Pulled Pork and Apple Quesadillas with Cinnamon Sour Cream

I just want to warn you:  we went to the Valley and picked 20 pounds of apples a few weekends ago, so you should really prepare yourself for a litany of apple recipes.  And a lot of them contain pig in some form:  I mean, is there anything that goes together more naturally than a pork chop and applesauce?  Or, as I’ve discovered – and you will too – pulled pork and apples? 

Pulled Pork & Apple Quesadillas | www.purplehousecafe.com

Hint:  No.  The answer is no.  Nothing goes together better than pigs and apples.  Except for maybe pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  White chocolate and peanut butter.  Peas and carrots.  Watermelon and feta.  Wine and cheese.  Pears and prosciutto.  Okay, but anyways, you get the gist. 

Pulled Pork & Apple Quesadillas | www.purplehousecafe.com

This recipe is an amalgamation of two standards in our household:  my pulled pork recipe – which I make so often throughout the winter, usually in my Crock Pot, that we hardly ever go more than two or three weeks without it – and my homemade tortilla recipe, which are pretty quick and easy to put together, and will make you swear you’ll never touch another store-bought tortilla again. 

Pulled Pork & Apple Quesadilla | www.purplehousecafe.com

To make these, just layer pulled pork, thinly sliced apples, and a pile of grated cheese between two tortillas and bake at 400F until the cheese is melted and the edges of the tortilla begin to brown.  Pull your quesadilla out of the oven, slice it up, and serve it with cinnamon-dusted sour cream for dipping.

Pulled Pork & Apple Quesadillas | www.purplehousecafe.com

These quesadillas are simple enough to throw together for a weeknight meal or a weekend lunch, but special enough to make you want to pour a glass of white wine and savour every bite.

Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Tacos and Social Media

Greek Chicken Tacos and Social Media

Guess what guys?  Halifax Food Bloggers are on Pinterest!  Check us out!

You are definitely going to want to follow this Board…what an amazing plethora of food-making, photography and writing talent we have in this city!

ALSO!  Purple House Cafe is now on Facebook.  You can see, on the side of this page at the top, a little place to “like” me.  Please “like” me!  It’s a great way to get stay updated on my latest posts through Facebook – you wouldn’t want to miss some of the awesome recipes I have to share!  And while you’re at it, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest – I do those things too!  There are a lot of exclamation marks in this post!  (!!!!!!!)

And FINALLY!  Halifax Food Bloggers are also on Facebook.  Our snazzy page is like-able at https://www.facebook.com/HalifaxFoodBloggers.  It’s an amazing array of locally imagined recipes, information about local restaurants, foodie events and much more!  So, get your social media on!

Hopefully you can take a break from your Pinterest-ing and Facebooking (I know, I know, it’s tough) to make these Greek chicken tacos.  Everybody’s turning things into tacos these days, aren’t they?  It’s hip.

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Just fold ’em in half and go to town!

I’m always trying to be hip, so here’s my take on the trend.  We make these often, especially in the summer when we can grill the chicken and veggies on the BBQ.  It’s a great weeknight meal.

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When she sees me turn my head to the side to eat these with minimum spillage, my baby girl turns her head to the side too. It’s too cute!

Here’s what you need:

2 chicken breasts (or more, for more people), cubed

1 tsp. cumin

A sprinkle each of thyme, paprika, fennel seed, salt and ground black pepper

Roasted red peppers and red onions

Tortillas (try out my recipe for homemade ones!)

Cucumber, Tomato & Feta cheese for topping

Tzatziki (2 cups Greek yogurt, 1/4 cucumber – skinned and cubed, salt, pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. dill, 1/2 tsp. thyme, juice of half a lemon)

Olive oil

Here’s what you do:

This recipe is a smattering of a bunch of other recipes, so bear with me.

Season your chicken with cumin, thyme, paprika, fennel seed, salt and pepper.  Cumin’s the main ingredient here and the rest can just be a gentle sprinkle of spice, and if you don’t have everything in your spice cupboard, I wouldn’t be too worried about it.  Grill your chicken.  You can throw your red peppers and red onions on the grill after tossing them in some olive oil too, if you want.  OR, you can throw the chicken, red peppers, and red onions with a really generous splash of olive oil into a baking dish and roast all together at 400F until the chicken is cooked and the peppers are quite soft and a bit seared.

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Maybe while that’s happening you want to make a fresh batch of my homemade tortillas?  May as well, right?

You can buy tzatziki at the store, but if you want, just throw together the ingredients as listed above, and stir.  Admittedly, this tastes nicest if you can do it the night before.  But if you don’t have the luxury of that foresight, do it anyways.  It will still be delicious.

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Enjoy!

Recipe is a Jessie original

Crockpot Chicken Burritos

On Monday nights, I pick up the babe from daycare while the hubby is at volleyball practice.  I scramble to put something on the table (sometimes literally:  scrambled eggs) for when he gets home because then it’s a dance of bath time, nursing, stories, and bedtime before I pack up my yoga mat and head to a hot yoga class.  We do it all again on Thursdays too.  So, the Crockpot rules in our house.  It’s especially all-powerful when the food it makes can be eaten for lunches and quick dinners for a few days.  These crockpot chicken burritos are just the thing.

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Here’s what you need:

 4 chicken breasts, cut into medium-sized chunks

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp chili powder

Dash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Add the chicken and the tomatoes to the Crockpot and cook on high for about two hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Use two forks to shred the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir and cover with the Crockpot lidagain.  Cook another half an hour.

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Once shredded, the chicken should soak up a lot of the liquid from the tomatoes, but if the mixture is still wet, you can spoon off some of the liquid.  Serve in tortillas topped with your favourite taco toppings.

Recipe adapted from some Crockpot cookbook that I’ve now misplaced. 

Weeknight Casserole

Weeknight Casserole

A little over a year ago, I sat in a friend’s bay window, very pregnant, knitting a baby blanket.  My husband and our two friends were busily renovating a porch, while I managed to skip out.  I watched out the window as the sun stretched across the lake, looping wool and draping the ever-lengthening blanket over my lap, and realising that this could be one of the last quiet, contemplative afternoons I would have.  Ever?

As thanks for “our” help, my friend had whipped up a casserole and thrown it in the oven to bake while the last nails were driven into the wood and the frost began to collect on the window panes.  It smelled delicious, and I was inordinately excited about eating it.  I have a bit of a love of casserole.  Especially other people’s casseroles.

Little did I know that this dish would become a staple in our home, especially on those chilly winter nights when we don’t really feel like cooking.  It takes about ten minutes to prep and between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes to cook – just enough time to walk the dog around the block a few times.

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Here’s what you need:

 1 lb lean ground beef

1 large potato (sweet or white), sliced into disks

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup canned corn

1 cup carrots

1/2 a large onion, sliced into rings

6-10 cabbage leaves (red or green)

1 can tomato or cream of mushroom soup

Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 400F.  Spread half the ground beef in the bottom of a deep casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Layer half the potato slices on top.

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Add another layer of ground beef and season.

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Now add the carrots, peas and corn.

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Spread the onion slices on top of this and then finally top with whole cabbage leaves.

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Pour the can of soup over top and place in the oven until the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are soft.

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Note:  Either tomato soup or cream of mushroom soup work well in this recipe – make this each way and see which you prefer!

Recipe adapted from Angela Trenholm