Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘balsamic vinegar’

Cranberry Pear Flavored Pork

Posted by terrepruitt on April 15, 2019

Oh, really simple recipe. I am sure you can use any sweet balsamic you have. If you don’t have sherry, wine will do. I mentioned the balsamic vinegar we purchased in November when we were in Napa in a post, Cranberry Pear. It is so good. I should have gotten the larger bottle. Anyway, this is a four ingredient recipe that has a lot of flavor. So yummy. I cooked it last night and I can’t wait to eat the left overs tonight!


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4 Boneless pork chops
1/4 C Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar*
1/2 cup Dry Sherry
lavender Salt

Pour the dry sherry in a baking dish (if the dish is large you might need more than 1/2 cup – you want at least 1/4 of an inch in the bottom of the dish) arrange the pork in the dish. Pour a little of the vinegar on top of each chop, then sprinkle each chop with lavender salt. Let sit for 15 minutes (longer if you have the time). After 15 minutes, repeat the process of pouring some vinegar over each one and salting. Let sit for 15 minutes (longer if you have the time).

Preheat oven to 375° F. Put the dish in the oven for about 10 minutes. After baking the pork for 10 minutes take the dish out and turn each chop over. Sprinkle with more lavender salt. Then put the dish back in the oven for another seven minutes.

After seven minutes, take the dish out and check for doneness. Everyone likes their meat cooked differently so you may need to put it back in the for a few more minutes. The ones I used were not very thick and they were not very large so they cooked PERFECTLY in 14 minutes. (But I also did the first round on a higher heat because I had something else cooking at the same time. And I lowered the heat on the second round.)

*this is a white balsamic vinegar


These were simple and delicious. I love using balsamic as a marinade for meat. I think it pairs very well with pork. Usually I marinate the meat for longer, but I didn’t this time, but they came out great.

Do you have a sweet balsamic you like to pair with pork? Do you have a favorite balsamic?

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Caprese Bites

Posted by terrepruitt on July 20, 2016

You’ve probably seen these before.  I know I have.  I don’t know where, but I know that when I saw them I wanted to make them.  I was having company over last weekend and I didn’t know what to make because I didn’t know who was eating what and we usually end up with so much food.  I decided I would do these as an appetizer and supply the dessert and the company could bring the rest.  Worked out great!  🙂  As I said I had remembered seeing these before, but didn’t bother to look them up because I thought I could figure them out.  I did, but as I sat down to write this I thought I would give it a quick look-see.  I should have looked before I made them because, of course, there are much better ways to present them shown on the internet.  Mine were ok, and I will probably do it again, but I do like the swishy drizzle.  Not that I could ever accomplish that.  I tried to drizzle and the new thing from Costco that is on the balsamic vinegar, just dripped it all over the plate.  I gave up and used a spoon.  Anyway . . . here is a quick and yummy appetizer.  Caprese salad or as I am calling these Caprese Bites.


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A tub of mozzarella balls
two tubs of grape tomatoes
a bunch of basil
balsamic vinegar

Drain the mozzarella and let it dry out a little bit.  Wash your basil if you desire, then let it dry a bit.  Wash the tomatoes and let them dry.  Then cut the mozzarella balls in half.  Sprinkle the cheese with salt.  Then decide the order.  I had cheese-tomato-basil.  Then stick a tooth pick through the cheese, then the tomato, then a basil leaf.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a little salt.


So, I made these last weekend.  I didn’t take a picture.  I had leftover cheese, so I made them again for this post.  I salted the cheese the second time I made these.  Then I salted the entire “bite” after I drizzled on the balsamic vinegar.  I barely used an salt and half of it rolls off.  But I really think the salt helps bring out the flavor in everything.  Salt is a flavor enhancer.  YUM.

Also the second time, I tried to stick the tomato on one side . . . in other words NOT IN THE MIDDLE.  I tried to pierce it closer to one side of the tomato so it would rest better on the plate.  I did also try doing it with the tomato on the bottom and the toothpick up in the air, I didn’t like that.  It probably would have worked better with the cheese on the bottom.  Or if the tomatoes are cut.

Either way . . . such an easier appetizer.  And so yummy.  I actually assembled it the night before.  But I put the vinegar and salt on right before I served it.  Both kind of make the cheese “melty”.  So it got a little messy.  But it was still good.

I was actually surprised how much I liked them.  I made a lot and I think I ate most of them.  My hubby and I even had a few in the days that followed.

Now we have more.  Yay!  Yum!

Have you made these before?  How do you assemble them?

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Bruschetta Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 5, 2014

You may have read my post regarding how much I loved Dinner of Herbs eggplant bruschetta recipe. I said I could put the eggplant mixture on anything. Well, I actually bought the ingredients to make the bruschetta, I even remembered the bread! But when I arrived at home I looked in my refrigerator and realized I had some zucchini I needed to use. Plus I had some mushrooms I needed to use. So I decided this would be a great time to put the eggplant and tomato mixture with a little extra over pasta. So I am just adding zucchini and mushrooms to the way I made the bruschetta.  Here is what I made:


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–1 medium or large eggplant, cubed (very small)
–4 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
–1 lb of mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped
–2 zucchinis, grated
–3/4 of a large onion, chopped (tiny)
olive oil
two tablespoons of butter
garlic powder
onion powder
sweet basil
balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese, as desired
1 package/box/container of pasta (I prefer linguine)

Heat the oven to 450°F.

Put the eggplant on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix it up, then spread the eggplant evenly, in one layer (the eggplant I used was too large to be one layer), over the baking sheet. After baking for about 10 minutes, move the eggplant around on the pan.  After another 10 minutes, gently stir/toss the eggplant and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about an additional 25 minutes. Stirring or tossing if necessary to ensure even roasting. In between roasting the eggplant, spread 3/4 of the tomato out over a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. (Tomatoes are too delicate to be mixed as done with the eggplant.) Bake until the edge pieces are browning.  Stirring gently, if you want.  I ended up cooking the tomatoes for about 30 minutes.

Somewhere in between cooking the mushrooms and zucchini as instructed below, you might want to cook your pasta. I prefer my pasta hot. You can plan and cook accordingly.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesWhile the other vegetables are baking, heat some olive oil and 1/2 the chopped onion in a pan. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper as desired (I use garlic salt) and cook to your liking (I like them a little caramelized). Remove from pan and set the mushrooms aside. Add two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted add the grated zucchini. Cook the zucchini about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Once all the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction put half of the cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl, then add half of all of the cooked vegetables.  Add the basil, vinegar, any additional salt and/or pepper you desire.  Then add the rest of the pasta and cooked vegetables along with half of the raw tomato and onion.  Toss it all.  Taste it to see if you want more basil, vinegar, salt and/or pepper.  Put the rest of the raw tomato and onion on top. Serve the pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


This is the first recipe I wrote FIRST, then followed.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe as I was cooking, and noted them before posting.  I think layering the pasta, then veggies makes for easier mixing.  Of course, you can mix it anyway you’d like.  I loved this.  I loved the flavor as I did when I made the eggplant bruschetta.  What I would do next time is use 3 tomatoes instead of four.  The flavor of the tomatoes overpowered everything.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers, as I believe left over pasta is often better than the freshly made dish.  The flavors have time to meld.

This is an easy dish, there is nothing complicated about any part of the process, but with all of the chopping it is a bit labor intensive.  The separate roasting of the eggplant and tomatoes makes it a long process.  I didn’t want to roast them at the same time.  But if you chop while things are cooking . . . . .

I will probably make it again.

What about you?  Does it sound good?  Which of the vegetables is your favorite? 

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Dirt Is A Flavor

Posted by terrepruitt on September 20, 2012

You might have read in my blog I am having an organic box of produce delivered to us.  I love it.  It is so nice to have produce and not have to go to the store.  It is nice to have organic produce.  So far I really like this.  You might also know that part of the reason I decided to have a box of fruits and vegetables delivered is because I was hoping I would be “forced” to use produce that I normally wouldn’t buy.  The last box I received had figs in it.  Turns out I am ok with figs.  I so enjoyed the salad with figs I had made, I tried to order the next box that had figs but I waited too long.  I only have delivery every other week.  Farm Fresh To You posts what will be delivered in a week the week before so I had known for a whole week, but I waited until the day before to decide that I actually wanted an additional delivery.  It was not enough time for them to do it.  So I missed out on another delivery of figs.  But . . . in addition to the figs you might have noticed in the picture I posted on the first fig post that I had beets delivered.  Now, I KNOW I don’t like beets.  I have tried them, and I don’t like them.  They taste like dirt.  For those of you that don’t know what dirt tastes like, eat a beet and then you will know.  So here I was with dirt to deal with.  I was wondering, “WHAT DO I DO WITH A BEET?”

In the same conversations I had with people about figs I had asked about beets.  One person said to boil them, peel them (the skin will come right off), and then put them in a salad.  I think she said she cooks them then uses them as she needs them (within a reasonable amount of time.  A couple of days or so.).  Another person said she didn’t like beets, so she had no suggestions.  Again, I was faced with a salad.  That was the only thing I found that sounded remotely appealing.  I was thinking I would boil the beets and then put them on a salad with goat cheese.  Goat cheese seemed to be what I was finding as the cheese of choice with beets.

But you might have read that I was thinking about making a salad with figs.  The recipes I was finding for figs in salads called for feta.  But for me, I was thinking that the goat cheese would go better with the figs as it is creamy and mild — almost flavorless.  And the feta — which to me is firm and much more flavorful — would go better with the beets.  I was thinking the beets needed a strong flavor to help drown out the “dirt” taste.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia   workout, Nia, ZumbaOne recipe I spotted said to roast the beets.  Well, heck, why didn’t I think of that?  Perhaps you know roasting is my prefered method!  Geez, can’t understand why I didn’t think of that.  Especially since I mentioned roasting beets in Borscht is Beets!  Well, just as I did with the figs I didn’t read the recipes because I thought I could figure it out.  I skimmed them and I saw some say, roast on a pan without foil and some say use foil.  One recipe said the skin will come right off.  Well, it didn’t so much for me, but it turned out ok.

I roasted them until they felt somewhat soft.  I think it was at least 50 minutes, but I am not sure because I just kept resetting the timer and would run off to do whatever it was I was doing.

I had roasted the beets with olive oil and salt and a little garlic salt and I have to admit that even though while I was cutting them they smelled like dirt, they didn’t taste overwhelmingly like dirt.

Salad with beets:

mixed greens
beets (roasted with olive oil, salt, garlic salt — 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes)
feta cheese
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Yay!  Another produce item that I had not eaten before and I NEVER would have bought at a store or farmer’s market.

How about you?  Do you like beets?

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