Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Pork with Brown Rice and Black Beans with a Green Chili-Cilantro Sauce

I was going through a stack of old magazines a few weeks ago and I came across this recipe in a Real Simple. I made the recipe exactly as written, but found it to be bland and lacking something.  The components were great, but they didn't come together the way that I had hoped for.

I think the revised recipe is a hit!  It ties the recipe together and adds more flavor, plus a creamy sauce. 

Don't ever think that you can't adapt a recipe or change things around to suit your taste. This is what makes cooking the ultimate adventure!


Pork with Brown Rice and Black Beans with a Green Chili-Cilantro Sauce - Adapted from Real Simple


1 cup long grain brown rice
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 4 oz can green chilies
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime, divided
1/2 tsp ground cumin
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups mixed greens
5 radishes, sliced
2 green onion, sliced
salt and pepper
4 boneless pork chops


Heat oven to 425F.

Cook rice according to instructions. Rinse and drain beans and place in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

Combine the cilantro, green chilies, garlic, white onion, sour cream, mayo, juice of 1/2 lime and cumin in food processor.  Mix until smooth then slowly add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to emulsify.

Mix the greens, radish and green onions.  Season with salt and pepper and dress with juice of 1/2 lime and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil (2 tablespoons) in a large skillet over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until browned.

Transfer the pork to the oven and cook until a instant-read thermometer reads 145F (another 6-8 minutes).

To serve: Place 1/2 cup rice on a plate and top with 1/4 cup black beans.  Add salad mix to the top of the rice and place one pork chop on top of rice/bean/salad.  Drizzle two tablespoons of cilantro sauce on top of pork.

Picture found through Google images - minus the sauce
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

31/52: Saturday Night with the Hawaiian Rough Riders

John Cruz and Henry Kapono

Brother Noland

Awesome experience to meet Henry Kapono

I love John Cruz!

Brian and I had a special "date night" in Seattle on Saturday night.  I recently saw a Facebook post about the Hawaiian Rough Riders, a trio of Hawaiian musicians, John Cruz, Henry Kapono and Brother Noland heading out on a summer tour.  As luck would have it, they booked to play in Seattle at Benroya Hall last Saturday night and Brian and I just couldn't resist going.

The Rough Riders name is inspired by the 1908 Hawaiian Rough Riders (Ikua Purdy, Archie Ka'aua and Jack Low).  They were three paniolo (cowboys) who combined their skills, determination and style to become World Rodeo Champions.  

Today's Rough Riders have come together to create an exceptional musical style.  From their vast catalog of hits to some of Hawaii's treasured classics to their new sound and collaborations, the Rough Riders offered an intoxicating experience of music, legacy and culture.

Our $45 VIP ticket included preferred seating (we sat in the front row) and a meet and greet after the show.  We bought the new Rough Riders EP and Henry Kapono's new and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning CD Live at Duke's 2 (he plays at Duke's on Oahu on Sundays). The Rough Riders EP was signed by all three and will be a treasured keepsake!

Its was an amazing evening and it was a wonderful experience to hear these three wonderful Hawaiian artists in person.

Our amazing summer of fun continues.......


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: End of July 2015

Welcome to the last Monday in July!

How is your summer so far?  I hope you are enjoying time with family, outside in the evenings, community events, hiking-biking or swimming.  Remember to plan your menu and take charge of your TIME!!!

Remember to head on over to Laura's site for more organizing tips!


Sunday: Chick is picking me up from the Bolt Bus so we can have Indian Dinner!
Monday: Sam's Salmon Burgers with Tater Tots
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday with Taco Salad
Wednesday: Beef Kebabs and Brown Rice
Thursday: Herb Chicken and Tomatoes over egg Noodles and a Garden Salad

Friday, July 24, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Summer in Florence 1974

WHO: My Mom and Grandma (I think that is me in the background)
WHAT: Playing cards and hanging out at Coast Village
WHERE: Florence, OR
WHEN: Summer 1974

My summers were spent down at the Coast Village Campground in Florence, OR.  My maternal grandparents bought a lot there in the early 1970's and spent a considerable amount of time down there (my grandma actually retired down there in the mid 1980's). My family still owns the lot (my grandma's ashes are scattered there) although I have not been down there since her memorial service.  This place still holds many special memories for me.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Taco Omelet

I've been including Taco Tuesday to just about every weekly menu this summer.  Tacos are easy to make, really versatile and a huge favorite in our house.  

Leftover tacos, however are not that easy to pack for lunches the next day, so we typically have about 1/2 cup of taco meat mixture left over.

Here is a recipe for an easy taco omelet which is the perfect way to use up leftovers!


Taco Omelet - For One


2 eggs
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup leftover taco meat mixture
2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons salsa
Sliced avocado, sour cream, black olives, green onions (optional)


Whip eggs together with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a hot skillet and immediately pour beaten eggs into the pan.  As the egg cooks, gently lift up around the edges and let the uncooked egg run underneath the cooked egg.

When the egg is cooked enough to be firm, using a large spatula, flip the egg then turn off the heat.

Begin to fill your omelet; first with the taco meat and then with the cheese.  Fold the omelet in half, covering the filling ingredients.

Slide omelet onto a plate then top with salsa, avocado, sour cream, black olives, and/or green onions.


Since I typically reheat my omelet at work, I don't bother with warming up my meat mixture first, but if you are eating right away, before you fill your omelet, heat your meat mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds.

I also put my toppings in a separate container and add after re-heating my omelet at work.

This also makes a great easy breakfast for dinner alternative!