Now before I started this ingenious gal pal get together, I enjoyed my Tuesday nights alone freely roaming through the aisles of Target with no curfew (ok, I don't really have a curfew but the man likes to eat, and you know how I love to cook) or hitting the gym for a few hours with no one there bugging me about, "Are you done? When are we leaving? I'm tired." And no, I don't have a five year old child, but rather a 28 year old boyfriend who does not love to work out (although to his credit, he did run the Cooper River Bridge Run this past weekend with me, without stopping!).
So I guess what I am trying to get at, is that before we started doing this I truly relished the one evening that I have with the house to myself; and the fact that I could aimlessly shop after work with nothing to rush home to. Not that I don't love coming home to Matthew every evening, I do, but we all know that a little alone time never hurt anybody...and us females need it to de-steam ourselves sometimes (that's not really a word, but we do tend to get steamed up, so de-steaming seemed approp). But all that being said, I am definitely glad that we have started this tradition and I plan on enjoying it as long as it lasts.
So for tonight's menu, I am sampling a bit from Kalyn's Kitchen as well as Culinary Concoctions. Someday I won't have to sample from anyone, I can just pull recipes out of my head, but until then this blog is going to have to be a regurgitation of other people's recipes (other very creative, ingenious, culinary wizards, if you will). It also must be noted, that today I made my first batch of cookies from scratch, and although I only had one egg when the recipe called for two, I must say that they turned out delicious! Even though they are probably one of the most unhealthy things ever invented...but if we exercise regularly we can cheat every now and then, no?
I am going to post the recipes and links now, and then pictures later on this evening after everything is cooked and gobbled up.
Grilled Ginger Soy Pork Chops
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
(4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)
4-6 boneless pork chops
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar, it contains sugar)
1 tsp. dried chili pepper flakes (I used red chili flakes)
2 tsp. ginger puree (also called ground ginger)
2 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
1 tsp. dried mustard
To cook, preheat grill to medium hot. To get those nice grill marks, rotate the pork chops after about 4 minutes on the first side. (I usually lift one up and check for the marks before I rotate them.) Cook about 8 minutes per side; total cooking time will depend on the temperature of your grill and the thickness of the pork chops. Pork chops should feel firm to the touch but not hard when they're done. Serve hot.
Asian Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted from the original South Beach Diet Book.)
6 cups green cabbage, sliced in strips (about 1/2 large head of cabbage)
2 T sesame seeds, toasted
2 T peanuts (or more)
2 T rice vinegar (don't use seasoned vinegar, which contains sugar)
1 T sesame oil
1 T agave nectar (can use honey but agave nectar is lower on the glycemic index)
1/8 tsp. Thai Chili Garlic Paste (or use a few drops of your favorite hot sauce)
1/8 tsp. grated ginger (I used ginger puree from a jar)
Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp ground sea salt
1 ½ cups chocolate covered sunflower seeds, unsalted(see note)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream together butter and sugars, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and scrape down bowl after each addition.
Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl, combine and sift together flour, baking soda and sea salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix on low until fully incorporated.
Stir in chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
Form into 1-inch balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Let cool for 2 minutes on pan and then move to wire rack.
Makes about 38 cookies.
I overcooked the pork, salad was kind of bland. But--the cookies were fab!