yesterday was the last special dinner request for marshall’s birthday week. it’s finally over! good riddance. ;)
in case you missed it, this was what the birthday boy requested for dinner all last week:
- monday: chicken piccata with pasta & asparagus
- tuesday: chicken masala with vegetables & garbanzo beans over rice
- wednesday: turkey chili with cornbread
- thursday: birthday boy was sick, so he had grilled cheese & tomato soup
- friday: we ate at a wedding and then birthday boy devoured 3 cupcakes
- saturday: burgers, BBQ chicken sandwiches, pear & spinach salad, roasted potatoes & cupcakes
and that brings us to sunday. sunday’s meal was at my parents’ house for marshall’s final last hurrah. he told me that he wanted me to make pork chops. hmmm. i had never made pork chops! i turned to google and looked for a recipe that caught my eye. when i saw this one for peach mustard pork chops, i was sold.
here is sunday’s complete menu:
- peach mustard pork chops topped with fresh sautéed peaches
- “funeral potatoes” AKA a grated potato casserole loaded with onions, sour cream, cream of chicken soup and two kinds of cheese
- steamed broccoli
- pear & spinach salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette
- bread pudding
dinner was scheduled for 6 o’clock. i had to go to the grocery store and get started on preparing the meal around 12:30.
how about we rewind a bit and do some math. i was up until 4:45 AM saturday night (or sunday morning), i was then woken up by marshall at 8:30 AM because he is clinically insane (or was just excited for football).. so that is 3 hours 45 minutes of sleep. FML.
marshall left to watch the packers game at his brother’s house around 10:45 and for some reason, i couldn’t fall back to sleep. grumble. i got up and had some coffee and a greek yogurt mess and watched the game show network for a couple hours. i was dozing off when momma b called to inform me that i better get a start on the potatoes if i wanted them to be done in time. those potatoes are pretty time consuming.
crap. no nap for me.
i went to the store, gathered all my ingredients and got to work in my kitchen. first i put 11 russet potatoes in a pot to boil, then i got to work on the bread pudding.
i used paula deen’s recipe for the best bread pudding.. and it really was!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large beaten eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups cubed french bread
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup chopped pecans
as you can see, it is really healthy.
this bread pudding was a cinch to make. i diced the bread and put it in a bowl. then i mixed the eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla.
i poured the mixture over the bread and let it soak for ten minutes.
meanwhile, i made the sugar topping.
i simply mixed the brown sugar, butter and pecans in a bowl.
i poured the bread mixture into a 9″ x 13” pan.
then i spread the sugar topping over the bread mixture.
i baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
SO simple. the sauce was easy, too, but i waited to make that at my parents’ house.
once the potatoes were done boiling i took them off the stove so they could cool. then i got to work on the peach mustard sauce for the pork chops. you can see the recipe for the sauce here, i added one whole fresh peach (smashed up) to the mix.
once the sauce was done, the potatoes were ready to be made. ay, ay, ay! i was so sleepy. i was hitting the wall. i kept working away, all in the name of birthday week ;) the potatoes took another 30 or 40 minutes to prepare..
i told you, they are time consuming! i had to grate the potatoes in my food processor and then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. this may sound easy, but it was a LOT of potatoes and they were THICK. stirring the mixture was hard work! i think it should count as my upper body workout! :P
i set the pan of potatoes aside to be baked at my parents’ house. by this time it was 4:45 and i had to be to my parents’ house at 5:15. shoot, no nap time.
once i got to my parents’ i got to work on the chops.
i brushed them in safflower oil and sprinkled them with sea salt and coarse ground black pepper.
i put the chops on the grill over high heat, searing each side for a few minutes before transferring them onto indirect heat.
then the basting process began!
don’t mind the way i look, i was running on 3.75 hours of sleep, remember?
i basted and flipped for a good 20 minutes. i really hoped i was doing it right, as these were the first chops i’d ever made!
between basting and flipping, i sautéed the fresh peaches that would top the chops.
i put together the salad. it was the same one as saturday: romaine, spinach, slivered almonds and diced red pears.
i dressed it in this creamy balsamic dressing that is seriously delicious. i love briannas dressings!
we also had some fruit and fruit dip that was leftover from the birthday party.
erica’s fruit dip recipe is seriously addicting. to make it, i whipped a pint of heavy whipping cream (i added sugar and vanilla extract to the mix) ((you could opt to use cool whip, but i only like fresh whipped cream. i grew up on it and never looked back.)) and then combined the whipped cream with three containers of brown cow strawberry yogurt. so easy!
once the chops were 170 degrees internally, i took them off the grill and dinner was ready to eat! and i was ready to fall flat on my face because i was so tired.
peach mustard sauce and fresh peaches to top the chops:
the time consuming potatoes:
quite the feast for the last hurrah of marshall’s birthday week!
my plate, i ended up splitting this massive chop with my mom.
the meal was delicious. i was so happy that my pork chops turned out moist and flavorful! i love learning to make new foods. cross pork chops off the list!
remember how i told you our bellies have a special reserve for cupcakes? well, it is the same case with bread pudding…
the sauce was a mixture of butter, sugar, vanilla extract and an egg. i served myself some sauce before adding the bourbon. bourbon makes me dry heave. sad but true. oh and sorry to talk about dry heaving while showing you the most glorious bread pudding i have ever tasted. where are my manners?
if you love bread pudding, i suggest you run to the kitchen and make this right now. it is that good.
i want more.
after devouring dessert, marshall opened this awesome card from my parents’. my mom found this card like 11 months ago and has been saving it for marshall’s birthday.
marshall and my mom share a love for ultimately cheesy cards.
sucker for all things basset hound ;)
i would be lying if i told you i didn’t eat any more bread pudding last night. i did. it was delicious. but i was so full that it was painful. and this morning i wasn’t hungry one bit. i finally decided to eat something around noon. all in the name of bread pudding. it was worth it.
when marshall and i got home, we watched the latest episode of dexter (so good) before i finally drifted off to sleep.
and that, my friends, sums up marshall’s birthday week.
until next year!
1. do you like to venture out with your cooking and try new recipes/preparing new foods or do you feel more comfortable sticking with what you’re good at? i am always up for a challenge or something new. even if i fail and the meal is a flop, at least i know i gave it my best shot.
2. what was the best thing you ate over the weekend? i ate a whole lot of delicious food, so it is hard to pick. but i think the bread pudding takes the cake! (or takes the pudding?)
xo. janetha g.