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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So I've decided to start a blog

I know what you're thinking...  Who really writes a blog???  Why would someone want to write about their mundane existence?  I can't really answer this question, except it just seems like something fun to do.  I am not one of those self absorbed housewives who has too much time on her hands.  (Although I am currently unemployed, I keep myself quite busy keeping a house and cooking for my husband.  I know, a little traditional and old fashioned but that is another post for a later time).  Nor do I believe my ideas are of such value that anyone will actually want to take time out of their busy days to read them.  I just thought a blog might be a fun place to share my experiences as the wife of an Army man living in Fayetteville and maybe share some recipes I have found successful.  So I will just dive in head first:

My husband and I received $125 worth of gift cards to Barnes & Noble for Christmas.  I wanted to purchase a bird guide in response to another Christmas gift, my bird feeder (also another post for a later time...).  I lost my husband somewhere in the stacks and decided to peruse the cookbooks.  With some Italian roots, I settled on "Cooks Illustrated: Italian Classics".  The cookbook has many of your favorite Italian restaurant favorites as well as tips on how to easily conquer the most intimidating dish.  Coming from Cooks, the recipes are tried and true.  I was immediately excited by my purchase and planned out meals for the entire week with recipes from this cookbook.  I will report daily on my findings and share the best of the recipes.

We began the adventure last night with grilled lamb chops and grilled eggplant. The grilled lamb chops were a giant hit while the eggplant was less than thrilling.  Both recipes were very simple!  Any kitchen novice could easily wow friends and family with these impressive dishes.

Grilled Lamb Chops
2-3 Lamb chops per person
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil per lamb serving
Salt & Pepper to taste

Choose 2-3 lamb chops per person.  Trim excess fat and then rub olive oil over chop.  Salt generously and pepper (ALWAYS FRESH GROUND PEPPER) to taste.  Grill for 4 minutes over high heat.  (I tend to favor a charcoal grill over a gas grill just for the flavor.)  Turn chops and move to lower heat portion of the grill.  Grill for additional 6 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium, or 8 minutes for well done.  I like mine about 6 minutes 30 seconds for a medium rare.  Cooking to this level of doneness maintains the tenderness of the meat while still cooking to a safe temperature.

Grilled Eggplant (serves 4)
1 Eggplant, trimmed and cut into squares
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme or Oregano
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mix oil, herbs, and salt and pepper.  Brush on eggplant slices.  Grill on low heat 8-10 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature.

This recipe wasn't necessarily bad, just not to my liking.  If you're a huge eggplant fan, or maybe preparing a bbq for people that include vegetarians it would be a recipe to consider.

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