew what I did and they all said it was the best they ever had.

I love being creative and making substitutes that work well.


Roasted Almonds

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a quart jar put:

3 cups Almonds

3 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Of Sriracha Sauce

Put on lid. Roll around to  coat Nuts. Pour into a roasting pan.

Put into oven. Stir every 15 mins. for 1 hour ('till Sauce is dry).

Remove from oven. Let cool. Store in an air tight container.




Chicken Satay Stir Fry

Chicken Satay Stir Fry

This took about 1 hour to make. Serves 4-6.

Serve with rice, peanut sauce, and salad.


1 LB Chicken-cubed (I use breast-skin removed)

1 can Water Chestnuts

1 can Bamboo Shoots

1 Lg. Sweet Onion- diced (Maui, Walla Walla, Valdilla)

1/2 cup Red, Orange, or Yellow Bell Peppers (you can use one or a mixture-I prefer a mixture) 

1 rib of Celery-sliced very thin

1 Lg. Carrot-sliced very thin

Marinade: enough for one pound of chicken.

Mix together then taste and adjust to your preference:

1/4 cup Soy sauce

2 Tbs. Lemon juice

2 cloves Garlic-crushed

1 tsp. Fresh Ground Ginger

1 Tbs. Chile Paste (adjust to taste)

2 Tbs. Sesame Oil- I prefer toasted

Marinate cubed chicken for one hour.

Pre-heat a cast iron frying pan on medium heat, add just enough Canola oil (2 Tbs.) to coat the bottom.

Cook everything EXCEPT the chicken, and then set it aside.

In the same pan:

Pour in marinated chicken cubes and fry until chicken is just cooked (white NOT translucent/raw).

Add back the vegetables to reheat (this should take just 3-5 minutes.).


Peanut Sauce:

Cook 'til well blended and smooth on medium heat.

3/4 cup Coconut Milk- DON'T skimp -use a good creamy one -NOT a juice

1/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter-I use a natural unsweetened Peanut Butter

3 Tbs. Soy Sauce- low sodium

Evaporated Cane Juice or sugar (to taste)

Seasoning Your Cast Iron

Most of the cast iron you buy today comes pre-seasoned for you -that's great, it makes getting started with it all the easier for you. Just run some scalding hot water on it and dry it before you use it the first time. 

It'll last a life time and can be handed down from generation to generation.

If you have cast iron that needs to be seasoned here's what you do:

This should be the only time you scrub your cookware with a scouring pad and soap inside and out (this will help keep the seasoning even). 

Wipe Crisco shortening or cooking oil all over the inside and outside.

You should have a thick film but NOT so thick that it looks like frosting, if using oil, it shouldn't pool up in the pan.

Put it in the oven at 250 F with a cookie sheet or a piece of foil underneath it and turn it upside down.
Bake it for 2+ hours.
Take it out.
You're good to go.
Let it cool before putting it away.

The more you use it, the more seasoned it gets.

This is way better than non-stick coating on you cookware. It will never peel up.

Shredded Pork

The other night I wanted to make some Pork Eenchiladas, but I wanted to use Shredded Pork. Not having a recipe for it I created my own and my family loved it. I used it for Enchiladas and set some aside for Tacos as well. The recipe is listed below. NOTE: This recipe takes 12 hrs to cook the pork. Make it the day before you want to use it.

Shredded Pork

10 Lbs. Pork Butt Roast

Taco Seasoning-enough to rub the whole roast with generously

2 Lg. Yellow onions sliced into rings

1 Bulb Garlic-crushed

1  28 oz. can of Green Enchilada Sauce

7 cups Water

Remove excess fat.

Rub a generous amount of Taco Seasoning all over the roast.

Heat barbecue and put roast on to cook 15 mins each side total of 1 hour. Use indirect heat and watch that it doesn't catch fire from dripping.

Put roast and all other ingredients into a roasting oven or roasting pan with a lid in the oven.

Turn roasting oven or oven to 250 F. and bake for 12 hours. Check every 3 hours to make sure there's enough liquid to cook the roast.

Remove from oven and shred with 2 forks.

Use for tacos, enchiladas or whatever your taste buds desire.

Mmmmm Good!!


NOTE: Family Pleasing Taco Seasoning is available through me. It's cost is $6.00 for a 5 oz. package. If I need to ship it postage will be added. Just email me at: or call me at (530) 528-8825.

Spicy Ketchup and Fig Ketchup

I picked a bunch of Roma tomatoes at a friend’s house because I wanted to make my own ketchup. Then my son picked a bunch of figs off our tree. My husband said I should try to make Fig Ketchup, so I did.

First you start by making Spicy Ketchup (the recipe follows).

Spicy Ketchup:

Fill a 20 qt. stock pot 3/4 full with Roma Tomatoes (washed and cut into quarters). Turn heat to about 3 on an electric stove or low to medium heat on a gas stove- Don't let it burn!

Stir frequently.

Cook until reduced to 2 gallons.

Put in a blender to puree, then through a sieve to remove seeds.

Return sauce to stock pot and add:

1 Tbsp. Paprika (mine turned out to be very spicy). You could use Cayenne Pepper in part or in place of Paprika if you're daring.

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves

2 cups Distilled Vinegar

2 cups Sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice)

4 Large Cloves of Garlic

2 whole (skins removed) Yellow Onions

Cook for 2 hours on very low heat- enough to get it to bubble but not boil.

Remove onion and garlic and put them in a blender with enough sauce to blend it together and blend 'til smooth. Add it back to the pot of sauce.

Continue to cook 'til reduced to 1 gallon of sauce.

If you just want Spicy Ketchup stop right here, decant and freeze or can in 1/2 pint or pint jars.

Be sure to label and date each jar, container, or bag (if freezing).


Fig Ketchup:

Place figs in a gallon sized pot (cleaned, rinsed, de-stemmed and cut in half…you’ll want about 4 cups of fruit).

Cook them 'til soft.

Put the cooked figs in a blender and blend to puree.

Mix together:

1 quart  (32 oz./ 4 cups) of Spicy Ketchup

1 quart  (32 oz./ 4 cups) of Fig Puree

1 pint (16 oz./ 2 cups) Distilled Vinegar

Decant and freeze or can to preserve.

Be sure to label and date each jar, container or bag (if freezing).

You can use this in Asian food, on beef, chicken or pork.

Try it sometime! You do have to like figs though.