Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: September 2010

How to Sear Roasts and Stew Meat

Is pan searing meat really worth it? You bet cha! Pan searing is vital when cooking roasts or making beef stews. First the high heat creates a wonderful caramelized brown crust that gives the meat a nice texture. Second the left over burnt bits in […]

Zucchini Patties

I love zucchini. I love roasting them, dicing them up in sauces and who cannot resist a tempting loaf of zucchini bread. But, I am bored with this little green courgette. I needed something new to use my last zucchini in. Ironically I was thinking […]

Family Togetherness: Say HooYah!

Photo: (info unknown)

One of the best ways to bring out positive behavior is to acknowledge it. Children and teenagers especially need our encouragement. They enjoy knowing good deeds have not gone unnoticed. One way we show recognition for the positive things done throughout the day is to give a big HooYah! at the end of a day or week. At the end of the day when we gather together before bed the high fives are dolled out. As each person is recognized we all take turns giving them a  high five.

This week for example our daughter got a HooYah for using a cutting board to cut her fruit on. Our oldest controlled his temper when the baby destroyed his Lego car. It also helps me focus more on remembering the positive moments during the day rather than the negative ones. The idea of applauding their successes has taught the children to feel genuinely happy for each other while learning how to help build one another up.

Caramel Apple Brickle Dip

Caramel apple dip was once one of my favorite sweet guilty pleasures. It was all the rave in my circle of friends. If there was a baby shower, birthday party or get together you can bet caramel apple dip was on the table. I have […]

September Resolution to Give

The Giving Tree by Lady Squall With the onset of September also comes change. Children begin a new school year. College students move away. I no longer have to watch reruns of 30 Rock. New friendships will be made. Empty nesters will adjust to a […]

Vanilla Peach Pork Chops

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted so sweet and juicy. We ate them raw, we sliced them for salads, used them in scones and canned the rest. This recipe for vanilla pork chops tasted like we were eating dessert for dinner. I would have never thought to use vanilla with pork but when paired with the brown sugary nectarines and mustard sauce it was a tasty treat even the kids could not pass up.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 large peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp peach preserves
1 tbsp horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat a grill to medium heat or oven to 350 degrees.

In a large ziplock bag combine the water, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Seal the bag. Mix liquid until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops to the bag; turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Pat brown sugar onto cut sides of peach halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In small bowl combine preserves, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Drain chops, discarding brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Spread preserves mixture on both sides of chops. Grill peaches and pork chops until the peaches are tender and the pork chops are no longer pink inside.

Makes 4 servings.

September Website Reviews: Love2Learn2Day, PreschoolExpress, NTFFC

Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week […]

Potato Gnocchi

Whenever I am in the mood to cook Italian I always turn to my favorite Napa Valley Chef, Micheal Chiarello. His recipes are always clean and full of flavor. This recipe for Potato Gnocchi does not disappoint. Gnocchi [pronounced ‘Nyoke-ee’] is a type of dumpling […]