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Apple Jelly Glazed Pork Chops

Facts: Glazes always improve a meal and apples pair well with pork. Therefore, the apple jelly glaze used on these pork chops is especially delicious and, better yet, easy to prepare.

Apple Jelly Glazed Pork Chops

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and a fitful of sneezes despite feeling perfectly healthy the night before. Of course it got progressively worse as the day went on, with full blown sinus pressure and a sore nose. My dad recently came down with a cold so it is possible that I am sick. However, I do tend to get allergy symptoms during the first allergy season after moving somewhere new but never again so long as I live there. Happened when I moved to Columbus, OH and Memphis, TN. The same phenomenon may be happening now that I am in Knoxville. Bleh, I hope it’s a cold because those symptoms don’t last as long.

Either way I have to power through these symptoms for my pickleball evaluation this evening. In case you haven’t heard of it, pickleball is similar to tennis except played on a smaller court with paddles and a wiffle ball. It is all the rage here and my parents play it religiously. Naturally, I got sucked in as well. With my tennis background it was easy to pick up once I adjusted to the shorter paddle. However non-group members can only play indoor or during outdoor open time. After three months the others have decided that it is time I went for evaluation to be placed in a group (5 different groups based on skill level), which would enable me to play more often in designated time slots. Wish me luck!

As for these pork chops, everyone knows how well apples go with pork so why not slather on an apple glaze made with apple jelly (homemade in my case because my dad is the jelly man). Glazing pork chops is all the rage.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos

Two years ago: Cheesy Potato Casserole
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Easter Recipe Roundup

Complete Easter recipe roundup with recipes for Brunch, appetizers, sides, dinner and dessert!

Easter Recipe Roundup 2014
With Easter just a little over a week away I thought it was a good time to gather up some recipes to help you plan your Easter Brunch and/or dinner. Many of these have appeared at Easter events I attended in the past and I know they will be a hit with your friends and family too. Do you have a favorite recipe that you have to make every year? Somehow my favorite carrot cake recipe has not made it onto the blog yet but there are a few carrot cake-inspired treats on this list – Carrot Cake Batter Dip, Carrot Cake Waffles and Carrot Cake Oatmeal!

Check back as I will be adding new recipes as we get closer to Easter!

One year ago: Speculoos Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Granola Bars

Two years ago: Flavor-Injected Glazed Ham

BRUNCH

Mini Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls

APPETIZERS

Deviled Strawberries

SIDE DISHES

Individual Scalloped Potatoes

ENTREES

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

DESSERTS

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Previous Roundups: Easter Recipe Roundup 2012

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Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole

Creamy wild rice and fresh asparagus come together in this baked side dish. Serve it alongside your favorite cut of meat – it’ll go with just about anything.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 1

Let’s talk plastic bags. I try to use reusable shopping bags wherever I go and have already told my story about them confusing retail but not grocery cashiers, yet sometimes they like to wait in the car instead of coming into the store with me. Such occasions result in a double dose of annoyance because not only do I have to get plastic bags but the cashiers have a habit of using excessive amounts of them. Yesterday I had one bag with a single can of black beans and another with just a block of cheese and container of sour cream. Apparently those three items would not get along if placed in the same plastic bag. I understand they don’t want the bags to break but that’s just silly. My milk was also bagged, which is not a light item and conveniently already possesses a handle. This is why I prefer self-checkout. Alas, I will just bring them back for recycling.

In other news (I need a new transition phrase because that one gets used a lot), I made a side dish! They appear so infrequently on this blog that I get excited when there’s one to share. Especially when it is something that pairs so well with a variety of things. Grilled steak? Definitely. BBQ chicken? You bet. I served it with apple jelly-glazed pork chops and it was wonderful. Wild rice and fresh asparagus are mixed together in a creamy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until bubbly.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 2

One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

Three years ago: White Bean Chicken Chili
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Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

This hearty breakfast casserole is easy to prepare and will completely satisfy with sausage, eggs, cheese, bell peppers, and a crouton base.

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole 2

My laptop computer has been on the fritz lately. More than half of the time it freezes up doing even the simplest tasks such as opening Word. (Imagine my annoyance trying to work on this post.) I’ve scanned, rescanned, and cleaned out some files but nothing has helped. Granted it is pushing 7 years old but it spent 2 of those years not connected to the internet. That had to save it a little bit right? Either way, I have a bad feeling it is on its last leg and have begun baking up all the important files. I don’t think I could handle a scare like that after my USB incident.

Anyway, I am sure what you are really interested in is this breakfast casserole. It has the works for making up my favorite kind of breakfast casserole: sausage, egg, cheese, and bell peppers. Be aware the you must prepare it the night before and takes about an hour to cook, which is unsuitable for most weekday breakfasts, but perfect for weekends, brunch or even breakfast for dinner!

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole 1

Three years ago: Funfetti Cheesecake Pudding Dump Cake
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Single Serving White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treat

Get your rice krispies treat fix with this single serving recipe. Make it your own with your preferred nut-butter and mix ins. I chose white chocolate peanut butter and peanut butter cups!

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treat 1

How many of you have already dug into the Easter candy? The holiday-shaped Reese’s are always my weakness, with their superior peanut butter to chocolate ratios. Just when I thought the temptation could not get any stronger, Reese’s coated these beautiful creations with white chocolate. There’s nothing I love more than PB+Choc than PB+WChoc, which lead to the birth of this rice krispies treat with a double dose of PB+WChoc. And it’s all mine!

Whip up this single serving white chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treat with a hidden white chocolate Reese’s cup in the middle and you will be the happiest person around, assuming you also love PB+WChoc – if not change it up to your preferences! It just might cause you to forget all about your imploded March Madness bracket. (Although I did win in both groups I entered upon Florida’s loss, despite Wisconsin’s loss whom I picked to win it all.)

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treat 2

Two years ago: Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Three years ago: Spicy Mac and Cheese

SINGLE SERVING WHITE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER RICE KRISPIES TREAT

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp Peanut Butter & Co.’s White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter

1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 cup miniature marshmallows

3/4 cup Rice Krispies puffed rice cereal

1 white chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup (I used the Egg shape)

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease a small bowl or tupperware, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter and butter. Add the marshmallows and stir until smooth. Mix in the cereal with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
  3. Press half the mixture into the prepared bowl. Place the Reese’s cup in the middle, top with remaining cereal mixture and press evenly. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Use a knife or small spatula to remove the treat. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted slightly from Something Swanky.

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Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake & Surprise-Inside Cakes Cookbook Giveaway

Traditionally frosting is the star of cake decorating, but what about the inside? Amanda Rettke proves that it’s the inside that counts with her cookbook, “Surprise-Inside Cakes”.

SurpriseInsideCakes hc c

When it comes to decorating cakes I am not an expert. Upon receiving the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook by Amanda Rettke (I Am Baker) I was a bit intimidated to go beyond the recipes for different layers of color and/or frosting without any cutting and cake-puzzle-assembling. It is truly impressive how many different interiors she was able to design and execute. But after reading through a few of the more complicated recipes I realized that with the right tools and some patience, paired with her excellent step-by-step photos and directions, I might be able to pull it off.

I really loved the smiley face cake and argyle cake but decided to start out small with one of the easier recipes – the rainbow cake. First I had to decide on a cake flavor. Amanda provides recipes for perfectly level cakes and frostings which can be used to create any of the surprise-inside cakes. However, you could also use your own recipe or even a boxed mix, I won’t tell. If using other recipes you may end up with a domed top which will need to be leveled off, unless of course you know that particular recipe does come out flat. Either way, a cake with these interior designs will look made from scratch no matter what recipe you choose.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 1

To see if a boxed mix would work, I decided to doctor up a white cake mix to create a lemon cake. (Did you know that rainbows taste like lemons? Well, at least this one does.) The cakes did dome but that was easily solved by slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife. After that I followed Amanda’s detailed instructions for assembling and frosting the cakes. I don’t think I’ve ever frosted such a smooth cake before.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 2

Upon that beautiful white scene I created my own balloon decorations using the cake-top scraps and leftover frosting. It looks like fondant doesn’t it!? Nope it’s something even better, something I have decided to call cake-ball-fondant! Yup, I am a genius. Instead of forming balls to be dipped in chocolate, roll flat with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Consider your mind blown.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 3

In order to find out exactly how I colored and assembled this cake you’ll have to read about it in the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! To assist in keeping a copy into your hands asap I am giving away a copy of this awesome cookbook to one lucky reader. After checking out the recipe use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 4

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Two years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Three years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie
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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

My favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies are now available in a chocolate lovers version, with a chocolate base and tons of chocolate chips for double the chocolate!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

One great thing about perfecting my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies is barely needing to look at the recipe now to whip up a batch. It’s burned into my brain. This leads me to experimenting with things such as adding raisins and now doubling up on the chocolate. With already 3 cups of chocolate chips in the cookies, you’d think it would be at maximum capacity, but there was still room for cocoa in the base! You can use regular chocolate chips or try the springtime chocolate chips like I did for a pretty contrast. Throw some pastel sprinkles on there while you’re at it because it’s finally spring!

Is there a recipe that you have memorized? Have you ever changed it up?

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

One year ago: Butternut Squash Orzo with Pine Nuts, Balsamic Drizzle, and Fried Sage

Two years ago: Chicken Pad Thai
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Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let your slow cooker do the hard work. Throw the ingredients for this creamy chicken tortilla soup into your slow cooker and you’ll have a hearty and flavorful soup. Don’t forget the toppings!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup 2

Yesterday afternoon I saw an e-mail that made my tear ducts come to life. Not out of sadness, but instead from pure happiness. The day has finally come – you can now PubMed me! AaaahAAaaAhahAhhhhh!! Here’s to hoping that having this publication under my belt will help me out in the job search.

Click here to read a lot of jargon—> My glorious research paper

If I remember correctly, I first submitted this paper around mid-September 2013. Six months for two revisions with countless figure modifications for new data per reviewers’ requests. I will tell you what though, the biggest pain in the butt was figuring out how to reformat the pictures for my figures to be the correct resolution, size, file type, and lacking alpha channels (wherever the heck those things came from or even what they are). But hey, now I know how to do it for my second paper pending publication. Mastering Adobe Photoshop one scientific figure at a time. And popping open a bottle of wine to celebrate!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup 1

When that many pieces of a puzzle finally come together to create something amazing, it’s quite satisfying. Which is why you should not be scared by the lengthy list of ingredients for the recipe for this Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Almost all of the ingredients are thrown into the slow cooker together and the remaining few are added at the end or sprinkled on top just before serving. And to prove it, there are only three steps. Let the slow cooker do the rest.

One year ago: Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Nonpareil Peanut Butter Cookies
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Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake gets a spring-time makeover with blueberries, blue food coloring and even a blueberry cream cheese frosting. It’ll disappear faster than you can slice it.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 2

Warning: this is not a joke. I know it’s April’s Fools Day but I truly did make a blueberry blue velvet cake with blueberry cream cheese frosting topped with more blueberries. Why? Because my nephew Luke LOVES blueberries so I made him the bluest and blueberriest cake I could possibly come up with for his birthday last week. He actually had his own personal blue truck shaped blueberry blue velvet cake, but everyone else had to share this cake. It disappeared as fast as I cut it, making me think I baked a magical disappearing cake!

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 1

One year ago: Rainbow Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Three years ago: Baked Funfetti Doughnuts
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Oven-Fried Parmesan-Panko Crusted Tilapia

Even non-fish lovers will enjoy this oven-fried tilapia. Dressed up just like Chicken Parm with a Parmesan-Panko crust, you may not even be able to tell the difference!

Oven-Fried Panmesan-Panko Crusted Tilapia

Before I talk about this recipe I must add a little commentary about how sad yet excited I am for the finale of How I Met Your Mother tonight. I unfortunately won’t actually be watching it this evening as I have a couple other episodes to catch up on first, but either way cannot believe it is about to be over. It is time for it to end but I will miss it dearly. Now I’ll just have to wait for the boxed set to come out and then rewatch the entire thing!

For Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to Mary Kay’s blog Homemade Cravings. With things such as Tortellini Pizza with Sausage and Alfredo, Cherry Lemonade, and Vanilla Souffle with Chocolate Sauce, I certainly had a fair amount of great recipes to choose from. Oddly enough I ended up picking a fish recipe in spite of my dislike for seafood in general. When I read the post about this tilapia and how all four of her kids enjoyed it despite only recently incorporating fish into the family meals, I knew I had to give it a shot. Mild fish coated in Panko and Parmesan cheese seemed like a safe starting point, and it turned out to be true. This fish-hater could not tell that it was fish. In fact the tilapia itself didn’t taste like much while the crust was the shining star – and Parmesan is delicious! Now if only all fish didn’t taste like fish.

Although I will continue to depend on the cheaper option of chicken most of the time, it’s good to know that I am capable of cooking and enjoying fish for the fish-loving people in my life and not needing to prepare something separate for myself. Thank you Mary Kay for opening my eyes to fish (even if only a sliver). Maybe I’ll get frisky and try another fish recipe such as the Root Beer Battered Fish which sounds like another I would enjoy. I do love root beer!

Three years ago: Orange Beef
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