Chili Warms the Soul

19 Aug

It’s pouring rain here tonight. Last night we had some serious storms … horizontal rain … which I got to drive in on the way home from a meeting. I can barely see to drive in the dark, let alone horizontal rain and whipping winds. Needless to say, I thought a traffic signal or tree were surely going to come flying in my window at any point.  Anyhow, this little story is just to explain why I want to make a big pot of chili in the middle of the summer.  It’s perfect for this rainy night.  This is the recipe I used: Read my chili blog here.  But, I used 2 pounds of meat. I also had the wonderful “fortune” of trying to find eggs in the middle of an egg-recall. You’d think the grocery store would have a list of the ones NOT to buy … but no.  So, I bought two kinds and said a little prayer that when I got home the factory numbers would be ok.  They passed.  The eggs were needed for the corn muffins in case you were wondering how I was using eggs in my chili. {ha} Anyhow… enjoy ya’ll! Have a great night!

Emulsifying? Ehh… Boiling Butter!

16 Aug

I believe I have blogged about this dinner once before, but driving home tonight from work I had an instant craving for lamb chops. Perhaps it was the documentary I watched last night about sheep and a family of herders who traveled with their sheep through some valley…. my mind is a little weird.

Anyhow. Tonight I made Garlic and Rosemary Lamb Chops, Red Potatoes and Asparagus. It was pure deliciousness. And even better was the fact that usually I put them in the broiler, but the foodie bf grilled them for me … yum! Basically, i cut up a few twigs of rosemary and a few pieces of garlic, salt and pepper and then poured in some olive oil. I put it all in a ziplock bag and let them marinate as long as I could wait. Here’s a look at said “marination” ….

I know it looks a little disgusting, but trust me it’s amazing.  So … I let this sit for a while {really only about 45 minutes, but that’s as long as I could wait … and even that was torture for a girl who had only had a piece of leftover pizza all day} and then made some red potatoes – boiled – while they were draining, I coated the bottom of the pot with butter and salt and then threw the potatoes back in to soak up the goodness!  I also made steamed asparagus but instead of pouring out the little bit of extra water… I boiled some butter {I guess it’s called emulsifying} and poured it over them. {yummy, but not diet food}

Here’s the meat:

And here’s the finished product …. If you need better instructions, just ask! Enjoy ya’ll

Beef Stroganoff Picture Tutorial

13 Aug

It is so like me to wait until I’m in the grocery store parking lot {waiting out the late afternoon typhoon pouring down from the heavens to pass} to pull up a recipe for Beef Stroganoff on my phone, write down the ingredients and have the bright idea that this would be a good meal for dinner … tonight … at 8:30pm. Who does that? Anyhow, I got home a little bit later and got to work chopping mushrooms, {which I hate but thought I would give a try again for the sake of a good dinner} shallots and beef. I honestly think I’m the only person who decides to tackle a “real dinner” after 8pm. Regardless, the dinner came out quite delicious and I wanted to share it with you all…. Enjoy!

You will need: 6TBSP of butter {yes}, 1 pound of top sirloin or tenderloin cut into thin strips about an inch long, 1/3 cup of chopped shallots {this seemed like a lot, I didn’t use that much and just kinda eyeballed it}, 1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms sliced {yuck, yuck but I did it anyways. I couldn’t stand to measure them so I just chopped up half a container and called it a day}, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of dry tarragon and 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature. {By the way … I LOVE SOUR CREAM!}

 

Beef Stroganoff Ingredients

 

It’s actually quite simple.  You’re going to want to do all your chopping first … get your water boiling for the egg noodles. {Oh, did I mention those already? Well, you’ll want to serve this with egg noodles, potatoes or rice.} Next heat up a pan with three tbsp of butter.  The idea is to brown the meat on both sides quickly as to not dry out the middle. Make sure to salt and pepper it well while it’s doing its thing … Once you’ve browned the pieces on each side for a few minutes, put the meat in a bowl and set aside. 

Beff Stroganoff

 

Looks yummy doesn’t it?!  After you set aside the meat, add the extra 3 tbsp’s of butter and bring the heat down a bit.  Saute the shallots for a few minutes until tender and then take them off the heat and add them to the meat.  Do the same thing with the mushrooms.  I’m assuming that they wanted me to do these two steps separate like I just described to you … but I got a little over zealous when I was chopping and added the shallots and mushrooms to the same bowl and there was no way that I was going to sit there and pick them out … so everything got sautéed together and it turned out just fine. 

No mushrooms

 

Notice something missing in the picture above? …. Mushrooms perhaps?  Yes, I spent “a few” minutes chopping mushrooms that I hate because I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt, until the foodie bf came along and threw half of them down the garbage disposal. Yeah, he doesn’t care for them either.  So, the moral of the story is that Beef Stroganoff can be made with little to no mushrooms and still taste wonderful!  Next comes the good part, the sour cream.  You’re going to want to add a cup of sour cream to the mushrooms {or the mushrooms AND shallots if you combine them like me} being careful not to bring it to a boil … apparently sour cream can curdle.  {Add salt and pepper at this point if you’d like}

Beef Stroganoff Picture

 

Lastly, you’re going to return the meat to the pan and cook for just a bit longer to bring the meat back up to temperature from sitting patiently in that bowl.  A little note: When I browned the beef I got a lot of moisture that came out of the mean and so I had a good bit of liquid in my meat bowl. In hindsight, I added a bit to much of it to the sour cream and made it a little bit too runny for my liking.  Next time I will drain the meat, saving a bit of the liquid in case the sauce is too thick and I can add a bit in at a time.  But, that’s cooking for you … a learning process.

 

So there you have it my friends.  The dinner that was born from waiting on the rain to pass in the parking lot of the grocery store at 8:30pm on a Friday night.  I’m sure there are other people out there like me… it may just take me a while to find them!! {ha} Enjoy Y’all …

My “Ferry” Godmother … Chinese Style

6 Aug

Isn’t it funny how you crave Chinese food at the most random times?  Well, I do.  I’ve found the most wonderful solution to this problem, all I need to do is keep some chicken stocked in the fridge/freezer {We will not go into how much I hate frozen meat that has been thawed. I think you can taste the difference and I will argue with anyone who says otherwise!} and a few boxes of my new love; Wanchai Ferry Dinner Kits. Chinese food fast and easy to your table without the delivery man and his tip. In the box you get a package of seasoned corn starch, some sauce and vegetables or chili peppers depending on the kit you choose.  Tonight, we had Orange Chicken.  All you do is cut up some chicken, shake it around in a zip lock bag with the aforementioned corn starch, add a little oil to the pan, cook the chicken, add the sauce, add the veggies or chilies … cook, cook, cook … and BAM, dinner!  A little side note. I don’t like the rice that comes with the box. Seems that I can never get it to get soft enough. My remedy is two bags of “boil-a-bag” rice. Simple and I know I can’t screw that up! I didn’t get any pictures tonight because my camera was full and I was too lazy to clear it out… so you will have to make do with the picture of the box. Really that’s all you need … go to the store and try it. You’ll thank me when you’re craving Chinese food and don’t feel like waiting on the delivery boy and tipping him for inevitably being late! … Night Ya’ll

Sprite Pound Cake | Heaven on a Plate!

4 Aug

Prepare your hips ladies, I want to talk about cake.  Sweet glorious cake.  I’ve posted before about the wonderful recipe I have for “Sprite Pound Cake” … well, I made it again last night.  I actually planned ahead {shocking, I know} and baked the cake before dinner because I knew there was no way I would feel like baking after cooking dinner, unloading/loading the dish washer, feeding the dog, etc…  I did however learn a lesson from baking said cake early: Don’t get impatient and try to flip a cake out of a bundt pan while it’s too warm. My beautiful cake lost it’s top {which ended up being the bottom} … I was pissed, but it still TASTED like cake! I had also cut some strawberries the night before and put them in a bowl with sugar and grand marnier to marinate overnight.  They where delicious on the cake topped with some whipped cream! Good lord,  I think I may go have another piece as soon as this blog is done!  Check out the recipe … and if you have blueberries, you can use those as topping too! Enjoy Ya’ll!

Dijon Mustard Crusted Pork Chops | Welcome Back Blog!

2 Aug

This blog post marks my renewed promise to begin blogging again when I cook meals that are blog worthy. I forgot how much fun it is to share my laughable attempts to cook a ‘good dinner’ … and to chronicle that via photography and this here little blog of mine. Do you KNOW how many people search for Julia Child garlic mashed potatoes and end up on my blog … oh, about 10-15 a day.  That’s 10-15 people who perhaps prior to my blog had never tasted such heaven in their mouths! So… I blog. And, I hope my posts bring laughter, creativity and an urge to try something out of the box!

 

Tonight my friends, one of my favorite {and simple} recipes: Dijon Mustard Crusted Pork Chops.  Now, you can use bone-in or bone-out but my personal favorite are bone-out, thick cut pork chops. Mmm, delish.  In my house, you have to disguise pork as something wonderful and amazing or the foodie bf may turn his nose.  So, rest assured knowing that this recipe may get a pork-loather into a pork-lover {ha, isn’t that clever}

 

You will need: A box of some kind of “shake n’ bake” style crumbs for pork. The ones I used tonight were Kraft brand, ‘extra crispy.’  A jar/bottle of Dijon mustard. Which, I’ve used everything from fancy Dijon to the spicy brown stuff to grey poupon. Just use what you have handy. Although, I don’t think I’d recommend yellow mustard. That could be disastrous. And of course you need the pork chops!!!

 

Disregard the directions on the box and follow me … tempting I know … Instead of using egg to make the shake n’ bake or ‘oven fry’ stick to the chops, coat your chops in a very good helping of mustard. Make sure you get all the sides too! Slather it on good and don’t be shy.  Then, just how you would imagine, plop the chop down in the crumbs and cover it well. Once you’ve done this with all the chops, lay them on a cookie sheet that you’ve sprayed with a bit of cooking oil.

 

So, after this:

 

 

This…

 

 

And this …

 

 

You end up with ….

 

 

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.  I’m afraid of pink pork {thanks, mom} so I cook mine longer, sometimes too long.  But, I’m sure you can judge the ‘doneness’ of your own pork.  Serve with whatever you’d like … tonight I made boiled red potatoes with salt and butter and some peas I found in the pantry because I was too lazy to shuck corn.  {Now, that’s a mental picture for those of you who know me … shucking corn!} Anyhow… here’s my finished product:

 

And, after dinner … she rested. Enjoy ya’ll!  {And welcome back to Emerging Domesticity}

I’m Gonna Let One Rip …. One of these days

14 May

Sometimes there are not enough minutes and hours in the day to gather all the thoughts in my head. They swirl around in there, but I can’t ever manage to get them out. Put me in front of a computer or a pen and paper and I can tell you exactly what I’m thinking … catch me off guard, ask me when I’m not ready, confront me, and I’ll mumble and stumble and spit out something that may not even resemble the thoughts in my head. And, I hate to offend people or make them unhappy or uncomfortable, so I watch my words and mold my sentences to fit what I think you want to hear and sometimes this prevents me from ever getting close to what I really wanted to say. What does this make me? How will I ever be heard?

Ever want to stand up and scream? Jump on the table and belt one out? Ugh…

How does one learn to speak their mind without feeling any kind of remorse for what they have said? How does one get so confident that they can say exactly what they are thinking without hesitation? I need to learn this ….