Cooking · Food

Easy Meals: Roast Pork Shoulder Steaks

When the weather turns a bit chilly and it isn’t quite comfortable enough to be outside using the grill, I love to tuck a couple pork shoulder roasts on my broiler pan and put them in a moderate oven for about 90 minutes to get them brown, juicy and flavorful. To make it even better, I’ll add potatoes to bake alongside.


If you have a broiler pan, now is the time to use it! I spray both the bottom and the rack of mine with nonstick spray and be sure to add about 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. That way any juices or fats that render won’t smoke.

Roast Pork Shoulder Steaks

Comfort Food! Easy, flavorful, and perfect for company.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Easy, Pork, Roast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Author Janet


  • Broiler Pan
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Aluminum Foil


  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • dried sage
  • 1 – 3 lb Pork Butt Steak – Bone-In


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spray the broiler pan with non-stick spray to aid in clean up
  • Season the meat when you place it on the broiler pan
  • Roast on the first side for 45 minutes, flip meat to the other side, season, and return to the oven for the remaining time.


If you don’t have a broiler pan, line a cookie sheet with foil for easy cleanup and use it instead. be sure the cookie sheet is rimmed on all sides.
You can add potatoes to the oven before you put in the meat.
The general rule of thumb is one steak for two people.  The steaks tend to be more tender than chops and won’t dry out during the long cooking period. 
If you are concerned about smoke from the draining fat, add 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the broiler pan.
Finish with

Because the main portion of the meal is pretty much hands off, you have time to add a side salad and easy dessert.

This meal would also be a great option for a dinner party or holiday meal. 😉


Out And About Adventures

For those of you who, like me, enjoy traveling, be it in an actual vehicle or sitting in the arm chair watching the TV, The Closet Historian’s 2021 Adventure should not be missed.

You can find Bianca Esposito’s four part video vlog by going over to YouTube, typing “The Closet Historian” in the search box and looking for her Field Notes playlist.

Clocking in at a bit under 2 weeks, her vacation trip covers a wide variety of country, including national parks and other stops, in addition to a bit of emotional roller coaster. Life does that to you, right? Even on vacation.

The videos themselves are around three hours all together or you could watch each of the four individually.

If you aren’t familiar with The Closet Historian, she is a member of the YouTube costuming community who shares a love of vintage fashion and sewing. She makes a lot of her own wardrobe when she hasn’t sourced some vintage items. She likes to share her collections (jewelry, hats, bags) along with an interesting collection of lookbooks.

I enjoy her sense of humor and find her processes for creating quite interesting. On top of this, she creates beautiful videos. Can’t beat that, right?


Cooking · Food · Meal Building Blocks

Kitchen Building Blocks: Precooked Chicken

Do you love to make meals using precooked chicken? Casseroles, salads, additions to noodles or rice on the side? Do you look for options that don’t require getting a rotisserie chicken and taking the meat off the bones?

I admit it. I’m a lazy cook. I like to get the best flavor, easiest preparation with the least amount of effort. I also like to take advantage of what is on offer at my local market. How do I do this? Easy.

Pick up family packs or flat packs of chicken pieces and cook them the easy way. These larger sized packages are easier on the budget, provide a lot of product for multiple uses, and can be cooked for later use.

Option One: Slow Cooker

One of my favorite things to do is to line my slow cooker with a liner, put all the chicken in it, set it on Low for 8 to 10 hours and walk away. You can set up your slow cooker to work overnight. The only problem is you will wake up to a house filled with wonderful smells. 🙂

Why do I leave it in for eight to ten hours? You can cook it until the 165 degree temperature but chances are the meat will be a bit tough and dry. By leaving it in a bit longer, the meat will soften and be a bit juicier.

You can season or not as you like. I prefer not to season. I also don’t add any liquid to the pot. The meat will have its own juices which, if you use boneless skinless pieces will render a mostly fat free but lusciously flavored broth that can be used for making rice or soups.

Option Two: Oven Roasting

Don’t have a slow cooker or in a bit of a hurry? You can put the flat of meat into a roasting pan and into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour or until fully cooked. You might want to add a little bit of water to the pan to prevent the meat from sticking or burning.

What Next?

Okay, you’ve cooked your chicken. Frankly, it is quite a bit of chicken. What to do with it?

You can chop up the chicken into fork sized pieces, separate it in one cup measures into freezer bags and then freeze it. Don’t forget to mark the bags with the contents and the date you froze it.

When you want to put together a recipe that requires cooked chicken, take out the appropriate amount to defrost and then make your recipe.

When you consider the average boneless chicken breast equals one cup, and the family sized package usually contains ten breasts, you will have ten cups of chicken for, say, ten different meals.

You can do the same with boneless chicken thighs. Thigh meat tends to be juicier but its smaller size won’t equal the same amount as the breasts.

Why use boneless rather than bone in? Frankly it is easier to cook and you won’t have to remove the meat from the bone. However, bones do provide flavor, so if you don’t object to the extra step after cooking, go for it!

Want an easy dinner for the holidays? If you can get a breast of turkey, put it in the slow cooker and cook it the same as for the chicken. By using the long slow cooking method the meat will be tender, juicy, and flavorful. Not to mention stress free. 🙂

If this is helpful, please let me know by clicking the Like button below.

Around the House

Creating A Creative Space

Happy to catch Morgan Donner’s latest YouTube video where she brings us along as she and Mr. Morgan Donner create her new sewing room. Check it out:

Moving into a new home always brings some creativity to bear. Where does the furniture go? How to access all the ‘stuff’? Do I really want to use this room as it was labelled or can I just make it what I want it to be?

Having watched Morgan’s sewing room update in her old home (check her channel to find that video), I have an idea of what she needs and wants to be able to do the projects she works on. Seeing how she applies the wants and needs to her new space just makes the entire process more interesting. And thought provoking.

If you are developing a room in your home – and it can be for any purpose, not just crafting – are you including in your design things that not only provide the needs (shelving and window coverings) but also the things that make you smile?

This could be anything from more plant shelves to a place to display collectibles to room to hang artwork.

Have you spent time seeing how the room flows and what the light patterns are (or aren’t)? All of us who have put things down when we moved in because it was open space and it ‘fit’ only to shift things around later because traffic patterns or the morning/evening sun blinded us or made watching TV impossible know how frustrating living in such a space can be until things are rearranged a bit. 🙂

I recently watched an interior designer walk us through her home where she stated that it took a few years of living in the home before she knew it well enough to start in on the projects that transformed it from a place she lived in to her Home.

Creative spaces cover a wide variety. They can be sewing rooms, craft rooms, writing rooms, offices, to name but a few. When you combine some (or all) of these into one space, it can be a bit tricky. When you leave out the things that inspire you to actually perform those functions (sew, craft, write, etc.) you tend to have spaces that aren’t used as much.

It really doesn’t matter if you are renting, either. There are lots of creative ways to make your space work better for you that are renter friendly, easy on the budget and inspire you to do your best work.

There’s a reason folks love book cases. 🙂

Looking for ideas or inspiration to make the most of your spaces? Check out The Crafty Organizer. Lots of thoughtful projects to organize your home and work space with an emphasis on budget friendly.

Sometimes thinking outside the box gives us the freedom to create spaces that work better for us in ways that we never expected. Trying new designs or learning new skills helps when we need to add more form and function, too.

Happy creating!


Are You A Supertaster?

Several years ago I was part of a group who visited a food testing site that was geared toward deciding which products would be added to a grocer’s shelves. It was quite an interesting event; we participated in a taste testing of a full meal complete with testing materials used by the facility and we met one of the managers who explained that the products that appear on their shelves were carefully chosen to meet particular standards. It was a joint effort between the product producer and the grocer to determine if the product met standards, and, if not, what needed to be done to make the product interesting to the consumer.

The most interesting part of the visit, in my mind at least, was meeting with one of the managers who explained how the impact of taste and appearance effected the success or failure of a food product. It was the first time I’d heard of a ‘supertaster’ and it was fascinating to see how many in our group were classified as such.

A supertaster is a person who tastes certain flavors and foods more strongly than other people. Feb 21, 2019

We all know of a picky eater – we might be considered picky ourselves – but do we really understand why that individual might be one? has an interesting article explaining this phenomenon. Check it out HERE.

Some folks have issues with texture, others with heat (which, by the way isn’t a ‘flavor’ but a ‘sensation’) while others are particular about certain flavors.

Personally, I don’t like heat. For me, chili is made with 1/4 teaspoon (yes, you read that correctly) or less of chili powder. Any more than that and the dish is not tasty it is actually an irritant. I’m also the person who uses half the can of chopped green chili in my chili.

I realize there are fans of heat that would find this sacrilege but for many of my family and friends, even this might be too much. 🙂

What I find interesting with this situation is that the foods we do, or don’t, eat have great impact on our health and well being. Food itself has become weaponized. Food = The Enemy, as it were. This creates additional issues when we look at things like roller coaster dieting or bulimia.

Teaching a youngster to eat healthy foods can be tricky if that individual has issues with strong flavors like broccoli or spinach.

Proper cooking techniques also impact the way food is, or is not, eaten. There is nothing more detrimental to teaching good eating habits that constantly producing overcooked vegetables. The idea is to provide foods that encourage consumption rather than discourage it.

When I was a kid, salmon came in a can. We lived in the middle of the country and fresh salmon, not to mention fresh seafood, was unheard of then. Now, it can be found in pretty much any major grocery store. The cooking methods have upgraded, too, so preparation isn’t as daunting as it might have been for those weren’t used to regularly seeing it at the grocer’s.

Julia Child brought an awareness of different methods of preparing a variety of foods and was careful – not to mention diligent – to teach viewers that there were options that provided tasty results with little effort.

I’m inclined to think that one of the reasons we have so much spicy food now is because for many decades farm animals have been raised to reduce fat. Consumers went on a ‘health bend’ requiring less fat on meats and poultry which required farmers to raise stock with less fat. The problem is that fat = flavor. When you reduce or remove the flavor you have to find something to replace it with to encourage folks to actually eat it. Suddenly, spicy foods started showing up in areas where they weren’t a staple.

A similar situation arose with fruits and vegetables. The consumer wanted large, beautiful produce. They weren’t interested in anything that might be oddly shaped. The first, and last, time I tried one of those California strawberries that were roughly the size of a toddler’s fist, the main thing that stood out is that while it was a beautiful shade of red, it had absolutely no flavor.

You see, I was raised in the Midwest where strawberries were raised every year and while they weren’t gigantic, they had a beautiful flavor. So much so that sugar wasn’t really needed.

Speaking of sugar and salt, these preservatives began to be added in what seems like bulk because even though we’ve managed to breed the flavor out of food, the major producers needed to find ways to entice folks to buy their products. Both sugar and salt are addictive. No brainer there, right?

Back to Basics

I’ll share a secret with you. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to prepare. It doesn’t need to come from mass producers if you have access to a farmer’s market. It doesn’t need to be expensive, either.

Good food can be as easy as roasted chicken and vegetables on a sheet pan. As simple as tuna noodle casserole. How about salmon patties served with a great salad? Hamburger Tater To Hot Dish or meatloaf? Macaroni and cheese – without the box or the fancy sauce.

A few years ago I came across some material put out by one of the major weight loss chains. They had collected nutrition and calorie counts of food found at a variety of fast food outlets. Turns out that some of those foods were actually quite healthy when eaten in certain combination.

What this meant to me was the necessity of reviewing what I’d been told for decades about ‘healthy eating’ and the reality of what was available. Earlier this year I took part in Mind Over Munch’s Food Freedom course. It was eye opening!

When you tie all of this together with the supertaster you come away with tools, tips and tricks to help you eat better, build more interesting meals and stop the fight with food. Or your kids. Or both. 🙂

To me ‘diet’ is a constant no win situation. It is non-sustainable. When I look at lifestyle changes; like focusing on less processed foods, drinking more water and less sugary drinks, I see a more sustainable collection of habits that encourage a healthier lifestyle.

What seems to be overlooked in all the hype for the ‘healthier lifestyle’ is that our ancestors lived for many, many years eating foods that weren’t over processed or full of chemicals. They didn’t get boxes or meal plans every month, either.

At the end of the day it is our choices that will help or hinder our success. One step at a time, right?