Monday, March 5, 2012

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork

Picture from C+C Marriage Factory
A couple months ago there was a sale on pork roast. This is something we like, but don't buy often.. mainly because I don't have many recipes that aren't boring and plain pork roast. When I saw this on Pinterest (yes, again!), I decided to give it a shot. It was delicious... but definitely looked NOTHING like the picture on the original website (doesn't her picture above look amazing?)! The pictures actually came out kinda gross looking.. even though it tasted good! I think I didn't make enough glaze to pour over when I served it.

Serves: 4

  ~ 2 pound boneless pork loin
  ~ 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
  ~ 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  ~ 1/2 cup water
  ~ 1/2 cup brown sugar
  ~ 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  ~ 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  ~ 1/2 cup water
  ~ 2 tablespoons soy sauce

1.  In a small bowl, combine rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic. Rub over roast and place in Crockpot with 1/2 cup of water in the bottom. Cook on low for 6 hours.

2. About 75 minutes before the roast is done, combine the last 5 ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat; stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Brush glaze over roast 2 or 3 times in the last hour of cooking.

3. You should have some glaze leftover (you may need to make more than shown above.. it wasn't enough for me). Pour this over the sliced roast when you serve it.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Brownie Cupcakes

My new, favorite, go-to dessert recipe. I don't think I'll ever make "normal" cupcakes ever again! This was another dessert picture that caught my eye on Pinterest. I decided to make them for Valentine's Day with strawberry cake mix and white buttercream frosting (and, of course, heart sprinkles). They were a huge hit! I'm making them again for a party tomorrow with lemon cake mix and chocolate frosting, combining my favorite cupcake combination with brownies. My mouth is already drooling..

Makes: About 42 cupcakes

  ~ 1 box of cake mix (any flavor) (Duncan Hines is dairy-free)
  ~ 1 box of brownie mix (again, Duncan Hines is dairy-free)
  ~ Ingredients necessary to prepare cake and brownie mixes

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350°.

2. In one bowl, prepare cake mix according to box. In another bowl, prepare brownie mix according to box.

3. Line cupcake pans with papers.

4. Fill cupcake papers 1/3 full with brownie batter and another 1/3 full with cake mix (I used about 1 spoonful of brownie and 2 spoonfuls of cake because I was running out of brownie batter).

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when you touch it. You want to be careful not to over-bake them because the brownie will get too hard and stick to the paper.

6. Frost with your favorite frosting. I used my recipe for Decorator's Frosting.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lazy "Sunday" Casserole

I have been on a roll with new recipes lately!! And all of them have been amazing! This one I found through Pinterest (a GREAT place to find new, different recipes). I have been very busy with work lately, so the main thing that appealed to me about this recipe was that it was called a "lazy" casserole. And it lived up to that name. I cut potatoes in quarters and cooked some sausage in a frying pan. That's all I had to do for a delicious dinner. Another appealing thing about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are staples that I always have on hand.. so it's a quick, easy dinner any night!

Serves: 2

  ~ 2 or 3 large potatoes
  ~ 1/2 pound baby carrots
  ~ 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  ~ 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  ~ 1/2 cup chicken broth
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  ~ black pepper
  ~ salt (I used Sicilian salt.. my favorite)
  ~ 4 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  ~ 4 Italian sausages

1.  Peel, wash and quarter potatoes. Place in bottom of 11x17 glass baking pan with the baby carrots.

2. In a glass bowl, combine oil, Italian seasoning, broth and garlic powder. Combine using a whisk. Pour over potatoes and carrots (mix using a spoon, ensuring that potatoes and carrots are fully coated).

3. Cover with tin foil and bake at 450° for 45 minutes.

4. About a half hour later, brown the sausage in a frying pan. They don't need to be fully cooked. Slice in half.

5.  After 45 minutes the potatoes should be fork tender (If not, put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so). Add the sausages to the pan. My potatoes had started to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I loosened them and mixed everything up so that everything would cook consistently.  Pour the vinegar over the top of the pan, and put it back in the oven, uncovered, for another 20-25 minutes.