Thursday, November 24, 2011

Roasted Pork and Vegetables

This is an easy weeknight dish that is so simple to prepare and allows you the time to clean up the kitchen while it's cooking- hey, what a concept, for me at least. I like this picture with my hungry kitty in the background. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet Lipton onion mix
  • vegetables for roasting: zucchini, potatoes, carrots etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear pork chops on each side for 4 minutes until golden brown. Place in a deep casserole dish coated in cooking spray.
  3. Chop up vegetables and place on top of pork chops. Sprinkle onion packet over vegetables and meat and stir to coat. Add a little bit of water if desired.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pork is done (internal temperature of 145 degrees). Let pork rest 3 minutes before slicing.

Italian Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Delicious! I got this recipe from This is definitely an easy, healthy, weeknight meal. I hope you enjoy!
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb package orzo (may be a little much for this recipe- use your judgment)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Fire-Roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 medium vegetables such as peppers or zucchini, halved with seeds removed
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a deep casserole dish with 1 tsp of olive oil.
  2. In a large pot, boil salted water for orzo; cook until al dente, following package instruction. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  3. In the meantime, cook onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tsp of salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Remove half of onion, garlic, and oil mixture; set aside. Add ground meat to the saucepan. Saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and combine meat with orzo, reserved pasta water, chopped parsley and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Line bottom of casserole dish with tomatoes and top with remaining half of the onion, garlic and oil saute. Arrange vegetable halves, cut side up, in the tomato sauce. Divide orzo-meat filling between vegetables, and cover dish with foil. Bake until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Spoon some of the pan juices and tomatoes on top of each vegetable before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Baked Spinach Alfredo Chicken

I got this recipe out of a cookbook we received for our wedding, "Bride and Groom: First and Forever Cookbook." It was really simple and delicious. Maybe a little too much spinach for two people, but you can adjust that as needed. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • squeeze of lemon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • prosciutto (optional- since I didn't have any)
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • seasoned bread crumbs (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Squeeze excess liquid out of thawed spinach.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Alfredo sauce, squeeze of lemon, pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Whack with the back of a wooden spoon until the surface nearly doubles. Place in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Slather with some additional Alfredo sauce over each chicken breast followed by prosciutto, spinach mixture and Swiss cheese. Top with seasoned bread crumbs if you have them.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apple Pie

Yum! This is the famous recipe from my Aunt Sandy. I have to admit that I didn't make my own crust, but I included the crust recipe if you are so daring. I used my new apple corer, peeler, and slicer tool which made preparing these apples so easy. I hope you enjoy!

Crust (or 2-9" Pillsbury pie crusts):
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup ice water
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Braeburn apples (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  1. Lightly spoon 2-1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in 6 tbsp butter and vegetable shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add lemon juice. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time and toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.
  2. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Gently press each portion into a 1-inch-thick circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover and freeze 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place apples in a large bowl. Combine sugar, 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples; toss well to coat.
  5. Working with 1 dough portion at a time, roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough circle into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over the edge. Roll the remaining dough portion into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon apple mixture into prepared pie plate, and dot with 1 tbsp butter. Drizzle apple mixture with 1/2 tsp vanilla. Top with 10-inch dough circle. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Brush surface of dough with milk. Cut 3 (1-inch) slits in the top of dough to allow steam to escape. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the apples are tender. (I added foil to crust edges after 15 minutes to prevent crust from burning).