Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pork Chops Two Ways: Smoked Grilled or Parmesan Encrusted…but never dry.

Yes!Chef! loves pork. No, that’s not strong enough.  HE REALLY LOVES PORK.

I am coming around to being a pork lover (see Pulled Pork Sandwiches).  I have never much liked pork because whenever I had it growing up or even in my adult life it was always so dry.  I do not like dry meat.  And, I especially did not like pork chops because they were always drier than dry.  Over-cooked hockey pucks.  Pttooey.  That’s what I had to say about dry pork chops until…

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Cool Watermelon Mojitos and Spicy-Sweet Glazed Shrimp on the Bar-B; or It’s time to celebrate again!

Watermelon Mojitos on the deck

The members of the Schmautzhaus have gotten together again for some summer celebrating.  This time we were celebrating two birthdays for the price of one, so to speak.  Two birthdays were exactly a week apart, so we all got together yet again.

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The Eternal Quest for Perfect Pizza Dough because Pizza is a Way of Life

Perfect dough: Crispy on the bottom and chewy but never doughy

My husband, Yes!Chef!, started his cooking adventure many years ago when he began working at Pizza Hut while attending the University of Minnesota (brr.) He learned how to make their style of pizza and then he was elevated to manager and learned how to run a business.  Now, I never knew Yes!Chef! in those days.  I met him some years later in Wisconsin (which is a whole ‘nother story”), but I know he’s always had a love of pizza.  I discovered the joys of Chicago style stuffed pizza when I spent some time in Chicago for work and then when I moved to Wisconsin for a couple of years. BTW, I loved living in Wisconsin except for the bitter cold winters and the hot sticky summers. Yes, I’m a born and raised California girl, but I’m not a weather wimp because I was raised in the hills and mountains of Northern California.  We had very hot summers (but no humidity) and cold winters with snow.  But nothing like the extremes of living in Wisconsin.

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Strawberry Margaritas, grilled burgers and baked, stuffed potatoes or Thanks, Honey, I needed that.

Margarita on the deck

Sunday I had a fun photo shoot in the little town of Galt, CA, in a great bar called Brewsters Bar and Grill. I took my youngest son with me because he has a little interest in modeling and a great interest in hanging around pretty girls. So, we got up early and drove down to Galt, spent the day photographing/modeling and drove back that afternoon.

A few examples of the photo shoot

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Homemade Boursin Cheese served with a vineyard

Boursin Cheese and butter crackers

I’ve been wanting to make this ever since I found the recipe and I finally had a chance a couple of months ago when my family was coming over for dinner.  My oldest loves Boursin Cheese, but it is very expensive.  So, I was quite excited to find this recipe especially since it is very economical and makes a large batch.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches al Fresco and a Family Celebration

Pulled Pork, Spicy Slaw and Corn on the Cob with Compound butter

I think I’ve mentioned before that my family loves to get together and celebrate.  Frequently, we have nothing special to celebrate, but we just like to get together, laugh and eat good food.  However, on Sunday we had many reasons to celebrate:  it was the first time the whole family had been together since Christmas, my daughter had returned from 5 1/2 months in Africa; we’ve officially welcomed daughter’s boyfriend into the family, my oldest son and his girlfriend had returned from an interesting vacation to the hot midwest, my youngest son had his first accident in the car and neither people nor property (except a few cinder blocks) were hurt; Yes!Chef! was starting a new job and I had just landed a great magazine photo shoot.  Yes, those were all good reasons to celebrate.  But, mostly we just all wanted to get together.

The Fam: Together at last

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Rosemary Julep, or What a pleasant way to wait out a power failure

Sit down for a spell on our newly refurbished deck and have a Rosemary Julep (Julep:  Noun. A sweet flavored drink made from a sugar syrup, sometimes containing alcohol or medication.) ?? Medication?

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