Sunday, February 24, 2013

Christopher Kimball....You're My Hero!

After several years of reading food blogs, watching food TV programs and reading recipes from various sources of text, I have reached the conclusion that recipes from Christopher Kimball and the folks at America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country will never disappoint. Hands down, without a doubt, they are the best. Want to know what equipment and tools you need in your kitchen....they know the answer. Want to know the best products...they know the answer. They are the BEST!

That being said, give this a try. You won't be disappointed.

Smothered Pork Chops (adapted from Cook's Country)

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 bone in blade cut pork chops

1 ½ tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ cup beef broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon beef broth

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Combine onion powder, paprika, salt pepper, cayenne pepper. Rub on both sides of chops.

2. Brown both sides of chops in oil. (The skillet needs to be oven proof.) Transfer to a platter.

3. Add butter to skillet and brown onions. Add garlic and bay leaf. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add chops.

4. Cover the skillet with a lid and bake in oven 1 to 1½ hours at 300°.

5. Transfer chops to a platter and discard bay leaf. Strain skillet drippings with a fine mesh strainer. Allow the drippings to settle and remove the fat.

6. Return drippings to skillet. Add corn starch to 1 tablespoon beef broth in a small bowl and slowly add to drippings. Stir in vinegar. Simmer until thicken. Return the onions and top with pork chops. Serve.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Crazy Winter

The weather this winter has been strange. Rain one day, sunshine the next day. Freezing temperatures one day, 60s the next day. Blue skies one day, overcast the next day. Even this weekend we had rain, snow flurries, sunny skies, overcast skies, more flurries, even some thunder and hail - all in one day. Whew! I'm ready for spring.

While avoiding the crazy weather this weekend, I did some baking...

White Chocolate Lemon Shortbread(adapted from Miss in The Kitchen)
½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 ¼ cups flour

1 (3.5oz bar) white chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup butter, softened


1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Add sugar to mixing bowl along with lemon zest. Using your fingers rub the zest into the sugar.

2. Add flour, chocolate and butter. Combine until the dough begins to stick together.

3. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about ½ inch thickness. Cut out into desired shape.

4. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300° for about 20 minutes or until light browned around the edges. Cool cookies and spread with the glaze

Creamed Corn Muffins
1 cup self rising cornmeal mix
¾ cup self rising flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen creamed corn
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream

1. Combine all ingredients and stir until moist.
2. Fill greased muffin tins and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown at 375°

Sourdough Coffee Cake

1 cup sourdough starter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour

1. Combine sourdough starter, oil and egg.
2. Stir together dry ingredients and add to sourdough mixture.
3. Put dough into greased 9 inch square pan.
4. Crumble topping ingredients together and sprinkle topping on top of batter.
5. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

 Today was a fun day at school. Having never worked in an elementary school before, I never realized how much excitement Valentine's Day brings to little ones. Cupcakes, candy, Valentine's, flowers and cards for teachers, giggles, grins - the fun started at 8 am and did not end until 2:30 pm. I loved every minute of it. So blessed everyday to be where I work! Love my school and love the little ones.