Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops January 10, 2013

Filed under: Pork,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 8:11 pm

Holy crap, you guys. I am SORE. Today is day two of our workout/diet plan and man. My body does not like the change so far. But that’s good right? It means that I’ve made an adjustment to the terrible way I was living.

I’m not doing anything really structured–I always fail miserably at those plans. One day missed on the plan and I revert back to my inert laziness. Instead, we are making an effort to eat less fat and preservatives, and work out during the week. Richard works late 2 or 3 nights a week, so we are doing cardio together on his early nights, then sitting down to a well-rounded, healthy dinner. On his late nights, he works out in the morning, and I’m doing a strength-based exercise regimen courtesy of Pinterest. It’s only been two days, but I think we will be able to keep each other accountable.

Or, if I’m being honest, he’ll keep ME accountable. Because let’s face it–he’s much better at sticking to a plan than I am. The hardest part will be the weekends, when we usually drink lots of beer, go out to eat, or order Chinese takeout.

I am quickly becoming addicted to balsamic vinegar. It fulfills all the savory, sour, rich flavors that my palate craves 90% of the time. It’s so easy to toss some greens and veggies with a splash of balsamic and just a bit of EVOO.

I came across this recipe in one of my old binders and knew I had to make it. It was DELICIOUS. It was very quick to throw together, but there was no sacrificing the flavors here. It was deep and sweet and tangy. I ended up dousing some green beans in leftover sauce to eat for dinner tonight.

I had every intention of crediting the author here, but my wonderful boyfriend cleaned our apartment while I was at work today, and threw away the recipe. This is not a recipe I created out of my head, so my sincerest apologies to the original author. Just trust me. Make this soon!

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops

2-4 boneless pork loin
EVOO, salt pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Honey
1 Tsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp butter

Drizzle pork with EVOO, salt and pepper. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to come to room temperature.

In a small saucepan, boil balsamic and honey until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add butter and rosemary, remove from heat.

Preheat skillet on med high heat. Place pork in pan, baste with balsamic mixture on both sides until cooked through. Mine were thin, so this only took a few minutes. Thicker loins will take longer.

Serve with veggies, and applesauce of course!


Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops July 28, 2010

Filed under: Asian,My Recipes,Pork,Quick and Easy,sauce — hmills96 @ 6:04 pm
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We had a branch-wide quarterly meeting today. While most people generally don’t like those kinds of interruptions, I was glad for it. For someone new to the company, it was a way to put some names with the faces I see every day, and for this small business girl to really feel a sense of unity in such a large corporation. I was expecting something boring, lots of numbers that I wouldn’t understand. And there was some of that. But the main part of the meeting was to recognize birthdays, anniversaries, and those people who had been with the company for 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. It was a good way, I thought, to pump people up. At the end, PIZZA!!! Which is always OK in my book! My poor ham sandwich is still sitting in the fridge, waiting to be eaten.

That’s OK, I ended up getting my pork fix at the end of the day instead. If you like Chinese food, MAKE THIS NOW! This was just a sauce that I made up during the slow afternoon hours today at work, and it was soooooooo good.

For those of you country-folk who are thinking, “What in THE hell is Sriracha sauce?” don’t be scared of it. It’s just Chinese hot sauce, thicker than the stuff we use around here. You’ll find it in the international aisle. It’s a blazing red sauce, with a pointy green top.

Also, use any kind of jam or preserves you want for this. I had strawberry, but mango, peach, or pineapple would be good with this too. I wouldn’t use a dark berry, like blueberry or blackberry, but something light and tropical would work well.

The measurements below are just estimates. I only made two small pork chops, so I had a ton of sauce left over, which I did on purpose to keep in a jar for next time. But it would be a good amount for 4 or 5 chops.

Not a great picture unfortunately, bad lighting tonight.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops

Original Recipe

1-2 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 jar fruit preserves
1/4 cup white wine
Boneless pork chops

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chops.

Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Dip chops in sauce, place in hot pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, brushing with more glaze while cooking.

While plating, pour hot glaze from pan over chops.


Choriqueso Fritters May 17, 2010

Filed under: appetizers,cheese,Mexican,Pork,sausage — hmills96 @ 3:03 pm
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There is a dish at our local Mexican joint that I LOVE. Choriqueso. I don’t often order it, because it’s more than I really need to eat before a giant burrito. But it is sooooooooo good. The chorizo just sort of melts into the cheese. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

What could be better than turning that wonderful substance into a fried mouthful? NOTHING! I was so excited when I found this recipe. I had 3/4 of a wheel of Queso Fresco leftover from the pork tacos, and a tube of chorizo in my freezer that I’ve been dying to use for something.

These were good. Maybe not the melty, oozy goodness I was hoping for, but they were delicious. I’ll use a different cheese next time, as Fresco doesn’t melt very well. And I had my oil way too hot, so, as you can see in the pictures, they browned way too fast and dark. That may have been party of the melting problem too. But, this was the first time I had ever deep-fried anything, so I’m glad I did try.

These definitely need a dipping sauce. Boom Boom sauce would be great with this, or even just fresh salsa (not the nasty canned stuff).

Only slightly burnt haha! Still good though!

Choriqueso Fritters

Adapted from Cacique Ad in Cooking Light

10 oz package Queso Fresco
5 oz ground chorizo
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 cups Panko

Brown chorizo. Drain and let cool.

With a fork, crumble cheese into a mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and mix. Add cooled chorizo (best way to do this is with your hands).

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees.

Make 2 Tbsp balls of mixture, flatten slightly, and roll in panko.

Fry until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels, season immediately.


Pork Roast Tacos May 5, 2010

Filed under: crockpot,Family,holiday,Mexican,Pork — hmills96 @ 6:02 pm
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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today is the day where margaritas are on sale at every restaurant that sells so much as a nacho chip and every food blogger cooks something with tortillas or tequila! Not that I’m complaining–seriously what’s wrong with tequila?

The 5th of May, in my family, has always meant Dad’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Daddy!! There’s an unwritten rule in our house that the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant for dinner, and I always remember going to get Mexican–Banditos in my younger days, then El Camino when they came in to town. Dad LOVES spicy food–chiles rellenos is one of his favorites!

This is old, but cute!

He would have liked this dish–it doesn’t pack much heat, but the spices are definitely there. The pork is seared, then braised for 2 hours in all kinds of deliciousness. My house smelled AMAZING yesterday when I was making this!


Pork Roast Tacos
Adapted from My Baking Adventures

Chili Spice Rub–See Below

3lbs pork tenderloin
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 dried red chiles (or a handful of red pepper flakes)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp Mexican Hot Chile Powder

Pat pork dry. Rub chili mixture into meat.

Set dutch oven over medium high heat, coat bottom with oil. Sear meat on all sides.

Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until the caramelize. Add tomatoes, chiles, cumin, and chile powder. Add 2 inches of water.

Cover and simmer for 2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary. Mine boiled down quite a bit, keep an eye on it.

Shred meat and serve on tortillas.

Chili Spice Rub
Adapted from 500 Five Ingredient Recipes

1/2 cup Hot Mexican Chili Powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
8 cloves garlic, minced fine

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub into meat before cooking.

**Note–Once seared, this could probably be cooked lower and slower in a crockpot, just make sure your meat is cooked thru before serving.


Roasted Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce April 16, 2010

Filed under: My Recipes,Pork — hmills96 @ 6:53 pm

It has been a very bittersweet week for me. Monday night, I had a long conversation with my boss, and we decided it was best if I went my separate ways. We both felt it was just time, after 3 years, I just wasn’t fitting there anymore. It was difficult to leave–I have made so many friends there, I love my technicians, “my guys” as I am, even still, referring to them. I’ve learned so much over the past 3 years. I started there as a college sophomore, looking for some extra cash, working after hours doing data entry and answering phones in the evening. When I graduated college, there was a full-time position waiting for me. However, I never really got past that little college girl mentality, and thus, it’s time for me to spread my wings and find my true potential.

Unfortunately, for the time being, I am unemployed. I’ve filled out no less than 13 applications online today, and I have 3 resumes ready to send in the mail (unfortunately I ran out of computer ink and couldn’t print the cover letters).

Our cupboards are pretty bare, I need to go grocery shopping desperately. I have to learn to bargain shop *shudders*. Food is the one thing I’ve never limited myself on, but I will have to stick to more simple ingredients for at least the time being. With that mentality, I set out to make a gourmet meal from the limited products in my pantry. I am pretty impressed with what I came up with. I did serve these with canned baked beans and frozen green beans, when I normally would have fresh sautéed mushrooms or the like, but the meal was still amazingly delicious, and used everything I usually have on hand (plus 2 frozen pork chops).

Roasted Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

Original Recipe


1 cup Honey mustard dressing
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup brewed iced tea
1/2 cup sherry
1/4 cup sun-dried Tomato Spice Mix
Salt & Pepper


1/2-1 cup cream
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sherry
1/2 Tbsp flour
Parsley flakes
Salt & Pepper

2 Pork chops

In Ziploc bag, mix together all marinade ingredients. Add pork chops and shake to coat. Marinade in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add porkchops, brown on both sides. About 2-3 minutes each side.

Transfer to oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip chops and add a little marinade. Cook 10 more minutes. Remove from pan and let rest in foil while you make the sauce.

In the same pan, add flour to pan drippings to make roux. Add cream, mustard and sherry, heat to simmer, stirring constantly. Add spices and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until thickened. Should still be pourable, if not, add more cream. Serve on top of chops.


The Best Kinds of Days January 15, 2010

Filed under: comfort food,crockpot,Pork — hmills96 @ 12:22 am

Every once in awhile I’m asked to cover a Saturday at work, and in return, I’m given a day off during the week. this was one of those weeks, and today I got to lay around in bed all day. Sure, I could have been doing something productive, but I started reading Angels & Demons yesterday and that’s one of those books that you just can’t put down once you start. This morning, I put a pork roast in the crockpot, and this evening, I finished my book just in time to start the rest of dinner fixins’. Now I’m nursing one glass of wine (just one…sigh…damn migraines), and typing this up before I go up and start my next book. What, you thought I’d take a break or something?

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Roast
Adapted from Beantown Baker
2.5 lb pork roast
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 oz fresh cranberries (I took mine straight from the freezer, did not seem to cause a problem)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Mix ginger, mustard, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Coat pork. Place in crockpot.
Put rest of ingredients in crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. It will be more tender if you cook it lower and slower.
I served it with Balsamic Glazed Carrots (you’ll see recipe soon) and an adapted form of this gravy. I used cranberry juice instead of apple cider, and rosemary and thyme in the roux.

Quick Well-Rounded Meal October 26, 2009

Filed under: Pork,Quick and Easy,Sweet Potatoes — hmills96 @ 11:37 pm

Can I just say that I LOVE Cooking Light? I first discovered it while standing in line in the grocery store. I was just spreading my foodie wings, while at the same time struggling with the 20+ post engagement pounds. The photos in the magazine are gorgeous, and the recipes are perfect for a growing culinary mind. They focus on fresh ingredients, some that are familiar, but they also encourage you to branch out. This month’s issue had a new section with full meal plans laid out in a certain time limit–great for a weeknight when I don’t necessarily feel like spending hours cooking. (Ironically, I made this on a Sunday.)

I didn’t do much to these recipes, I did add a marinade to the pork, as I think chops tend to run on the dry side. I also added the same spice mix to the potatoes.
Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2009
New Day Meadery Semi-Dry Plum Mead
Worcestershire Sauce
Garlic Salt
Ground Coriander
Ground Cumin
Brown Sugar
Lemon Juice
2 Boneless Pork chops
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp brown sguar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Rub spice mixture into pork. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add pork to pan, spice side down. Cook 2 minutes or until browned. Turn pork over, and cook 4 minutes or until done.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2009
Cut 2 large sweet potatoes into 1 inch cube. Combine potatoes with olive oil and more of the same spices used for the pork chops. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes until done, turning after 10 minutes.

Lemon Green Beans
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2009
Steam 8 oz green beans until crisp-tender. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp grated lemon rind, and 1/4 tsp salt.
Note–There’s this new law about disclaimers that I have to start following–Cooking Light is not paying me for this post, this is my own opinion. I just really like their magazine and I’m a loyal subscriber. You’ll see their recipes a lot on my blog but I’m in no way affiliated with them.