So it has been over two months since my last vacation… Which naturally means I have travel fever! My friends and co-workers are currently traveling in or are going to: Japan, India, Thailand and the Philippines. Notice a trend? This has had me craving Asian food!
Autumn is in full swing here; although Winter may be making an appearance very soon. The last of the leaves are falling off of our Aspen trees outside my window and the ground has lost it’s green tint in exchange for an amber glow. These views and the cool fall evenings make you want to cuddle up with a nice cozy meal. This meals is perfect for this time of year.
I cannot get enough of all the delicious stone fruit that is in season! I have been buying cherries for almost a month straight. It has had me daydreaming about having my own fruit trees and big vegetable gardens… Someday! For now I will obsess over my tiny patch in front of my apartment. I have harvested two whole green beans and a good amount of snow peas. My carrots, kale, mixed greens and broccoli are well on their way though!
Wow, has this sunshine been great! Every sunny summer day in the mountains makes up for an entire week of rain/snow. Everything has gotten so green, my plants are all finally growing and the farmer’s markets have started. Life is good. I have been enjoying the abundance of fresh product as well!
The Holidays are FINALLY over! Hooray!!! Work has finally begun to slow down and I have had some time to go snowboarding and cook for myself again. I made it through with only having two sick days. *Knock on wood* My herb plants have gotten huge, leaving me with an abundance of sage, rosemary and thyme. I also planted the bottom stalks of my scallions and they grow like an inch a day! If you have never tried replanting your scallions or celery you must try it! Here is a good article about plants you can re-grow: 12 Vegetables That Magically Regrow Themselves. I have tried, and succeeded, in regrowing bok choy, celery, scallions and lettuce. I think I will try the pineapple and avocado for kicks!
It is officially soup season. The tops of the mountains have had a dusting of snow for some time now, my windshield is frosted over each morning and I’ve busted out the crock pot. I love making soup; there is so much room for creativity and experimentation. It is also a great way to use up leftover groceries that may be going bad.
When I first heard “pork chops with mojo”, Austin Powers came to mind. I thought it was just someone trying to talk up their own pork chop recipe. I didn’t realize that “mojo” is actually a culinary term, a pretty great term at that. “Mojo” sauces originated in the Canary Islands, but have evolved and become a part of many different ethnic cuisines. In this recipe, my mojo sauce is a Cuban version. I had some delicious pork chops from the farm that my mom belongs too and wanted to put them to good use.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you already know how much I love trying new exotic flavor combinations. The weirder the combination, the more interested I seem to be. I’m not sure why this is but it’s kind of funny to me now because I was such a picky eater as a kid and never was interested in trying new things. The only vegetables I ate until about high school were peas, corn and mashed potatoes… how things have changed.
There is something peculiar about combining sweet and salty flavors. I used to find my self being skeptical about pairing strange flavors, but recently they have really begun to intrigue me. Pork and apples is an old favorite combination of sweet and salty that never has seemed to bother me, probably because it is so common. Today, I find myself trying to find more unique combinations, but this is one recipe that will definitely still stay in the back of my head.
This recipe is great to serve when you have guests. The shallots give the sauteed apples a unique salty kick which pairs perfectly with a tasty slice of spiced pork tenderloin. A nice scoop of garlic mashed potatoes serves as a great side for this dish.
There are a few classic things that I feel like every cook needs to try at some point, even if you just cook at home for fun. Wontons are one of those things. I personally think they are kind of a hassle, but they are a good thing to know how to make and will expand your culinary skills. This week’s throwback recipe is from the first time I ever made wontons, for a wonton soup.
This soup is light and healthy. It is great if you are feeling a bit under the weather or if you simply want a refreshing lunch on a cold day. The fried wontons give the soup a nice crunch if fried properly. I usually struggle with frying things since I don’t have a thermometer and don’t fry things that often. It’s important to fry the wontons at the right temperature or else they will burn (too hot) or get soggy (too cool). Enjoy!