PORK, APPLE AND ONION COUSCOUS BOWL

I consume most of my meals out of bowls. I have an entire shelf filled with all my favorite bowls. I go through multiple bowls in a day. BOWLS. BOWLS. BOWLS. [!] When I’m having a meal by myself, I like to curl up on the couch underneath a blanket, grab a bowl of goodness and catch up on my latest tv addiction [currently it’s the latest season of Top Chef].

Some meals aren’t really meant for bowl eating, so I have to change up the way I prepare and present it to make it more couch consuming friendly. One of my go to winter dishes is pork with apples and onions. It’s a warm, comforting, filling respite from a cold night [and right now the nights are unusually cold for Texas!]. Normally, I serve pork cutlets whole with thickly sliced onions and apples and roasted sweet potatoes.

This version doesn’t require a fork and knife to consume [just a fork, or spoon if that’s more your thing]. It’s got all the same winter flavors, only served up on a bed of rosemary and sage couscous. It’s a simple dish that can be quickly pulled together for a weeknight meal. Grab your favorite bowl, fill it up with tasty goodness and put on your current tv obsession.

jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-pork-apple-onion-cous-cous-1.jpg
jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-pork-apple-onion-cous-cous-3.jpg

PORK, APPLE AND ONION COUSCOUS BOWL

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 thin sliced boneless pork chops

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red apple [I prefer a firm fuji or gala], diced

  • Green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar

  • 3 TB olive oil

  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh sage, minced

  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

  • 1 cup couscous

  • 1 1/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, take 1 TB of apple cider vinegar and pour over the pork chops. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coast. Set aside. Add the onions to the pan with 1 TB olive oil and sauté on medium until golden [3-5 minutes]

Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat 1 TB olive oil on medium, adding the herbs and cooking for a minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. To the pan with onions, add the chopped apple and sauté on medium for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 TB of vinegar and stir until the vinegar cooks off. Remove the apples and onions from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 TB olive oil on medium. Pat the pork chops dry and add to the pan, cooking 3 minutes per side. Remove the chops, allow them to sit for 2 minutes and then chop into small bites. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper.

Add the couscous to a serving bowl and top with pork, apples and onions. Garnish with green onions. [This looks great in a heaping serving bowl, but I typically plate it directly in my individual bowl, again for the tv watching ease of this meal!].

Serves 4-5 [or 2 really hungry people]

jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-pork-apple-onion-cous-cous-4.jpg

BEST AVOCADO BROWNIES RECIPE

WARNING: these are NOT healthy brownies. Yes, as the title suggests, they have avocado in them which would make you think this is a recipe that’s lighter and somehow better for you. I’m pretty sure they’re not. They’ve got butter, they’ve got sugar. They’re decadent, luscious and are a game changer when served with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream [mine is and always will be Breyers Natural Vanilla, FYI].

Now I did just say these are not healthy brownies. But there are some healthy benefits to this specific recipe and that’s mostly found in the form of chocolate I use. I make mine with 100% natural cacao powder I use this specific brand, but any cacao will do. Personally, I can tell a real difference between cacao and cocoa. You can read more on what makes these two products different here, but basically I find cacao to be a richer, deeper flavor profile than traditional cocoa powder. [unless you can find the seriously good cocoa powders out there, which are hard to come by and sometimes pricey]. Plus, it’s got loads of great health benefits since it’s not processed the way cocoa is, so not a bad thing to try out I’d say!

The avocado I find does a phenomenal job in creating that moist [yes, I know most of us hate this word, especially when creepily whispered, but sometimes it needs to be used!] consistency to the brownie. I do plan to experiment more with removing more butter and adding more avocado to the ratio to see how ‘healthy’ I can get these bad boys without them becoming strange, and if I come up with a version two, I’ll be sure to share it here! Head do the bottom to read the recipe and please share if you make them and what you think!

jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-avocado-brownies-recipe-5.jpg
jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-avocado-brownies-recipe-4.jpg
jo-torrijos-states-of-reverie-avocado-brownies-recipe-1.jpg

BEST AVOCADO BROWNIES

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened cacao powder

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

  • 1 very ripe avocado mashed

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tbsp coffee or espresso [not the ground, but the already made stuff!]

  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts [optional]

Preheat to 325F

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer. Blend in the eggs, avocado, vanilla and coffee. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cacao, baking soda and salt. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans (you can reserve a small handful to dot the top of the brownies). 

Bake in a greased 8x8 baking dish for 50 minutes to an hour. I prefer them gooey and a little under so you can adjust the cooking time to what works for you! Bakes 16 squares

TIP: This recipe doubles well if you’re baking for a crowd, just don’t double your amount of salt [I typically do 3/4tsp for a double batch]

ALL THE UPDATES! WHERE HAVE I BEEN? MOVING TO DALLAS AND BUYING A NEW HOME

I felt a little bit sick when I saw the last time I’d posted was in mid SEPTEMBER. EEEEK. It’s been over FOUR months since I’ve posted here! I feel a ton of guilt about it. Having a blog is a personal space where I write and share and in these four months, I’ve done almost no writing or sharing, here or otherwise. Even my social media accounts [Instagram and Facebook] took a major backseat.

I’ve been very much off the grid. It’s been a whirlwind of life changes. Family changes. House changes. Location changes. Just about everything that could shift in my life has. So many things have changed for the good, but change nonetheless is daunting. I’ve especially discovered how difficult change can be to my creative outlets.

These first few months of the new year I’m set on reworking my two websites [this one and my design business, A Simpler Design]. They’re my most satisfying outlet to work on, and I just haven’t given them the attention they deserve. I need to get back to taking beautiful photos, sharing what I cook, where I go, what I’m working on, all the things. I’ve started sharing little stories on my instagram account and as I do, I’m reminded that many of those short musings are essentially blog posts, only on a different platform. To ease myself back into blogging and writing life, I’ll start sharing my short daily somethings here.

In the meantime while I get that up and running, I thought I’d share photos of my beautiful home in Dallas, Texas and a [semi] brief update on how I got here. In October I sold my beloved home in Atlanta, Georgia [how I miss you Greenwood!], bought my new home [Edgefield is my new smaller, but just as beautiful gem!], drove from Atlanta to Dallas with my entire fur baby family in tow. In November, I did some renovations to the house straight away [mostly cosmetic, but still messy!], hosted my first Thanksgiving in said new home [literally the day after my countertops and sink were installed!], and completely decorated my new home [almost entirely with things I already owned, but still an endeavor because unpacking and organizing is a bitch!]. December brought the holidays, more organizing and decorating [so much holiday decorating on top of it all!], and my mom came and stayed for a couple weeks [she missed the fur babies and me too possibly hah]. January has been a struggle bus. I’ve been sick since just after Christmas, and have had ups and downs with relentless colds and coughs and fevers and bleh and I’m starting to wonder if I have pneumonia and AHH. But I’ve been trying to truck through and keep telling myself February will be my month of health since January was a complete bust in that department. #goals if I’ve ever needed them!

There’s so much I want and need to accomplish in these coming months, and I’m hopeful for the year ahead. Never-ending sickness aside, I’ve been so lucky in many ways, and so thankful to have such supportive family and friends, and I know there are only more good things to come this year.

Ok…now you can check out the photos of my house! [of course these are just the real estate ones and I haven’t gotten around to photographing it with all my things in and with the renovations I’ve made, but of course I will share all that in due time!].

Missed you and glad to be back and rambling :)

xx Jo

ISmq2usuccm8z40000000000.jpg
ISq1uhr4wfpjz40000000000.jpg
ISivr59yr7hmz40000000000.jpg
ISm6jt78bbkxz40000000000.jpg
ISm6j5dsb9vao90000000000.jpg
ISapp5wboxj2o90000000000.jpg
IS2jnh8ljr0sz40000000000.jpg
ISa996hypyldn90000000000.jpg