Wow! What a weekend! We got an early start as Brent got to come home early to get his Oklahoma Driver's License and it flew from there. We cleaned everything in anticipation for dinner with our parents. I even re-organized the pantry. It is so nice to have a spiffy clean house! (ok, the office isn't clean, but everything else is/was). The Dinner was an opportunity to try some new recipes. So, while Brent drove around the high school kids my mom and I cooked and chatted. My Dad & B napped and later Dad hung B's new curtains. (Yippee!)
The evening's menu included:
Maple Roasted Pork Loin (from Cook's Illustrated) - Very easy - just salt & pepper the pork loins and sear them for about 5-10 minutes so they are brown on all sides. Then place in a 9x13 inch pan. In the skillet you used to sear them, add 1 c. maple syrup, 1t. cinnamon, 1/4t cayenne and 1/2 tsp nutmeg or cloves. Heat for about 1 minute until warm and thickened. Baste over the pork loins and pour into the pan. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the temperature is 135 degrees. (Do cut into them to make sure they are done as mine weren't quite).
Bacon Cheddar Quick Bread with Dried [Apples] (Bon Appetit)- I substituted Apples for the Pears and Pecans for the walnuts but it was just absolutely wonderful, really a meal in bread form. (Click link for fabulous recipe).
Risotto with Butternut Squash and sage (Bon Appetit) - A general risotto recipe with cubed, sauteed butternut squash. The noticeable differences here are using a combination of beef and chicken stock and some sage. It is available in this month's Bon Appetit (or e-mail me and I'll send it to you).
Fried Okra "Blakley" style - so wonderful! I wish I'd bought more okra. Having this with dinner was a last minute addition and so delicious! To make it this select relatively young and tender okra, chop into 1/4 inch rounds or so (nothing precise here). Then dredge in a mix of 1/2 cornmeal and 1/2 flour with a little salt and pepper. Fry in hot canola oil -- keep the turning to a minimum. So great - I really can never get enough of this!
Finally, Brent's mom made mock- Applebee's blond brownie with maple carmel sauce and vanilla ice cream - Amazing! The sauce alone was just so yummy!
I confess, I had planned to make lemon meringue pie and it went dreadfully awry so I was so glad Marilyn stepped in with some dessert for us all. (Thank you so much!) I did later use the pie crust to make custard pie from the American Desserts book Mary gave me. It turned out pretty well although, as usual, not quite set up thoroughly. Overall, a great adventure into fun mostly new recipes and an excellent evening with our parents.
Sunday was very productive too if you can imagine. Brent cleaned out the garage and we finally put away everything that went in the attic as well as setting up various organizational areas. (Audra you're going to love it!) He also mowed the lawn as usual. Did I mention his intense, amazing window cleaning from Friday? He is so incredibly thorough I would have completely lost patience. I'm lucky that I married someone with so much more patience than I, happy thoughts:)
I hope all of you had wonderful weekends and we'll talk to you soon!