Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maple-Mustard Pork Chops and Applesauce

These chops are so yummy and the mustard glaze gives them so much flavor. Really easy to cook and you can't screw them up either. Perfect for a weeknight dinner with homemade applesauce, yum!

(this picture is for lunch the next day and the applesauce was loooong gone:)


1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 spicy brown mustard
1/4 apple juice
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
6 boneless pork chops (1/2-3/4 inch thick)
olive oil
salt and pepper
3-4 apples
cinnamon and sugar

1. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat.
2. Combine maple syrup, mustard,apple juice, allspice, and cumin in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
3.Coat each chop in a light drizzle of olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place in pan and start to baste all the sides of the chops that are facing up. Cook for about 5 minutes and flip. Now baste the other side. Cook 5 minutes and flip again. Baste and cook 5 minutes and repeat this process for about 20 minutes or until your chops are cooked through. Baste the glaze again over chops before serving for a little extra sauce. Yum!

Really easy here. Cut your apples into cubes. Put in a medium size sauce pan and add a splash of apple juice. Put the lid on and let cook for about 5 minutes. Then add a couple tablespoons of sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir and cook until soft and sauce has formed.

*Serve applesauce with chops, steamed broccoli or carrots or a green salad. You are set!
* You could do these on the grill too in the summer!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chewy Turtle Brownies

My chocolate cravings are setting in and these babies hit the spot! I love brownies and the caramel chewiness made these scrumptious! You really can't tell the are lower in fat!!


1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
36 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped pecans (I didn't have any so I used walnuts)

1. First make the brownies by mixing the applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and egg whites together. Next add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined add pour into a 9x9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
2. While the brownies are cooking prepare the caramel. Put all caramels into a microwave safe bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of milk. Microwave for 1-2 minutes and stir every minute until smooth.
3. When brownies have cooked for 10 minutes pull them out and pour the caramel over the brownies. Spread over until about 1/4 inch from the edges. *If the caramel goes all the way to the edge and touches the side of the pan, it will become hard and EXTREMELY sticky and when cooked the remaining time, so keep away from the side.:)
Ok, now after the caramel is poured on, sprinkle with 2/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of chopped nuts. Pour the rest of the brownie batter onto caramel layer. Again, sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate chips and nuts.
4. Bake 20-25 more minutes until center is set. Now, LET THEM COOL. This is a must. For a couple of hours, then dig in!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Holy Moly!! This soup is amazing!! I am not even exaggerating a little bit. And this winter has been so chilly so so soup as been really yummy and a necessity around her. I made this for my in-laws and my brother and before the night was over, they both asked for the recipe. I can't take too much credit, because it is from the brilliant minds at Our Best Bites. Try it!


2 chicken breasts or 6 chicken tenders,thawed
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cans chicken broth
1 15-oz. can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (3-4 limes). Don't even think of buying the stuff in a bottle.
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

tortilla strips or chips (homemade strip recipe at bottom)
Grated cheese
1/4 c. cilantro

1.Early in the day, cook the chicken. Just sprinkle the chicken with taco seasoning and saute it in a skillet on the stove. After it has cooked and cooled, shred and use in the soup.

2. In a large stockpot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and minced jalapeno (if you want) and cook a few minutes more until pepper is softened and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes.

3. While soup is simmering, juice the limes and set aside. Start preparing the toppings: grate the cheese, chop the cilantro, and cut up the avocado.RIGHT before serving, add lime juice and chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into the bowls and add desired toppings.

* Tortilla strips: So easy and better for you :) Cut up 5-6 corn tortillas into little thin strips. Heat oven to 450. Put foil on a cookie sheet and spray with non stick spray. Sprinkle the strips onto the pan. *I have a little squirt bottle with lime juice in it to spritz the strips with but if you don't have anything like that, then just spray the strips with non-stick spray. Sprinkle strips with salt and put into hot oven. Cook about 3-4 minutes pull it out and flip strips with a spatula. Cook another 4 or so minutes until crispy! Done and perfect for this soup (or taco salad).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Piccata

This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and it is so easy, anyone can make it! It is really fast too! The lemon flavor really adds to this dish and I promise you will love it!

6-8 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

2.In a large skillet over medium high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.

3.Reduce heat to medium low and add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Whisk everything left in the pan together to finish the sauce. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

* Great dinner for entertaining. Pair it up with a green veggie, steamed broccoli, green beans or a green salad. Add some toasted french bread and you are ready!