Apricot Ginger-Glazed Pork

Hello lovely,

I found this recipe from Publix last summer. But because Publix is prejudice and doesn’t allow anyone outside of the US to simply view the recipes, I had to have a friend copy and paste the recipe in an email for me. There is something about a glazed pork chop that sounds so irresistible. The reason it took me so long to try this recipe is because I couldn’t find apricot preserves in the food store locally. I didn’t think I would have any trouble finding it, but I did. So when I went away in February and found apricot preserves in Try Tuesday, I knew it was finally time to try this recipe.

We always use so even though the recipe calls for tenderloin, it came out just fine. So use whichever cut of pork you fancy. And the best part? This doesn’t require much work at all! Simply season and marinate overnight, before layering the apricot preserve over each cut, then pop them in the oven. I love quick and easy meals that turn out fantastic.  It tasted as great as ordering it from a restaurant. The sweetness from the apricots is perfectly balanced out with the seasonings. This meal was definitely a win for my family so I can’t wait to make it again! 

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Apricot Ginger-Glazed Pork

Ingredients

1 lime, for juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
4 tablespoons all purpose seasoning
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup apricot (or peach) preserves
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Steps

  1. Squeeze lime for juice (1 tablespoon); peel and grate ginger. Cut pork into 4 equal pieces; sprinkle with seasoning (wash hands). Chill overnight

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove pork from refrigerator. Glaze each piece with a generous amount of the preserves. Pour water around the pork chops before covering with foil then place into oven.

  3. Bake for one hour. Chop cilantro; sprinkle over pork. Serve with sauce on the side.

Serve with your favourite side: wild rice, couscous, mashed potatoes or rice pilaf just to name a few.

Serve with your favourite side: wild rice, couscous, mashed potatoes or rice pilaf just to name a few.

As always if you try this recipe, share a photo and tag me on social media using #lifebyolivia!

Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Hello lovely,

Welcome to what was supposed to be the first recipe of the year! I kept pushing this back because of time and forgetfulness, but we’re finally here! I honestly couldn't wait to use my new slow cooker. I looked through Pinterest for the perfect recipe (because, duh, I don't know how to cook in one yet). I don't know why I put so much pressure on picking the perfect recipe just because it would be the first. What I really needed was convenient and cost effective. So when I found this recipe on Kitchen, I knew this would be the one to tackle. It even came with helpful tips on choosing the right part of the chicken and how long the recipe keeps in the fridge.

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Go Thighs for the Slow Cooker

Chicken thighs are the right choice for this take on takeout because their meaty flavor isn't overshadowed by the rich teriyaki sauce and they are more forgiving than chicken breasts, consistently remaining juicy after a couple of hours in the slow cooker. That said, if you've only got chicken breasts on hand, you can substitute them with no change in prep or cook time.

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Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For serving: Cooked rice, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, sliced scallions

Instructions

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Scatter the onion and garlic over the top. Whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, pepper, and ginger together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours or on the HIGH setting for 1 to 2 hours. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece registers 165°F.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Once the sauce has reduced, whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the slow cooker and pour in enough sauce to coat the chicken. Reserve any remaining sauce for leftovers. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and scallions.

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Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftover chicken and sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Make ahead: The chicken and sauce can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave before serving.

APPLE CINNAMON WHISKEY SMASH

APPLE CINNAMON WHISKEY SMASH

Get into the Christmas spirit with these Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Smashers. It’s a smooth and warming cocktail that’s easy to create, refreshing, and delicious. Bonus…this drink can be made ahead of time for easy holiday entertaining, and will you thaw you from the inside out!

Read More

CRANBERRY ROSEMARY SPRITZER

Hello Lovely,

Lately my body hasn’t been tolerating alcohol very well, which is a huge bummer, because this is the season for drinking! There’s so much to celebrate! So I’ve had to create a delicate balance between a really healthy diet and gaps in between my drinks so that it doesn’t make me sick.

One of the things I enjoyed this season is this drink. I love the dark smoky feel of it. Feels like there should be a lit cigar next to it (I’m totally against cigars and cigarettes though). I was feeling a little down that my North Pole Cake didn’t turn out quite as expected, so I made this to cheer myself up. This is a great drink to whip up for family and friends at your next holiday gathering. You’ll put in a little work making the rosemary simple syrup, but, come on guys. Isn’t this drink worth it?

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CRANBERRY ROSEMARY SPRITZER

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle prosecco

  • 2 ounces peach schnapps

  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 4 ounces pom juice

  • 1 small bottle mango flavoured soda water

  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 slices oranges


INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add 1 cup of water to a small pan with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, bring to a boil.

  • Add sugar to boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves.

  • Remove from heat, strain rosemary leaves and set to cool.

  • Wash cranberries. Set aside.

  • Pour Prosecco evenly into 4 cocktail glasses.

  • Add .5 ounces of peach schnapps, .5 ounces rosemary simple syrup, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 ounce pom juice and a splash of mango soda water to each glass and stir.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of cranberries to each glass.

  • Allow the cranberries time to float to the top of the glass and garnish with 1 sprig of rosemary.

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Baked Egg Bread Pudding with Spinach Cheese & Bacon

Hello Lovely,

I’ve been putting this recipe off for months! I was supposed to do this from August, but here we are in November. I don’t know what happened or why this lost it’s appeal for me. Maybe it’s the fact that it uses so much bread that made me keep putting it off because I’ve cut bread out of my diet since going Keto. And the last bread pudding recipe I tried from Joanna’s cookbook was a little underwhelming, so I think all of that is what contributed to me not trying this recipe for so long.

One day I decided to stop putting it off and just do it! I ran to the store for some French bread and the test of the ingredients were already in the fridge. The recipe originally calls for Boursin cheese, but that's not practical for me to obtain so I had to find a substitute. I had crumbled Gorgonzola in the fridge, so I used that. I had just gotten new ramekins on sale from JoAnn’s so I was excited to use those. The recipe gives 50-55 minutes cooking time and trust me, that’s a little modest. It took me an hour just to get it in the oven before the 15 minute baking time. Egg bread puddings are a lot of work, because you need the bread to absorb most of the egg moisture and I also had to cook the bacon first (the recipe also originally called for sausage but I had more bacon than sausage and went with that).

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I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but what came out of that oven was a gift from heaven! This is by far THE best breakfast recipe from the Magnolia Cookbook. I know I had given that title to the Eggs Benedict Casserole, but this was just SOOOOOOO good! Mum loved it, and so did bae (I’m still waiting on my dish back). There’s nothing Keto about this, but it packs a punch in flavour and it’s satisfyingly fulling!

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Baked Egg Bread Pudding with Spinach Cheese & Bacon

  • Prep: 15 minutes

  • Cook: 50 - 55 minutes

  • Cool: None

Ingredients

  • Butter, for ramekins

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 6 large eggs

  • 4 ounces French bread (torn into bite sized pieces about 4 cups)

  • 4 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 3 ounces baby spinach

  • 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

  • 2 teaspoons minced chives

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter four 10-ounce ramekins and set them on a rimmed baking sheet for ease of handling.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and 2 of the eggs. Add the bread and stir to coat. Let stand until needed, stirring occasionally to help the bread absorb the liquid.

  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the fat and reduce the heat to medium-low.

  4. Stir the shallot into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until lightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir into the bread mixture.

  6. Add the cheese, chives 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and reserved bacon to the bread mixture and mix well. It's fine if some of the cheese is in marble-sized pieces.

  7. Divide the mixture among the ramekins and bake for 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the ramekins from the and crack an egg on top of each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue baking until the egg whites are set, 20-25 minutes more. Serve at once.

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If you want to buy the book to try more of these recipes for yourself, check out this link below. If you do try this recipe, let me know in the comment section below and share your photos with me on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag, #LifeByOlivia.