Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

I’m getting Fall fever, even if it is still 90 degrees here in Florida. I drank my first pumpkin beer this week, I’m going to get my fall decorations out this weekend and I made my first seasonal dinner.  You can never go wrong with the combination of pork and apples so when I saw a recipe in my Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook for Root Beer Pork Chops with Apple Salsa I knew I had to try it. I loved the idea but made some changes to the recipes to fit my tastes.

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

4 Boneless Pork Loin Chops

1/4 c molasses

6 oz root beer

1 T oil

Combine Root Beer and Molasses in a ziplock bag or shallow dish add pork chops and refrigerate 4 hrs-overnight, turning occasionally. Heat oil in a large skillet over med high heat and add pork chops. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until seared with some dark brown coloring. Turn chops and repeat on the other side. Add remaining root beer mixture to pan  with chops and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low and cover, cook for 4 more minutes or until desired doneness. ( use a meat thermometer if desired)

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops

Fresh Apple Salsa

2 large crisp apples, (I used Fiji, Granny Smiths would be good also)

1/2 c chopped onion

1/4-1/2 t minced jalapeño pepper

1 T lemon juice

2 T honey

1/4 t salt

1 T chopped fresh parsley

add all ingredients to a bowl and stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes more than needed for the pork chops, use the leftovers for wraps, chicken salad, or peanut butter would be great, or also as an accompaniment with a cheese plate or with cinnamon sugar pita chips.

Fresh Apple Salsa great on top of pork or chicken

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

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Graduation Party Revisited

Graduation Party Ideas

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since my oldest graduated from high school. He has now completed his first year of college and is working part time. He votes, pays taxes and insurance and is a true adult in everyone’s eyes but mine, to me he is still my baby. As I see many parents getting ready to celebrate their own children’s accomplishments and graduations I decided to revisit some of the highlights from last year’s graduation party and post them here.

For decorations we did all of our sons school and baby pictures under a sheet of clear plastic on the table, it was fun to reminisce and see all the crazy hairstyles he went through as a preteen. We also rolled the napkins into diploma shapes and tied them with black ribbons. Then made little stacks of them around the table.

Graduation diploma napkins

For food we incorporated his favorite food, chips and set up a chip and dip bar. We set out various types of chips and dips in different bowls plates and cake stands and let everyone mix and match.

Chip and Dip Bar

Don’t worry we also had vegetables for dipping.

Veggie platter

Some dip ideas are… ( click on the link for the recipes)

Salsa and Guacamole

Bacon Horseradish

Kalamata Olive

Beer Cheese

Goat Cheese and Marinara

Sweet Potato Hummus

Pimento Cheese

Also you could include some dessert dips

Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Key Lime Pie Dip

I was lazy and let Publix make the cake, but this book cake would be pretty easy to replicate using 2 different sized rectangular or square pans.

Publix's Book Style Graduation Cake

Congrats to all who graduated and the people that helped them get there, have fun celebrating this momentous occasion.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Cinco De Mayo is this weekend and I will be in London but here are some recipes for you to enjoy while I am gone.

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

Beer Ritas

Beer-ritas

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Cactus Pear Margaritas

Cactus Pear Margarita

Salsa and Guacamole

Homemade Salsa and Guacamole

Calabacitas

Calabacitas

IMG_3571 IMG_3554

and here are some ideas for decor

Enjoy!

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

I love the combination of blueberries and basil, so when I was asked to make salsa for a wine and cheese party, I decided to add a little twist. This salsa is great with goat cheese, brie, blue cheese or even cream cheese, serve over top the cheese on a cracker or bread. This would also be great on chicken or fish.

 Blueberry and Basil Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 c red onion

5 large fresh basil leaves

1 tsp honey

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until salsa consistency.

IMG_6722

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

2T olive oil

1 1/2 limes juiced

6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

3 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion diced

1 small jalapeno (or half large), minced (ribs and seeds removed)

2 T chopped cilantro

Combine olive oil, juice of 1 lime and salt and pepper in a small bowl, pour over chicken breast and put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Grill over med high heat for about 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness (check with a meat thermometer).

In a medium sized bowl combine peaches, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and juice from 1/2 a lime. sprinkle with salt. Serve over cooked chicken.

Fresh Corn Salsa

As you may know I love to use ingredients that are in season, not only is it cheaper, it is delicious. This fresh corn salsa is versatile and yummy. Try it on a taco, tostada, or on top of black bean soup, would also taste great on a salad or by itself on chips and keeps much longer than a tomato or fruit based salsa so it’s great for a potluck too.

Fresh Corn Salsa

2 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob ( about 2 cups)

1/4 cup red onion chopped

1/2 jalapeno chopped

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

1 t olive oil

juice of 1/2 lime (about 1-2 T)

Remove kernels from cob with a knife, make sure your corn is fresh since we are not cooking it.

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and serve. We had ours on top of a chicken and black bean tostada.

Taking Taco Night Up a Notch, Homemade Salsa and Guacamole

Sure I used to eat jarred salsa when I was a kid, I think I even liked it, but once I found out how easy it was to make my own I have been doing it ever since. Simple, fresh and delicious, try making your own for this weeks taco night.

Gather your ingredients:

3 ripe tomatoes , cut into quarters

1 T lime juice

3/4 of a medium sized, red onion (ratio of tomatoes to onion should be about 3 to 1), cut into quarters

1/2 jalapeno, sliced (I used 1/2 because this was a big one from my garden, use as much as you want depending of your spice tolerance)

2T of fresh cilantro

1t salt

Add tomatoes, lime juice, onion, and jalapeno to a food processor, pulse until chopped and combined, add cilantro and salt and do about 4 more quick pulses.

Pour into a bowl and let sit at room temp at least 15 min before serving.

That was easy, now don’t even clean up, were making Guacamole.

Cut 3 Avocados in half, remove pit and scoop into food processor (its ok if there is some salsa left in it)

add 1/2 cup of your already prepared salsa

add 1/2 tsp lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Pulse ingredients until smooth and incorporated

Voila, now you have homemade guacamole too. Serve guacamole immediately or cover tightly and put into the refrigerator,