I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing, restorative Labor Day yesterday. In a sense, that makes today this week’s Monday, so I recommend taking a minute to read The Promise that is Today to put things in perspective.
I’m firmly convinced that each new day is a unique opportunity God has given us, a gift we can either accept, or squander. So today – again – I choose hope and promise.
TODAY’s POST: For this morning I’d like to share a new foodie post. If you read this space at all you already know how much I enjoy great food. On our recent vacation I wrote about several excellent food destinations (Emerald Isle’s Crab Shack and Big Oak Drive In; Rachel’s Bakery and the Bank Bistro in Washington; The Melting Pot in Richmond; Gonza Tacos y Tequila in Raleigh), but now we’re home again I’ve been inspired to enjoy our own kitchen.
EXTRA POUNDAGE: The challenge – especially coming off a vacation where I managed to pad a few extra pounds around my girth – is to create food experiences featuring wonderful flavor without comPOUNDing what looks to be an ongoing challenge in this new decade of my life.
This is not so easy considering how much I enjoy fresh-baked bread (especially when it’s still warm!), and yummy starches like rice, potatoes, and pasta. But I’m certainly not about to eliminate the good stuff, so I’m working on portion control instead. If I haven’t shed ten pounds by Thanksgiving, then I’ll have to re-think. Stay tuned for that story!
Here are three really flavorful recipes I’ve cooked in the past few day.
- Baked pork chops with a mixed greens salad (pictured, right): I marinated the pork chops most of the day in a mixture of orange juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan, coated them in crumbed leftover Great Grains cereal, browned them in olive oil, then baked until tender. The chops were served with a mixed greens salad, tossed with pine-nuts, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a light Greek dressing.
- Sautéd veal rolls (pictured plated, above): First, I pounded the veal cutlets until they were flat and tenderized. Then I seasoned the veal, and laid a slice of Prosciutto ham, a slice of Havarti cheese, and four asparagus spears on top before rolling. I tied the veal rolls with string, then rolled them in seasoned flour before sautéing – gently – in olive oil and a little butter. They were served with escalloped potatoes and spinach
- Grilled tenderloin steak: What made this special was rubbing the steaks with fresh-crushed garlic, then – instead of the usual potatoes – serving with a small helping of plain rice topped with black beans, and steaming my asparagus on top of the carrots, just before they were ready.
SO WHAT? The point of today’s post (other than the fact that I love to write about food) is that I try to approach every task – even the routine of preparing dinner at home – with a little extra love and imagination, and that I always make it clear that when I serve Rebekah it’s never routine but always special. It’s a commitment not only to excellence but to service.
If I manage to shed a few pounds along the way, then so much the better. Although something tells me I’m going to have to address the exercise part of the equation too, especially with my personal trainer, Scout Labradoodle, aging so quickly and slowing down so much.
So enjoy your Tuesday, friends, and make a commitment to yourself to do something imaginative and special in the kitchen this week for your spouse.
Peace, always – DEREK
(enjoy the food photos!)