Friday, June 28, 2013

Stuffed pork chops

I found this recipe a couple of years ago, and I've made it several times.  I have come to really love it, as it's such a great combination of flavors, it's low carb, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm giving up anything I love.


This is also a very easy recipe to put together.  I make the stuffing, stuff the chops, then wrap them up and refrigerate them until I'm ready to cook them.  The stuffing is a side dish, all its own, so there really is nothing else one need prepare for this meal.

Satisfying and delicious.  I highly recommend this one.  You can find it here, along with a preparation video, which is extremely helpful, especially for the novice chef.

I hope you will try it...it's a 'plate cleaner'...


Monday, June 24, 2013

Your lake...

Saturday, as we were driving home from the show, we stopped at your lake, Bun.  I feel you so strongly there.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because it was a place you loved, and when you were sick, it was the place I most wanted to take you, you just never got well enough to leave home those last few days.


I sat in the car, thinking of you, as I looked over the shore where you used to have a conversation with the waves, letting them know their disorderly splashing needed organization, which only you were capable of providing.  The waves always won, even though you gave it your best.  Your wet fur, and big smile were really your only goals...we all knew that much.

Sitting there, listening to those waves lap up on the shore, I could almost hear your voice.  I could see you, 'talking' to those waves, and the tears just came.

It seems like only yesterday you left us.  Every day I try to live to the fullest, in your honor, but my heart still hurts with an ache that never leaves.  I don't think it ever will.

I miss you, baby boy, so very much.  I hope you know...I hope you know.

Scones...again!


I love this recipe.  I make these at least once/week, and sometimes more often than that, depending upon what I have on hand.  I start with the basic recipe for Hilppa's scones.


For this variation, instead of the raisins, I used some raspberries I dehydrated over the weekend, and my second, almost staple add, the zest and juice from one lemon.


With my ice cream scoop to portion out the batter, this makes 8 scones.  I have since stopped adding the butter on top of the 'ready to bake' scones, as it's just a little too much for my taste, with all the butter already inside, but if you like that add, by all means, go forth and conquer.

I've been asked what the batter consistency of this recipe should be.  It's hard to describe.  It should come together, and hold it's shape, but you don't want it too dry, nor too wet.  Too dry, and the scones will be crumbly.  Too wet, and they will flatten out too much on the cookie sheet, and you'll have scone pancakes.


It's a superb recipe, that makes a beautiful scone, with a crispy outside crust that adds the right amount of texture.  I encourage you to try it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Myzithra and browned butter spaghetti


The hardest part about this dish is finding the cheese.  Myzithra cheese is a salty, tangy, somewhat dry Greek cheese.  We are fortunate to have access to it in our small town, but as it gains popularity, I have seen it more widely available in many other areas, as well.

This dish is inspired by a favorite from the Spaghetti Factory.  It's not fancy, but it's a nicely flavored dish, and it's a snap to make.  If you like simple, this one might be right up your alley.

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti
Kosher salt
1/2 cup butter
Myzithra cheese

Directions:

Fill a large kettle with water, add a healthy pinch of kosher salt, and bring to a boil.  Add spaghetti, reduce heat, and stir occasionally to keep spaghetti from sticking.

When spaghetti goes in the water, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.  Continue cooking butter until it turns a deep caramel color (several minutes), stirring continuously.

Drain spaghetti, toss with browned butter, and top with freshly shredded myzithra cheese as desired.  We like a lot of cheese on this one, but use as much (or as little) as you like.  Some chopped basil is a nice add...but I'm a basil lover, and would put basil in ice cream, if given half a chance.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer potato

I have always loved baked potatoes, but when I'm done eating this family favorite, I often notice the pool of melted fat on the plate from the butter and sour cream. I decided it was time for a change, so I came up with a tasty way to enjoy one of my favorites, making it a little bit healthier.


Instead of the very large baked russet potatoes I've used in the past, I decided to use red potatoes, reducing the serving size, for one, but I love the red color, as well. The result was a fresh and light baked potato that makes me think of summer. Far fewer calories and fat than that traditional butter and sour cream laden baked potato of old.  Give it a try!

Ingredients:

6 medium sized red potatoes
Olive oil
3 ounces cream cheese, thinly sliced
3 ounces of white cheddar, shredded
Zest of one lemon

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly prick opposing sides of each potato with a fork. Add a drop of olive oil to each potato, and massage into the skin to lightly coat. Place into the pre-heated oven, and bake until skin crinkles, and potatoes are soft all the way through, 45-60 minutes.

Remove from oven, slice the top of each potato open, lightly pinch to break up the flesh, and top each potato with 1/2 ounce of cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, and microwave for about 15 seconds to warm the cream cheese.


Remove from microwave, and finish off with 1/2 ounce of shredded cheddar on each potato and a bit of lemon zest.

260 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat. You're welcome.  =)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lemon Crinkle Cookies


I love chocolate crinkle cookies, so when I saw a post on FaceBook about a lemon crinkle cookie recipe, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, that recipe called for lemon cake mix and Cool Whip. Not two ingredients I generally keep in my house, so I had to go elsewhere for inspiration.

These are refreshing, really refreshing. In fact, so much so, you can put away the side of milk, and serve these cookies beside an ice cold glass of water with lemon slices. Seriously.

I found the recipe on the site of a fellow blogger here. Looking for a refreshing cookie that hits that lemon craving squarely between the eyes? This might be a good recipe for you. Very easy.

More shelf space

I mentioned in my last post that we needed more shelf space in the greenhouse.  Actually, we didn't need more, as much as we needed better (more sturdy, and better dimensions for the space we have).

Last year a friend of mine gifted me quite a bit of pallet stock wood, which is scrap for her business.  Yesterday we used it to make some shelves.  In an effort to keep plant drainage as efficient as possible, we topped the shelving framework with some sections of wire shelving we had in the garage, and weren't using.  It turned out to be a project that required no money.  We simply used what had become obsolete for others (including ourselves), and ended up with some nice, sturdy shelves, exactly the right dimension for the greenhouse.  I'm very pleased.


We used just a few u-shaped nails to secure the wire shelving to the framework, to pull it all together.



We ended up with four 3' long, and one 3-1/2' long shelves.  Next year I can see adding a middle row, as well, but this will be fine for the plantings we started this year.





Have I mentioned how much I love my greenhouse?  =)