Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet ... sorta

These things .. sort of ... have been consuming me for the past few days. How? Well ...

Baseball - I got sucked into watching the Home Run Derby, which featured one of those tingly sports stories that I love. I've never watched any of the All Star festivities in the past, but decided to check it out this year. The story that got me was about a guy named Josh Hamilton (who's been all over the news for the last 2 days, so this is probably a little late to report ... but it's my blog so I can tell stories that everybody's already heard as much as I want to ... right?).

This guy played in the majors for a couple of years, then started boozing it up and doing all kinds of drugs. Apparently he blew somewhere around $4M on crack,heroin, alcohol, tattoos and whatever else before he found God and sobriety. He ended up getting back into the minor leagues 3 years ago and fought his way back to the major league. On Monday night, he hit 28 home runs in Round One of the Home Run Derby which broke the previous record of 24. He was like a machine, and people went nuts as he hit ball after ball went into the upper deck. Me thinks his story will end up a movie someday ... apparently he plays like this in regular games too.

Hot Dogs - OK, I haven't been consumed by -- or consuming any -- hot dogs. But it would've messed up the title of my post if I didn't throw them in here.

Apple Pie - On the theme of apples -- not apple pie -- I have a new recipe that must be shared. It's for Stuffed Pork Chops, and the stuffing is made of apples, bacon, celery, and onion. As a time saver, you can just plop the stuffing on top and forget the whole ordeal of trying to cut a pocket in the middle of a slimy raw pork chop (ew!). Nevertheless, it's delicious. Here's the stuffing: (I made this for 2 pork chops)

  • Cut 4 strips of bacon into pieces and fry em up in the pan. (You can shortcut in the microwave if you want to save time, but it's not as tasty when you don't cook the onions and celery in the bacon grease.)
  • Add some diced onion and celery to the bacon and saute until soft. Don't be afraid to let it burn a little to get that crsipy brown stuff that tastes so good. Use broth (chicken or whatever you have on-hand) to deglaze the pan.
  • Add a lil salt, pepper and thyme. Just a little -- taste test it later, you can always add more.
  • Cut up one small apple into little pieces (take the peel off unless you want it stuck in your teeth). Add the apple to the saute, and sprinkle some sugar (~1 tablespoon is probably good).
  • Salt & pepper pork chops on both sides.
  • Once the apple is soft, push the stuffing to the side of the pan and crank up the heat. When the pan is hot, add the pork chops.
  • Sear for ~2 minutes on each side, then lower heat. Add a little chicken broth to keep things from sticking (just a little), cover and simmer for ~15 minutes. (Note: you may have to adjust the cooking time for the thickness of your pork chops. I did 25/15 for 1- 1/4" chops. If you want to be very speedy, grill or broil your chops and just add the stuffing at the end.)
  • Anyway ...... Turn em over then cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes (again, adjust the time as needed)
  • After you flip (the chops, not a handspring), add some bread crumbs to the stuffing and mix it all together. You should be getting something that looks a little dry with a touch of carmelization -- not stuffing that looks like soggy bread. Don't worry, it won't be dry when you eat it.
  • I served with sliced Jersey tomatoes and baked beans. Bon appetit!

Chevrolet - .... is not the car I decided to purchase. After a month of research and negotiation, I decided to get another Acura TL. I love this car -- it's comfy and the technology is practical, and best of all I've figured out how to use it (after 4 years). One thing I learned -- was very helpful in my purchase and in the long run led me to options I may not have otherwise considered. In the end, I saved $113/month on my car payment and negotiated a bunch of freebies that I otherwise wouldn't have thought about (free oil changes, extra miles, free inspections, free wiper blade changes, etc). One dealer had a low price, another one had the freebies -- I got the dealer with the low price to throw in the freebies (in writing, of course)! I also ended up with a dealer I hadn't seriously considered in the past because I assumed they'd be more expensive because they're in a high-fallutin' area. That would've been a bad assumption -- their customer service and prices were unbeatable.

The moral of my car story is: it pays to do a little homework no matter how much you really hate it.

I'm hoping the new car will be delivered to mi casa today. Why am I not going to pick it up myself? Will report on that tomorrow.


SGM said...

The chops sound YUMMY!

Los said...

I think just about any recipe can improved with a couple of strips of bacon.

Cool - a new car. Edmunds is awesome! We may be getting another car soon - we'll be doing some homework there!

wrh said...

1) I am totally making those porkchops.
2) Next time I have to buy a car, I'm enlisting your help. You are clearly good at this kind of thing.

LLS in SCV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LLS in SCV said...

Barbra - hi from SoCal...
(I'm originally from "back East" NY/NJ)

I was googling "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and chevrolet" and found your link.

I've shared it w/ friends and family in CA, FL and GA.

(ps - I used Edmunds as well as Consumer Reports this year before buying my 2008 Honda Civic... love my avg 30-31mpg on a gas engine!)