Archives for posts with tag: walnuts

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Red Onion

This recipe is a variation on a Martha Stewart Recipe that I love to make in the summer when plums are in season. I liked it so much, and loved how quick it was to prepare, that I came up with a fall/winter version, using apples and apple cider vinegar instead of plums and red wine vinegar.

2 pork tenderloins (approx. 2 lb.), sliced into ½ inch medallions
1 TB. olive oil
1 TB. unsalted butter
2 apples, cut into wedges
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 TB. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Season pork medallions with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute pork medallions on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes total, and remove from pan.

In the same pan, saute apples and red onion over medium heat. Add apple cider vinegar, and stir until bubbling. Return pork to pan and toss.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts

I LOVE roasted Brussels sprouts, but I got bored with just tossing them with olive oil and salt and pepper. This recipe is something I came up with to jazz up one of my typical fall/winter side dishes.
roasted bs w cheese, etc_Web

1 ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 TB. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 TB. blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 ts. balsamic vinegar
2 ts. maple syrup

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet and place in oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and toss them in a serving bowl with blue cheese, cranberries, walnuts, vinegar and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

This week has been pretty stressful. At the end of last week, Eliza got the croup and we’ve been battling it since – not fun. At the same time that we are taking extra care of her, both Patrick and I are getting busier at work. I was in Ottawa one night  for business and Patrick  worked one night, along with his usual Thursday night grad school class. Quiet nights at home have been few and far between and our weekdays will probably stay pretty hectic through May. Oh well.

During weeks like this I try to make dinner whenever I can, but with a special focus on quick meals. I’m sure your lives are pretty similar, so I hope you enjoy this week’s meal plan which includes a bunch of simple, delicious dinners. I also included a chili recipe, which I made for Sunday’s Oscars. It takes a little bit longer to cook than the other meals, but you’ll have leftovers for the rest of the week, which is perfect during this busy time.

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: Fennel and Garlic Shrimp + French Bread
Meal #2: Chili
Meal #3: Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Red Onion + Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts
Meal #4: Pasta with Marinara + Green Salad

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

fennel bulbs – 2
garlic – 1 head
red bell pepper – 1
green bell pepper – 1
yellow bell pepper – 1
lettuce – 1 head of bag
Brussels sprouts – 1 ½ lb.
red onion – 2
apples – 2
flat-leaf parsley – 1 bunch
basil – 1 bunch
14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes – 3
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes – 1
pasta – 1 box
kidney beans – 1 can
blue cheese – ¼ lb.
dried cranberries – ¼ lb.
walnuts – ¼ lb.
French bread
chili powder (if you don’t already have it)
cayenne pepper (if you don’t already have it)
cumin (if you don’t already have it)
unsweetened cocoa powder (if you don’t already have it)
balsamic vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
apple cider vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
balsamic vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
maple syrup (if you don’t already have it)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
Flour (if you don’t already have it)
shrimp – 2 lb.
pork tenderloins (approx. 2 lb. total) – 2
ground beef, buffalo, turkey or chicken – 1 lb.
Pernod (optional)

During this past Friday’s rainstorm, Eliza and I made homemade granola. Store-bought granola annoys me because it is usually expensive, cloyingly sweet, the raisins are too hard, and it isn’t that healthy. The following recipe, which I have been making for over a decade, is full of ground flaxseed, wheat germ, nuts, and is just a tad sweet thanks to a bit of molasses. It tastes great on its own, with milk, on ice cream, and of course over yogurt. My favorite way to eat granola, thanks to a recommendation from Design Sponge, is with plain Greek yogurt, a little bit of honey, and sections of pink grapefruit. I know, the combination sounds bizarre, but trust me, it is crazy delicious.

While Eliza napped, I got the ingredients together, including chopping the nuts.


Walnuts and Pecans_Web

I did all of the measuring and Eliza did the mixing. Like any good cook, she needs her essentials close by, in her case, that includes two sippy cups and her Froggie.

Raw Granola_Web

Even before the granola was finished baking she couldn’t resist a taste!

Before the Oven w Hand_Web

Toasty, nutty, and delicious. Yum!

Finished Granola_Web

Homemade Granola

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup toasted wheat germ
¼ cup ground flax seed
1 ts. ground cinnamon
1 ts. ground ginger
½ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped pecans
4 TB molasses
⅓ cup canola oil
⅓ cup water

Heat oven to 300 degrees and place rack in center.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, ground flax seed, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans. In a small bowl, combine molasses, oil, and water, and pour over the oat mixture; stir until well coated. Spread evenly in a baking pan.

Bake, stirring every 15-20 minutes for even cooking, until dry and lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Let granola cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.



When Eliza was 6 months old I started her on solid food. For several months I spent my weekends cooking and pureeing all sorts of vegetables and fruits, and then freezing them into cute, 1-inch cubes for her breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For awhile, she pretty much ate anything I gave her, including broccoli. I thought I had hit the food lover’s jackpot – a child that ate like an adult! Ha, ha, ha – I was wrong.

When Eliza turned one she started to exert her strong will, and let us know with a vigorous shake of her head that she would no longer try anything new. Pretty quickly my veggie-loving baby only ate bread, pasta and some fruit. It could have been heartbreaking for me, but I kept in mind that I too was a difficult eater from childhood through my early 20’s. I knew she would most likely turn around at some point, and it wasn’t worth the hassle to argue with a mini Neanderthal.

Fortunately, as Eliza has grown into a toddler she has become more interested in food. Not so much eating it, but she does pay close attention to me when I am cooking, and has become an enthusiastic helper in the kitchen. Sometimes she will even try something because we made it together – progress. Our latest adventures in baking involved three of her favorite foods – applesauce, walnuts, and muffins – so, unsurprisingly it was a hit! Now, if only I could hide some veggies in those muffins…

Applesauce Spice Muffins
I am not a huge lover of muffins, but this recipe from Gourmet is so good I kept sneaking bites of them when Eliza wasn’t looking.
(Note: I didn’t have allspice, so I used ¼ ts. of ground cloves, and added another ¼ ts. each of the cinnamon and nutmeg)

One of her favorite snacks. She kept eating them while we were making the muffins.

She’s a natural – such care and precision.

Guess I spoke too soon….

Eliza loves to stir.

I think her favorite part was sprinkling the cinnamon sugar on the muffins before they went into the oven.

Hot out of the oven! These smelled great. Perfect for the entire family.