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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sorry for the silence...this is the first time cooking did not comfort me ~

This past week (Boston Marathon week) was like nothing I have ever gone through before, and I pray I never do again.   The experience of coming close to losing a child...not being able to protect a child from France who was put in my care... being locked in my home, not being free to come and go... such scary times.

A scheduled trip to upper state New York this past weekend couldn't have come at a better time.  And, after eating out 2 days and nights, I am so charged up to get back to cooking!

You all know what it is like coming home after being away and trying to see if you can find something in the fridge to whip up.   Well, I found some pork chops in the freezer, some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes in the fridge, as well as some brussell sprouts, so I am good to go.  I will whip up a serving of rice pilaf, and hopefully the two family members home tonight will be satisfied!

I start out by quickly brining my pork chops.  I used about 4 cups of water, about a 1/4 cup of kosher salt, some dried onion, a little garlic powder, some thyme, and a bay leaf.  I let the chops soak for a little over an hour.  Then remove them and let them get to room temperature.

While those are soaking, I slice up some tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.  I bought this amazing olive oil at the Saratoga Olive Oil Co.  It is called Tuscan Herb olive oil and has basil, oregano, and a few other herbs infused into olive oil.  Where I didn't have fresh basil, I figured this would suffice, and I was right!  The oil and some splashes of balsamic vinegar  was all it needed...

As for the brussell sprouts, I cut them in half, coat with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring a little about half way through.  

The only thing left to do is whip up a quick batch of rice pilaf.  You can't go wrong using Near East brand, but any kind of rice will work.  While it is cooking, I get ready to cook the chops.  

All they need is some pepper, a little garlic and onion powder.  Heat up your pan and melt 3-4 tbs of butter.  Add a little olive oil and cook the pork chops for about 10 minutes on each side.  If your chops are on the thinner side, you will need to cut way back on your cooking time.  After I cooked the chops, I checked them and actually had to cook them for a bit longer. They should be just a little bit pink inside.

So, there you have it.  I think each part of this dinner took about 20 minutes to cook!  The seasonings are pretty basic and light, which allows the flavors of the food come out.  Enjoy...

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