Tag Archives: Potatoes

Dijon Mustard Pork Chops

12 Mar

Yes, I’ve been missing in action. And, I was terribly depressed this evening when I logged onto my blog stats and saw how low my numbers had fallen. Don’t run away yet … I’m just adjusting to a new blogging schedule where I have to find time for my personal blog and the blog I’m writing for my new job which hopefully will translate into $$!

Needless to say, I thought of you all when I cooked tonight. {Yes, I actually cooked!} Pork Chops were on sale at the grocery store … and being the thrifty person I am {ha} I decided tonight would be a great night for Dijon Mustard Chops! They are so simple, that you just may laugh at me!

You will need: Boneless Pork Chops {I prefer thick cut}, a jar of Dijon Mustard, and a package of plain Shake-n-Bake or something similar. All you are going to do is coat the pork chops in the mustard, roll them around in the crumbs, and bake at 450 for approx 20-25 minutes depending on thickness. Piece of Cake. May I repeat: Piece.of.Cake! I served mine with steamed asparagus and some mashed potatoes. And, it all worked out nicely. No, I didn’t take a picture .. because I just plain forgot… But, I’m sure you will forgive me. Not much to see .. just a tasty pork chop!

Hope you all are doing well. Spring is in the air. I can not wait for some warmer weather. I took a little walk on the beach the other day with the dog and let him run around and play in the water. It was so nice to be outside enjoying the afternoon without freezing my toosh off! …. I have a recipe for Seafood Gumbo that I really want to try this weekend. There are some ingredients that I’m not too sure of, and some that I haven’t cooked with before… so it should prove to be very interesting. I WILL take picture! Until then… Night, Ya’ll!

Momma Says “Red Meat and Chocolate!”

6 Mar

 

I may officially be turning into my mother. When we used to go on mini-vacations {every other month or so} our treat to each other would be red meat and chocolate… Tonight, that is exactly what I wanted! And, let me tell you, that is exactly what I got! Now, my mother and I differ on how we like our meat cooked. She will send a steak back if it even remotely “moo’s” at her … I on the other hand, like it to “moo” at me, I just don’t want it to run off the plate!

 

 

You’re viewing the best meal I’ve cooked in months!! Medium-Rare Filet {ok, the foodie bf grilled that for me}, creamed spinach, and garlic whipped potatoes. And, yes… I’m too lazy to wash wine glasses, so those are good ol’ juice glasses. Wine tastes the same no matter what glass it comes in!  And, further back is a nice basket of warm french bread. Who’s a good domestic goddess? Yes, that would be me! And, to top it all off .. I’ve got brownies baking in the oven with some Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream in the freezer waiting to be added to the bowl! Goodness… I deserve and award tonight! {ha ha}

 

Anyhow, I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I have to tell you, it is so nice to relax and be lazy and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having right now. I can only hope that full-spring gets here soon, soon, soon! I’m ready to put the top down, put some big sunglasses on, turn the girly music up, and sing at the top of my lungs!! Night ya’ll

 

By the way … you can find recipes for the potatoes and spinach on my blog  HERE and HERE … Enjoy!

Beef Stew A-La-Package {Picture Tutorial}

2 Feb

 

Ok, foodie friends… I have a question: Would you consider it cheating to use a pre-packaged seasoning packet? {for say, chili or stew} I’ve always thought of those packages as all your spices rolled up into one so you don’t have to spend $30 buying all the full size spice bottles that you may only use once in a blue moon. {mmm, blue moon. I need a beer. It’s been a long day} Anyhow… if you consider it cheating, I cheated. I however, think I’m a smart domestic maven who just saved herself a boat-load of money! {although the spice cabinet will continue to lack at this rate}

 

First of all, I don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, so this whole “bag” idea is perfect for me! {just perfect} Wait until you see how this whole meal comes together in a bag!! It’s pretty impressive for whomever invented it!

 

Beef Stew a-la-package. Your cast of characters …

 

{Not pictured is the second package of meat I used & the flour which the package calls for}

 

My Irish ancestors are rolling in the graves … stew, from a package?!

 

This whole meal is pretty straight forward. Cut up some potatoes, celery, onion, and baby carrots. {I’m in a house with carrot-haters, so I added some peas for their liking} Season meat with salt/pepper. Mix the seasoning package with some flour and water. Throw all the ingredients in the really cool plastic bag. Pour the seasoning mix over the ingredients. Tie the bag, cut some slits, and bake for an hour and a half.

 

 

 

Are you not just utterly amazed at the coolness of this plastic bag… and the fact that it isn’t going to melt away into my potatoes? Love it. Without further delay .. I give you my From a Plastic Bag, Make your Ancestors Roll in their Grave, Save you $30 in spices, Beef Stew a-la-package!  Enjoy!!!

 

Braised Short Ribs {Picture Tutorial}

16 Jan

 

After a dinner at McDonald’s on Thursday, and a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on Friday… I was beginning to think my domestic side had flown the coop. Thankfully, I’m baaaaaack! I drew inspiration from my new Le Creuset dutch oven {which I’ve found out are considered ‘vintage’} and a blog post from the Pioneer Woman. The result: Braised Short Ribs and Garlic Whipped Potaotes! {dessert will follow in the next post, and was also amazing!}

 

Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for this recipe idea. I fully intended on following the recipe exactly as it was written, but the grocery store didn’t have Pancetta {I used regular, thick cut bacon} … and although I took a picture of flour as one of my ingredients, I must have been spacing out at the time and didn’t even use it. Everything turned out wonderful though and there were lots of fully and happy tummies in my house tonight! So, here ya go!

 

You will need:

6-8 Whole Beef Short Ribs

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour (I did not use this, and will explain later)

6 pieces of Pancetta (I used regular, thick-cut bacon – diced)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion – Diced

3-4 Whole Carrots – Diced

2 Whole Shallots – Minced

2 Cups Red Wine

2 Cups Beef Broth

2 Sprigs of Thyme

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

 

And, here’s what you do:

1. Salt and Pepper generously (This is where it is recommended that you roll the ribs around in flour – I forgot, and it worked out just fine.)

2. In a large dutch oven {Hooray}, cook the Pancetta (our in our case, bacon) over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside. Don’t discard grease.

3. Add olive oil to pan with grease, and raise temperature to high heat. Brown ribs on all sides {no more than 45 seconds on each side} Remove and set aside.

{Note: I thought I was going to burn down the house. The pan really needs to be HOT in order to braise the edges … and it smokes and pops, etc. But it does the trick!} This is also where I started to run around the house screaming “Come see, Come see! Look! Look what I’m cooking! ….

4. Next, turn temperature back to medium. Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan for 2 minutes. Then, pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff off the bottom. Bring to a boil for approx 2 minutes.

5. Add broth, 1 teaspoon of salt, and plenty of pepper. Taste and add more if needed. Add ribs {they should be almost completely covered} and the full sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary

6. Put lid on and cook for 2 hours at 350 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. When done, remove pot from oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Fat will rise to the top – skim it off before serving. Serve 2 ribs on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes (see previous blog for Julia Child recipe – de’lish) … spoon gravy/juice over ribs and potatoes!

 

Full tummies all around. This dish was ah’mazing and was actually pretty easy to make. Once the prep work is done… it does its magic all alone in the pot! Just make sure you have enough self control to wait nearly 3 hours to open the present! Hope you enjoy & as always, if you make it – I’d love to hear how it goes! Enjoy!

Duck, Duck, Dinner

10 Jan

 

Time management may not be my best skill.  While visiting my family, I thought one of the best ‘presents’ I could give them would be to make a few meals while I’m here. The premise: I enjoy it and they will love {hopefully} eating it. However, undertaking a meal of Holiday proportion and timing everything exactly right may take a little more practice on my part. I started this morning around 11 am and made a tray of my Bacon, Egg and Toast Pods. They turned out really well, and got rave reviews. I’ve said it once before… but I’ll say it again… ah’mazing, easy, and a big hit!

 

After a quick shower and trip to Target, it was back to cooking. Washing and boiling spinach, cleaning a duck, mixing a sweet potato souffle, and chilling a cream cheese chocolate ball. …{backtrack, I said cleaning a duck! Just picture that for a second}… I did pretty well getting everything prepared and got about an hour break before it was time to get the duck in the oven. Two hours of gracefully dancing around the kitchen, followed by an hour-long mad dash at the end… we have dinner:

Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Souffle. Click the names if you’d like to read my blogs about these dishes. I’ll be adding the sweet potato and cheese ball in the next few days!

 

The meal turned out fantastic. And, my family {who had not previously tired duck, or had it in the last few years} gobbled up a whole 6 pound duck. Go me! I’d say it was well worth a day of cooking and preparing. Drop in tomorrow for a picture tutorial on the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Ball! De’lish …. Night Ya’ll!

The Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Julia Child and Jacques Pepin

26 Dec

 

I’d like to share my ‘secret’ to the most amazing Garlic Mashed Potatoes you have ever put in your mouth! This is adapted from a Julia Child and Jacques Pepin recipe from their book: Cooking at Home.  Which I just learned was based on a PBS television series they did from 1999-2000. {I definitely added that series to my Nettflix queue!} If you aren’t a garlic lover, beware.

 

The Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes

 

You will need:

Peeled and Cubed Yukon Gold Potatoes (Approx 2 pounds)

Salt

Pepper

Milk (Approx 2/3 cup)

4 TBSP of Salted Butter

2/3 to 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (I use Stonyfield Organic)

10-15 cloves of garlic

 

Here’s what to do: (In total, this takes about an hour to complete)

The key to this recipe is the garlic and whipping cream. You will want to start this process about 20 -30 minutes before the potatoes begin to boil. Peel the garlic and place in a small sauce pan. Next, pour in the heavy whipping cream until the garlic is covered. Heat over low-medium heat, watching periodically. You want the garlic to become so soft it ‘mushes’ when you touch it with a spatula. This takes at least 20-30 minutes, and only gets better the longer you can wait. I usually cook mine for approximately 45 minutes. You will be able to tell it is ready when you have a creamy consistency and the garlic is ‘mushy.’ About 20 minutes into this process, you can start the potatoes. Remember when boiling your potatoes to add some salt to the water. Let them boil until they too are ‘mushy.’

 

Once your potatoes and garlic/whipping cream are ready, it’s time to put it all together. Drain potatoes AND PUT THEM BACK IN THE POT so you can burn off a bit of the moisture that remains. Add the 4 TBSP’s of butter and mash the potatoes very well. While you are doing this, heat up approx 2/3 cup of milk in the microwave. Next, you want to take your garlic/whipping cream and put it into the pot through a mesh strainer. Make sure you get all the cream out of the pan, and press most of the garlic through the mesh strainer with a spatula or spoon. Next, take the hot milk and add it a little bit at a time while whipping the potatoes (a whisk works well for me) until you get a creamy consistency. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste (I tend to use a good deal of salt and also prefer to use Sea Salt).

 

If you didn’t already catch on, you are basically making regular mashed potatoes with a few extra steps: the garlic whipping cream creation, and for some people hot milk is different. I really think these two steps make them extra creamy and obviously garlic filled! I’ve heard of people whipping them with an electric  mixer, but I don’t have one .. so the combination of a masher and whisk work great for me!

 

Hope you enjoy the potatoes. I know that my house could NOT survive without some form of potatoes. If you make these, I would love to hear how they turn out! Oh, and here is a picture of the cookbook I was talking about. It’s a GREAT one to have in your home!

 

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

 

Merry Christmas! I hope you all {whomever you are out there} had a wonderful day and took some time to celebrate and enjoy your family. Our house was nice a quiet for most of the day. We all slept in, then mid-afternoon sat down to watch Julie & Julia. What a great movie! It really was inspiring. I loved the idea of cooking and blogging your way through a whole cookbook. {Mind you, I’m not sure Julia Child would be the first thing I attempted to tackle} In a way, it reminded me of my own blogging, and how good it feels to share recipes and things I enjoy with others. Even though I don’t know all the people who read me, I feel like they’re out there. Even if it is just a figment of my imagination, {and there is really no one reading me} how good it feels to be able to ‘share.’

 

Christmas dinner was wonderful. Not the traditional Turkey like I am use to though, tonight it was Prime Rib Roast. It turned out quite well paired with some garlic mashed potatoes {I’ll share a secret for these one day} and some corn shaved from the cob with butter and salt. And don’t forget the vino and bread! I was so consumed with cooking and eating that I didn’t even take any pictures of the meal like I had been meaning to do. So {readers} there is no visual stimulation for you tonight. A shame I know.

 

Brownies are in the oven. Vanilla Bean ice cream in the freezer. Blueberry streusel muffins for breakfast tomorrow.

I LOVE HOLIDAY FOOD!

Night ya’ll!