Thursday, December 18, 2014

84: Grilled Chili Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Will and I decided that we would try out a new pork tenderloin recipe, I saw this one and thought I'd try it out.  Will was involved in cooking this one, I can only take credit for the marinade - which everyone knows is what really matters.. 

1.7 lb pork tenderloin 
~1/4 cup cane patch syrup 
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic infused vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper 

*forgot to take a picture, again... 

The How To:
Marinate the meat with ALL ingredients at least four hours before cooking
Prep the gas grill for cooking on high 
Cook the tenderloin for 7 minutes on high over direct heat (lid closed)
Flip the meat, cook on high for 6 additional minutes over direct heat (lid closed) 
Turn the grill off (don't open lid), and let the meat sit for another 5 minutes to finish cooking through 
Pull the meat off and make sure the temp is between 145-150
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before eating

This turned out delicious.  The marinade had turned into a semi-sweet glaze.  The meat was very moist and didn't even need any sauce.  Will and I are both big sauce people.  Will is not a huge fan of sweet meat, but he ended up liking this more than he thought.  I know we will definitely be cooking meat like this again.  Marinades are always fun to play with, so we'll see if this makes another appearance down the line.  This meal was Will approved! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

83: Black Bean Tostadas

Recently I have been preferring quick easy meals for week dinners.  When I saw this recipe for black bean tostadas, I decided it was worth a try.

juice from 2 limes
1 package frozen corn
handful of grape tomatoes
shredded cheese
4 flour tortillas
1/2 medium red pepper, sliced
1 can black beans, drained
1 avocado, diced
sour cream 
*I forgot to take a picture of all the ingredients

The How To:
In advance (if you want) put corn in a medium size bowl, top with fresh lime juice, avocado and sliced tomatoes
Season with S&P and a little EVOO.
Mix and cover and refrigerate until you are about ready to eat
Preheat oven to 475
Arrange four tortillas on a baking sheet and top 
with black beans, red pepper, and cheese 
Bake until golden and crisp - about 8-10 minutes
Top with corn relish, salsa and sour cream
Serve and enjoy! 

Will made fun of this dish from the moment I put it in the oven.  "How are you supposed to eat that?" "Why are you doing it like that?" When I pulled it out and put it on the table he said,"It's like you took everything good about a taco or a burrito and screwed it up."  After he gobbled it all up he said that he would rather have a taco, with meat included.  He ended up giving this almost two thumbs down, but I think he was being a little harsh.  The corn relish is awesome, I will be eating the leftovers with some chips.  But none the less, this meal is NOT Will approved.

Monday, December 15, 2014

82: Tilapia Piccata

If you are looking for a quick easy dinner, fish is your best bet.  After looking through several recipes on pinterest (best site ever) I decided on this one for tilapia piccata.


2 tilapia fillets
s&p to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
splash of sherry - or dry white wine
1/4 c chicken stock
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/2 lemon (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp capers

The How To:
Season fish with S&?P
Heat some oil in a pan
Add fish and cook until flakes easily with a fork, then set aside
Deglaze the pan by adding sherry (or wine)
Add chicken stock, lemon (juice and slices), capers and simmer until it reduces by about half
Stir in the butter 
After butter is melted pour over the tilapia and serve! 

Easy, peasy.  This whole meal probably took me about 15 or 20 minutes.  I served this with a caesar salad and some garlic bread and it was delightful. Will and I both gobbled this down so fast that we hardly even talked about it.  If you don't like lemon, you probably will not like this dish.  But, since we both do - this will be making a comeback in my kitchen.  Needless to say, this dish was Will approved! 

In other news, we found out we are having a BOY two weeks ago and couldn't be happier. Inman William will be joining us in April.

Monday, November 17, 2014

81: Crispy Cheesy Chicken

On the way home from work today (and every other day) I talked to my mom.  Today we talked about some quick and easy suggestions of what we could have for dinner.  She said that I could just coat some chicken with some breadcrumbs and whatever other spices or seasonings that I wanted.  So, that is exactly what I did.. 


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
skim milk - just enough to dip the chicken
1/2 -1 cup panko 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pinch cayenne pepper

The How To:
Preheat oven to 405
Cut each chicken into about 3 or 4 strips, depending on size
Put some milk in the bottom of a bowl - big enough for your chicken strips
Mix the panko, cheeses, S&P and cayenne in a separate plate
Dip each piece of chicken in the milk until coated
Then dip each chicken strip in the panko mixture until coated
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the strips on the lined baking sheet
Bake the chicken for about 35 minutes, or until brown
Serve immediately

I also made a little honey mustard mixture using honey and dijon mustard that went perfectly with this dish.

Will and I both loved this dish. It was so easy and fast, I would definitely make this again. This is definitely Will approved! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

80: Beer Cheese Soup

Last week I was up in Wisconsin for a work trip.  One of my colleagues, Nick Pokorny, suggested that I try a beer cheese soup. It's something that has been on my radar as a dish to try for a while, so once I returned home I looked up several versions of the soup and decided to make my own.  You could totally make this in the crock pot, but I was lazy this morning and didn't have time to cut up the onion and garlic.. so this is what I did instead... I can't wait to hear what my WI buddies think!

1/2 lb thick-cut bacon slices, cut into small strips
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, diced
1 can carrots, drained and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
12 oz pale ale
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 2/3 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

The How To:
In a medium sized pan, cook the bacon until brown
In a dutch oven, heat the butter and cook the onion and carrots until onions are opaque (about 3-4 minutes) 
Add the garlic and let it cook about a minute
Add flour and combine
Add the beer and cook for 3-4 minutes, while stirring
Add worcestershire, milk, broth - bring to simmer
Cover and let simmer about 10-12 minutes

Slowly add cheese while stirring constantly

Serve with pretzel rolls or whole wheat loaf for dipping.

Tonight was a perfect night for soup, it's supposed to be in the 20s.  Will was really excited to try it out, he said that this was his type of comfort food.  He really loved the soup and even gave it two thumbs up! This dish is Will approved!  Thanks Nick for the recommendation.  

Lucy even wanted to try it... 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

79: Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

Wow - I just noticed my last post was from back in July!  Obviously, I've been slacking on cooking lately.  Will has stepped up in the kitchen the last few months and I've been busy cooking up a little human. Yes, it's true - we are expecting a new little Burke in April.  :)

Finally I started feeling more like myself this week and thought I would get back in the kitchen.  I have a lot of recipes that I've been wanting to try and this dish for quinoa chicken parmesan is one of them.  


1 cup quinoa 
italian seasoning, to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
mozzarella cheese

store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes
dried basil 
italian seasoning 
balsamic vinegar

The How To:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a cooking dish with foil (for easy clean up)
Cook the quinoa according to package directions (add 1 cup quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water to a medium pan - heat to boil, then put on low heat for about 8 minutes or until liquid dissolves) 
Start the chicken assembly line:
Season chicken with S&P
Dredge chicken in flour
Dip in the beaten eggs
Dredge in quinoa
Place chicken in the foil lined dish, then bake for about 40 minutes (depending on how big your chicken is) 
Remove, and top with cheese and marinara
Cook for about 5 more minutes, until cheese melts 
Serve immediately.

This dish is packed with protein.  I served this along with some broccoli.  This is a good healthy weeknight meal.  Will really liked it more than I did, but things just don't really taste the same to me as they normally do.  I'm hoping that goes back to normal in May.  
Will gave it an eh.. I probably wouldn't make this dish again, but it was worth a try.  

He really was excited to try it, but this is the type of picture you get when you only take one... 

Monday, July 14, 2014

78: Blackened Tilapia Tacos

Monday, Monday.  I always like to make fast meals on Mondays because that's usually the day I run to the grocery store after a long day at work.  When I saw this recipe for blackened tilapia tacos, I knew it would be perfect for a Monday meal.


1/4 cup fat free sour cream
~2 tsbp chopped cilantro
Juice from a medium size lime
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
5 tilapia fillets
olive oil
8 tortillas (use corn to be Gluten-free)
1 avocado - sliced
some salsa

The How To:
Combine cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeno in a food processor (I used a Magic Bullet) 
Add sour cream to the mix
Grab a little bowl, and add all the spices (paprika, brown sugar, oregano, salt, cumin, red pepper)
Sprinkle the rub evenly over the fish (or put in a bag and shake) 
Heat some olive oil in a large pan
Add the fillets to the pan and cook about 3 minutes on each side (until it flakes easily) 
Warm tortillas with a moist paper town for about 30 seconds
Create tacos with the fish, and green mix
Serve with avocado slices, cheese, and salsa if desired

Will and I both agreed that this dish was just missing some shredded lettuce for a little extra crunch.  Other than that, this is totally a win.  It's just spicy enough with the jalapeno mix.  This dish is Will approved! 

77: Chard, It's Not Hard

Recently I have become obsessed with Chard.  I have made it several nights and I just had to write about it.

A lot of people probably see Chard as a leafy green, with a weird red stem.  I see that too, but man oh man is it delicious.  To cook it, I just cut the weird red stems away from the leafy greens and throw them in a bowl.  Caution - it will cook down to about 1/3 of the size of the washed leaves.

In a medium sized pan, I heat some olive oil. Add some diced garlic and onions and let those cook for about 5 minutes (until fragrant).  Sometimes, I'll add some sliced mushrooms and then I just add the chard and move it around until the leaves have wilted.  
Will is super nice and lets me eat the whole bowl, since he HATES chard.  Maybe someday he'll learn to love it.

76: White BBQ Sauce

We had a July 4th party this year.  Will smoked a Boston butt on the BGE, and I made some white bbq sauce.  

Have you ever had white bbq sauce?  Sometimes this is called Alabama BBQ sauce.  If you haven't had it - you're missing out.  Luckily I'm going to tell you how I made mine! 

1 cup mayo
2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp sea salt
4 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp horseradish 
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Sadly, no pictures were taken before all this food was eaten.  But I still wanted to document the sauce recipe for next time.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

75: Honey Salmon Foil Bake

Will and I both really like seafood and I make salmon a lot.  But Will says all the time that he doesn't like sweet salmon, so he wasn't thrilled when he saw I was making Honey Salmon.  I changed the recipe up a bit for him, see what he thought.... 


~1/8 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
*1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
*1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp thyme 

The How To:
Preheat oven to 375
Line a baking dish with foil
Grab a separate bowl - whisk honey, garlic, EVOO, vinegars, thyme, S&P
Place salmon (skin side down) on the foil and cover with the mixture
Fold the foil around the salmon until covered
Bake for about 20-25 minutes - until salmon flakes easily with a fork

Will was surprised that this was not a very sweet dish.  It was very flavorful.  Will's exact words were "it's got a lot going on in the flavor department."  I think we both still prefer the blackened salmon dish I usually make, but this might make its way into the rotation from time to time.  This dish was Will approved! 

And yes, Will is wearing the same shirt he wore yesterday.
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