As much as I try, I just can’t seem to cook quinoa properly. I’ve tried various methods but it always ends up badly. Instead of individual fluffy grains, I get a big gloppy mess. Too much water? Overcooked? Who knows. Even when I follow a recipe to the letter, it’s a disaster.
This past weekend I decided to give it one last shot. If I couldn’t do it this time, I swore to myself, I would give up completely and resign myself to buying it from the Whole Foods buffet and just heating it up when I needed it. Once again the alchemy escaped me and I was left with thick, gloppy glue. I tasted it and it had a vaguely cinnamon flavor. Who knows where that came from but it was obvious to me that I would have to dump the whole batch into the garbage disposal YET AGAIN… or would I?
What do you do with leftover herbs and stuff? Pesto it.
Leftovers in the fridge turned into this…
In a true sign that end days are nigh, my family all sat around the dinner table last night eating the same meal. I swear, miracles never cease.
I wasn’t sure I would get away with making only one dinner. I thought for sure I’d hear moans and groans if not full-force wailing and a flat-out refusal to eat. I was thus in shock when we actually shared a Sunday dinner together. (Full disclosure: I hadn’t actually fed them a meal since breakfast so they probably would’ve eaten roadkill if that’s what I had put on their plates but I’m still totally considering this a win.)
Every weekend, I have a ritual. I sit down with a scrap of paper and a pen, and plan a week’s worth of dinners. My husband HATES this part of the weekend, mostly because:
1. He thinks it’s completely insane to plan Thursday’s dinner on a Saturday or Sunday. (If he had his way, he’d shop for what he wanted to eat day of. I’ve told him repeatedly that with two kids, going to the store after work is NOT an option.)
2. When I ask him what he wants to eat this week and he gives me ideas, I completely ignore him. (I see his point here. I do ask him what he wants and then sometimes tell him, ‘Nope’ but that’s mostly because he doesn’t really know how much effort it takes to make what he wants. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just trying to get dinner on the damn table at the end of a long day. Risotto ain’t an option!)
When I got to Whole Foods yesterday, I had the intention of doing something with winter vegetables. I was recently shamed by a produce guy when I made some comment about the lack of arugula or something and he tells me how there’s a drought in California and that it might mean we’ll all have to start eating seasonally again… you know, like we used to. Jeez! So I backed off the green leafy veggies and put some blueberries in my cart when I saw he wasn’t looking. Screw you, Whole Foods produce guy!
Kids picked a shitload of apples at the orchard the other day.
4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops
1 large onion, sliced
4 to 5 apples, cut in chunks (I left the skin on but it certainly works if you peel them)
1 cup white wine
1 cup/box apple juice (I’m a mom. I measure juice in boxes.)
Spring of thyme
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Pat chops dray and season with salt and pepper. Brown in a large, ovenproof skillet in vege/canola oil; remove to a plate.
Add onions to skillet and cook 2 minutes or so. Add apples and toss. Deglaze with wine; add juice. Bring to a bubble. Nestle chops into juice, add thyme to pan and place in oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours to tender.
Remove chops to a plate and place skillet over high heat to reduce sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve chops topped with onions, apples and sauce.