Ham and Gruyére Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pea Spread | a Guest Post from The Modern Proper

Welcome friends!  I want to introduce you to my sweet friends Holly & Natalie of The Modern Proper who are guest posting here on Sweet Anna’s today!  Holly has been a friend of mine for years, and I am impressed over and over again by all the delicious recipes she & Natalie come up with, and the beautiful photography they share.  You will absolutely fall in love with them after just a few minutes of browsing around on their beautiful blog!  Go say Hi!  (And then come right back and get ready for this amazing spring-inspired recipe below!)  If you didn’t have spring fever before you got here, you will now!

IMG_0438


Hi there, Holly here from The Modern Proper.  So happy to be guest posting today here at Sweet Anna’s. Annalise is one of my first (and favorite) foodie friends!  She has taught me a lot about blogging and our time spent together is always fun and filled with talk about new recipes.  I am excited to share this special sandwich we created just for her blog and all her faithful readers (that’s you!)  Ok, here we go…

IMG_0352

 Last week, my kids and I went on a walk around our neighborhood just to breath in the fresh air.  I realized that since getting a gym membership a few months ago I’ve been missing our usual afternoon strolls.  Much to my surprise we saw our fair share of budding flowers on trees and daffodils popping their bright yellow heads out of the wet soil.  My delight in these discoveries made me realize just how ready I am to embrace spring and say goodbye to winter.  The older I get the sooner that desire seems to creep up each year.

ham & gruyére grilled cheese with sweet pea spread

Natalie and I are definitely ready for the sun’s return, for our gardens to be in bloom and to be able to once again release our kids to turn our backyards into their own adventure wonderlands.  The greening of our browned grass and budding of the many forgotten perennials not only makes me look forward to the warmer times ahead, but to the change it will surely bring for what’s on our plates.  When I think of a spring menu ham and sweet green peas always comes to mind.  Such a delightfully fresh combination, don’t you think?

next page wider

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce & Cilantro Rice

*This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Smithfield at Walmart*

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce & Cilantro Rice.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I promise it’s not!

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce and CIlantro Rice | Sweet Anna's

A perfect weeknight family dinner, or something to impress dinner guests…  there is so much flavor packed into this simple dish that you will want to make it again and again!

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce and CIlantro Rice | Sweet Anna's

My house smells so good right now, I can hardly stand it.  A beautiful pork loin is in the oven with onions, carrots, oranges, cilantro and spices, and rice is simmering away on the stove ready to be dressed with fresh cilantro and a splash of citrus.

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce and CIlantro Rice | Sweet Anna's

I bet you wish you were eating over here today! :o)

The chimichurri sauce alone is worth drizzling over everything you can think of (french fries!), and the fresh, bright cilantro rice is the perfect addition to this simple, delicious pork.

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce and CIlantro Rice | Sweet Anna's

Do you ever find yourself as stuck in a dinner-rut as I do?  I keep making the same things for my family over and over again and eventually they are just tired of what I’m serving them – no matter how much they usually love it!

This bright, flavorful dish is so perfect to break up the monotony and will quickly become a family favorite!  (And the best part – it’s so affordable, you can treat yourself to a special meal whenever you’d like, without breaking the bank!)

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce and CIlantro Rice | Sweet Anna's

I am always looking for a good deal on great meat, and this Smithfield all-natural pork perfectly fits the bill.  The quality is amazing, the price is great, and it’s available at my local Walmart!

Citrus Roasted Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce & Cilantro Rice

Ingredients

    for the chimichurri sauce:
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • for the pork:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 (2lb or so) boneless pork loin
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • for the rice:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

    To make the chimichurri saue:
  1. Put the parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper & crushed red pepper flakes into the bowl of your food processor (or a blender) and pulse until well chopped. Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running. Transfer to an covered container and place in the fridge if you are making this up to 3 days ahead, or leave out on the counter if you are going to use soon!
  2. To make the roast:
  3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly oil a 9x13" baking dish and put the chopped onion and carrot into the bottom. Place the pork roast on top of the veggies and rub a little bit of olive oil all over the pork. Season everything with the salt, pepper, cumin, garlic and crushed red pepper and then squeeze the juice of one orange all over the meat, setting the orange halves into the pan when you are done.
  4. Roast for 40-45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 150ºF, checking every 5 minutes or so near the end to make sure it doesn't get overcooked!
  5. To make the rice:
  6. While the pork is in the oven, bring 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once the broth is boiling, stir in the salt and the rice and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed. Squeeze one half of the remaining orange juice into the rice.and gently stir in with the butter and cilantro.
  7. When the roast is done, slice it and drizzle with a generous spoonful of the chimichurri sauce. Serve the pork and rice with more chimichurri sauce on the side and a few slices of the remaining orange half on each plate!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/12/roast-pork-loin-with-chimichurri-sauce-rice.html

the best monster cookies

Rich, fun, extra-chewy and naturally gluten-free (if you make sure your oats are not cross-contaminated!), these Monster Cookies are absolutely the best I’ve ever made.  And I have made a lot of Monster Cookies in my time!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have been baking and tweaking this recipe for years.  It was my grandma’s recipe handed down to my mom and then me, and as you all know – I just can’t help but tinker.  (smile)

Now, I’m absolutely not saying there was anything wrong with the original recipe, but there is always room for improvement and I think I have found a few little tricks to make these even better.  If you’ve ever made Monster Cookies before and thought “these didn’t turn out like I expected”, then this recipe is for you!!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have included cup measurements, but I have left a few of the original weight measurements also for those of you who use a kitchen scale…  (If you don’t I suggest trying it.  I just love the ease of resetting the scale and adding to one bowl, without dirtying a bunch of dishes!)

You can make these big or small, just adjust the time accordingly and watch carefully to make sure they don’t get overdone.  You just want the edges to be golden so they are not dry.  These cookies are better under-baked then overdone!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Oh, and I just have to share the show-my-insides cookie tip with you guys!  (You may have seen this already, I posted it on Instagram a few weeks ago!)

Scoop out the cookie dough (balls twice as big as you want in the end) closely onto a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and then take each cookie dough ball and break it in half like you are cracking open an egg and place the halves craggily-insides-up onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  When the cookies bake, they will be nice and chewy and all the yummy insides (chocolate chips, m&ms, etc!) will be showing, instead of hiding inside!

 

the best monster cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (1lb) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (1lb) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 9 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups m&ms, divided (1 1/2 cups + 1 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla & baking soda until well blended.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except 1 cup of the m&ms, until just blended together. (You can transfer this to a very large bowl and mix with your clean hands if your mixer isn't big enough to handle the load!)
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheets, and flatten with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Store these (all cookies, really!) in the freezer for the best results. If they don't all disappear the first day, that is! :o)
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/the-best-monster-cookies.html

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's