Pork

SPAM Tacos

Turn canned SPAM meat into a tasty and fun weeknight dinner. Tacos! Stuffed in a crispy corn tortilla shell along with all your favorite taco toppings.

SPAM Tacos

You read that correctly, SPAM-freaking-tacos. My dad and I actually made these together. He did all the prep work and all I had to do was fry it and assemble. Such a great sous chef! I can always depend on my dad to be game for fun/kid-like foods, movies and activities. Oddly enough I didn’t ever appreciate SPAM as a child but now that my taste buds have been refined I find it to be most acceptable. Especially when fried and stuffed in a crispy taco shell along with avocado, corn, black beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. What could possibly be wrong about that?

One year ago: Peanut Butter Burgers with Slim Jim Fries and Chocolate Malted Milkshakes

Two years ago: German Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars
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Pass the Cookbook Club: Michael Symon’s Spicy 50/50 Burger

Mix up your burgers with these Spicy 50/50 Burgers made with ground beef and chorizo. Don’t forget the cheese, cilantro and a toasted bun.

PtCBC 2014

This month for Pass the Cookbook Club, Julie (White Lights on Wednesday) picked recipes from Chef Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners. This cookbook is a collection of recipes that can be made from 5 fresh ingredients (along with a few kitchen & pantry staples) in 5 minutes. The italicized items in each recipe are the “5” fresh ingredients.

Spicy 50-50 Burger

The moment I saw the recipe for the burgers I knew I had to make them. Not only are they perfect for Memorial Day, they are also made with half beef and half chorizo. With all the flavors already involved in the combination of those two meats there was no need to add anything else to the mixture except for a little salt and pepper. Topped off with a slice of cheese, fresh cilantro, and a toasted bun there’s not much left to be desired – except maybe some avocado slices which I went ahead and put on there as well. Served with Healthier Elote (Mexican street-style corn) and Baked Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with chili powder and brown sugar.

The only other thing I changed to the recipe was the step that said to flatten the burgers once they were on the hot pan. I refused to follow this step as I prefer thicker burgers. Also, I have to point out that while yes it only takes 5 minutes to cook these burgers, it does take slightly longer than that to prepare from start to finish. But still quick and easy!

One year ago: Almond Toffee Applesauce Bread
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Sweet and Sour Pork

If you love sweet and sour chicken then you’ll love this version with pork. In addition to the typical chunks of pineapple you will also find bell peppers in the mix.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Originally I had wanted to share some sort of BBQ recipe today or at least a BBQ-related side dish.You may think the reason behind this plan was to prepare for the upcoming grilling holiday that is Memorial weekend and while that is not entirely incorrect, it is not my original thought process. The real reason why my mind had been lingering upon BBQ is because I’m heading back to Memphis for the annual Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Festival! It is my favorite festival and therefore a great reason for me to return for the first time since departing the first week of February.

Although today’s recipe is not BBQ, it is pork and that’s halfway there. This one pan stir fry is easy to prepare making it great for dinner tonight. It’s just like sweet and sour chicken except with pork and some bell peppers. Mine was served with a side of corn on the cob which is a bit unusual but hey, when it’s spring time you do not turn down fresh sweet corn!

One year ago: Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes with Hoisin and Cilantro

Two years ago: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola & Pecans
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Breakfast Sausage Ravioli & Giveaway

Ravioli is now acceptable for breakfast. Stuffed with fluffy potato, crispy bacon, and spicy pork and then covered in a sage cream sauce. It’s a dream come true.

PtCBC 2014

If you are like me, you accumulate cookbooks faster than cooking from them. Kita (Pass the Sushi and Girl Carnivore) saw a need and filled it by creating Pass the Cook Book Club. Every month a three recipes are picked from one cookbook and on the 4th Thursday we share what we made. This month I had the honor of picking the cookbook and recipes.

It was an easy decision to pick the Breakfast for Dinner cookbook by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Love & Olive Oil), but narrowing down the recipe choices to three proved incredibly difficult. I’ve been wanting to cook from this cookbook ever since they came to Memphis (yea it took me way too long, don’t shun me Lindsay & Taylor) and there were far more than three which would have made my taste buds throw a party. Little pagemarkers were sticking out all over the place that I may as well have marked off every recipe. But there can only be three so in the end I chose Breakfast Sausage Ravioli, Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast, and Lemon Poppy Seed Thumbprints. And as the syrup on top (instead of cherry since this is breakfast we’re talking about) we are also giving away 3 copies of Breakfast for Dinner to our readers! After checking out everyone’s recipes, be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget to enter.

breakfast-for-dinner-book

As you already know, I made the breakfast ravioli. This was the #1 recipe on my list of things to make from this cookbook because not only have I only made homemade ravioli a handful of times (which I realize I more than most), but it’s breakfast-ized! How amazing is the world that we live in to have ravioli for breakfast!? Of course they are stuffed with all kinds of breakfasty goodness such as fluffy potato, crispy bacon, and spicy pork, but what made me fall in love was the sauce – the creamy, buttery, sage-flavored sauce. It was so amazing that I had to double the recipe for the sauce. It took a lot of self control to not rub it all over my face.

Breakfast Sausage Ravioli

One year ago: Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Greek Yogurt

Two years ago: Whole Wheat Thin Crust Pizza Dough
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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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Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops

When I packed up most of my belongings into a POD, I had all kinds of food and drinks for those who came to help: cookies, pizza, ranch pretzels, candy, juice, pop (yes pop), and liquor. Drinking liquor while moving heavy boxes and furniture is a fantastic idea, isn’t it? Okay maybe not large quantities of it but I did have several more than half-empty bottles of liquor that I was in no mood to put in a box and move, so I told my my friends to drink up or at least take it with them when they left.

Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops 3

There were however a couple select bottles that I did keep and brought them with me. Such as a new bottle of Patron silver, several bottles of wine, and the remnants of Disaronno. Now, my parents do not drink alcohol except on the rare occasion but that didn’t stop me from getting excited by the idea of making pork chops with an amaretto glaze.

Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops 2

It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked pork chops, but these were the most tender and juicy pork chops I have ever had. I’m not sure if it was pounding the crap out of them with a meat mallet that did it or the cooking method, but either way they were fantastic. And in case you didn’t think it could possibly get any better, they were also smothered in a amaretto-maple glaze. Winner winner chicken pork chop dinner.

Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops 1

Three years ago: Easy Garlic Knots
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Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion

This month I had the pleasure of browsing through the recipes by the very person who gave us The Secret Recipe Club – April of Angels Homestead! Some recipes of hers that I enjoyed included a festive Shamrock Pizza for St. Patrick’s Day, Creamy Salsa Verde, and even a recipe for 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes using just banana and egg whites. She also just celebrated her 4th blogiversary last week, so head on over and check out her blog (there’s even a giveaway).

I chose to make her recipe for smoked sausage with bell peppers and onion. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and couldn’t be easier, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Caramelize the peppers and onion, then add the sausage until heated through. There is no need for a sauce and just some garlic for seasoning. The sweet bell peppers, onion and smoked sausage bring plenty of flavor and moisture all on their own.

Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion

Two years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto

Three years ago: Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Quesadillas
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Ina Garten’s Foolproof Ribs with BBQ Sauce

It’s that time of the month again! No not that, sick-o…. it’s the 4th Thursday and the month and therefore Pass the Cook Book Club time! For July, we were given three recipes from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten. I almost made the blondies but ended up going for the ribs as I have never cooked them myself before.

PCBC-post-image

I prepared the BBQ sauce the day before to make my life easier the next day when cooking the ribs. The BBQ sauce alone smelled amazing as it simmered on the stove and this recipe made a TON of BBQ sauce (I had a lot of BBQ sauce leftover, but I am actually excited about it because it’s delicious). Then the next day, my plan-ahead-preparations were thrown off by going to the store to buy the ribs and finding out they were frozen solid! I then had to thaw them in the sink full with water but it worked fairly quickly.

Finally, once they were in the oven topped with BBQ sauce, their aromas began seeping through the surrounding rooms. Despite the treat my nose was enjoying, I was still nervous somehow about whether they would be good or not because I am not a grill-master. But as soon as they were transferred to the grill I was convinced they had to be good when one of the bones literally fell off the meat. This was further verified upon finally sinking my teeth into the ribs and cleaning off every bone – not a trace of meat left on those suckers! Foolproof Ribs

One year ago: Strawberry Malted Pancakes

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Sandwich Bread
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Taco Bar with Carnitas: Mexican Pulled Pork

When I told On the Border Products that I was planning a Taco Night dinner, they made sure to send me all the necessary ingredients to complete the taco bar experience. In fact they almost overwhelmed me with options by sending four different kinds of tortillas chips, two cheese dips, and also four salsas with varying degrees of spice and chunkiness. I was excited to see the Guac Blast chips again after the fun chicken recipe I made with them in the past.

On the Border

But of course what’s a taco bar without some margaritas? They also sent along two different margarita mixes, but instead of filling up the bucket and freezing the entire thing, I decided to mix per order in case people preferred blended or on the rocks. It was really easy to mix and tasted great either way.

OtB Margarita

For the tacos I decided to make some slow cooked Mexican pulled pork. I’ve made two kinds of Mexican pulled chicken for tacos and nachos so it was time for a little change. Once cooked, the pork was extremely tender and full of flavor. Definitely worth the wait as it was also great topped with On the Border’s salsa, cheese dip and all your other favorite taco toppings.

Carnitas

I also made an avocado cheese ball to go with all those chips, and the recipe will be shared tomorrow!
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Pork Loin Chops with Avocado-Manga Salsa and Spinach Quinoa

I know I was just complaining about the heat being back, but with rain predicted the rest of the week it’s actually staying below 90 for a few days, hooray! I’m really loving this milder summer Memphis has had thus far because that means I can turn on my oven guilt-free (and high-bill free). I should probably bake a bunch this week just in case it’s never cool again, but that also means I need to clear out some space in my freezer to store them. The three ice cream flavors I currently have in there are not being devoured fast enough! Who wants to come over for an ice cream party??

But today’s post isn’t about ice cream or baked desserts, is about baked meat! Some people are a little weirded out by fruit and meat combos. I happen to thoroughly enjoy things such as hawaiian pizza, orange beef and chicken, kebabs, pineapple fried rice, and the first offender is likely my mom’s pineapple burger. Fruit and meat entrees are especially desirable during the summer and this recipe hits the spot. A (not-dried-out) pork loin chop is topped off with an avocado-mango salsa and served with a spinach quinoa. It’s a light yet filling meal, but if for some reason you need a little more try scooping up some of the salsa with corn chips! I actually had a little bit of leftover salsa and ended up doing that exact thing the next day.
Pork Loin Chops with Avocado-Manga Salsa

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