You know when the all the stars align and your seemingly straightforward dinner wows you? This was that moment. I knew it was going to be good, and a nicely balanced meal, and pretty easy, but I didn’t really anticipate how much we’d all LOVE IT.
Excuse me while I pull out the ole soapbox. Get yourself a meat thermometer. Do not cook meat (especially pork!) without one. If you think you don’t love pork tenderloin then it miiiight be that you’ve only had it severely overcooked. Then it’s bland, boring, tough, and yuck.
Mr. J marinated the pork for flavors of honey and lime. Then while he grilled it to perfection, I made some rice with
peaches nectarines, lime juice, peach jam, red onion.
1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup lime juice + 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup rice
1/4 red onion
~ 1 cup cilantro (1/2 bunch)
1/4 cup peach preserves
Marinade the pork in 1/2 cup lime juice, honey, & garlic powder for 4 hours refrigerated.
Get the rice cooking.
Grill flipping to cook each side. Grill to at least 145 degrees. Let it sit about 5 minutes after removing from the heat.
Chop the onion, nectarine, and cilantro and add into the cooked rice.
Add in 1 tablespoon lime juice and peach preserves. Mix well.
Slice the pork and serve with a sprinkle of cilantro over a bed of the rice.
We really did love this. I was so into the peaches with the pork with the onion. The babe couldn’t get enough pork. He had so much and just kept asking for more! Though, he wasn’t into it the next day as leftovers. He liked the rice being kind of sticky…it was much easier for him to spoon from his bowl.
This was pretty fun for a Friday breakfast. To be honest, I reallllly wanted to pick up a bagel on the way to work but ate this instead. It didn’t quite hit the spot since I was trying to make myself want this sweet breakfast. Nutella does a pretty good job at making me forget other ideas, but it just wasn’t a toasty everything bagel. I know, I know, this was a better choice so let’s meet it where it is: this is a healthy-ish breakfast with some fun toppings.
Ingredients: (for 2 servings)
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup coconut almond milk
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
1 tablespoon nutella
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
Mix together the oatmeal, milk, yogurt, and flax seeds. Then divide into 2 bowls or containers with covers.
Slice banana and lay over the top.
In the morning, top with melted peanut butter, nutella, and walnuts.
I might not add the banana overnight again…that’s personal preference. The melted pb with the oats and the crunchy nuts was a good combo.
I know what you’re thinking. Whatttt? On pizza? Yes. Do it! So good! All the exclamation points!!
Mr. J and I watched The Revenant and afterwards I needed something calming to clear my eyeballs from the graphic voilence before attempting to sleep. Enter: Diner Drive Ins & Dives going to Phoenix, Arizona to Sal’s Gilbert Pizza for Chicken Marsala Pizza. Perfect night-cap.
4 chicken tenders
1/2 white onion (or 2 shallots)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Marsala wine
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400-degrees.
In a large saute pan, cook the chicken over medium heat, sprinkled with salt & pepper. Flip and cook for about ~5 on each side until cooked through.
Meanwhile, dice the onion. Remove the chicken from the pan when cooked, and add the onion into the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes until getting translucent. Add the mushrooms.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and butter over a low simmer to thicken. Cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and while the sauce thickens a bit, chop the chicken into pieces and add it back into the pan.
Stretch the dough out and lay onto the pizza stone or pan. Cut a few slits into the dough. Bake for ~10 minutes until starting to brown and puff.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle onto the crust. Crack pepper over the top.
Spoon the sauce, chicken, mushroom, and onion mixture over the cheese.
Sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.
Slice and enjoy!
I really loved this one. I liked that the sauce was so rich but the crust was crisp and the cheese was gooey. It was such a delightful combo. The cheese really served to “waterproof” the dough from the sauce. I think it’d get to soggy if the sauce was under the cheese. I think there’d be a few ways to assemble the pizza but I was glad for the way I did it.
I was a bit delayed on Mr. J’s August snack of the month. August’s theme was #throwback so I recreated Dunkaroos! I don’t remember ever seeing them at my house growing up. Essentially it was a cookie dipped into frosting so I doubt they are worse than another cookie with frosting but alas, they are no more…except for Pinterest. It is very addicting. The cake mix makes it.
1/2 box funfetti cake mix
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
2 cups cool whip
Mix together the funfetti, yogurt, and cool whip.
Mix and serve with animal crackers for dipping.
Add a few more sprinkles serve and enjoy!
I served these as single dipper portions…much like the 90s treat? Why, yes! I gave Mr. J I Owe Yous with themes for his birthday to get a year of Snacks/Treats.
June: hot & cold (Ice cream topping basket)
July: shareable (loaded waffle fries)
Aug: throwback (this Dunkaroo dip!)
Tomatoes were sort of a bust this year…we had a culprit nabbing them and the latest ones aren’t getting ripe. Herbs on the other hand…are going like GANG-BUSTERS. I wanted to highlight a few so they became part of my marinade. We grilled the chicken and I served it over some pretty basic orzo…like butter/tomatoes/basil/salt & pepper. The babe loved both the “chick-ken” and was thrilled to have his own bowl of orzo. It kind of was all over him, but Orzo-man was worth it.
I kept the yogurt-ness going with a tzatiki-like sauce to go with it. I don’t have any dill and I wasn’t about to buy more fresh herbs right now so I improvised with mint & oregano. Yay for all. the. herbs. Let’s count ‘em: basil, oregano, mint, & lemon thyme.
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Greek or Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons each: oregano & thyme
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon each: mint & basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cucumber, with the seeds removed, diced or shredded
1/2 pound of orzo
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
Mix together the 3/4 of the yogurt, milk, oregano, thyme, and add the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Mine marinated for ~2.5 hours.
Meanwhile, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, mint, oregano, lemon juice, and garlic. Then refrigerate until serving.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, boil water for the orzo and cook according to the package (probably 8-10 minutes).
Toss together the orzo, butter, tomato and once it cools a bit, add the basil.
Serve the chicken over a bed of orzo, topped with the cucumber yogurt sauce.
Let’s chat about all the summer foods & flavors we still need to eat:
I definitely need more corn on the cob, plus cooking it and cutting it off the cob (or freezing it off the cob) are great options too. This Heirloom Tomato & Corn Tart is soooo good.
Plus, watching this guy with an ear of corn cracks me up:
Obviously I need more tomatoes: Tomato sandwiches for B, L, D. I loved this ricotta pie with tomato though it seems sacrilegious to cook beautiful tomatoes.
Lobster is a must, I haven’t had any yet but will ASAP
I also need to make some summery cocktails. I have a few in mind…possibly featuring ice tea or lemonade. We’ll see.
I got my s’mores fix last weekend, but there’s no such thing as too many s’mores. I’m sure I will keep featuring the bounty of herbs we’re growing too. Mr. J grills pretty much year-round so that’s not necessarily a must-do. Labor day doesn’t quite mark the end of summer for me since the kiddo’s routine is the same all year but I do look forward to fall.
What’s left on your summery food bucket list?
August feels a bit like a blur. It was too hot for me but our beach vacation was fantastic and I really appreciated having a full week off…something I haven’t done in 1.5 years! I didn’t cook much but I was really happy to whip up quick meals meaning easy family evenings without stress. That also means not as much to blog but throwing something onto the grill and adding an easy side seems like a no-brainer. I cooked a bit this weekend to make up for it (get ready for a really fun burger)!
My fav food I made this month was a Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
I jumped on board the train for overnight oats with a blueberry sauce and I was a fan! I’m sure I’ll make another kind.
For a brunch party I made these biscuit cups with sausage gravy. Adorable and perfectly portioned!
The Little One:
He loved the beach! It was really fun and just. so. easy. I loooove this tiny town we go to because the beach is huuuuge and being able to walk to the beach allows us to come and go. We pretty much went in the morning, popped back to the cottage for lunch & naps and then back to the beach until dinner. After the little one was asleep, it was time for Olympic viewings and ice cream runs. The best.
He’s been eating up a storm and loving to be outside, especially on the swing set. He loves having his own bowl and spoon. He got his very own ice cream cone on vacation and he ate corn on the cob. So fun! He’s talking even more.
This Year’s Goals:
The Year of the: Seasonal Decor: ehh, I missed this month
do something a different way: no, I probably didn’t
drink more water: I need to do better outside of work, at my desk I do well.
make more interesting side dishes: these Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus were fun
cook more soups & sauces: Does jazzed up gravy fit?
watch more movies: none this month it was all Olympics, all the time.
make working out a higher priority: I ran a 5K! That was HUGE for me.
I didn’t really mean to disappear but ohh well. It happens. I had visions of returning from vacation, making one quick thing the weekend after vacay which I’d blog. It just didn’t happen.
Then, I did make something to blog the other night but it wasn’t amazing and it “crisped” too much in the oven so it really wasn’t photogenic. There goes the 2nd thing I had planned for the blog this week! It was a roasted tomato/basil/mozzarella/garlic/truffle oil calzone. Tasty, but not so pretty.
In other news, the beach vacay was so wonderful. The Little One was so happy in the sand, being able to walk right into the ocean, and finding hermit crabs. He thought the crabs were turtles (which is our fav word he says) so “turt-tle” they were. The little one got his very own ice cream cone for the first time and ate corn on the cob. We ate nightly ice cream and watched a lot of Olympics…complete with Olympic bingo I found!
I didn’t cook anything during vacation but brought some lunch things like Mexican Street Corn & quesadilla stuff as well as Sesame Peanut Noodles. Both were easy to prep the sauce in advance and bring the rest to just assemble onsite. I like them as leftovers too.
Then, we got back Friday evening and had the whole weekend at home which totally got us back into the normal groove before returning to work/daycare. I’ll say, how much rest do you need when you’re 1.5 years old and returning to days of water-play, snacktimes, naps, and stories?
Saturday morning I ran a 5K. Cra-zy. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready but I did and I’m so proud of myself. It was hot, I was definitely struggling, but I ran the whole time and wasn’t last…my two goals! 10am mid-August is hottt. My ap said 3.6 miles but whatev. Seeing Mr. J and the little one by the end got me there. I have more work to do before attempting another but it was good.
Now I’m on a mission to eat all the summer things before labor day. Go!
I’m jumping on board the over-night oats bandwagon- it might have been pulling out of the station but I caught it just in time. I saw some tips to make better overnight oats and was thinking I should give them a go. Who doesn’t need a fool-proof healthy breakfast? Also, this is all about the toppings which I can totally get on board with- despite never getting jazzed about oatmeal.
It has to be Old Fashioned Oats and you need 2x the liquid as the oats. I made 2 servings to see how it was. Spoiler: loved it. I foresee all the possibilities. I also might mix up some mini ones to be dessert for when I’m craving that sweet-treat.
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons flax seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup yogurt
1 cup coconut almond milk (or any milk you like)
1 cup blueberries (+more for topping)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Toppings: a few blueberries, chopped fresh pineapple, coconut, nuts, or whatever you like.
Mix together the oats, flax seeds, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, almond milk, and divide into 2 bowls/jars/containers and cover.
Let sit overnight.
In a small saucepan, cook blueberries, honey, and cornstarch over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes. Cool and store until serving.
Top with blueberry sauce, blueberries, pineapple & enjoy!
I loved these! I think 2 was a good start. I don’t always want a million servings to eat the same thing every day. I was very into the alternating textures of the oats vs the blueberry sauce vs the fresh blueberries vs the acidic pineapple. I think my next one might be more nut/toasted coconut/nutella.
I know mason jars are cute, but bowls or containers seem way easier to eat out of. I also fully endorse mixing it all up and then letting it sit. The mason jar & the layers would be more instagram-able but the ratio and texture is better when mixed.
See ya after vacay!