Archive: June 2009

dahliaI’m really excited about this one, but it keeps drooping over. I need to get out there and build up some more soil around it so it’s better anchored. Especially before that next bud opens up. At the moment a strong breeze knocks it right over. It was fine until this flower bloomed, and now it just can’t stand up under the weight. But man, this flower is gorgeous. I’ve been waiting for these yellow/white dahlias to bloom since I planted the bulbs 3 months ago.

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I have this giant list of summer To Dos. These are all the projects I’ve wanted to do for ages, but I haven’t had the time. Today was the first day of summer break that didn’t involve party planning, and I jumped into this list feet first. I organized the garage, the coat closet, and the pantry. I also painted over some patched holes in one of the bedrooms, and I sorted a big pile of mail. Now I’m completely exhausted, so here are some before and after pics of the pantry to ooh and aah at.

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pork cutlets piccataChicken Piccata was one of the first things I learned to cook as a grownup. I always felt fancy making it because it had capers. This seemed exotic and sophisticated to me. I thought I had perfected my recipe over the last 5 or so years, but then I tried this pork version. This was another triumph from America’s Test Kitchen: 30-Minute Suppers. I made it a couple of weeks ago, the first thing I tried in this book. It’s taken me ages to post, but it was phenomenally good so better late than never. Rather than using chicken or veal scaloppine, this uses simple and cheap pork cutlets. The other white meat indeed.

Pork Cutlets Piccata (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: 30-Minute Suppers)
Serves 4 (I halved everything, once again)

8 thin-cut boneless pork cutlets, 3-4ounces each
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

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navy aqua dessert tableToday was the day, and the cookout went off without a hitch. Here was the menu:

Hot Dogs
Homemade macaroni and cheese (I’ll post that recipe another day)
My two salsas
Veggie kebabs (squash, onion, and bell pepper marinated with salt, pepper, cumin, and lime juice)
Grilled corn on the cob

Read more on School’s Out for Summer Cookout…

brownie bitesBrownie bites are done! White chocolate melts perfectly and holds color beautifully, so I will be drizzling these bites tomorrow for the cookout. I tried covering some of the brownies, but it takes a tremendous amount of chocolate, and it’s really difficult to keep it molten long enough to get a nice covering. Therein lies part of the art of baking. I used Grant’s brownie recipe. I cut these into 1″ squares using some of my plastic sewing rulers. Then I made a pizza for dinner. Now my sewing square smells like ham and cookies, so I’ll need to clean those before taking them back to the studio. This is what we call “improvising” here in the Orange Room.

Read more on Party Countdown…

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