Tag Archives: summer entertaining

balsamic pork chop

Balsamic Pork Chop with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce and Shaved Green Mango Salad

balsamic pork chop with cranberry sauce

When cranberries come to mind, most people think of a Thanksgiving dinner table with all the lush fixings.  But even though this healthy, antioxidant rich super fruit is harvested in the fall, it’s the perfect ingredient to take your summer entertaining to the next level.

fresh cranberries

Cranberries are extremely versatile and are the perfect addition to sweet or savory summer recipes including cocktails, smoothies, salads, desserts and this…..Does that pork chop right there make you want to lick your screen?  I thought so!  This cranberry horseradish sauce only has 4 ingredients, but the layers of flavor are so nuanced and balanced, you’d think it was super complicated.

balsamic pork chop

One of the things I love about cranberries is that they come in so many forms (fresh, frozen, canned, sauced, dried, etc…) that you can get really creative.  This recipe uses the jellied cranberry sauce variety and when you warm it up on the stove, it melts down into a beautiful “saucy” consistency.  Adding the savory balsamic marinated pork chop and you’ve got a winner-winner cranberry pork dinner!  This cranberry horseradish sauce would also work beautifully on a pork tenderloin.

balsamic cranberry pork chop

Balsamic Pork Chop with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
A savory summer dish with a tender, balsamic marinated pork chop and a cranberry horseradish sauce
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For the balsamic marinade
  1. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  2. 1/3 cup olive oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves smashed
  4. 2 Tb honey
  5. 2 thick center cut pork chops
  6. 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb butter (to saute pork chops)
  7. kosher salt
For the sauce
  1. 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
  2. 2 Tb fresh garlic chopped
  3. 1 Tb olive oil
  4. 2 Tb horseradish
  5. 1-2 Tb brown sugar (depending on how much sweet you want to add)
  6. fresh thyme for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients well and marinate pork chops for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes take pork chops out of marinade and dry off on both sides with paper towel.
  4. Sprinkle chops with kosher salt.
  5. Heat up the 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb butter on a cast iron skillet or heavy duty non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  6. When butter is bubbling, add chops to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, being careful not to move chops around. Let them sit in place in pan to caramelize.
  7. Put chops in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Let chops sit out while you make the sauce.
For the sauce
  1. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add jellied cranberry and stir on medium heat until it melts down to a sauce-like consistency.
  3. Add horseradish and sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Pour sauce over pork chops when serving and garnish with fresh thyme
  1. You can use a pork tenderloin or pork roast with this sauce and it works beautifully.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
You can feel even better about this dinner because a new survey reveals cranberry eaters are healthy, active and adventurous!  

Lobster Mango and Cranberry Salad

Speaking of healthy, a friend of mine recently introduced me to green mangos which are basically unripe mangos.  If you shave them with a peeler, they are a scrumptious not-too-sweet but perfectly tangy base to a salad.  I added dried cranberries, almonds and avocado to this salad and fresh Maine lobster with a sweet buttermilk dressing that is creamy and refreshing.  The cranberries give the salad a gorgeous pop of color and flavor, while the almonds lend the perfect textured crunch in every bite.  And well, lobster is pretty much my favorite kind of seafood, so it adds a decadence all on its own!

mango cranberry salad with lobster

table set with lobster green mango salad

Shaved Green Mango and Cranberry Salad with Fresh Lobster
A refreshing summer salad studded with cranberries and fresh lobster
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For the salad
  1. 1 pound fresh Maine Lobster
  2. 1 green mango shaved with a vegetable peeler
  3. 1 cup dried cranberries
  4. 1/4 cup almond slices
  5. 1 ripe avocado diced
  6. chives for garnish
For the dressing
  1. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  2. 2 Tb sour cream
  3. 1/8 cup sugar
  4. 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
  5. pinch of kosher salt
  6. sprinkle of black pepper
  7. 2 Tb fresh chopped chives
  1. Top shaved green mango with fresh lobster, avocado, dried cranberries and almonds.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and fold onto salad.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
All of this cranberry talk transports me back to the bogs of Cape Cod!  2 years ago, I had the opportunity to learn how cranberries are harvested when I visited the Rhodes family from Cape Cod Select.  It was so cool to put on those waders and immerse myself in a sea of cranberries!

Parker in the cranberry bog

80% of the U.S. population enjoy cranberries, according to a new survey commissioned by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. It turns out, eating cranberries—which ranked in the top three most popular berries—might have more benefits than many may realize. The nationwide survey found that in general, more cranberry eaters than non-cranberry eaters say they work out and are health-conscious, and are more likely to describe themselves as positive, and feel less stressed and more adventurous.  So, make this delish cranberry studded dinner and then plan your next adventure!

Check out some of my other cranberry recipes here:

Cranberry Dream Martini

Cranberry Bacon Jam

Cranberry Salsa

No Bake Cranberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake (Low-carb)

You can also check out uscranberries.com for recipes.

*This post was sponsored by the Cranberry Marketing Committee but all opinions are my own.


Key Lime No Bake Cheesecakes

Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes

Key Lime No Bake Cheesecakes

This spring, I’ve been obsessed with mason jars– small, large, super sized mason jars for everything you could imagine!  I use them for vases, glasses, candle holders, table top terrariums, a DIY ice cream bar and now, ladies and gentlemen, no bake cheesecake jars!  The first time I used mason jars for dessert, I was catering a high-end dinner party and my cake didn’t set up.  I was horrified.  It was delicious, but it had collapsed in the middle and looked like a hot (yummy) mess.  As I was standing at the counter, hoping no one came into the kitchen and discovered my catastrophe, I remembered about a box of mason jars I had in the back of my truck. I quickly layered the warm, gooey mess into the jars with ice cream.  Then, I whipped up a little caramel sauce, popped some whipped cream on top and called it GOURMET.  My guests never knew about my baking crisis and later raved about the “moist” cake, LOL! 

It made perfect sense to style my Mini No Bake Cheesecake in these little jars!  And, in honor of National Dairy Month and my partnership with the Western Dairy Association, I created what I consider the perfect summer dessert.  I’m not a fan of super sweet anything, and the same goes for my cheesecake.  Lately, no bake has been my go-to, because, well, it’s NO BAKE!  No fussy water baths and springform pans.  With the mason jars, you just layer in the graham cracker crust, top with the key lime cheesecake filling, some whipped cream and they can chill in the fridge till you’re ready to serve them.

Key Lime No Bake Cheesecake

Before we get to the delish, check out some of these awesome stats… The average glass of milk costs only 25 cents a glass– few foods deliver milk’s powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable and available way. When you buy dairy products at your local grocery store or farmers market, you are supporting dairy families — 97% of the country’s dairy farms are family owned and operated.

The Western Dairy Association works on behalf of dairy farm families in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, and they’re celebrating 80 years of helping dairy farm families tell their stories. Check out the Western Dairy Blog throughout the month to read about the families who have been dairying for over eight decades!

Colorado is a great place to be a dairy cow –  their cows are second in the nation in milk produced per cow – a sign that they are happy and healthy.

And huge shout out to Western Dairy Association farms:  Colorado dairy farm families produce over 3.4 billion pounds of wholesome, nutritious milk each year. Montana dairy farm families produce 288 million pounds of milk each year and Wyoming dairy farm families produce over 123 million pounds of milk each year.  That’s a whole lot of healthy and happy!

Ready to dive into “Dairy Delicious?”  I know you are….

Here are some other yummy cheesecake recipes you might want to check out too:

Guilt Free Lemon Cheesecake

Peanut Butter Oreo No Bake Cheesecake

Peanut Butter & Jelly No Bake Cheesecake (scroll down for recipe)

Pebbles No Bake Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd

Mini Nutella Cheesecakes

*This is a sponsored post by the Western Dairy Association, but all opinions are my own.

Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes
Serves 4
A refreshing mini key lime cheesecake in mason jars.
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For the crust
  1. 2 Tb butter
  2. 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the key lime filling
  1. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  2. 3/4 cup heavy cream whipped to soft peaks
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/4 cup key lime juice
  6. zest of 2 key limes
For the whipped cream topping
  1. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  2. 3 tsp powdered sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. zest of one key lime
For the crust
  1. Melt butter and mix in graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon.
  2. Layer a couple spoonfuls at the bottom of each mason jar.
For the filling
  1. Bring cream cheese to room temperature and mix with sugar until smooth. Fold in heavy cream (whipped to soft peaks), vanilla, key lime juice and zest.
  2. Mix until smooth.
  3. Spoon on top of crust to nearly the top of each mini jar.
  4. Cover and keep in fridge for 3 hours or until firm.
For the whipped cream topping
  1. Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks are formed.
  2. When ready to serve, put whipped cream on top and finish with a little zest and a slice of key lime for garnish.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/