Friday, May 25, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread

Did I make this beautiful-looking bread? I think I did! It was beyond easy (no kneading) and it looks so artisan - makes me feel fancy. All you need is a dutch oven, like my beloved orange Le Creuset above, which also makes me feel fancy.

The loaf comes out with a crunchy golden crust and soft and chewy inside. The most amazing part: you get to choose the flavor! The flavor combinations are endless, so let your imagination and pantry contents run wild! 

We tried a rosemary Parmesan and cracked black pepper loaf with the agrodolce pork chops we made the other night. As well as, a sharp cheddar and jalapeno loaf that made for some killer garlic bread to accompany our spaghetti. 

Seriously though, what smells better than fresh baked bread throughout your house? Nothing. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Butte 52: Week 6 - Patrick Ranch Antique Faire

On the Patrick Ranch, in Durham, is this beautiful old home. I wish that I knew the year it was built - no dice. I would guess the turn of the 20th century, but really I have no business making architectural guesses. 

It's one of those houses that leads my mind to wander, imagining all of the interesting people of wealth and privilege that once lived there. That and how awesome it would be to play hide and seek in a house with so many rooms.

There was an antique and design faire on the front lawn of the ranch last weekend. Ryan and I wandered through the tents and booths, scouring for inspiration. We didn't actually take anything home with us, except for a few photos with ideas.

These skeleton keys - genius! I love that they've been bathed in glitter. Wouldn't they make beautiful ornaments at Christmas time? I will definitely be doing this soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

No Ordinary Cream Corn

About a month ago, I was frustrated and couldn't think of what to make for dinner. So Ryan volunteered to come up with something that night. I could hear him scavenging through our fridge and pantry, thinking to myself good luck. 

Then he walked out of the kitchen with this:

This is my Instagram photo of dinner that night. Look how delicious! I really do have the most amazing man. He stuffed a chicken breast with fresh jalapenos and grated cheese and served it over a bed of cream corn. I pretty much inhaled my plate and I never eat that fast.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Juicy Pork Chops with Agrodolce Sauce

Typically when you say "pork chop", I say "not interested." The majority of pork chops, at least that I've encountered, have been dry and tough (sorry, mom).

That was before I was introduced to using a brine. A brine, if it's new to you (like it was to me), is a heavily salted water that you soak meat in before cooking. It helps to break down the muscle fibers and keep the meat juicy...really juicy.

These pork chops are served with an agrodolce sauce. Agrodolce is a traditional Italian sauce that has sweet and sour elements. In this case - honey and balsamic vinegar. Oh yeah, it's incredible.

We paired it with mashed sweet potatoes. Perfection. And the guys really loved the flavor and crunch of the green onions on top. If you avoid pork chops like the plague, as I once did, you have to give the recipe a shot. You just might change your mind.

It all starts with some kosher salt and a little molasses in a pot full of water.

Add some fresh rosemary and little black peppercorns. 


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