because behaving is boring

Sea salt and cracked pepper roasted potatoes

It might be the Irish in me, but I love potatoes more than I probably should. Baked and topped with salt and butter? Wedges with Sriracha mayo? Au gratin? Mashed? Yes, yes, yes, and YES. Gimme, gimme.

Uh…

One thing I love about potatoes is their versatility.  There are a million (probably) ways to prepare them and you can be as plain Jane or fancy pants as you like. I generally tend to be a fan of simple taters, because you can easily load them up with toppings that both render them unhealthy and cover the flavor of the actual potato.

I was browsing the produce department last week when I found a bag of little bitty red potatoes called Rubies. Thinking they would be perfect for roasting, I threw them in the cart.

I made these to go with the Greek marinated pork chops and Panzanella a few nights ago… They turned out crispy on the outside and almost creamy on the inside…with a slightly sweet, potatoey flavor. I made them again last night to go with our giant steaks

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The BF kept referring to them as Old '96ers

and they turned out just as perfectly as the first time. Ladies and gents, I may have discovered my new favorite potato.

But not for long, because I’m fickle.

Sea salt and cracked pepper roasted potatoes

6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half (or enough to fit in a single layer in your skillet)

Olive oil

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper

Heat oven to 375°. Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil and let heat in the oven. Make sure to remove the skillet when the oil is hot, because burnt oil is no good.

When the pan is hot, add enough sea salt to just cover the bottom of the pan. Arrange potatoes cut side down in a single layer on top of the salt. Pour a little more olive oil over the potatoes, then sprinkle with a little more sea salt and crack some pepper over them. Into the oven they go, then set the timer for an hour. They will probably be cooked through before that, but you want the outside to really crisp up.

Once they’re out of the oven, I transferred them to a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the oil and to help keep them crispy.

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Pure, simple, potatoey yumness.

Yes, yumness.

Panzanella

If you consult Wikipedia, you will learn that Panzanella is basically tomato and bread salad, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar. If that sounds weird to you, well…It does sound a bit weird, but I assure you, it’s actually quite delicious! 

This is a great way to use up any stale bread (the crustier, the better) you have.  I wanted to make this for dinner Friday night, but because my kid’s two favorite lunches are both sandwiches (peanut butter and grilled cheese), bread doesn’t generally have the chance to get stale around here.

I ended up using some store-bought croutons and they worked perfectly well for this. You could also make your own, but I was feeling lazy. Plus, a big bag of croutons was cheaper than a loaf of French bread, and I love a good bargain.

If you are lucky enough to have ripe tomatoes in your garden, use them in this recipe! 

And share them with me?

Seriously, this recipe is so simple that the freshness of the ingredients will really matter. I ended up using Romas from the grocery store and they were a bit bland.

Sigh

BUT. This is still a great way to eat tomatoes when you’re tired of the same ol’ thing. My sweet boy loved it (though he mostly ate just the tomato chunks and bread), but The BF didn’t eat much of it… His loss, really.

So here’s what you need to make my version of Panzanella:

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For the salad:

Tomatoes (any variety that looks best, really…I used 6 Romas) cut into big, but bite sized, chunks

A handful of Basil leaves (or more if you love Basil). Chiffonade it up!

Thinly sliced red onion (as much or as little as you like)

About 1 to 1 1/2 cups croutons

Optional: arugula/baby spinach mix

For the dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 small cloves garlic, finely minced or smashed

Salt and pepper,  to taste

Toss all salad ingredients together in a big bowl (preferably one with a lid). In a seperate container, combine dressing ingredients and shake the daylights out of it. You’ll want to make sure the lid is on tight, otherwise you’ll be cleaning dressing splatters up for a while…

Or so I hear…

Pour dressing over the salad, give it another toss, then stick it in the fridge for a while. I think mine was in there for a couple of hours before dinner. You want the croutons to soak up the dressing, so it needs time for everything to just hang out and mingle.

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It’s a perfect summer treat just the way it is, but you could also add some Parmesan or feta cheese. I wanted to add feta, but I forgot to buy some. SO SAD.

Go to your garden (or your farmer’s market, or your grocery store, or steal from your neighbor’s garden…wait, no, don’t do that), gather your ‘maters, and make this salad. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Greek marinated pork chops

You guys remember when I used to cook tasty things and then post a recipe so you guys could do it, too? Yeah, well things were a little crazy around here for the last couple of weeks, but now we’re back to normal. Thank God, because I was really starting to feel like crap from all of the junk I was eating. Last night I was really excited to get back to cooking, and I made some pork chops that are so super delicious that you’ll want to run out and get what you need to make them rightnow!

This marinade, bee tee dubs, can be used on chicken, too. It’s yummy either way!

Greek marinated pork Chops

1 cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) Greek seasoning
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon

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I use Cavender's Greek seasoning

Boneless pork chops (I used three, this recipe could probably marinate 4)

Mix all marinade ingredients and pour into a gallon plastic baggie. Add pork chops, seal (get as much air out as possible), and then I like to smoosh ‘em around to make sure they’re all coated. Refrigerate for NO MORE THAN 30 minutes. Seriously, because of the citrus you don’t want these to sit longer than that.

Preheat your oven to 375°. I like to add a smidge of oil to my cast iron skillet and let it heat in the oven for a bit. When it’s hot, add pork chops in a single layer, then pour the marinade over them. Bake for about an hour, or until the internal temp is 160°. My chops were on the thick side…If yours are thinner they may need less cooking time.

That’s it!

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I served these with roasted potatoes and panzanella for a fairly healthy and easy meal.

Judging by the lack of food on the floor (or hidden in his high chair), I’d say O liked it… He polished off half of a pork chop, some salad, and three potato halves.

I think this might also be to try on a grill pan, so if any of you attempt it please let me know how it turns out!

It was a good day…

…I didn’t even have to use my AK.

…Well I didn’t

Yesterday really could’ve gone either way. I had to have my phone looked at because I thought my charging port was busted…The customer service rep I talked to said I could have it repaired under warranty (fun fact: I dropped the ‘insurance’ for the first time ever when I bought this phone) and directed me to the nearest store with techs. My mom agreed to ride with me, so after O had breakfast and I had a shower we were off to Lafayette.

I had to wait about half an hour to talk to someone. It was no big deal, because O was sleeping in the car (mom was with him). While i waited, a woman leaned over and whispered, “I hope you packed a lunch…I don’t know why it takes so long.” I knew she wanted me to share a bitchfest about the wait, but i wouldn’t have it. I smiled and explained that I worked for Sprint for years, so i was prepared to wait. She clammed up pretty quickly and i was free to finish my game of Dots in peace. Once I talked to a rep, I found that the problem was the charger and not my phone…So I just needed to call Samsung and have them send me a new one. Problem solved, and for zero money! That’s worth celebrating!

O was awake when I got back to the car. We decided to grab a bite to eat, so we stopped at Friday’s. Mom and I had salads and O gobbled up his grilled chicken, pita, and fruit. He even used a regular fork successfully, and didn’t get anything on the floor. Who was this kid?!

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After lunch, we ran to the mall to use a couple of Bath and Body Works coupons. The candy store next to B&BW sucked me in with their Grumpy Cat display, but I made it out without buying anything.

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But really, I need one.

It took me forever to decide what i wanted in B&BW. I managed to narrow it down to three scents…Lucky for me, there was a killer sale happening. Plus, I could still use my coupons. High five!

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Free smell goods!

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Since I never, NEVER (ok, hardly ever), pay full price for stuff, I was really happy. We stopped for coffees on our way out of the mall and I even got one of those iced froo-froo coffees I usually wrinkle my nose at. I think mine was a Milky Way, with cookie dough flavored whipped cream…And since I couldn’t leave him out, O got an iced sugar cookie and milk.

Before we could head home, I had one more stop to make.

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I grabbed a dozen donuts from Mary Lou’s before we left Lafayette. I had promised the BF I’d pick some up for his grandpa, and I thought we needed some too.

O and I had a maple glazed for breakfast this morning. Delicious!

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, so yesterday was a nice change of pace. I made it home with plenty of time to make beef burritos for dinner while O played outside with daddy.

Wordless Wednesday: 4-H Fair

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Crunchy roasted chickpeas

I’m always on the hunt for healthy and tasty snacks, and I keep seeing roasted chickpeas pop up on my Pinterest feed. After reading a handful of recipes, I grabbed a couple of cans at the store to try my hand at making them.

It turns out, these are super easy, customizable, and tasty as can be. You could even toss these with pretzels and other goodies for an awesome snack mix.

Because I love Parmesan cheese, I decided to include it in my first attempt. Here’s what you need:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried thoroughly (I spread mine out between two towels for a few minutes)

About a teaspoon of garlic powder

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (you can add more if that’s not enough)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the dried chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, and cheese in a bowl with a tightly fitting lid. Spread them in a single layer on the parchment and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until crunchy.

Alternatively, you could dry roast them, then toss them with the oil, garlic, and cheese while they’re still hot.

There are plenty of other flavors you could make… I think you could dry roast them, then toss them in butter, then cinnamon and sugar for a sweet snack… Or maybe in chili powder and a squeeze of lime juice. The possibilities are almost endless.

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I pretty much spent a dollar to make these, since the only thing I had to buy was the can of beans. O really enjoyed them…I took some out a little early so he could snack on them. I was afraid the crunchy ones would be too hard for him…Then again, my kid is a human garbage disposal. I’m sure he would’ve been fine.

I will definitely start making these more frequently. I see a big batch of them going with us as a pool day snack in the near future.

Because, logic

Dear Governor Pence,

What a dick move, to just yank the rug out from under all of the couples that finally got to get married.

I totally get how allowing gay people to marry makes a mockery of marriage… That it threatens to completely dissolve the very meaning of marriage, until ol’ Cleatus can finally marry his favorite goat. You’re saying marriage is an honored and revered tradition that should be treated only with the absolute most respect, right?

This exists:

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Yes, I was reading a story in Us Weekly. Don't judge.

But hey, at least they’re all straight, amirite?!

/sarcasm

Love,

Me


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