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Showing posts from June, 2016

Pork Chops with Caramel Apples

Back in college, I got tired of only knowing how to cook spaghetti, at least only knowing how to cook spaghetti well, so I started watching cooking shows and experimenting in my kitchen. I would use my friends as guinea pigs. Before long, they started looking forward to my calls to come over for my latest creation.

One weekend my parents came to visit and I wanted to cook something special I had been working on. There wasn't time for a trial run with the friends, so Saturday night was purely experimental. Fortunately, after a day of visiting west Texas wineries, the experiment paid off. In my kitchen that night, I cooked Pork Chops with Caramel Apples for the first time.

The Recipe:
For the pork chops: 4 pork chops Olive oilSalt and pepper Brush the pork chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until done, flipping as needed.
For the sauce: 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter4 medium apples - sliced1/2 cup sugarCinnamonNut…

Father's Day

Even though it has passed us by, I think it is still appropriate to wish everyone a happy Father's Day! We celebrated on Sunday by having my dad and my brother over. It was great to see all of the little ones run around and play together, and I think my dad enjoyed being able to just relax and not worry about anything but which grandchild he was going to play with next.

A few years back my wife got me A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen and I've been dying to try it ever since. I'll leave the recipes out of this post so you can enjoy the book as much as I am. We of course had a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar while everything was still getting ready and enjoyed some great conversation while we waited.

For the main event, I made some baked beans, baby back pork ribs, Mediterranean inspired chicken shish kabobs with squash and mushrooms, and jalapeno venison sausage. By special request, my wife made one of my favorite desserts, carrot cake.

When it was finally time to say goodbye,…

Family Reunion in New Orleans

As a family, we've always gathered around food. There have always been the holidays where we have dinner, but that's just what you do. And for the last 20 years or so it has just been the Houston crew. It has been too difficult to get the New Orleans bunch together as our lives have taken us all in different directions.

So last weekend, we did just that. It was a trip we had been talking about taking, but never could get the momentum going. The timing was never right or schedules would never allow. But we all knew there was one thing keeping us from making the trip. It was a request from the last member of older generation in the family and we knew we had to honor it. It wasn't that he didn't want to see us, he didn't want us to see him. That sounds worse than it actually is, or was in this case. My great-uncle, Emmett, had been in the throes of illness and it was his wish that we not see him for fear that we would remember him in his weakened state. The reality is…

I Think Cheesecake Pretty Much Speaks for Itself

We all have recipes we're fairly proud. My cheesecake recipe is one of them. I grew up a friend down the street whose mom would always have a cheesecake made, and sometimes she would make a second one just for me. We would put that pre-made canned cherry pie filling on top of. Looking back, that part wasn't that good, but that was before I really discovered great food.

For our wedding, we were trying to go low budget and had a friend of a friend bake some cheesecakes. They baked them ahead of time brought them in a cooler. I looked for a picture of the wedding cakes or maybe even us at our wedding, but all I could find was this one from our trip to Paris for our 4th anniversary.

For her birthday this year, Jessica asked me to make a cheesecake for her party. I was more than happy to.

The recipe:

For the crust:
1 1/2 Cups cinnamon-sugar graham cracker crumbs
2/3 Cup unsalted butter - melted
1 Tbsp sugar

Combine. Spread the mixture on the bottom of a spring form pan. Press the c…

Veggies and Picky Eaters

When you have a two-year-old and a one-year-old at home, dinner time can be tricky. The kiddos tend to get stuck on a steady diet of ham and cheese, fruit snacks, and mac and cheese. While we do our best at home to buy organic and natural food, even fruit snacks, there comes a point where a little bit of variety and healthy options need to come in to play.

The other night, we decided to make some meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the old classic, but wanted to have something a bit more nutritious for the kids. Something that my wife and I have played around with in the past is steamed cauliflower, mashed to mimic mashed potatoes. The kids seem to like it, if they only tolerate it.
I've written about the meatloaf before. You can find the recipe here.
For the cauliflower:
Place a steamer basket in a pot with enough water to fill the pot without touching the bottom of the basket. Place the lid on and allow some steam to build up. Cut the bottom off the cauliflower and remove the stem. Pl…