Sunday, November 7, 2010

More CA & Some of Kelly's Most Wanted Recipes

I'm sorry to say that I have very few pictures from the last two weeks but I'll do my best to entertain you with sparkling imagery and witty anecdotes... or I'll just bribe you into reading this with the promise of yummy recipes later on. 

Ron is settling into ship life very well. He seems to really enjoy his job and is absolutely loving the experience of traveling full time. This week there is a hurricane near Turks and Caicos so he has been diverted to the Dominican Republic. He's thrilled for the change of pace.

My time in CA has been extended and I now leave on Tuesday and won't actually be on the ship until Saturday. I'm getting extremely anxious to get there and be with my husband! However, aside from being able to visit with so many outstanding people, I have also had the opportunity to have a little dental work done. Some of you know, but most of you don't, that my four front top teeth are fake. I busted them a handful of times as a kid and had them capped in high school. Well, 13 years later, they needed to be replaced. This is not something you trust a random dentist to do, so I went back to the same dental office that has bonded, re-bonded, capped and re-capped my teeth so many times before. Just for kicks, here are a few images of my teeth progression over the years: 

The original teeth
The original bonding

Bonding round 6... maybe 7... we lost count

The Original Caps 

(I'll insert an image of my new teeth here later - I've only had them for 2 days so I haven't been jumping in front of any cameras just yet.) 

That was fun. Now onto the present. 

I have been enjoying going to Mariner's Church regularly. Today will be my last service and I'm hoping Kenton will be speaking again today. No other pastor can reach me quite the way Kenton does. 

Since the last blog I have kept busy by visiting Disneyland briefly, (Thank you Holly! It was so good to see you!) and getting yummy sushi made by Sam at Koisan. Koisan was the first place I ever had sushi when I was about 5 years old and Sam was my 1st sushi chef. I also had a chance to catch up with Lindsay & Maddie and the Diva-licious Liza Delos Santos at Guppy House. If you have never been to Guppy House, you are missing out on a very good part of life. The food is pretty good (I recommend the popcorn chicken) but the dessert is the real reason you should go there. Pictured below is Liza & I with a "small" shaved ice with mango and strawberries. It's just a giant bowl of ice with fruit and condensed milk but I promise you, it's divine. 

Aside from a few visits here and there, dental visits, taking long walks in the sunshine, and regularly beating any Bannanagrams challengers to a bloody pulp, I've just been getting ready to get out of here. 

And now onto what you really want to hear about: the food! For today I will leave you with 2 of my favorites. 

Kelly's Pork & Apple Salad
1-2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
3Tbs plus 1Tbs Apple Jelly or Jam (pear jelly will work in a pinch) 
1 cup divided plus 3Tbs EVOO
1/2 small red onion (finely chopped or sliced) 
3Tbs grainy mustard
1/4-1/2c Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Hearts of Romaine
1 Head of Boston Butter or Bibb lettuce
1 large Fuji or Gala Apple
3/4 c bleu cheese crumbles
1 whole lemon
chopped thyme (fresh or dried) 

(please keep in mind that I don't measure or use actual recipes so everything I'm telling you is approximate) 

Place the tenderloin in a ziplock bag and marinate overnight in 1/2 cup EVOO, the juice from the lemon plus the rinds sliced up, salt, pepper, cinnamon to taste and some thyme and garlic. 

Get the grill ready - wood or charcoal is best but gas won't totally suck. 

Combine 3Tbs EVOO, thyme, and apple jelly in a bowl - this is your baste

Remove pork from bag and throw out the liquid. Wrap in foil and place on grill on indirect heat. Cook until internal temp is about 120. 

Unwrap pork and drain juices into your baste. Stir. 

Place pork on direct heat and baste liberally. Turn it about 4 times to create crosshatch marks on each side. Cook until the internal temp is about 140. You want it to be slightly pink when you cut it open. Also remember that pork continues cooking when removed from the heat so do not overcook it. 

Let it rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. 

In a shaker or measuring cup, combine: 1/2c EVOO, 1Tbs Apple Jelly, a little lemon juice if you have it, Apple Cider Vinegar (I like more vinegar than oil, but you can play with it to your liking), salt, pepper, thyme, and 3Tbs of grainy mustard (please do not use French's or the like - you will make me cry) and a little fresh garlic. Shake or stir vigorously until blended. If you are using dried spices, let it rest a good hour before serving. 

Slice or chop your red onion and soak it in ice water for 10 minutes or up to an hour to diffuse the flavor. Drain.

Slice the pork. Chop the apple. 

Toss the lettuces together in a large bowl. Top with sliced pork, apples, onion, and bleu cheese. Add dressing as desired and serve. 

Vanilla Bean French Custard 

2 c Whole Milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 c sugar
Vanilla Bean (you can substitute a splash of vanilla flavoring but it won't be nearly as good. Splurge on the bean if you can!)

Separate your egg yolks and combine with sugar just until blended.

Slowly heat the milk in a large saucepan, stirring constantly until it simmers and foams. (It will foam up quickly and if you're not watching it you will have a hue mess)

Scrape the inside of a vanilla bean into the hot milk immediately and stir.

Slowly add the milk mixture into the egg mixture little by little, stirring constantly until blended. (don't whip or over-stir. You don't want bubbles.)

If there are any bubbles or foam, remove them with a spoon.

Pour mixture into oven-proof dishes and cover tightly with foil.

Partially fill a large baking dish with water and place a cookie cooling rack or a folded dishtowel on the bottom on the dish - this diffuses the heat so the custard won't burn or stick to the cups. Ideally, the water level and the custard level will be the same. Place the custard cups in the pan with the water and rack, making sure the custard dishes are not touching each other or the sides of the pan.

Place in a 350 degree pre-heated oven and bake for 20-30 min. The custard should be set on the edges and jiggly in the center when you shake the dish.

Cool for 30-45 min and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

You can sprinkle them with nutmeg but I prefer them plain.

If anyone makes these, I'd love to hear how they turned out. Leave me a comment and let me know!


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