Ask Cynthia a Question – November 24, 2015

turkey brining 1 turkey brining 2

Susan asked: I haven’t yet had the nerve to try brining. What do you think of it, and is it worth the extra time it takes?

My answer: I’ve brined turkeys and they’ve turned out moist and tasty. It involves extra equipment and steps but well worth the added time. Choose a kit with appealing spices and herbs (or mix up your own brine and use an oven roasting bag, as shown above.), follow the brine kit instructions closely, remember to rinse the bird before roasting, and recruit helpers with plenty of muscle if the turkey is good-sized. I encourage you to go for it, you’ll be pleased with the savory outcome. Thanks for your question, Susan!

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Pork Chops in Cherry Sauce

Pork Chops in Cherry Sauce is the perfect dish for a smooth transition from fresh summer meals to the comfort of autumn dinners. The cherries are a reminder of what we’re leaving behind until next summer, the pork chops a hint of warm, cozy dinners to come.  I used the slow cooker method of cooking and served it with steamed broccoli and Jasmine rice. A real keeper!

pork chops in cherry sauce

Pork Chops in Cherry Sauce

6 pork chops, cut 1′ thick (with or without bone)
Salt & Pepper
1-tablespoon peanut oil
1-21 ounce can cherry pie filling (diet or regular)
1-tablespoon lemon or limejuice
3/4 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning

Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown chops on both sides in skillet with the peanut oil.

While chops are browning, combine cherry pie filling, lemon juice, bouillon granules and sage in a medium-size bowl. Spread the cherry mixture in the bottom of a slow cooker or in a prepared baking dish. Place chops on top of the cherry mixture.

Cover and cook in slow cooker on Low for 4 to 5 hours or in a 350° oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve chops with the cherry sauce and steaming hot rice.

Yield: 6 servings

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Ask Cynthia a Question – October 21, 2015

pumpkins on porchBarb asked: I’ve tried using my kids’ pumpkins from Halloween to cook and make pies; the entire process turns out terrible. What am I doing wrong?

My answer: My guess is that you’re using the wrong kind of pumpkin. I once did the same thing back in my 20s when my kids grew their own pumpkins for Halloween. Large pumpkins for Halloween have thin walls and skin for easier carving; they’re not grown to cook for puree.

Tell the produce manager or the farmer at the market that you want a pumpkin for cooking and baking and he/she will point you in the right direction. Usually they’ll recommend sugar pumpkins, which are small, round and meaty (pictured above).

Here’s a link with detailed instructions on how to make pumpkin puree Making Pumpkin Puree. Good luck to you, Barb, and thanks so much for your question. 

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Keep Hand Mixer Beaters from Splattering Batter

hand mixer beatersKeep hand mixer beaters from splattering batter by cutting a slit in a paper towel or a paper plate; slip the beaters through the slit and into the batter. No more splatters.

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Holiday Savings

The holidays will be here before we know it and I’m offering hard copies of Pork Chops & Applesauce and Sweet Apple Temptations early in the season at only $10.00 each.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul books that I’m published in are for sale at the same low price. Chicken Soup books include: Mother and Son, Sisters 2, Food and Love, Divorce and Recovery, My Resolution, Finding My Faith, Just Us Girls and The Dog Did What? Scroll to the bottom of Cynthia Briggs Books page  to see the Chicken Soup for the Soul selection.

The book prices include shipping via USPS and sent only to U.S. addresses.  Regular price on all the books is $15.00 each. 

Send your book requests to me at This special is good only through me, not from Amazon.  All books are signed and personalized according to your instructions.

Sale ends December 10, 2016. Payment through PayPal or personal check.

pork chops and applesauce coversweet apple temptations cover

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Here’s the happy couple just last month at their celebration party in Kirkland, Washington.


Laura Meek and Jeff Bendush are Peggy and Bill’s two offspring who hosted the happy event. Below they’re seen smiling for cameras and showing off the whole family.

Laura Meek and Jeff Bendush

Laura and Jeff are the creators of the poster below, which was placed over a gorgeous (and delicious) cake decorated in white frosting with gold lettering.

anniversary poster

It reads (in case you don’t have your glasses handy) ‘I have loved you for 50 years (600 months) that’s 18,250 days and nights, 438,000 hours which is 26 million two hundred and eighty thousand minutes ♥ and many more to come… ♥’

Thank you for inviting us to the celebration of your special day. We wish you good health and happiness as you continue to build more epic memories in the years to come.

Peggy is a great cook! Her specialty is Mexican cuisine although she’s prepared many delicious dishes in the years we’ve known each other. Here are links to two of her specialties Garlic Lime Chicken and Peggy’s Chile Rellenos that she’s given to me in the past for sharing on my blog

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