Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Anniversary Dinner, Yummy!

Yesterday Jeff and I celebrated five years of marriage. Then today we celebrated more by closing on our house - we get the keys on Tuesday and are so excited!!!!

Anyway, we like to do special homemade meals for special occasions. Yesterday was no different. We had an absolutely delicious dinner of Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing, salad with Basic Vinaigrette, and Anniversary Pie for dessert. It was the same pie I made for our anniversary last year, but I changed it up to include chocolate, teehee. The whole meal was absolutely wonderful.

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

This recipe was based on a recipe I got from my sister a long time ago. The flavors of the pork, the stuffing, and the apple pie filling are absolutely wonderful together. It's delicious just the way it is on her blog, Fabulous Food, but I wanted to give it more of a homemade touch, so I made the apple pie filling from scratch. This is what we came up with.

4 pork chops, about 3/4 inch or thicker
6 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice (only if the apples lack tartness)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
1 box stuffing mix

Combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread in the bottom of a crock pot.

Quickly sear the pork chops over high heat on the stove, just until they're lightly browned on the outside. They shouldn't be cooked through. Place on top of the apples in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low until the pork is thoroughly cooked. In our crock pot it took about 8 hours.

Just before serving, prepare stuffing according to directions on the box. Serve with the pork chops and apples.

Next time I might add a bit more flour to the apples - it made a whole lot of syrup because it was in the crock pot instead of the oven. But as is, it was still absolutely delicious.

Salad with Basic Vinaigrette

For the salad, I just mixed together some green leaf lettuce with a bunch of veggies - mushrooms, shredded carrot, tomatoes, fresh chives (from the garden of a wonderful elderly gentleman in our church). Then I topped it with this simple vinaigrette.

1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. mustard
1/8 tsp. each sugar, salt, and pepper

Combine ingredients and mix well. Store unused dressing in the fridge.

This recipe is really easy to customize and make it however you want. Use flavored oil or vinegar, specialty mustard, or add herbs and/or spices along with the salt and pepper. I made it very basic last night, but it's fun to change things around and make it your own.

Anniversary Pie

Last year I made this with butter pecan ice cream and a plain graham cracker crust. This year we changed it up a bit. I used vanilla ice cream and brown sugar instead of white. I also made a chocolate graham cracker crust, and we topped the pie with an easy chocolate sauce. It was divine!

18-20 graham cracker squares (9-10 full sheets)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Crush graham crackers in food processor. Add sugar and cocoa powder, process until mixed. Add melted butter and process again until thoroughly mixed. Empty into a 9-inch pie plate and press onto bottom and sides. Set aside.

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup eggnog
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggnog and ice cream. Pour into crust and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before slicing to soften the pie.

Chocolate Sauce:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk (approximately)

Melt chocolate and milk slowly, either in the microwave, in the top of a double boiler, or on the stove over very low heat. Add additional milk if it's too thick (I don't really know exactly how much milk I used, I just eyeballed it and stopped adding when it was a good texture). Drizzle sauce over individual slices of pie (I admit that I might have drizzled a bit more on after taking the pictures).

Well, by the time we were done eating, my stomach was very full, but I sure was happy! This was definitely a very good meal for our anniversary. May Jeff and I continue to have many more years of cooking beautiful and delicious meals together.


cgp said...

This sounds fantastic! I'm definitely going to have to try it.

I absolutely LOVE your blog, by the way. I don't remember exactly what I googled to come across it, but you have some really wonderful ideas. :D

Katy ~ said...

We are on the same wavelength. I just made a very similar (but different) pork chop dinner for us the other night. I like the idea that yours is made in a crockpot. Soooo convenient!!

Oooh, and pie! Delicious!!

Happy anniversary! I so love seeing people CELEBRATING marriage.