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Tag Archives: old bay seasoning

If You’re Already in The Kitchen

I finally got around to tackling some of the older recipes on my Pinterest board lest they sink further to the bottom into obscurity. Somehow one recipe turned into three. I was going to make balsamic-garlic pork loin. I had the (giant) pork loin roast defrosting in my fridge for two days when I realized: crap, I would not have anything to eat for dinner the next day unless I cooked a (sort of still frozen) pork loin. I took some chicken breast out of the freezer to make lemon chicken. Alas, the recipe called for marinating the chicken overnight. I figured if the chicken is marinating, so will the pork. I was already in the kitchen, best to make one giant mess than two small ones. I had also found crab at the grocery store that week. Two dishes were more than enough for one day however.

The pork loin had a giant bone in it that I first had to cut out of there, to make it fit in my tiny oven. At some point Brent poked his head in and mentioned that he was hearing a lot of hacking and I looked up brandishing a knife with pork fat hanging off it and said everything was fine. It took a lot of effort to get that damn bone out. At least now I have something for pork bone soup.

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After everything going smoothly with the pork it is no surprise that the chicken dish almost failed. Turns out I forgot to adjust, given I was using one large chicken breast instead of 3-4lbs of “chicken parts.” I was desperately scraping thyme and rosemary off my chicken in a desperate attempt to save it. I managed to salvage it. I also managed to use up the sad little half lemon I had leftover from making lemon-blueberry muffins (wherein I learned that subbing in egg-whites for eggs is only OK in cookies, it fails terribly in cakes and cupcakes).

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I was way too tired to attempt the crab cakes, I left those for the next day. They were the easiest to make of the three dishes. Very few ingredients and they all mix well together. I breaded mine, which for some reason is not in the recipe. The only downsides are that, as far as I know Old Bay seasoning is an American thing (I got it while in the US last year) and crab is expensive.

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My freezer is now stuffed to the brim and I have at least the next two weeks covered for dinner.

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Slow Cooker Pork Chops

My stash of frozen cooked chicken breasts was starting to run low and I just so happened to have 2 pork chops in the freezer and a day off. This could only mean one thing: slow cooker pork chops.

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As per usual, I had the idea before I had the ingredients so I would have to improvise. I swear I had a box of chicken broth cubes and it just got lost in the move. I had to resort to using Lipton Cup of Soup and just picking out as many of the noodles as I could- not an easy task. At least I now understand the importance of having a sieve in the kitchen. Up next: I had no poultry seasoning (had not even heard of it until today actually) so instead I used Old Bay seasoning, it has the word seasoning in it so it would seem to be close enough. Lacking basil, I added a sun-dried tomato seasoning I figured probably had basil in it (upon reading the label it did not). I lacked garlic both in powdered and real form and had to simply go without, hoping that maybe the chicken soup or Old Bay had some trace of garlic in it.

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Even with my copious substitutions the house smells great so I have my fingers crossed the pork chops will be tasty. Or at least edible.

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Success! They are delicious and due to the slow cooking: succulent. I would still like to retry the recipe with the proper ingredients however.

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2012 Roadtrip 3: Day 4

Mon. Aug 27, 2012- VA:

I insisted on having breakfast at the lodge just so I could see if there was Virginia ham on the menu. Looking at the menu I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, no ham. Then I flipped over the menu to check out the other side and lo and behold: HAM!!! Alas it was served as part of unappetizing dishes that constituted mounds of eggs and other gross things. Rather than that I simply ordered cinnamon French toast (a secondary mainstay of my usual breakfast) with a side of ham, because that is not gross and does not contain eggs of course (I kid!). It was an ingenious plan, all the ham none of the… bread… eggs? Fine, all the ham and the eggs and bread in a much better format. The ham was cured and therefore rather salty, a nice contrast to the sweetness of the French toast. It was like bacon but a million times better (I inexplicably hate the idea of bacon for breakfast). The cinnamon French toast was light and fluffy and had the most delectable cinnamon notes on the end.

Having eaten a power breakfast we headed out on the road for more Shenandoah Valley scenic outlooks, because we did not have enough the previous day. No matter how many we stopped at (despite the few closed for construction), I could not get enough of the scenic vistas that lay before us.

 

We drove to the University of Virginia to stare at the beautiful architecture as designed by Thomas Jefferson as well as see where Edgar Allen Poe stayed while he was a student there. Being on campus made me feel like a dinosaur, I was tired, it was too hot and so many young people bumbling about. I was also eating Utz crab chips, which are just chips covered in Old Bay seasoning, a seasoning I learned should be used sparingly as my mouth burned (not in the good hot pepper way) and dried out.

Next we went on a tour of Jefferson’s estate Monticello which tied in nicely with our wandering the university, as on his grounds he had a spot where he would sit with a telescope and watch the construction. We wandered the grounds looking at the vineyards and his grave, and checked out the basement of his house.

For about the millionth time on vacation we ate at Wendy’s yet again. And dessert was the same old Ben & Jerry’s, seems we had a routine. I tried to break it by getting ice cream that had no trace of chocolate in it: key lime pie. It was OK; it really needed more graham cracker crumbs in it. For a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream it was really lacking in the lumpy-bits department. In addition to that I finally found some Virginia peanuts; they are pretty much like regular peanuts just bigger and drier/less dense. They are nothing special. Other than the fact that they go into manufacturing processes such as Snickers bars (I had to look up what made Virginia peanuts different).

We were staying at a fancy hotel, the Clifton Inn. How fancy was it you may ask? We got upgraded to a room that was $600/night and had a complimentary bottle of wine, wine that the sign said Thomas Jefferson enjoyed apparently. There was a promise of croquet and horseshoes on the grounds so we set off to find them. Instead we found a lake, a cat, a dog, a pool, a nature trail and a lot of spider webs. On our way back to the hotel Brent saw a deer, I saw the deer’s rear-end as it disappeared into the forest. I also saw a lazy frog eat a fly that had landed on its face! Then right beside the entrance we found the horseshoes, we had circled them completely around the back of the hotel. As it turns out I am awful at horseshoes, I would roll them along the grass. Brent tried to show me how to throw it and he instead threw it too far and hit the path while a lady walked by, she laughed, I would’ve screamed.

We returned to our room to find that the cookie fairy had visited and left us tiny little chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips and a slight minty flavor. The toilet had also fixed itself and would now flush.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Adventures of Pinka!, Travel

 

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