Pork Carnitas



4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 cups of water
1 large orange, juiced and keep the leftover halves


Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the leftover orange halves and juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered. Once it comes to a simmer, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat falls apart, about 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and onions from the pan and place it on a large pan or mixing bowl. Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid. Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until it thickens and syrupy, about 20-25 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of liquid remaining when it is finished.

While the liquid is reducing, use fork to lightly shred pork.  Once the liquid has reduced, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot. Try not to break up the pork any further. Taste and add additional salt and pepper.

Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat. Place the sheet pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pieces of pork and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.


Steak Sandwich with Charred Onion, Cheddar, and Grilled Corn


After a long week , I need something quick and delicious for dinner –  like this hamburger alternative steak sandwich. Super simple to prepare and very filling – and flat iron steak is easy on the wallet. Raining? No problem – I cooked our steak and onions (together) in a cast iron skillet and boiled the corn.

4 Tbsp. Butter
2 Ears of Corn
1 Red Onion
5 Parsley Sprigs
2 Hoagie Rolls
2 Flat Iron Steaks
4 Cheddar Cheese Slices
1 Tbsp. Dark Chili Powder
1 oz. Baby Arugula


  1. Heat outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Shuck corn and rinse. Peel onion and slice into 1⁄4” rounds. Stem and mince parsley. Halve hoagie rolls lengthwise. Rinse steaks and pat dry.
  2. Mix parsley and softened butter in a small bowl until smooth. Spray hot grill pan or outdoor grill with cooking spray. Spread half the herb butter on cut side of rolls (reserve remaining butter for corn) and grill 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Place two cheddar cheese slices on bottom half of each roll to melt.
  3. Season both sides of steaks with chili powder (to taste), 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until steaks reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove steaks from grill, let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice into 1⁄4” slices on an angle.
  4. Rub onions with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly charred. Remove from grill.
  5. Lightly oil corn with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Grill corn 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until slightly charred.
  6. Top bottom half of rolls with sliced steak, grilled onions and arugula. Cover with top half. Brush corn with reserved herb butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bone-In Pork Chop with Mustard Cream and Miso-Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus


fullsizerender-3This recipe was really good. I was a bit unsure about the miso, but it really added a nice flavor to the potatoes!

1 Green Onion
3 oz. Grape Tomatoes
1 Lemon
6 oz. Asparagus
10 oz. Fingerling Potatoes
2 Bone-in Pork Chops
1 Tbsp. Miso Paste
4 Tbsp Butter
5 oz. Evaporated Whole Milk
2 tsp. Beef Demi-Glace
1 oz. Honey Mustard


  1. Trim and thinly slice green onion on an angle, keep- ing white and green portions separate. Cut grape tomatoes into a ne dice. Zest lemon, halve, and juice. Trim woody ends of asparagus. Halve potatoes. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Add miso paste and half the butter (reserve remaining for sauce) to a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Once melted, add potatoes to pan. Toss to combine. Transfer coated potatoes to one half of prepared baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast 12 minutes and remove baking sheet from oven. Potatoes will finish cooking later. Wipe pan clean and reserve for searing pork chops.
  3. Heat pan used for potatoes over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and pork chops to hot pan. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate (no need to wipe pan clean).
  4. After potatoes roast 12 minutes, add asparagus, 2 tsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to other half of baking sheet. Toss to coat and spread asparagus into a single layer. Roast 10 more minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and asparagus are tender. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, white portions of green onion, 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. olive oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Place pan used for pork chops over medium-high heat. Add evaporated milk and demi-glace and cook 2-3 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from burner and whisk in honey mustard and remaining butter. Season to taste with salt. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  6. Place potatoes and asparagus on a plate. Spoon tomato relish over asparagus. Spoon sauce on plate and top with pork chop. Garnish potatoes with green portions of green onions.

Italian Chicken with Rainbow Vegetable Skewers


I totally phoned in dinner tonight, I mean it’s Thursday. Enough said.

If you have chicken and random vegetables,  you will have a low calorie dinner you can make in 15 minutes that will have your family think you spent 20 on them.

2-4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning Blend
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Red Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Squash
1 Zucchini
Wooden Skewers
Balsamic Glaze


  1. Mince garlic. Place Italian seasoning, garlic, 4 tsp. olive oil , 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a medium mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Add chicken breasts to bowl, toss to coat, and marinate at least 20 minutes.
  2. While chicken is marinating, peel and halve onion. Cut halves into 1” dice. Stem, seed, and cut red bell pepper and orange bell pepper into 1’’ dice. Trim yellow squash and zucchini ends and cut each into ½” slices.
  3. Combine peppers, onions, zucchini, and squash in a medium mixing bowl and toss with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Alternate vegetables on wooden skewers, and place assembled skewers on one half of prepared baking sheet.
  4. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and add to hot pan. Cook 2 minutes per
    side, or until lightly browned. Discard marinade.
  5. While chicken sears, cover exposed ends of skewers with foil. Broil 4 minutes, then carefully remove from broiler and flip skewers. Add seared chicken to other half of baking sheet and return to broiler 4-5 minutes, or until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees and vegetables are tender. Watch vegetables and chicken carefully, as some broilers are hotter than others!
  6. Serve three skewers on a plate. Place chicken breast next to skewers and drizzle chicken with balsamic glaze.

“Ham and Cheese” Breakfast Casserole


Every morning I drive by a Krispy Kreme that always has the light on. And most mornings, I drive on by and wish I could actually consume 1 or 4 of their donuts – but settle for an iced coffee or a protein shake. Aside from donuts, if I could eat something yummy for breakfast, it would definitely be this casserole.

I hate to even call this a casserole because it lacks the gloopy, greasy consistency most breakfast casseroles have. It is perfect for potlucks, breakfasts, brunches, holiday mornings. You can make it ahead or prepare and eat right away.

Note: who knew pancetta was so delicious? Hot, crispy – porky. It takes everything I have in me to not eat all of it before even adding it to the casserole.

The cooking time is a little wonky – as in keep your eyes on it. Since the bread is soaked in an egg mixture, it could take a bit to cook the entire thing, but not so much time it dries the whole thing out. It takes me almost a full 60 minutes to bake, but others say it takes them 40.


4 cups (loosely packed) day-old challah or other egg-enriched bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound pancetta (thickly sliced), diced
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, from about 4 ounces

Grease an 8-inch square baking dish (or another 1 1/2-quart to 2-quart baking dish) and spread the cubed challah in the bottom.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium to low heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar. Sauté until they are lightly caramelized (a medium golden-brown color), about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another heavy skillet, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and sauté the pancetta until the fat is almost all rendered and it begins to get crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set on a paper towel to drain.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, dry mustard, nutmeg, and thyme. Season with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.

Spread the pancetta over the bread cubes, then layer the onions on top. Sprinkle grated Gruyère on next, and then pour the egg mixture over the entire thing.

Press down on the top gently, so that all of the bread cubes get soaked a bit with the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge so it can warm on the counter, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 60 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling and the top begins to brown. The baking time will be greatly dependent on the depth of dish you use. Check the interior with a knife; if it comes out clean the bread custard is baked through. (Cover with foil near the end of cooking if the top is already browned.)

I like serving this casserole with fresh fruit and a light salad.

Serves 6 to 8

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Recipe & photo courtesy of thekitchn.com

Blue Cheese and Green Onion-Crusted Pork Chop with Green Bean and Grape Tomato Amandine

FullSizeRender 2

To say I don’t eat a lot these days is an understatement, so a lot of my cooking is purely for my husband and son. I still love to cook, but the cravings for something very specific have pretty much disappeared. This was an easy meal to prepare, but I don’t really love blue cheese so don’t say I never do anything for ya babe.

2 Green Onions
4 oz. Green Beans
4 oz. Grape Tomatoes
2 oz. Blue Cheese
2 Bone-in Pork Chops
1 oz. Slivered Almonds
3 tbs Butter


  1. Thinly chop green onions (or mince depending on your texture issues). Trim ends of  green beans. Halve grape tomatoes. Combine blue cheese, green onions and a pinch of black pepper in a small bowl. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season both sides with 1⁄2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to hot pan and cook on each side 2-3 minutes, or until a caramelized crust forms. Remove pan from burner and transfer chops to prepared baking sheet. Wipe pan clean.
  3. Top pork chops with blue cheese and green onion mix-ture, pressing lightly to adhere crust on chops. Roast 7-9 minutes, or until crust is melted and chops reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove chops from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
  4. While pork chops are roasting, place slivered almonds in same pan used for searing chops (no oil needed) over medium heat and toast almonds evenly. Remove pan from burner once almonds are golden brown and aromatic, 2-4 minutes. Transfer toasted almonds to a plate and return pan to medium heat (no need to wipe clean).
  5. Add butter, green beans, and a few tablespoons of  water to pan. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes, or until beans are bright green. Remove cover, add grape tomatoes, and cook 3-4 minutes, or until beans are tender and tomatoes are warmed through. Add toasted almonds and season with 1⁄4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
  6. Arrange a pile of the green bean almandine in the middle of a plate. Top green beans with blue cheese-crusted pork chop.

Balsamic-Glazed Steak with garlic-Parmesan broccoli and roasted potatoes


Friday night always has me in the mood for something quick like pizza or sushi, but since we had sushi last night and I can no longer eat pizza (although I still fantasize about it) – I couldn’t phone it in.

This recipe was really quick to come together – the longest part involved roasting the potatoes – and it satisfied my boys. It’s funny how my 5 year old refuses to eat a sandwich or a good ol’ mac & cheese, but gobbles up a medium rare cut of beef. Did I mention will only take peppered salami in his lunchbox? No bread…just spicy salami. Must get that from his Dad.

Anywho, here is the recipe – enjoy!

2 Russet Potatoes
8 oz. Broccoli
2 Garlic Cloves
2 6 oz. steaks – just use whatever cut you have on hand / prefer to eat
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Balsamic Glaze


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1” dice. Cut broccoli orets into large bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice garlic. Rinse steaks, pat dry, and season both sides with 1⁄2 tsp. salt and 1⁄4 tsp. pepper.
  2. Place a large non-stick oven-safe pan (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat and add butter. Once melted, add potatoes to hot pan and cook, while stirring, 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Uncover, place pan in oven, and roast 20-22 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden brown and tender. Remove from oven, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil to hot pan. Add steaks to hot pan and sear on one side 4-5 minutes, or until a dark brown crust forms. Flip, and cook 4-5 more minutes, or until steaks reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove steaks from pan and let rest 3-5 minutes. Wipe pan clean and reuse.
  4. Place pan used to cook steaks over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and garlic (to taste) to hot pan. Cook, while stirring, 30-45 seconds, or until aromatic. Add 1⁄4 cup water and broccoli. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until broccoli is tender (but not mushy) and water has evaporated. Remove from burner, season with 1⁄4 tsp. salt and 1⁄4 tsp. pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Place potatoes and broccoli on a plate. Place steak up against vegetables and drizzle with balsamic glaze.