In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Easter Lunch- Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Strawberries

My neighbor invited me over for East lunch and served this Pork Tenderloin. It was delicious!

Ever since I tried the Alton Brown Pork Tenderloin, I’ve been hooked on the grilling method for this cut of meat. Another recipe to add to my arsenal!

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Strawberries

1 (3-lb.) package pork tenderloins
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 10 bacon slices
2 (8-oz.) packages haricots verts (thin green beans)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, divided
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup quartered fresh strawberries

Preheat grill to 400° to 500° (high) heat.

Sprinkle pork with pepper and 1 tsp. salt; wrap 5 bacon slices around each tenderloin, and secure with wooden picks.

Place green beans, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in center of a 24- x 18-inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; toss to coat. Bring up sides of foil over beans; double fold top and side edges to seal, making a packet.  

Turn off one side of grill. Arrange pork and foil packet over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince remaining 2 garlic cloves; sauté in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Add vinegar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in preserves. Reserve half of mixture for basting. Stir fresh strawberries into remaining mixture.

Remove foil packet from grill; transfer pork to lit side. Baste pork with reserved strawberry mixture. Grill 5 more minutes over lit side, turning once. Remove pork from grill.  Rest, before slicing.  Serve with strawberry mixture and green beans.  


Bacon Strawberry Pork Tenderloin


Craft Month 2013, Where Did You go?

Today is Easter. Yay!
Today is also the last day of National Craft Month. Aww.

I hope everyone has been inspired to create something new this March, whether it is picking up a previously abandoned project, brushing up on some of your old favorite skills, or trying your hand at a new craft. I’ve dabbled in a few different projects this past month (the polite way of saying some I’ve finished, some I haven’t, and some I’ve finished but have turned out a bit wonky looking. Oh dear.)

Of course, I have been doing some Glass Etching for my Etsy Shop.

I’ve also made some more cute baby onesies… I seriously have 4 or 5 friends all due at any moment. And they are all having boys. Jeepers. I really need to get smart and just make extras to be prepared for the next baby boom.

I’ve also revisited my Alpha Phi Omega T-shirt Quilt… it just didn’t seem right to cut up my official Letters, so I recreated them out of leftover t-shirt material and fabric swatches. The sewing machine is out. All of the squares have been cut. Now it’s just a matter of sewing them all together!

Late December I decided to teach myself how to knit. Operation Gratitude and relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy were asking for scarves, and the go to for yarn fashion always seems to be knit. As a crochet-er, knitting had always been a mysterious, illusive thing. But I signed up for Ravelry, watched lots of YouTube videos, and invested in some bamboo needles. So far my scarves look a little homemade, but that is just an excuse to practice more!

dishcloth1 


March was for knitting dishcloths. They are small enough to carry around and work on in my spare time. Though I have found that knitting in public attracts attention, as in people getting up close and personal to see what I am doing and ask me if I am pregnant. We’re talking crowded New York subway car close. This is what ladies must feel like when strangers want to touch their pregnant bellies. Geesh.

I hope everyone has had a fun crafting month, and will keep creating the rest of the year! I definitely intend to, especially since my jeans are getting a little snug. That is usually the sign to focus less on desserts and more on art projects. Oh dear.

Playing in the Kitchen: Toasting Coconut

My website is in the middle of a good face-lift/restructuring*. In the meantime, enjoy a great kitchen tip: How to toast coconut!

Toasted Coconut adds a little bit of class to your desserts. It is a great way to make up for a lack of cake decorating skills, turning an ordinary white cake into something elegant (like the Charleston South Carolina cake). I also prefer the texture of eating roasted coconut as opposed to raw. But I am finicky like that.


How to toast Coconut
Don’t worry, it is not scary.
Just Remember: Don’t abandon the coconut during the toasting process and you will be fine.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the coconut out in as thin and even a layer as possible on a cookie sheet.

Put the pan in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
DO NOT WALK AWAY!

After about 5 minutes, open the oven and use a spatula to “rake” the coconut (like raking and in those little desktop Zen Gardens). This rotates the shavings from the bottom to the top… it’s the coconut touching the pan that gets toasted. So if you don’t rake, the bottom will burn and the top will still be raw.

Repeat the raking process every few minutes, especially if you see the bottom edges start to look crispy.

You’re done then the coconut is no longer moist… the dried coconut has the consistency of hay and the shavings doesn’t stick to each other anymore.

That’s it! You did it!
Now go dip a frosted cupcake in your toasted flakes or goodness… or even add some to your next batch of cereal-crispy treats!


Toasted Coconut Pecan Treats

*My Master Plan is to turn this web space into a Reference Guide for all of the thing I love that make up my life… and less of a blog of my random ramblings. We’ll see how it goes!

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