Recipe by Chef JJ Johnson. Photo credit: Pork Be Inspired

This is my third and final post for my partnership with the National Pork Board. Remember the amazing cheesy maple bacon cajun pulled pork sandwich that they had literally delivered to my door for lunch? That, my friends, was a great day.  As a reminder, The National Pork Board partnered with a data company to analyze 30 million social media posts to discover what makes up the ultimate American meal. Based on the social media posts shared the National Pork Board revealed that nearly half of socially shared food content included smoked, hot and spicy flavors paired with popular proteins, while the most common ethnic flavor was Cajun – with Mexican and Asian close behind.

Inspired by that delicious pork sandwich, I came up with my own rendition of a pork mashup sandwich, this savory, spicy, cheesy and oh so yummy pork tenderloin grilled cheese with hot peppers. My husband and I ate spicy pork grilled cheese for lunch for 3 days straight.

The National Pork Board also worked with Chef JJ Johnson who created a Pork Suya with Kimchi. Truth time, as a part of this partnership, I was not required to recreate this dish, but once I saw the recipe I hoped to make it last weekend as a nice dinner for Erik and I, after the girls were in bed. I was especially excited to try making the Suya, which is a traditional West African spice rub.

Then life took over and my 11 week old baby girl was particularly needy last week (wanted to be held 100% of the time) and I barely showered let alone made it to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients. So I’m bummed I haven’t made it yet, but I definitely plan to. My good friend Libby absolutely loves Kimchi and my other friend Emily recently sent me a recipe that involved pork tenderloin with sauerkraut on top, which sounds really darn good. I’m a big fan of savory, pickled goodness. So is Erik. He would absolutely love this dish.

I go back to work on Monday and then we will be back in a more consistent routine. Then I’ll be able to get this meal on the table. And when I do I promise to take some photos and share with you all. I mean…how many people can say they’ve made their own homemade kimchi?

Be sure to check out this video of JJ Johnson (the Chef de Cuisine at The Cecil in Harlem) preparing the Pork Suya with Kimchi. I love seeing the preparation of the Suya and hearing the chef talk excitedly about the bold flavors. This is a not to miss recipe for sure.

For more delicious pork recipes head over to Pork Be Inspired. With Easter right around the corner there are plenty of awesome Ham recipes to wow your guests:

Roasted ham with herbed marinade and creamy asparagus sauce

Molasses-glazed ham with bacon red-eye gravy 

Glazed ham with pecan crust 

There are also great recipe ideas for how to use leftover ham (like this breakfast ham focaccia).

Hungry yet?!

Thanks to the National Pork Board for the partnership opportunity!

Disclosure: this is a paid partnership with the National Pork Board. All opinions are my own. 



This banana cake is a blend between a moist cake and dense banana bread and it is incredible. I served it to my family on a Sunday evening with coffee and we all pretty much marveled at its deliciousness.

I made this cake because the frozen bananas in my freezer were taking up precious space but another banana bread loaf sounded boring. I searched Pinterest and found this awesome recipe, and modified it a bit to include my favorite cream cheese frosting.


I’m no professional baker or cake decorater so these layers are uneven. I could have frosted the entire cake to make it a bit more pretty, but I am a fan of naked cakes and I felt like this cake is maybe a tad on the healthier side with all the bananas, so I hesitated to over frost it.


The slices of this cake were lovely, but I didn’t want to cut and slice the cake simply for photos. I wanted the cake in all it’s glory when my family arrived.


Even though I didn’t frost the entire cake, there was still plenty of frosting goodness to go around.

Next time you have overripe bananas taking up space give this awesome banana cake a try. Be sure to enjoy it with a mug of hot coffee. And don’t be afraid to eat it for breakfast. 

banana cake with cream cheese frosting
  • Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups mashed bananas, about 4 bananas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans with oil, then dust evenly with flour and shake off excess.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. Mash bananas with 1 tsp lemon juice.
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip together butter, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, granulated sugar and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp vegetable oil.
  7. Blend in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition.
  8. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas.
  9. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk in 3 separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.
  10. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.
  11. Bake in preheated oven 45 - 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  12. For the cream cheese: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated.
  13. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  14. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low.
  15. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
  16. Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using.


1 comment

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This spicy pork grilled cheese is an original recipe inspired by the mouthwatering mashup pork sandwich I posted last week. That cheesy maple bacon cajun pulled pork sandwich was created based off of social data that analyzed over 30 million social media posts about food. Pork was a favorite meat (bacon anyone?!) and others that rose to the top included Sriracha, cheese and bread.

unnamed-5Remember this amazing-ness I posted last week?!

Click here for more info on how this sandwich was created.

Fancy grilled cheese continues to be a trend (because honestly, who doesn’t like grilled cheeses? It’s so nostalgic, so delicious and a major indulgence) so I dreamed up this spicy pork grilled cheese. For two days in a row my girls napped at the same time and I was able to test the recipe, photograph and write this post. Duel naps rarely happen so I felt like I won the nap time lottery.

So back to this sandwich, I love spicy foods, but not just for the heat, but for the flavor…and anything pickled and spicy is right up my alley. When I was pregnant with Rosalyn, I CRAVED hot Italian sandwiches because they always had hot peppers. So this grilled cheese had to include hot peppers.

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Momma, my moccs are falling off!

Our Rosalyn turned 2 months yesterday. It’s been such a wonderful 2 months. The second month even better than the first, though I’m not even sure how that’s possible. Our little Rosie-girl started sleeping much better at night in the past couple weeks. She gave us the first 4 hour stretch and has now been doing 4 and 5 hour stretches pretty regularly (and even a 6 hour stretch the other night!!). Oddly enough, when she first started sleeping more (meaning I was sleeping more), I actually felt more tired for a couple days. My body was adjusting or something like that. But the past week I’ve had tons of energy, and have even started having dreams at night. I think I was dreamless for the first month and a half because I never entered into a deep sleep. Switching from half caffeinated coffee to full caffeinated also helped. Full caffeinated coffee is truly a wonderful thing.

I’ve been in sort of a dreamy state loving on my baby the past couple months. I really adore this newborn, little baby stage. Rosie continues to be really easy, with a tiny bit of fussiness in the evenings. It’s nothing breastfeeding and a tight wrap in the Moby can’t conquer. She’s a dream to take out. I’ve had many lunches with girlfriends and she just sleeps right through them or sits quietly in my arms. We’ve had our fair share of getting out of the house. We did a class of momma/baby yoga at 6 weeks, once I was cleared to exercise and in the past week we’ve started going on walks outside (because we’ve hit 60 degrees in Minnesota and it’s soooo amazing!).

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Such a smiley girl!

I have 3.5 weeks left of maternity leave. Of course it’s going by fast, but I’ve been uber-conscious of each minute and have really been enjoying the time with Rosie. I’m soaking her in each second. I hold her way too much….except there isn’t really such thing as holding your baby too much. We bedshare every night. She is my side-kick and I intend to hold her every minute until I go back to work. I’ll be ok going back to work. I’ve done it before and know what to expect. And my mom will be watching Rosie full time until early June (she also watched Juliet when I went back to work for 3 months) and so I know she’ll be in great hands.

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Shoes for babies are totally ridiculous. But so darn cute. But impractical. I justify these because they were on super sale at Baby Gap.

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I sort of don’t believe the scale at the dr. at Rosie’s 2 month appt. It said she’s 11 lbs 3 oz but she seems so much bigger. I mean…that double chin!

Rosie loves:

When her big sister Juliet tickles her and rocks her


Being worn in the Moby, Becco and Sakura Bloom

Her daddy! He gets more smiles then the rest of us.


Rosie doesn’t like:

Being set down, ever.


Her car seat

Tummy time

Happy 2 months sweet little Rosie. Your mommy, daddy and big sister Juliet adore you so much!

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When it comes to my blog, Erik (my husband) is sort of like my business manager…I mean, not really, but maybe more like he’s my voice of reason. Eat Drink Pretty isn’t really a business, it’s more like a hobby…BUT I do get the opportunity to have some really cool and fun partnerships from time to time. And I always tell Erik about the opportunities that come through and ask his opinion on whether or not I should accept. After all, he knows best what Eat Drink Pretty is all about and the evolution it has gone through over the past 6 years.

Well, let’s just say that when an opportunity to work with the National Pork Board came across my desk, Erik jumped up and down at the prospect. The guy loves bacon. What can I say? And actually he loves all kinds of pork. We eat it at least weekly. It’s healthy and a really affordable protein. My favorite way to prepare pork is to get a 3 pound pork shoulder/butt roast and throw it in the crockpot for 7-8 hours. We eat it for tacos, sandwiches, burrito bowls, etc.

So needless to say, I definitely said yes to the partnership after hearing more about the cool things going on. This is the first post of three that will be bringing you mouthwatering pork goodness. Starting with this pork sandwich; a cheesy maple bacon cajun pulled pork sandwich to be exact. Holy yum. You all know I’m on maternity leave, right? Which means that I always have a baby in my arms and not a whole lot of motivation to be spending hours making meals. Well they delivered this sandwich and smashed potatoes right to my door. And it was warm. And delicious. I’ll definitely be recreating the recipe sometime soon. You should, too. I mean…a siracha yogurt sauce?! Sharp cheddar cheese, maple bacon and the tender pulled pork?! Like I said, it was a really good day in maternity leave land at our house.

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IMG_4134This giveaway is closed – the winner is Kelly who said “My favorite coffee ritual is Saturday morning coffee with my husband (we both work M-F). It’s become tradition to make a pot of “Derek & Kelly” coffee which includes honey and vanilla flavored creamer”. Kelly, send me your address to eatdrinkpretty at gmail dot com and I will have the product pack sent to you. Congrats!

I’ve always been a huge coffee lover. As long as I can remember. My tastes have become more sophisticated over time (I think I stopped drinking cappuccino from gas stations in my early 20’s) and my love of coffee gets stronger over time. Maybe it directly correlates to getting older and having more responsibility (kiddos!) and becoming more and more sleep deprived.

But regardless, I love coffee. The hand warming mug, earthy smell as it brews and that first sip…oh it’s so good.

When I got pregnant (both times) I gave up caffeine for most of my pregnancies. Those were sad days (just the lack of caffeine, not the rest). I missed my caffeine boost like crazy but still continued having my coffee in the form of decaf because I love the taste so much. And that ritual of having my morning cup of joe…well, it’s pretty sacred. Going back to full caffeinated coffee (in my third trimester) was a serious cause of celebration. And now as a new momma to my 7 week old Rosie…one of the first things I do in the morning (after a diaper change and feeding the baby) is making my cup of coffee. I savor that cup so much. IMG_4149 So imagine my happiness when Lavazza invited me to become a member of their Passionistas network for the year. What an amazing partnership! I get free coffee (that is delicious by the way), get to talk about coffee and connect with other coffee lovers like myself (one blogger in particular is a new momma like myself). IMG_4156 Here’s a little history about Lavazza:

At the heart of Lavazza’s story is a single family’s passion for coffee. Beginning with Luigi Lavazza in 1895, four generations of the Lavazza family have devoted themselves to continuous improvement, innovation, and sharing of authentically Italian coffee experiences.

Luigi was the first to blend different types of coffees for distinctive taste and flavor consistency. Over 119 years later, Lavazza has perfected the art of coffee blending in order to offer a wide range of products suited to match every personal taste.

The #1 selling coffee in Italy, a global brand, and a recognized leader in Italian espresso – Lavazza is still family owned and operated, remaining as dedicated as ever to bringing people around the world the authentic Italian coffee experience.

IMG_4139 As soon as I received my welcome kit (I’m giving one away as well!! Be sure to enter at the end of this post.) from Lavazza, I knew I needed to have a friend over for breakfast and to share a cup of coffee with. A quiche recipe began forming in my mind and we got a date on the calendar.

On the menu:

Bacon, mushroom, spinach and potato quiche

Cinnamon coffee cake muffins

Lavazza coffee

I invited my good friend Libby as we’ve been talking about getting together and she’s been wanting to see Rosie. She helped me out and held my sweet girl while I got to work on breakfast. IMG_4159Baby smiles

IMG_4162My sleepy little Rosie-girl.

IMG_4169 In addition to coffee, a must-have on any breakfast menu of mine is always quiche. I am a huge fan of quiche. I love making it. I love eating it. I always order it when I’m out at restaurants. It’s easy, savory, filling and delicious. I kept this one crust less to save a few calories. Which were sort of negated when I added hashbrowns. IMG_4172 By the time the quiche was ready Libby and I had great conversation over our coffee, catching up on everything since we had seen each other last. IMG_4179This quiche was good. Crazy good. Just look at it. IMG_4184 Lavazza makes it easy to shop their products from drip coffee, espresso, K-Cups and equipment. If you spend $50 or more shipping is free.


Now for the good stuff…Lavazza is giving away the following product pack to one lucky coffee lover (:

– 4 bags of Lavazza coffee

– 8 K-Cups

– A French Press (in an ideal world this is how I would brew my coffee every day)

– A Lavazza mug

– A Lavazza tote

– $20 gift certificate to shop Lavazza

The giveaway is open to US residents only and I will run from February 27 – March 5, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on March 6, 2015. To enter please leave a comment on this post with one of the following:

– Your favorite coffee drink or flavor

– How coffee is a part of your day

– Your favorite way to enjoy coffee (i.e. by yourself in your kitchen in the morning, with a friend over brunch, in a travel mug on your way to work, etc).

– Your favorite food to pair with your coffee

5.0 from 1 reviews
bacon, mushroom, spinach and potato quiche
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 1 package (about 9 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup hashbrowns
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray a pie/quiche baking dish with cooking spray
  3. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and arrange the bacon closely together, but not touching. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until bacon is crisp. Remove and put on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees
  5. Add the olive oil to a large pan and sauté the shallots over medium heat until soft, for about 1. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Remove from the heat and drain extra liquid.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
  7. To the quiche dish add the mushroom mixture, , add the hash browns, top with the bacon crumbles and then pour the egg mixture on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until set.

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Lavazza. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the products and brands on Eat Drink Pretty!