Monday, March 29, 2010

This Makes Me Sad

"Attention, locavores, omnivores, urban butchers, backyard beekeepers, cheese fanatics, and conspicuous consumers of consuming: Your chickens won’t save the world and we don’t want the life story of everything on the menu. We don't care what you eat--we just want you to lower the volume. Also, please stop talking about ramps."

Shut Up Foodies

All I have to say is: If you don't like it, don't read it. Ass.

Branzini Who?

For a period of time I was all about this fish. I wanted to try all different kinds of fish and see what I like. I am not really sure why I thought I could be this adventurous. I am a very picky eater and with fish especially. I don’t like my fish to taste fishy, have a head or be a strange color. I don’t like sea bass for heaven’s sake which is supposed to be this really gourmet fish.

The fish man at Food Emporium said the branzini fish was really fresh and he could fillet it for me. I admit I was kinda excited. I have never had a whole fish fillet for me and if it comes in whole form it must e good, right? (In hindsight, I have no idea why this was so appealing to me.)

I got the fillets home and thought a nice salad with some buttered orzo would be a great addition. The result was an utter FAIL. The texture was off and it tasted very fishy. I don’t even think BP II finished his plate. From now on, I am sticking to salmon and white fish like tilapia.

Side note: Upon googleing branzini, I found out that the branzini fish is a type of sea bass. So I am thinking maybe I just don’t like fish in the sea bass family?

The First Cut is the Deepest

(Not the best looking dish I admit)

So who saw this coming? I was preparing my Irish dish for cooking club this month and I was cutting the onions and all of a sudden my knife slipped and cut my finger. Oh Boy did that baby bleed. I told BP II that I needed to go to the hospital for stitches and that he should to stop watching basketball and take me before I lose a finger. He wondered over to assess the damage and helped me run it under cold water. As the water cleaned the cut, we could see what it really was: a little baby nick that was not even one millimeter long. BP II found a Band-Aid and very kindly wrapped it around my wounded finger, patted me on the head and went back to his game. I went back to my Irish dish.

The theme this month was Irish food/ Something Green. I wanted to make something that was traditional Irish food but something that was not typical like corn beef and cabbage. I was hunting around the internet and found a Colcannon dish. I have never heard of colcannon and it seemed super Irish with cabbage and potatoes. I thought I was so unique. Wrong! Klamp brought the exact same dish. They tasted different and she got hers from Tyler Florence but it still let some air out of my sail. But they dish was good. It makes a lot so I guess it would be good for a party. Definitely too much for just a weeknight meal, unless you are eating just colcannon. Which you might be, I don’t know.

Diane's Colcannon
Fom: All Recipes

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 slices bacon
 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
 salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, melted


1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.

3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.

Vegitable Lentil Soup

Katie Lee minus the Joel

I guess I am a little behind on this bandwagon but better late than never right? I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable foodie and can recognize many a foodie personality. (Luckily, I live in NYC where almost everyone who is a foodie personality resides) However, Katie Lee didn’t really pop up on my radar until her divorce proceedings began from infamous womanizer Billy Joel. I completely missed her on the first season of Top Chef and I actually watched that season. (I stopped watching Top Chef in the Las Vegas season, it gets a bit repetitive.) But the point is she was completely forgettable.

I have a very good friend in publishing, knowing I like to cook, offered to send me a copy of Katie Lee’s book. I was like whom? Turns out Katie was a foodie herself before she met the Piano man and because she happens to have a pretty face she landed the top chef gig. Katie cooks comfort food and some recipes from her first book are spinach and artichoke dip, crispy oven roasted-fried chicken, and no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. The problem is, I don’t see her as a person I want to sit down and have a down home meal with. She seems uptight and forced. She is like a wannabe skinny Ina Garten with all the attitude but none of the approachability.

I have yet to cook any of Katie’s recipes and when I do I will be sure to let you know but they seem rather good. She actually won the Burger Bash at the Food and Wine festival with her Logan County Hamburger which is a cross between a burger and a grilled cheese. (YUM) I hate Rachael Ray with a passion but can admit that the woman cooks good food.

My advice to Katie: Lighten up. Your audience is young cooks in their early twenties and thirties. We don’t own summer houses in the Hamptons, own town homes in the West Village that are featured in Town & Country, have 950 square feet of kitchens in NYC and have exes that our Mom’s adored in their twenties. Finally, drop the fake accent. You are from West Virginia for heaven’s sake.

Logan County Hamburgers
From The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel


1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium yellow onion, half grated, the other half thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 slices white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 slices American cheese, optional


1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, grated onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined.

2. Form into thin patties.

3. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.

4. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Drain the grease from the skillet.

5. In the same skillet, place six slices of bread, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, if desired, some onions and a burger. Top with remaining slices of cheese, if using, and bread, butter side up.

6. Cook each sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

7. Serve with mustard, ketchup, pickles, or any other desired hamburger toppings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free Pastry at Starbucks and Ice Cream and Ben & Jerry's

Starbucks is offering a free pastry with the purchase of a beverage until 10:30 today. So hurry!

Ben & Jerry's is offering a free cone for the flavor of your choice today from Noon to 8:00 pm. Head to your closest Dunkin Donuts / Ben & Jerry's combo store for your fat kid delight.

Monday, March 22, 2010

No wonder Paula Deen is selling mattresses

I apologize for the 2 Paula posts in a row but how could I pass up the juicy gem? Paula and her sons (unclear why her sons have a show, magazine and are considered celebrity “chefs”) are being sued for $40 million big ones for failing to do promotion for some appearances. This kinda looks like a well you sued me and now I am going to sue you lawsuit. Frivolous and waste of money. It looks like the lawsuit is going to get Alec Baldwin Kim Basinger divorce dirty. Who would have known that Paula had such a dirty mouth? I kinda like her more now. I like a nice older woman that can talk a good game. As long as we don’t hear intimate details about her and Santa (Michael Groover, Paula’s tugboat captain husband). That would be gross.

Paula Deen Sued for $40 Million

by Jennifer Lawinski, Posted Mar 19th 2010 @ 11:30AM (

Down-home celebrity chef and Food Network star Paula Deen and her sons have been slapped with a $40 million counter suit filed by by Celebrity Chefs Tours LLC, Eater National reported.

The suit is in response to one filed by Deen against the event promoter back in February. That suit alleges that CCT defamed Deen and her sons after they canceled a 10-city tour and the company allegedly talked trash about their reasons, Food Network Addict reported.

In the counter suit CCT filed on March 15, the event promoter says the Deen family failed to promote a string of appearances to which they had previously agreed.

The promoter also took issue with "the language used by Paula Deen on stage" and alleges that "her show is not 'family-friendly' and that audiences at her previous appearances have been disappointed by the fact that Paula Deen rarely cooks during her performance," Eater reported.

The Deens are also accused of turning in promotional videos "loaded with profanity and sexual innuendo" that CCT said they couldn't use to promote the event, Eater reported.

Deen's federal suit against CCT alleges that the event promoter bounced a $150,000 check and sent "bogus" wire transfer instructions, Courthouse News Service reported in February. Deen claims the promoters defamed her and her family by telling the media they backed out of the tour after receiving "full payment in advance."

Paula Deen Enterprises and Deen Brothers Enterprises made a deal with CCT in December, Deen's complaint charges, to have Paul and her sons Bobby and Jamie Deen and her husband Michael Groover participate in 10 events. They were owed a $150,000 deposit, but Deen Enterprises claims the payment was delayed and the check bounced.

"Although the plaintiffs were entitled under Section 7(d) of the Tour Agreement to terminate the Tour Agreement immediately after the $150,000 deposit went unpaid, they continued to work in good faith with CCT on the planning of the events," the complaint states.

When further scheduled payments were missed, Deen and company backed out of the tour, at which time the complaint says CCT began defaming the Deens.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Trust Paula Deen - for the rest of your life

This is just awful. First of all, whoever thought it would be a great idea to make a line of Paula Deen mattress should be fired. No exceptions. End of story. What about Paula Deen says comfy mattress? I could see butter, lard, knives or actually anything to do with cooking. Not mattresses. I have never seen Paula in bed or in her pajamas. What are they going to do for the commercials? Counting Paula’s? I have one word: FAIL

Sadly, there is a site called furniture today and you bet they have the scoop on this brilliant marketing technique.

Serta rolls out Paula Deen mattress line

Will be sold exclusively at Mega Group member stores

Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, March 11, 2010

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Bedding major Serta has partnered with Food Network celebrity chef Paula Deen to develop a mattress line that will be available exclusively to retailers in the Mega Group USA buying group.

The line, which has models retailing for $799 to $1,499 in queen, will be unveiled Friday and Saturday at Mega Group's spring convention in Orlando, Fla.

"This new mattress collection reflects the dedication that both Serta and Paula Deen have to style and comfort for the home," says Bob Sherman, president of Serta. "Together, we have designed mattresses that are extremely comfortable, affordable and that will really appeal to consumers shopping at Mega Group retailers."

Known officially as the Paul Deen Home by Serta collection, the mattresses feature an innerspring system with individually wrapped coils, soy-infused foam cushioning and Serta's KoolComfort memory foam.

The ticking is made from a knit fabric that contains silk, Sherman said.

"You can definitely tell that these mattresses have been inspired by my life in the South and my home in Savannah, Ga.," said Deen. "The collection is all about feeling good, comfortable and getting a good night's sleep in one's home. And just like my food, I send you comfort and love from my home to yours."

Jerry Honea, director of Mega Group, said Deen "is a name that resonates with our consumers, and I believe that these quality products will drive traffic to our retailers."

The partnership with Serta is Deen's third venture in home furnishings. Universal Furniture and its sister company, Craftmaster, rolled out a Paula Deen Home line of case goods and upholstery last year. Deen also has a licensing partnership for area rugs with Kaleen.

Based in Germantown, Tenn., Mega Group has about 1,500 members and 2,300 retail storefronts. Its members sell appliances, furniture, mattresses, consumer electronics and lawn and garden products.

The buying group's other mattress suppliers include Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic, Symbol and Sleep Trust.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bacon, Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil Pizza

Shrimp Fried Rice

BP II loves fried rice and I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. The original calls for ¾ cup of soy sauce and I only used ½ cup but the dish was still a bit salty. Next time I think I will only use ¼ cup. But very good, quick weeknight meal.


1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
13 medium sized shrimp, deveined
2 cups of broccoli


Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and ginger; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.

Add broccoli and 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture to the pan and stir-fry until the vegetables are almost tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Return skillet to medium heat and add the remaining sauce mixture and rice. Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Make a large space in the center of the rice and pour the eggs into it. Scramble the eggs with a spatula until set. Stir the eggs into the rice. Add shrimp and broccoli. Transfer the rice mixture to individual plates.

The Deep Freeze

(This is my actual Freezer)

I like to keep a well stocked freezer. There are nights when I come home from work and all I want to do is veg out, so I need something quick and easy to make for dinner. BP II and I are big fans of soup, so we always have a soup in the fridge that can go from freezer to dinner in 15 minutes. Frozen shrimp also went on sale at my local Food Emporium recently so I have bags of frozen shrimp for a quick linguini or risotto. Many of the pan sauces that I like contain chicken broth, so after I make some chicken I boil the bones to make homemade chicken stock and pop in the freezer for a later date. Now that I think about it, I have all sorts of random things in my freezer waiting to be used up. For instance, I have blueberries (leftovers from a muffin recipe), chocolate chip cookie dough (just because it tastes phenomenal), leftover ham from Christmas dinner that I have been meaning to put in a soup, cheese rinds (also for soup), lots and lots of bone in chicken (there was a sale so I stocked up), probably many more interesting things that I cannot remember.

Freezing things is a great way to save money by preventing things from going bad and using them another day. I highly recommend making a big pot of something when you have time and then packaging it in little portions and freezing them for later.

Ten Things to Have in Your Freezer

By Tracey Seaman and Tanya Wenman Steel

We keep well-stocked freezers. Tracey likes to keep leftovers in the refrigerator, for fast reheating of subsequent servings, but she freezes fresh meats and breads and batches of chili, stews and soup to have on hand for later. Tanya likes to freeze individual portions of dishes so when she comes dashing in from work at 7 p.m., or after a Saturday soccer game, there is something healthful and tasty to pop in the microwave to feed a hungry and weary kid just minutes later. We both freeze our home-cooked recipes and keep a minimal stash of processed organic foods. Here is all you've ever wanted to know about freezing -- and more.

1. Cooked Pasta

Cook a pound -- bow-ties and rotelle are best for this purpose - -until barely al dente (so that when you reheat, the pasta will not be mushy) and then freeze (unsauced) in freezer-ready container for adding to a hot sauce or microwaving later.

2. Homemade Pasta Sauce

Make a batch on Sunday afternoon and store in containers (be sure to leave a little space at the top for expansion). Cream sauces do not freeze well.

3. Very Ripe Bananas

For an instant protein-rich smoothie store ripe bananas in the freezer, peeled, in freezer bags and blend them with skim milk and soy protein powder.

4. Pizza Dough

It thaws quickly at room temperature. Also, when you make pizza, cook an extra pie or two, let cool without cutting, wrap and freeze for later. Just pop the pizza in a 400F oven until hot, then cut and serve.

5. Vegetable Protein Burgers

When in a pinch, defrost some GardenBurgers, cook them in a cast-iron skillet, slide them between a whole-wheat hamburger roll, and pile on the lettuce and tomato.

6. Shelled Edamame

Buy them frozen in the supermarket, boil them for a few minutes, and serve them in a bowl, lightly salted. These buttery soy kernels are nutritious and surprisingly fun to eat.

7. Bacon

Raw bacon, wrapped side-by-side in pairs in parchment or waxed paper and then enclosed in foil is great for keeping portions on hand.

8. Peeled Deveined Shrimp

Thaw shrimp quickly under cool running water to make a tasty meal in a snap.

9. Frozen Potatoes

Look for organic shoestring, shredded or crinkle cut fries or hash browns without additives. You can cook them quickly in the oven or in a skillet and top with browned ground beef and cheese or serve them with eggs.

10. Soups and Stews

Simmered and braised dishes freeze well. Many of our recipes provide a large enough yield that you can freeze at least a quart to serve later. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

How to Freeze

You can freeze myriad foods: cake, cheese, bacon, berries, and other fruit. Sauces, broth, and pureed baby food can be stored in ice-cube trays and frozen. Here are some tips on how to ensure your foods don't end up tasting of freezer burn.

1. Slice breads before you freeze for easier removal.

2. Freeze in small portions, so you can just defrost a serving fast and easily.

3. Wrap well. Use containers and plastic wraps that were designed specifically for the freezer. Make sure there is no air in bags and wraps. If you are storing sauce or soup, keep room at the top of the container for expansion of the liquid.

4. Be sure to label the package with the name of the item and date of preparation and storage.

5. Place newer things in the back of the freezer and use the older items in front.

How to Thaw

Overnight thawing in the fridge is best, but if time is of the essence, you can immerse foods in cold water -- bag or container and its contents -- and keep changing the water until it reaches room temperature. Transfer soups, sauces, or stews to a saucepan and heat slowly, covered, until the mixture comes to a boil; be sure to stir often. For other individual portions, defrost uncovered in the microwave and cook and serve as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sea Bass

Is that on sale?

My non stick skillet was looking pretty shabby. We have been together a while now, almost 4 years and I have been waiting for my tax return to finally retire the sad piece of metal. When the check cleared, I high tailed it to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick out the new addition to my cooking family. I wanted something relatively inexpensive; I am in no position to be spending $160 of my hard earned dollars on a pan, but I also wanted quality. I was hunting around for a bit and then I saw it: the Calphalon Hard Anodized Non-Stick 10” Omelette Pan. I fell in love at first site and for only $50 I was happy as a clam.

I was walking out of the cooking section with a silly grin on my face when I walked by the knives in the glass case section. I immediately flashed to how frustrating my $19.00 knife was last week when I was cutting tomatoes. I wanted a nice sharp knife to cut though onions like butter. All of a sudden, I was telling the salesman I wanted a really sharp knife and he was hunting though the drawers for the 7” santoku Global knife. They were out of stock and I was about to leave for home but then I saw the Calphalon Katana 7” Santoku Knife. Again, the man hunted around for this specific knife and eureka, it was in stock. Then, I saw the price tag: $79.99. Ouch! I convinced myself that I needed this knife and it was a safety issue. What if my dull knife slipped and I cut off a finger? What if I was home alone and I bled to death from this finger injury? I had to have it.

I left Bed Bath and Beyond with my wallet feeling significantly lighter but excited to cook a meal with my new toys. I was also so happy BP II wasn’t with me because he surely would have been “disappointed” with my spending habits. Let me tell you, when BP II got home, I cooked him the most amazing meal (at this exact time, I can’t remember for the life of me what I cooked but I assure you it was fantastic). My knife sliced though veggies no problem and the pan sautéed like a dream. I felt like I was on Top Chef preparing the winning meal. Totally worth it.

Irish Grub

St. Patty’s day is tomorrow and I assure you that I will not be posting. I have a full day of green Jello shots, mimosas and 5th avenue parade. I am 50% Irish and only recently began celebrating this holiday. Of course this began when I started college and we used this day just for an excuse to drink our bodyweight in alcohol. But now as I get older, I want to bring a little more Irish tradition into my life. Obviously, there will still be lots of drinking but maybe some Irish soda bread (which is actually very American) or corned beef and cabbage (which we stole from our Jewish neighbors) could be mixed in. Actually, the Catholic Church even allows leniency during Lent if St. Patty’s falls on a Friday just so people could still eat corned beef and cabbage.

I found this great article on the Bon appétit blog about more traditional Irish grub. From Beef and Guinness Pie to a Mealie Greachie, there will be plenty of tradition for me to try off this list.

Boxty, Coddle, and Balnamoon Skink: An Irish Food Glossary
10:08 AM / March 10, 2010 / Posted by Diane Chang

The best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is to prepare a feast of Irish staples and wash it all down with pints of Guinness. But if you're tired of the usual menu of corned beef and soda bread, here's your chance to switch up the St. Patty's festivities with some classic dishes. With a culinary tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages and a language that's even older, Ireland has a number of mysterious food terms. So if you don't already speak Gaelic or know Cork slang, here's a cheat sheet of Irish food terms you'll be glad to know this March 17th!


Balnamoon Skink: A soup made with trussed fowls and seasoned with herbs and onions

Banbhianna: "White meats," a collective name for all milk products including fresh milk, sour milk, buttermilk, butter, cheese, and curds

Barm Brack: Yeast bread that's speckled with raisins and eaten sliced with butter and tea

Beef and Guinness pie: Common pub grub; pie dish lined with puff pastry, filled with stewing beef, and then topped with pastry

Belfast Bap: A century-old yeast bread that originated in Belfast; often used as sandwich bread.

Black and Tan: A drink that is equal parts stout and pale ale

Black Pudding: Blood sausage made from coagulated blood mixed with a filler such as oatmeal

Bookmaker's Sandwich: Two slices of buttered crusty loaf halves stuffed with cooked sirloin strips

Boxty: Potato pancakes eaten in Northern Ireland and made from flour and grated potato cooked in a skillet; often stuffed with a meat or cheese filling

Brown Bread: Like Irish soda bread, made from a combo of whole wheat and white bread flour

Cais: Cheese

Caudel: Warm drink of spiced or sweetened wine and egg, similar to eggnog; often used in pies, such as the hartichoke pie

Champ: Comfort food dish of mashed potatoes, butter, warm milk, and chopped spring onions;

Colcannon: Mashed potatoes mixed with butter, milk, chopped cabbage, and herbs

Collared Head: Terrine of pork comprised of bits from long-cooked pigs head and pigs feet

Crubeens: Pigs feet

Drisheen: A type of black pudding (see above) made from boiled pig's or sheep's blood, milk, salt, fat, and breadcrumbs

Dulse: A salty seaweed snack found at markets and some bars

Fadge: Potato pancake served with traditional Irish breakfast

Farl: Pan bread

Flummery: Pudding made with stewed fruit and thickened with cornstarch

Gammon: Ham

Griskins: Miscellaneous bits of pork

Irish Stew: A one-pot meal of mutton or lamb cooked with carrots, onions, potatoes, and stock.

Kedgeree (ked-juh-ree): Traditional Indian-influenced British breakfast that consists of curried rice, smoked fish, boiled eggs, parsley, and lemon juice

Mealie Greachie: Toasted oatmeal

Packet and Tripe: A dish consisting of Drisheen (see above) and tripe; eaten often in Cork and Limerick

Panhaggerty: Potato gratin with onion, bacon, and cheddar cheese

Pasty: Mixture of meat, sometimes with onions and mashed potato; encased in pastry dough, like a meat pie

Potted Meat: Preserved meat terrine

Pratie Oaten: Griddled mashed potato oak cake

Rashers: Thin slices of lean back bacon traditionally eaten as part of an Irish breakfast; also used for flavoring in cooking

Spotted Dog: Irish bread pudding speckled with dried fruit

Stirabout: Porridge made from steel cut oats or barley

Syllabub: dessert made from a combination of wine, lemon juice, cream, sometimes frothed with egg white

Ulster Fry: Full Irish breakfast that usually consists of Irish bacon, eggs, black and white puddings, lamb kidneys, quartered mushrooms, grilled tomato and more.

Veda Bread: Malted bread, eaten with butter and cheese

White Pudding: Sausage made from pork fat and bits of meat and filler such as oatmeal

Yalla male: Eaten primarily in Northern Ireland, bread made from yellow meal

Yellowman: Golden confection with a texture similar to honeycomb

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gird your Loins

Roasted pork loin is something that I make at least once a week. BP II loves pork loin and it happens to be something that is so simple but can be a bit elegant as well. Pork loin is especially good for a weekend where you have been running around and want something special but just don't have the energy. I start by removing the pork loin from the fridge and letting it come to room temperature. That is important so the meat cooks evenly. No one likes a bulls eye piece of meat.

I like to pair this dish with some roasted potatoes. My oven is already to 400º so might as well use that heat. I also happened to buy a whole head of Boston lettuce that needed to be used up, so salad with some homemade salad dressing and croutons finished off the meal.

This pork loin around turned out to be a bit dry and I blame it on my slow manual meat thermometer. The stupid thing would not register the 145º the meat requires until of course it soared by 145º to 165º. And, as we all know, meat continues to cook after you remove it from the oven so the end product was more like 170º. ( I guess BP II was happy to know that there was no chance for him to get food poisoning from this meal.) However, a quick pan sauce made the meat almost juicy again and BP II ate more salad then I have ever seen a grown man eat. I am going to say that everything came together nicely and everyone was happy. (I was happy because I got to buy a digital read thermometer the very next day guilt free.)

Pork Loin

Preheat oven to 400º. Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper and if you like ¼ teaspoon of cumin. Heat a heavy, oven proof skillet to med-high heat. Add some olive oil or butter to the pan. Evenly brown the pork loin on each side then place in the oven for about 20 minutes, depending on how large your pork loin is. Remove when meat reaches 145º. (If you have cooked your pork loin to your perfect temperature, simply sprinkle with pan juices and serve. The great thing about a good piece of meat is simple additions make it phenomenal.) However, if you overcooked the meat like me. You can save it with a pan sauce.

Simple Pan Sauce

Remove the pork loin from the pan and let rest. Return the pan to med-high heat and add ¼ cup of chopped shallots and 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic. Brown for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of white wine and let simmer. When wine has evaporated add 1 cup of chicken stock and that simmer until liquid has reduced by half. Salt and pepper to taste and spoon over pork loin.

Roasted Potatoes

Cut 4-5 small red potatoes into 1 inch cubes and place evenly on baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of rosemary if you have some. Place in 400º oven for 20 minutes or until potatoes are brown on all sides. About half way through shake the sheet to make sure the potatoes are not sticking and things are browning on all sides.

Salad Dressing

Chop 1 teaspoon of garlic and place in bowl. Add 2 tablespoon of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and whisk in about ½ - ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Homemade Croutons

Chop some old bread (I used a several days old bagel) into bite size portion. Place a skillet on med high heat and add some oil to coat the pan. Drop bread into pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn constantly until thoroughly toasted.


Combine Boston lettuce, toasted walnuts, tomatoes and croutons. Coat with dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Procrastination Nation

I am the worst blogger ever and have totally failed the 3 people that read this blog an I apologize for that. In my defense, I have been very busy at work and just got over the worst cold in my life. I felt so awful that I regressed to a weeping child that only wants a mother's comfort. But now I am back and promise to do better.

BP II and I officially signed up for our vegetable co-op. Well, I signed up and BP II just wrote the check. The vegetable co-op is about eating local fruits and vegetables from the farm. It promotes sustainable food sources and provides the freshest ingredients for me too cook with. I thought it would be a good way to eat more vegetables and learn new ways to cook them. Maybe I am just a farm girl at heart but I dream about ripe heirloom tomatoes.

In that spirit, the following list are things that are in season now and will taste the best at your local supermarket. Thank the lord that winter is over because here comes spring with fresh fruits and veggies.

Early Spring Harvest

Green Peas

Although, early spring is when things are just getting started it reminds us that better things are yet to come.

Stoneledge Farm