Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a Shallot Balsamic Reduction

I learned two things while making this recipe.

#1 – Balsamic vinegar makes everything better.

#2 – It is incredibly difficult to photograph black foods in low lighting.  *insert childish temper tantrum here*

Baby steps….  baby steps.

This sweet and savory supper was courtesy of a Cooking Light recipe I had filed away in my big black book.  I went to the book in search of a new pork dish to make for dinner.  Truth be told, I wasn’t super excited about making pork, but the thought of pork covered in a sweet thickened balsamic glaze changed those feelings pretty darn quick.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin (7 of 7)


Salted Caramel Brownies

Let me get you a napkin for that bit of drool you’ve got trailing down from your lower lip…


These lovely salted caramel brownies are courtesy of a recipe I tagged a few months back in Cooking Light.  I’ve been dying to make them but I had no good reason to… and honestly I was trying to avoid having an entire batch of delicious brownies sitting on my kitchen counter BEGGING me to eat them.  Seriously. I have control when it comes to a lot of things in life.  Chocolate is not one of those things.

Then Jess posted a call-to-action on her blog Stylish, Stealthy & Healthy to join this little thing called the Blogger Sweet Swap.

Eureka!  This was the perfect excuse to make the brownies!!  Just think of the Sweet Swap as an arranged penpal relationship… with benefits.  Sweet benefits.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Combine the following in a big ole bowl:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Then combine these guys in a little bowl:

  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour the wets into the dries and stir to combine the thickest brownie batter you’ve ever laid eyes on.

The recipe calls for baking these guys in a 9 inch square metal pan coated with cooking spray for 19 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  I baked mine in an 8 inch glass dish for 20 minutes, then 5 more minutes, then 5 MORE minutes.. then got impatient and took them out.  Seriously, every time I bake brownies the darn toothpick NEVER comes out clean.  Anyone else have this issue??

After the brownies cool completely, it’s time to make the caramel deliciousness.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small pot, then whisk in:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp evaporated fat-free milk

Cook for two minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Spread the yum sauce over the brownies:


Once everything cooled off completely I decided to extract the brownies from the pan….


Oh dear…

It looks like a Brownie Massacre.


Then I cut the hunks o’ brownie into tiny little brownie babies.  Why did I think brownies would be a good idea again??


Next up is the chocolately drizzle. The following go into a microwave safe bowl:

  • 2 tbsp evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. I scraped the chocolate into a ziplock baggie, snipped the corner off with scissors, and drizzled it over the brownie squares.



Then I sprinkled the tops with a bit o’ sea salt, picked the prettiest 12 of the bunch, and tucked them neatly into metal tray:


They kind of look like the photo… kind of.


So Molly @ Hungry Hungry Runner, I PROMISE these were edible and pretty and neatly packed when I shipped them.  Whatever happens after this point is on the hands of the USPS.


I bet you’re wondering what I did with all those leftover brownies, huh?  All I can say is these brownies are seriously delicious.  More like fudge than brownies (probably due to my  aforementioned brownie baking incompetencies).  ABSOLUTELY delicious and seriously sweet.  I stuck a few in the freezer for this weekend too :)

Ingredients List (makes ~20 brownies)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbsp evaporated fat-free milk, divided
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp coarse sea salt

Curious to see how they arrived??? Check out Molly’s post for her recap!

Curious to see what sweets I got?


Then click here for the pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe!!


Recipe: Jambalaya {bad things happen when I don’t eat}

Somehow in the past few months I seemed to have forgotten my passion for cooking.  Let’s take a moment to ponder how the heck this is even possible.  Somewhere between leaving a job of over four years, attempting to sell a house, subsequently becoming a landlord, selling off and donating an insane amount of my possessions, a crazy condo hunt, leaving my family and home state of 26 years, a HORRIBLE moving experience, starting a new job, and immersing myself in the culinary delights of a new city I forgot how much fun and just how darn rewarding a home cooked meal can be.


Through these past few whirlwind months I’ve been a little *ahem* emotional.  Ok, not just emotional.  Let’s also throw in irrational, brash, and downright scary at times.  This Saturday I actually cried over burnt pizza.  I CRIED, PEOPLE.  And then I sat on the living room floor with my knees clenched up to my chest and just stared off into nothingness as my body seethed in furry searching for some sort of carbohydrate to peak my bottomed out blood sugar.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again:  bad things happen when I don’t eat.

While I was in the midst of nuclear shutdown, the BF came over, sat down beside me, and put his arm around his little sugar feigning zombie.  And we sat.  And then he did what any good man would do:  he didn’t talk, didn’t ask questions, he just got up from the floor sauntered over to the kitchen and made me a snack.

I know, right?

Why can’t I see things so simply?  Is it really just a man thing?  Are women really just crazy complex, overanalyzing, (often) emotional basket cases?  Whatever the case may be (lord knows I don’t have the answers) the BF does a pretty darn good job of reeling me back from Mary’s Land of Anxious Gloom by trying to insert some of the simple things into my life.  Sunday morning he convinced me to simply sit on the porch and drink mimosas, and Sunday night we simply made jambalaya for dinner.


This was simply stick to your ribs delicious, guys.  I’m serious.  It gave the jambalaya we had in New Orleans a run for the money!



Recipe adapted from Cooking Light’s Jambalaya.

  • 2 links hot chicken or turkey sausage (cooked and sliced)
  • 1 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1.5 cups uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp paprika (smoked, if you have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepepr
  • 16oz cooked chicken breast (cubed)
  • 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions (undrained)
  • 4oz shrimp (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup green onions (thinly sliced)

Note:  I recommend Uncle Ben’s Fast & Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice and Harris Teeter hot chicken sausage or Jennie-O Turkey Sausage.

Step 1:  Coat a large pot with cooking spray then heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Step 2:  Stir in uncooked rice and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and all the spices and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Step 3:  Add chicken and tomatoes, half of the green onions, and shrimp. Stir, then cover and cook 8 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Step 4:  Remove from heat, sprinkle with remaining green onions, and eat your face off.

Stats on 1 serving: 344 calories, 45g carbs, 6g fat, 33g protein, 4g fiber


Looking for a Jambalaya-for-one recipe?  Check out this post.

Looking for a crazy, borderline incoherent, slightly volatile woman?  Catch me on a day when I miss my midmorning snack.


Chicken Larb

Reasons why you should never judge a recipe by its cover.. err title:


Chicken Larb!

Say whaaaaa?  What the crap is “larb”?  Google tells me “larb” is a type of meat salad.  Good to know, Google.  Good to know.

Had I known this fun fact, I might not have hesitated to clip the recipe for “Chicken Larb” out of one of my issues of Cooking Light.  But lucky for my belly, I looked past the gag-reflex-prompting title and filed this puppy away in my big black book.

I tweaked the recipe slightly and scaled it down to one delicious serving.  First up, toss the following in a food processor:

  • 4 ounces chicken breast
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • sprinkle of black pepper

Give it a quick buzz in the food processor, and you’ll end up with this crazy orange colored ground chicken:


I’m still amazed that I can make my own ground meat at home.  It’s the little things, I guess!

Saute the chicken in a pan coated with nonstick spray over medium heat.  I occasionally added a tbsp of water to the pan to help moisten things up.

Meanwhile, combine the following:

  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • The juice of 1/4 of a lime

Thing of beauty:


Once the chicken is cooked through, combine the chicken with the cucumber mixture and then spoon onto romaine lettuce leaves, and juice a quarter lime over top:


Looks crazy good, am I right?  I had a big serving of roasted broccoli on the side:


This was super tasty and SUPER healthful.  I decided mid-meal to grab a tablespoon or so of fat-free plan Greek Yogurt to dollop on top.  It really was the icing on the larb 😉

This was my first time using red curry paste, and the paste along with the cilantro really made for a tasty combo.


There’s a recipe on the back of the paste bottle for Red Curry Shrimp.  I need to try that STAT!

Roasted broccoli Smile


A delicious dinner enjoyed on my newly assembled patio furniture:


It’s nice to have a little helper.  Or a 6’4” helper… either way Smile

Stats on the Chicken Larb + 1.5 cups broccolee broccolye brocco-lee-hee:  221 calories, 19g carbs, 1g fat, 27g protein, 4g fiber

I can’t believe how outrageously low cal yet still tasty that meal was – next time I may beef it up with some beans or avocado.

Soooooo did you catch the broccoli reference?!?!  PLEASE take 4 minutes and watch this.  You won’t regret it.  And as an added bonus you will now know the song I sing to myself every time I chop up broccoli Laughing out loud