I’m going to post early this week as tomorrow is rounding-out to be a bit of a gongshow (does that age me to reference that program?).

I’ve been pretty good this week but there is still waste!

1) 2 blueberry muffins that sprouted fur before they were eaten.
2) 1 bruschetta that didn’t get eaten and was forgotten out of the fridge overnight (uh…yum :()
3) A portion of Irish Stew
4) 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (this was processed stuff that I found in the back of the freezer and I have zero idea how it got there)
5) 1 orange (WHAT is this with one lone orange going bad before we get to it?!)

Oddly, none of the pie is leftover.

Oh well, a big dent out of the upstairs freezer and thanks to the Mrs. example I’m going to tackle the pantry downstairs this week. I’ll detail my plan in another post.

We even had a delicious meal of porkchops on Monday that I’ll post the recipe now. I got the recipe out of a Canadian Living “Eat it Tonight” book. Fast and delicious.

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quick_and_easy/almond_orange_pork_chops.php

Ingredients
4 boneless pork loin chops (I actually had two really big ones that I cut in half-it was plenty for the three adults and the babes)
1 tsp dried thyme (I had fresh in my little window garden so I used that)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 orange , peeled and sliced (I sectioned it to-this is called supreming it)
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4cup cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preparation:
Trim chops; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chops, about 6 minutes. Transfer to plate; keep warm.

In same skillet, bring juice and water to boil. Add orange slices and cinnamon. Whisk cornstarch with 2 tbsp (25 mL) water; whisk into skillet. Return chops to pan, turning to coat. Sprinkle with almonds.

I served them with carrot and celery sticks and leftover pasta. I refreshed the pasta in boiling water then mixed with: 2 T. fresh herbs chopped-up (I have thyme, basil and oregano in the window), a dash of chicken stock base, a package of chevre, salt and pepper and 1 T. of butter.

To show that cleaning-out the freezer hasn’t actually been a hardship one of the things that I am happiest with is this tasty salmon pie!

I started off with an idea from Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” and adapted it to fit what we had in the house.

1) Roll a 3×3 chunk of puff pastry to a rectangle that is roughly 12×6
2) Layer; two salmon filets, a spread of olive and fig tapenade (use anything-this is what I had in one of my random jars), chunks of goat cheese, 4 torn basil leaves 4 mushrooms sliced.
3) Fold the ends in and then the sides.
4) Bake until crispy and brown (approx. 30 min at 350)

I served this with; green beans and baked squash rubbed with bacon fat and then topped with a bit of maple syrup.

Bacon fat and maple syrup are now considered superfoods in our house.

I’ve been reading “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg the past few nights and have been loving it. I took this book out at the library (this is a big deal and I’ll let you know why next week) and I honestly didn’t expect to like it that much-I don’t know why. I also got a book out by one of the “Two Fat Ladies” and expected to be over-the-moon with it and have found myself completely wrong on both accounts.

I had been an intermitent visitor to “Orangette” for the past year or so but hadn’t read it from the start. Now I have 🙂

If you aren’t familar with Molly’s blog you should really do yourself a favour and take a good look at it (http://orangette.blogspot.com/). Funny how after reading someone’s blog you feel pretty comfortable addressing them by their first name.

I guess in this anonymous, electronic world we seek-out ways to create community now. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not but her book is making me take a closer look at my writing, how I want to continue and it made me do some heavy thinking about a family situation too.

On a lighter size it also reminded me how much I love Tarte Tatin!

I remember this from a trip to my Grandma Kelly’s and at the time it seemed VERY exotic. Our family always had a lot of desserts (happy baking women that they were) but they were always recognizable; pies, tarts, cakes etc. this concoction seemed other-worldly and almost like magic.

My Auntie Na (a fabulous woman who I wish I had gotten to know as an adult) made this and when she passed away my Mom gave me her copy of Julia Child’s masterpiece of French Cooking. It’s a first edition and is one of the few possessions that I have that I would actually be upset if something happened to it. I must have been a pretty weird 12 year old to have not only been given this book but to have been so incredibly thrilled by it. We ate a lot of butter for a summer due because of this-don’t get me started in detailing our summer of “Yan can cook”.

But I digress, Tarte Tatin is basically an upside-down, caramel apple pie.

Over the years I have simplified Julia Child’s recipe to as little effort as possible.

Roll out pastry (or use a frozen pastry shell that is thawed and tipped out of the pan) to 9 inch diameter.

In a fry pan that can go in the oven (cast iron is ideal) melt 1/4 cup butter. Add; six sliced apples (I love to use granny smith ones-you need them to make up about six cups and I slice the into 1 inch chunks), 1/3 cup of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Let cook until the apples just start to wilt and the sugar is browning into a caramel.

Top with the pastry (tucking the edges in as if you are tucking a blanket around a kiddo) and transfer into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake until pastry is flaky and browned (about 30 minutes).

Now for the tricky part-place a platter over the fry pan and tip the whole thing upside down. Because you are doing this while the apples are hot everything will come out-don’t burn your arm like I did last night but I’m known for my lack of coordination. If you really want this lilly gilded then make some creme anglais (I’ll post the recipe in the next while) or custard to go with it. In England, you would have pouring cream 🙂

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