Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pork Tenderloin Marinade

I brought the same marinaded pork tenderloin to cookout this weekend and people keep asking me about the marinade, so I figured that I would post it for everyone! As I had mentioned my hubby is a chef, so I'm used to all the yummy stuff he creates and I'm kind of oblivious to the fact that some people aren't... lol!

We went a wholesale club and bought 6lbs of pork tenderloin (I think it can be used on any type of pork though). Henry peeled it so that it was free of all the fat and connective stuff. He then sliced it into medallions (pieces are about 1/2 thick).

Marinade Recipe:
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 C sweet chili sauce
1/4 C pear vinegar
black pepper to taste
1/4 c olive oil

He mixed it all up in a ziploc bag and then added the meat. He squished it around until everything was coated and put it back into the refridgerator for about 24 hrs. I guess that it's best to marinade for 12-36 hrs. So it can be done in advance.

We brought it to the cookout and grilled it up until it's done (160 degrees) or until tender - who the heck used a thermometer at a cookout, right?! The marinade makes it super tender and keeps it moist. For the brunch, I think he seared in a skillet, but you can also pop it in the oven. Because they are so thin I would think that 350 degrees for no more than 10 minutes would be fine.

If you try it, let me know what you think! I keep trying to get him to write a cookbook, but he's a little busy... says he'll get to it someday. Phoebe and I made some homemade oatmeal cookies. I got the recipe from the Quaker Oatmeal website, they are the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They were awesome!! I'll tell you all about that later. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday Brunch

So Sunday brunch went well. We had a light showing. Usually we are crammed around the table with the kids playing in the other room, but this time we waited until the last minute to call people to come. Those who were in attendance raved about the food though... it was yummy!!

Henry didn't come up with anything spectacular, but the usual good stuff rocked! We had scrambled eggs, homefries, marinaded pork tenderloin, two kinds of chicken sausage (one was feta and spinach, and another was onion, red pepper and parmasen cheese) and regular or pepper crusted bacon... mmmmm.

BUT... my dish stole the show! I made Monkey Bread. For anyone who's never had, you have to make it (with lots of people though so you aren't the only one consuming mass amounts of calories and fat!!) I was going to get a pic, but we started to eat it and forgot all about the pics... sorry.

Here is the recipe... I had found a few on the web, but I modified them and this is what I created!

Monkey Bread

3 cans of refridgerated cinnamon rolls
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
cooking spray

Grease a bunt pan well. Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Then open all of the cinnamon rolls and into 4-6 pieces (depends how big you want the bites). Mix the cinnamon and granulated sugar and roll the pieces in it. They don't have to be balls, they bake up all squeezed together anyway.

Stack all of the pieces into the bunt pan. Cut the butter into pieces and add the brown sugar. Microwave for 1min approximately. All the sugar should be melted into the butter. You may need to mix then zap for another 15 secs. Mix until completely combined then slowly pour over the goodness inside the pan, being sure to cover as much as you can.

Place in the oven for 45 mins. The top looks like it gets dried out, but once you flip it onto a plate all the sugars and syrups run down and coat it. It's fabulous... and very very hot initially! You may want to use a fork to take pieces off, at least initially. Enjoy!!!

We ended up spending most of the day lounging... ok, well Daddy mowed the lawn. The girls and I cleaned up and played. It was what a Sunday was supposed to be. We ended the day, by heading to the ice cream shop down the street. hmmm.... monkey bread and ice cream, I wonder how long I'm gonna have to walk to work that stuff off. I don't think I want to think about it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kids at Play and Sundays

Today we went yard saling and got a super cool Little Tikes Cottage House for the girls for only 10 bucks!! Hey you can't go wrong for that price. I have to clean it up before I can let them play with it, but I'll be sure to post some pics as soon as it's ready. We also were able to grab a flinstone type play car for only $3. We already have one, but with the two kids, having one of something usually means a fight.

Then we headed to a cookout at the ADs house. It was fun, a bunch of coaches and conveniently enough; a bunch of kids about the same age. It was great! They were all playing soo well... until Payton started eating sand in the horseshow pit (by the shovelful!! Can you say gross!!!) and then she got her first real bloody nose. The kids were playing with a Tarzan style swing and she was hit.... tough day!

So we headed home, gave her a nap and relaxed a little...

Fully rested we got ready to end the day. Daddy got to go out for a boy's night. They all went out to see "Ironman". Apparently, he a superhero or something "cool". I'm so glad that he has friends to watch those with... lol.

We headed over to a friends house to play (and chat). It was sooo much fun! The kids played, laughed, ate, and believe it or not, didn't fight! They didn't yell, scream, cry, hit, bite, or whine... for 4 hrs! I know that's gonna kick me in the butt tomorrow. You know that won't happen two days in row - right.

Well, tomorrow I'm going to try to finish up the molding in the bathroom and hopefully post some of the pics! First, we are having a bunch of friends over for breakfast. We have been trying to find a great breakfast place for Sundays, but keep falling short. We had a great place, with absolutely wonderful people, unfortunately, the food kept getting worse. Too bad :o( So now, we just invite a random selection of friends each week. It's almost like a lottery system.

Anyway, I never know what Henry's gonna come up with. If it's good, I'll post it! He made ratatouille once and it was amazing, but he can't remember the exact ingredients - darn chefs! Now I try to make him sit down and write things down immediately if I think it rocks. Keep watching for some of those winners!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hubby Down

Today my hubby had to get his wisdom teeth removed... poor baby :o( He does not like the dentist or anything that may cause him pain so this was exponential for him! The nurse that pre-registered him and gave him the information regarding the "procedure" scared the heck out him, so he refused to eat anything when he woke up today. Did I forget to mention that his appointment wasn't until 2:30pm!

She apparently told him that if he ate anything within 6hrs of the appointment, he could die... or at least that's what he heard. So he was afraid that if he ate breakfast or had his coffee, maybe it wouldn't be out of his system or something crazy... so he didn't eat anything since 6:30 last night. He's a better person then me - I would have been doing the math, getting up early, working out to make sure it was burned off - anything. I didn't have to lose 70 pounds because I don't like to eat!

So he survived. I brought him to the surgical center where he had to extractions and one "surgical procedure". Apparently, one was wrapped around the bone or something. Supposedly, it's not uncommon. He made it out fine. He slept in the car while I filled the prescription, and did a little shopping (did I mention I have a little shopping thing?) Yeah, even in CVS I can find stuff that I just "have to have".

Actually while I was there I even called a friend to let her know that they had the half tent she was looking for for the summer... lol. I think I might just have a problem!

He's been a trooper though. He took a nap when he got home and then he was sitting on the couch, keeping us company. Then I put Phoebe to bed and my trooper was passed out. Doesn't he look exhausted?

So tomorrow, I figure, I'll let him sleep in a little. I meet up with a few great friends and we walk the local park/zoo with all of the kids in tow. We are attempting to become better mommies inside and out... and trying like hell to have fun doing it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Wonder of Kids

Has anyone noticed that whenever you are away and call to check on the kids, the sitter always says something like, "They are being so wonderful" or "I haven't had any problems at all today", or my favorite," As soon as you left, they both just fell asleep". Why don't they do this stuff when I'm home?!!

No, when mommy gets home, they suddenly realize that the sippy cup is empty and they NEED juice in it RIGHT NOW!! Or they suddenly forgot how to play independently and I'm stuck making the same puzzle over and over again, or reading the same book.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I love spending time with them and "molding" their little brains, but sometimes I'm glad that I have to make supper... or run downstairs to do the laundry. Two whole floors away - Daddy can cover for me!

Well, I just had to rant a little - ever had one of those days?! Now I need to go "wipe some boogahs".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Phoebe's TinkerBell Room

So Phoebe is 3 1/2 yrs old and we decided to move her into her own room about 5months ago, because the kids started waking each other up at night, after not letting each other fall asleep, and then getting up early. I couldn't take it anymore!! So we rearranged the living room in order to fit the computer armoire in it and turned the den into her room. I think it turned out pretty cute, huh?

I don't know if you've ever redone a room, but it can get costly!! My mom are I have pretty much redone her entire apartment (downstairs - very convenient... hehe) and have been working on mine for some time now. So fortunately, we have stock piled quite a bit of stuff... thank goodness! AND I found so many awesome deals!

That border was discontinued, so I got it half price. The bottom wallpaper is some that my mom had bought and never used, so it was free! I bought the paintable wallpaper and the purple paint, but we had all the primer, rollers and paste left over from other projects. The ice blue ceiling paint was leftover, so that was free. The sheets and comforter were on sale at K-Mart and the curtain was made using the flat sheet (I hate making beds so we never use the flat sheet)

The words I had bought some time ago when they were discontinued, and the Tinkerbell appliques were at lowe's on sale... hehe. This was so much fun.

The baker's rack was from my mom's kitchen before she moved here and it was in the basement for the past year... I thought it was a pretty cool tv stand, though, huh? The dresser was a hand-me-down from memere. I replaced the wall light for $15, all by myself... I was very proud. And the night light on the dresser, also Tinkerbell, was on sale online, then I got a discount code on top of that!! Oh and can't forget the hopscotch rug that you see on the floor - it was also on sale at Walmart.

This is my very favorite thing in the whole room though. It's a dragonfly clip made of copper. I bought about a year ago at a little craft fair at a church. Isn't it adorable?!? Well, I think that the room came out pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I'm not quite done with Payton's room or the bathroom, but I can't wait to show the progress. Hey, maybe it will give me some motivation to finish them, right?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Growing Love

OK - I've told you about my dogs, so I figured that I would tell you about my bestfriend, my "Big guy" if you will (remember, Harley was my "little guy"). I have no idea what I would do without him. His name is Henry... Chef Henry if you are pretty much anyone else.. lol.

We actually met online... before it was cool. I was in VA at the time visiting some grad school buddies over the summer following graduation. He IMed me and stated that his arm hurt (because I'm an athletic trainer and fix that sort of stuff) I immediately thought he was an idiot and replied not to move it and cancelled it. The bugger kept at it though. After a while I decided to actually talk him and he was kind of cool.

I decided to meet him when I secured a "real job" by my definition at the time and had a week left at Dunkin Donuts. I figured if he was crazy, he'd never find me again!! Can you tell how trusting I am?!? After that meeting, I didn't want him to leave and I found out later, he felt the same way. He went out to his car and told his friend that he had just met the girl he was going to marry!! Isn't that so sweet?

So fast forward 15 months and we were married... and have been for almost 7yrs! It seems like we've been together forever and I choose not to even try to imagine life without him. We've had out share of problems and stresses and that isn't even counting the 4 dogs and 2 kids. We gone through 2 restaurants, a retail store, 5 yrs as an athletic trainer at the college level, and some stints at local restaurants before coming to current state of chaos. We are major advocates for marriage counselling and think that it should be a requirement... I refer to ours as our translator. My favorite concept is the "Perceived Reality" - it doesn't matter what or how something happens, it all depends on you perceive. Once you have that figured out, you may have a chance.

I sort of feel bad for him though - I am a total spaz... I've been working on home projects since we moved into our house (2wks before the wedding) and he's never complained. I've actually been working on the bathroom for about 2-3 yrs now.... oops! I'll share pics of the progress next time. I think that I'm finally making headway (I know - it's about time!)

Through everything though - he has supported me in every little thing I've ever wanted to do. We are a power team, but he is definitely the grounding force. He's my hero. He's the only reason I could make it through today and keep going. He's holding the pieces of my heart together and how could you not love that?

I think I just may be the luckiest girl in the world :o)

A New Day

So I didn't sleep very well last night without Harley, he was one of the dogs we had adopted out. He was my original baby. He was a tan chihuahua, the typical taco bell dog and he had the attitude to go with it. Here's a pic...

He was my shadow. He followed me everywhere and slept with me every night for the last 6yrs. So you are probably wondering why we ended up needing to have someone adopt him, huh? Well, as I mentioned earlier, he is the typical chihuahua. There are several of our friends who have felt the wraith of Harley. He is very loving but very protective of his home.

He also has the hilarious history of trying to attack school buses while they drive by our house. If you're walking him, he actually tries to jump off the sidewalk to get it. I saw a chihuahua movie display at the mall the other day. I don't remember the name of it, but the poster has a chihuahua that looks like Harley and it says, "You want some of this?"... that's my little man, in a nut shell. BUT I doubt that I have ever known an animal with more love packed into his little body.

I love you Harley, and I thank MA and her family for taking him in. An email this morning states that he is adjusting well and doing fine. They promise to keep me updated, which I greatly appreciate! I think I might actually be done crying now - but no promises.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Getting to Know Me

Since this is my first posting I decided to let you get to know me. I was actually against starting a blog because I kind of have an addictive personality... hopefully this won't be a bad idea!

This week has been a hard week for my family. We had 4 chihuahuas prior to this week. Unfortunately, after 5 years I couldn't juggle anymore. Between working, trying to be super mom, and taking care of the house, I finally almost snapped. My husband and I decided it would be best to put the dogs up for adoption on craigslist. So far two of the four have gone to live with new families... I am sooo very very sad. We are going to be keeping one, and let me tell you - he is going to be sooo spoiled!!! This is Rebel...

Right now, I can't talk about them because I haven't run out of tears yet. I'll tell some stories later though!
My family consists of Me, my hubby, Henry, my 3 1/2 yr old Phoebe, and 18 month old Payton. We are normal family... trying to do it all! My husband is a chef/instructor at the local vocational school and I am a certified athletic trainer/certified strength and conditioning specialist working parttime through the hospital at a local high school. We work hard - play harder!

I've also lost close to 70 pounds now - yes even people who work to get other people in shape can be completely out of shape. Trust me it was much easier telling people to do the workouts I was giving them, than it is to actually do em, phew!

Well, I guess that's enough for today. I think it's about time I crash... I'm dreading going to bed now; my little bed buddy was placed today and I am not even close to getting over this hurt!