Monthly Archives: March 2010

Quacks

Last week one day I was in the kitchen, straightening things up when I noticed our bread was looking past its prime.  My first instinct was just to toss it out.  I hate throwing things away like that,  but then I thought, why not go feed it to the ducks!  During the summers when I was in college, I nannied for the two cutest kids that loved feeding the ducks.  After that thought, I came to the conclusion that there would be no one more excited to feed bread to a duck then our very own Darby.  She calls ducks “quacks”.  She also says “duckie” but I like it when she calls them “quacks”, what can I say I’m a sucker for her cuteness!

So last Saturday we took Darby to the “Duckie Park” as we call it.  She had such a great time.  All the running around chasing the ducks also made for a good nap later that afternoon! It was a great time and the weather was beautiful short weather!

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The Other White Meat

I’ve always been pretty impartial to Pork Chops.  Growing up my Mom usually made them with sauerkraut and apples and I just thought they were OK.  Just another food I’ve never ordered in a restaurant.  So when I came across this recipe for CHILI-RUBBED PORK CHOPS in my Food Network Magazine (March) I felt inspired to give it a shot.  So glad I did.  Not only is it simple, takes about 30ish minutes total, but it is YUMMY.  The deliciousness totally makes the serious post meal onion breath you will have ( that is guaranteed) worth it!!

 Here goes:

CHILI-RUBBED PORK CHOPS
serves 4

You will need:
2 large onions
1/3 cup New Mexico chili powder kosher salt (I had no idea what this is, never heard of it, nor could I find it. I substituted 1 and a half teaspoons Kosher salt and about 2 dashes of ground Cayenne Pepper . You can add more if you want it spicier)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
8 thin-cut boneless pork chops
Vegetable oil, for brushing

Roughly chop 1/2 onion and place in a blender with the chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp salt (if you are doing it my way add the cayenne too), oregano, cumin, cloves and garlic.  Puree, adding about 1/3 cup water to make a thick paste.

Slice the remaining 1 1/2 onion into thin rings,

place in a bowl with the chili puree and pork, toss to coat.

Lightly brush a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan with vegetable oil and place over high heat until almost smoking.

Place 4 pork chops in the skillet and surround with half of the onions.  Cook until the pork starts to blacken on the outside and is cooked though, about 4 minutes per side.  Repeat with remaining pork chops and onions.

To us, pork chops never tasted so good.  Next time, (Yes, there WILL be a next time!) I’d like to try to make it a little spicier to give it a little more kick. 

There you have it, my recipe of the week.  Give it a try, I don’t think you will be sorry you did!

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Fun is Messy!

This weekend Darby had some fun in her playroom.  I chuckled when I popped in on Sunday morning to see what she was up to and found her under the table playing (which seemed to be the only clear spot of floor to play on!). She makes me laugh.  She LOVES playing with her Little People Doll house she got for Christmas. Her favorite part is sitting the people on the potty!

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A Second Chance

Meatloaf gets a bad rap. Yes, it is a loaf of meat, but personally I don’t think the name does the finished product any justice.  Perhaps if it had been named something a bit more appealing it wouldn’t be shuttered at with the mere mention of it.  Now, there are some people who just absolutely LOVE meatloaf.  These people even order it when it’s on a menu when they are out to eat.  I have never understood why you would want to eat meatloaf in a restaurant.  But then again, I have always HATED meatloaf.  Until now. 

My Sister-in-law recently sent me a new cookbook:

Lot’s of down home country recipes, including meatloaf. 

Eric LOVES meatloaf.  One night while  we were watching tv, I was flipping through my new cookbook (I LOVE reading cookbooks and getting ideas. A cookbook with pictures is essential, and this one is fantastic!) .  I happened to mention there was a meatloaf recipe, and honestly kind of shuttered at the thought of making it!  Eric encouraged me to make it, ok begged me to make it, and said that maybe I should give meatloaf another chance in my “adulthood”.  He was right.  I still don’t find the term “meatloaf” appealing in the least, and actually can be quiet content eating a meal that is meat-less.  But, being older and fairly adventurous when it comes to eating different cuisines – really it was only fair if I gave it a second chance. 

So without further or do, I bring you the recipe of the week: MEATLOAF.

You will need:

For the MEATLOAF
1 cup milk
6 bread slices
2lbs ground beef
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 minced flat leaf parsley
4 eggs, beaten
8-12 thin bacon slices

For the Tomato Gravy
1 1/2 cups ketchup
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
Dash or two or hot sauce – more if you like (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350

Pour the milk over the bread, allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Combine the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, parmesan cheese, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour on the eggs.

Mix the ingredients until well combined.  The easiest way is to use your clean hands!

Form the mixture into a load shape on a broiler pan (for some reason I don’t have one, so I just used a baking dish).  The broiler pan will let the fat from the meat drain. 

Put the bacon slices on the meatloaf, tucking the ends underneath.

Now make your tomato gravy.  Put the ketchup in a small mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, dry mustard and hot sauce.  Put as much or as little as you want.  Don’t be afraid, it just gives it a little kick and makes it even yummier! Stir until well combined.

Spoon 1/3 of the tomato gravy over the top of the meatloaf so it is completely covered.

Bake for 45 minutes, then spoon another 1/3 of the remaining gravy over the meatloaf. Bake another 15 minutes.

Serve with the remaining tomato gravy on the side for dipping!

So thanks to Ree Drummond, in my adulthood, I LOVE meatloaf.  The other good news? I will be raising a CHILD that loves it too!

Trust me, if you give this recipe a try (and aren’t a vegetarian!) you wont be sorry.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

Green pancakes for breakfast…

… and corned beef in the crock pot for dinner!!

That’s how you do it when you’re IRISH!! Hope everyone has a fun St. Patrick’s Day!!

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Hello Spring Please Stay!

I know this is California, and our weather is completely perfect 90% of the time. Ok maybe 95%.  Even so, once the weather “changes” from “Southern California Winter” to “Southern California Spring” we are happy!

On Sunday the weather started heating up and we were blessed with a completely beautiful day with weather in the high 70’s. 

Yesterday it even got up to 80 degrees in our house!  I’ve turned on the a/c both days to cool it down.  So happy to have that option now!

The ONLY thing that would make this beautiful weather a bit more enjoyable? A full nights sleep! The teething doesn’t seem to end, Darby’s canines are on their way in.  I can’t believe Darby almost has all her baby teeth in.  She is growing entirely TOO fast.

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Royalty

Just ask Darby, even a Princess can get their hands dirty every once in a while.  The other day my little princess was making cookies in the playroom and it was rather adorable if you ask me! (She put the crown on herself, obviously!)

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