Great Friends Bring Chocolate!

Buried under a mountain of NEVER-ENDING laundry, the doorbell rings. Standing in my doorway is a dear friend holding a little box of chocolate frosted brownies. I, stand at the doorway in my last set of clean clothes-mismatched mind you, while my 15 month old is scooting up the steps clothed in nothing but a diaper and my 3 year old stands in the foyer still wearing her pajamas. Mortified by the state of our appearance?… yes definitely. A smile brought to my face by our surprise visitor?… yes, definitely. Good times made better by a friend bearing chocolate! How blessed and thankful am I!

Coffee would be good with these...

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Gotta get my Goetta on…

 

Glier's Goetta

Some say its similar to scrapple, others call it “Cincinnati’s Caviar” and many just call it plain GOETTA.  Pronounced gétt-aa, ged-da or get-uh, when first described to me as ground pork or sausage combined with oats as an extender and a unique blend of spices, I thought “good gracious, how could this possibly be any good?”  And then a homegrown Queen City native convinced me to try it… I was hooked.  It is often served at breakfast in place of the typical breakfast meats (bacon, sausage, etc.).  Me?  I like it with eggs and fresh sliced tomatoes, sometimes sauteed green bell peppers and onions.  Add gravy and I’m in heaven.  I’ve heard that it’s also scrumptious served with fresh apple butter.  Judging by the ingredients, I doubt it has a high heart healthy rating… just like anything that tastes good!  🙂  The most popular and my personal favorite is from Glier’s.   In the summer Cincinnati holds a festival in its honor where vendors sport their latest creative creations using goetta as an ingredient.  No mealtime offering goes untouched, from goetta pancakes and apple fritters to goetta philly sandwiches and goetta meatballs.  I will admit, I don’t care for all these combinations, but some are surprisingly good.

In our house, we just cook it the traditional way:  sliced and fried golden brown on either side, served with scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon. Yummy!  My eldest daughter has been begging for goetta for the last week.  I relented, fried some up and snapped a few quick pictures of one of our favorite treats.

80mm ISO100 f/5.6

 

In My Kitchen: Lamb, Cherries and Mint

Lamb Chops with Cherries, Balsamic Vinegar and Mint

Well, I’ve never made lamb before. I love it when it’s prepared right. I, personally have just never had the nerve to cook it. If you’ve ever had bad lamb, you’d understand my hesitation. I was shopping the other day and came across some really good looking lamb chops. As I stood over the case looking at them, I wondered, “Can I? and Would it taste good?”  Needless to say, I bought them and I figured, “Well, it will be an adventure. If it’s horrible, I’ll pull out the mac ‘n cheese!”

Searching the web, I found a recipe that looked to complement lamb’s savory meatiness with a balanced sauce of cherry sweetness and balsamic tartness.  For lack of availability, I substituted the sour cherries with frozen dark sweet cherries (thawed) and omitted the 1 tablespoon sugar in the recipe.  This recipe was so incredibly easy to make. My family LOVED it. The lamb was tender and delicate in flavor.  The mint offers a fresh “pop” to the dish.  I highly recommend this recipe the next time you want to impress.

Lamb Chops with Cherry Balsamic Sauce and Mint (courtesy of Epicurious.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) pitted sour cherries (1/2 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8 (3/4-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (2 lb total), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallot (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Stir fresh cherries together with sugar and macerate while browning chops. If using frozen cherries, stir with any juices and sugar and thaw, about 1 1/2 hours.

Pat lamb dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté 4 chops, turning over once, about 6 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Cook and transfer remaining 4 chops in same manner.

Pour off fat from skillet and add remaining tablespoon oil. Heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add cherries with juices, broth, and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits, then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add butter and 2 tablespoons mint, stirring just until butter is melted.

Spoon sauce over chops and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons mint.

Too many mini-Cupcakes? Who says?? Pffshaw!!

My last post was about cupcakes… and lo and behold, I received more cupcakes that I could take pictures of!  In my mind, there is no such thing as too many cupcakes… There’s always room in our house for more :).  Not much more I can say about them, other than that these are delicious and beautiful!  The company is called Cupcake Crazy and you can find them on the web at http://www.cupcakecrazyincincinnati.com.  Hopefully you’ll see some of my pictures on their website!  My favorite pic: my youngest son was helping himself to a tasty treat!