Tag Archives: Easy

Slow Cooker Pork Loin and Sweet Root Vegetables

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It has most certainly been awhile! You must be under the impression that I’ve been surviving on take out and peanut butter sandwiches!  No worries…things haven’t been that bad. School is a bit busy (aka overwhelming), so it has been a lot of slow cooker meals for us. Who ever created the crock pot, I thank you. I appreciate the lack of mess every evening and the fact that dinner is taken care of each morning before I walk out the door. This particular crock pot creation was a home run. Simple and delicious, what can be better?

IMG_2339The Ingredients:

  • 1 pork loin (whatever size feeds your family best, the one I cooked was about 1.5 pounds); allow it to take the chill from the refrigerator off while preparing the rest of the recipe
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (and whatever else may sound good in your refrigerator, diced potatoes would also be fantastic!)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or pineapple juice
  • For the dry rub: 1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper  Read the rest of this entry

Mini Angel Food Cupcakes

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Hi! Remember me!? I know…it has been a much longer hiatus than I anticipated! I apologize for just up and disappearing like that! In case you have been drooling over the mini angel food cupcakes, I thought that it was time that I FINALLY shared the recipe. What a cliff hanger, eh? Over a 2 month wait! On the bright side, school has been going fantastic! I am officially half way done my didactic year (thank goodness!). I hope you all have been enjoying the signs of spring:) I know I enjoyed the sunshine on my walk to the library this afternoon. Today I’ll share my recipe for the mini angel food cupcakes and hopefully get the one for the amazing, homemade strawberry buttercream frosting to you in the near future. I am looking forward to cooking with fresh ingredients over the next few months, so I promise to start sharing more again soon. I would love to hear from you! Any suggestions on receipes you’d like to see on kitchen anatomy in the near future? 
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The Ingredients:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tarter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt

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Maple Sausage, Pepper, & Potato Breakfast Casserole

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Husbands ask for a lot of things…and some requests are harder to grant than others. Like when they try to convince you that entertaining the idea of them growing a mustache for a month will make them look cool or when they think its a good idea to watch television in place of folding laundry. Thankfully, one for a breakfast casserole was something I could happily oblige to. Not only does it make husband happy (and possibly more inclined to fold laundry while watching football) it’s easy to throw together and tastes amazing.

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mmmm cheese and sausage, what more could you ask for?

Here’s a little story for all of you, we’re friends now right? It seems as though we’ve had a pretty steady friendship for the past 6 months and I feel ready to open up to all of you. Anyhow, now that we’ve established our virtual relationship, here’s the story. This one time, my very sweet husband, thought it would be a great idea to cook me breakfast. He actually surprised me while I was still sleeping. I woke up to a very proud husband. Matt announced, “I made you eggs!” I smiled and was excited about his very thoughtful gesture. He poured me a glass of orange juice and said “Not only did I make you breakfast, but there is a secret ingredient!” Yeah, I was worried too. So I smiled, picked up a forkful of the mystery eggs. I couldn’t even chew it….it tasted that bad! I gulped it down. Care to guess what was in them? Maple syrup, hot peppers, and feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong, these are actually a few of my favorite things. Mixed into eggs together however, not so great. I politely ate my whole plate but I’ll tell you I sure didn’t ask for seconds…

The Ingredients: 

Makes an 8 x 8 pan

  • 8 0z frozen of potatoes  
  • 5 eggs scrambled
  • 1 lb of breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 red pepper & 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of freshly grated cheese, I used pepperjack (I actually roughly chopped a block of cheese and put it in my food processor to grate it; great time saving tip!)
  • Salt and pepper

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Corn Chowder and Parmesan Crisps

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It has been a lovely few weeks off from school but tomorrow classes resume. I look forward to the new challenges ahead but know that it does mean that my free time is about to be non-exsistent again. In order to prepare, I wanted to cook a few big meals which I could store in the freezer for Matt and I while we get back into the swing of things and our ever crazy schedules. Since corn chowder is probably one of my favorite parts of my New England heritage and because I was deeply craving some comfort food before all the stressors in my life return, I thought tonight would be the perfect night for it. Not only does this recipe take less than 20 minutes to throw together, it also feeds a crowd.  I had never made it in the crock pot before but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to make and also how delicious the results were. I think you’ll love it and your family will too. It also freezes great and can be reheated in the crock pot without trouble. The parmesan crisps are also super simple to make and taste fantastic. Matt really enjoyed them because if you layer them on top of your soup it actually melts into the soup. Creamy soup and salty cheese? You can’t go wrong. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! I’m planning on reheating a big bowl of corn chowder tomorrow for lunch.

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Corn Chowder

The Ingredients:

  • 1 48 oz box of Chicken Stock
  • 16 oz bag of frozen sweet yellow corn
  • 1.5-2 lbs of new potatoes, cut into similar size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup half and half, heavy cream, or milk of your choosing
  • 2 heaping tbs of flour
  • Salt & fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Parsley for garnish

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Herbed Ricotta, Pistachio, & Lavender Bruschetta

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Happy New Year all! I hope that everyone was able to celebrate 2012 and welcome the beginning of a new year. Matt and I are looking forward to all that 2013 brings and welcome any new adventures that may arise. We are grateful for a wonderful family and for our quite amazing group of friends. We also look forward to celebrating our second wedding anniversary early next week! I can’t believe that two years have already passed! Time flies when you’re married to your best friend! I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges that will arise this year. I hope that everyone had a wonderful NYE and has a prosperous, healthy year ahead!

Anyhow, onto one of my favorite appetizers! We frequent a wine bar in Philadelphia called Tria that not only has fantastic wine, but delicious small plates. We are obsessed with their herbed ricotta and pistachio bruschetta. It is fantastic! We honestly order 3 small plates of the amazingness every time go in. Since our obsession seems to be insatiable, I thought that it was important that I figured out how to make an as delectable version at home. I think the true secret is the addition of the pistachios and since I’m a honey addict, it also makes the plate for me too. It’s so easy to make and is sure to please your family or any guests!

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It may not look like a lot, but boy is it amazing!

This recipe is very variable, you can either prepare a little or a lot depending on what you are planning on serving it for. I often make a small batch and eat it in place of a sandwich for lunch. So there are no specific measurements but require you to go more on taste and the amount you want to prepare.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of french bread, sliced on the bias into half inch thick slices 
  • 1 jar of fresh or store prepared ricotta
  • Pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade (aka small strips; it’s easiest to roll on bunch of leaves and then cut them into small strips)
  • Dried lavender
  • Honey
  • Salt & fresh cracked black pepper

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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Yay! It’s almost Christmas! It’s starting to really feel like the holidays as Matt and I geared up yesterday for the 10 hour jaunt across country from Philly to Indiana. I was a very spoiled passenger and was able to take a few naps and watch a few movies along the way. I used to hate car trips but thanks to technology it isn’t nearly as bad. We broke up our trip with some of our favorite high school jams and I impressed my husband with my endless knowledge of lyrics. It was a great trip and it feels great to be home for a few days between the madness of constant studying.

Anyhow, we were invited to our neighbors for dinner and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since preparing for finals was consuming all of my life and braincells, it had been a while since we had a proper grocery trip. Our fridge was pretty bare, but fortunately I had all of the common staples in my fridge and pantry. These peanut butter cookies are probably the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made. All you need is 5 ingredients and NO flour and you have a perfect, delicious cookie in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I highly recommend that you add it to your cookie repertoire. No worries if you feel you are baking challenged, these are so simple that I know you’ll have great results. It’s a very easy starter dough and you can feel free to add chocolate chips or press Hershey kisses into the cookies.

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I made regular peanut butter cookies with the classic fork hashmarks and also some with Hershey hugs pressed in to the top. Both are equally delicious!

The Ingredients:

Makes 26-30 cookies 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

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Lettuce Wraps…with a Mexican twist!

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Phew! Finals are over and I have a few weeks off before resuming classes. I am looking forward to getting back into the kitchen over break and trying all the recipes I’ve been stockpiling during my study breaks (aka periods of pure procrastination!) It is finally feeling a little bit more like the Holiday season now that I’ve caught up on sleep and feel like a real member of society again. I am in the preliminary stages of my Holiday shopping and have already brainstormed a few really great gift ideas. One of my gift ideas is actually a little bit of an at home project, so I look forward to sharing that after the Holidays! It seems like a great project and I can’t wait to get it started tomorrow morning. I’ll be sure to share after the Holidays when all of my gifts have been dispersed! I love giving personalized gifts because I feel that it really shows people just how much you care. I am also excited about creating all my favorite Holiday recipes! A particular favorite of mine is my candied almonds! I’m planning on making them this week and will be sure to share the recipe. They are to die for!

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On to today’s recipe:)  On a quick trip to Whole Foods I saw that Bibb lettuce was on sale for $1.99, avocados were on sale for $1.00, and ground chicken was also ridiculously on sale. I couldn’t resist any of these items and because of my underlying love of lettuce cups I knew I had all the makings of a very quick and healthy meal. If you know me at all, you know that I love all things spicy food. So naturally, I knew these ingredients would lend themselves very well to creating a twist on the traditional Asian inspired lettuce cup. It was undoubtedly a success and I’m not certain I’ll ever transition back to using taco shells after coming up with this recipe redo. One can’t beat tasty and healthy! Plus cutting the calories from the taco shells allows me to feel a little less guilty about having a small scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream in the freezer (recipe to follow soon!).

I made a very simple guacamole to add on top. I used one avocado, a 1/4 cup of sweet onion which I rinsed under water to get rid of the pungent onion taste/smell, and a small handful of pickled jalapeños which I minced. I added a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper and mashed it all together with a fork. I let it hang out in the fridge while I prepared to the rest of the meal.

The Ingredients: 

  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce, pre-washed and leaves separated
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

To a small bowl, add:

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • A liberal pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2-1 tsp Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper 

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Better than Starbucks Chocolate Frappuccinos

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With finals week approaching, I thought it would only be appropriate to share my new favorite way to consume copious amounts of caffeine. I’ve come up with a spectacular, easy way to get a drink that tastes as good as Starbucks without breaking a grad student’s budget (plus I bet my recipe is even lower in calories then the purchased kind!). If you are a coffee drinker, I bet you’ll have almost everything you need right in your kitchen. The one thing you may have to add to your grocery list is chocolate syrup or powder. The addition of the chocolate completely transforms the every day ordinary (sometimes boring) cup of coffee. To say that I am totally obsessed with this recipe is an understatement–I have literally been addicted and have made one every day! Give it a try! I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.

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The Ingredients:

Necessary equipment: blender or large food processor 

  • 1 cup brewed coffee–I usually let mine chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes but if you don’t have the time to let it chill, just add more ice
  • 1/2-1 cup milk–depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor
  • 2 tbs chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
  • 1 tsp or 1 packet of sweetener of your choice
  • 1 cup ice

How to:

  • Add ice, coffee, and milk to blender
  • Pulse until smooth
  • Add chocolate syrup and sweeter and pulse until well incorporated
  • Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy:)