Caramelized Pork Slices

I picked caramelized pork slices for my first recipe to follow.  I found this one in my Taste of Home Cookbook.  I was a little skeptical at first that it would be so delicious; orange juice, brown sugar and molasses sounded a little too simple of a combination to make a delicious feast.

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Please forgive the quality of my pictures; I do not like my new camera!  If you’ve been following me since my first post in 2011 I think you’ve seen some beautiful pictures of food (a few not so good but for the most part….).  However my beloved camera has a fleck of something between the lenses so I decided to spring for a “cheap” camera; either I don’t know how to use it or it really sucks!  I am leaning towards the latter as I don’t want to be the one at fault!  If I’d realized the pictures were so bad I’d have gotten out the old camera but alas I have eaten dinner so there is nothing to show now.

Caramelized Pork Slices

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin cut into one inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Flatten pork slices to 1/2 inch thick.  Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium high; brown pork on both sides. Remove and set aside; keeping warm.  In same skillet reduce heat slightly and saute garlic for one minute.  Add brown sugar,  orange juice, molasses, salt and pepper. Return pork to skillet and cook until pork is cooked through flipping occasionally.

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A couple of amazing things happened as I cooked this.  The “sauce” sort of candies as it cooks; hence the caramelized….  I used a really big skillet so my husband was in awe of watching the “searing hot flavor bubbles” dance in the pan.  I flipped my pork a few times; I probably should have let it set on one side a bit longer to intensify the caramelization but I got antsy.  I tried not to change anything about the recipe; I even measured my oil, salt and pepper; I did however squeeze my own orange juice for the tablespoon it needed. If I make it again I probably wouldn’t saute the garlic; I prefer a fresher taste to my garlic and sauteing at that intense of a temperature in such a large pan it lends to browning; which brings out a nutty flavor but can easily get bitter if taken too far. Taste of Home credits Elisa Lochridge with this recipe and I must say “way to go Elisa” a delicious recipe indeed.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spaghetti Squash ……. with Salsa

I know it sounds crazy but I just couldn’t resist pairing two of my favorite foods.  It was amazing!

If you haven’t read about this in my earlier posts the best way to prepare a spaghetti squash is to bake it whole.  Pierce it a couple of times with a fork or knife and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Do this ahead of time; a day in advance, an hour in advance or whatever works for your time schedule.  Once cool enough to handle cut in half, remove seeds and then using a fork fluff  the “spaghetti” out of the shell.

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So on to the recipe.  In a large skillet heat up a bit of olive oil or butter.  Saute squash about 5 minutes to heat through.  Toss with your favorite homemade salsa. I used a simple tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice version but you can use something like the salsa fresco recipe, the tomatillo salsa recipe or my roasted jalapeno salsa recipe.

If you need some ideas ~ Just click on the kind of salsa you’d like to try for a quick link to the recipe.

 

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Fresh Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa

I’ve been dying to blog again; it’s been so long but I keep getting distracted so I must get back at it!  I love to cook and all these recipes and ideas are in my head; this is the best way to get them out!

Today I went with a simple tomatillo salsa.  I’ve always cooked my tomatillos; I just discovered how tasty they are raw!  So sweet and delicious.

  • 1/3 cup tomatillo ~ husked – deseeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato – diced
  • 1 Tbs onion – minced
  • 1 tsp jalapeno – minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh garlic – minced
  • juice of half a lime
  • pepper and cilantro if desired

This is so simple to make.  Just dice / chop / mince the ingredients and toss together in a bowl a little while before serving.  I added pepper and fresh cilantro to mine ~ I didn’t use any salt but that’s up to you; taste it first and go from there!

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Strawberry Blueberry and Banana Smoothies

I promised my sister, Chris, I would post this months ago.  It is my favorite breakfast although it would make a great snack any time of day.  I sometimes switch up the fruit depending on what I have on hand but no matter what combination of fruit I use it makes for a great way to start the day. I think the combination of strawberries and blueberries are may favorite by far but don’t be afraid to experiment.

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  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of cran-grape juice
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup of greek yogurt – unflavored Chobani works great

I like to put the strawberries, blueberries, juice and ice in the blender first and blend until ice is completely chopped.  Then add the banana and yogurt and mix well.  Makes two awesome smoothies; and if you only need one you can always freeze the extra into popsicles for later!

Don’t hesitate to experiment;  pears, peaches, oranges, and cherries all work great too ~ you can add as many fruits as you like!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Chicken Marsala ~ light version

I decided to give a light version of Chicken Marsala a try.  Over all it came out pretty well; not perhaps as rich as the versions with butter but still quite tasty indeed.  I made enough for just the two of us and only counted for 4 1/2 points on my weight watchers program!

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  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 o.z. chicken breast – cut into 2 ~ 4 o.z. portions flattened slightly
  • a sprinkle of thyme, salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs cold water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

In medium skillet heat olive oil and saute mushrooms about 5 minutes.  Push mushrooms to side and add chicken breasts, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes each side or until browned.  Add Marsala and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook about 5 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Combine cold water and cornstarch in small bowl.  Add to simmering broth; stir until thickened.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

I decided to make a simple chicken and noodle soup today.  I like mine hearty without an over abundance of broth and best of all I like it with a homemade chicken broth which I just happened to have made yesterday.  I joined weight watchers so I am obsessing a little over what I eat and how many points it is.

It’s quite a change for me but I wanted to get a bit healthier without sacrificing my favorite foods so here is my first recipe on the new diet.  I calculated it as 4 points a cup; I ate two cups for lunch.  I think my point calculation is pretty accurate; I wasn’t sure on the broth / stock so I went with the calculations of value for the name brand canned type.

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  • 8 cups seasoned chicken broth; your favorite brand or homemade
  • 3 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 6 o.z. Amish style egg noodles
  • 12 o.z. cooked chicken
  • salt and pepper or any other spices desired

Heat broth in large pot.  Add carrots, celery, and noodles.  Cooke for about 15 minutes or until noodles and veggies are tender.  Add diced cooked chicken and a little salt and pepper; heat though.  I ended up with about 10 cups of soup once finished.  The leftovers thickened up so it’s almost a chicken and noodle entree now so adjust the broth amount if you like it a bit more soupy.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Shrimp Primavera

I had a craving for a Shrimp Primavera today.  I went with a simple pepper, mushroom and onion combination. Super tasty; I perhaps could have seasoned it a bit more but the flavors of each ingredient came through nicely as I made it.

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  • 1/2 pound angel hair or desired pasta cooked according to package directions (reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 8 o.z. mushrooms
  • 12 o.z. shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh tomato – cut into wedges
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil
  • parmesan cheese

In skillet heat about 1 Tbs olive oil. Cut pepper, onion, jalapeno and mushrooms into chunks.  Saute about 5 minutes until desired tenderness.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  In same skillet heat a little more olive oil.  Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper and cook until shrimp is cooked though about 5 minutes depending on size of shrimp.   Return veggies to pan and stir in tomato, garlic, basil and reserved pasta water.  Toss with pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Meatloaf ~ plain and simple meatloaf

I haven’t posted in quite some time and I’ve promised a few of you I would get back to it.  I’ve gotten in to several new projects that are taking so much of my time that I haven’t really taken time to create any new recipes lately.  I have a tendency to throw things together without keeping track of what I am doing so I need to get back in the habit of keeping track of these things.  So without further ado I will post a simple meatloaf recipe I made the other day.  This is another from the family cookbook.  My sister Pam gets the credit for this one!

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  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices soft bread
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup milk or tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients and shape into a loaf.  Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  If desired top with ketchup or bbq sauce the last 30 minutes of baking.  I used a mix of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.  When we were kids we always used open-pit bbq sauce so go with the flavor you like.  Sometimes I will just use straight ketchup too.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Cannellini Bean and Pasta Salad

We made some of those fantastic salmon patties tonight and decided to make a pasta salad to go along with.  The addition of cannellini beans, olives, and green onions made this a delicious side dish. Cannellini beans are one of my favorites; also known as white kidney beans they have a firm texture of a kidney bean and the coloring of a great northern bean. Either can be substituted if desired just keep in mind that great northern beans are a bit softer so add them near the end.

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  • 1 cup uncooked pasta
  • 1 can cannellini beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can sliced black olives – drained
  • 2 green onions – sliced
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir together.  Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle and Asparagus

I had a lonely chicken breast in the fridge just waiting to be used. I opted for a quick noodle and veggie dish for the two of us. It’s hard to not over cook and overeat so I’ve been trying to scale back some of my dishes.  This was just enough for dinner, although I could have and would have eaten more if it was there! The asparagus lost its color a bit with the way I cooked it, perhaps a quick blanch first would have helped but the flavor was great.

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  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 large boneless chicken breast – diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil – I used an olive oil with a hint of cumin but any flavor or plain will work great
  • salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne if desired
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus
  • juice of half a lemon and some zest if desired

Cook noodles according to package directions.  In skillet heat oil, add chicken breast.  Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Add asparagus to skillet and cook a few minutes or until asparagus is tender.  Stir in garlic, lemon and egg noodles; heat and serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly