February 5, 2009


Yesterday I decided to try something I have never made before, ribs! I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook them after work so I decided to give them a shot in the crock pot. I just threw some stuff together that I had in the fridge and pantry and they turned out great! I plan to make bbq sandwiches with the leftovers. I may at some point try real bbq ribs on the grill but I’m thinking that requires a little more time and energy, both of which I don’t have much of right now.

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

2 lbs pork loin ribs
1 cup bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ)
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
1-1 1/2 cups water

Liberally salt and pepper both sides of each rib. Combine bbq sauce and mustard in a bowl. Brush on both sides of each rib and place in a 6 qt crock pot. Add onions and garlic. Pour water into the bottom of the crock (down beside the ribs as to not wash all the bbq sauce off the ribs). Cook on low 6 hrs.

The rib meat will be falling off the bones. Serve with extra bbq sauce for dipping.


It’s that time again to highlight another kitchen utensil in the monthly Tasty Tools blog event hosted by Joelen. This month’s tool is the whisk. Everyone has these in their kitchen and I for one never think twice about pulling one out to beat some eggs or pancake batter. But it’s a handy little tool. I particularly love the one I used tonight to mix up the sauce for my asian pork stir fry. It’s the mini whisk from Pampered Chef. It’s the perfect little tool for beating just an egg or two and whisking together ingredients for a salad dressing or marinade.

I make my chicken stir fry pretty much the same way I made this. We had chicken last night so I thought using some pork chops in this stir fry would be great. It was a very easy and delicious dinner.

Asian Pork Stir Fry

3-4 1″ thick center cut, boneless pork chops (or pork loin), cut into 1″ pieces

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into strips

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 cup broccoli florets, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup lite soy sauce

2 Tbsp honey

1-2 cloves minced or pressed garlic

2 Tbsp olive oil

Begin by combining the soy sauce, honey, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to incorporate the honey into the soy sauce. Set aside. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the pan. Cook covered (to steam the vegetables) about 5 minutes. Add the pork back to the pan to finish cooking along with the soy sauce mixture. Add the broccoli the last 5-6 min and cook covered. Serve over rice.


Ok, so I’m a little behind here. I just recently started reading the Pioneer Woman’s blog. I had heard what a great blog it was but just had not gotten around to checking it out. Well I am so glad I did. Not only is she funny and witty, she has great photos and delicious looking food! When I saw this recipe, I immediately put it on my menu for this week. I planned on making it this weekend to use later in the week, but I almost didn’t have time! We were so busy this weekend that I almost didn’t remember to cook it. Luckily, I did remember and threw it my dutch oven and cooked it for about 3 hours yesterday afternoon. By that time it was just falling apart. So moist and tender.  I used this to make myself a taco last night and my husband made a sandwich. And the verdict? So good! You must make this. Your house will smell awesome while it’s cooking and your mouth will be happy, too. This shredded pork could be used in lots of recipes from tacos and sandwiches to soups and stews.

For the recipe, go here. The only change I made was to use a 3lb pork loin.

I’m cooking out of the freezer this week, trying to cut back on the grocery budget a little. Prices at the store keep going up and it seems like my grocery budget gets larger while my pantry and freezer get barer. When I opened the freezer this week to take stock of what I had in order to plan a menu, I saw two lonely pork chops sitting there. Not sure how long they’ve been in there but I felt they needed a purpose. I had saved this recipe on my google reader for teriyaki pork chops and thought those might be good one night. By the way if you don’t use google reader you definitely should! It helps so much with keeping up with blogs and recipes. Anyway, I had seen this on one of my favorite blogs, Annie’s Eats, and so I knew it had to be good. And Annie, I promise I don’t stalk your blog each week to see what you’ve made. : ) I guess we just like the same foods! These did turn out great! My husband and I both enjoyed them and it was such a quick dinner.

Teriyaki Grilled Pork Chops


2/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup water

¼ cup rice vinegar

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine (or 1 ½ tsp. dried ginger)

4-6 pork chops


For the marinade, combine all ingredients except pork chops in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool the marinade completely. Put the pork chops in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag, pressing out excess air. Allow chops to marinate, turning bag once or twice, at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Pour the marinade into a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Grill chops on an oiled rack, approximately 7-8 minutes per side, or until just cooked through, basting with marinade during last 5 minutes of cooking.

Source: adapted from Elite Entrees, originally from Gourmet Magazine

As I was wandering the aisles of the grocery store last week looking for orzo, I came across couscous on the shelf. I had never had it before so I decided I’d pick some up to try this week. I opted for the pre-seasoned roasted garlic and olive oil kind since this would be my first time making it. So I stuck it in the cabinet and sort of forgot about it. Tonight, I was trying to think of a side for my pork roast and then I remembered that I had bought the couscous so I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. I figured it would be pretty boring on its own so I decided to add about a 1/4 cup of chopped spinach and a tablespoon of lemon juice to it. I had seen this on a blog earlier this week (although I can’t remember which one). I’m pretty sure there was more involved in that recipe, but since I was using the already seasoned couscous, I just left it at that. I have to say it was pretty good and even my picky husband ate it, but I wouldn’t say it was my favorite thing ever. But even if it hadn’t been good, the roasted pork loin I made would have more than made up for it. It was so moist, flavorful and delicious. I’m really enjoying coming up with ways to use the fresh herbs I’m growing and this recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s definitely quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Garlic and Herb Roasted Pork Loin

2 lb pork loin

2 Tbsp chopped basil

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp dried thyme (I didn’t have any fresh)

1 tsp Pampered Chef citrus basil seasoning (you could omit this but I really like it)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 more Tbsp

Begin by cutting 4-5 slits diagonally across the top of the pork loin about 1/2 ” deep. Sprinkle the citrus basil seasoning, salt and pepper on the pork roast. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl to form a paste. Rub the paste over the top and bottom of the roast, making sure to rub it into the slits as well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 1 day. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan and heat over medium high heat. Place the pork roast in the pan and sear on all sides. Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temp is 160-165F. Remove from the oven and place aluminum foil over the roast. Let set for about 10 minutes. The temperature will rise another 5-10 degrees. Slice and serve.


May 16, 2008

My poor blog. I feel that I’ve neglected it over the past few weeks. Between not having a camera for a week or so, vacation and life in general, I haven’t been cooking or blogging very much. So I decided I at least needed to post this recipe that I tried a few weeks ago. It was the recipe I chose to christen my new Le Creuset dutch oven. Sorry, but there is no picture. I made this the week our friend borrowed our camera. But let me tell you, it was awesome! My husband and I enjoyed it very much. Hopefully this will be the first of many new blog posts for me in the next few weeks.

Smothered Pork Chops

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Source: Food Network (Tyler Florence)

Looking in my fridge and pantry this week, I saw lots of half boxes and bags of things. I hate when I have a lot of random leftover items because I always find it difficult to make a complete dinner out of them. Well there was no way I was fighting the last minute Thanksgiving shoppers at the grocery store so I decided I needed to use up what I had. So out of a pork roast, half a box of orzo, half a bag of baby spinach, 1/4 head of garlic, and 1 cup chicken stock came the idea for our dinner tonight. It turned out really well and was simple and delicious.

Herb Roasted Pork

1.5 lb pork roast
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a skillet over med/high heat and add 3 Tbsp olive oil. Rub the roast with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Place the roast in the skillet and sear on all sides. Place roast in a preheated 375 degree oven and cook for about an hour. Check to make sure the internal temp is 160 or that juices are clear. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 min before slicing. Pour pan juices over sliced pork.

Garlic and Spinach Orzo

1 cup orzo
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt. Add orzo and boil for 9 min, until al dente. Drain the orzo. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 min. Add the orzo and chicken stock and stir. Remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Maple Braised Pork Chops

November 7, 2007

I really love the food blog community. I get so many great ideas and dinner is hardly ever boring anymore. I can barely keep up with all the great recipes I have saved! Well I’ve had this recipe saved for a couple weeks but it’s been getting pushed back and pushed back because we’ve been so busy and I haven’t been doing as much cooking as usual. So I finally decided I wanted to make this for dinner tonight. Well wouldn’t you know I didn’t have the brown sugar that the recipe calls for. I get so frustrated when I get ready to make something and then realize I don’t have one or more of the ingredients. But I was determined to make it anyway so I improvised a little. It still turned out really good even without the missing ingredient. The great combination of flavors still came through in every bite.

Maple Braised Pork Chops

1-2 lbs pork ribs (I used boneless pork chops)
maple rub (recipe below)
Maple Rub
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar(I used a little granulated sugar and extra syrup just for sweetness because I was out of brown sugar)
  • splash of worchestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock for the bottom of the crockpot
  1. Combine above ingredients in a bowl. Consistency will slightly clumpy and paste like. Coat pork ribs with this paste using your hands – a basting brush isn’t as effective.
  2. Place coated pork in a dutch oven or in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours OR Place coated pork in your crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
Prep time: 5-10 mintues

Cook time: Oven: 3-4hrs Crockpot: 5 to 5 1/2hrs

Serves: 4

(I baked my chops in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 min and then broiled for a couple min. I added a little chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. My maple rub was a little thinner than it probably should have been because of the extra syrup. Still good though.)

Adapted from:
Tara’s Pork Chops
Original Source: Joelen’s Blog

Another Recipe Revisited

October 4, 2007

Since I’m going back through some of my favorite recipes, this one had to be on the list of things to make again soon. I think I’ve only made this once before, but I remembered it being very good and very easy. So it made it’s way onto this week’s menu. My husband nor I have ever really been big fans of pork chops, at least the way our mothers made them, but this recipe is a keeper for both of us. It really takes no time at all and requires few ingredients to make. Very easy for a weeknight meal.

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

2 large eggs
1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Original Source: foodnetwork.com

A vegetable-less dinner

September 17, 2007

This never happens but tonight we had dinner without vegetables. I always try to make a balanced meal for dinner; protein, carbs, and at least one non-starchy vegetable, but tonight I was just not feeling the veggies. So I didn’t make any. But what we did have was very good… barbecue pork sandwiches, made in the crock pot and homemade mac ‘n cheese. So I guess I don’t feel so bad about the veggies. Eh, I’ll do better tomorrow.

Crock Pot Pulled Barbecue Pork

2 lb pork loin roast
1 jar barbebue sauce (I use a honey bbq sauce for a sweeter flavor)
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups broth or water

Place roast in the crock pot. Add 1/2 bottle sauce, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and garlic on top of the roast. Pour broth or water in the bottom of the crock pot. This helps to keep the roast from burning or drying out. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs. Before serving, take two forks and shred the pork in the crock pot. Turn the crock pot on keep warm and allow the pork to warm in the juices in the bottom of the crock pot for 15 min or so. Remove pork from the crock pot and place in a bowl. Add the other 1/2 bottle of sauce and toss to coat. Serve on buns or rolls.

I’m especially proud of how the macaroni turned out. It was the first time I have made this dish that it turned out well. You would think any proper southern girl would be born knowing how to make a killer mac ‘n cheese, but I have never had any luck with it until tonight. This will be my go to mac ‘n cheese recipe from now on! I basically just took ideas from several different recipes and came up with this.

Creamy Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

8 oz elbow macaroni
6 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Begin my boiling the macaroni in salted water until done. Drain. Heat the milk for about 1 min in the microwave just to get it warm. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add flour and stir in with a whisk. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 min. Slowly add warm milk to the pan and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup mozzarella, salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni. Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with additional cheddar, mozzarella and bread crumbs. Bake for about 25-30 min or until bubbly and golden brown.