Bourbon Ancho Chile Pork Chops

I started my blog just over two years ago, and was solely focused on cupcake recipes and sweet treats. Over time, my blog has evolved to include cake decor and fondant tutorials, crafts, and even quite a few savory dishes! My husband and I love to cook together and have recently started experimenting more with recipes. 

If you read my blog much, you know I love Food Network. I've tried out a ton of Pioneer Woman recipes ('s a lot)! Recently, though, we've been on a Bobby Flay kick. A couple months ago, I shared two Bobby Flay burger recipes, and his Ancho Chile fries. After enjoying those recipes, we decided to tackle something tougher. When we were on our honeymoon, we went to his awesome restaurant Mesa Grill in NYC. The bread, the appetizers, and dessert - everything was amazing! My favorite part of the meal, though, had to be my entree - Bourbon-Ancho pork tenderloin. 

We decided to try our hand at his recipe for the pork dish. To switch things up, though, we made pork chops instead of pork tenderloin. The crust worked well on them, and the Bourbon-Ancho sauce was perfect! We were disappointed at first, because it didn't seem to thicken up well. But the taste was spot on, and worked perfectly with the pork.

Bourbon-Ancho Pork Chop ingredients:
  • Spice crust:
    • 3 tbs ancho chile powder
    • 2 tbs brown sugar
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp allspice (if you don't have all spice, use equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 2 lbs pork chop
  • Bourbon-Ancho sauce
    • 1 tbs olive oil
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup frozen thawed apple juice concentrate
    • 1 1/2 ancho chiles (or 1 tbs ancho chile powder)
    • 1 cup bourbon
Bourbon-Ancho Pork Chop instructions:
  • Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat
  • Pour in Bourbon and bring to a boil
  • Heat until reduced to a few tablespoons (~5 mins)
  • Add ancho chile powder, chicken stock, apple juice concentrate, black pepper, and brown sugar
  • Cook until reduced by half, about 15-20 mins
  • Heat tbsp canola oil in pan over medium high
  • Mix together spice crust for the pork chops
  • Cover both sides of the pork chop with the spice rub

  • Heat the pork chops to an internal temperature of at least 145F (for medium rare), we cooked them to 160F. Cook them on each side for a few mins and then flip, continuing cooking and flipping until finished. 

Chicago Trip Recap

My husband and I are definitely foodies, but we equally love traveling! When we are going on trips, we love visiting local eateries and places we've heard about from Food Network. You may have read our Cincinnati foodie recap, or our NYC recap from our honeymoon. Our anniversary was a couple weeks ago and we celebrated it with a weekend trip to Chicago!

Below is a recap of our quick weekend trip, and all the delicious food we ate along the way!


Once we landed in Chicago, we started the day off with some Chicago deep dish pizza! My husband is quite the pizza aficionado, so he of course did his research. There are obviously a ton of deep dish pizza joints in the Windy City, but one caught his eye - Lou Malnati's. This pizza joint has been in business for decades and is an iconic Chicago restaurant. It was also featured on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. The pizza definitely lived up to its hype! 

My delicious pepper and onion deep dish pizza!

After the pizza, we headed over to Wrigley Field, to watch the Cubs take on the Nationals. My husband played baseball for years, and loves catching a game when we can.

Reese's Cupcakes's been a while since I've posted much on my blog. Life has been pretty busy lately, lots of new beginnings and celebrations! I'm loving my new job, but it's kept me pretty busy so far. Working from home is a blessing and great experience, but I do find myself working longer hours than I would otherwise... It's just so easy to stay online and get more work finished!

Any Reese's peanut butter cup fans out there? If so, I have a recipe you HAVE to try. My mom's birthday was a couple weeks ago, and I created a special cupcake flavor for the celebration. I decided to just wing it and experiment without using a certain recipe. I started with a base of a chocolate cupcakes and then created a vanilla buttercream. I enhanced the buttercream by mixing in some crushed Reese's. I saved some to sprinkle on top as well.

The cupcakes might have been good enough like that, but I decided to keep going. I remembered the deliciously sweet peanut butter glaze that I put on the banana peanut butter muffins and the banana bread. After sprinkling on Reese's on the buttercream, I drizzled the glaze over top of the cupcakes.

All together, the cupcakes scream Reese's!! I was so happy with how they turned out. These may not be the healthiest thing to eat, but believe me its delicious.

American as Apple Pie

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July! Work has been extremely busy for my husband and I lately, so it was nice to have a day off and have a bit of a slower pace. Speaking of being may have noticed that I've been a bit MIA on the blog lately. I recently started a new job, and life has just gotten a bit busier. But, I've got some cake projects coming up, and some new recipes to try out! Plus, I have some projects that I've never had a chance to share yet. My goal is to pick things back up again, starting with a new recipe I made for the 4th of July. 

As I mentioned, my husband and I had a relaxing day including a picnic and a cookout. The weather was perfect on the 4th and we enjoyed a beautiful picnic. We had received an adorable picnic basket for a wedding pleasant, complete with silverware, plates, a cooler area, and a cute blanket. We enjoyed pasta salad I made, chips, sandwiches, and some freshly squeezed lemonade in our mason jar cups!

We did a small cookout that night with our new grill. I wanted to make something festive for dessert. As long time readers of my blog know, I typically stick with cakes and cupcakes, but I decided nothing quite says 4th of July and Americana quite like apple pie. As if that wasn't patriotic enough, I decided to add a unique twist by using stars cutout of the crust on top.

You probably haven't been reading my blog since it started, but if so you may remember my rough start with apple pie... I used the same pie and recipe, though, as I did with my more successful Mickey themed apple pie last year. Thankfully, it turned out well again. The only thing was I should have started out with foil covering the pie. Since there wasn't as much crust, the edges got dark pretty quickly. After noticing this, I carefully covered it with foil and slowed down that process.

I used the same recipe as before, but I'm sharing it again. This pie could be used for lots of occasions, but is definitely fitting for a celebration of America's birthday.

 Apple Pie ingredients:
  • 1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts in the box)
  • 6 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced (~6 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Apple Pie directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Wash, peel, and thinly slice the apples
  • Mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon)
  • Toss the apples in lemon juice and then the dry ingredient mixture
  • Place one crust in a pie pan
  • Fill with apples
  • Roll out crust and cut out stars using a cookie cutter
  • Place stars on top of the filling
  • Dot the top of the stars/pie crust with butter and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Bake 45-50 mins, carefully cover the edge of the pie with a strip of foil halfway through baking