Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Knock The Sprouts, Kids

Okay, I can't totally blame someone whose first reaction to brussel sprouts is "yuck." If anyone offered me some sprouts when I was younger my response would have been something along the lines of "that's nasty." But I was oh so wrong. In fact, brussel sprouts are freaking delicious especially if you roast them in a pan with a little olive oil. Who knew that something with such a bad connotation could be so yummy. I'm sharing a recipe that I liked and will hopefully get you to start loving brussel sprouts if you don't already.

Brussel Sprouts Hash
as seen in the AJC - serves 4

1 lb. brussel sprouts, rinsed, dried, ends removed
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 Fuji apple, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock


Cut sprouts in half and slice.  Set aside.

In a large pan/skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Set cooked bacon aside.

Add butter to the pan. Once the butter stops foaming, add the onion and cook until lightly browned about 7 minutes.

Add sprouts and toss. Cook until sprouts begin to brown. Then add the apple.

Stir in the vinegar to scrape brown bits off the pan. Add stock and cook until almost all liquid is reduced.  Add bacon and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A New Pork Chop Option and Some Greens

I have a new quick and easy recipe for pork chops. I tried it last night and it was delicious! The preserves that I used were a Peach Chipotle. It was a great flavor because it had a spice flavor to it that felt perfect for fall. If you can't find a jam/jelly in this type of flavor, I'm sure you could substitute it with something else you like. I used this one which I picked up at a local farmer's market.

On the side, I made some mustard greens. At least I think they were mustard greens. My father-in-law grew them in his garden with some other things and I have to be honest, I don't know my greens at all. Either way, I used this recipe to make them and they were pretty awesome. I guess you could say I was celebrating the pork last night.

Chipotle Peach Pork Chops

2 8-oz. Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chops
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup Chipotle Peach (or similar flavor) jelly preserves
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 cup scallions, sliced 

If you get really thick pork chops, you may want to cut them in half so that they will cook faster.

Spray a pan with cooking spray and set to medium-high heat. Cook pork chops until fully cooked about 160 degrees. Depending on the thickness of the chops, it should be around 6 or 7 minutes for each side.

Remove the chops from the pan to make the sauce. In the same pan, cook onions until they are lightly- browned.

Next, add the garlic, jelly, soy sauce, and salt. Stir until blended and let thicken. Once thickened, add chops back to the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the scallions and serve excess sauce over the pork.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time for Soup Once Again

The other thing I get more excited about in the fall is soup. With soups, there are so many options to choose from. Besides, I need to work on making dinners that aren't so heavy right now. This means that you can expect to see soup recipes here a little more often starting with this one:

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 6-8 bowls


2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (should amount to about 2 cups)
2 onions, diced and then divided
8 hard taco shells, broken into little pieces
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp green chilies, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup canola oil
Optional: hot sauce, cilantro, fresh lime juice


1. Cook chicken and then shred with a fork. Set aside
2. Using a blender or food processor, pulse half of the onions with all of the taco pieces, egg, milk, water, and garlic. Make sure it's fairly well blended. Pour it into a bowl and let sit at room temp for 10 minutes.
3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan and cook the rest of the onions for about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, chilies, and broth. Simmer.
4. While the broth is simmering, heat the canola oil in another pan. Form patties with the tortilla mixture and cook in the oil for 3 minutes on each side. You will need to do this in batches. When each batch is done, set on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. 
5. Add tortilla patties to soup as you serve. I like to squeeze some fresh lime juice and plenty of hot sauce over the top.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chocolately Pumpkin Goodness

I'm a sucker for just about anything pumpkin this time of year but ask me in December if I like pumpkin and I might just gag. It's totally possible that I over do it. But, don't tell me you don't love a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte when you feel the first hint of fall? Okay, I know quite a few people who don't love it but I do. Though, I have to admit I tweak the formula a little bit. I order it non-fat, with no whip, and only one pump of syrup. It saves calories and makes it a little less sweet/intense. But there are other pumpkin things I love too, like beer. Yes, beer. I recently discovered Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale and I am a little obsessed. On a recent trip through New England, I discovered it at their own brewery. Then, I found it at home while shopping at Hop City which it a really cool store if you are into micro brews. I think I am as my fall foliage road trip quickly became a tour de beer. There are so many great breweries up in the New England area specifically Burlington VT, Boston MA, Portsmouth NH, Woodstock VT, and Portland ME. Another one we really loved was Magic Hat.

With all the pumpkin themed stuff, I decided to make my annual pumpkin treats. I could seriously eat the entire batch myself. Technically, they are cookies but I like to whip the pumpkin batter until it's fluffy so it's a cross between and cookie and a muffin top. You'll see.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip "Cookies"
Probably made 2 dozen


2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cooking spray or Crisco
2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

 1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease baking sheet.
2. Mix the first five ingredients in bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Next beat in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.
4. Then, start to add in the flour mixture.
5. Gently fold the chocolate chips in.
6. Drop batter onto baking sheet and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes.