Mmm…pancakes

Apple cinnamon whole wheat pancakes to be specific.
Who doesn’t love a Saturday morning that begins with pancakes? It takes just a quick minute to whip these guys together and voila! Breakfast of champions.
Here’s how to start your day off right:
1.5 c whole wheat flour
1 egg
2 tbs oil
1 tbs sugar ( I used truvia)
1 apple peeled and grated
2 tsp baking powder
1 c milk ( I use Silk Vanilla)
Cinnamon and vanilla to taste

Mix it all together and cook yourselves some pancakes!

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Did Somebody Say Pork?

Well folks, that oh-so glorious summer-like weather has most definitely left us..sigh. It was nice while it lasted though wasn’t it?

Silver lining being that the return of the cold allows for some great crockpot creations…not that the weather makes a huge difference mind you…the weather does not define me. Take that Mother Nature. But I digress…


I was feeling in the mood for meat this week. My meals for the past few weeks have been more on the vegetarian side. And I weirdly had this craving for pork. Pork goes really well with other stuff (potatoes, squash, cranberries, apples). But I didn’t feel like going the “pork chops and apple sauce” route a-la Bobby Brady. I decided instead to make a pork loin.

Two things about this post: 1) I have typed lion instead of loin every time I have mentioned it. 2) The idea of a 25 year old making a pork loin is hilarious to me. Not that 25 year olds aren’t capable of such a thing, but it just sounds so funny when you tell people what you’re doing. “Oh just cooking up a pork loin, nbd” It just sounds like something only mom’s and grandmother’s make. But apparently its something THIS girl makes too.

I didn’t actually use a recipe for this one. I took elements from some similar ones and adapted them to my slightly lazier methods (e.g. just throw everything into the crockpot and leave it alone for 8 hours). I call the dish Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Pork Loin with Squash and Potatoes. It leaves a lot to the imagination don’t you think? I added a bunch of things that I like which add yummy flavors and texture..we’re talking craisins, apples, butternut squash, potatoes…

What you’ll need:

1 lb pork loin
1 lb butternut squash (cubed)
2 potatoes (cubed)
1 onion (chopped…I chop mine big)
3 small apples (cored and thickly sliced)
~1/2  can chicken broth
~1/4 c craisins
spices (I used garlic flakes, salt, pepper, and thyme)

Start by peeling and cubing the squash and potatoes. Chop up your onion and apples as well. Trim the fat off of your pork loin. I cut mine in 2 pieces…but I suggest cutting it in 4 pieces).
Toss the meat into the crockpot and season it up with your spices. Then toss those veggies on top and cover with the broth. Finally sprinkle those craisins on top.
Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 4.

Based on meat portions it yields about 4 servings that are deliciously veggie heavy.
Ways to potentially improve the recipe if your less lazy than me would be to pan sear the pork serving prior to adding them to the pot. I think it will help the keep the porks form a little, rather than have a more pulled-pork style. Also, I used a whole can of broth, so I had extra “sauce” in my pot…you can thicken up the liquid by bringing it to a boil in a sauce pan with some cornstarch and it would make a super yummy gravy.

Then all that’s left is to eat that biz up!

SIDENOTE: Now you can Follow me via email! enter your email to the right to get email updates when I post a new adventure! And leave comments/suggestions! I’d love to hear from you!! Happy Cooking!

Lovin’ the Lentils…and Making Lentil Chili

Hooray for Springtime!! I just had to mention the great weather we’ve had this week because lets face it, it was awesome.

This post is a bit of a walk down memory lane for me.  It takes me across the world and about a year back….to when I was in the Peace Corps in Lesotho.

So getting an appropriate amount of protein was a bit of an issue for me at the beginning. I didn’t have a fridge or anything and wasn’t confident in my ability to NOT get ill from eating the meat in my area (I had heard some stories…). I’m not really an egg person, so that was out. I didn’t have much experience with beans in general…and I had never touched a lentil in my life. But you can only eat so much peanut butter.

Many of my volunteer friends were lentil enthusiasts (it helped that they were cheap and pretty easy to find) so I decided to give’em a shot. I decided to try my hand at lentil chili. I feel like most of the “get togethers” we had as volunteers for my first year involved chili lol…its cheap to make, tasty, and you can make a TON of it. Plus its one of those dishes that you have to try pretty hard to ruin. So I made the lentil chili, loved it, and made it what feels like half a dozen times before coming home to America.

So I figured what better an adventure for my crockpot Crocket to embark on than an old fave. Plus, if you’re like me a year ago, this is a GREAT way to build your friendship with lentils. Its super hassle free, and will kill at parties (especially if you whip up some corn bread to go with it!)

I don’t use a recipe for it, but here’s a basic outline for what will fill up a 5.5 qt crockpot.

2 peppers (I used one green and one yellow)
1 onion (I LOVE onion so I used a whole large one)
3 carrots (mine were small)
1 small can of corn (Green Giant Mexicorn is great and healthy)
2 cans red kidney beans (I think they’re like 15 oz each)
3 cans tomates (diced works well)
garlic–I use TONS of garlic because I love it, you can do it to taste
1-1.5 cups red lentils
spices (I like Old El Paso Chili or Taco Seasoning; or chili powder, cumin, pepper, etc.)
Tomato paste (maybe like 3 Tbs…its sort of optional…I should know since I forgot to add it!)

You just toss it all in the crockpot, stir, and go about your business. It makes about 10 servings of 1 cup each. I like to cut my veggies big so that the chili is even heartier. Here’s a pick of what my veggies looked like.
Chopped up veggies

Taking the chronicles legit!…also pumpkin pasta!

Hey there folks!

Those of you who have been following the chronicles may have noticed the website change. I decided that it was time to take the blog to a slightly more legit forum…no offense tumblr. Welcome to the chronicle’s new home…wordpress. I uploaded the previous posts onto the new site too. Moving on.

I didn’t have much going on in the kitchen this past week. I went to Chicago for the weekend and didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping. No food=no cooking.

Last night a friend and I decided to have a low key Friday, so we got together and made  dinner. We ended up making a super tasty pasta dish and a yummy dessert…plus it was healthy. Score. I found a recipe for Baked Butternut Squash Pasta with Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts. Yum right?

I made some substitutions, mainly to use Libbys canned pumpkin instead of the squash. It saved a TON of time and we were able to use the left over pumpkin for desert.

Here is the recipe real quick:

20 oz canned pumkin
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c skim milk
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp walnuts
1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
20 oz whole wheat pasta
spices (garlic, italian herbs, salt, pepper)

Step one: cook the pasta.
Step two: heat the milk, flour, and spices in a sauce pan until thickened. Add pumpkin.
Step three: Mix in the pasta. Dollop the ricotta on top, sprinkle walnuts and top with parmesan cheese.
Step four: bake for about 20 mins until golden brown on top.

We had bought some fresh strawberries and raspberries and fat free Cool Whip for dessert. But we stepped it up even more. My friend had a box of Guilt Free Brownies, so we used the remaining canned pumpkin (secret trick to making things healthier) to the brownies and baked’em up. The end result was hot from the oven chocolate brownies with fresh fruit and Cool Whip.

Overall great way to relax on a Friday night with friends.