Friday, October 05, 2007

In the Back of the Diner...

Susanne from Living to Tell the Story has tagged me for a kitchen meme. I'm to name eight random things from my kitchen/cooking.  I'll do it, but you all know how I am with staying in the lines...
  1. Below is my best cooking tool ever!  It slices, dices and even kisses the cook!

    And I'm afraid I got the only one, so that just reeks for the rest of you... too bad!  Seriously, finding someone who likes to cook will be your best asset in the kitchen, plus you can spend more time together in your hectic schedules.
  2. My sweet little Braun coffee maker... oh how I love thee! (especially around 6 AM or when we're serving up a fresh from the oven apple pie or brownies)
  3. Speaking of oven/stove, I love it.  I can't cook without it.  Well, I could, but I'm not into cooking over a fire or rubbing sticks together to start the whole production...  How else would I make my mind-numbing, smile-enducing apple pies?
  4. I must say that I absolutely adore living in a time and place when I can have a refrigerator.   It keeps my cream for my coffee cold and my ice cream bars frozen.
  5. Frozen... oh yes - my upright freezer, which is not in my kitchen, but rather just outside the door to my garage, is a blessing beyond measure.  Without it, I could not take advantage of meat, cheese and vegetables sales.  (And blessed we are!  Right now it's packed to the gills with food just waiting to be made.)
  6. Also not in my kitchen but on the back porch is the grill.  When the weather is nice, you will often find our grill in use.  Steaks, chicken, pork, shishkabobs, ribs, vegetables - we grill them all.
  7. My favorite spice by far is garlic.  I use it in as many recipes as possible.  Breath mint anyone?
  8. I've fallen in love with the Cascade 2-in-1 action pacs.  Doing dishes has never been so easy... (And I fill the rinse dispenser with vinegar - no smell and no spots!)
  9. You really need a great (not good, GREAT) set of knives in your kitchen.  Save up and purchase ones that will last your lifetime.  After a good amount of searching, reviewing and researching, we settled on JA Henckels, which we've loved since day one.
  10. I love my Calphalon pans.  Did you know that they come with a lifetime guarantee?  I
    received my set as a graduation from college present from Mr. Right, which I'm sorry to say was quite a while ago.  Sigh.  It seems like just yesterday that I was in high school... but I digress.  At around the 10th year of ownership, I discovered that I could send them back for replacements.  I did and now I have an entirely new set of pans which are actually better than the ones I bought originally because they sent me the ones with the latest updates.  I love a great deal!
  11. I like to cook all sorts of things.  Entrees, baking, sides... all these things appeal to me.  One of my favorite things to do now is to ask the kids to help me with these tasks.  I'm hoping to pass on the love of cooking/baking to both of my kids - my daughter so that she can later enjoy taking care of her future family and my son because I don't want to send him out of our house thinking that it is only something girls do well.  With Mr. Right as a role model, I have a feeling that it is a scenario that will never happen.
  12. Lastly, I like to play in the kitchen.  Recipes are great and all, but sometimes I like to throw caution to the wind and make stuff up.  And we've discovered some fantastic new recipes that the entire family asks to have again and again.  I'll even share with you my most recent foray into the realm of the unknown (which the family promptly deemed "a winner!"
Apple Pork Roast  

(Realize that I'm guessing on some of the measurements since my method of cooking that was "a little of this, a bit of that"...

3 lbs. pork loin roast (or any other, but the leanness added to the texture and flavor)
2 apples, peeled, seeded and quartered
1 1/2 c apple juice
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Put roast and apples in slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients and add to slow cooker.  Cook on low all day.  (If you're home while it's cooking, turn roast a couple of times to keep all the meat flavorful and moist.)  Slice or shred meet and serve with stewed apples.  (A gravy can be made from the juice if desired.  Use cornstarch and water to thicken juices and ladle over meat.)

Now I tag Big Mama, Barb, Stacey, Jeana and Ashley.  Go to it girls!

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