7/30/13

Fresh Tomato Tart

Guys.  I made a tomato pie. 
Tomato Pie Recipe: Tomato, Cheddar, and Bacon Pie
Find it over at Southern Living

And it looked nothing like that.  

It looked more like this:
 Bam.

While mine may not win any awards when it comes to looks, it knocked it out of the park when it comes to taste.  This one is not your "fresh and light" tomato pie.  No, not at all.  This is like cheesy crusty amazingness, baked at 375 then happily devoured.  This was made with fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market which, to me, seems key.  Hurry up and make your tomato pies, guys!  With August happening this week, these tomatoes just might not be around much longer.  

Seriously, guys, this tomato pie makes me so happy.          

Tomato Pie
from The Delta Magazine Cookbook

1 deep dish frozen pie crust
4-5 tomatoes sliced to 1/2 inch thick
10 oz mozzarella cheese (I used the kind with just a touch of cream cheese for kicks and good times)
2 tbl basil, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

Preheat the oven to 375.  

Allow the pie shell to defrost a little.  Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and basil.  Repeat these layers with the remaining ingredients.  Top with Parmesan cheese and olive oil.  

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. 

 

7/29/13

July Cookbook Club and Fresh Basil and Tomato Pasta

If I could use one word to describe our most recent cookbook club meeting it would be this:  solid.  If I could pick a second word, it would be butter.  If I could pick a third word, it would be tequila.  It was good stuff, I tell you.  Good stuff indeed.  See for yourself!

Drink:  Tequila Cherry Lime Aid (stop it.) 

Appetizers:  Mushroom Puffs and Apple and Havarti Quesadillas


Sides:  Aunt Georgia's Squash Casserole and Fresh Basil and Tomato Pasta (recipe below!)


Salad:  Lemon Mint Slaw
 
Main Dish:  Crunchy Catfish with Lemon Parsley

Desserts:  Bourbon Chocolate Balls

The lovely table!

Each one of these dishes were slap someone good.  I'm not kidding.  Lotta butter, lotta good.  

My contribution to the evening was the tomato and basil pasta. It was easy, fresh, made from items that I Brantley grew grew in the garden.  I made it exactly as directed in the cookbook and it was a bit oily, when I make it again I'll probably cut back on that a bit.  Aside from that, it was spot on!  Make it for a BBQ or something festive like that.  

Fresh Basil and Tomato Pasta
from Come on In

1 lb fettucine, cooked
3 oz capers, drained
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 cup olive oil (I wouldn't do this much!)
3 tbl wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve either warm or cold.  

7/26/13

A Few on Friday

1.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love Anne Lamott?  Well, I'm going to mention it again.  Someone shared this post on the FB recently and I'm so glad they did.  Like. 






2.  While we are being light and airy, let me tell you about my "Good News" pinterest board.  Check it out here! 

Lots of days in group I encourage the participants to share any good news they've heard.  This request is often met with blank stares because let's face it, not a ton of good news out there being shared with us. 

I started this as a place to stick little pieces of joy so that I (or you!) can go back and visit them when I'd (or you'd) like to be able to read some good news.  Read away.  There's one about a pit bull saving his owners life.  TWICE.  

3.  Enough sweet.  

I finished the book Z.  It's a train wreck.  I mean I know it's fiction but sister did her homework  and dear Lord both Zelda and Scott were absolute train wrecks. 

This is what I learned from it:  You were S-O-L if you were mentally ill and female in the1930s.  If you caused any sort of trouble, you were getting shock treatments.  

Do you know any trouble makers that would be beyond shocked were they stirring the pot in the 1930s?  I do....

4.  I love sausage biscuits!

5.  What I also love is this slightly cool snap we are having.    

6.  But what I love the most are the Patty Griffin tickets that I just scored!  October 12 at the Levitt Shell in Memphis.  Go go go!  It would be so fun!

Have a great weekend! 

7/24/13

Woohoo!!! Wednesday (More on That Throat)

I'm still hunting answers related to this throat chakra business.  I've been working on being mindful of all things throat (breath, talking, lymph nodes, etc) and last Saturday, whilst hanging out in camel toe pose, I stumbled upon these three discoveries related to breath.  Breathing is easier when you:

1.  Keep your chin up
2.  Open your heart wide
3.  Tune out what doesn't matter 

There are so many PBS after school special life lessons happening in these three discoveries that it's not even funny.

Let's start with keeping our chins up.

The idea of one keeping their chin up always takes me back to a time, many moons ago, when my best friend Emily and her boyfriend had broken up.  Although Emily knew that this breakup was probably for the best, this event was accompanied with all of the devastation that one would expect from realizing that your high school love was, in fact, not going to last forever.  

She was over at my mom's house one night right when she was in the thick of it.  She was probably weeping, I was probably saying things that were most unhelpful as it has taken me some years to develop my therapeutic skillz.  Then there was mom.  Oh mom.  Wise, wise mom.  Having gone through a divorce from my dad not that long before this, she knew a thing or two about heartache, fear and all of the ugly little things that go along with losing a relationship.  She looked at Emily and said simply....

Emily...keep your chin up.   

Emily nodded her head.  I sat there in shock probably thinking Really Mom?  That's all you've got? because let's be honest...I've kind of always been an ass. 

But turns out, yeah really...that's kind of it.  Seems to be the secrete to life, especially when paired with a hug.    

Whether you're trying to get through a tragic loss, get through a boring afternoon at work, get through camel pose.

Keep your chin up.  

Up next...open your heart wide. 

In yoga the teachers are often saying "open your heart." I don't really know how to explain it other than you can kind of get there by imagining that you are literally poking your heart out.  In a yoga practice, it's quite helpful with not only breathing but also with giving yourself more room to move.  Make sense?  Good.  Try it....open your heart.

Good job!  Woo!
This concept translates beautifully from a yoga practice to a life practice in that opening your heart up to the world opens you up to oh so much goodness. 

Sound cheesy?  Well, it is.  But it's also pretty cool.  Opening your heart up to to loved ones and friends and animals and complete strangers and enemies (sometimes...with good boundaries of course) gives you the chance to laugh and learn and grow and experience things that one doesn't get to experience when they are all hunched over and shut down.  Believe me...I spend a lot of time being hunched over and shut down.  It doesn't get you very far. 

This brings us to the last discovery:

Tune out what doesn't matter.   

This particular Saturday morning I found myself annoyed by several different things.  Would you like for me to tell you about them?  Well I'm not going to.  Because they don't matter.  Just because you're giving something your energy doesn't mean that it's important. 

This is a lesson that I find myself coming back to time and time again.  There are a gazillion things going on in the world around me.  Most of them either don't matter or have absolutely nothing to do with me.  Simple really.  But that monkey mind.  It gets cranked up sometimes and is tough to reign in.  Comparison is absolutely the thief of joy, tuning out what doesn't matter and focusing on my own stuff is absolutely rad.  Party on, Wayne!

The throat exploration continues. 

Until next time!

  



7/23/13

One Pot Wonder Pasta

Last week while at home participating in a web cast CE on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, I whipped myself up some pasta.  

Why?  Because I could.  And it was vegan day.  And I pinned the recipe months ago and wanted to finally try it.  
 
You know the one.  It's the one where you put everything into  a pot, cover it up and then have dinner (its magic!). 

Well, turkeys, I'm here to tell you that it kind of is magic.  But let's be real.  If you are me then you view lots of pasta dishes as magic.  

I'll for sure keep this one in my pasta back pocket for chilly nights.  Pair this with a grilled cheese and you've got yourself a solid winter supper. 

Why am I talking about winter?  I have no idea.  Just make this pasta.     
One Pot Wonder Pasta
adapted from Martha Stewart

12 oz linguine 
1 can diced tomatoes (don't drain them!)
1 large sweet onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 large sprigs of basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Place pasta, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, basil, broth and olive oil.  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.  Cook for about 10 minutes, covered, stiring every two minutes or so until most of the liquid is gone.   

Serving size 1 cup (makes 6)
Points plus 7

7/22/13

Summer Running

Summer running in the Mississippi Delta.  

It's tough, y'all.   

There's the chafe.  There's the feeling of not being able to cool off even after a shower.  There's the having to plan your runs before the sun comes up.  

For the sake of looking towards the bright side, let's talk about what helps.  

Music.  It always helps.  

Sharing with you guys today my Hot Hot Heat Summer Running play list.  It's an adapted version of what I used for musical support during the Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Relay.  Let me tell you a truth:  running to Fatboy Slim is a freaking blast!  

What helps you keep your exercise routine bumping in the summer? 

Oh yeah.  Don't listen to this play list if you've got the sensitive ears! 

Happy (hot) running!




**Fantastic additions that didn't make it on this play list:  JayZ's Tom Ford and Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana**

7/19/13

A Few on Friday

1.  If you live any where near Greenwood (or another Viking Cooking School) then you need to hurry up quick and get signed up for the next sushi making class.  It's a freaking blast!
Crawfish, avocado, cream cheese.  Bam. 
 
Look for me at a sushi shop near you....
 
Partners in sushi making crime
 
If you are intrested in this class, contact the Viking Cooking School and sign up.  The next class is October 24. 
 
My next goals are to purchase a sushi rolling mat and some Japanese Mayonaise.  Moving on.     

2.  Upon visiting our local Whole Foods store this weekend, Brandon and I jumped on the Brown Family Dairy milk wagon.  I haven't tried it (I don't love milk) but Brandon says it's amazing and I love having that cute-as-pie glass jar in my fridge.   

4.  I also picked up a bottle of this after sneezing on the proprietor of the store.   
 What is the "mother"?  I'm scared.
 
Well not directly on her.  Near her.  In her store.  My allergies were acting up and she swore that two tablespoons of this + honey + some water would cure all that ales me.  I woke up the next day without allergies, who knows if it was the "mother" or if it was the fact that whatever I was allergic to had gone away. 
 
More research must be done on this product.  They tell me to drink it three times a day, I'm going to need more proof of benefit before that happens. 
 
5.  Anyone know where to donate prom dresses?  A place where they could do some good?  Be loved and cared for? 
 
6.  How would you feel if I sewed a ton of minky baby blankets and sold them on Etsy?  What would you pay for one?  What about a burp cloth?  What about a dog food bowl pad?  Let me know.  I'm thinking about it. 
 
7.  Is anyone familiar with the brand Moving Comfort?  It appears to be some festive inexpensive exercise gear and I'm thinking of ordering some shorts.  Nothing amps up hot running like a festive new short.  And a good playlist.  More about that on Monday, though.  
 
Happy weekend turkeys!  
 
 
 



7/18/13

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Quesadilla

Remember that time I made that pulled pork for 4th of July?  Well, you've probably been wondering what I did with all the leftovers.  If that's the case, today is your lucky Thursday.  

For the sake of budgets and mindful living, I'm trying to get better at using my leftovers. Creativity is key here as eating a pulled pork sandwich 8 days in a row isn't fun for anyone.  We got creative with our left overs in several ways, including pulled pork quesadillas and pulled pork salads.  

Well, let's back up.  Maybe "we" didn't eat the pulled pork salad, Brandon was vehemently against this, saying things like "that's weird" and "I'm not eating that" and "who puts pork on a salad?"  Judge on, judgy pants McCaleb.  My pulled pork salad was the bomb.  If you'd like to make one yourself, just layer some pork, onions, cheese, bbq sauce, ranch dressing and tomatoes over some greens and go ye forth with eating.  

If quesadillas are more your style then you are also in luck.  They are real easy and real tasty and Judgy Pants McCaleb approved.  

Oh I exaggerate.  B is only judgy pants about food and usually only about the strange food that I try to force upon him.  Judgy Pants McCaleb probably isn't an accurate descriptor of such a kind man. 

So judgements and name calling aside, enjoy this quesadilla! 
Pulled Pork Quesadilla

1 flour tortilla
1/2 cup of pulled pork
2 tbl sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbl bbq sauce

Combine the pork, cheese and sauce and pop in in the microwave to warm through.  

Spread on 1/2 of a tortilla, fold over, grill on top of the stove until crispy.  

Points plus 9 

7/17/13

WooHoo!!! Wednesday! (What the Hell Is Wrong With My Throat?)

Y'all.  

I think that there is something wonky with my throat chakra.  

I'll back up.  

One of my biggest therapy influences, Jeanie Falkner, often talked about how people will hold their emotional junk in various parts of the body; even when they couldn't talk about it, their body could talk about.  I didn't fully get it then, don't fully get it now.  Except for that...I get it.  I get it in the sense that I believe that it's real but I have minimal insight into the hows and the whys and the whens, etc.  

So read on with with the knowledge that I'm still trying to figure all of this out.  In my brain.  

So back to my throat chakra.  

My wheels started turning about this last Saturday during the back bending and hip opening workshop that was hosted by Studio A.  There was lots of bending and stretching (and if you were me, bucking around).  Things were going well until we got into camel pose. 
Things were rocking along until I tuned into the fact that I wasn't breathing.  Wait.  Not wasn't breathing but couldn't breath.  Toni (the teacher) encouraged us throughout the class to pay attention to the tension and try to breath into it to soften it up.  That wasn't really working for this gal.  

For the rest of the class, while I wasn't focusing on my breath, I was wondering what in the hell was wrong with my throat.  I continued to wonder about this on and off for the rest of the day and finally settled on this:  maybe it's one of those chakras.  I hear there's one in the throat.    

So these chakras.  I know nothing about them.  Like really.  Nothing.  I read an article before I wrote this.  But if what Jeannie Falkner used to teach is true then it makes sense that parts of the body getting blocked and / or acting cray could really cause a pickle.  Let's explore. 

It's not just the not breathing in camel pose situation that has me thinking that things might be jacked.  It's the having no idea what to say to people when I get anxious, the hand to my throat at times when I am speaking (I'm sure this one's odd looking) and the seemingly constant one sided sore throat/sore ear.  And there are some constant swollen lymph nodes in my neck that several doctors have promised me are nothing.  Except maybe a blocked chakra. (I added that last part, my family physician didn't.  Just in case you were wondering).

Yes, there's a possibility that all of this is rooted in nothing.  I might just be an awkward girl with a mild case of hypochondria and odd hand motions that needs more work on body placement during yoga.  

But maybe.....

Stay tuned.  Hide and watch.  Answers forthcoming.  Perhaps.  

The good, though, is that this is an opportunity to explore something new.  And learn something new.  And get a little deeper in my therapy practice AND my yoga practice. 

I've been interested in the intersection of yoga and psychotherapy and have often thought of how cool it would be to bring the two together in a therapeutic environment.  There's great work out there on using yoga when working with people who have experienced trauma and most people will tell you that a regular practice leads to dialed down anxiety.  Since I don't think NSMC is ready for me to roll out my mat just  yet, I'll just keep at it with the working on my chakras and my camel posing and my breathing and letting the light shine through where it may.  

And maybe, just maybe, I'll attend this workshop in January.  Perhaps I'll have a bake sale to fund it.....I've got a a mean chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

Namaste and happy chakra unblocking.      

7/16/13

Fried Okra

Oh my.  I have to stop frying things.  I'm sure you're worried about my arteries.  

Or maybe you haven't even thought about my arteries!  Maybe you're loving the fried stuff!  Or maybe your missing the points calculating.  

So many maybes.  

Regardless of all the maybe action let this be known:  fried okra is good.  

Amen.    
Fried Okra
from All Recipes

6 pods of okra, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of cornmeal
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of vegetable oil 

Allow the okra to soak in the egg for about five minutes.  Toss the okra in the cornmeal and season with salt and pepper.  

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Carefully place the okra in the oil, stir continuously.  When the okra starts to brown, reduce the heat to medium.  Cook until golden.  


 

7/15/13

Chicken (Country?) Fried Steak

Sometimes, a gal just needs some chicken fried steak.  

Or is it country fried steak?  

Who knows the difference.  Does it matter?  Nope. 

What matters is that chicken (country?) fried steak is a treat no matter what you call it!  And the best part is that you get to make gravy.  Stop it.  Gravy is good for the soul.  

Should we eat C(C?)FS daily?  Nah, probably not.  That could be a bit much.  But should you make it soon.  And you should make this version, which belongs to the Pioneer Woman.  

Bless her.  Bless her and her country cooking soul.  

So this recipe is a bit involved.  But it's worth it to be able to bask in the glow of the gravy that you just made.  

Just so you know, this recipe was copied and pasted exactly from the PW site.  I did this because I'm a lazy sack of bones from time to time.  And I like to live on the edge, but not really, so copyright infringement is the perfect crime for me. 

Happy frying! 

Chicken Fried Steak 

from Pioneer Woman

3 pounds Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That's Been Extra Tenderized) 
1-1/2 cup Whole Milk, Plus Up To 2 Cups For Gravy 
2 whole Large Eggs 
3 cups All-purpose Flour 
Seasoned Salt 
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne 
LOTS Of Black Pepper. Lots. 
Canola Oil, For Frying 
Salt And Pepper, For Both Meat And Gravy

Begin with an assembly line of dishes for the meat: milk mixed with egg in one; flour mixed with spices in one; meat in one; then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.

Work one piece of meat at a time. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then dip in the milk/egg mixture. Next, place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour. Turn to coat thoroughly. Place the meat back into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Place back in the flour and turn to coat. Place breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with remaining meat.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it's sufficiently hot. Cook meat, three pieces at a time, until edges start to look golden brown; around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes each side.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat until all meat is cooked.

After all meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow grease to heat up. 

Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix flour with grease, creating a golden-brown paste. Keep cooking until it reaches a deep golden brown color. If paste seems more oily than pasty, sprinkle in another tablespoon of flour and whisk. 

Whisking constantly, pour in milk. Cook to thicken the gravy. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until gravy is smooth and thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned.

7/12/13

A Few on Friday

1.  How did I miss the new Jay Z album? 

TOM FORD...beat-tastic, y'all.  

I'd share a video with yous guys but 'tis a bit salty for the Elevator.  

Through being cool over here guys.  
I probably missed it because I was to busy learning about couponing.  

2.  No really.  I don't understand couponing.  Could someone give me a lesson? 

3.  While we are on it, I don't really understand grocery shopping.  I'm horrible at it.  Well, I'm horrible at grocery shopping on a budget.  I'm awesome at grocery shopping sans budget.  Who needs 8 types of cheese?  We do, yo.  

4.  Shameless work plug about to come:

If you are on the facebook and haven't already (and let's face it, you probably haven't) surf on over to the Sunrise IOP page and give us a like.  Why?  Because we share really cool articles about mental health and wellness that you should read.  Like this one about how happiness changes as you age.  I identified with happiness being yoga pants and a good book. But I'll also take yoga pants at the bar so I'm not sure where that leaves me....

Whatever.

Find us on facebook right here

5.  Brandon and I had dinner with friends that hail from up north last night.  The food was good, the company was even better, the youtube videos were possibly the best. 

We delta folks have been privileged to have our weather forcasted to us by some pretty solid folks but people but people in New Hampshire absolutely have us beat.  Don't believe me?  Just watch:

 
I love him.  Love him so much. 

Happy weekend, guys!  Do something you love with people that you love.   


7/11/13

Broccoli Salad

Seems like there hasn't been much green on this blawg lately.  Lots of fried stuff, not much green.  Let's change that.  

Slowly.  Let's change that sloooowly.  

Don't want to get to healthy to quickly, don't want anyone's head to spin 'round.  Let's have ourselves some broccoli salad but lets put some mayonnaise and some sharp cheddar in there.  I'm sure Paula Deen can help us.  Oh Paula.  Glad that the Food Network has left your recipes on the site since that hot mess you've found yourself in because this one absolutely rocks.

In true Paula Deen fashion, this recipe called for entirely to much dressing.  Cutting it in half seemed to be the way to go.  You should probably go that way, too, or else your going to find yourself with an oddly mayonnaisey broccoli salad. 

I served this on 4th of July along side a tomato and cucumber salad (wait for it) and that slow cooked pulled pork (scroll down for it).  They maybe I stopped in for a few more forkfuls straight from the ziplock bag as the afternoon went on.  

Holler.  
Broccoli Salad
adapted from Food Network

2 heads of broccoli, chopped
6 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup of mayonaise
1 tbl white vinegar
1/8 cup of sugar
a few handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved  

Combine the broccoli, bacon, onion, cheese and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl to make the dressing.  Toss the dressing with the salad until it's combined well. 

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes about 16)
Points plus 4

    

7/9/13

Roasted Squash and Onions

So our garden, it's doing pretty well!  Cherry tomatos out the wah-zoo it seems but don't worry.  They taste like candy.  So it's fine that there are 8 million of them.  

But I didn't come here to talk about sweet as candy tomatoes.  Nope.  I came here to talk about squash and onions.

First of all, some bad news. Some nursty creature took up residency in our squash plants and destroyed them.  Ugh!  Rude.  

But let's not focus on what's bad.  Let's focus on what's good.  Squash and onions, that's what good.  

Ooooh weee. Squash and onions.  One of my very most favorite summer treats.  Usually, I fix up squash and onions according to this recipe right here.

Howevs, just for the sake of doing something different, I tried out a different recipe last time.     
I made this as a side to accompany some chicken fried steak (wait for it, it's coming) and decided that since the CFS would be cooked mainly on top of the oven, the squash needed to go inside the oven.  Enter:  oven roasted squash and onions.  

Woo!  So good, my friends.  So, so good.  Winning in the form of side dishes.       
Oven Roasted Squash and Onions
adapted from Green Gardens Community Farms

1 lb squash, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1-2 tbl coconut oil
salt and pepper, to taste 

Preheat the oven to 450.  

Place the squash, onions, garlic into a bowl and toss with the coconut oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. 

Serve warm. 
 
**It's worth noting that I used 2 tbl of coconut oil and the S and O were a bit on the mushy side.  I'm not sure if this was because of to much oil or it's because they sat for so long waiting on the CFS to get ready.  Regardless, next time I'll probably ease up on the earl oil.

7/8/13

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Y'all.  

I made a delicious slow cooked pulled pork to celebrate the 4th of July.  

But I forgot to snap a picture of it.  

Rats. 

But what I didn't forget to do was to get a picture snapped of me and my patriotic Big Browne Hound.  Naturally, I'll share that with you now.   
Who thinks that's a way better thing to look at than a picture of a pile of pulled pork?  Good.  We're all on the same page.  

So this pulled pork.  Wasn't anything crazy fancy or anything like that.  What it was, though, was easy, flavorful and a total hit for my 4th of July feast.  It also rocks as far as leftovers go...stay tuned for quesadillas, yo!

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork 
adapted from Food Network

3 tbl brown sugar
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and pepper
3.5 lb boneless pork roast
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbl tomato paste

Combine the 1 tbl brown sugar, paprika, mustard, cumin, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper in a bowl.  Rub the mixture all over the pork.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, add the pork and cook, turning to brown all sides.  Remove the pork and transfer to a plate.  Whisk 3/4 cup of water into teh drippings in the skillet.  Transfer the liquid to a slow cooker.  

Add the vinegar, tomato paste, remaining 2 tbl of sugar and 2 cups of water into the slow cooker and whisk to combine.  Place the pork into the slow cooker, cover, set heat to low, cook for 8 hours.  

Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board.  Strain the liquid into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.  Season with salt.  

Roughly chop the pork and mix in a bowl with 1 cup of the cooing liquid.  

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes about 11)
Points plus 6  
 

7/6/13

A Few on Friday, well Saturday

Just a few ramblings on this Saturday. 
 
1.  Anyone want to guess who is the most excited that 4th of July has come and gone?  The Big Browne Hound.  Those fireworks.  He can't handle them.  At all.  And I can't handle being drug around the neighborhood during our evening walks when he's trying to escape them.

2.  That's one of those I feel old moments right there.  I feel like a bitty, shaking my fist in the front yard saying why I outta while cursing the hooligan neighborhood children.  

Brandon had a solid I feel old moment earlier in the week when he looked at me with pure joy and stated "man, I love Time magazine."  Me too, boo.  Me too.  

3.  I've gotten sucked into the Walking Dead marathon that's on AMC right now and I've got lots of questions.  Brandon is napping and I can't ask him so I've been googling my questions.  Things like why does the governor keep those heads in those fish tanks? And why do all those people living in that compound kind of look like they just walked off of the Leave It to Beaver set?

Then there's my constant question of Exactly how long would I make it in the zombie Apocalypse?  What skills do I have that would make a commune want to welcome me in?  How hard is it to shoot a cross bow? I probably can't google the answers to those questions so I'll just have to keep thinking about them. 

These are the things that I think about Saturday afternoons.  

4.  I went to a lovely yoga class this morning at the Studio A.  I'm sure that next Saturday will be all kinds of lovely up in the Studio A as well....Delta people sign up for this workshop!

Backbending and Hip Opening Workshop with Toni Powers Saturday, July 13 from 10:00am-12:00pm. Learn how to mindfully release physical and emotional tension in the hips, back, and shoulders to allow more freedom of movement and increase energy flow in the body. Sign up at the Alluvian Spa today! (866) 728-6700 Cost: $25/per person

Hope you turkeys are having a good weekend!  Thanks for reading today!
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7/4/13

Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni

Hey guys!  Happy Fourth!

Because I'm real into marching to the beat of my own drum, I'm going to share with you today not a grilling/patriotic/stars and stripes post but instead a little something about Chicken Parmesan.

Festive, right?  Right.  Let's move on.  

I decided to fix this last Sunday because it's Brandon's most favorite meal of all time.  But if you've been paying attention over here at the Elevator then you know that I don't do a lot of repeating of recipes so I'm constantly on the hunt for new Chicken Parm situations.  

This one was like two birds with one stone awesome as it not only made B happy as a lark but it also helped me to get rid of some more panko.  Still cleaning out the pantry over here, turkeys.  

One of the things that keeps me from making chicken parm a lot is the fact that it can be a schosche labor intensive.  To cut back on that this go round I get everything nice and organized before I started. 
Yes, there we go.  Stations.  Stations of awesomeness.  

Up next, it's time to fry.  This time, for no other reason other than I wanted to, I pulled out my Viking pan and legitimately fried this stuff up!  
Yes, please.  Love it.  

After it was fried up nice and golden it was into a dish for baking.  And saucing.  And cheesing.  
Not sorry for all that mozzarella.  Even a little.  

So a quick 15 minutes in the oven and a pairing with some pasta and you are good to go!  Eat it up, do your thing and if you are Brandon...save the leftovers for Chicken Parmesan sandwiches.  Seriously y'all he doesn't play around with a good chicken parm. 
Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni

2 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
2 cups of panko
4 chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4 inch thickness
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 oz sliced turkey pepperoni

Preheat oven to 450. 
 
Set up your breading stations as follows:
eggs and milk 
flour
panko

Salt and pepper the chicken breast. 

Head the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Dip the chicken in the eggs/milk, flour then panko and place in the pan.  Repeat with all the chicken.  Fry for 7 minutes, turning over half way through.  

Transfer to a baking dish.  Cover the chicken with the tomato sauce, the cheeses and the pepperonis.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Serve with pasta.  

Sidebar on this one, guys.  The points are tough to calculate on this one because you end up not using a lot of the eggs, milk, flour, panko.  When I tracked points on this one, I tracked it as 16 points.  This was my best guess and I'm sure it's fine, yo.