Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples and Onion

Can you say Yum? Yes this was a very good dinner. Perhaps it could be in the top 10 of this year... assuming I do a top 10 list.

I caramelized the onions and apples in olive oil and butter. Seasoned them with salt, pepper and thyme. Finished them off with a little white wine. Seasoned the pork chops with salt, pepper and thyme and added the apple/onion mixture to the chops and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. It was like having the pork chops baked in apple sauce.
The side dishes were Aborio Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash.




 And who is the bad cat?



What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Happy Thanksgiving!

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post  : (

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 


Happy 96th Birthday!

My Dad turned 96 today! Alas no candles on the cake*. 
Enjoy the photos....

* He did have an Ice Cream Cake. 
He is using oxygen to help him breath easier so candles were not an option this year.


What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Happy 95th Birthday

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Happy 94th Birthday!

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 


Portabella and Eggplant Gratin

According the the Blogger stats this is my 1000th post. 
I thought I had 3 more to go but we will go with their numbers. 

Fittingly tonight I made a dish that I had when we were recently on vacation. I made the Portabella and Eggplant Gratin that I had at the Four Seasons Resort. I loved this dish so much I emailed the hotel and asked for the recipe. And they sent it to me!
I followed it exactly and it was just as good as the first time I had it. Yes I fried the eggplant!

And tonight I ate at my Dad's house and he devoured his piece of the gratin. The aide who was with him said he had to save room today because I was bring him Eggplant Parmigiana. I can not wait to make this from my sister.


What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Happy 95th Birthday

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Caesar Salad and Vegetable Croquettes

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 

Happy Birthday Chris!

Today is my husband's 50th birthday. For dinner I had to step it up from our usual Monday fare.

Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks seemed to fit the bill. I had made them before so the fact they were delicious was no surprise. I actually made them yesterday and reheated them when I got home, magically there was not a lot of traffic and I was able to beat Chris home! The house smelled so good by the time he walked in the door.



What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Veal Matesse and a Book Suggestion

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Happy Birthday Chris!

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 
No Post : (

Chicken Noodle Soup

Someone was sneezing and coughing this morning so I decided to make Chicken Noodle Soup. I was going to use canned chicken broth. I had to go to the store to pick up the noodles and I always check the meat department for fowl. And today they had fowl! I was so excited I bought two.
I rushed home to start the broth, using my sister's recipe.
The result was a really tasty soup, much better than if I used canned broth.





What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Friends and Company

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Chicken Cutlet Paninis

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 
No Post : (

Stuffing Cookies and The Candied Yam Tart

Hello I am back! I took a brief blog vacation while my dad was in the hospital. He is home now and being cared for by the aides angels from Griswald Home Care.

Stuffing Cookies. Yeah that's right Stuffing, as in Pepperidge Farms Stuffing. When I saw the recipe on Pinterest I thought it had to be a joke. But then I thought to myself that I put Rice Krispies in Chocolate Chip Cookies so why not stuffing. The recipe is from The Downtown Cookie Company out of Brooklyn New York. I ate one out of the oven, then I ate another and another. Chris came home and ate one and then another... Click here for the recipe!

For dinner we had Breaded Pork Chops. Nice and moist and the breading was blend of plain and panko breadcrumbs. I thought I put too much sage but it was perfect.

For the vegetable we had Roasted Asparagus. Tossed the Asparagus with olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt and pepper. Roasted in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Now on to The Candied Yam Tart. I was asked to bring Candied Yams for Thanksgiving dinner. It's not that I am not a fan of them I just think we can do better. I woke up this morning and this recipe popped in my head. Thinly sliced yams layered and each layer brushed with butter, seasoned with salt and pepper and brown sugar baked in pate brisse. Oh almost forgot to mention the bacon. I added cooked crumbled bacon to the layers. This was so good. First the crust was wonderful, nice and flaky. The yams melted in your mouth because they were sliced so thin and the bacon just brought the whole thing over the top.







What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Italian Wedding Soup

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Pasta with Meat Sauce

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago? 
No Post : (

Fried Dumplings and Tung Ting Shrimp

The hits keep coming. Hey Heidi I have not had Tung Ting Shrimp since the late 80's at House of Chao and this was a good as I remember it. We got dinner to-go from First Garden in Guilford.
Chris tried something new, Almond Duck. He liked it. The Tung Ting Shrimp was so good. The veggies were perfect and the sauce was luscious. And almost forgot about those dumplings. They were pan fried. Nice and crispy and the meat... Wow.

I am going on the record. We love First Garden.

Roasted Vegetable and Refried Bean Tostadas

Question - Where did tonight's recipe come from....


Answer - RealSimple.com.


I roasted the vegetables on Sunday and heated them up tonight. We really liked this dinner. The vegetables were delicious, never thought to roast zucchini. I used yellow squash in place of the mushrooms. This will be a nice change up from the Frittatta which we have quite often. And I could see adding more than just the roasted vegetables to this.

Here is my take on the recipe -

Ingredients -
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 zucchini (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
8 corn tortillas
1 15-ounce can refried beans
4 ounces Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, and hot sauce, for serving

Method -
Heat oven to 450° F. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast, tossing once and rotating the sheets halfway through, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Place the tortillas on the baking sheets. Dividing evenly, brush with the remaining tablespoon of oil, spread with the refried beans, and sprinkle with the Cheddar. Bake until the beans are warm and the Cheddar is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Top with the vegetables, sour cream, cilantro, and hot sauce.



What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Autumn Vegetable Bread Soup

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
 No Post : (

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
BQ Roast Beef with Cheddar Sandwiches

Shellaroni!

Okay for anyone who went to St. Mary's High School I believe Shellaroni was served on Wednesday for lunch... or was it Thursday. No matter, it was my favorite school lunch. I use to beg my mom to let me not bring lunch on Shellaroni day. Tonight when I went to grab a bag of pasta from the pantry I  saw the shells and the memories came back. I think the meat sauce I used was probably better then whatever was served to us in the cafeteria.

And here is the recipe from my Mom's Meat Sauce -

Ingredients  -
onion, chopped
olive oil

ground beef,
sausage, ribs or any meat you like
crushed tomatoes, canned

tomato paste

parsley

oregano

salt

pepper


Method - 

Heat oil and saute onion until translucent. Add the meats. Cook until meat begins to brown. Drain off any fat from the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, depending on the type of meat that is used. If the sauce is thin add tomato paste. Season with parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.

I usually use 4 cans of crushed tomatoes and end up with 4 to 5 freezer bags of sauce.




What did we have for dinner a year ago?
Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Chunky Tomato Sauce

What did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Lidia!

What did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Curried Potato and Spinach Soup

Sausage with Escarole and White Beans

If I were to make a "best of " list at the end of the year this would make the list. I found this on RealSimple.com. I adjusted the recipe for our tastes, really the bread should not be optional!
We really enjoyed this. The sauce was delicious. I used a pinot grigio for the wine, a personal favorite.


Ingredients -
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
2 small onions, cut into wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 19-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 small head escarole, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
crusty bread (not optional)

Method -
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook the sausage, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Add onions to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, escarole, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole wilts, 3 minutes.
Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan. Serve with the sausage and bread.

Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Swiss Chard

Well we got our power back early last night. Today was spent tossing things that did not fit in the ice chest and giving the empty refrigerator and freezer a good cleaning. Then it was off the the store to replenish the necessary items you need in the fridge, honestly I am sure I need to have orange marmalade in there, you never know when you may need to glaze something.
Tonight's dinner is a slight variation of a recipe from Eating Well. Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Swiss Chard was suppose to be made with Watercress, well they did not have that at the store so I opted for the Chard.
This was really good. It was nice and spicy. Perfect for the first night that it is dark by 5pm.


Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Swiss Chard

Ingredients -
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound gnocchi
4 ounces Swiss chard, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method -

Put a large pan of water on to boil.
Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt. Add the Swiss chard. Cook until tender. Remove from the heat.
Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Add the gnocchi to the sauce in the pan; toss to combine. Serve immediately, with Parmesan.



So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
No Post : (


So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Mom's Baked Macaroni

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Hurricane Sandy

I am typing this post from my sister's house. We lost power on Monday at 1:20pm. We had a lot of branches falling on our house throughout the storm but the house was not damaged. I had thought Irene was scary. But Sandy topped that storm.

Once it was over and we saw the reports from other areas of our town and state we realized that we were very lucky. Then when the images from New York and New Jersey came in it was shocking. So many people lost so much. Yes we are really inconvenienced by the power outage but it sounds and is petty compared to what others are facing.

If you can make a donation to the Red Cross please do.

I am sure there will be other donation opportunities for food, clothes, and other everyday necessities.

Here are some links with information on Hurricane Sandy donations -

CLOSET CLEANUP: 5 Tips For Donating To Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

7 Ways to Help Victims of Superstorm Sandy Online

Also if you visit your iTunes store there is a link located in the middle of the page on the right side to make a donation to the Red Cross.

Will be back soon with more dinner adventures. Stay safe.

Lucia