Monday, November 18, 2013

Rainbow Looms, Whiskey Pork, & Homemade IPA

Sunday was a pretty darn good day.  Paul ran the Philadelphia half-marathon and was feeling good, I had a great morning at work, and the weather was absolutely idyllic.  Was it possible to get better than that?  Yep.

My BFF Beth and her mini, CLo, came over to visit in the afternoon.  We had a great time playing, coloring, talking, and giggling, but I still had a work project to do, and CLo was ready to help.  My mission: learn how to use a Rainbow Loom.  (Did I mention my job is awesome?)

In case you haven't heard, the Rainbow Loom is the toy/craft of choice for young girls right now.  You can make bracelets, headbands, necklaces, flip flops, etc.  I hear that the combinations are endless.  Someone suggested to me that we should have a Rainbow Loom table at the Advent Workshop this year, and I think it's a great idea.




CLo and I got comfy on the floor and spread the little rubber bands out all over, you know, so we could easily see all the colors.  We set out to make a few bracelets - first for CLo, then Mommy, then Paul, and finally one for me.









The instructions were pretty straightforward.  You start at one end of the loom and loop a mini rubber band at an angle around two pegs.  Repeat until one side of the loom is full.


CLo picked out the colors for everyones bracelets and was soon filling the loom on her own.

Once your loom is full, you take a crochet hook and weave the bands to a new peg on the loom.  The Michaels craft store website has a whole page dedicated to the Rainbow Loom with videos and patterns to try.  I'm still struggling with attaching the clasp, but they turned out anyway!






Paul had a sudden interest in brewing beer at home this Summer, so I bought him the Everyday IPA home brew kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop for his birthday.  Beth was one of his biggest supporters as Paul embarked on brewing his first batch, so we made sure she was the first to try it.

We toasted, took a quick whiff, and sipped.

It was AWESOME.

We're all looking forward to Paul's next brewing adventure.


As the sun set it was time to say goodbye to Beth and CLo and get ready to welcome our good friend, and best man, Brian.



Brian just returned from his latest adventure that included riding elephants in Thailand, and we were looking forward to hearing about his travels and the details of his upcoming wedding.  His fiancée Amy doesn't know it yet, but she's going to teach me how to cook some classic Argentine dishes when she returns from her latest adventure!

On the Menu:
Whiskey Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce
Rosemary-scented Potatoes
Salad w/ Homemade Vinaigrette
Hot Crescent Rolls from Trader Joe's
Paul's Homemade IPA

I got this pork recipe from our recently-retired head pastor, and it's unbelievably delicious for something so simple.

Whiskey Pork Tenderloin w/ Mustard Cream Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3lb pork tenderloin
Mix the above ingredients in a large ziplock bag and marinate your tenderloin in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  

For the sauce:
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (I used fat free greek yogurt!)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Whisk your ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve!

Rosemary Scented Potatoes
Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold potatoes - 1 per person
  • 1 Sprig of rosemary per potato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and scrub your potatoes well.
With a sharp knife, make a deep slit through the center of one potato.  Use the knife to gently pry open the potato and insert one sprig of rosemary.  (I use the knife to help drive the rosemary deep into the potato.)
Press some salt and pepper into the center of the potato.
Coat the outside with some olive oil.
Repeat with all potatoes.
You can put your potatoes directly on the rack in the oven or on an un-greased baking pan.
Bake for about an hour.

While Paul grilled the pork, Brian helped make a simple salad using the same vinaigrette I made for the Magical White Bean Soup, and I made some easy refrigerated crescent rolls from Trader Joe's.  Not everything has to be homemade and unlike other brands, Trader Joe's crescent and biscuit dough doesn't have any weird, scary ingredients.






I would say that this meal was a perfect end to a great day, but truth be told the sound of the men cleaning the kitchen (without me asking!) while I finished my beer was the cherry on top of my Sunday.