Sunday, April 8, 2007

Simple Is As Simple Does

It's funny, this blog writing is. It changes you, changes they way you look at food, and changes how you look at words. I think before I cook now. I try and make something blog-worthy, something interesting, something colorful, something that showcases my ability to cook. I pick my phrases carefully, and try to demonstrate wit and humor and culinary skill, all at once. It is a strange feeling, this desire to impress the camera, the internet, and my (few) readers. In general, it is a good thing -- it keeps me motivated and inspired. But, other times, it makes me feel inadequate. If I don't have a new recipe, a clever title, or a funny story I feel like I have let you all down. What can I say? Us Type A personalities have a hard time not being perfect. :)

I'm trying to get over this feeling. You wouldn't be here reading if you didn't enjoy what I have to say, and I wouldn't be writing and cooking if I didn't relish it.
If, occasionally, I am exhausted or busy and I only have a simple recipe to share or a brief blurb to write, I am convinced that that is okay.

And, if we are in agreement on this, on with the (short and easy) recipes.

Basil Stuffed Pork Chops

The chops, exposing their basil filled pockets.


--lean boneless pork chops, divided into personal portions
--salt, pepper, garlic to taste
--basil leaves


1) cut a pocket into the side of each chop
2) liberally sprinkle the outside of each chop and into the pocket salt, pepper, and garlic
3) Insert basil leaves into the pocket
4) Grill on high heat to desired doneness, turning once (about 8 minutes total-- don't overcook!!!)

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Marinara


--1 large Spaghetti Squash
--splash olive oil
--2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
--handful of torn basil leaves
--1.5 cups leftover marinara sauce (either high quality bottled or homemade)
--4 cups mushrooms (2 cups sliced mushrooms of your choice, 2 cups whole button mushrooms)


1) Microwave or bake squash until soft (about 20 minutes in the microwave or 40 minutes in an oven on 350)
2) Heat up the olive oil, garlic, basil, marinara sauce, and mushrooms in deep saute pan. Stir occasionally and simmer until mushrooms are soft (about 20 minutes).
3) Cut open the squash and scrape the flesh out with a fork (it will separate out into strands like spaghetti -- hence the name, of course!). Pile onto plate or bowl.
4) Pour the sauce over the squash strands.

Our dinner tonight -- Lightly steamed asparagus, spaghetti squash with mushroom marinara (not meatballs!), and basil stuffed pork chops. Simple, fast, and healthy. Yum.

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