Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Frederick Food Photography Club First Meeting: 11/4!

Finally!  I am thrilled, pleased, and absolutely delighted to announce that it's finally happening.

The first meeting of the Frederick Food Photography Club will be held at The Kitchen Studio Cooking School on Sunday, November 4 at 2p.

The basic premise is this: Amateur photogs with an interest in food shots gather every other month or so to practice taking great shots of food and hopefully learn from each other in the process.

There is no cost involved, but you'll need to bring whatever props and set-ups you'd like to shoot for our first meeting. Let's keep it simple, shall we? We'll discuss how we should establish the club, whether we have food themes, if we want to look for speakers, and anything else we can think of. If you're looking for hardcore photo instruction, this isn't the place for you. I'm a rank amateur, though I'd like to develop my skills quite a bit, and I will NOT be providing instruction of any sort. Y'know, because I'd like your photos to look good. :) Oh yeah, you should own a camera too. Kind of a "duh", but best to clarify...oui?

Please, please, please comment to let me know if you'll be able to attend so that we can have an accurate headcount, just in case I'm feeling snacky. Can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cider House Rules: Distillery Lane Ciderworks

In my quest for the new and interesting, I've been getting my booze on lately. And no, I'm not talking so much about drinking, but more the bottling and researching and even wee bit o' writing.

One of the stops on my local booze-o-rama tour is Distillery Lane Ciderworks in Burkittsville for an article in the current issue of The Gorilla, a fab magazine about town. Being a huge hard cider fan, it was particularly delightful to find a local orchard pressing and fermenting the good stuff right here in Frederick County. After tasting bunches of different ciders, I was surprised to find out that I actually need a little fizz with my apples for maximum enjoyment.

Want to take a look at the article? Just click on through right here for the full story. And while you're at it, plan a visit to Burkittsville, take 5 buckaroonies with you for a tasting, and a little more to purchase a few bottles of locally grown and magically produced hard cider. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe: Panko-Parmesan Pork Chops

I'm on fire! Not literal fire, but look at all these recipes coming your way. Hope you're finding a little time to give 'em a try. But before you get too far into this blog today...WARNING: This blog contains graphic photos of a pig. And its parts. So if that freaks you out, come on back another day or go here to skip the pics and go straight to the recipe.

Today, our recipe is Panko Parmesan Pork Chops. Let's start at the beginning. This is my friend Josh:

Josh is the meat manager at The Common Market, and he's pretty cool.

Josh and I decided that we should buy a pig and break it down together into all of its bits and bobs. We're hoping to offer a pig class during the winter at The Kitchen Studio for those folks interested in basic meat cutting, so Josh and I headed to Thurmont to pick-up our pig at a local butcher and give ourselves a little refresher. It was a little...odd.

We headed down to TKS and Josh unloaded the sucker (even cut into halves, it was pretty heavy) and got it prepped on a few cutting boards.

Truthfully, Josh did most of the work, which was awesome for me!

That's a lot of pig:

We shared our lovely porcine friend with friends and fellow pork lovers, and I tucked a few cuts in the freezer. In my attempt to dodge the grocery last week, I hit the freezer and snagged a loin. A few quick cuts and I had a few boneless chops, each about an 1 1/2" thick. A quick dredge in panko, freshly grated Parm, a few herbs, and a quick saute in a hot pan and voila!

If you look carefully, you'll see that our entire dinner that night was unintentionally devoted to the letter "P". Pork chops, potatoes, peas, and yup...popovers. Sure, there's a little arugula too, but come on...isn't that fun? It all felt slightly Sesame Street-esque.

For the recipe, you'll of course need to click here to my Chesapeake Family blog, but I promise, it's worth the click. It comes together super fast and you don't need to cook it forever. Don't forget that pork loins and chops only need to be cooked to 145 degrees. No need to make this like leather...'k?

My piggy friend was delicious, and truly, you can taste the difference between local pork and that mass-produced junk you're going to get elsewhere. It makes a difference and I'm looking forward to tasting more of this guy (or gal).