Monday, February 21, 2011

Beer-Brined Pork Chops with Beer-Mustard Sauce

We had a wonderful dinner last night, and it is all thanks to Women's Health Magazine and their recipe for Beer-Brined Pork Chops.

Here's how it's done...


Three bottles of Pilsner
3 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
4 bone-in Pork Chops, 1 1/2 inches thick
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
2 diced Shallots
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tbsp Grainy Mustard
2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

First marinate the pork chops in 2 bottles Pilsner, 2 cups water, kosher salt, and sugar. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, we had ours in there for closer to 7-8.

About half an hour before you want to eat, make the sauce. I have to say, the sauce was OK, but certainly not great. I'm not going to copy the recipe into here because, well, I probably won't make it again. It can be found in the link above if you are interested.

Time to cook the chops! Since we've been together, almost 5 years, we've never made pork chops, but we did our best! First we had to remove them from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with pepper and heat up some oil, and then it's cooking time! The recipe calls for 4-5 minutes per side, but we had to double that for the chops to cook through. We'll probably buy thinner ones next time.

Boy, were they yummy. They were moist and tasty, the marinade was fantastic. We sauteed some spinach to round everything off. Oh, we also drank the remaining beer : )

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big Bird Curtains

I spend 40 hours a week in an office with no windows. My overworked eyes and migraine-prone skull crave natural sunlight on a daily basis. Luckily, we have an unusually large window in our living room, like 52" x 95" large. It is wonderful to have that much light coming into our apartment. But unluckily, since we live on the first floor we rarely have the blinds open and almost never benefit from the available sunlight. I finally made the decision to sew together some sheer curtains to provide some privacy while still allowing the beautiful natural light shine through.

I intended to use the lace above, however the height of the fabric was nowhere near tall enough for our special window. So, I went shopping! I bought a beautiful light yellow cotton which is sheer enough that light shines through, but opaque enough that no one would be able to see in.

Of course, this fabric did not instantly fit the dimensions of the window either; however since it has no pattern I could attach three panels together to create a larger, single window curtain panel. Do this process twice, add some hems and a loop at the top, and...

...ta-da! curtains! I'm not thrilled with the curtain rod, mostly because it's not the one I ordered. This one has clear glass orbs at the ends of the rod, the orbs on the rod I ordered were a dark metal like the rest of the piece. Oh well, I didn't feel like waiting for a new one in the mail so I just kept what I got.

This picture was taken a night; during the day the light looks beautiful.