Smokey Pork and Citrus Kale Salad

SONY DSCCan you believe it’s February already?  How is this happening, you guys?  It seems like just yesterday we were in the midst of Thanksgiving preparation, and now, we are full blown into winter and darn near our decent into Spring.  Spring!  I mean I know I’m jumping the gun a bit here…but it will be here before we know it, no?

And that pretty much makes me feel all sorts of crazy emotions.  Because spring equals baby’s arrival…eek!  I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely fast this pregnancy has gone..wow.  I mean we have two trimesters under our belt and one to go; I swear I blinked and here we are.   And while I have seen so incredibly many changes in myself/my body during these last several months, there is positively one thing that has remained constant throughout this entire journey….CITRUS FRUIT.     Continue reading

Easy Grilled Pork Chops + Pineapple Salsa

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Wow, we haven’t chatted for a while, friends.  My deepest apologies.  We left for a little family reunion late last week and I had every intention of touching base with you while we were on the road.  But, you know.  A couple of kids, 2 hours of rush hour traffic followed by a 3.5 hour road trip sort of got the best of me.  Then, as we were on our way, I thought, you know what, Ill wake up early one day over the weekend and write a quick blog post before everyone rolls out of bed”.  Haha.  My heart was there, I can assure you of that.  Execution, not so much.   Continue reading

Best-Ever Effortless BBQ Baby Back Ribs

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So these happened this weekend.

I suppose I won’t go into detail about how fall-off-the-bone tender these ribs are.  I won’t bore you with the details of the sticky sauce smothered on top.  And that perfect crispy char…I know you have no interest….so lets just talk for a second about how easy this recipe is to create and I’ll let you go about your day. Continue reading

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples


Any recollection of this Brady Bunch episode where Peter is obsessed with imitating other people? His Humphrey Bogart rocked.  Pork chaaapssh and applesaush. And isn’t it so normal how Carol greets Mike at the door so charismatically with that dress and heels on? That’s EXACTLY what it’s like when my husband gets home from work. Minus the dress and plus some sweatpants. Minus the heels and plus bare feet. And plus screaming kids climbing on me. And usually, hair that’s made it through half of the day but has retired to a top knot because food has somehow nestled it’s way into every strand. But other than that, it’s the EXACT same.  Continue reading

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

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Well, as promised, here is a follow up to last weeks simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.  Although a Pulled Pork Sandwich is one of the more common ways to utilize the pork, this sandwich tastes nothing close to ordinary.  It’s exceptional.  Juicy, tender pulled pork, tangy, sweet bbq sauce and cool, crunchy, creamy slaw?  Theres not much else I can say here, folks..it’s out of this world.  My husband is nuts for this sandwich. Continue reading

Banh Mi Sandwiches

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If you have never experienced a banh mi sandwich you are in for a treat.  Banh mi (pronounced Baan-Me) is a traditional Vietnamese baguette sandwich and has made quite a mark here in the US as of late.  I experienced my very first banh mi sandwich from a food truck a couple of years ago and I have been mildly obsessed ever since.  The flavors and textures were absolutely indescribable in the most wonderful way possible and I needed to find a way to have it in my own kitchen whenever I wanted.  Like everyday.

After researching plenty and trying multiple takes on the sandwich I found exactly what I was looking for.  My husband and I both agree that this is the best meal put on our table, hands down.  And if you could have seen my daughter yelling and pointing for “mo bawws..mo dip” (more meatballs, more dip..we dip her meatballs in the mayo and serve them to her that way as she doesn’t quite have the teething equipment to manage the sandwich whole).   Crunchy, chewy bread.  Buttery, spicy mayo.  Savory, juicier than juicy meatballs and that sweet and sour slaw right on top…absolutely unbeatable.  It may seem like a lot of components but I can assure you this is extremely quick and easy to put together and everything can be made ahead of time so its perfect for entertaining.  This sandwich is truly nothing short of perfection.  Now go get your cute butt in the kitchen and switch your typical menu up a bit…I can assure you this will be a welcomed addition to your kitchen repertoire by the entire family.

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Banh Mi Sandwiches

adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Slaw:

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced

3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave or Honey

Spicy Mayo:

1/3 Cup Mayonaise

1 Green Onion, finely chopped

1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Meatballs:

1 Pound Ground Pork

4 Garlic Cloves, grated or pressed

3 Green Onions, finely chopped

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Basil

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

2 Teaspoons Corn Starch

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

3/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Asian Sesame Oil, for frying

4 Whole Grain Ciabatta Rolls, sliced horizontally in half

Sliced Jalapeños, optional

Cilantro Leaves, optional

Directions

Slaw:  Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Mayo:  Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and chill.  Can be made up to two days ahead.

Meatballs:  Mix pork, garlic, green onion, basil, sriracha, agave, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Using a tablespoon for each, form meatballs with your hands. At this point you can chill meatballs for up to 5 hours if you would like to make them ahead of time. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add half of meatballs and cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Flip over and brown the other side for an additional 4 minutes or until cooked through.  Repeat with the second half of the meatballs.

Build Sandwiches:  Remove most of the inside dough from both halves of the bread so you are basically left with a thick shell, about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread mayo on bottom half of bread, fill with meatballs and slaw and top with jalapeno and cilantro.  Eat with or without the lid.