Pork chops. ‘Nuff said.

8 May

Two amazing things happened today. One, I made lemon bars, which were AMAZING. Two, I made pork chops with pan sauce, which were also AMAZING. I’ll be posting the recipe and steps for the pork chops in this post, and the lemon bars in a separate post for ease of reading.

Anyway, onward ho!

  • 4 whole Pork Chops (medium-to-thin)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 cup Beef Broth (more If Needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 10-15 whole Peeled Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (additional)

Just looking at the ingredients list makes my mouth start watering. I mean, you can’t go wrong with wine and garlic. It’s physically impossible. The only way to make it better is to add… you guessed it, bacon. However, this recipe has nothing to do with bacon, unless you consider that bacon and pork chops both come from a pig, but I’m going to stop rambling and get on with the recipe. Amen.

Sprinkle both sides of your pork chops with salt and pepper.

Stick them in a hot pan with 2 Tbs of butter. Let them brown. The idea is just to brown them, not to cook them all the way (yet).

After they’re nice and brown and good-smelling, set them aside on a plate.

Now, throw your garlic cloves into the pan with a tad extra butter (I never said this was going to be good for you, people). Let it cook for a few minutes until they’ve got some nice color on them.

Please and thank you ignore how black the bottom of the pan is.

After it’s been cooking for a few minutes, pour your wine in. If you’re feeling fancy, you could add a bay leaf, but I didn’t have any in my pantry… whoops.

I poured half of mine in first, and then poured the rest of it in after the first half bubbled violently for a few seconds.

Let this heavenly-smelling concoction bubble, simmer, and reduce for a few minutes. That’ll give the garlic time to soften and absorb all the flavors of the sauce.

After all that, throw your pork chops back into the pan, making sure to get all the juices on the plate in there. They will mix with the wine reduction and make it ever oh so GOOD.

How good does this look already?

I ended up letting this cook for five minutes or so while I pulled a lovely-smelling pan of lemon bars out of the oven. After that five minutes, drizzle your balsamic vinegar into the pan, along with another sprinkle of salt and pepper. When the sauce is nice and thick (add beef broth if it’s too thick for your taste), take the chops out of the pan and onto a platter.

Pardon the blurriness; I wanted food.

Stick a tablespoon or so of butter in the sauce and stir it in.

Pour the pan sauce over the chops, taking in the deliciousness unfolding before you.

Serve with a nice vegetable; see the alt text on the photo above.

Enjoy, and happy eating!

Cinnamon Chip Cookies

5 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s so Americanized that it’s practically un-Mexican, so have a recipe for cookies!

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Cinnamon Chips

Gather yon ingredients, and preheat your oven to 350.

Combine your sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl, and then beat it until it’s all combined. Funny story about that…

I was an airhead and didn’t check to see whether or not I had enough butter in the house, and it turned out that I didn’t, so I ended up using 1/2 cup of shortening and 1/2 cup butter. It actually works.

Anyway, add your eggs and vanilla and mix them in.

Mix together your flour and baking soda.

Gradually add it to your wet ingredients.

Now, the original recipe says to stir in the oats by hand, but I’m lazy so I just mixed them in with the hand mixer- it gets a bit thick, but it’s better than mixing it all by hand.

Note- do not do this with the cinnamon chips. ALWAYS stir them in by hand.

Your batter is going to be super thick, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Anyhoo, drop them in tablespoon-sized drops onto a cookie sheet. I lined my sheets with aluminum, and if you do this make sure to keep the shiny side DOWN. Otherwise, you’ll have some crispy cookies, and that isn’t what you want for these.

These, surprisingly, don’t spread out too much, so you’ll be able to fit an even dozen onto one sheet.

Insert them into the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.

Sorry it’s a little blurry.

And that’s it! Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack- otherwise they’ll crack and you’ll end up with broken cookies (not that anyone would really complain, mind, but still).

Happy happy eating!

Mac and Cheese

2 May

I’m back! Finals are done, and I’m all moved back home, where I’ll have access to a full-sized kitchen, which pleases me to no end. Anyway, now that my small rambling streak is over, let’s get down to business. No, we aren’t defeating some Huns today, but we *are* making mac and cheese.

  • 8 oz cheese (I used cheddar), grated
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pasta of your choice
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Dash rooster sauce

The thing I love the most about mac and cheese is how bloody simple it is. Cook your pasta according to the package direction. I suppose if you were super dedicated you could make your own, but who on earth has time for that?!

When your pasta is draining, stick your milk in the still-warm pot.

Milk.

Pour just under half of your cheese into the pot, along with half your pepper and the rooster sauce.

Then, pour your pasta on top of all that, trying not to get burned by the steam like I did. Don’t do it- it sorta hurts.

And then pile up your remaining cheese on top of all that. Yes, it seems like a lot of cheese, but… well, it just is. Deal.

Anyhoo, set that back on a burner over medium-low heat and stir it all around until the cheese gooey and melted. Then, forget to take a picture of the final steps because I’m a silly goober and enjoy your scrumptious mac and cheese.

Happy eating!

I Made a Breakfast Burrito!

22 Feb

You remember when I made the post about my breakfast-burrito-that-failed? Well, I got some stuff and made another one, and it was FANTASTIC. Here’s what I put in it.

  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 2 pieces of bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons salsa
  • 1 healthy squirt of Sriracha (optional)

Tortilla. Put it on a plate.

Add your eggs down the center, in a line.

Top with your bacon pieces. You could also crumble the bacon, but only if you’re a wimp.

Pile on the cheese.

Glop on your salsa…

…and add two lines of rooster sauce on the sides. If you don’t like your food too spicy, you can omit this ingredient but I highly suggest sticking it in there. It’s kind of awesome.

Fold/roll your burrito up however you wish, and enjoy!

Warning- it’s a little juicy, so keep a napkin or three or ten handy.

Happy eating!

Easy Peasy Pancakes

21 Feb

It’s kind of funny… whenever I make a recipe, the first time I make it is almost always the best. Whenever I make it afterward, it almost loses a little bit of the magic it had the first time. Yeah, that sounds weird but it’s true. This rule has only one exception: pancakes. I make some mean pancakes, man.

Sorry, but it’s true, and I have a favorite pancake recipe that I’d like to share with you. I cannot honestly remember where I got it from (so I apologize to the creator), but it’s pretty much awesome. I have it written down on a sticky note, which I keep in my spice cabinet:

(You like the hot pink sticky note? I love it.)

But seriously, I almost never look at it because I pretty much make these whenever I crave pancakes, which is, sadly,  a lot these days.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I’m not going to lie, I usually don’t beat the egg before I put it in- I usually just crack it right into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. So sue me.

So with all your ingredients in hand, throw them into a bowl or big measuring cup for easy pouring, mix it until well incorporated, and our by 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup increments onto a hot griddle. Butter optional. Serve with anything from syrup to peanut butter to whatever your little heart desires.

Happy eating! And happy Pancake Day/Fat Tuesday!

A Disappointment

20 Feb

Tonight was one of those nights when I just knew I wasn’t going to get to sleep… lots of things on my mind. So, like I sometimes do when I’m stressed, I went into the kitchen to see what I had. Bacon… eggs… blue cheese dressing… tortillas… chopped onions and bell peppers… and my spice cabinet all stood out to me at the time. I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing, but I figured what the heck, I’ll throw them together in an impromptu breakfast burrito and see what happens.

What happened, you ask? At first, it wasn’t terrible. But as I got toward the end, I really began to think that it was really terrible, for several reasons.

1. The bacon was nearing the end of its fridge life.

2. The veggies were, too.

3. I’m not a fan of blue cheese. I used to be, as a kid, but now I’m really not. The only reason I have it at all is because it goes in the infamous crack dip and I still had half a bottle sitting in my fridge. I might make that dip later this week… we’ll see.

4. My choice of spices (curry and paprika… what the hell was I thinking) was not ideal.

So there you have it. I cooked my bacon, let it drain while I cooked up the veggies (in bacon grease- that was the one thing I did right!). I assembled my “breakfast burrito” by spreading some blue cheese dressing on the tortilla which, annoyingly, had a hole right in the center of the thing. Then I layered on the bacon, and then the veggies, and a final drizzling of dressing to top it all off. Bleg.

The more I think about it, the more I really regret making the thing, but there were several things that could have made this go from absolutely abominable to fantastically amazing.

1. Use fresh bacon.

2. Use fresh veggies.

3. Use ranch dressing -or- salsa.

4. Add cheese (I didn’t have any on hand, but cheese makes everything better).

5. Only use salt and pepper as seasonings; don’t over-complicate things.

6. A more even bacon-to-veggies ratio. I had a big ole’ heap of bacon and only a smattering of vegetables.

And… that’s that. Just thought I’d share this… less than ideal kitchen adventure.

Hope you have happier eating than I just had!

That Didn’t Turn Out So Well

9 Feb

So, that plan didn’t work out so well, but I swear I’m making pancakes tonight- I just got distracted by my Spanish assignment, which I’m sharing with you today because it’s totally relevant to this blog. Enjoy!

…that should say “se mezclan los todos” but I really don’t think my professor will care.

In case you didn’t figure it out by now, these are NOT my pictures. They are from the Pioneer Woman’s website, at which the original (English) version of this recipe can be found. It’s all right here.

I’m also trying out a new photo size… thoughts?