Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring walks

It's that time of year at last: time for long walks on balmy days with the sun shining and a slight breeze. I love seeing new greenery and flowers popping up each day. Yesterday was the day for daffodils, but earlier in the week, these mini irises were a sweet surprise, as were a few other sights. Here's a look at some things I saw around the neighborhood this week. 

And now I must be off — I'm headed out for the Handmade Arcade on Saturday and am really looking forward to exploring Pittsburgh. It's a new city for me and Readymade magazine came just in time with a Place Setting column all about it — hooray! Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eye Candy over at Blue House

I'm over on the Blue House blog today talking about how this little drawing came about. Stop on over and have a peak, why don'tcha? I'd love if you'd join in the fun, too, but you'll have to head on over and have a read through to see what I mean…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vietnamese Pork Chops

I have a hard time ordering the same thing twice in a restaurant. I like to try something new each time in case I find something better than what I tried last time. This is the exception. In a Vietnamese restaurant, this is what I order: every time. I always think I'll try something different, but just can't bring myself to miss out on the supreme tastiness of Vietnamese marinated and grilled pork chops. I could never pick out exactly what the flavors were, and I still couldn't say for sure, but I did run across this version from Mark Bittman that is quite delicious. Apparently the real deal has caramelized sugar in it giving it a more complex flavor than the honey called for in this version, but it is a darned good replication that I am happy to now have in my arsenal. If you haven't used lemongrass before, you remove the tough outer stalk until you get to the inner layers that are bit more tender. You should get about one tablespoon of minced lemongrass per stalk.

Vietnamese Style Pork
via Mark Bittman
Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste, or soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops or country-style ribs
1 lime, quartered
Thai basil or cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)

Whisk lemongrass, garlic, honey and fish sauce in large bowl. Add lime juice and pepper. Place pork in the bowl, turning to coat; let stand while you preheat grill or broiler.

Grill or broil pork, spooning marinade over as it cooks, until nicely done, about 10 minutes. Turn only once so that each side browns nicely. Serve with remaining lime and, if you like, the herb garnish.
I served it over this noodle salad, but the pork chops are the star!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes

A little peak at what's in the works right now… a new, new cutey in a whole new medium to be revealed this weekend in Pittsburgh at the Handmade Arcade — assuming I can work my way around a few little snafus along the way. Wish me luck!