Thursday, November 29, 2012

Golden Apple Pork Chops

I searched all over for this recipe tonight before finally finding it in my recipe box! It was in the local grocery store sales flyer a year or so ago and my mom made it for the girls when they were spending the night. They really liked it so I made it once or twice and they've been asking for it again. I was all set to make it tonight but couldn't find the recipe, partly because I thought it was one from the newspaper so I was looking for a different kind of clipping but also because I had copied it and put it in my recipe box.

It's the perfect blend of pork chops, apples, and apple cider.

Golden Apple Pork Chops
serves 4

4 boneless pork chops
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp oil
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, sliced thin
2/3 c apple cider or juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch

Trim fat from pork chops. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Heat oil on med-high in a large skillet. Brown chops on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and add apples, 1/2 c cider and brown sugar. Cook 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, mix remaining cider with the cornstarch. Remove chops and apples and keep warm. Whip cornstarch mixture into pan juices, cook and stir until thickened. Spoon over chops.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sesame Honey Chicken

I found this recipe in the wonderful world known as Pinterest. I made it a few weeks ago, put the leftovers in the freezer, then forgot about them. Pulled it out tonight when I needed something quick and it was really good the second time. This is a quick and easy Chinese flavored chicken dish; I served it over rice with broccoli.

Sesame Honey Chicken
serves 8

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
3 scallions, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper then put in crockpot. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oil, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken and cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water; add to the sauce left in the crockpot* and stir. Cover and cook on high for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add back in the chicken. Serve with rice and top the chicken with the sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

*I have an old crockpot that very rarely can make a sauce thicken. I had to put the sauce into a saucepan, add the cornstarch mixture, and thicken on the stove.

modified from The Comfort of Cooking

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baked Apple Cider "Doughnut Holes"

I was perusing my extensive food pinterest board last night and came across this recipe. I had totally forgotten about it but it sounded good. My girls love apple cider and we all enjoy going to Williamsburg in the fall and getting some hot apple cider to sip on while walking the streets there. The good news for us is that I happened to have everything needed for this recipe. Bob had a huge issue calling these doughnut holes; they're made in a mini muffin pan so he said they were muffins. Either way, they were good.

Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Holes
makes about 48 doughnut holes

2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
2/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c apple butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c honey
1/3 c apple cider
1/3 c plain yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400* and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another large bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla, honey, apple cider, yogurt, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine (a few lumps will be ok). Fill each muffin hole about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.

While the donuts are baking, combine the cinnamon and sugar on a dish. When the muffins come out of the oven, dip the tops in the cinnamon-sugar, then coat the sides using a spoon. Serve warm.

The number of holes you get depends on the size of your mini-muffin pan; I got about 44 this morning, although some were rather large so I could have had 48. You could also dust with powdered sugar instead of the cinnamon-sugar if you want.

Modified slightly from Feastie.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bacon Egg Cups

This was one of many recipes that I've found and pinned on Pinterest. I've been looking for some new breakfast ideas, especially since we're trying to eat together. Sweet Pea really liked this one, Rosie Jane said it was ok. I thought it was really good. Mine sure didn't turn out as nice as the ones in the original picture, but they tasted good.

Bacon Egg Cups
makes 12

12 slices of bacon
8 eggs
1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 350*. Cook the bacon about "halfway," it should still be soft, just starting to crisp up. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray. Wrap each piece of bacon around the inside of a muffin cup. Don't worry if the bacon falls in on itself. Fill about 3/4 full with the egg mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the eggs are golden brown and don't jiggle. Run a knife around the muffin cup to get them out. Serve immediately.

You can also add a splash of milk to the eggs. They turn out fluffy that way.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

I saw this in the Parade Magazine in some recent Sunday's paper and wanted to try it. Made it for lunch today and it's very tasty as well as easy and low fat.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup
serves 6

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c reduced-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
plain fat-free Greek yogurt for garnish

In a large pot, heat oil over low heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in spices, salt, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Whisk in broth and pumpkin. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk and simmer for 2 minutes. If you want a smooth soup, using an immersion blender puree soup until smooth. Add a little more broth to thin, if desired. Ladle into bowls and garnish with yogurt; add pepper to taste.