Pork

Sky Castle Gastro Lounge Review

Looking for a casual restaurant, with an upbeat vibe, and upscale, but affordable food? Look no further than Lakeview’s newest Foodie Haven… Sky Castle Gastro Lounge!  Chef Haller Magee has upgraded Lakeview’s culinary offerings in an innovative way that is guaranteed to be a neighborhood favorite!

gastro 3
gastro 3

What Did I Sample?

For Snacks our table devoured the Roasted Cauliflower and Radish Toast!  Both are highly recommended!  The snacks added enough flavor to wet my appetite while leaving room for my entrée!

gastro
gastro

As for main dishes, it was all about the red meat!  The Sky Castle Burger could be up for awards in the near future!  And that’s saying a lot since Birmingham is home to some pretty fine burgers!  The homemade bread and butter pickles paired nicely with the tomato jam, caramelized onions, and smoked cheddar cheese! It’s a triple threat guaranteed to give you flavor explosion!

gastro 2
gastro 2

I can also personally vouch for the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs that were served with a butternut squash puree and charred brussels sprouts! The short ribs were packed with flavor and seasoned with perfection! Well done Sky Castle!!!

What a great environment to watch your favorite sports team, catch up with good friends, and celebrate good food!  Great memories will be had at Sky Castle Gastro Lounge! This establishment adds new personality to the Birmingham food scene!

Cook Smarter, Not Harder

When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals. Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.

Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.

I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy.... I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)

I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.

On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!

20140401-170736.jpg

Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!

20140401-170912.jpg

To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps: 1.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel each and every night 2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways 3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation 4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup) 5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night - pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese - pork lo mein)

Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it's just about being intentional!!!!

Cook smarter not harder!!! >

Out with the Apples, and in with the Cherries!

I have experimented with another Cooking Light recipe and I have once again found a phenomenal recipe! In fact, this recipe might just be the all time favorite of my husband!  And I’m not complaining considering this recipe takes all of 15 minutes from start to finish!

This recipe offers a great alternative for the traditional pork and applesauce dish! Not to mention, a great way to ADD COLOR to your plate!!

Blog Pictures 002
Blog Pictures 002

I served the pork chops with baked sweet potato and arugula salad w/ feta, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, and sunflower seeds, but the options are endless!

Blog Pictures 004
Blog Pictures 004

Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!

Pork Chops with Cherry Preserves SauceCooking Light, AUGUST 2006 Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and about 1/4 cup sauce)

Cooking spray 4 (4-ounce) boneless loin pork chops 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 1 cup cherry preserves 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Chopped chives (optional)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan, and keep warm.

Add preserves, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper to pan. Cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Serve with pork. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.