Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork

I have finally taken my slow cooker out of hiding.  I hadn't used it since I moved into my new house.  This balsamic pork recipe is ridiculously easy and delicious.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork
Adapted from Skinny Taste

1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Place tenderloin in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on all sides of the pork.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour over pork.
2. Cook 4-5 hours on low.  After 3-4 hours pork should break down easily.  Break pork into large chunks with tongs so more surface area cooks in the sauce.  When ready to serve, shred pork into smaller pieces and place on serving plate.  Drizzle remaining sauce on top of pork.

I am super excited that I now have Pyrex measuring cups AND serving platters!

I served this pork with an Italian potato salad.  I bet it would also go great on top of some Texas toast.

Where did I put those leftovers.....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cheesy Corn Dip

This corn dip is loaded up with cheese and bacon, and it looks damn good in my new chip and dip bowl too!

Cheesy Corn Dip
Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 1/2 cups frozen corn
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp chipotle pepper, minced
2 tbsp chives, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients, except for the chives, in a mixing bowl.  Place dip in an 8x8 pan and cook until bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Stir cooked dip, transfer to serving bowl, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with chips.

You like that fresh chive garnish don't you? Totally in love with my herb garden.

Make this for your next party, it makes plenty for a crowd!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bacon-Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is fancy enough that you could serve it for company, but simple enough that you can prepare it on a weeknight.  Have company coming over on a weeknight? Here ya go!

I am so happy with my herb garden this year.  I have been so excited to add fresh herbs to everything!

Bacon Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from Bobby Flay

1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme
12 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic
6 slices bacon
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Place garlic cloves on cutting board and sprinkle salt on top.  Mince garlic and using the side of your knife, mush salt and garlic together to make a paste.  Mince herbs and mix together with garlic salt paste.  Rub herb mixture all over the pork tenderloin.
2. Drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet.  Place pork on sheet and wrap bacon slices around it.  Cook 20-30 minutes until pork reaches 165 degrees.

Looks fancy doesn't it?

Yum!  Don't be shy about the herbs here guys, load it up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spicy Zucchini Potato Salad

Barbecue season is coming to a close here, so I am here to deliver a final potato salad for you.  In case you have some garden zucchini still lying around, or one last bbq to attend...

Honey Dijon Zucchini Potato Salad
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 tbsp chipotle pepper, or less depending on how spicy you want it
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
8 oz potatoes, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a small bowl mix dressing ingredients: pepper, garlic, honey, mustard, sour cream, oil. On a baking sheet lined with foil, place zucchini halves.  Top zucchini with half of the dressing mixture.  Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water, until cooked through.
3. Once zucchini is cooled slightly, coarsely chop.  In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, potatoes, and remaining dressing.

This was a tasty spin on the usual potato salad.  I loved the addition of the oven roasted zucchini and I don't doubt you will too!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

I was given a large bag of heirloom tomatoes from a camper's garden.  After multiple tomato salads, I wanted to do something different.  I also needed a way to eat a whole bunch of tomatoes at once, they weren't looking too good.

And so this salsa was born!

I kept the cherry tomatoes whole and cut the larger tomatoes into chunks to prepare them for roasting.  I also added an small onion.  The vegetables were seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.

Above you can see the tray after the trip in the oven.  I put everything in the food processor along with some chipotle peppers and fresh cilantro.

Best. Salsa. Ever.

Seriously, I'm not a huge salsa fan, but this was really delicious.  Roasting the tomatoes before was definitely worth the effort.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dr. Pepper Cake

This is pretty much the easiest cake you could ever make.

You take some Dr. Pepper.

You get some cake mix.

Put it all together in the oven.

Cake comes out.

I will be the first to admit that this tasted nothing like Dr. Pepper.  It was a delicious and moist chocolate cake for sure.  It was nice to know you don't need eggs, oil, and water to make a cake.  But how does that Dr. Pepper flavor just disappear like that?

I don't know and you know what, I don't even like Dr. Pepper so I was partially grateful it didn't taste like the soda.

I mixed a few tablespoons of Dr. Pepper into the vanilla frosting, but I didn't want it to get too watery.  Somehow the flavor did not come through here either.

The cake was no doubt delicious and it looked super cute in my new cake stand.  

If you're ever in a bind and only have soda and cake mix instead of all the other ingredients, this recipe is for you.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Burrito Casserole

I've been enjoying meal planning.  I like writing up a chalkboard menu every week.  I'm a big fan of organization and lists.  I have been cooking pretty much every night of the week for the past few months we've been in our new home.

One of the problems with wanting to cook something different every night is that the leftovers seem to pile up faster than we can eat them.  This right here is a lesson in leftover re-purposing. 

Tuesday on the chalkboard menu is taco night.  Taco Tuesday came around this week, but *gasp* last week's taco Tuesday leftovers were still in the fridge! 

Solution? Burrito casserole!  I'm not going to write out a recipe here because I think that defeats the purpose of this post.  

I cooked up some nontraditional taco vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, to add to the leftovers. All the vegetables got seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.  I mixed in the leftover rice at the end, after re-heating it in the microwave first.

I was able to make 4 layers with my leftovers: tortilla, filling, tortilla, filling topped cheese.

Behold the cheesy melty goodness!

Top it all with a nice dollop of fresh guacamole and voila, leftovers look brand new and tasty too!