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May
07
2014

Lovebug-mageddon

Wow, somebody probably should have warned me ... homeownership: it's no joke. Between mowing the yard, fighting to keep the new sod from dying, fighting off the armies of lovebugs, trying to keep the house clean, unpacking a little at a time, working full days and trying to get out once in a while so as not become a total hermit, I am pooped! I can't wait for the day, months from now, when the house is mostly put together and I can just maintain. Fans will be installed, curtains hung ... that'll be glorious.

Anyway, did my effort to evoke pity from all of you in an attempt to be forgiven for not blogging very much lately work? Aw, you all are so nice!

Seriously though, I hate for all my entries here to just be book club stuff. Not that it isn't fun to write those entries. I just want to be less busy so we can talk about other things once in a while too.

Like the great foreign movie that Adam and I recently saw at the Enzian. I highly recommend The Lunchbox! So subtly acted and full of life.

Oh, but back to the blog entry title ... for real, I think we found the source of the lovebug population: Apopka.

And I know it's because we're a little more rural in our new neighborhood, but good grief! It's like they all decided to mate and then die either in front of our garage or on our back porch. It's like the Andromeda Strain for bugs. We went out to mow the yard Monday after work and there were dozens, no exaggerating, of little black bodies in the driveway.

I cannot wait until lovebug season is over! (At least they don't bite.)

Sadly, I don't have a whole lot else to discuss with you today because it's not entirely fascinating to talk about the display case we got from Ikea and built the other day. Lol. These are the things that constitute my life lately.

But I did at least post my first new recipe in a while

The dinner we made last night ended up being pretty darn easy and delicious! (Sorry, Andee, it's not vegetarian ... but the roasted veggies would be great on their own!) The spice rub was incredible. I was really pleased with how it all turned out. And if you keep oils and seasonings stocked in your pantry, you don't have to buy much to make this either ... just a pork tenderloin and some vegetables.

I have lots of potatoes left over though since they mostly sell them in 5-lb. bags and I only needed about a quarter of that, but I guess that just means we get to have mashed potatoes soon. (Adam is so sad about that ... LOL.)

Oh, lastly, I did want to apologize ever so briefly for some of the language and content of my May book choice. Obviously I can't know the content before I read it, but I hope it's not too offensive for everyone. There's plenty in the book that I am looking forward to discussing though. (And I just now realized that the main character's name matches the month we chose to read it!)

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the transition to summer!


Roasted Paprika Pork & Veggies

Both recipes taken from MyRecipes.com, adapted and combined.

Ingredients

For the pork:

  • 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. of the spice blend below

Paprika spice blend:

  • 1/4 Cup paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

For the vegetables:

(This is just what we used. Choose any veggies you like.)

  • 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 3/4 - 1 lb. pre-chopped carrot sticks (original recipe called for baby carrots)
  • 1 1/4 lbs. red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (original recipe called for fingerling potatoes, but we couldn't find any)
  • 1/2 of a red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried chives

Preparation

For the pork:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cooking oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Stir together the ingredients for the paprika spice blend and store in any container or a baggie. Trim the pork tenderloin as desired and place on greased baking sheet. Using 1-2 Tbsp. of the spice blend (to your preference), pat spices all over pork.

There will be plenty of spice mix left over for later uses, so don't double dip after you've touched the pork!

For the vegetables:

Combine the chopped shallot with the white balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Prepare the rest of the veggies. If using baby carrots or carrot sticks, they're ready to go. Wash and chop your onion and potatoes (or whatever veggies you're using) into bite-sized pieces. Place all prepared veggies in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil and seasonings.

Spread vegetables around pork on the baking sheet, as close to a single layer as possible.

To finish:

Place the baking sheet with pork and veggies in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. When you reach the last 5 minutes on the timer, pull the rack out of the oven slightly and sprinkle the shallot-vinegar mixture over the pan so they cook a little too. 

Tip: The pork should reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit internally. It's okay for it to be slightly pink in the middle, but it should not be raw. Try not to overcook the pork just to eliminate any pinkness - it's unnecessary and will totally dry it out. A meat thermometer is a lifesaver!

Slice the pork and serve with vegetables.

Should make about 4 servings. I believe the calories on this will fall between 315-350, depending on which and how many vegetables you use.

Lovebug-mageddon
Copyright 2004-2017 Elizabeth Shiver