Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petey's 25 Bday Dinner & Dessert Delights

Dating an Italian boy is my bread and butter except he can't digest the tomato sauces too well which, at first, I thought limited my breadth of cooking loveliness in the kitchen but boy was I wrong. Pete's citrus-induced ageda has inspired me to break out of my traditional Italian box and find some new-to-my-cooking-skills flavors.

Lemon Pork Chops with Sweet & Spicy Potatoes
The chops are a piccata-kinda. I dredged the pork chops in flour while I had extra virgin olive oil, 1 large scallion, and 2 chopped garlic cloves. This isn't the traditional preparation, but I really love garlic with the flavor of lemon together. Also, because of the dessert I ran out of butter to make the lemon sauce so I substituted it with shortening. Of course it wasn't the same but it was good! Funny how those little mistakes make a great new difference.

While the chops were really moist and yummy, the potatoes were my pride and joy. I really wanted to go for sweet and spicy, so while 3-4 tblsp. of vegetable oil heated up on high and my thinly sliced potato chips were in the oil cooking up, I cut up half of a large red onion in nice big crescents, chopped up 4 large dates, and 2 pieces of pre-cooked, extra crispy turkey bacon. These were my sweet and fatty flavors. I seasoned all of it up with lots and lots of red crushed pepper. Then some dry parsley and garlic salt and VIOLA! The most flavorful potato dish to date. He loved it, I loved it and we love each other and isn't that what potatoes are for? Love.

For dessert, Pete picked out a recipe he really liked in the Taste of Home's 5 Ingredient Recipe book called Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars.
The original recipe simply called for store-bought cookie dough, 1 80z. cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1egg and that's it! First, preheat to 350 and spray on some cooking spray on whatever 8" or 9" baking pan. Then, whip up the cream cheese, sugar and egg in a medium mixing bowl. The original recipe calls for most of the cookie dough to be pressed into the bottom of the pan. Then, pour the cream cheese mix on top. And lastly before putting it into the oven, crumble the last bits of cookie dough on top.

For me, I just love to make cookies so I didn't buy any dough-I made some! The twist this time was using about 1 cupish of the leftover coconut from the macaroons. Tasty and textural interesting. I call this one home run of a birthday meal for the man who can't eat tomatoes!