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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Two More Giada Dinners

I've discovered that it's not easy to create fast, fresh and delicious meals from just one cookbook.
We usually have at least a 3 (usually a 4) course meal for dinner. I make a main dish (meat, fish, or veggie) a starch of some sort, and at least one vegetable as a side dish...and usually a salad. Plus, a glass of wine with dinner. Rarely, a dessert.
While the meals from the 'Weeknights with Giada' cookbook are fantastic, they are somewhat limited. So, I am supplimenting the menu with some additions of my own to round out the meals.
On Friday night, I adapted a version of Giada's Antipasto Calzone.
Well, it was remotely related!
I made homemade whole wheat pizza dough from this incredibly simple and fast recipe Williams-Sonoma Thin Crust Pizza Dough

and cooked up some sausage, chopped, drained and jarred roasted red bell peppers, homemade tomato sauce (using home grown and canned San Marzano tomatoes) and freshly grated parmesano-reggiano and mozzarella cheese. I also added some frozen artichoke hearts that I cooked quickly and chopped.  I stuffed the calzone and brushed it with a beaten egg from my cute little chickens (they are still laying everyday!) and baked it on a pizza stone for 20 minutes at 425.
It was HUGE!
Kevin and I split it! I also had a small container of more of the tomato sauce for dipping. You can't see the salad, but we had salad, too.
You might notice we switched the china for February- we used the wedding china from 1980 (Viceroy by Noritake) for the month of January, and now we are using the Ashbourne by Royal Daulton for the next couple of months. It's just beautiful! It has beautiful pink peonies on it. Kevin's mother, Lee, gave it to me about 10 years ago before she showed symptoms of Alzheimers. I am so glad I have it now- she loved it, but she gave it to me!! She is in heaven, now, but every time we use it, I think of her, and smile.
Tonight, I had to work at the Church for the 5:30PMN Mass, because we held the Rite of the Presentation of the Creed (the set of beliefs handed down from the Apostles) and the Lord's Prayer (the Prayer Jesus taught the Apostles in Sacred Scripture). It's a short ceremony, but rich in meaning.
I had defrosted some beautiful 'breakfast' pork chops that are super thin this morning in anticipation of a 'quick' dinner when I got home.
I decided on Giada's Spiced Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze
Of course, I changed it a bit.
I added one half sliced onion and 1 seeded and sliced Anaheim pepper to the garlic saute.
Everything was going great; until I burnt the balsamic vinegar & honey mixture. It was horrible.
I dumped it out and started over.
Once it was made and I drizzled it over the cooked chops, it was fantastic!
I also made some tater tots. Yah, I know, cheater starch, but did you know that TOTS are the 'item of the year' for most hip restaurants? I'm telling have to google 'tots'.
Here's the dinner, complete with a perfectly cooked glaze, veggies and...tots.
You will love this recipe!

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