Thursday, February 26, 2009

Delicious Pork Chops - easy too!

I found this recipe recently and wanted to try it out. I finally made it tonight, and it is definitely a keeper! It has just a hint of sweetness and apply-ness. Yumm! And even though you do use kind of a lot of syrup, it mostly runs off, so you aren't really eating all that. (I would have taken pictures, but I was busy eating it all, all by myself, immediately!)

Maple Pork Chops

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.

6 thick pork chops
1/2 cup/125 mL chopped onion
1/2 cup/125 mL maple syrup
2 Tbsp/30 mL cider vinegar
2 Tbsp/30 mL Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp/5 mL chili powder
1/2 tsp/2 mL salt
1/4 tsp/1 mL pepper

Place the pork chops in a baking pan or baking dish.Combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over pork chops.Bake for about an hour, until no longer pink inside. (I used not-so-thick cuts, and only needed to cook it about 30 min.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Sorry, no pictures this time! Next time, I'll try to remember to take pictures instead of ravenously devouring these as they come out of the frying pan. Seriously.

Mr. L and I wanted to do dinner at home Sunday, and couldn't come up with recipes for which we were sure of all of the ingredients while we were at the store, so we settled on burgers. Unfortunately, they didn't have any of his preferred type of bun in bun form. :( Not OK! Not to let that deter us, we found the same kind in dinner rolls, and made a plan for sliders.

Yes, we were convinced that it would have been even better with the Big City Slider Station, but we persevered.


1/2 onion, chopped (this was heavy on the onion, so feel free to adjust)
1 tsp butter (optional, esp. if you use a nonstick pan)
1lb hamburger (or ground turkey, chicken, etc.)
2-3 tbs catsup
2-3 tbs balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbs Lowery's Seasoning
cheese (we used Munster, and cut each slice into 1/4s, and they were close to the right size)
1 tomato, sliced
potato rolls (cut in half to work as a bun)

Melt butter over medium heat in a frying pan.
Add onions and saute until clear.
In bowl, combine onion, hamburger, catsup, vinegar and Lawry's.
Make small patties (I was able to get 9 total), and return to frying pan.
Cover with tin foil tent and cook roughly 5 min on each side, or until almost done.
Remove foil and add cheese to tops of sliders, if desired. Finish cooking, 2-3 minutes.
Remove sliders from pan and place on/in rolls. Add a tomato slice to each. Top as desired.

I loved these! They were strong on onion flavor, but were a little different from traditional sliders with onions on top (which I'm not as big a fan of). And Mr. L was right - these rolls were amazing. I had the rest of these for the following dinner and lunch, and now I'm just a little sad that they are gone. :(

Monday, February 9, 2009

The perfect muffin quest continues

OK, the last batch of muffins was really good, but we thought that a little citrus (orange) flavor and maybe a little more exotic of a dried fruit - like cranberry (ok, so not that exotic) would really make them killer. Rather than start experimenting with something I know nothing about (and really, keeping that perfect balance of liquids is elusive to me), I thought I'd try out a couple of recipes that were already supposed to be orangy. Maybe I'd find the perfect muffin recipe, or at the least, I thought I could find a recipe that could be merged with the almost-prefect muffin. Ha!

I tried searching sparkrecipes, since that's where I found the first recipe, and I knew that it would be more likely to produce recipes that were healthy (because, after all, that is really the goal here). Here are the two I tried out. They are the only two recipes that come up when you search sparkrecipes for orange muffin.
First, I tried out the orange cranberry muffin. Just what we ordered, right? Well, first, I must disclaim that I couldn't find fresh or frozen cranberries (no dried, for this recipe!), so I substituted cherries. Mmmm... cherries. I think that they were a good choice. However, this one fails in the orange flavor, and at 164 calories and no bran falls a touch short on ideal nutrition.
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel (approx from one orange)
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Combine dry ingredients.
Make a well in center.
Combine milk, egg and oil, add to dry ingredients.
Mix just til all blended together, don't over mix.
Add orange peel and cranberries.
Mix lightly.
Spoon into muffin pans lined with paper liners or well greased.
Bake at 450 for 18-20 minutes.
Number of Servings: 12
The second was the Orange Bran Flax Muffin. Once again, I had to make a supply-based substitution. I didn't have/couldn't find any wheat bran (and couldn't find my wheat germ until 2 days later), so I just used more oat barn instead. I don't know if this limited the range of flavor in these muffins, but I think it might be worth trying again to find out. To me, these at least look healthier. And they are definitely a more dense muffin (although the above muffins were surprisingly dense/filling too). The raisins were definitely necessary in these to give them a little kick, since (in spite of having two full oranges in them), the orange flavor was hard to find in these guys too. These guys came in at 180 calories, but were pretty much pure fiber, so I can deal with that.
1.5 cup oat bran
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup wheat bran
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 oranges,cut into 1/8's
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350.
Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl,combine oa tbran,flour,flax seed,wheat bran,baking powder and salt.
Set aside.
COMBINE oranges,brown sugar,buttermilk,oil,eggs and baking soda in a food processor.
Mix well.
POUR orange mixture into dry ingredients.
Mix until well blended.
Stir in raisins.
DIVIDE batter evenly among muffin cups.
Bake 18-20 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 5 min. before moving to a cooling rack.
makes 24 muffins

Both were pretty easy to make, although the cherry/cranberry muffins required significantly less clean up. I'm still searching for the perfect combination, but I think that the original Breakfast Muffin Bonanza is far in the lead right now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bad baker

I have been a very bad baker. But there was a reason! I have been busy coordinating the Junior League Bargain Bazaar Bake Sale (wow, that's a long title)!