Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9, 2013

We are back from vacation!  After driving over 3,300 we are back home, and back to the kitchen.  It was a fabulous trip, and now that it is August, school is on our minds.  The kids head back August 21, and my classes begin August 26, and preschool begins the Thursday after Labor Day.  It will be time to hit the books before we know it.

Given that we got back in the middle of this week, we only really tried out some new dishes for dinner one night.  While traveling home one night in the hotel the kids were watching Food Network and saw a Pioneer Woman program.  They thought her potatoes looked amazing, so we tried those this week, and they were unanimously voted to keeper status.  To go along with them we grilled boneless pork chops.  We tried a new method, so while it isn't a true recipe, it is worth documenting.  The chops were keepers with beautiful grill marks and were extremely moist and juicy.  We will definitely grill them again using the same method.

We did have a non keeper recipe this week.  Peanut butter brownies.  The final product tasted pretty good, but they didn't get fully cooked through even though I continued to add additional time, and you should have seen my kitchen!  So many bowls and utensils... we are definitely not going to make these again.

With school on the horizon it is time to stock the freezer with lunch box cookies and easy weeknight meals.  Is there anything you like to make and have on hand to make your weeknights run smoother?

Happy cooking!

New Recipes
Easy Grilled Boneless Pork Chops
Pioneer Woman Potatoes

Easy Grilled Boneless Pork Chops

* 4 to 6 boneless pork chops, 1 -1.5 inches thick
* 1.5 qts water
* 3 tbs salt
* 1 tsp vegetable oil
* 1 tsp honey
* kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Cut about three slits through the layer of fat and silver skin on the edge of the pork chop.  This will help keep the pork chop from curling during grilling.
2. Dissolve the salt in the water.  Place the pork chops in the brine for 30 minutes and leave at room temperature.
3. After 30 minutes remove the pork chops and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Mix together the oil, honey and salt and pepper. Brush a little on each side of the pork chops.
4. Grill over medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side. Enjoy!

These turned out great!  It would be very easy to add seasonings to the oil/honey mixture so change it up and go wild!

Pioneer Woman Potatoes

* 2.5 lbs of potatoes, cleaned and cut into chunks
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 cup diced sweet peppers, your choice of color(s)
* 2 tbsp olve oil
* 2 tbsp butter, melted
* 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
* kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. In a large bowl toss together all the ingredients.
3. Pour the potatoes onto rimmed baking sheets, bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan twice during the cooking time.
4. Raise the heat to 500 F and bake until crisp and brown, approximately 10-15 minutes.
5. If desired sprinkle with additional salt and pepper just prior to serving.

When I raised the temperature to 500, it hadn't reached the final temperature before the timer rang.  But they still turned out great.  The kids loved these, and we adults appreciated the little kick of heat that the cayenne pepper brought to the party.  We will definitely serve these again!