The Alton Browncast

I’m late to the game with podcasts.

My sister, on the other hand, is a podcast junkie. I like to blame this on the fact that she and her husband haven’t owned a television in over five years, but I have a feeling she’d be listening to them regardless. Especially now that she lives in Brooklyn and commutes to the farm on the subway.

“YOU haven’t been listening to the Alton Browncast?!”

Well, nope.

But I love, love, love Alton Brown, which might be why my sister was all shocked when I told her that I hadn’t even heard of it while we were on vacation last summer.

Alton Browncast

So, after the initial shock and horror wore off, I did what any self-respecting Alton Brown fan would do: I quickly subscribed to his podcast, and was completely and immediately sucked in. The tips, the Q&A with callers, special guests, food trivia, recipes – ALL THE THINGS!

It’s fantastic.

For instance, have a child who’s a picky eater in the house? Alton’s fix for that was to tell his young daughter (paraphrasing here), “You can’t have that; it’s for grown-ups.” And it worked. She’d eat sautéed kale with garlic without protest. What kid doesn’t want something they can’t have? Genius.

And, in a sneaky bit of irony, I used this logic with my 9-year old during several recent long-ish car rides.

“Oh, you wouldn’t like the Alton Browncast. It’s for grown-ups.”

{snicker}

Actually, my daughter’s introduction to the Alton Browncast wasn’t quite so mischievous. I simply asked if she’d like to give it a listen on the way back from our road trip to Virginia Beach, instead of my usual Mumford & Sons Pandora station.

“Okay,” she said. And then she was hooked too, asking for the Alton Browncast anytime we’re in the car.

Or maybe she’s just tired of Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, Eddie Vedder, the Shins, Deathcab for Cutie and Regina Spektor. ANYTHING TO GET AWAY FROM MOM’S PANDORA STATION. But, I’d like to think the former’s true.

“Who is Alton Brown?”

Who is Alton Brown. WHO IS ALTON BROWN!?

I guess it’s a fair question, given the fact that Food Network no longer airs Good Eats and we only just got the Cooking Channel last month. I mean, my kid’s watched Food Network Star and Iron Chef America. She’s seen ads for Cutthroat Kitchen.

Interestingly, Alton Brown’s not actually a nerd, although he kind of plays one on TV. He’s unique, clever, witty and a holds wealth of foodie knowledge. And then there’s Good Eats.

Alton Brown "Good Eats"

The Alton Brown I grew to love was the Good Eats Alton.

Quirky, simple and over-the-top sets and scripts – that’s one reason I love Good Eats.

Matter-of-fact cooking instruction that TO THIS DAY happens to be my go-to when I’m trying to cook something for the very first time – that’s the other reason I love Good Eats.

How’d Alton do it? Lemme check. Google, Google, Google.

The Alton Browncast reminds me of Good Eats Alton. I’m hooked.

{Now leaving…Nerdist.com}

22 Kitchen Tools You Need to Make a Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Hey, are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year? It’s just over a week away (Gah!), so if you’re not already prepared for the feast, now’s the time.
Do you have your turkey yet? If not, better go locate it. Chances are it’s frozen, and you’ll want to be sure to get the bird in time to thaw it properly in the refrigerator. Depending on the size, it can take 2-3 days…maybe longer!

Note: Wegmans in my neighborhood had turkeys on sale for $0.49/lb through November 18, while supplies lasted, and as long as you spent $25. That’s a steal for a turkey! And, check out local organic farms, where you can typically find a free-range bird for as little as $3.50/lb.

This year I plan to follow Alton Brown’s “Good Eats Roast Turkey” recipe, which includes using a brine. Nothing ensures a supremely juicy turkey like brining it first. Omnomnom.
As for tools you’ll need to make it all happen?
houzz.com, Thanksgiving dinner, kitchen tools

Well, take a peek at my latest Ideabook for Houzz.com, where I have over 20 kitchen essentials to help you cook a perfect first Thanksgiving dinner.

Cheers!

(a)Musing Foodie – Your "Everyday Foodie" – Should Be the Next Deen Team Blogger!

If you’ve been following my blog for the past couple of years, you probably remember seeing me reference my love for Savannah, Ga., more than a few times. Like, a lot.
I adored the time that I lived there, from 1999 to 2001. I was fresh out of college, experiencing life changing events, working as a florist, making new friends, and soaking in every beautiful, food-friendly moment in the “Hostess City of the South.”
Savannah is where my young foodie self really started to develop. I watched Food Network for the first time, which taught me a lot of my techniques I use today – thank you, Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and Rachael Ray. I tried new things, like Prickly Pear Margaritas, and was also reminded of southern-style foods that my late grandmother used to make. Wandering around the streets of downtown Savannah was like drifting through a world of architectural and food eye-candy, with smells and sights forever imprinted in my mind.
I got my hands on recipes that will always stay close to my heart, like a cobbler recipe in the green-covered “Savannah Style” cookbook. There’s no match to its buttery, crispy edges and gooey cake-like top that rises under and around the fruit as it bakes. Crumbles and crisps beware! I’ve sliced and diced this recipe many different ways, and it’s perfect every time.

Deen Team Blogger Contest

I also discovered banana pudding.
After rolling up my sleeves and making it from scratch a few times – and I mean literally hand-whipping the cream, pudding cooked lovingly and slowly over the stove – I realized I was being silly. 
Making banana pudding the lazy cook’s way was just as good! And to my horror my native-Savannah friends actually preferred it the lazy way! 
So, I embraced Cool Whip and instant vanilla pudding. And I’m okay with that.

Deen Team Blogger Contest

Deen Team Blogger Contest

So the big question:

Why do I think I’m the next Deen Team Blogger?

I’m passionate about home cooked meals, especially comfort food. I love old-fashioned, southern, everyday simple recipes. I find myself cooking them the way they were intended, as well as tweaking them to make them my own, or healthier, or diabetic-friendly when cooking for my in-laws.
My cooking style is easy-going. I work full-time and have a busy life with my husband and two kids, so I don’t have a lot of time to deal with fussy menus and expensive shopping lists. I’m an “everyday foodie.”
I love interacting with other foodies, and there’s nothing more moving than when a someone tells me, “Reading your blog has made me feel like I can cook too – it makes me try things I never would have before.” My goal is not to impress and shock readers, it’s always been to connect with them – and help them understand that learning to cook good food shouldn’t be overwhelming or scary.
Communication with my readers and other writers/bloggers goes beyond leaving comments on this blog, we interact all over the place! From in-person networking events to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even in the other spaces I’ve freelanced, both online and in print. 

I would love to be the next Deen Team Blogger to connect with new readers and continue developing the existing relationships I’ve made!

PS: I love butter. I really do.

Juicy Skillet Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

How to make Juicy Skillet Fried Pork Chops

I was flipping by Food Network the other day and managed to catch an episode of “Good Eats” where Alton Brown was busy searing a couple of thick pork chops in preparation for a few hours’ roasting in a slow cooker. He had sliced apples and caramelized onions ready to go, along with a pan sauce lovingly finished off with butter and scraped bits from the bottom of the pan.

It looked wonderful – warm and comforting. A recipe I’m going to tuck away until fall’s crisp, blustery evenings roll in….

But those pork chops! Thick, juicy and seared just enough to make a nice crust; we needed to have those NOW, with summer accouterments like salad and corn on the cob.

Yes. Exactly that. An easy dinner recipe for a weeknight summer supper.

How to make Juicy Skillet Fried Pork Chops

Juicy Skillet Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 thick cut, bone-in pork chops*
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat (on a heat scale of 1 to 10, I have my burner set around 7 since they'll be in the pan for such a long time).
  2. Sprinkle half the salt and pepper to one side of the chops. When the butter has melted and started to foam, add the chops to the skillet seasoned-side down. Season the other side with the remaining salt and pepper.
  3. Allow the chops to sear for 5 minutes, and then flip the chops. Continue cooking them on the second side for 10 minutes, and then flip the chops one more time. Cook for 5 minutes more, and then remove the chops to a plate to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. *Set the pork chops out on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to cooking so that they warm to room temperature; this ensures that they're evenly cooked, all the way to the center.

 

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