Whiskey Chops

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These are good. So so so so good.  OK, so Noeleen, my vegetarian friend who is sitting next to me right now may not think so, but the rest of my friends will.  And if you’re not my friend, you will be after you make and eat these little honeys.

That’s right.  I’m back, baby.

Ingredients:
4 pork chops with bone (always, ALWAYS with bone)
1/4-1/2 cup whiskey (depending on your, uh, target audience)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 sliced fresh peaches
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
slug of orange juice
few dashes pepper (soy sauce is salty so you likely won’t need salt)
Directions:
Place the sliced onions in your baking dish. (I used a lasagna pan.)  Put your chops on top of onions.  Put the peaches on top’a them chops.  Mix the rest of the yummy stuff together (the planners method) or just dump it all on top (my method.)  Cover and place in fridge for a few hours before cooking (planners method again) or just put it right in the oven (yup–me again.)  Bake at 350 until done.  Time really depends on the thickness of your chops and it’s hard to go by weight if the bone is large.  If they’re thin (I feel sorry for you, but you’ll survive) check your meat after about 40 minutes.  If they’re thick it may take closer to an hour.Unsolicited tips: OK, to technically you don’t have to have a bone in your pork chop but I highly recommend it.  Not only does every single kind of meat ever butchered taste better when it’s cooked with the bone, a good chop lover will surely enjoy the simple pleasure of picking up said bone and removing the last bits of tasty tender meat caveman style (held in fist, teeth to bone, dental floss after dinner.)  May not be elegant but there you go.  🙂

Easy-Peasy-Smoothy

smoothy 2It’s a blustery-leaf-blowing brisk fall day in SoCal, and for whatever reason I’m in the mood for a good cold smoothy.  So sue me.

Recipes for smoothies kind of crack me up.  I mean really.  REALLY?  Throw some stuff you like in a blender and hit puree for heaven’s sake!  Sometimes my smoothies come out a bit too thick, so I add more water or juice.  Sometimes they are too runny, so I add another banana or just deal with it.  Sometimes they are not sweet enough, so I add a tablespoon of honey.  If it’s not cold enough I add some ice… I think you get the picture.

But for my friends who prefer to measure and, like, be organized about their smoothies, I recorded what I did today and now I will share it with you.  You’re welcome.

Michelle’s Go-To Smoothy

Ingredients: 1 can of fruit (pineapple, pears or peaches) including the juice, 2 bananas, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup yogurt, 2/3 cup raw oats.

Directions: blend and drink.

Tips: Only buy canned fruit in juice.  Why in the world did people start putting “heavy syrup” on fruit.  Yuck.  I seriously think only bad people buy that stuff (OK, I may have overstated my case here but seriously–it’s sweet already!) I also avoid any canned fruit with artificial sweeteners.  Yipes man.

If I use plain yogurt I sometimes add I bit of honey to the mix as well.  I started adding raw oats to my smoothies years ago and I must say: YUM.  The oats are an easy way to bulk up the drink–especially for hungry kiddos and husbands, but you need to let them sit for a couple of minutes to soak up the juice so they break down nice and easy for ‘ya.

smoothy 1Like this, see?

Finally, (boy this is a lot of tips!) I do use fresh fruit for smoothies too, but only the ugly, too-soft pieces.  The good stuff gets eaten up w/out all this hassle!

 

Spring Fruit! It’s Here!

spring!

So at the farmers market this week Josie and I were doin’ the “cherries and apricots” dance–which basically consists of holding hands in a ring-around-the-rosey fashion and jumping up and down squealing “Cherries and apricots!  Cherries and apricots!”

SPRING FRUIT HAS ARRIVE TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!–and I don’t mean by way of air travel from Chile…

I hold out.  Plums, peaches and other stone fruit have been available at Whole Foods all winter long, but I refrain from buying.  I do this partly because I believe in supporting the local economy and partly because I live in southern California so there actually are other produce options year round.  (Believe me, the “supporting the local economy” notion would likely go right out the window each winter if I still lived in Minneapolis…)

I also hold out because there’s just something about it.  Waiting.  Anticipation.  Build up.  I like this stuff.

We’ve been tiring of the winter citrus that is very tasty, but has now been in our fruit bowl for months.  (I’m such a whiner, right?  Can you imagine complaining about endless amounts of delicious locally grown oranges?  This is what I’ve become, I’m afraid.)

Holding out was worth it.  Holding out actually made it all the more de-lish.  We gobbled up the cherries right quick and are motoring through the golden, sweet apricots.  I only bought a couple of peaches which weren’t the greatest, but were still pretty darn good.

We bought the flowers at the market too–aren’t they a nice touch?  At our house, this is how we celebrate spring!