Two nights in a row now I’ve spent a lit­tle extra time on sup­per and been real­ly pleased with the results. In both cas­es, the extra time meant a lit­tle more thought going into plan­ning what I was going to do with the food than usu­al more than any­thing else, but that’s often the case with a good meal.

Last night, I made smoth­ered pork chops with au gratin pota­toes and green beans. The extra plan­ning required came from the fact that I was using a tech­nique and a recipe that I had not used before to make the chops. One inch thick pork chops would usu­al­ly go on a grill, not into a hot pan with some salt and pep­per to be browned light­ly until a mush­room, onion, and gar­lic gravy gets dumped over them to sim­mer for a while. They turned out a lit­tle more done than they would have if I had grilled them (Medi­um Well instead of Medi­um), but the gravy was real­ly nice with them.

Tonight, I made whole wheat penne with ital­ian sausage and mush­rooms in toma­to sauce. I nor­mal­ly don’t use whole wheat pas­ta, but we’re try­ing to eat a lit­tle health­i­er, so I thought we would give it a try. I do know that whole wheat pas­ta doesn’t get as fla­vor­ful as eas­i­ly as semoli­na pas­ta does, so I put a lit­tle more salt in my water than I nor­mal­ly do and took the pas­ta out of the water soon­er to put into the sauce. I fig­ured, the soon­er I could get the pas­ta into the sauce, the more fla­vor the pas­ta would absorb. I’m glad that I didn’t wait any longer than I did, because even with almost 10 min­utes of swim­ming in the toma­to sauce, the pas­ta just bare­ly had fla­vor. I’m gonna miss semoli­na.

That is some­thing. I’m hav­ing trou­ble find­ing semoli­na flour in my area. I’m not sure whether I should be going to a spe­cial­ty mar­ket for this or what, but I’m not find­ing it at any of my local super­mar­kets. I’m won­der­ing if any­one else is hav­ing trou­ble find­ing cer­tain sta­ple goods like this one.