Friday, August 31, 2012
I've been cooking tons of amazing dinners this week (not counting the fish tacos which I had really high hopes for and which kind of let me down). And I will definitely feature my favorite recipes from this week, but today I need to feature this pork tenderloin I grilled a couple of weeks back. One of the main reasons I need to feature it is because it was amazing and I didn't really have a recipe so I need to forever internalize the ingredients I used to recreate this dish again and again. I love love love pork tenderloin and this recipe does a pretty good job of rivaling my other favorite, balsamic crusted pork tenderloin. I might even like this one better. So.....before my memory fails me.....
This recipe came to fruition because I had purchased two pork tenderloins on a whim that maybe we would have some company over and I would cook them both at one time. But then things got busy, we wound up not having company over, and I had an extra tenderloin and didn't want to have the exact same meal one week later (you can do that with hotdogs and spaghetti, but not with tenderloin). In an effort to go as far from balsamic as possible and off a suggestion of a coworker, I was looking for a mustard based recipe. I got home from work and headed directly over to Annie's Eats for some consultation. This is the only mustard based pork she had on the site. I probably could have found a more suitable recipe somewhere else, but I was racing the clock and decided to wildly improvise.
For the rub:
Two tablespoons of Dijon Mustard (I actually didn't have dijon at this time and instead used a dill mustard I had recently purchased at a winery....I was insanely excited about the mustard probably in no small part due to the fact that I was unable to consume wine)
One teaspoon of Black Pepper
Two teaspoons of Brown Sugar
A hint of Salt
One teaspoon of Olive Oil
I did not cut the tenderloin into medallions and flatten them and all such nonsense. Pork tenderloin is delicious in its original state and I'm too lazy. But mostly, it's delicious in its original state.
Rub the above rub all over the tenderloin and grill until cooked. If it is winter and you aren't able to grill, I usually brown the tenderloin on the stovetop and then finish cooking in the oven at 400 degrees.
For the sauce I really strayed from the original recipe. Basically I took some butter, some more mustard, a lot of onions and a little bit of dried parsley and cooked them on the stovetop until the onions were carmelized. These onions in mustard sauce were amazing and I kind of wanted to smother this sauce all over everything and eat it on a daily basis. As a last minute addition to the meal I threw some red potatoes in the microwave to eat as baked potatoes on the side, but if I had been planning far enough in advance I would have cut the potatoes into pieces and cooked them in the pan with the mustard and onions.
Mmm. Delicious. Quick and Easy. And its homemade so even with the butter you used to carmelize the onions......no calories (that's a trick I learned from a coworker - anything homemade...no calories.)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Today is our four year wedding anniversary! We ringing in four years in the most exciting way we could think of (Martin is hauling corn while they chop on the farm and I am pulling my eyes out trying to get Aubrey to pee in a potty). But, even though this sounds less than perfect, with both of us home from work - it pretty much is perfect. I'll make Martin some sandwiches for lunch and then Aubrey and I will go out to the truck and ride around with him for a few hours. Aubrey will munch on cheerios and ham slices and fruit snacks and then fall asleep to the movement of the truck while Martin and I spend the afternoon discusssing really important things in our lives (there's nothing really important going on in our lives so we'll probably talk about completely random topics interspersed with anecdotes about our adorable daughter. If our conversation is anything like yesterdays we'll get in a really heated debate about politics which is my favorite kind to have with Martin (I'm an eternal cynic while he has a somewhat more optimistic view of the future). And then we'll come together for dinner again at night (I'm thinking seafood salad, shrimp skewers and a steak).
Martin, I love you and even though being able to predict the details of my day an entire day in advance is something that I never would have expected myself loving, I love that I can predict them with you.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
This is a cry for help. That phrasing makes it sound so much more urgent than the actual situation. I'm on vacation and finding out how much you can get accomplished in a day when there is no commute and no stores to travel between. I've been making delicious dinners every night and I'll be sure to post recipes in the near future. I've also been plowing through books. I mean, I've read two and they were both pretty light reads, but its still been quite satisfying. I've read Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl which I loved and would highly recommend for a fun quick read. It's about all the disguises Ruth would dress up in as a restaurant critic for the New York Times. I also read The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing which I was okay. I enjoyed the writing style and found it to be a nice quick read. Now I need help.from anyone willing to offer help - what other books should I read this week? What are your favorites?
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I'm also planning on hopefully potty training Aubrey this week. We have a bridal shower tomorrow, but after that we are holing up and not going anywhere until this girl is peeing in a toilet!(I'm really crossing my fingers that this works!) I would really like to fill my week up with dinner guests though....and I hopefully have a pretty amazing meal list planned so if you'd like to come over shoot me a text and we can make plans! (And if it helps aid in people's willingness to attend dinner - I am always willing to provide your beverage of choice, even if it's a beverage I can not partake in drinking at this time)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Last week Aubrey and I spent a day at the fair with my good friend from college, Michelle. Michelle lives less than an hour from me and I rarely see her. It's pathetic and we've finally decided that we need to enforce at a minimum monthly get togethers. We already have our September date planned!
I had a lot of fun getting my fill of fair food I haven't indulged in yet this year (funnel cakes!) and Aubrey had a great time playing with all the different animals and mostly climbing up the sides of the animal pens.
Aubrey also seemed really interested in a bunch of the rides.....but that was just a whole can of worms I didn't really feel like opening.
Moo. Aubrey. Moo.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
One of Aubrey's favorite things to do is to play in the grain tote by the calf hutches.
At $275 a ton, Martin calls it the most expensive sandbox any kid has ever played in.
But I'd say that smile is totally worth it.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
You can probably guess where this post is going from the title, but yes, Martin and I are thrilled to announce that we are having another baby in early/mid February! That means I'm a little over 15 weeks pregnany currently.
Getting the above photo taken went something like this.
Me: Oh! I want to take a picture of the four of us for my blog
Martin: The four of us?
Me: Well, you know, you, Aubrey, me and the picture of the baby.
in case you didn't figure it out, that black blob on the piece of paper is our future son/daughter.
Martin had the idea for the "two kids" to be on opposite sides of the seesaw.
Woohoo for a growing family!
On Saturday night, Martin and I went to a wedding out of town. The wedding was incredible, but I really want to dedicate this post to highlight the ridiculousness of my husband. He and Dave (from the other couple we were sharing a room with) scoured the wedding tables at the end of the evening collecting electric tea candles to set the mood in our hotel room. Then they made a luminary display in every possible corner of the room with way more candles than I want to admit to them swiping. Dave was so excited about the whole project that he actually brought some of the candles home with him, assuring his girlfriend Chrissy that it was super romantic. Fortunately for me, Martin didn't take the game quite to that extent.
Monday, August 20, 2012
One of Aubrey's favorite games is getting chased and tickled. It started with us chasing after her and saying Uh...oh... I'm going to get you. Now whenever she wants to get chased she smiles, starts laughing and shouting UH..OH! Of course, she loves getting caught so much that she often times doesn't run very hard or in her weakest moments actually runs towards her chaser.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
For those of you that haven't heard, my brother and his best friend were in a four wheeler accident on Tuesday evening. They were both rushed to the hospital in Batavia and then later in the night, Garrett was taken to Buffalo Children's Hospital. Thankfully, his friend escaped the accident with some pretty bad scrapes, but was able to return home in the morning. After a lot of poking and proding and a catscan, they realized Garrett had a bloodclot in his brain. And a follow-up catscan a few hours later revealed that the bloodclot was growing and would need to be removed. So at 10:00 on Wednesday morning, Garrett was rushed to surgery to remove a piece of his skull, extract the bloodclot, lift up a flap of his brain to check for bleeding, and then put it all back together again. Every piece of that proceduce sounds deathly scary to me and as you can probably imagine, those two hours he spent in surgery were a few of the toughest hours of my life.
Thankfully, everything went well. He made a speedy recovery from surgery and was able to leave ICU a day early and then leave the hospital two days before expected. He seems completely alert and basically his regular self (although his head is all wrapped up). I breathed a sigh of relief when I introduced myself to the nurse after surgery and her comment was, Oh, are you the sister with a daughter that his is the godfather of? He's been talking about her all morning. How old is she - one year and eight months?
The incisions on his head will remain wrapped until the middle of next week and then he will continue to follow up with a neurosurgeon for some time after that. Thank you for your continued support, even just a simple text means more than you could ever imagine.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I've written far too many posts this summer about Aubrey's sleep schedule. It's one thing that is heavy on my mind. You probably remember my post when Aubrey starting climbing out of her crib and the infamous rubbing poop all over the room story. For about a week or slightly longer after that incident occurred, the only way we could get Aubrey to succumb to sleep was to lay her in our bed with us and then if we were still awake transfer her to her bed. Needless to say, this approach doesn't easily facilitate a happy married life and we quickly wanted to transition out of that type of behavior.
So for almost a month I have been laying next to Aubrey in her bed until she falls asleep. I recently read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and one interesting fact I learned in there is that it takes an average person 7 minutes to fall asleep. Therefore, I've been doing a lot of counting in my head.
Then...two days ago, I did something monumental. I went in Aubrey's room with her. Said goodnight. Asked her all the normal nighttime questions, my nightly routine consists mostly of questions like
Are you the smartest girl I know?
Are you the prettiest girl I know?
Are you going to be president of the United States someday?
What about an artist?
Are you going to be in the Olympics?
Are you going to be a businesswoman?
Or a lawyer? Or a doctor?
Are you going to be a mommy?
I do honestly go through every single one of these questions every night. And usually in that order. Sometimes I throw in some other professions like chef or actress or entrepreneur or comedian. And Aubrey dutifully responds no to every single one.
And then after going through my nightly questions I said good night. I hugged her, kissed her and left the room with the door shut tight.
I let her cry herself to sleep. It seemed like a huge breakthrough at the time and after two nights of this working fantastically I was starting to get pretty cocky. I was started to get that parental feeling where you're pretty sure you've done something right even though all signs point to it's way too early to tell. I thought I had finally cracked the code on Aubrey sleeping and in my mind a few more nights (three tops?) of Aubrey crying herself to sleep would blend seamlessly into silently easing herself into slumber.
And then suddenly it was 1:00AM and I was awoken by a giant crash as Aubrey awoke, stumbled out of bed and, in an attempt to escape her bedroom, rammed her head billy goat style into the bedroom door. Needless to say she spent the remainder of the night sleeping in our bed with her head shoved into my shoulder and no matter how many times I moved her away from me and getting more sore by the minute shoulder, she always found her way back to the sweet spot.
One step forward. Two steps back. Optimistic for tonight!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Fast forward 18 hours:
Judy's Dad: Who wants to go for a ride on the pontoon boat and swimming in the middle of the lake?
As we were jumping off the boat into the middle of the lake I realized Martin was wearing swim trunks (which he had packed) and Gabe, who's idea of appropriate attire for a day at the lake is the same as appropriate attire for a chilly day in October and is also the very same appropriate attire for a blizzard in early February - long jeans and work boots. (I'm familiar with this thought process because it took my years to convert Martin away from this type of ridiculousness) Gabe was wearing Martin's shorts.
Me: Martin, do you have any shorts to wear home tonight?
Me: Gabe is wearing your shorts. They are soaking wet. What are you going to wear home.
Martin: I'm a dad! I came prepared! I have two pairs of shorts. I brought like three shirts. Jeez, give me some credit!
Monday, August 13, 2012
Me: What! The Olympics are over???!
Martin: Yeah, closing ceremonies are tonight.
Me: Oh man! I wanted them to go on forever!
Martin: It's even cuter when you say that because you're teeth are covered in black from the oreos you're eating.
Me: You're talking about me like I'm a little kid.
Martin: Well.....I've got a little kid to compare you to.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
On one of the most recent times we've seen Matt and Judy we headed down to Letchworth State Park with the two of them and Caton. On the way home from our trip we started playing The Newlyweds Game. Caton was the mediator and developed questions for one or the other spouse (or spouse to be!) to answer. The answers proved to be sidesplittingly ridiculous.
Caton: Ok, this question is for the boys. What is your significant other's favorite color?
Martin: Oh, that's easy. All girls favorite color is pink
Me: (groans) No! We had this exact same question last time Caton was home and we played this game and that is the exact same answer you gave last time. Which is still wrong!
Caton: Where was your first kiss?
Martin: I remember this was something I was going to remember forever. When it happened I remember thinking - I need to remember this spot forever.
Martin: Well.....it was in Ithaca.....
Me: Yeah, where?
Martin: It was on a parkbench?
Me: Ugh! No.
Caton: What do the two of you spend most of your time talking about?
Martin: Our feelings.
Me: What? No! I was going to say Aubrey.
Martin: Oh, well I think all couples should spend more time talking about their feelings.
Matt: It's not appropriate to say.
Matt: Uhh. Um.. it's not appropriate.
Judy: I was going to say my horse!
Caton: Do you guys talk about inappropriate things a lot?
Judy: I don't think so.
In all fairness, not a single one of us knew the answer to the following question, but I still think Martin's response is ridiculous.
Caton: What day did you get engaged?
Martin: Well....I'm pretty sure it was in December.
Me: You aren't even positive about the month?!
As you've probably guessed, Martin and I did not win this particular round of the Newlyweds Game....but I was reaffirmed that Martin will continue to make me laugh until I have cramps for years to come. Even if he can't remember anything surrounding major events in our relationship.
Friday, August 10, 2012
When you're looking for an absolutely delicious and quick dinner quesadillas are definitely a good route to travel. Last night I was looking for something that fit this bill while also using some of the vegetables in my refrigerator. My refrigerator was running a little low so I used pretty much everything I had.
I started with about half an onion - the road to success is always better paved when onions are carmelized so I sliced it, threw it in a pan with some butter and let the butter and heat work its magic for about 20 minutes.
I used a block of sharp cheddar cheese that I shredded up for the cheese, but any type of cheese would work fine.
Fresh tomatoes are a must in every summer meal.
Aubrey pulled some black olives out of the cupboard and I decided she was probably onto something. (Martin and I used probably a total of ten olives between our two quesadillas - we cut them in half - the remainder of the 16oz can was consumed by Aubrey. That girl loves her olives!)
I had a hot banana pepper that I was planning on using to make some fresh salsa with, but I couldn't resist adding a little heat to our dinner. I am of the thought that hot peppers should be diced very finely so that the heat is well dispersed and in every bite (rather than a huge bite of hot that you can't handle) so I usually throw them in the food processor to avoid having to do tiny dicing on my own.
Tortillas (either flour or corn) are obviously a neccesary element in quesadilla making
And I served this meal with a side of salsa. I would have definitely also served the quesadillas with sour cream or guacamole, but I didn't have either on hand.
The only ingredient that I think really could have propelled this quesadilla to even greater would have been some spinach to throw in the quesadillas. I only had romaine lettuce on hand and didn't think it would work quite as well in the quesadilla.
These are amazing! Obviously, assemble all ingredients grilled cheese sandwich style and cook on a stovetop. I usually butter the outsides of both tortillas to get that nice golden brown crispiness while it toasts on the skillet.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Have you ever heard of a doppelganger? It's your look-a-like. Your counterpart floating somewhere out there in the world. Martin and I are pretty obsessed with How I Met Your Mother and they are pretty obsessed with doppelgangers on that show, so you could say the concept is definitely on our radar. A few weeks ago we were looking through old college yearbooks from Martin's mom and on the very first page I turned to - A DOPPELGANGER! Pictured right in the center is our close friend Dan Dresser (or it might as well be). The similarities are uncanny! It was a real breakthrough moment for both of us and something that we were probably a little too excited about.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
It should come as no surprise to me that Aubrey relishes in dressing up in grown-up clothes and especially shoes. When I was a child I also relished in this and my mom has long since called me Fancy as a result (sidenote: my best friend Caton for a long time thought my mom called me Fancy after the Reba McIntire song which is not where my nickname comes from. The song is about a mom sending her daughter off to prostitution, something I'm fairly certain my own mother never had in the plans).
A couple weeks ago I was getting ready for a wedding and Aubrey decided she wanted to get dressed up too.
Check out those calves! It's true, heels really do wonders for your legs!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
At Grandma's house there is an actual slide to play on, but when we're grilling in our sideyard, sometimes Daddy makes an even better slide.
This picture was taken last night. Aubrey and I spent the afternoon going on a repair shop run with my dad. After being gone for longer than I expected with no food or drink in tow, Aubrey was one miserable and tired child by the time we finally pulled in the driveway at 7:30. Somehow, a bath with bubbles and play toys turned everything around and even though it was pushing 8:00 in this picture and we still hadn't eaten, you would never have guessed this was the same child that was screaming for her life for the last ten miles of our journey less than an hour before this snapshot.
Monday, August 6, 2012
My brother, Mitchell, sent me this photo of Aubrey wearing his hat backwards today. I'm obviously totally biased but I think she looks absolutely adorable, even if she does look like a gangster.
On a sidenote: while I was at work today someone came in wearing a motorcylce helmet with the shield pulled down. This made it impossible to see the man's face. While I knew it was improbable -for some reason the first thought that entered my mind was oh no! He's going to rob the store. Why else would he be covering his face so I won't be able to describe it to a police officer later. Trust me, this seemed like a totally rational explanation at the time. So rational, that I felt it completely neccesary to hang behind him throughout the store until he was safetly out the doors just in case he tried to attack my cashier and grab her money - I would be nearby to save the day.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Back way too long ago to just be posting about now. I'm talking over a month ago, Aubrey and I went raspberry picking at Panek's Pickin' Patch. Aubrey pretty much ate her weight in raspberries in the patch, but it was extremely hot this particular day and I pretty much put my nose to the grindstone and picked as quickly as possible while Aubrey leisurely ate every berry within reach.
Most of our pickings were quickly gobbled up on their own before, during and after lunch. But I managed to set a few aside for an after lunch treat the I think you should probably make sometime soon. Chocolate Raspberry Milkshakes. You need vanilla ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup and some fresh raspberries. I tend to like my milkshakes really think so I go a little heavier on the ice cream lighter on the milk, but you can make yours however you prefer. Throw them all in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Trust me....you won't be dissapointed. Mind blowing milkshake.