Showing posts from March, 2009

Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner

Another quick supper, this time a one-pot oven dinner, pork chops and rice cooked together. The very first meal I cooked, memorable for reasons good and bad! Here’s to memories, the ones connecting home-cooked food and real life.On March 31, 1970, I cooked this easy one-skillet supper. Yes, I really do recall a single meal cooked exactly 39 years ago today, perhaps more than the one cooked yesterday, all because: It was my mother’s birthday, her 40th.
It was the first meal I ever cooked.
It was a disaster.
But there’s more to the story, one that demonstrates how kitchen disasters can have happy endings and how some times, no matter what is served, meals are not about the food.Mom had a new job, she was working long hours. That morning, she jotted down her recipe for a standby pork chop supper she’d made herself many times, one so familiar that she left out one itsy bitsy detail: browning the pork chops. Oops. An experienced cook might have realized. Me, I was 11 and following her recipe…

Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro

The Recipe: An unusual fruit salad, savory and sweet at the same time. This salad recipe takes familiar ingredients and turns them upside down. Start with your favorite fruit – I've tried grapes, mango and apples – and then just stir in the rest, including a touch of salt, a key ingredient. There you go, fruit salad in a whole new way! ~ Skip Straight to the Recipe ~

Grocery-Store MathEven practiced frugal grocery shoppers suffer temptation.The other day, my local grocery had big bunches of gorgeous-looking red grapes, one group for $1 a pound, another for $2. Closer inspection revealed that the more expensive grapes were seedless. I reached for them, almost unconsciously weighing the value of a dollar to the convenience of seedless grapes.But if a penny saved is a penny earned, a dollar saved is a dollar earned, times a hundred. I picked the grapes with seeds.Turns out, there were hardly any seeds in those $1 grapes. Turns out, the seeds were so soft, I didn’t even bother scooping…

Cheery Cherry Banana Bread

The Recipe: My forever-and-forever favorite recipe for banana bread, rich with banana flavor, very banana-y. (That's thanks to very ripe bananas, even my favorite "black bananas"!) It calls for whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, so the recipe is even half healthful. But what really makes this banana bread special? Poppy seeds and those bright-red cheery cherries! And now there's also Christmas Banana Bread with tart fresh cranberries. Consider making banana bread a new seasonal tradition. The Conversation: Are super-size portions the reason we're putting on pounds? Nutrition experts cite super-size portions as one reason why Americans put on pounds.I recently purchased a baking pan that cuts the portion size of quick breads in half – kinda magic, just like that!The pan holds the same volume as a standard bread pan but is shallower and longer, about twelve inches long, allowing for more slices. The longer size is especially perfect for rich quick breads but when th…