Sage Pork with Apples & Try Something New Tuesday – Puerto Rico

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How is everyone’s week so far?

I hope it is going fabulously! Mine has been good…working a lot but that’s not a bad thing!

I have some news: the boy and I are going to Puerto Rico in just over a week!! Next Thursday we will be leaving on a jet plane to finally get a vacation!

We try to do small day or weekend trips fairly often to maintain our sanity in the middle of all the craziness that is everyday life. But this is a real, live trip! We are going to attend a friend’s wedding, and then staying an extra day for some “us” time.

We’ve never been to Puerto Rico, and I can’t wait! I have a list of things I want to eat when I’m there (is that weird?) and some places to visit. But honestly I’ll be fine if all we do is attend the wedding and then lay on the beach.

We both travelled a lot before getting married, and while it is nice to show someone a place you’ve already been, there is something wonderful about experiencing a new place together. I’m looking forward to that with PR.

On to today’s recipe! I tried a pork and apple combination recently that didn’t come out too well and it took me a while to figure out why. I finally decided that it needed some extra herbs, and since I love sage paired with apple, I tried that first. And it was delightful!

– INGREDIENTS –

2 pounds pork serloin roast
1 yellow onion, sliced very thin
3-4 apples, roughly sliced (i used Pink Lady apples)
2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
10-12 sage leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

– PROCESS –

Place your roast in the bottom of your crockpot. Then start layering the rest of the ingredients. (I’m sure you could just throw everything on top in any order you want and the results would be just as tasty…but we know how I need the extra control and order haha)

I started with a light sprinkle of salt & pepper. That was enough for me, but my husband added a little more salt once I served it to him. So if you like things salty, you can add more on top of everything else.

Then I layered one tablespoon of brown sugar, a few sage leaves that I had chopped, some onions, and some apples. Then I layered them again and again until I was out of ingredients. My CrockPot looked so organized 😉

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Serve with some fresh sage to give it a burst of color!

What new thing are you trying?

Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? Any ideas for us to do when we’re there?

My first Sprig Box has arrived!!!

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I got the best text from my mother last night…

“A box came for you”.

Yippee!!!! It could only be one thing! I was so excited to go over there today and pick up my goodies 🙂

(Yes, I have things shipped to my parents’ house. The hubby and I live in a granny flat, and it’s just easier to have things mailed & shipped to a permanent address…plus it gives my mom excuses to see me haha)

I am so excited to do a full review of the contents soon! Thus far I have only tried the Himalania Crunch Gogi Berries and they are delicious! I had to stop myself from eating the whole bag before my hubby gets to try them.

What is exciting for you today?

Try Something New Tuesday

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NuttZo is a local company that produces amazing nut butters!

The founder has a pretty touching story of how she got in to making this product. 1% of sales go to Project Left Behind.

My boss purchased this nut butter and I tried it today with a sliced up banana. I have to say that it far surpassed my expectations! It is raw, unsweetened, and amazingly delcious! You taste the different textures of the seeds and nuts and it is very filling!

I believe they now have a new customer!

What have you tried this week?

A New Tiny Apartment

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My hubby and I are moving at the end of the month! We are going from one tiny apartment to another, a studio even.

But i’m excited! Look at this beautiful wood stove! I can’t even convey how much I’m looking forward to being able to have fires 🙂 I am, though, looking for new space-saving/decorating ideas.

I want to get a coat rack to put next to the fireplace. It’s right next to the front door, and I think it will greatly reduce clutter.

Do you have any ideas for decorating around the fireplace? Any suggestions for a studio apartment in general??

Vanilla Coffee Creamer with a hint of Coconut

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I love my morning coffee! But I don’t love my preservative & chemical filled creamer. So I learned how to make my own!

I never knew how easy it was! This recipe is adapted from http://www.whatmegansmaking.com/

– INGREDIENTS –
1 cup vanilla coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

– PROCESS –
Heat up a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk together the coconut milk, cream, and maple syrup in the pan. Let it cook until the edges begin to bubble.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Cover and let sit for thirty minutes to thicken and cool.

Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Have you ever made creamer? Any new flavor ideas I should try??

Stovetop Pizza in a Skillet

photo 5Pizza in a skillet? Made on a stove? Not in an oven?

Yep, and it was delicious! I decided that I am tired of not being able to make pizza. I had essentially given up on the idea since we moved into our apartment. I thought no oven automatically meant no pizza. The other day I was so in the mood for homemade pizza that I decided to throw caution to the wind and try stovetop pizza!

This is not a recipe for pizza dough and pizza sauce. I admit that I bought both of those things at Trader Joe’s because I really didn’t want to go to all the work of making things from scratch just to have my stovetop pizza come out burnt. But now that I know, perhaps I’ll make my own next time.

For now, here is the process for making stovetop pizza!

– INGREDIENTS –
1 bag of herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (or any dough you like, really)
2 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 sundried tomato sausage, thinly sliced
2 cups raw baby spinach
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 small tomato (I used Roma)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded havarti cheese

– PROCESS –
Begin with your largest skillet. Mine was a 10″. Spray with non-stick spray and then lightly flour the bottom. You don’t want this pizza sticking, because you will be flipping the dough more than once.

Put your stove on low to medium heat. Don’t be in a hurry and put the heat higher. You want it to cook slowly, like an oven 🙂

photo 1On a floured surface, roll out your dough to the size you need for your pan. Place in skillet and press down so it takes on the shape of the edge, if it even reaches the edges of the pan at all. Mine was kind of oddly shaped! Imperfection is beauty, right?

photo 2Place a cover on your pan and let it bake for 3-4 minutes. Once the dough has begun to brown a little, but the top is still very soft, carefully flip the dough over. With the spatula, press the dough down gently into the pan to work out some air bubbles and re-shape it.

Put the top back on and let it bake for 2-3 minutes.

photo 3Now it’s time to put on your toppings! Spread out your sauce, put on your meat and veggies, top with the cheese. I usually put the tomatoes on top. I think they get mushy when they are under the cheese. Just a personal preference.

Put the top on the pan and let it bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. You can take the top off periodically to check the bottom of your pizza too, to make sure it isn’t burning. If it seems like it is browning too quickly, turn the heat down.

photo 4Once done, gently slide the pizza out of the skillet onto a cutting board. Slice and serve!