Lebkuchenloft making pork chop seasoning

spicy mango pork chops

Helllllo Summer Grilling!

Lebkuchenloft making pork chop seasoning

Crushing up fresh coriander will ensure a flavorful delicious seasoning

On my way back from visiting my Brother in Denver I picked up a recipe magazine at the airport….and for $10, I found that it was worth every penny as I found a delicious pork chop recipe! I’ve always been on the hunt for one, but have only tried maybe twice to make pork chops and they never turned out as I remembered them growing up (mine were always overcooked…).

Once my Best Friend Nicole and I met, we were pretty much inseparable- that meant we took turns eating at her house or my house… Thankfully our parents just knew to plan for either her being a guest, or me a guest at their house. Nicole’s Mom, Renae, used to make the most delicious pork chops, and I was always so excited when it was pork chop night at the Haberman’s. So, Renae, thanks for all the dinners at your house! Here is me trying to make the comfort food you made for us, with my own twist!

Below is the first recipe as I made it, or you can view the original recipe here.

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut up into small cubes
1/3 purple onion
splash of orange juice
splash of lime juice
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 tsp of Milpas Pico De Gallo Seasoning
chopped cilantro to taste

Lebkuchenloft pork chops ready to eat!

Bon Appetit!

Pork Chops
2 bone-in pork chops fresh from the market seasoned with:
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS paprika
1 TBS freshly ground cumin
1 1/2 TBS freshly ground coriander
Pinch of Milpas Pico De Gallo on each (for spice)

How To Cook Pork Chops Perfectly
Season pork chops as per above and then heat your pan with about 3 TBS of olive oil. Place the pork chops in the pan and leave until golden brown for about 3 minutes per side.

Remove from heat, and cover the pan for about 5 minutes to let the pork chops finish cooking internally. Hint: It should still be slightly pink when you turn the heat off and cover.

Plate the pork chops and top with the mango salsa! I served with toasted corn tortilla chips and some rustic bread heated in the oven with butter.

Look delicious? Let me know how it goes! Your taste buds will thank you!


fancy black bean and artichoke tacos

Anything more than heating up the corn tortilla in a pan is fancy to me…

:: Ingredients ::

  • corn tortillas
  • salt, cumin, paprika, garlic salt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • onions
  • tomato
  • shredded cheese

:: Directions ::

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Once the oven is close to being preheated, lay a cupcake pan upside down in the oven, and lay 3 tortillas on top of the pan to heat up (see left tortilla in photo). After about 2-3 minutes of heating the tortilla, it will be warm enough to press into the crevices to shape and crispen (middle and left tortilla). Bake the tortillas until golden brown and crispy (about 10 min). Please use tongs so don’t burn yourself like me….duh!

In a pan on the stove, heat the rinsed/drained black beans (mash slightly), and 3-4 cut-up artichoke hearts. Add salt, cumin, garlic powder and paprika to taste. If you like it spicy, you can always add jalapeno.

Cup up cilantro, onion, avocado and tomato for your toppings and grab the shredded cheese out of the fridge.

Once your tortillas are done, fill them with black beans, and top with the cilantro, onion, avocado, tomato and cheese.


my morning frittata

ImageGuten Tag!

Welcome to my morning kitchen. My favorite thing to make bright and early… mini frittatas!

I love to make them on a Sunday morning, or they are perfect for a mimosa brunch with the ladies!

You can make them as delicious, healthy, light or heavy as you want, so please take this recipe as more of a guideline than anything:

Melanie’s Morning Frittata


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 10-12 white corn torillas
  • 8 large eggs
  • spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions, tomatoes (whatever veggies you like and have in your fridge)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated cheese (parmesean, swiss, chedder) whatever you have!
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil or chives


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray your cupcake pan with nonstick spray (about 8).

Fold your corn tortillas in half to rip them into 2 and use 1 half to make your frittata cup lining- 1/2 tortilla per muffin “cup” (see photo for clarity). Put the rounded section up and flad side down, so it looks like a half moon. Once you’ve lined about 8 frittata cups, rip up a few more tortillas to fill the bottom of the cups as best you can (the egg will fill in the rest, so no worries about being perfect).

Fill the bottom of each frittata cup with the veggies you have chosen (I prefer spinach, onions, tomatoes).

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.

Fill the frittata cups with the egg mixture (almost to the top), then sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake until the frittatas puff up like a cupcake, set in the center and the top is golden brown, about 20-40 minutes.

Using your spatula or knife, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide them onto a serving platter.

Top with fresh cilanto, basil, or chives (whatever you have chosen).

Serve right away with hot sauce (for your man), salsa, or plain- whatever your preference!


the fraulein

so good, too goodWe were on a boat…

Two of my good girlfriends had a joint birthday party this past Saturday on the Tiki Too for a fun, day-boating extravaganza. It was full of friends, sunshine, beautiful marina views, oh… and did I mention an open bar?

Well, when life gives you an open bar… you make The Fraulein.

After lots of brainstorming german-inspired names, different versions of a long island ice tea, and a few taste-tests, here’s my new, favorite summer-drink recipe:

The Fraulein

1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz rum
1/2 oz gin
1 oz sweet and sour mix
2 oz+ grapefruit juice
1 or more fresh lime slices
serve over ice

Please drink responsibly (on a boat if possible).

Happy Birthday Megan and Katie! Prost!

a fresh thanksgiving munch

Thanksgiving recipes you’ve never made:

Brie en Croute

Brie en Croute

I love a traditional Thanksgiving meal, so I’ve never been open-minded to trying something new, until now! Normally, I want turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and dessert (Plus a fun holiday cocktail)!

But, another Sunday watching the Food Network led to some delicious insight I wanted to share. A few fresh takes on our favorite holiday dishes…guaranteed to be incredible!

Here are some revamped recipes I’ll be trying this year:

To appetize:

Main Course, Of Course | Turkey:

A Side To Enjoy:

To Finish It Off | Desserts:

Holiday Cocktails

Cheers to our many, many blessings… have a wonderfully-delicious Thanksgiving!

Did I miss something? Let me know!

eggnog blackout

yes pleaseTo my Husband and I’s surprise, we found eggnog at the grocery store in October! Regular, light, vanilla cinnamon, and pumpkin spice baby! Whatever your style, there’s an eggnog for you.

Or you can make it homemade:

Eggnog Recipe:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites

In a mixer, beat the egg yolks (until they lighten in color). Then, slowly add the sugar (beat until completely dissolved). Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg. Combine.

Beat egg whites with mixer into soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add an extra pinch of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Carefully whisk egg whites into the mixture. Chill, serve with cinnamon sticks, enjoy.

Keep the Christmas spirit alive with these delicious uses of eggnog:

  • use as creamer in coffee, add cinnamon
  • eggnog latte, hello!
  • eggnog chai or “chai-gg”
  • use as milk in french toast
  • eggnog ice-cream anyone?
  • serve chilled with bourbon
  • spiced rum, eggnog, and coffee, oh my!
  • eggnog icing (replace milk w/eggnog in recipe)
  • rice puddin’
  • eggnog cheesecake please
  • creme brulee
  • eggnog in your oatmeal

lebkuchen cheer

german christmas cookiesMy infatuation with Deutschland and it’s culture comes largely from my family background- if “Schwietert” (my maiden name) isn’t obvious enough, let me explain.

Both of my parents had ancestors in Deutschland and (at the time) Czechoslovakia. Growing up, I always heard my mom chirping little sayings like “Wie Ghet’s” and “Willkommen.” Aside from bits and pieces of the language I picked up, came the stories and recipes!

This is where lebkuchen, or German christmas cookies come in.

As I was young and don’t remember, my mother refreshed my memory. My mother said “Anna (Krist), niece of my Grandma Anna, would mail us a box of cookies from Worms, Germany each Christmas. The box would be a metal tin, decorated on the exterior with awesome German design and of course, Deutsch writing. It would be filled with little packages of different types of Lebkuchan. Ironically, I didn’t like the cookies, but I loved the box! They were dry and kind of tasteless (hence, my addiction to adding spices to my cooking).”

While we didn’t make traditional lebkuchen, some of my fondest childhood memories were making our family’s version (gingerbread cookies) of these messy monstrosities and frosting them! My first words were the sentence “I want a cookie” and clearly, I’ve had a sweet tooth since! I remember grabbing handfuls of them for my brother and I, jumping on the bed, and watching marathons of Disney shows next to my big brother. Not only delicious, but sweet, savory, and filled with the holiday spirit!

So, as this years Christmas season approaches, please pass the lebkuchen!

Gingerbread Cookies:

This is the recipe my mom used that we rolled out and cut. Most of them got eaten before being hung on the tree…

  • 5 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 c butter
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ c molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter in saucepan on low and add sugar and molasses. Cool a little, stir in eggs. Add 4 c of the flour mixture. Gently knead in remaining flour (don’t over mix – dough will get tough). Roll 1/8” thick and cut out shapes. Transfer cookies to greased cookie sheet and bake 375º for 4-12 minutes. Cool slightly before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost and decorate. Enjoy with loved ones.