Wednesday, July 9, 2014

coffee rubbed pork loin

It was a long weekend-I am still shopping for the perfect pieces for our apartment (even more pics to come soon, I promise!) and Mike and I made a trip to Target on a Sunday.

That’s enough to exhaust anyone. I wasn’t making yet another stop at the grocery store so decided to use Targets fairly limited selection of fresh groceries to whip something up. Did I mention someone I was shopping with (I won’t name any names) was getting a bit cranky and had to go sit down in the outdoor furniture section to relax…? So yeah…

I grabbed a pork loin, a sweet potato, one red and one green apple. No clue what I would make, but arrived home with these ingredients and a hungry and cranky boyfriend.

I have always wanted to test out a coffee rub and had some coffee in the pantry we hadn’t opened. Fully invested in this idea now, I opened the bag and the beans weren’t ground.

We don’t have a grinder—we use a Keurig and I usually drink iced coffee anyway. Not willing to give this up for the zero other ideas I had, or completely throw my hands up and order takeout, I ground those beans, smashing them with my old-fashioned Italian rolling pin.

Let me tell you—I do not recommend this tactic. And luckily there are no pics of the aftermath. coffee. all. over. my. counter. Had I not been in a food-inspired frenzy, I would have thought this through. Maybe a ziploc bag, rolled over with the pin? But I went through with it, and got my grinds.

And let me tell you—the flavor was worth it. Try it out. But buy your beans pre-ground for your own sanity.

coffee rubbed pork loin

2 lbs pork loin

3 tbsp butter

coffee and chili spice rub

3 tbsp of coffee grinds

2 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp black pepper

3 tsp salt

  • preheat an oven safe pan with butter
  • preheat oven to 350
  • combine rub mixture and spread all over pork loin, pressing in and distributing evenly
  • cook on all sides in pan, turning every 3-5 minutes to sear in spices
  • place in oven for 30-45 mins—use a meat thermometer and pull when it reads 155-165 (depending on your preference)
  • let meat rest for 5-10 mins covered in tin foil to seal in the juices and then slice in medallions

apple compote

1 red and 1 green apple, peeled and diced

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup water

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of black pepper

juice of ½ lemon

  • combine all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat, let it come to a boil
  • stir every few minutes, allowing ingredients in incorporate and reduce down
  • simmer on low heat until pork is ready; spoon on pork medallions

Monday, July 7, 2014

apt decorating in progress!

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!! Mike and I spent it in Santa Cruz and stayed at a resort in the mountains. This is our second 4th of July-together, and in Santa Cruz-we went on our first date 3 days after the 4th 2 years ago—aka today!

I love celebrating our first date and its nice to have a 4th of July getaway excuse—or any getaway excuse for that matter—so we use it as a way to celebrate.

We spent the remaining part of the weekend doing apt stuff-it really is all coming together and is such a fun process.

A little sneak peak into the apt work so far:

We came home I finished up spray painting some frames for the walls yesterday. I hope to have those hung up this week and then the living room will just need a few more small touches, but we can find those as we go.

I am looking for a big statement piece of artwork to hang over the fireplace. We are going to hang various photographs from artists I have collected through the years on the opposite wall, so I would like a painting or maybe even a quote. I also want to add an armchair in the corner and then we should be set.

From there, it’s on to the dining room table, and then bedroom. I can not believe we have been in this apt for over 4 months and how long it takes to bring things together.

More pics to come of the finished* living room!

couch/rug/curtain combo

bar area accent

frame painting in progress

*we all know this will never be finished and I will continue to add pieces and change my mind on every.little.detail.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

brussel sprout chips

To say Mike isn’t a fan of vegetables would be a huge understatement. He isn’t a fan of being woken up before noon. Or watching HGTV. But incorporating vegetables into his diet was a battle.

Some things were easier than others. He took to arugula quite well which made salads an obvious choice. He likes roasted carrots and even got hooked on some roasted broccolini, which is a commonly used side in our house. His fave veggie? Potatoes. Believe me, I have mentioned a time or two it’s a starch…

Then I just decided to go for it and started making kale chips. Olive oil, salt, pepper and a hot oven and he went crazy for them. I was feeling bold. He despised brussel sprouts when we first started dating. I got him to eat them once, on a pizza covered with bacon and cheese but that was too easy. So one night, I subbed our usual crunchy kale chips for brussel sprout chips—and now? He likes them more than the kale chips. I would call this a win.

Another heavily requested recipe below and it could not be easier.

brussel sprout chips

1-2 dozen brussel sprouts rinsed with the stems cut off and leaves peeled. toss the core out (tip: you can also just buy the shaved brussel sprouts bag at trader joes)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
any other seasoning you like—I have used mesquite bbq seasoning which makes them taste like bbq chips, garlic powder would be delicious too. Anything to add some extra flavor, but s&p is perfect too
  • pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
  • spread the brussel sprouts out and drizzle the olive oil (you may need more depending on how many you have—you want them nicely coated)
  • season to taste with salt, pepper and any other seasoning you add—don’t be shy!
  • toss together to coat and spread in one layer
  • cook in 400 degree oven, tossing frequently (about every 3-4 minutes) until cooked fully (no more than 15 minutes)
  • taste one after its come out of the oven and cooled slightly, and add additional salt if needed
tip: if you do 2 dozen, split between 2 baking sheets—you want them to have enough room to cook
Munch happily :)