Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Fajitas

I hosted a little party at my house, and this fajita recipe is easy and delicious.  It's great because I don't have to slave over a stove and worry about the exact time dinner will be served.  It cooks itself and guests can just take the portion they want and build their own fajitas with the extra ingredients (sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar, cilantro, etc).  There is definitely a little "kick" to the meat.  This isn't a new recipe, but it's been a couple years since I've made it, so I'm re-posting it for your enjoyment.

Slow Cooker Fajitas
Makes ~8 servings
335 calories/serving

1 green pepper, cut unto 1/2" strips
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1/2" strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2" strips
1 sweet onion, cut into 1/2" strips
2 pounds boneless beef sirloin, cut into strips
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8 flour tortillas (8"), warmed
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Place peppers and onion in a 5-qt slow cooker.  Top with beef.  Combine water, vinegar, lime juice, and seasonings; pour over meat.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.   Using a slotted spoon or tongs, place about 3/4 cup meat mixture on each tortilla.  Top with a tablespoon of additional ingredients as desired.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Soup #4: Easy Breezy Cheesy Clam Chowder

For my Bridal Shower, I was showered with soup recipes.  This is the fourth soup recipe I'm posting, gifted by my friend Nancy.   I've always thought I didn't like Clam Chowder, but I haven't had it in a long time, since my childhood.   So I decided to test my grown-up taste buds and see if anything changed.  Surprisingly, it wasn't bad.  I liked it.  Jeremy did too.

Easy Breezy Cheesy Clam Chowder

Serves: 2-4,  Time: 20 min

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup diced red pepper
2 oz cream cheese
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of potato condensed soup
2 cans (6.5 oz) clams
milk or cream to desired consistency
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional:  Add any veggies that you enjoy (broccoli, mushrooms, etc)

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add onion, carrots, and pepper.  Cook on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.  Add cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add soup and mix well.  Add clams and stir.  Gradually add milk or cream, mixing continually to desired consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grilled Pork Chops with Mango-Black Pepper Glaze, Mango-Kiwi-Black Bean Salsa, and Herbed Quinoa

I decided to take a break from the soup recipes, and made myself this 3-recipe dinner.  The glazed pork chops were especially tasty.

Grilled Pork Chops with Mango-Black Pepper Glaze, 
Mango-Kiwi-Black Bean Salsa, 
and Herbed Quinoa

Grilled Pork Chops with a Mango-Black Pepper Glaze
(Makes a LOT of glaze... way too much.  But it was DELISH! Loved this glaze!)

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 large mango, peeled and pureed
4 pork chops, about 5 ounces each
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Place vinegar, sugar, and peppercorns in saucepan and reduce until thickened.  Whisk in mango puree and cook 1 minute.  Strain into bowl and set aside.   Brush pork chops with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove and brush liberally with the glaze.


Anne's Mango-Kiwi-Black Bean Salsa

1 mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. 


Herbed Quinoa
1&1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock, lemon juice, and quinoa.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest.  Pour over the cooked quinoa and toss until all the ingredients are coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soup #3: Chicken Tortilla Soup - The Easiest

For my Bridal Shower, I was showered with soup recipes.  This is the third soup recipe I'm posting, gifted by my Aunt Kitty.  It was a very easy recipe, and very tasty.  Jeremy and I both enjoyed it.  We added a pinch of cheese to our bowls which made a gooey mess, so we don't recommend that.  Jeremy wanted his soup "hotter" so he added Tabasco sauce to his bowl.  I liked it just the way it was.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves: ~4
Time: ~30 minutes

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
10 oz package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 teaspoon chili seasoning mix
1&1/2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Baked corn tortilla chips, broken up

Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, stirring frequently until soft and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.  Next, add the broth, tomatoes, corn, and chili seasoning mix, and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken and cilantro, reducing heat to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Serve soup with tortilla chips and enjoy.