Sunday, May 23, 2010

Italian Pork Chops and Besame Mucho

It feels so good to finally prop my feet up with a glass of wine and relax. Saturday and Sunday afternoon were spent doing yard work, hours of physical labor. And it’s official. The hell of Memphis’ humidity has arrived. I almost forgot what that feels like. Oh wait; that’s right. It’s agony!

I had a blast with the electric hedge trimmers on Saturday. If you ever need a good stress reliever, take a pair of these bad boys to a front yard full of azaleas and go to town! Sunday I replanted the flowers in the front yard as well.

The first time around, we planted very fragile flowers that eventually took a beating by severe spring thunderstorms. So, this time around we chose French marigolds, Mexican heather and Pentas. Several of our neighbors walked by and said when I was done with my yard I could come over and do theirs. A-ha. A-ha. I told them, “now I know why people pay to have this done”. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment. I just hope these flowers live a long and fruitful life.

During the 2 hours that I worked in the flower bed, I thought I made friends with a little robin who stood within 5 feet of me the entire time. He would watch my every move and stare at the front door if I went inside for a cold drink of water. So cute! I even took photos of him with my phone, and he didn’t move! About an hour into planting, I realized what was happening. The robin wasn’t my friend. He just wanted to stuff his beak with the worms that were uprooted from the dirt by my shovel. Seriously, he would pack a fist full of those creepy crawlers in his mouth and come back for more. And here I thought I had a bonding moment with mother nature.

As a reward for all our hard work this weekend, I decided to make a nice meal for Stewart and me in the dining room. Eating in the dining room is more of a special occasion than routine. Because it’s just the two of us, we often come home from work, throw dinner together and eat in front of the TV, flipping channels between Glee (my choice) and the latest basketball or baseball game (Stewart’s choice). It helps us to practice the art of compromise.

On the menu for dinner was Italian pork chops with rice, salad and a bottle of Layer Cake. This meal packs a whole lot of flavor and makes for a nice presentation without spending hours in the kitchen. In fact, the only hour spent on this meal is the one when the pork chops are in the oven. And the rice is simply delicious. In fact, you can cook these two dishes side by side in the oven while you wait.

To channel a romantic Italian dinner, I listened to a romantic Italian tenor named Andrea Bocelli. His voice just sings “I’m sexy.” There are so many of Andrea’s songs that I love, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear him on My Eats and Beats; but I thought “Besame Mucho” fit perfectly with a candle lit setting. However, at 6:30 on a summer’s night there’s more sun light than candle light in the dining room. Oh, well. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Here’s to another week of delicious eats and the beats that accompany them!

Italian Pork Chops:
3 pork chops
Garlic powder, oregano, celery salt, and pepper to taste
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
3 slices of mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with seasonings. Place in 8x8-inch baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Infallible Rice:
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 Cup long grain white rice
2 Cups chicken broth (hot)

Saute onion in butter until transparent. Add rice and hot broth. Bring to a boil on top of range. Cover and place in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. (Serves 4 people).

*Recipes come from "Recipe Hall of Fame: Quick and Easy Cookbook". I added the can of diced tomatoes to the pork chop recipe and changed the serving size from 4 pork chops to 3.


Cri said...

So how was the wine?

Julia Darling said...

The wine was great! I've found a new favorite, thanks to you.