Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazing Love

Today is Easter Sunday. The day Christians rejoice that Jesus who was crucified on Good Friday for our sins was resurrected - defeating Satan and death once and for all. It's the day that I am reminded of God's amazing love for us, His children. The song below by Graham Kendrick describes it so perfectly.

Amazing Love by Graham Kendrick
My Lord what love is this?
That paid so dearly
That I, the guilty one, may go free.

Amazing love, oh what sacrifice
The Son of God, given for me
My dept He paid, and my death He died
That I, might live.
That I, might live.

And so, they watched Him die
Despised and rejected
But oh, the blood He shed, flowed for me.

And now, this love of Christ
Will flow, like rivers
Come wash, your guilt away,
And live again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pork chops with apples recipe

One of my greatest passion in life, apart from travel is food. Now that I work from home, a big advantage is that I now have more time to experiment with different cooking styles and recipes. I have always wondered about the technique used by chefs in almost every cooking show I've seen - Chef at Home, Restaurant Makeover, Jamie Oliver, etc., of pan-frying the meat and then roasting it in the oven. I always thought it seemed like a lot of work and more cleaning up to do! But I figured I should give it a try to see what all the fuss is about.

I dug up my "Cook with Jamie" cookbook and tried out Jamie Oliver's Old-school pork chops with apple and sage. I have to admit that pan frying the pork chops and then roasting it in the oven does make a difference in the taste! I think that searing it for a couple of minutes seal the juices in the meat and then roasting it in the oven which uses undirect heat cooks the meat beautifully. I definitely will try it again.

Here's the pork chop recipe:
4 x 250 gm pork chops with bone
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
2 apples - unpeeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
A knob of butter
A handful of fresh sage leaves (I substituted with basil as I didn't have sage available - the best part of cooking is using what you have and not worry about following the recipe to a T)

Preheat the oven to 200C. Make deep cuts on the fatty side of the pork chop and tenderize the meat with a kitchen hammer or blunt object. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Pour the olive oil into a hot pan. Carefully place your chops in the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes each side. Place the chops into an oiled baking tray. Then, add the apple wedges and the butter into the pan and fry until lightly golden. Lay 4 wedges of apple on top of each pork chop. Top up with herb (sage or in my case, basil) and drizzle olive oil on top. Bake the pork chops in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. Serve with your favourite potato dish and vegetables.

If like me, you would like additional apple sauce to accompany your pork chops, here's a simple recipe for the apple sauce.

Apple sauce recipe:
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (if you like a little tartness, use green apples. Otherwise, any type of apple will do)1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

Put the apples into a small saucepan with the water, allspice, cinnamon and sugar. Cover and cook on low to medium heat for about 15 - 20 minutes until soft and pulpy.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Words of Wisdom

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

How true it is. Sometimes we forget that families are God's gift to us. And sometimes, like God's other gifts we tend to neglect this gift. Let's make time with our families. Have a meal together. Go for an outing. Let's not have any regrets when it comes to one of the most important things in our lives.