When Inspiration Strikes: Pork Cutlets Cristo

Getting a VoxBox is always a bit of a treat--this one came with the Sargento coupons and a soft-sided lunch tote.

Getting a VoxBox is always a bit of a treat–this one came with the Sargento coupons and a soft-sided lunch tote.

Todd and I take turns each week setting the menu, grocery shopping, and cooking supper. We’ve been doing it this way since we first moved in together and I am continually grateful to has a husband that enjoys cooking as much as I do. Sometimes my menus are very specific (especially if I’m working on a new cookbook review) while other times they can be pretty vague: just stating the primary protein, starch, and vegetable for the meal. Keeping a good variety of spices and condiments on hand means I can improvise at will without needing to make a special trip to the grocery store.

Such was the case last weekend when I was making pork chops. Granted, we seldom buy the old-fashioned bone-in chops, usually it’s the leaner loin chops, and this day I’d actually picked up the thin cutlets instead. As I was seasoning them with salt and pepper I was reminded of a recent conversation with friends about Monte Cristo sandwiches–a rare indulgence back in the day, there’s just something about the sweet and savory combination of the meats and cheeses with the powdered sugar and the raspberry jam, not to mention the crunch of the fried outside with the melty goodness of the cheese inside. I love those sandwiches so much that I even devised a slimmed-down version of it for my own cookbook.

While I wasn’t tempted to break out the deep fryer for supper that night, I was tempted by the flavor combination, so while the cutlets sizzled in the pan, I grabbed some grainy mustard, some strawberry preserves, and some Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss that I’d recently picked up with the coupon in my recent VoxBox from Influenster.


Pork Cutlets Cristo

Pork Cutlets Cristo

serves 4

8 pork loin cutlets (approx. 1 lb)
kosher salt, black pepper
garlic-infused olive oil
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp strawberry preserves
4 slices Swiss cheese (like Sargento UltraThin), sliced in half for 8 pieces

Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil into a hot frying pan large enough to accommodate all 8 cutlets.

Brown each side of the cutlets over medium-high heat, arranging the cutlets in a way that leaves the center of the pan open.

Add the mustard and the preserves to the center of the frying pan and stir together with the remaining olive oil and resulting pan juices. Top each cutlet with a half-slice of Swiss cheese and wait only long enough until it melts (should be quick) before moving two cutlets (one serving) to a place.

Spoon a bit of the strawberry-mustard pan sauce over the top of each cutlet.



I served the cutlets with a quick creamed spinach (frozen spinach cooked with a bit of butter, a bit of 2% milk, a generous handful of grated Parmesan cheese, and thickened with an arrowroot slurry) and it made for a nice and light Sunday supper. Sure, it’s not the decadence of a true Monte Cristo sandwich. To bring it closer a toasted crouton (the larger kind of French cuisine, not the smaller ones that top your salad) underneath the cutlets would be a tasty addition, and also soak up some of those pan juices, as well.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

4 Months and Counting Down!

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

It’s really starting to feel close, now, but I’m happy to say we’re continually ticking things off the to-do lists! Most items have been shopping-related, more on the specifics in their own good time. In fact, most of the mainstream wedding highlights have been accomplished, what’s really needed is some serious DIY time.

Things recently accomplished:

  • Secured T’s suit & tie for the wedding (still need shoes)
  • Prepped a helluva lot of wine bottles for further DIY
  • Ordered and received linens for reception tables (buying was cheaper than renting)
  • Found the perfect fabric for table runners.
  • Ordered glassware for the wine-blending ceremony.
  • And started scripting the ceremony.
  • Shopping for honeymoon essentials (get your mind out of the gutter–not THOSE kind of essentials).

According to the experts now is the time to get on with:

  • Cake tastings
  • Hair and Make-up artists
  • Music Selections
  • Addressing Invitations (according to TheKnot.com–personally I think it’s way too early for that!)

Like I said, mostly this month I need to finish up the DIYs-in-progress and get cracking on some new ones–including the invitations! T’s got some projects of his own that need working on, for that matter.

Something else cool that happened was I received one of the Something Blue Vox Boxes from Influenster.com


Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

The Something Blue box is, of course, geared towards bridal party members and features Luster whitening toothpaste, Dr. Scholl’s For Her Ball of Foot shoe inserts, 2 sets of Kiss false lashes, 2 containers of Qtips Precision Tip cotton swabs and a packet of Urgent Rx powdered pain reliever.

The aspirin powder contains caffeine so I won’t be able to use it, but I’ll keep it handy for the next time Todd needs it. It certainly sounds like a good thing to put into emergency kits or bathroom baskets for the day-of! Other than that, though, I’m looking forward to trying out everything else in the box, especially the Ball of Foot inserts–I’ve used Dr Scholl’s keel cups in my flats before (for tendinitis) and they work great, so I’m hoping these will work just as well to keep my tootsies cushy all day.

So far my attempts at using false lashes have been dismal, I’ve yet to get a pair successfully on, so the fact that there are a total of 4 sets might be a good thing! Kiss includes a pair of curved tweezers to help with application, so we’ll have to see if that actually helps me or not!

Of course, the Qtips will never go to waste, especially with those pointy little tips to help correct make-up mistakes. And the toothpaste, well, it’s certainly worth a shot to see if it really does whiten like it claims. (I didn’t notice a difference when I brushed after dinner last night, but we’ll give it a few goes before passing a singular judgement.)

Coming up: our first planning meeting and how it galvanized me into action!