Sunday, January 13, 2013

Few Things

For the past two weeks of this new year, I have taken the time to take time for myself - been a bit of a home body -  relaxing, watching movies, catching up on some cleaning, cooking, and Pinterest. Let me tell you, I have loved every minute of it. I have had a chance to think, evaluate and plan - this time was much more needed than I even realized.

I have definitely learned a few things during this brief two weeks and the most important thing I have learned is that: This Is Going To Take Time. What is 'This'? Well, to by honest, I'm not exactly sure I can define it. Perhaps the changes I want to make, the person I want to be, or the life I want to live. Regardless of what 'This' is - I just know that it is not going to happen overnight, and that I have to create goals, work at it, not get discouraged and as per usual - carry on.

I am ready for this challege.

As for the cooking of the weekend, I hadn't seen my good friend Dana in quite some time, so I invited her over for some dinner. I made a pork loin roast, a beet salad and we had some spinach for some greens as well.

Pork is one of those foods that I tend to forget about, that I don't eat very often, but always enjoy it when I do. I have wanted to make a pork roast for quite some time and figured this was a great opportunity to do so. I used a recipe right from The Joy of Cooking (one of my favorite cook books along with Mark Bittmans 'How to Cook Everything'). It was simple and turned out great. I simply took 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of pepper mixed together and rubbed it over my 2-3 pound pork loin roast. I then put it on a rack in a glass lasagna dish (I don't have a roasting pan) and put it in the oven at the highest temperature my oven will go, which is probably about 450 (my oven is a little shisty, I don't actually have any idea what temperature I'm cooking at because the knob is much to be desired and there is no digital thermometer - my next kitchen purchase is going to be a temperature thermometer that I can put on oven on a rack inside the oven) and I roasted it at that temperature for about 10 min. Then I lowered the temp to about 250 and cooked it for 45 minutes. I took the pork roast out, checked the temperature of the meat, and it was at a perfect 160 degrees. I let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

Now, my beet salad - as soon as I invited Dana over she asked that I make this dish! 

The best way to cook beets, I have found is by roasting:

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (really the beets can roast at any temperature, just may vary the time it takes to cook.

- Prepare beets by washing and cutting into quarters if they are large, or just making sure that they are all relatively the same size, so the cooking time remains the same for all of them. Leave the skins on. 

- Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap each beet or beet quarter in aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes. Beets are done when you can easily pierce a knife into the center of the beet.

- Wait til beets cool then peel off skin.

To make the salad I just cut the beets into bite size quarters, added walnuts (I usually toast my walnuts to get the best flavor) and goat cheese - and delicious beet salad there you are!

To my surprise and luck, Dana brought desert. Cupcakes from The Ultimate Pastry Shop in Sewickley:

So all in all, I will say that the weekend was a success. I feel relaxed and ready for the week - and the rest of 2013!



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I'd love to hear your thoughts, please share! xo MK