Friday, October 24, 2014

Roasted Pork Medallions with Caramelized Apples and Onions

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My mom makes roasted pork with apples on the regular, and since Bradley loves to eat it when he goes over there I decided to make it at home one night. I threw onions into the mix because I strongly believe that onions make everything better. Do you know that Chris hated onions when we first met? I was determined to change that, and thankfully I was able to. I put onions in almost everything, so eliminating onions from my diet would have been a difficult pill to swallow (albeit worth it).
I used my mom's directions as a base to this recipe and then just played it by ear as I went. I was a little hesitant not to add any additional flavor/spices along the way, but I quickly found out that they were not missed at all. The apple and onion mixture make a great "sauce" to the pork, which gets very flavorful on its own. It will make your house smell realllly good, too. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the pork tenderloin into 1-inch medallions. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add pork in an even layer and allow to sear for 3 minutes. Flip the pork and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Remove pork from pan and cover to keep warm.

Add butter to skillet. Add apples and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, or until caramelized and tender. Add pork back into the skillet. 

Place the skillet in the oven and continue cooking for 10-20 minutes until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F and the apples and onions are tender.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

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One of my family's traditions is to go to Larriland Farm in Maryland to pick apples, vegetables and pumpkins every fall. It was a little chilly when we went this past weekend, and aside from the windblown hair and runny noses we still had an awesome time. Plus this year was very special since Bradley was able to join us for the first time. He loved throwing hay while on the hay ride, picking apples from the tree, going for a ride in a wheelbarrow and making silly faces with mommy (photo proof below).
I think he loved the apples most of all. We gave him a bite, and then he wouldn't put it down for the remainder of the day. I literally had to rip it out of his little hands when we were trying to put him into his car seat. Don't let his size fool you. Little man has an amazingly strong grip.
I always seem to pick a large assortment of apples and am always on the hunt for new recipes to try with them. My latest concoction is an ideal fall side dish since roasted vegetables and apples just scream October to me. Bacon gives the dish some extra flavor while the apples and Brussels sprouts get crisp and tender in the oven. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add Brussels sprouts and apple chunks. Drizzle maple syrup and balsamic vinegar over top and stir to combine. 

In a large ovenproof skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of grease from the skillet. 

Add Brussels sprouts and apple mixture to the skillet in an even layer and stir to combine.

Place skillet in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender.

Source: SK Original

Monday, October 20, 2014

Butter Rum-Glazed Applesauce Cake

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Whenever SRC time comes around, I usually peruse my assigned blog and make a list of all the recipes I'm considering trying out. For this month's blog, my list was 20 recipes long. TWENTY! And I didn't even make it halfway through the site. I straight up had to cut myself off before my kitchen was overflowing with goodies and my waistline expanded three inches. That's what Jamie's blog, Our Eating Habits, will do to you. But in the best way possible, of course.
Since it's fall, I gravitated towards the apple and pumpkin recipes. I absolutely love going apple picking with my family every year, and this year was even more special since Bradley was able to join us for the first time (last year he was there, but he was still in my belly!). I used some homemade applesauce for this cake, and it was amazing. The cake was moist, and the glaze was perfectly sweet with just the tiniest hint of rum flavoring. Definitely perfect for fall. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter (do not use margarine)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. rum flavor
  • 4 tsp. milk
Grease an 8×8 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For cake, melt butter in medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium for about 2-3 minutes until it just starts to turn brown. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

To make glaze, melt butter in small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, again, until just turned brown. Remove from heat, stir in remaining glaze ingredients and pour over warm cake. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

Serve cake warm. Eat and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Our Eating Habits

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

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'Tis the season for pumpkin EVERYTHING! Seriously. Everything. I've seen pumpkin English muffins, creamer, candles, peanut butter, ice cream, donuts, air fresheners. Where do they come up with this stuff?
There's one thing I haven't seen sold in a store that I highly suggest starting off your pumpkin baking with. It's part pumpkin pie, part oatmeal cookie, and totally amazing. These bars are decadent and delicious. I even think they're good enough to take over the traditional pumpkin pie on your Thanksgiving table. They're that good. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups quick oats (old fashioned works too)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed-light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8" baking dish and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda until well combined. Add in 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar an mix until no clumps remain. Combine melted butter and vanilla and add to mixture, then stir with a spoon until evenly moistened. 

Gently press half of the mixture into prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla and stir until blended. Mix in pumpkin then milk. 

Pour pumpkin mixture over baked cookie portion and return to oven to bake 15 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture over top while breaking the crumb into small bits. Transfer oven rack closer to the top-center (not directly beneath but a few levels below) and return to oven to bake about 20 - 25 minutes longer until golden on top and center only jiggles slightly. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to cool 1 hour longer (or serve warm from the oven like a crumble with ice cream). Cut into squares and serve with sweetened whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon if desired.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Classy

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shepherd's Pie

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Comfort food means different things to different people, but to me it means food that I would not eat on a daily basis. Food that makes my waistline expand. Food that makes my mouth water. Food that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Food that is quick and easy to prepare, but tastes like it took all day to make.
Shepherd's Pie fits the bill perfectly. It warms the tummy and satisfies the palate. Tons of vegetables are packed into the mix, which worked out well for me since Bradley ate a ton of this. I used beef instead of lamb since that's what my family prefers, but you can always swap it out if you'd rather have lamb. Make this on a chilly fall night--it has comfort food written all over it!

Printable Recipe


For the potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
For the meat filling:
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of grease from the pan. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from Food Network