Friday nights dinner was specially made with my hubby in mind. There are foods that he loves, which I hardly ever make for him because they take a bit of time, (or because I am not a fan of them). I know it sounds horrible to say, but there are certain things that I don't like all that much which I just leave off of the nightly meal rotation.
I think he and I both are a little tired of the same old food, so I decided to make a pork tenderloin, my homemade mac n' cheese, and a squash and zucchini sauté. He was so happy that not only was I making food that he LOVES, but it was a week night meal. I rushed home from work and got straight into the kitchen to get to work on this comfort food dinner for my love.
The first thing that I did was preheat the oven to 350. I wanted to make sure that everything finished at the same time (or about the same time) so I was happy that I had thought about a recipe in which everything cooked for approximately the same time in the same degree oven! How perfect!
The tenderloin was probably the easiest thing to make because I bought it already marinated with a peppercorn rub. I just let it sit out on a sheet pan and come up to room temp. while I made the mac n' cheese. The only thing that I added to the tenderloin was a little drizzle of hubby's favorite bbq sauce.
Mac N' Cheese
3 tbsp butter
2 cups warmed milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 lb cavatappi pasta
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 small can of peas
1/2 onion, caramelized
1 small bag of potato chips, crushed
salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to the instructions on the back.
In a large skillet, melt butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour, continually whisking for about 1 minute. This will create a rue to help thicken the milk. After all of the flour has cooked, whisk in the warmed milk. Whisk continually until the milk thickens. While the milk thickens, add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and nutmeg. Once the milk is a thick consistency add in the shredded cheese. Once the cheese has melted add in the pasta, caramelized onion, peas and chopped bacon, stirring until everything is combined. Then, pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with potato chips. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 35 mins.
This past Lazy Sunday I realized that we had food in the fridge that either was about to go bad, or was already gone. As you already know, I cannot stand wasting food, so I deemed it, Use It Or Lose It Day! I went through and cleaned out all of the items that I couldn't tell exactly what it used to be, and then took all of the items that I knew would go bad and set them aside for cooking.
So I knew I had to use the pork chops, and there were some eggs in there that might be approaching their expiration date as well, so I had to think about what I wanted to make with them. I decided to do pork chops two ways. I took the majority of the pork chops and put them into a crock pot with some BBQ sauce, white wine, and a little bit of chicken stock, along with some salt and pepper. Then all I had to do was throw the top on and let them simmer away on low heat for about 8 hours. Once they were done, I pulled them apart, and created some pulled pork sammies for my love!
While the pork chops were cooking away in the crock pot, I took the two leftover chops and decided to bread them and fry them so that my hubby could have them for dinner...little did I know that they would not make it until dinner time...but that's besides the point.
Then I had to decide what the heck to do with the eggs. I decided it was best to prolong their life with hard boiling. So I just boiled up some eggs, and then this morning for breakfast decided to make a deviled egg out of one of them. I always feel that it's best for me to only devil one egg at a time because then I have the others to use as I want. I could slice one up tomorrow and throw it in a salad, or just eat it as is for breakfast or snack.
Hard Boiled Eggs Turned into Deviled Egg Ingredients:
Place eggs into a big pot and cover with water. Place over heat and bring up to a boil. Let boil for 20 mins. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water before placing them into a dish in the refrigerator to cool. After your eggs have cooled you can remove the shell of the egg and either slice up to eat, or make deviled eggs. If you are making deviled eggs than remove the shells and slice egg lengthwise. Remove yolk and put into a bowl. Once all of the yolks are in the bowl add the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. I use about 1 tsp mayo, 1/2 tsp mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper for 1 egg. If you are cooking a half dozen, then use 1 - 2 tbsp of mayo, 2 tsp of mustard 1/8 tsp of salt and pepper. Stir mixture together until mostly smooth and throughly combined. Spoon mixture into the empty egg whites and sprinkle with paprika.
You can also add other ingredients to liven these up a bit, they are phenomenal with a little bit of diced roasted red pepper mixed in. Feel free to try out any flavors that you like! :)
I love having people over for dinner. I love everything about it, figuring out what food to make, cooking, presentation, the great company...all of it! This weekend we had over my best friend since middle school and her husband for dinner. I spent all day Saturday cooking tons and tons of food. My friend Kara is eight months pregnant, so I wanted to make sure that I made some goodies for her to take home and snack on later!
So what was the menu, you ask? I made sure to get some watermelon for when they got to my house, since the only thing that she has been craving since she has been pregnant. I have to admit, I have been a little disappointed that she hasn't gone off on some crazy cravings, but nonetheless, I wanted to make sure that there was watermelon if she needed it :). I also threw together a green salad, with some mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, and a little bit of freshly grated Vermont cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.
Dinner was stuffed pork chops with a side of mashed potatoes. I tried out a thin mint recipe, along with some cupcakes for dessert. I made sure to make extra cupcakes to send home since I know both Kara and especially her husband LOVE my cupcakes.
I was a little disappointed with the thin mint recipe that I found, because they didn't taste exactly like the Girl Scout Cookies that I love so much...which is probably a good thing overall, since I can definitely eat boxes upon boxes of those dang Girl Scout Cookies!
Anyway, dinner went off without a hitch, and everyone went home with full bellies, and a bag full of goodies for later! Stay tuned for my issues with the thin mints...
Oh boy, this has been a super busy couple of weeks. My business is finally starting to pick up, and both of my best friends had their birthdays less than a week apart. I made the boob cake for my friend PJ's 40th birthday, and the penis cake for my best friend Amy's birthday. On top of those very challenging cakes (since i don't have erotic cake molds...yet) I had a muffin order, and a couple of sauce orders. As if that was not enough, I still had a week full of working and other 'wifely' duties, I was asked to make one of my husbands favorite dishes, corn stuffed pork chops. This is a fairly simple meal, but I can't lie and say that it was made with any type of enthusiasm :)
I came up with the recipe for my husband, because although I do not eat much meat, (really only chicken for protein) my husband happens to be quite the carnivore. I hate getting stuck in ruts of making the same things over and over again and he hates eating the same bbq pork chops every time he wants pork. So I made this stuffing with corn, Italian bread crumbs, an egg and some butter and thought that it would go well in pork chops. iIt took a long time to get the 'chop stuffing' technique down, but I think I have finally mastered the best way. They started out being more like pork sandwiches, with the stuffing between two thin chops, and now they are pork stuffed rolls.
thinly cut pork chops, beaten to about paper thinness if possible
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 can sweet corn (drained)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet, place pork chops in one layer.
In a bowl combine egg and butter, whisk until combined. Slowly add in bread crumbs until the mixture starts to get dry. Add in about 3/4 of the can of corn. Stir until it looks like stuffing, see photo below.
Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. I like mine a little more garlicky, so I tend to add tons of garlic powder. After everything is incorporated, take a tablespoon and spoon into the middle of the pork chop, then roll pork chop around filling, leaving the seam side down on the pan.
Once this process has been done to all pork chops, drizzle them with a little bbq sauce.
Place chops in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until pork is thoroughly cooked. Let stand about 10 mins to cool and let the juices redistribute.