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Archive for August, 2013

This recipe is one of the first I pinned to my Recipes to Try board on Pinterest and I finally took the time to try it.  I am so glad I did because the taste is really outstanding.  I usually don’t marinate meats that much, but the pineapple juice and soy sauce really give the chops loads of extra flavor and helps to keep them moist.  The grilled pineapple slices weren’t too shabby either.  This recipe is from Allrecipes.com which is one of my go-to sites when I am looking for something new.

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops

3 bone-in pork chops

8 oz. can pineapple rings

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

pinch of ground black pepper

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Drain the pineapple rings, catching the juice into a bowl.  Keep the pineapple itself for later.  Combine the reserved juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder and black pepper in a zip top bag.  Knead the bag with your hands a few times to mix the ingredients completely.  Add the chops and shake to coat.  Refrigerate for several hours.

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Oil the grates of your grill and heat to medium.  Removed the chops from the marinade and shake off the excess.  Grill until the chops are cooked thoroughly and have nice grill marks on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side.  Test with a meat thermometer to make sure they are done.  Brush on a little of the marinade while the chops are cooking and discard the remainder.  Put the pineapple slices on the grill and cook until they are hot and show grill marks as well.  Serve on the side with the pork chops.

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops

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It’s Friday, folks, so it is time for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Grab a book, give us the first line or two, and then give us your opinion.  My book today was a free Kindle download called “Second Sight Dating” by Marianne Stephens:

“ ‘I want him, not that other one you just showed me.  Look at this guy,’ Miss “K” rattled on with a pout, a blue-polished fingernail pointing at a picture of Mr. “Thirty-six”.

I am not a big reader of plain old romance novels, so this was just ok for me but I am glad it was free.  No offense to the author, but it really just wasn’t my cup of tea.  The story idea was cute and the book was entertaining enough, but after reading part of the Outlander series, this was a little too simplistic.

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Some Olloclip macro lens fun with my iPhone…

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Goooooooood morning, everyone!  I hope everyone is up and at ‘em more than we are today.  C & I took in the Kentucky State Fair on its last day yesterday and closed out the night by watching one of our favorite comedians, Jeff Dunham, at Freedom Hall.  We lost a little sleep, but it was well worth it.  Maybe we can catch up next week since we are taking a few days off.  That’s right…a staycation is just a few days away and I am SO READY!

This weeks menu is a little light since I am trying to clean out the pantry/fridge/freezer before going to the grocery at the end of the week.  Hopefully I can get stocked back up on some essentials for a few new recipes.  Have a great week everyone!

Grilled hamburgers with oven fries

Tacos with fresh fruit

Pizza night

Grilled pork chops with baked potatoes

Grocery night out

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Shredded pork bbq with oven fries

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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Today’s post is another wonderful recipe from a wonderful blog called Plain Chicken.  I have tried several of their recipes in the last few months and they have all turned out great!  I can’t recommend their site enough. Go check it out now!  Well, maybe not RIGHT now…you can finish my post first.

This is close to the perfect weeknight meal since it is tasty, simple, quick, and did I mention tasty?  Try it and see if you like it as much as we did.

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1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. Italian sausage

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

sliced cheese of your choice

buns

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In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, sausage, onion and pepper until there is no pink left in the meat and the veggies have softened.  Drain the fat and put the meat back in the pan.

Stir in the garlic powder and sauce.  Simmer on low-medium for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the buns.  Put the cheese on the buns and put them in a low oven for a few minutes, just until the cheese starts to melt really well.  I would have loved to use provolone on these, but I was out so American had to do.

Scoop a little of the meat mixture on the bun and enjoy!

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A few weeks ago, C & I had the opportunity to visit the Yew Dell Botanical Garden in Crestwood, Kentucky and had a wonderful time.  They have a neat history and I invite you to visit their site for the history and a list of the many events they hold there. I won’t take up much room on my post for that because I have many photos to share with you, and, yes, that is a warning!! Caution: extreme amount of photos ahead!

Crestwood is a suburb community of Louisville, KY and the trip from downtown to the garden takes about 30 minutes depending on the amount of traffic.  We turned in and spotted their unique entry gate and sign:

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We parked and began looking for the entrance so we could purchase tickets and it is located in this barn.  Looks are deceiving in this instance because there is a nice air-conditioned gift shop in there. 

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There was a sculpture exhibition going on at the garden and most of the artwork was for sale, but it was a little pricey for our checkbook.

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Yeah, you are reading that correctly.  We made sure not to break anything!  Here comes the photo deluge.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Doesn’t everyone have a castle in their backyard?  I loved this!

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Beautiful views from the lookout above:

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This space was an edible garden.

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The tree lined allees were gorgeous.

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You eyes aren’t deceiving you.  That IS a giant ball made of tires.

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We really enjoyed our trip to Yew Dell and highly recommend it for any garden lovers out there. 

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Playing with my new toy…an Olloclip iPhone lens.

Regular photo:

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Wide angle lens:

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Fish eye lens:

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And my favorite, the macro lens:
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Good Monday morning, everyone!  I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend, or at the very least, an enjoyable one.  We took things pretty easy around here and caught up on a little housework and laundry.  You know how I said I was going to try one new recipe a week last Monday?  Well, I did, just not the recipe I had planned.  Instead of making the new pasta dish, I used an old favorite and made a new cake instead.  So I guess I still followed my rule! 

This week is a little haphazard.  We have a few plans that will have us eating out.  Bummer…well, no, not really.  We should get to have some fun and I will have all of the details later.  Have a great week!

Grilled pork chops with oven baked fries & corn on the cob

Minestrone soup (new)

Sausage bake with salad

Grilled steaks with baked potatoes & corn on the cob

Pizza night

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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While browsing on Pinterest one day, I came upon a pin for these iconic New York deli cookies called, simply enough, Black & White Cookies.  The recipe was posted from Brown Eyed Baker and the cookies looked so yummy!  I pinned the recipe for later and decided to try it one Sunday afternoon.

These are somewhat of a classic cookie so I am glad I tried them, but I am not sure if I will ever make them again.  The cookie is just your basic butter/sugar cookie with black and white frosting on them.  The white portion of the frosting turned out great but as soon as I added some of the white in with the melted chocolate to make the black frosting, disaster struck. 

My chocolate seized and there was nothing I could do to make it smooth again.  I put the bowl over another bowl of simmering water to loosen it and that didn’t work.  I even tried microwaving it for a few seconds and NOTHING!  So, the “black” part of my cookies is just melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Don’t get me wrong…the melted chips worked find, but it just wasn’t the same.  Oh, well, you win some and you lose some.

I am listing the original recipe, but there won’t be any photos of the chocolate frosting.

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For the cookies:
4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk

For the frosting:

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

5 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds then gradually add the granulated sugar.  Slow increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat at medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl again.  On low speed, add the flour mixture and milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix just until combined. 

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Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Gently press each cookie dough mound until it is about 2 1/2 inches wide.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are set and light golden brown.  Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then put on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Now let’s make the icing: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and corn syrup to boil.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Transfer 3/4 of a cup to another bowl.  Melt the chocolate and add it to the 3/4 cups of frosting.  Combine and that makes the chocolate frosting.  (That is also where mine seized and wouldn’t do a thing so I just used melted semi-sweet chips instead.)

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Ice half the cookie with the white frosting and half with the melted chocolate.  Allow the cookies to dry completely before eating or storing.  They will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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1. I tried something for the very first time last week.  I took entries to the Kentucky State Fair for the culinary and photography competitions: an Italian cream cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pecan fudge & a nature photo. The results should be published in the next day or two and I can’t wait to see if I place in any of the contests.

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2. You really need to read this post over at Southern Plate.  Christy has some awesome recipes on her site, but she has started a journal/devotion page that is just as good.  This really touched me so go read it as soon as you are done here.  You won’t be disappointed. Trust me!

3. For my 40th birthday last month, my sweet co-workers gave me a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure and I finally took the time to use it this week.  Aaahhh, bliss!

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4. One of my fellow Southern Food Bloggers has a new book!  Kendra Bailey Morris wrote the awesome “The Southern Slow Cooker Cookbook” and I received a complimentary copy in the mail this week to review.  The photography is gorgeous and the recipes look divine.  I can’t wait to try a few! Click here to purchase one for yourself. Here is the link to Ms. Morris’ blog, Fatback & Foie Gras and here is the link to her Facebook page and the FB page for her book.

5. Finally, C & I have a weakness for office supplies.  I know, it’s weird but we both love new notebooks and pens and, well, you get the idea.  Staples is having an awesome sale this week so we are hoping to get there today or tomorrow and stock up.  It’s the small things in life that makes us happy.

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