Korean Barbecue-Inspired Grilled Pork Chops with True Made Foods Veracha

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I received a package of True Made Foods from the company. No other compensation was received for this post.

Korean BBQ Pork Chops

For part of #CookoutWeek, I received a great little package from True Made Foods. It included their three current products: Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, and Veracha Hot Sauce. I love what True Made is doing – they use vegetables to naturally sweeten their sauces, cutting the sugars in half to make more nutritious sauces. And these sauces taste amazing.

True Made Foods Veracha Hot Sauce

As someone who tries to stick with real foods as much as I can, I love what True Made Foods is doing. For this recipe, I incorporated their Veracha Hot Sauce into an Asian-inspired marinade. Veracha is a thick, mildly spicy hot sauce, perfect for people like me who like things on the milder side. Veracha uses a combination of vegetables alongside jalapenos and cayenne to add the kick.

Everyone in our family enjoyed these grilled pork chops. I used my grill pan, because (like I said) our outside grill isn’t working right now. I’m sure they’d be even better with some charcoal flavor, too. 🙂

Asian ingredients

How can you go wrong with this cast of characters? I love having a big stockpile of Asian ingredients to throw together great marinades, sauces, stir-fries, and so forth.

Korean Barbecue-Inspired Grilled Pork Chops

Yield: 4-5 pork chops

Korean Barbecue-Inspired Grilled Pork Chops


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 T Veracha Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 lbs. bone-in pork loin chops


Whisk together all ingredients except pork chops in a bowl or measuring cup. Place pork chops in a large freezer bag, pour in marinade, and seal bag. Marinade in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

When ready to grill, preheat grill to medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, coat lightly with grapeseed oil or other unflavored, high-heat oil. Remove pork chops from marinade and let sit on a plate at room temperature while grill heats.

Grill pork chops on one side for 4 minutes; flip and cook another 3 minutes or until chops read an internal temperature of 145F. Let rest for 10 minutes before servings.


I made a little dipping sauce from about 1/4 cup of the True Made Ketchup with 1 Tablespoon Veracha Hot Sauce. My 3-year-old loved it, although I didn’t think these needed a dipping sauce at all.

Don’t forget to go enter the awesome #CookoutWeek giveaway we have going on this week! And if you are interested in their products, you can follow True Made Foods on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

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Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

I was working on my recipe column for HomeLife this weekend and got tempted by a recipe I came across on Cookin’ Mimi for Peanut Butterscotch Pie. My column this month was about Valentine’s Day sweets (yep, we work that far ahead), and after looking at recipes and recipes and recipes for sweet stuff I simply couldn’t help myself. I had to make this pie.

I didn’t have a graham cracker crust, though, and had no fervent desire to roll out a real pie crust. But I did have … pretzels. Hey, pretzels and peanut butter love each other! It hasn’t been that long since I made Chubby Hubby Truffles, proving that combination’s perfection.

So I unearthed a recipe for a simple pretzel crust and used the filling from Micha’s fabulous pie. It’s gooey, kind of like a peanut butter caramel. The sweet-salty combination is fantastic. (Obviously I am not the only person who likes this, as Micha herself pointed out she’d made a different peanut butter filling with a pretzel crust recently!)

Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

We shared this with friends on a beautiful, last-drops-of-summer night, while our infant boys wiggled and grinned, David did a puzzle, and the girls actually played together without fighting. (They must be growing up!) God dwells in those moments when food creates community, don’t you think?

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

Crust recipe from King Arthur. Filling from Cookin' Mimi.


  • 1 c. + 2 T finely ground salted pretzel crumbs
  • 7 T melted butter
  • 3 T sugar
  • Filling:
  • 1 ½ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 6 T flour
  • 1 ½ c. milk
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla


Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.

Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Bake at 350F for abut 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and flour. With stove on medium-low heat, whisk in milk slowly. Stir frequently until the mixture thickens. (This may take awhile.)

Temper the egg yolks by slowly streaming in a tiny bit of hot liquid and whisking rapidly. Keep adding hot liquid until mixture is all hot. Then add all back to the pot and cook another three minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Let filling cool slightly before pouring into the crust. Smooth out top. Refrigerate for a few hours or until ready to serve.


What is your favorite kind of pie? I’ll admit I’m not usually a pie baker. But I’m getting more adventurous in my baking pursuits. I have a hard time passing up pecan pie myself!

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies

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SNV31080Remember how I said that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes? These cookies have convinced me that I need to give them another chance. I still don’t like pumpkin-flavored brewed coffee, but maybe the extra milk and stuff makes it tolerable. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one of the Starbucks PSLs; I just haven’t ever liked pumpkin and coffee together.

These cookies change everything!

I was baking some of my regular pumpkin cookies as a treat for my husband, who is having a crazy week at work. I started thinking about these coffee chocolate chip shortbreads I made for Bible study this weekend … and how I had some extra instant coffee hanging around … and how much people like those pumpkin spice lattes …

I couldn’t resist trying out a variation on my regular cookie, even though I knew it might make Mr. V hysterical. (I’ve mentioned his opposition to my changing anything about his mama’s meatloaf recipe, right?) I kept the cookie recipe the same but added some coffee pizzazz to the icing, along with a shot of heavy cream for that “latte” feel.

The result: delicious! Make some. Now. If you don’t have any instant coffee, just put some strong brewed coffee in there and see what happens. I bet it’s still delicious.


Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter (can sub shortening or use a mixture of the two)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Frosting
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T heavy cream


Sift the first five ingredients together (flour through salt).

In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.

Add dry ingredients all at once and stir gently to form a smooth batter.

Drop by tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie scoop.) Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 350.

Let rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes when they come out of the oven; then transfer to cooling racks and let cool.


Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk, brown sugar, and coffee granules and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Once bubbling, cook two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (I transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.)

When cool, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream into the sugar mixture. Spoon or drizzle over cooled cookies.


Are you a pumpkin spice kinda person?

Added to Tasty Tuesday and Sweet Tooth Friday.

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Whole Wheat Orange-Banana Bread

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

November 2010

Three ripe bananas on the counter
Black as black can be
Falling out of their bags
And into the bowl
For this citrus delicacy

(Libbie calls banana peels their bags. Like, “LEAVE THE NANA IN THE BAG FOR ME!!” Followed by wailing if I don’t. Same goes for anything in a wrapper.)

Looking for something a little different and something I had the ingredients on hand for, I came across a recipe for Orange Banana-Nut Bread in the 2004 Cooking Light compilation cookbook. I made a few swaps and turned out a delectable, citrus-infused loaf of moist breakfast bread.

It’s a great dish to make for a Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed or if company’s coming over. But it’s taking me great restraint not to call it “Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana Bread.”


Whole Wheat Orange-Banana Bread


  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. white or turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted (half a stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 T grated orange rind (I found that one medium-sized orange yields about 1 T of grated rind)
  • 3 T fresh orange juice (about one medium orange, juiced)


Grease the inside of an 8.5?x4.5? loaf pan (probably your smaller one). Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, stir together melted butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add bananas, orange rind, and orange juice and mix until well combined.

Stir in dry ingredients just until everything is wet. Spoon into loaf pan.

Bake on middle rack 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan, remove and slice to serve.


I only feel that this is missing some sort of sinful glaze. Any ideas? Chocolate? Powdered sugar spiked with orange liqueur? Tell me what you think!

Added to Food on Fridays at Designs By Gollum, Sweet Tooth Fridays at Alli-n-Son, Spotlight: Brown Sugar at Eat at Home Cooks, and Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

Stayed tuned … I’ll be back with a new “Why I” post tomorrow, so get yours ready


 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins & A Breakfast Chat!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Do you have as much trouble with breakfast as I do?

Usually in the mornings I am trying to check my e-mail, nurse the baby, feed Libbie, get us all dressed, and maybe manage some coffee. (Reheated! No time to make fresh!) A lot of days it gets to be 10 a.m. and I haven’t actually eaten anything myself.

I was excited when The Motherhood asked me to help facilitate their chat on healthy breakfast options! I love breakfast food and I am interested in what everyone has to say. Maybe I’ll learn something about how to eat breakfast before it’s lunchtime. Here is their blurb on the chat:

Join Sarah Woodside, registered dietitian for Kellogg, and Liz Ward, registered dietitian, author and one of the Kellogg’s Breakfast Council members, to discuss the nutrients a good breakfast should provide, options for healthy breakfasts on the go, recent research findings on nutrition, and more.  Sarah and Liz will speak to us via live streaming video, while we chat and ask questions through a real-time, text-based conversation.

I’ve participated in several of the chats at The Motherhood and have found them to be a wealth of knowledge and a lot of fun conversation. (Check out the synopsis on “Creating an Efficient Kitchen”!) I hope you’ll join me this Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 11 a.m. Eastern time to watch the video and chat.

Meanwhile, you can start working on healthy breakfasts with this recipe I’ve been tweaking. I’m still not convinced that it’s perfect, but this recipe for Banana Bread Muffins has been healthified and has the VW stamp of approval.


Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

Yield: 12-16 muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar or sucanat
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. whole buttermilk
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T flaxseed meal
  • 12 walnut or pecan halves


Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12 muffins cups or use paper liners.

Cream bananas, oil/butter, egg, honey, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer or a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk, then dry ingredients (all remaining except walnuts). Stir until combined.

Spoon into muffin tins, filling about two-thirds full. Press a walnut or pecan half into the middle of each muffin.

Bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.


These muffins are definitely “lightly sweet,” not commercial-bakery-muffin-sugarfest. Using the ripest bananas will help contribute a good sweetness.


The Motherhood chat is sponsored by Kellogg’s, and I will be compensated for my time and efforts.



Cookie Exchanges & Molasses Cookie Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I love the idea of having a cookie exchange any time of year! Why not mix it up a little? Jen is a faithful reader and commenter of Vanderbilt Wife. Thanks, Jen, for this guest post! 

There are some things I’ll never understand. Like, why do people only break out the pumpkin around Thanksgiving? And, deviled eggs. Yes, a great picnic food, but why not all year round? Next year, I think I’ll make pumpkin pie for Easter and deviled eggs for Thanksgiving. That will really throw everyone for a loop. Which brings me to Christmas and cookies. Why the big push for cookies at Christmastime? I need them all year round!

We recently had our annual mother’s club cookie exchange. What could be more exciting than going to a party and coming home with six dozen different kinds of cookies? It *could* have something to do with the fact that I’m 33 weeks pregnant. Maybe.

Never done a cookie exchange? Here’s how it works. Everyone who is participating tells the other participants what type of cookie they are planning to make. That way there are no duplicates and plenty of variety. The number of people participating is the number of dozen cookies you make and bring to the party. The extra dozen is for everyone to enjoy at the party.

One of our moms hosts the cookie exchange, and we all bring our kids. The cookies were wonderful and the company delightful! Here is what I came home with: Chocolate Pecan Bark, Butter Cookies, Cracker Candy (this should just be shortened to Crack Candy, really), White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Caramel Bars, and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mint Sprinkles.

This year, I opted for my tried and true molasses cookies. Now, I never considered myself to be a fan of spice or gingerbread cookies. I think it’s because I love soft, chewy cookies and those cookies were always crunchy when I tried them. These cookies are chewy, spicy, sugary rounds of goodness. They are by far my husband’s favorite and most requested cookie.

Molasses Cookies


  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 2 ½ c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 c. white sugar for rolling cookies


Beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat for one minute.

Combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Put white sugar in shallow bowl or pie plate. Use tablespoon cookie scoop and roll balls in sugar completely. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Makes 4 ½ dozen cookies.


Have you ever done a cookie exchange? What is your favorite crowd-pleasing cookie recipe?

Jennifer Young is wife to Jay and mommy to Tommy & Baby Girl due early 2011. She recently decided to leave a career in commercial real estate to be an at-home mom. Jen loves baking, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She also has a now-defunct blog A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That.

Added to Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.