Friday, June 17, 2011

Experiment #3 - Pan-fried Pork Chops with Fruit Chutney


Pan-fried Pork Chops with Fruit Chutney

Chutney:

2 tsp olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

1 pear, cut in bite-size pieces

1 apple, cut in bite-size pieces

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup water

4 center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick (8 oz each)

¼ tsp each of garlic powder, salt, and pepper

1. Prepare fruit chutney: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add pear, apple, cranberries, and water. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, until fruit is tender and saucy.

2. Meanwhile sprinkle pork chops on both sides with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

3. Coat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat, add chops and cook about 5 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer to plates and let stand 5 minutes.

4. Season chutney with salt and pepper; serve with the chops.


So far, we have loved all of the recipes we have tried! This one was another hit - really yummy flavors, and pretty healthy!! :)

Experiment #2 - Enchilada Pie

This one was also a success... unfortunately no pictures this time - we liked it so much that we ate it really fast and forgot to take pictures! :) The only change we would make is potentially using beef next time for more flavor.

Enchilada Pie

Serves 6. Active: 20 min/Total: 1 ½ hour (plus 10 min cooling)

Good with a tossed green salad

1 T olive oil

1 c. chopped green or red pepper

1 lb lean ground turkey

2 tsp ground cumin

1 can (14 ½ oz or 15 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion

½ c enchilada sauce

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles

1 c frozen corn kernals

¾ c canned sliced black olives

Four 6 to 8 inch corn or flour tortillas

1 bag (8 oz) shredded light 4 cheese Mexican blend

Toppings: sour cream, chopped tomato, onion, scallion

1. You’ll need a round 3 qt glass baking dish (casserole)

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pepper. Saute 3 to 4 minutes. Add turkey. Cook, breaking up chunks, 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in cumin, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and chilies.

3. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes to develop flavors. Off heat, stir in corn & olives.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

5. To assemble: Line bottom of baking dish with 2 tortillas. Top with ½ the meat mixture, then about 1/3 the cheese. Top with a tortilla, the remaining meat filling, ½ the remaining cheese, then remaining tortilla. Cover with foil.

6. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 10 minutes or until filling bubbles. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve with toppings.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Experiment #1 ~ Festive Bean Chili


Festive Black Bean (Plus Chicken!) Chili

This recipe was originally a vegetarian dish from Moosewood’s Low-Fat Favorites. It’s a pretty hearty dish, but we thought adding chicken would make it even better. Actually, Brian's comment was, "I liked it, but where is the meat??". ;)

This dish can be served as an entrĂ©e or as a side at any potluck. It’s especially tasty complimented with tortilla chips. We topped it with some cheese and sour cream as well. It’s also very easy and quick.

Serves 4 to 6

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

½ cup water

1 T ground cumin

1T ground coriander

1 cup prepared Mexican-style red salsa

2 red and/or green bell peppers chopped

3 cups cooked black beans (2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)

3 cups diced tomatoes with juice (1 28-oz can)

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernals (11-oz package)

Salt to Taste

Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce to taste

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste (optional)

In a covered soup pot, cook the onions and garlic in the water on high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and stir on high heat for a minute. Stir in salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the black beans and tomatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and Tabasco to taste. Stir in cilantro as desired.

Experiment #1 was a success. Experiment #2 was too... but we'll see when I get a chance to post that one! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm back...

Due to the harrassment of my friends over the weekend, I'm back on the blog scene! I'm not sure why I'm going to do this in the middle of a new job, planning a wedding, moving house, and starting the amazing summer in Portland, but I guess they made me feel THAT bad (yes, Michelle - this means you!!).

So... what am I going to blog about now that I don't have crazy weekend trips all over Europe anymore? Well, I think the first thing is this...

I've been known as a bit of a pack rat. With that said, I have been clipping recipes and keeping them for over 11 years now. And, you would think that after the work of finding recipes and storing them, I might have actually TRIED some of them. haha - you would think. Not the case.

In the process of moving, Brian and I have really been trying to simplify and organize, and I found my gigantic pile of recipes - probably about 200 of them.

I am bound and determined to try each one, and, if they pass the test, I will add them to an electronic cookbook that I am creating of the recipes we like. If they don't, then we will say bye-bye to them.

I'll post the recipes and pictures, along with our votes. We tried the first one last night, to much success!

More to come... :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend of Endless Energy...

This weekend, marathon training called for a 20 mile run. I was mighty dismayed when I found out that BOTH of my training partners were going to be at the coast, thus leaving me on my own for a beast of a run... I was SO relieved when Anna told me they had room at their beach house, so Brian and I drove out to the coast on Friday afternoon to hang with that crew. Anna's husband Travis's mother invited us out to her home in Beaver, OR for a salmon dinner, which was amazing. :) Prior to dinner, however, we had another classic KP moment. Brian has officially decided that he is in charge of directions after this one... I say "OKAY!". :) To get to the Southern Oregon coast (where we were going), there is a bit of a bypass on highway 6 that cuts diagonally across the state. I, um, sort of missed that in the directions, so we drove all they way west to the coast, then took highway 101 all the way down. Neither Brian nor I minded the scenic route, especially since it was his first time seeing the Oregon coast, however, I felt like a total idiot. A drive that should have taken maybe 2 hours took us over 3. Oh, and to make matters worse, when we got there, we were greeted by Travis's stepfather saying, "Oh, so you are the ones that always get lost...". Nice. :)

Anyways, the next morning, we met at 7 and hit the road. We had an amazing day for a run - not too hot, not too cold. It was super peaceful to run out on the country roads... kind of reminiscent of home. :)


Anna, KP, and Michelle... post run and still smiling. :)

After the run, I was pretty ready to hit the road, so Brian, Anna and I headed out to the Pelican Bay Brewery in Pacific City for a well deserved burger and beer. :) It was actually my first time in Pacific City, so it was a little strange for me to see cars driving on the beach... not very picturesque to be honest. But, the drive afterwards was... :)


I actually put in about 22 miles on Saturday... we did a little hike out to Cape Lookout (okay, not all the way, as we decided that since things were so fogged in it was kind of pointless! :))


View of the Oregon Coast on the 3 Cape Scenic Route... This was the last thing I saw before totally passing out. :)


Brian and KP... we had such a nice afternoon. :)

After getting home, we had a couple of hours, and then the non-stop weekend continued with a concert at a smaller venue in Portland. We saw the Temper Trap, one of my new favorite bands, but I also really liked the opening band, Blue Giant. They are a local band and sing a lot about finding the sun and gray skies. hehe - go figure. ;)

Sunday was my maiden voyage on my new bike. It's much, much different than my Dutch bike, including the fact that it is WAY lighter. :) I went out with Brian and my good pal Allison on a little waterfront tour. They are both pretty experienced bikers, but were super patient with me. I kind of felt like a 7 year old all over again... but I guess you have to start somewhere. :) I was doing pretty well until a darn train track jumped up and grabbed my tire... um, or something like that. Anyways, I bit it pretty good, and have some nice scrapes on my leg to show off tomorrow. :) I guess the first crash had to happen sometime, so I'm glad to get that over with. :) I'm going to start riding in to work with Allison a couple of times a week, so training for the triathlon has officially commenced. :)

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!!! Lots of love from PDX! :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just a glimpse...

Just a hint as to why I can't remove the smile from my face... :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good Stuff

Yes, a generic title this time... but it's the only one I could come up with that truly captures my life over the past few weeks... it's been all "good stuff".

I can honestly say that I can't remember any other time in my life that I have been so uncontrollably happy. The whole "re-entry" process to the US has been difficult at times, but I'm really starting to feel like I am getting in my groove. I've had a few great weeks with friends, enjoying some of my favorite things, and pushing myself to experience some new things as well...

One thing that is relatively new is that I've been swimming. My friend Krista is an amazing swimmer (she is in an underwater hockey league!), and, when we were at the coast a few weekends ago, volunteered to teach me how to swim. It's pretty pathetic that I turned 30 without knowing how to swim... but... that's the way it was. So... Krista started meeting me on Wednesday mornings at the Nike gym to teach me all kinds of important things - like how to open my eyes under water. Yes, seriously. ;) It's getting SO much easier, and I'm really enjoying it. I think I've even talked myself into doing a triathlon next summer. I know, I know... I never do anything halfway. :)

The other new thing is that I got a DSLR camera that totally rocks my world. If you could be in love with an inanimate object, I am in love with this camera. :) I see so much beauty in the world around us that I am so happy to have an instrument that will better capture this... The pictures on this entry were all taken with the new DSLR, so hopefully you can see the difference. I only wish I would have had this in Amsterdam to capture all of my amazing adventures there.


Playing around with the camera...

Last weekend, Michelle and I drove up to Seattle to see one of my favorite artists, Amos Lee. We drove up on the early side, so we could enjoy the city before the concert began. We went to one of my favorite places for lunch, Elliot's, and, of course, I had to take pictures of my food:


Crab Cakes... oh so yummy!!! :)

After an amazing lunch, we just walked around the Pike Place Market, home of the famous flying fish... so many beautiful flowers there, and an amazing selection of seafood:



The concert was that evening near the Space Needle... what a beautiful setting to listen to beautiful music. It was "green concert", so to lessen the carbon imprint (yes, this is the Wild West Coast here), the artists all performed acoustically without their backup singers. It reminded me of the first time I saw Amos Lee way back in 2005... since then, he's been touring with Dave Matthews and his music has changed quite a bit... It was an amazing night spent with a great friend. :)


Waldo & K Pitty


The Space Needle, as seen from my spot in the grass... amazing.

The next morning, Michelle and I met up with one of my friends from college, Christina, at my favorite breakfast spot, the 5 Spot. Amazing food as always, and great to catch up with a friend I haven't seen for 3 years. :)


5 Spot = Yum City! :)


K Pitty enjoying a cup of coffee... should have known better - coffee makes me CRAZY!! :)


Yes, the picture-taking of food has resumed... hard to resist when it is SO yummy! :)


Aw, such great friends. :)


Um, yep, pretty sure that somewhere on my resume, the title "dork extraordinaire" appears...

After breakfast, Michelle and I went to Gas Works Park, which is an old oil refinery that has been decommissioned and turned into a public park... it is a beautiful setting right on the water with views of the city. Such a relaxing morning... We had such a great time having a "photo shoot" with the new camera. More dorkiness ensued... ;)


Gas Works Park...


She can run, she can jump... :)


What a beautiful day! :)


Downtown Seattle...

This past weekend has been just as great... I went whitewater rafting on Saturday with a great group of people, mostly from my kickball team. We rafted on the White Salmon River, and managed to NOT lose anyone in the rapids. We did get mighty wet, but that just added to the fun. :) Unfortunately, I totally forgot my camera for this trip, so there are no incriminating photos. :) After rafting, I went camping with a special someone... I have to say, for all of my time in Oregon, I never really got into camping, but, the time spent there was just so peaceful and relaxing, I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot more time doing that in the future. :)

All in all, just enjoying life... and still smiling. Much love to all my friends and family! :)