Friday, August 31, 2012

Pork Chops

Continuing my recipe testing, I made these today...
I googled a recipe and The Pioneer Woman site came up. My chops were a little thick, that is what I get for looking up the recipe after I have gone to the store, but they were delicious! Here are the details. Thanks Pioneer Woman!

  • 7 pieces Or 8 Pieces Breakfast Chops (very Thin Bone-in Pork Chops)
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Extra Salt And Pepper, To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Rinse pork chops. (Yes, I rinse my pork chops. Please don’t be hatin’.) Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.

Heat canola oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter is melted and butter/oil mixture is hot, cook 3 pork chops at a time, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side; 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. (Make sure no pink juices remain.) Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining porch chops.

Delicious and simple! Serve with smashed new potatoes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just Because

Recenly I've had an eye twitch.
My jaw is hurting from grinding my teeth.
I'm stressed and apparently I'm internalizing it.
Worried about him, work, and one million other things.
And I haven't been running.

So when he went out to run an errand I didn't expect anything. When he came home, he had these...
Two dozen long stem roses. Just because. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Out With Friends

I ended up heading out solo a lot this weekend since J was on call. We were able to go on a bike ride and out for lunch before he was called into the hospital... and was gone until Sunday afternoon. I can't wait for this month to be over... it is entirely too much like his general surgery residency. I hardly see him! On Saturday night I headed out to a birthday celebration with a bunch of J's doctor friends, a few that have become mine as well. Who knew you could have so much fun at a small town brewery?!
Sunday it was NASA day at Progressive Field. The Indians were playing the Yankees and John Glenn was going to throw out the first pitch. Of course it turned out to be the hottest day EVER! We only lasted through the 3rd inning and then had to leave. Just too hot out not to be sitting by the pool.

But instead of pool time, we headed indoors. Jared was home and we finally saw the new Batman movie and both loved it. Although, we were nervous and looking around a lot. I wish the shootings at the premiere hadn't scared us so much but we couldn't help it. There are too many crazy people out there. J sees many of them in the OR at all hours of the night at the trauma center. Ugh! Only a few more days to go...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Practicing Our Italian

We hit up a new place for our Friday night pizza night this week. A place that had "the best" pizza in the city. I found a place right outside to park, it was our lucky day!
We sat outside in an area that looked like a little Italian balcony. Vines with flowers hanging from above, humming birds flying around, and perfect weather. We had wine... which Jared proceeded to spill a full glass all over my dress, the most delicious caprese salad, and some yummy pizza.
Not the best photo here but as I have said before, my picture taking has been lacking this summer. It was a lovely evening with us beginning to anticipate our trip for some real Italian pizza in a few weeks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maggiano's Tomato Cream Sauce and Breaded Zucchini - At home!

Continuing our "restaurant dinners at home" theme, I attempted one of our favorites from Maggiano's last night. The pasta was perfect! But that is because I totally cheated and bought the Maggiano's Tomato Cream Sauce from the store. Literally the same sauce they use at the restaurant. I thought, why reinvent the wheel? If they are selling it, I'm buying it!
So my next challenge was the breaded zucchini and lemon aioli dipping sauce. I went surfing online to find recipes and decided to combine two of them, baking half the batch and frying the other to compare which works better.

Here is the recipe...
• 3 medium zucchini – washed, stems removed, sliced lengthwise into thin pieces.

• 1 ½ cups club soda
• ¾ cups plain flour
• ½ cups corn starch
• 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon course ground pepper
• Panko Bread crumbs for breading – poured into a shallow 9×9 dish.

Mix soda, flour, starch, salt, onion powder, and pepper together and pour into a shallow 9×9 dish. Dip zucchini strips into batter. Then dip the strips into the Panko bread crumbs, coating each side.

In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil 1” deep. Heat oil over medium high flame. Add battered zucchini and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on bottom side, turn zucchini and repeat. Drain on layers of paper towels. Shake Parmesan Cheese over fired zucchini right before serving. Serve hot with Lemon Aioli dipping sauce.

• ½ Cup Hellman’s Mayo
• ½ Cup Sour Cream
• Juice of one lemon
• ½ teaspoon Dill Weed.

Whisk all together in small bowl.

So this is what they should look like...
And these were mine...
They didn't turn out very well but the flavor was there. The baked version definitely won. It was just so hard to get the breading to stick. Looks like we will have to take out the zucchini and make the pasta at home on this one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

End of The World Party Planning

I am a planner. I can't help it, its genetic. So today, Mom and I were talking about the holidays and how we are all going to be home for the "End of the World." And of course, we have to plan a party. It is silly, but fun. And hopefully just a theme and not something that will actually happen.
So let the planning begin!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Date Night

After a long week... somehow we ended up here...
At our favorite restaurant, eating our most favorite appetizer...
With my most favorite cocktail...
Just us, together on a random Saturday date night! Happy Weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Me Time

This week, I'm not sure what day it is... what time it is. I have been working crazy shifts on and off for space station ops for the last two weeks and I am all messed up. Times like this I wonder how it is possible for J to function with as little sleep as he sometimes gets.

So it was Friday and I found myself done with work at 10am, After a nap I headed out to the pool to catch some of the last of the summer sunshine. It is already starting to get cooler during the evenings and I know I will blink and it will be fall.
It was a day of "me" time, lounging in the sun. I made a birthday call to Jenna, attacked the stack of magazines that have been piling up, and started reading a travel book about Italy. Why Italy? Because in a few short months we will be here...
With this view...
And we are soooo excited!! So in that spirit, and being the Feast of the Assumption this weekend, I made a batch of cannolis to take to a ladies night that J's boss' wife was having.
They were a hit! (Thanks Mom!) It was a great "Me" day although I was sad J was on call. Only 5 more to go this month... wow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bone Fish Salad... At home!

I've started to copy restaurant dinners to make at home recently. First on the list was the Bone Fish house salad. I think I got it down perfectly! I added it to our baked salmon with mushrooms. Delicious!!
Here is the recipe...

Dressing Ingredients
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute or till mixture bubbles rapidly around edge of the bowl. Remove bowl from microwave and whisk 1 minute until mixture forms an emulsion. Cover and chill tor 1 hour before serving.
Salad Ingredients
Chopped up romaine hearts
Heart of palm
Kalamata olives
Salted Pepitas


Saturday, August 11, 2012

A 6 Hour Tour

Today Jared went sailing with the Classen men. I was invited as well, and although J wanted me to go it was a boys trip and we decided it was best if he went solo. Wow, were we ever right about that! They were sailing from Mentor to Cleveland which would be a 5 mph trip depending on the winds. But when we woke up today, there were boating advisories... water spouts were possible out on the lake and large waves... I wasn't sure this was a good idea.

It was so overcast, windy, and really dreary.
But he went anyway. We packed him up with as much waterproof gear as we had. While he was gone I did some shopping, watched a chick flick at home, and worried about him. When Dr. Classen called to let me know they were about an hour away from harbor I asked how Jared was doing... not so well. When I picked him up I knew it was bad. I could read it all over his face.

He said it was horrible. Terrible. The worst 6 hours of his life. At one point he wasn't sure they were going to make it. WHAT?!? He thought for sure the boat was going to split in two several times. OH NO!! He was so glad I hadn't gone. I know I would've made Dr. Classen turn the boat around. I didn't know why he hadn't made them turn back. Travis and Will looked exhausted. Dr. Classen looked a mess.
And somehow he took photos on the trip. I had wanted to see the sailing regatta they would be heading through. He said he had to hold onto the boat at all times otherwise you were going to lose your balance. Both the captain and J lost their lunch on the journey. It was bad... really, really bad. The guys were comparing their trip to the boating scenes in Forest Gump, The Truman Show, or worst yet, The Perfect Storm. They were all more than relieved to be back on dry land.

So we went to dinner at Brentwood Tavern right up the hill... and all was back to normal. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Madison & Jacob's Birthday Party

It was a birthday party for two! Bubble Guppies and Star Wars themed.
With their birthdays just 3 days apart, Julie and Jenny coordinated having a party for both Madison (turning 2) and Jacob (turning 4) this weekend on the same day so the whole family could be there. We arrived late Friday night and while the boys slept, the girls were up late getting everything ready to paaartaaay! Julie put me to work making candy covered Oreos while they decorated cakes, tables, and made party favors.

Saturday was party day. We started out by heading down to DC to the National Aquarium to be there in time for the shark feeding. It was a hot one, outside and even in the aquarium. With water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink! Madison and I checked out the jellies, Jake and I looked at toads and poisonous tree frogs, and then there was the shark feeding.
It was a quick visit... mostly because the aquarium is the size of my parents basement. When we got home, phase 2 of the party began. Water games with little kids outside with their noodle light sabers, water guns, kiddie pool games and bubbles everywhere! 

We had a pizza party with delicious NY pizza from Ciro's, chocolate cake, ice cream cake, and delicious coffee punch. We even watched a little of the Olympics during the party.
 It was a great party. The birthday kids were so over tired when present time came. We hope they liked the Peppa Pig and Star Wars toys! Loved the whole day so very much. It was a great party. Happy Birthday to Jacob and Madison!
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