Marinated Pork Chops For Dinner

Filed Under (Cooking, Supper) by Lisa on 25-02-2009

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This afternoon a family member requested pork chops for dinner. I decided to volunteer to make them. I search the internet and found a recipe that I liked. The original recipe can be found on this website: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Marinated-Baked-Pork-Chops/Detail.aspx

 I changed just a few things when I made it, and doubled the recipe. However next time I think I would triple it because it just seemed like it would be even better with more sauce.

I served the pork chops with corn and mashed potatoes.

The mashed potato recipe came from fellow blogger myovenhates me at:  http://myovenhatesme.com/2008/12/02/sour-cream-onion-mashed-potatoes/

The recipe is magnificent! I did change things up a little bit.

First I used 9 potatoes since I was making it for a few people. I more or less doubled the recipe. I also used fresh chives instead of dried. There was not much sour cream left so I used about ½ cup sour cream and for the rest I used light mayonnaise. I also added a bit of garlic powder for extra flavor.

It was a hearty wholesome meal that was enjoyed by all.

This has to be my ultimate favorite pork chop recipeJ

Here is the pork chop recipe ( my morphed version).

Baked Marinated Pork Chops

2 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp brown sugar

4 tbsp organic ketchup

1 white onion diced

3 garlic cloves diced

3 carrots diced

Salt

Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine the: soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup. Mix well. Place pork chops in a medium sized baking dish. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the pork chops. Drizzle all of the sauce onto the pork chops. Cover the meat and rest of the dish with the carrot onion and garlic. Bake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven. Now turn the pork chops over and bake for another 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven temperature). Serve.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 10-01-2009

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-The prettiest muffins I have ever seen-

-The most delicious muffins I have ever tasted-

Yesterday I was in the baking mood. I felt like making muffins, so I paged through a muffin cookbook. I found one that interested me. I was a little skeptical of it since it was a recipe for beet chocolate muffins.

I am not a fan of beets cooked or fresh. However I had never had them in muffin form. My dad loves beets and grows tons of them in his garden. Consequently we ended up with a large amount of beets in our freezer. My parents boil the beets, cut them into small pieces and put them into sandwich size zip lock bags and then place the bags in the freezer.

For this recipe I just used one sandwich sized zip lock bag of beets. I think it works out to about 1 ½ – 2 cups of beet cut into small pieces.

Here is the recipe. I morphed the original version which came from Company’s Coming; Mostly Muffins recipe book by Jean Pare (Page 52). Here is my version.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup coco

½ tsp salt

¼ cup medium unsweetened coconut

½-¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

¼ cup olive oil

1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract (or real rum)

¾-1 cup skim milk

Beets about 1 ½- 2 cups fresh or frozen cut up beets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins (12 muffin tin)

In a large bowl place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and coco. Blend well. Now add the chocolate chips and coconut to the flour mixture. Mix well.

In a blender place the beets (if you are using frozen beets microwave them for 2 minutes first) eggs, brown sugar, milk, vanilla extract, rum extract, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Now add the beet mixture to the flour mixture. Blend until a smooth batter is formed. If it the batter looks too dry add a little more milk. The dough should look like this.

Now spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes (or until the muffins go from a fuchsia color to a deep red/brown color). Serve warm or cool (both temperature are super yummy). Enjoy.

My Second Chocolate Review

Filed Under (Review) by Lisa on 03-01-2009

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Last night I decided to have one of my chocolates from my assorted box of 12 chocolates from the Chocolate Trading Company. I chose to have the cappuccino one. Here are my thoughts on it.

Before I started this tasting, I cleared my mouth with pure filtered water. It was cool, but not cold. I sampled this chocolate after dinner, which is not considered prime chocolate tasting time, but I was in the mood, so that is why I chose this time.

This chocolate is made of pure coco butter and real vanilla. Below are some images of the package.

 

This is how the little chocolate information booklet describes this cappuccino delight: cappuccino; a successful and delicate compliment of finely roasted coffee beans combined with the buttery sweetness of this fine milk chocolate, provide a wonderful creamy cappuccino experience for you to savor.

Here are my impressions. The aroma that this chocolate had was that of milk chocolate with a hint of coffee. Visually the chocolate appeared to be a medium brown color, and was also smooth and glossy on top. There were small imprecations noted on the back side of the chocolate. This likely means the chocolatier didn’t put as much care into the back side as the front.

Taste Impressions

Initial

When I first put the chocolate in my mouth I let it melt for a very short time. The chocolate tasted lavish with a hint of creamy cappuccino flavor. The cappuccino flavor was very low key, kind of like a background taste to the extraordinary creamy smooth milk chocolate flavor.

Middle

As I began to chew the chocolate I noted that the outside layer of chocolate was medium to thin in thickness. The inside cappuccino chocolate mixture was immensely creamy (which I loved). The chocolate tasted pure. It was a tiny bit sweeter then the 64% Single Origin Madagascar Superior Dark Chocolate that I sampled in my first review http://lisaopolis.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/my-first-chocolate-review/ .

 

Long

The chocolate left a bit of a sweet/coffee after taste. It was pretty mellow though, and not unpleasant.

 

Overall Impression

I loved this cappuccino chocolate from the Chocolate Trading Company. The experience of this chocolate was ecstasy. I highly recommend this chocolate for all people who love cappuccino chocolates. This one is a winner.

Rating

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best chocolate imaginable) I would give this one a score of 8/10.

2009 Goals

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 02-01-2009

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Since I missed doing New Years Resolutions, I thought I would make some 2009 goals instead. Here are my goals. Some ambitious, and some less then ambitious. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Increase my blog RSS to 20. I think this is an ambitious goal considering the most it has ever been was 7. However with perseverance it might be an achievable goal.

 2. To do 175 blog posts min this year. In 2008 I wrote a total of 58 blog posts. This should be a goal that is achievable without too much difficulty.

3. To loose 20 lbs. I was doing well with this until Christmas came. I had lost 6-7 lbs that I had kept off for over a month but then Christmas and all the yummy treats it brings with it came, and those 6 lbs went right back on. At least it was only 6. My 2009 goal weight is 140 lbs.

4. To work more hours at my nurse job. I’m causal, so I choose when, where and how often I work. I get calls to work every day, but I seem to like my days off a little too much. My goal is to work or attend 200 shifts or paid education days in 2009.

5. To save $20,000. In order to do this I will have to work more, so I may be able to achieve this goal easily if I also achieve my goal to work more shifts. I may have to curb my spending a little though.

My First Chocolate Review

Filed Under (Review) by Lisa on 31-12-2008

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As mentioned previously I received a variety of different chocolates from my boyfriend, for Christmas. These chocolates were from the Chocolate Trading Company (which be bought online since we don’t live in the UK.).

Today’s review is of 64% Single Origin Madagascar Superior Dark Chocolate.

Before I started this tasting, I cleared my mouth with pure filtered water. It was cool, but not cold. I sampled this chocolate between breakfast and lunch.

This chocolate is made with pure coco butter and real vanilla. It contains no preservatives, artificial flavors or vegetable fats.

The ingredients in this chocolate are as follows: dark chocolate, 64% cocoa min. Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla, emulsifier, Soya lecithin.

This chocolate is made in France.

For this review I sampled three pieces of chocolate.

Here are my impressions from my tasting.

Initial Impression: This chocolate has an earthy aroma. It has a very dark brown, slightly shiny appearance. It also may have a scant amount of coco butter bloom. This I learned is a white, powdery-looking coating on chocolate. It occurs when the chocolate is improperly stored. I learned this from a book I recently bought called: Discover Chocolate; The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate by Clay Gordon. The chocolate has a crisp snap to it. This is characteristic of a high quality chocolate.

Taste Impressions

Initial

When I first put a piece of chocolate in my mouth, I let it melt for a few seconds. The initial flavors I tasted were; earthy, and wood flavors.

Middle

As I let the chocolate melt in my mouth the earthy, wood flavors were intensified. As I started to chew the chocolate I noted that it was slightly crunchy but then super smooth. It tasted very pure, and not too sweet.

Long

The chocolate left a pleasant short after taste in my mouth, and no long term after taste.

My over all rating of this chocolate would be an 8/10 ( 10 being the highest possible score). It is was exqusite chocolate experience.

Merry Christmas to Me

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 27-12-2008

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I hope everyone in the blog-sphere had a lovely Christmas. I had a wonderful one myself.

There was tons of snow on the ground, and it was sunny. However despite the sun, it lightly snowed on and off though out the day.

I had a quite Christmas at home with my parents (and dog). My brother and sister-in law stopped by for a short visit in the afternoon. They dropped off gifts for us. This is what they gave me. It is stylish.

Since it was a beautiful day and the roads were good, I decided to do some picture taking. I went to one of my favorite parks: Piper’s Lagoon, and took a few photos. There was very little snow there compared to where I live.

Here are a few photos I took.

 

For Christmas I received a few very lovely gifts. The first one is my favorite. My boyfriend gave me a huge selection of chocolate from The Chocolate Trading Company. Here is a link to their website if you are interested: http://www.chocolatetradingco.com/mainpage.asp?

I am head over heals in love with this chocolate. I have yet to try some of the varieties but from what I have tried, the Booja-Booja organic truffles are my favorite by far. Each time I eat one of these I am taken to another place. It is pure delight. It is a sensual experience like none other. This is one chocolate that is a must try for all chocoholics.

Below are some picture of my chocolates. Stayed turned for more up close profiles of each chocolate variety.

Snowed In!

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 18-12-2008

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The last 5 days have been insane! We have had more snow then I can ever remember in my whole life (I’ve lived in the same city my whole life). The temperature has also been colder then ever. The lowest being -15 degrees C without the wind chill factor. I managed to take a few photos. As I write the snow continues to fall softly outside. It looks like it might be a white Christmas J .

Here are the photos.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 18-12-2008

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Yes I have to say it was my birthday a little while ago (almost a week ago). I’m 24 now! I’m getting old, however I don’t feel like I am.

For my birthday my boyfriend and I planned to go out for dinner together to celebrate. However we were on completely opposite sleeping schedules (because I work so many night shifts), that our plan seemed very unlikely to happen.

Since I didn’t want to miss out on celebrating my birthday (on my birthday) I tried to get myself up early. It worked kind of. I ended up sleeping only a few hours, but I was up early enough. I was very sleepy and tired though.

My boyfriend called me at 0430. He suggested we start off the day by me making some omelets, and then decorating his Christmas tree. It sounded like a good idea, so I went to the 24 hour Super store to get some ingredients. I arrived at his house around 0545. I made omelets (which turned out perfectly, the best I had ever made), and then we set up his Christmas tree (he set the tree part up, then I did the lights and decorations).

After that we went out and my boyfriend did some errands. I always enjoy accompanying him when he goes out because it usually involves shopping. We went to a few places including Zellers. When we got there, we looked at the mountains, and the way the sun was shining on them was so beautiful, unlike anything I had seen before. I took a picture of it, but it didn’t capture it’s true magnificence. Here it is (below).

 

After we were done the errands, were both really tired, so we decided to go out for a late lunch instead. We went to one of my favorite restaurants; The Grapevine Trattoria . The lunch was super yummy and filling.

After lunch we went back to my boyfriend’s condo, and he instructed me to take my car home, so he could give me my Christmas gift. So that is what I did. I had no idea what he had planned, so I just went along with it. He was waiting at my house with my gift. My dad helped him carry it inside. It was a huge box! Inside was his gift to me, a new computer chair!

It was a very thoughtful gift because my old chair was really falling apart. The back support constantly fell down and the seat area had a tear in it. I would have never bought a chair myself because I wouldn’t be able to carry it, or put it together myself. The new chair is very fancy. It has four adjustable features (the tilt of the chair, the height of the chair, the seat, and the arm rests). It feels like a dream to sit in it.

Below are a few images of my new chair.

After he went home. I napped for a couple hours. I awoke and a good friend of mine asked if I had had dinner yet. I said no, we went out to dinner, and she gave me my birthday gift and Christmas gift (combined) an I-POD! It’s an I-pod nano. I was thrilled even though I am very technology challenged. It took me over 6 hours to figure out how to upload a song, and I have yet to be able to play it, but its still an intriguing gift.

My mom and dad, bought me my favorite cake: the Mozart cake, for the bakery down the road, that was yummy too as always. It’s a white layer cake with Mocha and marzipan. It is divine.

That was my birthday!

Christmas at our House

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 03-12-2008

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It’s Christmas Season, again, and the tree is up, and the stockings are hung with care. Here are some festive photos from our house. Enjoy.

Below our tree in the dark, with it’s fancy new LED lights. We will see if they really do save energy and money..

Here are some of the trees many decorations. First off, a Christmas tree decoration my brother made back in elementary school.

Next my favourite Pasta angel. She came to us from a craft fair, many years ago.

Below, is my pretzel decoration. I made this back in elementary school. When I brought it home my brother took a bite out of it (really), we kept it for the memories.

Below a Christmas Caroler. I’m not sure where she came from. We have had her as long as I can remember.

Another favourite of mine, with unknown orgin, a snowman!

The cutest racoons, bought in a store many years ago.

A colorful cookie dough ornament that I made, when I was a wee little girl. I’m not sure how he lost his leg…

Below, a beautiful Christmas bell. I sold these back in my gymnast days as a fundraiser.

Below: an angel I made when I was in kindergarden.

Below: one of our garlands

Below some lovely Christmas balls.

Other photos from around the house (below).

 

Christmas baking should be starting soon. Stay tuned for updates. : )

A Colorful Evening

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 25-11-2008

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This evening I went out and took a few photos of some festive lights. I used my Canon Power Shot A720 IS on AV mode with the Flash turned down a little.

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