Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet and Tangy Pork Loin

3/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup honey
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 pound pork loin
1 small onion, sliced (optional)
chopped green onions (optional)
sesame seeds, toasted (optional) I didn't have any and it was great without them.

In a bowl combine brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, vinegar, garlic, and salt. Place sliced onion on the bottom of a crock pot. Place the pork loin on top of the onions. Then pour the sauce over everything.

Cover and cook on low until a meat thermometer reads 160-170 degrees. This will take about 5-6 hours. There is plenty of sauce so you I think you could start this in the morning and it will be ready when you are home from work.

Top the pork loin with green onions and/or sesame seeds if you desire.

*Rick and I really liked this recipe. We served it with rice and mixed veggies. We have enough left over for another meal or tomorrow's lunch.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Moment of Weakness - Mom's Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

Ugg....I probably shouldn't be eating this bar right now, but it is SOOOOO worth it. :) This is my mom's SUPER easy peanut butter rice krispie bar recipe, and it always hits the spot!

Melt in microwave or on stove:
1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
2 cups peanut butter

Mix 5-6 cups of rice krispies into this mixture

Smooth into a 9x13 pan.

Melt a bag of chocolate chips and cover the peanut butter mixture.

Go ahead, have a moment of weakness with me. :) Enjoy!

Megan's Chicken Marsala

Yum....hopefully my friend Megan doesn't mind that I post this on here. :) She made it for us for supper one time. I told her I had to have the recipe, and she was nice enough to share it with me. Normally, chicken marsala also includes mushrooms, but since neither she nor Tom and I like mushrooms, we use this mushroom-FREE recipe.  Feel free to add them when you cook the shallots and garlic, if you wish.

3 chicken breasts
3-4 garlic cloves
1-2 shallots
1/2 bottle of marsala wine
6 tbsp heavy cream

At least an hour before you are ready to cook, brine your chicken in water with salt (I used 4 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of salt). After an hour, rinse off the chicken, or they will be too salty after you cook them. Salt and pepper the breasts as you wish. (I actually forgot to do this tonight, but it had enough salty flavor from the brining, that it didn't really matter...)

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high and pan fry the breasts. Cook them until they are just fully cooked, and then move the chicken to a plate on the side. Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic and 1-2 shallots and saute them in the pan you took the chicken out of. When the garlic is slightly browned, add 1/2 the bottle of your marsala wine.

Simmer your wine sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, start boiling water for your spaghetti, and begin cooking the noodles when the water boils. When your sauce starts to thicken, add the 6 tbsp of heavy cream. Stir and reduce the sauce a bit more - then you can add your chicken to the pan to reheat, and serve the chicken and sauce on top of spaghetti.

Delicious!! (Megan, feel free to alter this recipe....I hope I did it justice!!)

*Recipe adapted from

Garlic Green Beans

I love my veggies, and I love my garlic. :) This was a yummy and easy side dish!

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper (I just used regular pepper....)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Place beans in enough water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until crips-tender; drain. Toss beans with garlic, salt and pepper, drizzle with oil. Serve immediately.

*Recipe from the Taste of Home Comfort Food (Diet!) Cookbook magazine, 2009, pg. 108

Ranch Ham 'n' Cheese Pasta

Amy and I made this the other night, and it was delish. It even came from my Comfort Food Diet magazine, so it is pretty good for you too!! It looks like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are just spices, so it's really pretty easy.

1 package (16 oz.) penne pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup (8 oz.) reduced-fat sour cream
2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend (we used less...)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. In a Dutch oven, melt butter, whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. (It will look and smell like Ranch dressing!) Reduce heat; fold in sour cream until blended. Add ham and pasta; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in Mexican cheese blend until melted. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Nutrition facts: 1 cup equals 306 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 612 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 20 g protein

Enjoy!! It's delicious.

*Recipe from Taste of Home Comfort Food (Diet!) Cookbook magazine, 2009, pg. 99

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pistachio Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping

In a large bowl, stir together pudding mix, pineapple with juice and marshmallows. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Asian Noodles

I didn't have a recipe and everything I found online had way too complicated and had way too many ingredients (most of which I didn't have). So, I winged it. It was missing something so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

cooked spaghetti
garlic cloves, minced
sliced onion
soy sauce

Saute the garlic and onion in a little bit of oil until soft. Add the noodles and soy sauce. I added a little bit of garlic powder and onion powder for a bit more flavor.

Caramelized Asian Pork Chops

4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon oil
2 pork chops
salt & pepper

Mix garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and oil together. Poor the mixture over the pork chops. Let it marinade for 30 minutes turning the pork chops halfway through. Season pork chops with salt and pepper then cook until done (either grill, broil, bake).

*Recipe adapted from Delish.

Corny Cornbread

To go along with Amy's post of Iowa Girl's Baked Potato Soup last week, I will definitely recommend her cornbread that she posted with it!! I am becoming a mega-fan of her blog, I like it more than my own!! Haha....

Anyway, it's super easy and delicious, but keep in mind that it does take a while to bake. I wanted to make it with my soup the other night, but I didn't have enough I just made it another day. :)

Give it a try!

Serves 8-10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1 (14.5 oz) can of cream corn
1 (14.5 oz) can of kernal corn, half drained
2 eggs
1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
1/2 stick butter, cut up

Directions: Lightly butter a 1 1/2- 2 quart casserole dish (we used an 8x8 dish.) Mix together corn, eggs and corn bread mix. Pour into a casserole dish, dab with cut up butter and bake at 350 degrees for 60-80 minutes uncovered.


Photo from

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Glazed Apples

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I have made it without this)
2 medium apples, peeled and cored (cut into rings or slices)

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, and apples. Reduce heat.

2. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until apples are tender, turning frequently. Serve warm.

*I added a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar on top to add a bit more flavor.

*Recipe adapted from The Taste of Home Cookbook