Monday, February 18, 2013

Pork Chops and Apples Squash~ Ode to Peter Brady

I do love my slow cooker, but not every meal that comes out of it is a keeper.  The slow cooker can sometimes yield mushy yet dry meat and overcooked vegetables with muted flavors.  But not this one!  I made pork chops with apples and squash in a mustard-vinegar sauce that came out moist and flavorful and super tangy!

Pork Chops and Apples Squash (Ode to Peter Brady)

4 pork chops (I used boneless loin chops, but bone-in would work just as well)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 large apples, cored and cubed
1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed

Toss the onion, apples and squash together and place in the bottom of the slow cooker...

 photo E2916FF0-85A0-460E-9F67-A0506D4A4291-1484-000000F333861E56_zpsf9d95bd2.jpg

Make the sauce.

3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/3 apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning (or salt and pepper to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Stir them together in a bowl...

 photo 2EE2D5F4-E8DA-40BC-BDBC-924336340356-1484-000000F330EC9881_zps9d318239.jpg

Dip the pork chops in the sauce to fully coat them and place on top of the onion, apple, squash mixture. Pour the rest of the sauce over top of the meat.

 photo 6C3354B7-D774-4109-A36D-794F2ACE7939-1484-000000F32DB6A391_zpseb6bf8a5.jpg

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  Devour!

 photo 77FBE283-FC1D-4DF7-9D7B-27500269A547-1878-0000015A25B868DB_zpsbe5d026e.jpg

The apples and squash maintained good texture and the flavors were bright and tangy.  The onions and apples release quite a bit of water while cooking so I place a layer of paper towels under lid during the cook, it keeps excess water out of the sauce and it also helps contain the aroma.  I love the smell of dinner cooking but I hate when the whole house smells of it.

 photo 4C57024E-1A41-4A64-A460-DCF550E32283-1878-0000015A22423B80_zpsc4b6b44b.jpg

In case you're too young to get the title reference, here is the Brady Bunch wiki and the video clip to further your pop culture education...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Other Side

Last week I had a scratchy throat and by Friday I was feverish, dizzy, my ears were burning and my sinuses were pulsating.  Rob came home Friday and fell ill on Saturday with the same thing.  It's been a fun few days, I'm sure you can imagine.  I'm feeling confident that I'm on the other side of it and hopefully Rob will be in a day or two.  

We had a lovely spring-like day on Saturday, it was 61 and sunny.  We put the chairs out so we could get some pure vitamin D to help speed up our healing process.

 photo 0724FD72-98F1-425D-B9D6-B3FF01B93189-571-000000376E118C5A_zps2caa605c.jpg

Tally was loving it, she is a true sunbathing beauty.  I don't think she is going to like winter in New England.

 photo C4D4CA68-16A1-43B4-86F8-CAC540626D17-571-000000376876DC53_zps2a6ec0f5.jpg

I was able to get out of the house today.  I needed to have my hair trimmed. I've decided to let it grow out a bit, which can be a bit of a pain when it was as short as mine.  After waiting 8 weeks since my last cut, it was way overdue.  

Local peeps take note~Allison at Famous Hair on Sandy Plains Road in Marietta is a rock star.  She gave me a great trim and some really good advice on hair color.  I loved the natural silver while it was in the pixie/faux-hawk but now that it's getting longer, it started to look very drab.  I can't go back to permanent hair color because my scalp just can't handle the chemicals.  I picked up a very gentle color gloss and now my silvers are a pretty golden shade.  I'm so happy with the results...

 photo A3820247-7287-4871-BC3D-6450D5810D9B-571-000000376C0A8574_zps18863107.jpg

It's that time of year again, I'll be heading up to Boston for the Oscars soon.  It's a very short trip this time, but just couldn't miss the tradition of family dinner on Saturday and then our annual Oscar party on Sunday.  I can't wait to see my family.  

So now that you're all caught up, how about that show GIRLS on HBO, do you watch?  The most recent episode, Lena Dunham's character Hannah has a steamy fling with Patrick Wilson.  This episode has made a splash causing the critics and even some fans come out of the woodwork screaming that someone as hot as Patrick Wilson would never be with someone as whatever (fat, plain, ugly) as Lena Dunham.  How the episode must have been a fantasy, because surely it could NEVER be.  

I thought it was an interesting episode to watch, there was something so nakedly genuine about that moment when Joshua told Hannah that he thought she was beautiful that I had to pause the show to catch my breath. I was definitely not surprised with the media aftermath.  After all, women are supposed to look like Victoria Secret models and women who are as chubby and unfit as Kate Upton should never be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. 

What do you think?