Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer…..and then colder ……and then warmer again (New Jersey life!) I’m excited to slowly start bringing out my Spring/Summer recipes.   I LOVE all things warm (hot actually) weather and food is definitely on the top of my list!  Fruits and veggies are more delicious, everything is a bit lighter and of course……I can add the grill to my cooking rituals.

I honestly have no idea where I got this recipe….but I got it awhile ago.  If it’s yours, let me know and I will give props!   It’s for a delicious grilled pork tenderloin.  Simple and delicious!

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1 boneless pork tenderloin (any size…..I used a 2 pound)
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/4 cup honey
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 T. fresh ginger, minced

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate for at least 4 hours.   I did mine overnight which made it so tender.

Set grill to medium heat. When ready, place pork on grill and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway.  Mine was about 12 minutes on each side!

ENJOY!

porktenderloin

 

~gianna~

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Warm Bacon and Cheese Dip

Here is a yummy dip recipe that I’ve made for parties!   Very simple and very delicious!  Who doesn’t love a combo of cheese, onions and BACON?  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……….. All cooked together into melty goodness?    It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Warm Bacon and Cheese Dip
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 bag of shredded cheese, mild or sharp
1 16 oz. jar of sour cream
2 or 3 oz bacon pieces
-I buy the Hormel brand and the jar is exactly what you need, 2 or 3 oz, that is the way it comes — pieces not bits
1 cup of chopped green onions
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Combine all ingredients
Put in oven safe dish
Cover in foil
Bake on 350* for 35-45 min
Serve with tortilla chips!
ENJOY!
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~gianna~

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

One day I was looking for a new chicken recipe and found  this one during a google search.     I had all the ingredients needed (as I’m sure most people do) and decided to give it a shot!  I knew it was something everyone would like in my house and it sounded really good!  It was delicious!!!  The chicken had the perfect combo of crunch on the outside and tenderness on the inside and it was very flavorful and easy to make!    It was so good I even made it once using boneless pork chops!  I liked the chicken better for the tenderness of the meat, but the pork was good too!

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (halved into 8 thinner pieces)
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce is best)
1 tsp ground black pepper
 canola oil for frying

Slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.

Sift together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage paprika and cayenne pepper.

Whisk together the eggs and water in a separate bowl.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dip in the flour and spice mixture.

Then dip into the egg mixture and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.

Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom.

NOTE FROM ORIGINAL RECIPE:  You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain chicken on wire rack for a few minutes and then dip chicken into the Honey Garlic Sauce. 

 Honey Garlic Sauce:
In a medium saucepan add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown.
Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper.
Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

ENJOY!

Double Crunch Honey Chicken

~gianna~

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

This is my go to potato recipe for any meal that I need/want a starch.  It’s simple and delicious and takes no time to prepare, but they take an hour to cook, so if you want something quick and easy, but don’t have to leave the house…or need time to do other food prep….this is your recipe!  You can really use any potato cut into bite sized pieces, you don’t have to use red potatoes and with most potato recipe feel free to experiment with other spices/seasonings!

Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes 

(Barefoot Contessa)

3 lbs. of small red potatoes

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 TBSP minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

Parsley (optional)

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Preheat oven to 400° F. 

Cut clean potatoes in halves or quarters, leaving skins on. Place them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic; toss until potatoes are well-coated. 

Spray a large baking sheet well with cooking spray.

Dump potatoes onto baking sheet and spread into one layer.

Roast for at least an hour, until brown and crisp, TURNING them twice with a spatula during cooking so they will brown evenly.

Toss with a little parsley before serving.

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

Maple Syrup Salmon

I first stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago on a message board I frequent… And ever since I found it…….I make it very often!

Whenever we are with friends or family eating….I hear a lot of “Your kids eat that?”  or “How do you get your kids to eat…….” and honestly…..I find recipes that are “kid friendly”, and when they aren’t….I make my kids something different, but they have to try it!  Usually when Olivia tries something…she either likes it or LOVES it….but once in awhile she won’t, and usually it’s something I wouldn’t have eaten as a child either (so I can’t blame her)!   Ava will pretty much say “I don’t like this!”  but she eats it anyway!  🙂  NOT THIS RECIPE THOUGH….both of my girls LOVE this salmon recipe….and when you make you will know why!  It’s so simple, takes hardly any time….and the combo of maple syrup and soy sauce make for a very yummy glaze!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Maple Syrup Salmon

1/4 cup maple syrup 

2 tablespoons soy sauce 

1 clove garlic, minced 

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt 

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 pound salmon (skin removed)

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In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper. 

Place salmon in a shallow baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once. 

Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). 

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork. 

ENJOY!

maplesyrupsalmon~gianna~
  

Cookies N Cream Cupcakes

I was recently in charge of making cupcakes for Olivia’s teacher’s birthday.  I asked around to other teachers and my Mother-in-Law who is a newly retired teacher from our district to find out what her favorite dessert/sweet is and no one could give me an answer, but I knew she liked chocolate.  Soooooo I found a recipe for Cookie N Cream Cupcakes and decided to give them a shot.     I gathered my little bakers and my ingredients into the kitchen and we got started right away.   The recipe came from Annie’s Eats who has so many delicious recipes of all kinds……AND I figured out where I got the recipe for the Cookie Dough Cupcakes  that I recently blogged out!  ANNIE’S EATS is where it came from!!!!  🙂  So THANK YOU, Annie!

OK so we made these cupcakes and they were delicious…Olivia’s teacher and the kids in her class LOVED them, BUT I thought they were a tiny bit dry.  I’m not sure if they are a drier cupcake or if I did something wrong, but they def were drier than I like my cupcakes.  The dryness DID NOT take away from the delicious taste though, I can promise you that!   I’d like to give them another shot and see if they are equally as dry the next time!

Cookie N Cream Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream
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Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line the cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.
Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Blend in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mixEvenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
Blend in the vanilla extract.
Beat in the confectioners sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.
Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish with leftover Oreo halves.
ENJOY!
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Image 20

~gianna~

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Here is a blog entry from my old blog that deserves repeating!    Obviously it’s old (from 2011)

I have been dying to try Tilapia, it’s something I had never had before (GASP!) simply because I never found a recipe I liked!  Until I ventured over to my friend, Kelly’s website and found one that sounded really delicious!    My parents had just gotten home from a 14 day cruise (so jealous) and my Mom hadn’t done food shopping yet, so I invited them over for dinner.  I decided to pair the tilapia with Kelly’s Sundried Tomato Risotto and the Roasted Cauliflower.  And this meal did not disappoint!

As everyone knows I am always looking for recipes that my kids and husband will eat (I pretty much eat everything — well……..except bananas, tuna fish, chocolate, yellow mustard and of course I limit my red meat), and this was a hit!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

6 tilapia filets
6 sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 TBSP dried basil

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Heat oven to broil

In a food processor add sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, cheese and basil and pulse until mixed well and very finely chopped.

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed generously with cooking spray.   Put under the broiler for 3 minutes and then remove.

 Flip filets over and sprinkle generously with the mixture…making sure you coat the whole thing.

Put back under the broiler for an additional 3-4 minutes.   KEEP THE OVEN DOOR OPEN and keep an eye on this…because it cooks very quickly.

ENJOY!!!

risotto

~gianna~

Smashed Potatoes

Here is a very simple way to make potatoes!  Another Pinterest recipe that I’ve added to my usual recipes that I make often, and that we all like!  It’s also great because you can add any seasoning to them……garlic, onion, old bay, ranch seasoning, italian seasoning….the possibilities are endless!  And you can top them with any kind of garnish…..bacon, cheese, chives…again..use your imagination!   Simple, delicious and customized to how you like it…..all equal a winning recipe in my book!  I think you’ll agree when you try these little potatoes out!

Smashed Red Potatoes

Small red potatoes (or any small potato)

Olive Oil

Spices — I used garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme

Garnish —  have fun with it!

*************************************************************************

Preheat oven to 425°

Boil potatoes in water a fork goes in easily

Drain and let cook for 15 minutes

Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil

Place potatoes on cookie sheet and using the bottom of a cup, gently smash the potato until flat.  

Drizzle with olive oil and season with whatever spices you’d like.

Place in preheated oven and cook for 25-35 minutes or until nice and crispy and golden brown!

ENJOY!

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******the potatoes sometimes fall apart a bit when you smash them, but you can easily smash them back together  or just leave them in pieces….they are still delicious!****

~gianna~

Chocolate Chip Cookies

One thing I really don’t do well are chocolate chip cookies……..no matter which recipe I use or how I tweak it or what I change…they never come out just right.  I’ve even made friend’s recipes where the cookie was so soft and fluffy and delicious and mine are flat and brown!   I’ve gotten new ingredients, used different types of cookie sheets, used a silpat, cooked for less time, cooked for more time………FLAT AND OR BROWN!  I am a chocolate chip cookie failure!  You will see as I post chocolate chip cookie recipes how randomly different they all turn out, but they are never soft, chewy and light…..sometimes flat, sometimes brown and flat, sometimes big and brown…you get the idea!  They always taste great..sometimes amazing, but they don’t look it!  If anyone has any other tips or can explain what I’m doing wrong….please comment!  I’ll try anything!

So here is one of my MANY chocolate chip cookie recipes…that landed me with some HUGE, FLAT, (BUT DELICIOUS) cookies!  This is probably my favorite recipe I have for chocolate chip cookies….they are the softest and chewiest, but the flattest!

chocolatechipcookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter (unsalted) melted and cooled.
1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips  (I use whatever I have….this time I did half semi sweet and half milk chocolate chips)

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Preheat the oven to 325°F .    I used silpats on my cookie sheets this time!  If you don’t have them….I highly recommend them for baking cookies!

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly golden.  Cool on baking sheets for a few minute and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 12-14 BIG cookies.  

ENJOY!!!!  I know we did!!!

chocolatechipcookies3

I like to eat my chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter on them….or dipped right into the peanut butter jar.  And of course with a glass of milk!

~gianna~

Honey Lime Shrimp

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest when I was looking for a new shrimp recipe.  This one sounded perfect and something that I knew the whole family would enjoy!  We love shrimp in our house and cook it a lo,t so finding new recipes is always fun!   This recipe is a perfect combo of sweet and savory…with a bit of a kick.  Use the red pepper flakes to your liking.  My kids don’t love too much spice, so I didn’t use much….but if you like spice, add more!  I served it with rice and salad and it was amazing! The shrimp get a little crunch to them too, which makes the flavor almost explode in your mouth!  YUM!

Honey Lime Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup olive oil

4 T honey

juice of one lime

zest of one small lime, or half a large lime

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

red pepper flakes

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Combine all the  ingredients in a ziplock bag.

Add shrimp

Put in fridge and marinate for 30-60 minutes.  Toss in bag a few times to get them well coated.

Remove from fridge approx 10 minutes prior to cooking.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add your shrimp to the pan in a single layer, making sure they are not too crowded; you can always cook them in more than one batch.

Let them cook on one side for about a minute, until they curl up and start to turn pink. Flip them over, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from the pan, and serve immediately over rice!

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

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