Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples Recipe

Earlier in the week, Linda and I tried a recipe from the Cooking Light cookbook she got for Christmas. We were so pleased with that dish that we decided to try another. We had thawed an oven roasted Hatfield Pork Tenderloin for dinner and found a recipe that called for a pork tenderloin. I doubt it would have worked with the Peppercorn or Southwestern Adobo varieties so we were in business.

Ingredients:

  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (we used a Hatfield pork tenderloin)

 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups thin sliced Gala apple
  • 1/3 cup thin sliced shallots
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

  1. Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with cooking spray
  2. Combine the first set of ingredients in a bowl or bag
  3. Cut pork tenderloin into thin slices and season with the mix
  4. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until done to your liking
  5. Remove pork from pan and keep warm
  6. Melt butter in the pan
  7. Add apple slices, shallots and salt
  8. Saute until apple starts to brown
  9. Add apple cider and cook another 2 minutes
  10. Stir in thyme
  11. Add pork and cook another minute
  12. Serve pork with apple mix

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples - Apples

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples - CookingThe pork smelled really good while cooking. That’s probably because I love cinnamon so much. It also looked really good. I’m not a big fan of apples and shallots are close enough to onion that they are guilty by association. I tried to overlook all that and came to dinner with an open mind.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples - Plated

 

The pork was really good. I could definitely taste the cinnamon. In fact, on some pieces the seasoning might have been a little too much. We really need to find a good way to spread seasonings as I had a similar problem with the Cajun Flank Steak seasoning. Sprinkling seasoning is so inexact. Overall, the pork was good. I might try tweaking the recipe a bit in the future. I wasn’t really fond of the apples or shallots, but they weren’t bad either. I can probably make them work a little better by tweaking things a bit as well.

We are really enjoying the cookbook and look forward to finding another great recipe.

 

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

My wife and I recently got a Belgian Waffle Maker. Our son John had told us about something he and his girlfriend had tried that they thought I would enjoy. I love cinnamon rolls. I love waffles. So how about cinnamon roll waffles?

Start with a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Put 4 rolls in the Belgian Waffle maker and close it. Wait about 2-3 minutes and remove the waffles. It’s that easy. I suggest you use a non-stick spray like Pam to prevent them from getting stuck as bad. I say as bad, because they will stick a little anyway. Cleaning a waffle maker is a pain so you want to minimize the cleanup if at all possible.

You can have your waffles with just butter and syrup. I did this the first time we made them. If you really want to go all out, put the frosting on them as well as the syrup. Linda has even gone so far as to heat the frosting with syrup mixed in. This is particularly delicious. Either way, these are a quick and tasty way to start a morning.

Yes, I know this isn’t a healthy way to start the day, but I just can’t resist cinnamon rolls. Remember, cinnamon is one of my favorite ingredients.

 

Acorn Squash Recipe

Recently, my wife and I picked up an acorn squash to try. We’ve never had one before so we looked around for a recipe that looked like something we might like. She came up with one that seemed kind of similar to the butternut squash recipe that we didn’t like. (Cue dark, foreboding music).

Ingredients:

  • Acorn Squash
  • 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Directions:

  1. Cut the acorn squash down the middle – Use a large knife as this is not easy.
  2. Remove the seeds.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees in a pan with the cut side down.
  4. Remove from oven and turn over.
  5. Add butter to each half.
  6. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to each half.
  7. Return to the oven to cook another 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and scoop out the squash to serve.

As soon as we started, I had a bad feeling. The acorn squash looked a lot like the butternut squash except it is more round. It has that same orange color. It also has a similar smell. They both remind me of pumpkin. I guess that makes sense since the pumpkin is a kind of squash too. All three are considered “winter squash”.

As with the butternut squash, I was really hoping that the brown sugar would make it taste good. Well, brown sugar let me down again. Even with brown sugar and cinnamon, I didn’t like it. Neither did Linda. We have concluded that we just aren’t winter squash people. However, Linda says that she thinks I might like pumpkin pie. She might make one later this year for me to try.

From what I’m hearing from people, if you don’t like butternut squash or acorn squash prepared with brown sugar, chances are you just don’t like the squash and no recipe will change that. I think we will likely continue our efforts with summer squash when they are in season again.

Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey Recipe

My wife bought a butternut squash at least a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been putting off using it till we could figure out what to do with it. Well, the other day she found a recipe that looked like something I might actually like that has honey and cinnamon in it. Cinnamon is one of my favorite ingredients after all. I’ve modified the original recipe to include brown sugar and nutmeg based on some of the comments on the site.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Scoop seeds out of butternut squash.
  2. Arrange butternut squash pieces, cut-side down, in a large baking dish.
  3. Pour hot water in the baking dish to a depth of about 1/4-inch.
  4. Bake butternut squash at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Cool squash; peel.
  6. Cut squash into 1/2-inch squares and place in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish.
  7. Pour butter and honey over squash, then sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon.
  8. Return to oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until butternut squash is glazed and hot.

Unlike regular squash, butternut squash is kind of hard. It was not easy to slice it open to get the seeds out. Once I had it cut open, it kind of resembled pumpkin. It was orange inside and had seeds that looked a bit like pumpkin seeds as well. Because it is such a hard vegetable to cut, I’d suggest using a rather large chef knife or something similar.

I wasn’t quite sure how the recipe called for them to be quartered lengthwise, so I just made another long cut which left them kind of looking like giant spoons of some sort.

While I let them bake in the oven to soften, I chopped up the pecans and mixed the other ingredients. I did things a little differently than called for in the original recipe. They mentioned pouring the butter and honey over the squash and then sprinkling with pecan and cinnamon. I decided it would be better to mix them all together and pour the whole thing over them.

I added the butter and honey to the pecans with the other ingredients and mixed them thoroughly before pouring them over the squash. I put it back in the over for about 20 minutes and went on to prepare the tilapia we were having. The butternut squash looked great when it came out of the oven.

We fixed up out plate with tilapia, butternut squash, and peas. As we headed out into the other room to eat, I was hopeful that the cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey had made the butternut squash sweet and delicious.

Well, that didn’t quite go like I planned. The initial taste of cinnamon, brown sugar and honey was OK, but there was an awful aftertaste that I didn’t care for at all. I haven’t had pecans before so I wasn’t sure if it was them or the butternut squash at first. I’m pretty sure it was the squash since it kind of tasted a little like the squash smelled when I first cut it open.

Linda didn’t care for it either. At first maybe I thought I had messed up or the squash wasn’t ripe or maybe over ripe. However, Linda took it in to Gold’s Gym the next day and some of the people there loved it.

All in all, I’d have to say this probably won’t go over well with a fussy eater, but it may be quite a treat for those with a less picky palate.

via Butternut Squash Recipe – Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey.

Here is Linda’s take on the butternut squash. http://www.getmotivatedgetmovinggethealthy.com/2012/09/29/butternut-squash-oy-vey/

Cinnamon Peppers?

We had more leftovers from the party this weekend. This makes 4 days in a row I’ve had burgers on the grill. I’m not complaining – I love burgers. However, I am definitely looking forward to something different tomorrow night. Even though the main entree was the same, I did decide to change up the side a little. We had a few peppers leftover and I thought I would try to experiment a little. Since I like cinnamon so much, and it is a little hot and goes well with sweet things, I sprinkled some cinnamon on the peppers after I gave them a thin coating of olive oil.

Well, they didn’t quite turn out like I had hoped. I did use less olive oil than the last time I tried the peppers so they weren’t as slimy, but the cinnamon didn’t really work like I expected it to. Perhaps I needed to include some additional spices as well. I’m not sure. I just know it didn’t help them any. I didn’t dislike them, but I didn’t like them either. I need to experiment a little more until I find a way to prepare peppers that I do like.

Any suggestions on how I can prepare a better pepper?

My Famous Chicken Nuggets

My wife and I decided to start our Memorial Day weekend with some serious comfort food. That means mixing up a batch of my famous chicken nuggets. I’ve come a long way when it comes to chicken.

Soon after I met Linda she discovered that my freezer was stocked with nothing but several varieties of Weaver microwavable chicken and Quaker Steak-ums. She put and end to that and showed me how to prepare fresh chicken several ways including nuggets. I took what she showed me and ran with it. Now she prefers mine to hers. So do our 3 kids. So do many of their friends. They are always a hit at our Superbowl parties.

  • Cut the chicken into strips or small bite sized pieces. There’s really no wrong way to cut them.
  • Grab a gallon Ziplock bag and add around a half cup of flour (I don’t measure).
  • Add around and half cup bread crumbs (again I don’t measure).
  • Now add around half a cup of panko chips (if you haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t measure this either).
  • Add a bunch of ground pepper – maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons if I had to guess.
  • Add Mortons Nature’s Seasons – maybe another 3 tablespoons.
  • Add a dash or two of cinnamon. It’s one of my favorite ingredients.
  • Add a dash or two of chili powder to give it some kick.
  • Shake the bag until the mix is even. Add more pepper if you can’t make it out in the mix.
  • Sprinkle a little Nature’s Seasons over the chicken and then add one piece at a time to the bag.
  • Shake well and keep adding chicken.
  • Heat the oil
  • Add chicken and cook until a nice golden brown.

I’ve found that you can use wheat bread crumbs instead, but the chicken comes out a little darker color. You’ll have to play around with the amounts of each ingredient until you find something that works for you. I do it all by eye. When the mix looks right, I toss the chicken in. Don’t be afraid to try adding something else to the mix. That’ show I came up with the cinnamon and chili powder.

Let me know how your chicken came out and if you found any other ingredients that work well in the mix.

Cinnamon Takes a Back Seat to No Babka

My wife Linda and I are huge Seinfeld fans. We can quote many lines from many episodes. However, no line is nearer and dearer to my heart then this one and the lines that follow.

“Cinnamon takes a back seat to no babka. People love cinnamon. It should be on tables at restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime anyone says, “Oh this is so good, what’s in it?” The answer invariably comes back, “Cinnamon.” “Cinnamon.” Again and again. Lesser babka?? I think not.” – Jerry Seinfeld

You see, I am one of those people that love cinnamon. With my sweet tooth, I really enjoy eating at Cinnabon. Cinnamon rolls, cinnamon sticks, you name it. I even chew cinnamon Trident gum now that I can’t find Wrigley’s Big Red gum anywhere.

But that’s not the only reason I like the Seinfeld quote so much. My wife, my kids, and many of our friends really love my homemade chicken nuggets. So what’s in them? Cinnamon – among other things. I’m not going to post the recipe though. It’s not a secret recipe. Besides, I’ve already given away the secret ingredient! It’s just that I don’t measure anything when I make them. It’s all by eye.

Here are the ingredients for my chicken nuggets: flour, bread crumbs, panko chips, Morton’s Nature Seasons, ground black pepper, cinnamon, and chili powder.

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