Monday, January 16, 2012

Playing The Wild Card

I know I only did it once, but I'm taking a quick break from Muz Loves to introduce a new thing I'm bringing to Limelight Musings: The Wild Card. From now on, I'm going to post about a fun project on the third week of every month (give or take). I hope you enjoy it.

I should warn you this week's Wild Card doesn't have any pretty photos since I didn't decide to write about it until afterward. Whoops.

Now that things have settled down from the Holidays, I'm attempting to get back into cooking. And I was able to find a bunch of new recipes to try thanks to pinterest (isn't it amazing?). One recipe that I had to try was the Pork Chops with Apples & Garlic Smashed Potatoes. Looking back on it, I really raised the bar since I've never cooked pork chops or potatoes and tend to mix up teaspoons & tablespoons (don't judge).

But I wanted to change all that and first went to the grocery store. And I think there maybe a conspiracy at my local grocer. One of the ingredients I needed was apple cider, which I was having a difficulty finding. So, I asked a store employee & this is how that conversation went:
Me: "Excuse me, do you guys have any apple cider?"
Clerk: "Actually, we just ran out. It's normally in the aisle one. You could even check, but we're out."
Me: "Darn, do you know when a new supply will be in?"
Clerk: "... So hopefully sometime this week. Once again, you could check aisle one, if you'd like."
Me: "But you're out, right?"
Clerk: "Yeah."
Me: "Ok... Thank you..."

While I picked up a few more items, I kept thinking about that conversation. I eventually headed over to aisle one and you know what I found? Apple cider and lots of it. But instead of enjoying the fact I now have a ridiculously large jug of apple cider (when I just needed 3/4th of a cup), I'm paranoid of some grocery store-apple cider conspiracy.

I'm onto you agent store clerk.

But lets go ahead and get to cooking dinner. First off, I never knew how easy garlic smashed potatoes are to make. Seriously. You boil some potatoes with a couple cloves of garlic, drain out some of the water, add some buttermilk & spices, then smash. That's it. And it's healthier to include the potato skins. Needless to say, I'm making garlic smashed potatoes more often from now on. You should too.

Now when it came to the pork, it was pretty simple, despite my fears. The worse part was trying to rub the spices on freshly butchered meat. Don't get me wrong, I love eating steak, ribs, you name it. But actually holding a dead animal's muscle in your hands (with some left over blood) is intimidating. But I eventually got them sizzling in the skillet.

I do have to say this about skillets. I don't know what it is with the Food Network's recipes, but they seem to think I have a skillet the size of Texas. This recipe calls for two apples and one large red onion. And they seem to think I could grill all four pork chops, the chopped up apples & onion, and be able to still stir in one pan. I ended up dividing the portions into two. I also suggest you use one apple and a medium onion. Depends on how much you like onion. There was a lot left over.

Despite the portions, I greatly suggest you try this recipe. I even got a high five from the husband as he went off to get seconds.

Also in the news, I'm trying out a new non-diet, but still a diet book. It's called "French Women Don't Get Fat," by Mireille Guiliano. It goes beyond counting calories and helps instruct you of how to approach food in a French way. And if you consider the French paradox, it's tempting enough to try. With me admitting that I'm reading a diet-based book, I hope my documented experience will help anyone else considering a non-American way of losing weight.

I've read a few chapters so far and am currently recording what I eat each day. That way I can take a broader look at what I am shoving into my mouth. The book itself is a good, easy read. It even throws in a few French words for you to look up; like dinde. Go ahead and Google that. I'll wait.

Next week, I'll bring back a Muz Love. And it will be just in time for a trip to the homeland. We will see what comes out of that.


  1. I know quite a few plump french ladies...misleading title is misleading!

  2. Good point Devan, sadly in recent years, many of the French are turning away from traditional meals for convenient, American food culture as explained in this article:

    Which is sad, because for the longest time, the french paradox did exist, and I do feel their attitude towards food maybe a factor. I look forward into reading more and developing more of an opinion towards the topic. I do feel that cooking at home has helped me already.

  3. I am going to have to try that sometime. And keep us up to date on your french 'diet' book... it's more a lifestyle/way of living along with the different approach to food in general!