Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zucchini Noodles and Sausage-y Tomato Sauce

Maintaining three blogs is a bit time consuming these days (in addition to Macy Bakes, I write, and the blog for Wiggle Room, a Boston-based personal organization company.)  Okay there's the plug for all the blogs.  Go read 'em all and then meet me back here.

I was sort of playing blog roulette: which one shall I update today?  Jordan has been anxious to see our zucchini noodle creation in writing, so that one is today's winner.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Brussels Sprout Salad Splendor

For most people look forward to Fridays because it's the end of the work week.  I keep a pretty unconventional work schedule, so that isn't always the case.  But I still look forward to Fridays because I get to wake up and read the Cook's Illustrated e-Newsletter.  Each week it highlights 3 or 4 recipes from the archives, many of which I probably would never think of or search for if they didn't show up in my inbox each Friday morning.  I don't always want to cook each and every one of them, but there's usually at least one that strikes my fancy.  Last month this awesome Brussels sprout salad recipe was in the newsletter, and it immediately made the leap to my "Things from Cook's Illustrated to Make" list.  (Yes, there is such a list in my life.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Five Spice Pork Loin With Oranges and Prunes

Friends, I am entering new territory here.  I don't think I've ever done this before, but there's a first time for everything, right?  I am going to blog about something that I didn't make.  It was made for me, but it was just so delicious that I cannot keep it to myself.   

On Tuesday night Jordan made me this simple but absolutely scrumptious pork loin, that combines several of my favorite flavors.  First, 5 spice powder is one of those ingredients that I often forget about, which is sad, because it lends a wonderful slightly exotic but not overpowering flavor that I adore.  You can never go wrong with onions, which also bulk up the sauce, and orange juice and prunes lend a sweet fruitiness that I absolutely cannot resist.  (Prune skeptics, just stop.  Prunes aren't just for old people anymore.  Have you not seen Sunsweet's aggressive marketing campaign?  They're delicious, and that's all there is to it,)

Combine spices, rub meat, brown, add liquid, cover, braise.  So easy.  The result is deliciously tender pork, and a sauce that becomes rich and thick with caramelized onions, sweet, sticky prunes and zesty orange flavor.  I couldn't get enough of it.  (I was eating it out of the pan by the end!)   We tweaked this recipe a little, upping each of the sauce ingredients, because in this case, more is more (delicious sauce).  

It's no glamour shot, but check out that sauce!  God, it was good.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Baked Winter Fruit

I've been on a baked fruit kick lately after rediscovering a recipe I'd clipped a while back.  (Remember that actually using all the recipes that I clip project that I started at the beginning of this year? It's still going....sort of.)

A couple weeks ago I was looking for a dessert to bring to some friends who were having me over for dinner.  I was keen to find something light, since I feel like the bounty of the season is already catching up with me (specifically my hips).  I decided upon a simple recipe for baked winter fruit from the Boston Globe.  It's just a simple combination of apples, pears (you don't even need to peel them!), prunes, raisins, and dried cranberries, with a touch of orange juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  You can also add slivered almonds or walnut pieces, if you wish.  Mix, cover, and bake--that's all there is to it!