This post is sponsored in conjunction with #AppleWeek . I received complimentary product from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
We are really enjoying the beautiful fall weather lately. It’s made for a lot of dinners on the deck. And while we’re full into fall flavors – like apples! – we’re still using our preferred summer method of cooking – the grill.
These pork and apple burgers are an awesome fall dinner for this cusp season – it feels like a summer meal, but is full of fall flavors.
My friends have been raving about this recipe and now that I’ve tried it I totally understand why. This is super simple – but super good.
The idea here is that you make egg roll filling, but don’t go through actually wrapping it up – which is kind of brilliant. I’ve made egg rolls before, but they’re time consuming and deep fried, so they’re not something I make on the regular. This version is lighter and perfect for a weeknight!
This meal was so easy! Are you sensing a theme around here? If it’s not quick and easy, I pretty much can’t handle it these days. Going forward, let’s just assume everything I post is quick and easy unless I say otherwise.
On top of being easy, this is freezer friendly. I prepped and popped it in the freezer – and then thawed the day before cooking. If you’re someone who likes to prep ahead, this is a fantastic option.
I love sweet potatoes. And I love that making them in the IP is so damn quick.
This is a great, basic method for cooking them. I served them mashed with cinnamon honey butter (yum!) but if you were baking them to top with pulled pork or cooking them to use for another recipe, this is the way to go!
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter (method from Add a Pinch) Serves 4
4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
Place a steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add sweet potatoes. Pour 1 cup of water over. Cook on manual for 10 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, mix together the butter, honey and cinnamon.
Serve the potatoes topped with cinnamon honey butter.
There was a running joke in college that I would only do the dishes if I had been drinking. I hate washing the dishes and apparently that was the only way it was tolerable. Now, I don’t have to do the dishes often because Mark and I have a deal worked out – if I cook, he’ll clean up.
The problem is that he’s been working late a lot lately so I’ve been having to do both. Solution? One pan (or pot) meals. And lots of them. This was one of the best I tried – super easy and super flavorful. Tiny and I loved them!
One-Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Vegetables (adapted from Damn Delicious) Serves 2
2 pork chops
2 large white potatoes, dices
8 oz. green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Add the pork chops, potatoes and green beans to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Ranch Seasoning and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss then shake into a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until pork is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.
I’ve got these filed under “easy enough to throw together with a super fussy baby in tow”. Because that’s totally a file in our house right now. Teething, man.
As simple as these are, they took all day to make. I caramelized the onions during the first (30 minute) nap. Fried up the bacon during the second (20 minute) nap. Assembled and wrapped them in foil while I wore him on my back and then threw them in the fridge until ready to bake. It was just one of those days.
On another note, every time I make caramelized onions I have an oh-goodness-I love-these-so-much moment. I’m thinking I need to start just keeping caramelized onions in the fridge so I can put them on, like, everything.
Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Bacon (slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum) Serves 3
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
6 slices of bacon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 package of King’s Hawaiian sub rolls (6 rolls)
1 lb. deli-sliced ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
In a frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and then add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. When done, transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan. Cook the bacon in the same pan, removing to a paper-towel lined plate when done.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the mustard and Worcestershire.
To assemble the sandwiches, brush some of the mustard mixture on the cut side of each roll. Divide ham between rolls and top with caramelized onions, a slice of bacon and a slice of cheese.
Wrap assembled sandwiches in foil. Bake at 350F degrees for 10 minutes or until warm and melty.
You know what I currently have a lot of? Cell phone videos of my kid gagging on green vegetables. Peas and green beans were both an epic fail, so when we got around to trying asparagus with him, I only made a few spears – I knew there would be lots of disgusted faces and spitting it out. To be fair, I don’t know if I’d be a huge fan of plain, steamed asparagus either.
The asparagus in this dish, though, was awesome. My husband said it was his new favorite way to eat it. And a one pot dish = less to clean up, so this was a win all around.
Another win this past week? Getting Jake to eat broccoli without gagging. I mixed it with sweet potatoes and he happily gobbled it up. Why didn’t I think of that before?!
2 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
12 oz. red potatoes, cut into chunks
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. herbs de Provence
1 small red onion, chopped
8 oz. asparagus spears
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Preheat your oven to 425F degrees.
On the stovetop over high heat, heat a heavy, oven-safe skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. of the oil and heat until shimmering. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. .Add pork to pan and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and cover with foil. Reduce heat to medium-high and add the potatoes to pan and cook for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove pan from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, tomato paste and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Take 2 tbsp. of this mixture and toss with herbs de Provence, onion, and asparagus in a bowl. Add this mixture to the potatoes and stir to combine.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring about halfway. Place the pork chops over vegetables and bake until the pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Top pork chops with additional balsamic mixture and Gorgonzola cheese before serving.
Seven months into motherhood and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything. It been a lesson in “OR” lately.
You can spend time making dinner OR go visit the adorable new twins across the street OR get another load of laundry done.
You can make that nice stew that simmers all day OR go to the baby play date OR run errands at the mall.
It seems that more and more, I’m pushing dinner to the back burner so I’ve been trying to plan easier, more hands-off meals. This slow cooker meal was a huge win – healthy, flavorful and quickly prepped before my busy day got out of hand. It was so nice to plop on the couch for baby cuddles instead of starting dinner after running around!
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup pineapple juice
2 lbs. pork sirloin roast
6 cups of cooked rice
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
Pineapple, sliced into rings
In the slow cooker, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (tomato sauce to pineapple juice). Add the pork and turn to coat. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove pork, shred and return to slow cooker, stirring to combine with the juices.
When the pork is just about done, heat a grill pan. Grill peppers and pineapple until peppers have char marks and the pineapple is starting to caramelize.
Serve pork in bowls with rice, peppers, pineapple and avocado.
Every once and a while I make something that cooks all day and makes the house smell awesome and think, why don’t I do this more often? This is one of those dishes. Pork chops and onions and bacon and apples simmering for hours before dinner? Yes. Please.
I’ve made this several times, and it never disappoints. It’s making it’s first appearance on the blog, though, because it’s one of those meals that’s terrible to photograph. It’s ugly, plain and simple. But it’s delicious and you should make it anyway.
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced into half-moons
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. apple pie spice
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 boneless pork chops
4 Granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups apple cider
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about ten minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the bacon pieces and fry until cooked but not crispy. Remove to the bowl with the onions and mix together.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, apple pie spice, salt and pepper. Coat each of the pork chops in the flour mixture. Add 3 at a time to the pan and sear. Remove to a plate when finished. Whisk any remaining flour into the pan. Add in the apple cider and bring to a boil, whisking often.
In a dutch oven, layer as follows: bacon and onion on the bottom, 3 pork chops, apple slices, onion and bacon, 3 pork chops, apple slices, onions and bacon, and then the remaining apple slices. Pour the apple cider mixture evenly over everything.
So, you know how blogging around here was pretty slow around here towards the end of the year? I’m sure most people figured it was because of the baby but it was actually much more embarrassing – I filled up my hard drive. As in, I couldn’t put another thing on it without deleting something else. I quit taking pictures of things I was making because getting them onto the laptop was such a pain. (Well, I guess you could blame the baby – I’d filled it up with baby pictures…)
This was a pizza I made during that unintended blog break – and remade last week just so I could share it. I whipped it up to use up some leftovers and it turned out awesome – even my Mom, whom swears she hates spicy things, loved it.
And I finally bought a new computer so transferring pictures should be easy-peasy going forward.
Pulled Pork Pizza (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes 1 12″ Pie
1 lb. pizza dough
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp. chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 cup pulled pork
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
Roll out dough into a 12″ circle.
In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and chipotle tabasco sauce. Spread over the crust. Top with pulled pork, red onion and cheeses.
Bake at 425 until the crust is golden, about 20 minutes.