Saturday, October 05, 2013

A Father's Heart

I'm an introvert. I get restored by being alone. Weird to many, but it's just the way it is. Because of that, I spend a lot of time alone, and some of that time I just spend just thinking about things.

Today I was thinking about my girls. How much I love them. How precious they are to me. How much I hurt when they hurt. I've never really had a way with words. I'm more of a hugger than a talker. Sometimes I just don't know what to say, but I hope my girls know how much I love them anyway. When they call me hurting, I just want to hold them tight in my arms and let them know it's going to be ok... Like when they were little kids. It's a bit harder now that they are "all growed up."

Because of some stuff going on over the last week, it really made me think about this tonight. Everything is ok, but it just made me think about it. And is want to happen, when I think about my dad relationship with my girls, it makes me think of my Dad's ( God's ) relationship with me and other humans. As I sit here thinking about how I wish I could make it all better when something goes wrong, or how I hope they know how much I love them, or how I just had the right words to say... I hear the Holy Spirit expressing similar feelings to me.

We sometimes step out if what God has for us, and it sometimes makes it hard for Him to bless us in the best way possible. We sometimes don't talk to Him and that makes it hard for Him to say the right things to us... Not because He doesn't know what to say, but because we don't listen. He also worries about whether or not we know how much He loves us, because most if the world doesn't, and because there are so many incorrect views in the world of who He is.

As I think on how short life is, how my girls childhood went by so fast, and how I grieve, in a way, for missed chances, I think about how God misses all the days He could have had with us, but we did not know Him. Or all the things He could have helped with, but we did not ask. But, just as I also am happy with all the things I can participate in now with my girls, and how grateful I am that Jaime is close, and Tif is just a text or FaceTime away; I also know that my Father in Heaven takes joy in the fact that I soak to Him now, and that I have a good relationship with Him.

So anyway... Yeah, introverts. We say things on the internet we'd never say face to face... Because hey, it's only a few million people here ;)

Love your kids, they grow up way too fast. And love your Dad. His heart aches for you!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Beef Medallions with Mushrooms and Onions on a bed of Spinach with a Beef and Butter Sauce

Yeah... I've never been too clever about coming up with short names for dishes; so the names are pretty much what is in them. Sorry about that!

I did not make this with blogging it in mind; so I didn't measure stuff. So the following is pretty much a total guess... so just flow with it. Basically seasoned some flour; so just sprinkle the stuff in it; and added "about the right amount" of butter... but the amounts should be close.

I wanted something fast and easy, but having spent several days in Baltimore eating good food; I was in the cooking mood. Decided on some sort of steak with mushrooms and onions; saw some thin cut Eye of Round steaks and the whole "medallions"thing took form.

Because of the onions, beef stock and butter; this had a very French Onion Soup flavor to it, and the floured medallions had a veal scallopini feel. Turned out very good. Probably took less than 30 minutes total.

  • pack of thin cut Eye of Round steaks (there were 7 of them)
  • 1 medium onion, slivered (thin vertical cuts)
  • 5 Crimini Mushrooms, about 5 slices per mushroom
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1 tsp Savory Salt
  • Fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 C Beef Broth
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 bunch (or 1 pkg frozen) Spinach
Prep the onions and mushrooms, add the olive oil to a skillet and then saute then with the garlic, until the mushrooms are a bit caramelized and the onions are wilted. Remove and set aside. Add some more olive oil to the skillet if the mushrooms soaked it all up.

Beat the egg for an egg wash and put on a plate, put the flour on a separate plate and stir in all the ingredients with a fork. (You can do this while the onions/mushrooms are cooking)

Dip a steak in the egg wash, then in the seasoned flour and then place in the skillet. On medium heat. I fit 4 steaks in the skillet, so had to do two batches. Because they are so thin you aren't really cooking until "done" as much as cooking till they are somewhat browned on each side. You may have to add more oil when you flip them so the one side doesn't stick.

Brown, then remove and set aside and do the second batch. Once all done, deglaze the skillet with the beef stock and add the butter, cut in thin slices (so it melts faster) and turn the temp up a little higher. Add in the mushrooms/onions and stir around; then slide in the steaks and spoon the sauce and mushrooms/onions on top. Turn down and let simmer for about 5 minutes; just so that the sauce reduces some and all the flavors combine.

Cook the spinach (wilt it in a pan or microwave if frozen), arrange on a plate,. add a few medallions on top and cover with the mushrooms/onions and spoon on some sauce!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rosemary Pork Chops

A pretty easy, savory and fast pork chop dish, made with rosemary, mushrooms, mirepoix, garlic and gravy.

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut in 1/2 top to botton, cut side down and then sliced top to bottom
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/4 across the rib
  • 1 small carrot cut in 1/2 and then in 1/2 down the middle
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 pork chops
  •  Savory salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 medium mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 jar of pork gravy
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and rough chopped
 I live the flavor that mirepoix adds to a dish, but I'm not a big carrot fan, so I cut the carrot in 4 big pieces. I could then saute it in the dish and get the flavor, but big enough so I could easily remove it and not eat it.

Seeing as I was trying to go for "fast" (get home late from work and cook up something good for dinner but not take all night) I used a jar of gravy from the store. But feel free to make you own! You can prep everything ahead, or cut as you go.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the onion and start wilting it; while that is happening mince the garlic and throw it in, stirring it around. Cut the carrot and add it in, then chop the celery and add it. Sprinkle some kosher salt on the veggies. Let the onions and mirepoix saute till they are "mostly done". You want them to flavor the oil and get wilted/caramelized some, but they don't have to be cooked all the way. Remove them to a plate for later, hopefully leaving some flavored oil behind. Turn the heat up and get the skillet hot and then add the pork chops and brown them on both sides. When you add them sprinkle savory salt and pepper (to taste) on them while they are cooking. They don't have to be cooked all the way, but should be close. Probably 5 minutes or so on each side. Move them around if the skillet starts getting two browned. Remove the pork chops, add another tbls of olive oil and saute the mushrooms, getting them a bit browned if you like. Remove the mushrooms and deglaze the skillet with the gravy and add the rosemary. Add all the ingredients back into the skillet and spoon the gravy back on top. Simmer in the gravy for 10 or 15 minutes. Serve.

Given I didn't prep it all ahead, it probably took about 20 to 30 minutes to get it to the point where I let it simmer for 10 minutes. I think simmering for 15 would be good, but 10 works and I was hungry. :)

I ate this by itself, but it would go good with mashed potatoes or noodles, and another veggie if desired like brussel sprouts, cooked cabbage, etc. The recipe can be easily adjusted based on how many people you want it to serve. Just add more pork chops and other ingredients appropriately. If you add more than two pork chops, i.e., if you get the skillet pretty full, you might want to pour the gravy off after putting in the rosemary for a minute or two, and then put everything back in and pour the gravy over the top. Or if too many pork chops to do in one batch, you could put the pork chops in a bake pan (9x13, etc.), put the veggies on top, and then pour the gravy over all of it and simmer in the oven at 350 for the 10 or 15 minutes. Everything should be "mostly done" so you are just simmering to let all the flavors mix.