Tag Archives: pork

Pork and Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties

7 Apr

Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 4
We are big on breakfast for dinner around here or brinner as we like to call it. Sometimes it’s just comfort food at it’s finest and other times it’s the fact that most breakfast foods are usually pretty quick and easy to throw together. Either way, it’s always a big hit.

I was craving some breakfast potatoes and sausage but that’s not the healthiest of options so I switched some things up to make a lower calorie but equally delicious brinner.
Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 2
Sweet potatoes replace the white potatoes and are topped with a fried egg for a yummy hash while a homemade mixture of pork and turkey is combined to create a healified sausage patty. Oh, so good.

The recipe makes 28 small sausage patties which is way too much for the three of us so I froze half the batch. Gotta love a 2 for 1 recipe! Make sure to read the note at the bottom of the recipe for freezing instructions.
Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 3
Pork and Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties
recipe adapted from Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
*note about freezing patties follows recipe

2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork

1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.

2. Crumble turkey and pork over mixture and mix well.

3. Using a scoop, portion out into 28 sausage patties and flatten slightly. In a large skillet or on a griddle, cook patties over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until meat in no longer pink, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

*To freeze: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the formed sausage patties (before they are cooked) on the parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to flash freeze then place in a labeled freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months.

Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo

24 Feb

So, I’ve been trying to write this post for about two hours but I’m just drawing a blank. Probably because the little miss has been waking up about every 10 minutes so I have to go in her room and pop her pacifier back in her mouth. You could guess that sleep has been a precious commodity around here lately. One that I’m not getting. Noah has been sleeping more than she has….there is something majorly wrong with that picture. Luckily, she’ll sleep for a few hours straight at night but naps have been non-existent.

No sleep = unhappy, grumpy mama. You know what does make me happy though? These pork chops. They have a warm smokiness due to the cumin and spices and a yummy zip from the citrus. It really is a perfect combination.
Plus they are pretty quick and easy to make. If you don’t count the marinating time, I would say they only take about 15 minutes from start to finish. A perfect weeknight meal with some major Cuban flair.

Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo
recipe from Food Network

1 cup plus 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup  vinegar
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried  oregano
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine

1. In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and vinegar.  Add pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in refrigerator.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture.

3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.

4. Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce juices in pan by half.  Pour over the chops and serve immediately.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

27 Jan

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
Looking for something easy and delicious to nosh on during the big game on Sunday? These sweet and spicy Asian ribs will totally hit the spot. They will cook away in the crock pot while you whip up the rest of your Super Bowl feast. Right before serving, drench them in sauce and throw them under the broiler for some crispy carmelization. Soo good.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
I personally would use more Sriracha for more zing but if you want to keep it mild for your crew go ahead with the stated amount in the recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Who are you cheering for this Sunday? I think I’m going to root for the Broncos since Manning always yells Omaha before his plays. Good logic in choosing my winner, right? Either that or whoever has the prettiest uniform.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
recipe from Family Favorite Recipes

2 racks baby back pork ribs
Seasoning salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (or more if you like things spicier)

1. First, be sure to remove any membrane from ribs. Rub ribs with seasoning and place in large crock pot (you may have to cut the ribs up so they all fit). Pour in water and cook on low heat for 3-5 hours, until ribs are cooked through and they are already starting to fall off the bone.

2. In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Place ribs on a baking sheet and put on the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize. Watch them closely as they will burn quickly.  Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops

31 Dec

Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Long time, no see huh? I decided to take some time off from this little space of mine to truly enjoy Christmas with my family. Not that I don’t enjoy my blog, but life has been crazy and hectic and stressful lately and I needed some time to focus without my computer calling my name. We are still trying to figure out our new normal as a family of four and with the craziness of the holidays and a death in the family, it was nice to unplug. Those of you that have added a new baby to your family, do you ever figure out a new routine? I feel like it’s never going to happen.

I have to admit, it’s been a hard few months. And I haven’t been able to find much time to get into the kitchen so I haven’t had much to share with you all lately. Cooking is hard when you have a sweet, but demanding 3 year old and a new baby to keep happy. Luckily, Hannah is adjusting and is now ok with being put down for a little while.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
But I still find more times than not that I only have a short little window to get something on the table that isn’t a dang frozen pizza. Did you ever think a food blogger would admit to that? Sometimes it’s just easier than dealing with two screaming babies. And I have to admit too, that Joel is usually pretty happy when said frozen pizza is dinner. He has always enjoyed them and pre-Hannah, only got them when I wouldn’t be home for dinner which wasn’t often. And sometimes he just enjoys something “normal” instead of our constantly ever-changing menu. Gah, whatever.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Anyway, these pork chops are incredibly simple to throw together when you just don’t have the time or energy to cook a detailed meal. Since the chops are smoked, all you have to do is soak them in the sweet and spicy marinade for 20 minutes then heat them through on the grill. So easy. You could even throw them in the marinade earlier in the day so all you have to do at dinner time is grill them for a few minutes while you steam some veggies or whip up a quick salad. And with the new year upon us, these can still keep everyone with weight loss resolutions (me included) on track.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
recipe from Sunny Anderson

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for grill
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 thinly cut (about 1/2-inch thick) smoked pork chops

1. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high.

2. In a plastic resealable bag, big enough to fit the chops, mix together the sugar, honey, oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the pork chops and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pork from the marinade. Lightly brush the grill with oil. Put the chops on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees, and grill for 2 minutes more, to create diamond grill marks. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from grill to a serving platter and serve.

Pork Carnitas

1 May

Pork Carnitas 2
My parents came for dinner last week so I decided to make one of our favorite kinds of food, Mexican. And it’s just in time to share with you all for Cinco de Mayo. I decided on these amazing pork carnitas, Mexican rice, crock pot refried beans and homemade flour tortillas (which I will be sharing with you later this week).

These carnitas may just blow your mind. For real. I’m still dreaming about that delicious taco.
Pork Carnitas 1

Neither Joel or my brother really like pork so I was a little worried about how this would go over. The verdict…they loved it and have requested it to be made again, soon.

Although the carnitas take a little time to cook and have a few different steps, they come together very easily. And make sure not to skip anything, especially the broiling. It gives the pork a crispy, crunchy bite that is so delicious with the soft tortillas. Man, I need to stop talking about them or else I’m going to start drooling. Please run to the store for the ingredients right now and make this for your family and friends. It’s a great, easy and casual way to entertain any time of the year.

Pork Carnitas
recipe from My Kitchen Escapades

4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 cup water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees and move oven rack to the bottom of the oven. In a large dutch oven, combine all the ingredients (including the orange halves) and heat over medium high heat until it simmers. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven for about 2 hours, or until the meat falls apart when you poke it with a fork.

2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and throw out everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place the dutch oven over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 cup of liquid remaining when it is finished.

3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and if needed, add some salt and pepper.

4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Favorite 30 Minute {or Less} Meals

10 Apr

Wow, Vegas was a whirlwind and I have to say, I was definitely ready to come home! It was a fun trip but we tried to do way too much in not enough time. Joel and I always seem to do this when we have a little getaway without Noah. When I go somewhere for the first time (and if I’m not sure I’ll be going back again) I like to see and do everything possible…which translates into a packed vacation that lacks relaxation. After this trip, we vowed to not do that again. But I really can’t make any promises.

Plus, I had a whole airport fiasco that ended up in my being stuck in the Vegas airport for over 7 hours before I finally got to board a flight (and not my original). The flight I was supposed to be on got delayed almost 2 hours because of strong winds in Phoenix which would have meant I would miss my connection and be stuck there overnight. I kept being told that I would make the connection and they had me board then right before leaving the gate they called my name and pulled me off the flight saying that I wouldn’t make the connection…no way, the flight didn’t board until 6:40 and my connection was to take off at 7:20. Sooo, they put me on a direct flight at 8:20. I had to wait a little longer but at least I wouldn’t be stuck somewhere overnight. Once I got to my new gate, I found out it was delayed until 10:10 meaning I wouldn’t get home until 3 a.m. Luckily, my bag made it and I eventually got to my parents around 3:30. I got about 3 hours of sleep before Noah woke up and we had to drive the hour home so that Joel could get to work. It was a rough day to say the least.

I’m sure many of you out there get to the end of the day exhausted and needing to whip up a quick and easy dinner so today I’m sharing some of my favorite 30 minutes (or less) main dishes that I have featured here. Many of these are regular rotations for us during the week.
30 Minute Meal 1
Veggie StirfrySkinny Bang Bang Shrimp, Ultimate Grilled Cheese, Oven Tacos
30 Minute Meal 2
Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese, Honey Mustard Pork Burgers, Catalina Taco Salad, BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
30 Minute Meal 3
Steak Bites, Sesame Noodles, Buffalo Sloppy Joes, Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

4 Feb

Hawaiian Pulled Pork 1
I really need to stop watching TV while attempting to write. I’ve been sitting here for about an hour and have only got a few measly sentences. Pathetic time waster I am. I need to turn it off. But I’m watching The Taste so that makes it ok right? All I have to say is darn the freakin’ Hopper that came with our satellite. It tapes all the primetime shows on all the main network channels EVERY.DAY. This translates to me watching too much TV and finding too many new shows that I will inevitably become a slave to. I have only watched the audition episodes of the show but I’m liking it so far and really like the idea of it. Well, I like everything but Anthony Bourdain. Sorry, I’m just not a fan of that guy.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork 2
Here is yet another easy, crock pot meal for those busy weeknights. This one went over 50/50 in our house (I didn’t count Noah since he doesn’t really eat meat). I loved the smokey, rich and sweet flavors of this pork but Joel wasn’t a huge fan. Good thing for both of us that he gets free lunches at work because he didn’t have to eat leftovers meaning the more for me!

This would be perfect to serve at a big barbecue as it is simple to throw together which translates to more time to party with your peeps and it feeds a crowd.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork 3
Hawaiian Pulled Pork
recipe from Flavors by Four

1 3.5 lb. pork shoulder (I used a pork loin roast)
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. grated ginger

1. Add all ingredients but pork to slow cooker.  Add pork.  Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours, or until pork is falling apart.

2. Break up or shred pork with two forks.  Sauce should be fairly thick.  If sauce is still too thin, turn crock pot back up to high until sauce thickens (mine was plenty thick without this step). Serve on rolls.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork 4

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

23 Jan

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
I know I am always talking about quick and easy weeknight meals and hopefully I’m not boring you with them because I am sharing another one today. Wondering why they have become so prevalent around here? Joel’s new job is downtown. All of the garages downtown are FULL. You know what that means? Well, it means that Noah and I are driving him to work and picking him up every day. I kind of grumbled about it at first but it’s actually been kind of great so far. We are able to sit down and have breakfast together then chat even more during our drive. It gets Noah and me out of the house a bit which is always nice for a stay at home mom, even if it is only a 10 minute drive in our jammies. Let’s hope we never see anyone we know during this process….it would be uncomfortable explaining the polka dot pants.

Anyway, since we are picking him up everyday and don’t usually get home until close to 5:30 I have lost a lot of cooking time. I try my best to plan ahead and get some prep done during nap time if needed but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And that’s where this meal comes in. I mix up the ridiculously easy marinade in the morning, throw in the chops and put it in the fridge all day. Then before I head out to pick up Joel, I throw some rice into the rice cooker. When we get home, all I have to do is cook these chops real quick (which literally takes about 5 minutes) and steam some broccoli. It’s a real life saver when you have less than 20 minutes to throw something together for a hungry toddler that’s used to eating at 5:30. And they taste amazing and aren’t dry. A miracle for me when it comes to pork chops!

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
recipe from One Perfect Bite

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 pounds boneless thin-cut pork loin chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper, sugar and salt in bottom of 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined and marinade is smooth. Add chops, turning to coat both sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 1 to 24 hours.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium high heat. Add pork, working in batches if necessary. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to serving plate or serve from pan. Yield: 4 servings.

Crock Pot Pork Ragu

5 Nov

Slow Cooker Pork Ragu
This is hands down one of my new favorite meals and I’m not usually a big red sauce fan. It had a rich, delicious flavor and it is really simple to throw together on a weeknight or even for a casual dinner party. Add a green salad with pear and blue cheese along with some crusty Ciabatta (for sopping up the sauce of course) to complete the meal. It’s a wonderfully warm and hearty dish for fall that your family and friends will really love.

Crock Pot Pork Ragu
recipe from Red Shallot Kitchen

2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed (I used a pork loin and did not cube it)
1 large onion, chopped (I grated mine so that it was very fine)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 package Farfalle (or Pappardelle or Rigatoni)
Grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown the pork on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove pork from skillet and transfer to slow cooker. Add onions, garlics, wine, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours, until the pork is fork tender and the juice thickens.

2. Remove the pork from the crock pot, shred with 2 forks to make smaller pieces. Remove bay leaves and return shredded pork into the crock pot. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Simmer/warm for additional 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a boiling salt water until soft, per package directions. Drain pasta, toss with pork ragu, serve immediately with grated parmesan and chopped parley.

Naples Food Tour

3 Aug

I know this is a little late but life has been hectic around here and I just haven’t had time to write about all our vacation indulgences. Now that all the craziness of July is winding down I will have some time to catch up on blogging and finally edit all of the photos I have taken this month!

The first place I will share with you all is Sweet Mama’s Island Cuisine. Before leaving for vacation, I searched around the net for some ideas and suggestions on where to eat. Our goal was to not eat any chains and we only broke it once for Dunkin Donuts but that is totally understandable…we don’t have them so it doesn’t count. Anyway, I was looking around Trip Advisor and this little place was rated #1 in Naples so I knew it was a place we should try. They featured a few Caribbean dishes that were too out there for us (Goat and Oxtail) but we were still able to find something that we would enjoy. And I apologize for the not so great quality of photos, I kept forgetting my second lens at our condo so I was having some techinal difficulties.
Jerk Chicken
I decided on the Jerk Chicken and it was really happy with it. I like spicy food but not crazy hot and this was bordering on a bit too hot for me. The flavor was amazing though. The food does take a bit longer than normal but it was worth the wait. {Sweet Mama’s Island Cuisine - Naples, FL)
After we enjoyed our meal, Mama herself came out to greet us and ask how we enjoyed everything. She talked to Noah for awhile and got quite a kick out of him.Fernandez the Bull - Naples, FL

Our absolute favorite meal was from Fernandez the Bull, a restaurant specializing in Cuban food. The menu was huge making it very difficult to choose a meal so we ended up passing around bites of everyone’s food so we could try lots of things. Every single thing I tried was amazing but my favorite was fortunately the meal I ordered for myself, Mastistas de Puerco. It was a marinated pork that was chunked and slow cooked then fried and covered with Mojo sauce. It just fell apart and the mojo was super citrusy and garlicy. Another favorite was the Chimichurri Chicken that my grandma ordered. The chicken was so juicy and the chimichurri sauce was the best I have ever had. Joel and my mom each had a different Cuban (a traditional one and a twist on the traditional) and both were really delicious. {Fernandez the Bull - Naples, FL}
Tres Leches Cake
I have never had Tres Leches cake before and saw that it was on the menu so we decided to splurge and give it a try. I don’t usually like anything that is soggy but this cake is a huge exception. It was moist, dense, creamy and rich. Definitely something you want to share with someone! {Fernandez the Bull – Naples, FL}
Monkey Bread
When I was searching online, I found another place via Trip Advisor that I knew we would have to try, The MonKey Bread Factory. They feature many different flavors and I knew it would be hard to decide. I mean, how do you choose between Pumpkin Pie, Coconut and Pina Colada? Well, when we got there we were informed that they only had cinnamon so that was pretty disappointing but we were there so might as well try it, right?
Monkey Bread
It had a crumbly, struesel-like topping that was really yummy along with a cream cheese icing dolloped on top. It was incredibly sugary and we could only eat a few bites but it was really good. {The MonKey Bread Factory – Naples, FL}
Coconut Macaroon
I just tried Joel’s and decided on a dark chocolate covered macaroon for myself. You can’t go wrong with coconut and chocolate in my book. {The MonKey Bread Factory - Naples, FL}


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