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End of the month budget stretcher pork chop soup or casserole

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When you are running low at the end of the month; when the ends don't meet; and when you have more month left than money - here is a sure fire way to fill those hungry stomachs on short notice with short supplies and have a great meal.

With all the snowy, cold weather we have been having, families enjoy a good hot meal. This one is economical and easy to fix; one that doesn't come in a box or take-out sack.

My children used to call this goulash - heavens know where they got that. The recipe does not come from Hungary; but is for the hungry. Most families are rushing around going to games, matches, meets, and various other places; and when they come home it is nice to sit down as a family to have the evening meal and a family night together.

Home-made vegetable soup and chili are favorites for cold winter warm up meals; but this one will also become a favorite of your family as well.

Pork chop and rice soup ingredients:

4 nice size pork chops - we buy without the bone - this is good for those end pieces when you buy a pork loin - but we usually use the light meat pork chops

1 large can of tomatoes - chopped fine; cut off the gloppers (ends and left on peelings) use juice as well.

1 stalk of celery - skinned to take out the outer strings and sliced very thin

1 medium onion - chopped not too fine

1 chicken bouillon cube – you can also use can of chicken broth for more taste

Little bit of lemon pepper, tiny bit of garlic powder (salt is in bouillon cube) Go easy on the garlic powder this is not an Italian dish as such.

1/2 large banana pepper chopped or a three thin slivers of bell pepper - if you don't have first. (You can use hot or mild banana pepper).

We use mild and let everyone put on their own Tabasco if desired.) We take out the three silvers of bell pepper - we don't take out the chopped banana pepper. (I have made this dish with a jar of Salsa; but it is not as good as doing it yourself.) To each his own.

We buy banana peppers in season, take the seeds out, slice them length ways and freeze. This way you can take out only as much as you need. Don’t overdo the bell pepper here – banana pepper is better; but in a pinch use a smaller amount of bell pepper.

4 cups of instant rice - cooked separately until fluffy - drain off any starch water that was not absorbed by rice - add a couple pats of butter to taste.

Steps:

Boil 4 pork chops until very tender - break apart with fork - leave the broth in the soup pot.

Take out and cut off all visible fat after they are about 3/4 done; and chop the meat up into small chunks

Add the chopped canned tomatoes (and the juice), the onions, and the celery and the seasonings and let them all cook together until the tomatoes are good and done - the rest will be.

Let this cook down a couple of times and then had about 2 pints of water each time; but when it is ready add another 2 pints and don't let it cook down - have lots of broth. This is where you can add the chicken broth and use less water.

Add in the already cooked rice and stir - if you use too much rice it will not be soup like; but you can have it as a rice casserole dish. Add rice until it is like you want. Too much rice will over power everything else and taste bland and starchy. We like it soupy. For less starchy rice, you may wish to use colander and run some hot water over it. If you prefer more rice - increase other ingredients or it will be less flavorful.

Serve hot in soup bowls (extra salt and pepper or hot sauce can be added individually). This is good with cornbread or the “Hurry-up Bread,” recipe below.

Serve with squares of "Hurry up bread," and side salad. Add iced tea and Jell-O chocolate pudding for dessert with cool whip.

Hurry Up Bread

Using Bisquick or you own biscuit fixings, make it a little thicker than pancake batter. Generously grease a long flat baking sheet with sides - pour the batter into the pan and cook at about 350 degrees until nice and brown on top. It will come out like a big rectangular flat bread. Butter top with brush during the last few minutes in the oven - not too much it will make it too soft. You can eat it biscuit strength or toast it more for crunchy taste. Cut it into three inch squares. This is a personal recipe but you can find other Bisquick recipes here.

Proverbs 15:17 (King James Version)

“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” While this is a personal favorite proverb, you can find others here.

After a nice warm meal like this, clean off the table and drag out the Scrabble, Sorry, or Monopoly game and get to know your kids again.

Tip: You can make this same recipe using two large chicken breasts; same ingredients – same steps; same economical meal. (We prefer the pork chop one).

White this is a personal recipe, you can find many more pork dish recipes online. It is more economical to use meat as an ingredient and not always as an entree. And it can be healthier as well.

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Atlanta Woman to Woman

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