Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Toys!

So one of my New Years resolutions was to clean out my email inbox and keep it clean.  January 1, I had over 3,000 unread email messages.

Yes, you read that right - over three THOUSAND.

After hours and hours of deleting, I managed to get down to ZERO unread messages.  And I am proud to say that 2 weeks into the new year, my inbox is STILL down to zero unread messages.  Not only have I been reading and deleting, I have also been going back and cleaning out old messages, categorizing recipes, and deleting ones I don't want any more.  I have found a few gems in my cleaning - long-forgotten pictures that have been sitting around collecting virtual dust, and an unused gift certificate for Sur la Table!

So...armed with my found money, I got myself a few new toys!

What is that strange orange triangle, you ask?  That, my friends, is a tagine.  A tagine is a cooking pot with a tall, conical lid that seals in moisture and makes deliciously tender stews and dishes.  It is used in Moroccan and North African cooking.  I have always wanted one, and now I do!  I'm SO excited!

The set (which was on clearance...woohoo!  Bonus!) came with the tagine, a cookbook, a jar of couscous, and a jar of preserved lemons.  I also had enough to get a little jar of black truffle salt.

Stay tuned - a delicious tagine post will definitely be coming soon!!  :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crockpot Pork Loin with Apples and Brown Sugar

There has been a lot of cold-weather cooking going on in my house lately.  Nothing warms you up like waffles for dinner, or homemade chicken pot pie.  Crockpot cooking screams cold weather to me, so I decided to see if I could find a good recipe for pork loin in the crock pot.

In my search, I found two recipes that looked interesting to me - this Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Loin, and this Crockpot Honey Pork and Apples.  They both looked delicious, so I decided to make my own hybrid of the two!

Crockpot Brown Sugar Pork and Apples!

The Cast:

Pork Loin (not tenderloin)
Apples (I had 1 McIntosh and 2 others)
Balsamic Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Brown Sugar

First, I sliced the two smaller apples (I'm not sure what kind they are - maybe Gala?) and the onion, and scattered them in the Crockpot.

Then, I rubbed a cut clove of garlic all over the pork loin before cutting slits into the pork and forgetting to take a picture of it.  Then, I sliced the remaining apple and put a couple slices into each slit in the pork.

Next, I stirred together the balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard.  What a pretty concoction!

I placed the pork loin on top of the apples and onions in the Crockpot and brushed it with the vinegar/mustard mixture.

Last, I rubbed it all over with the brown sugar, then turned the Crockpot on low.

And now...we wait.  For 6 to 8 hours.  I hate to wait!

And then, 6 to 8 hours later...we don't take a picture of the final product because we are at work and forget to ask the family to take one.

But the verdict?  A bit dry, so maybe a shorter cooking time is in order.  But still delicious!  Definitely a do-over, with that minor change!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year! time flies.  I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted!  I guess things got a little busy with school, work, and life...but a year??!  Jeesh, what a slacker!

A lot happened in the past year!  Here are just a few highlights:

  • I finally finished school, which was SO exciting!  I don't officially graduate until May, but I am DONE!  
  • I also started working in May, which has been fantastic.  The summer was rough - my first kitchen job, and I was thrown right into a busy Summer season in a beach resort town - talk about chaos!!  
  • I decided to give up selling Pampered last semester at school and new job didn't leave me any time to devote to it!  I still love and use the products, but I am not selling them any longer.
  • We moved into a big, new house with family members.  There are 7 of us living here - talk about a full house!  So far, so good though!!

I am ready to start posting again though!  I am going to try really hard to post regularly.  My initial goal is 1 new blog post a week - that doesn't seem like too much!  I even have a new recipe that I'm (hopefully) going to post today!  If it doesn't go up today, it will tomorrow at the latest!

My goal here will be to share recipes that I find and love.  I have a HUGE backlog of recipes I want to try, and this blog gives me the perfect opportunity to try a new one every week and post it!