Monday, December 31, 2007

Maple-Balsamic-Glazed Pork Medallions

***I am not happy with this picture - when you're trying to photograph your own hot food, you don't have much time, especially with babycakes wailing in the background waiting to be fed. I also need help in setting up the plate to look nice, but who has the time for that? This is the best picture I got of the pork. You'll notice that I used sliced pork chops, not pork tenderloin like the recipe calls for.
Recipe from Cooking Light:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduce to 1/3 cup (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in mustard.

2. Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each pork piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute or until desired degree of doneness, turning pork to coat. Place 2 pork medallions on each of 4 plates; drizzle about 1 tablespoon syrup mixture over each serving. Yield: 1 serving.
Calories: 214; fat: 6.4 g; fiber: 0.1g

Sunday, December 30, 2007

White Christmas

We had a white Christmas in Idaho. I tried to take pictures worthy of the beauty of it, and this is the best I got. I forgot how silent the snow is. It was quite a shock to wake up and find that a bunch of snow had fallen during the night.

I find Christmas lights, snow, and moving objects (such as my child) to be difficult to photograph.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

White Chocolate Dipped Licorice

These goodies are courtesy of Nicole who dropped them off at our house today. Thanks Nicole! And in honor of my food photography theme, I thought I'd take a picture - I hope I've done them justice!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies (wheat free)

I adapted this recipe to make it "lighter"
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup premium cocoa (a special blend of natural and dutched cocoa)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup all-purpose flour (I use wheat free flour)
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan. In a medium saucepan melt butter. Remove melted butter from heat, add cocoa, and stir until well blended. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Fold in nuts. Spread in prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*This is the first time I've made them with the egg substitute and the Splenda. They turned out pretty good, but I can tell that the consistency is different - but it works for me. I, of course, eat the brownie warm with some peanut butter spread on it - yummo!

Wednesday Weigh-In

I maintained my current weight - no change this week, which again, I'm thankful for (and surprised) that I didn't gain in light of the heavy dinner we had on the weekend (with those biscuits), and the huge tray of cookies my mother-in-law brought over. I seriously think I ate about 15 cookies that night. Then, last night because of my sore throat, I ate three bowls of ice cream - real ice cream, not lactose free, and boy did I pay for it in the middle of the night! I only got about three hours of sleep due to a horrible stomach ache. I guess I've learned my lesson for now - NO DAIRY!! (This should be a "duh" for me after 27 years, but I guess it's like alcoholism - you're never fully cured of it. I will always love dairy products and crave them.) So, in honor of my NO DAIRY stance, I made myself some wheat-free brownies (because I NEED to have some sort of treat!).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits

Hubby made these biscuits from a "Cooking Light" recipe last night. Here is the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cut fat-free buttermilk
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and onions; toss well. Add buttermilk and sour cream; stir just until moist.
3. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove biscuits from pan; cool on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.

***Hubby opted to not use green onions, but instead used garlic powder (like the biscuits at Red Lobster), and he used full-fat cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk - thus taking the "light" out of "Cooking Light." They were very good, of course.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Weigh-In

Well, I didn't post a weigh in last week, but I maintained my weight, and this week I gained half a pound. I guess I should be lucky that that's all I've gained because I've been pounding down the cookies. It didn't help also that we had Gyros last night (hubby's idea), had nachos with real nacho cheese sauce on Sunday (hubby's idea), and went out to Chinese Friday night (again, hubby's idea). Like I said, I'm thankful I didn't gain more.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stained Glass Windows

I made these cookies for the mommies group cookie exchange this week. A photography newsletter I read suggested picking a theme for your photography - something you really like, so I chose food.


It snowed earlier today, and so I got some more pictures. Here is a picture of the same piece of wood from yesterday's post (but with snow).

And here's a picture of some snow on one of our trees:

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Baby Cakes and I were outside today, and I was running around trying to take pictures of him, I found it easier to take a picture of a stationary object. So here's my picture of some wood from our backyard. (I thought it was kind of pretty.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Susan Wiggs: "Home Before Dark"

I just finished Susan Wiggs' book "Home Before Dark." I enjoyed it, but I found the plot and the characters to be the same as she does in the other two books I've read of hers. The female lead (who has been burned by love before) falls in love with the male lead (who happens to always be perfect and always say the right thing). The three male leads that I've read in her books also are very honest and speak their minds, and they are supremely confident, which the female lead finds very attractive. However, even though the male lead is perfect for her and he wants a relationship, the female lead has secrets that she won't share with him (or some other reason she can't be with him) and therefore, she pushes away from what could be the best relationship of her life. But, by the end of the book, the perfect male lead, despite being turned down many times, has won her over and they live happily ever after. I guess her books are so popular because all woman would hope that a man would fight like this for her.
Don't get me wrong, I actually very much enjoy reading Wiggs' books, but she's no Nicholas Sparks. On to the next book...