Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Awesome Old Bay Pork Chops

We love Old Bay seasoning around here and have used it on seafood, chicken, vegetables, and pasta but had never tried it on pork chops - until last night. 

OMG!  It was soooo good!!! 

I made a marinade of 1/2c. olive oil, 1/2c. apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp. dried basil. 1 TBSP Old Bay, the juice of one lime, salt, and pepper.

Added 4 boneless pork chops and marinated for almost 4 hrs. in the fridge, turning every so often. 

Sprinkled with more Old Bay, salt, pepper, and just a touch of paprika.

Baked about 30 min. at 350* until done.

No leftovers here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Truffle Lovers' Popcorn

The Inn at Little Washington serves a popcorn appetizer with freshy shaved truffles that is absolutely fantastic and today I wanted some of it.  Since driving there is not an option today, I decided to experiment a bit and see if I could recreate (even a little bit) that amazing flavor.  It's not quite the same since I did not use fresh parsley and can't afford to buy any of the $600/lb. truffles they keep locked in the produce department of my grocery store, but it did satisfy my craving.  Here is what I came up with:


1 bag plain or light butter popcorn
4 tsp. white truffle oil
2 TBSP dried parsley
1/4c. grated parmesan cheese
sea salt

1.  Pop the popcorn in the microwave.

2.  In large bowl, toss popcorn with oil, parsley, and parmesan cheese; season to taste.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cooking as Therapy

Ever have one of those days where you just have to accept that some people are never going to be what you need them to be?  Just to clarify:  I am absolutely not referring to my husband here. 
Everything is very good at home.  :) 

Without getting into details, I'll just say that, I've been going through some personal stuff lately and it has been an interesting experience to find real friendship in the most surprising places while also discovering a lack of support in others.

I am going somewhere with all this....

In the mounting stress of the day, I found myself really looking forward to dinner prepartions for tonight.  I had pulled from the refrigerator:  pork chops, garlic, basil, cauliflower, parsnip, broccoli, and a lime.  Next to all of that, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, butter, and black pepper.

I had just started preparing a marinade for the pork chops when my 16-year old came in and announced that he had an event at school to attend tonight.  It was then that I realized how much I had been looking forward to completely submerging myself in the process of preparing tonight's meal.

I am convinced there is something therapeutic in food preparation.  Depending on what you are preparing, it does require a certain level of concentration to make sure that everything is timed right, properly cooked, and presented well.  Prior to that, there is all of the chopping, grating, washing, trimming,
and overall organization that goes on just to get ready to cook!

So, I ended up putting everything away until tomorrow.  No big deal, really.  On the positive side, I confirmed something about myself today that I had suspected all along: 

There are other benefits to cooking besides just eating!

I'm sure many of you will understand what I mean
when I say it was a very Julie &Julia, Aha Moment!


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