Yesterday I was up at 7:20. Got my coffee, wrote my blog, did some computer work, when all of a sudden I looked up and it was 9:00 a.m. and I had to leave for WW in 15 minutes. I chose to wear a hat vs. jumping in the shower (klassy) and was able to make this quick egg white omelet to go before heading out the door. More leftover baked potatoes to the rescue. Three ounces of diced baked potato (3), two ounces of chopped deli ham (2) with spinach and 1/2 ounce of mozzarella cheese (2) and 3/4 cup of egg whites (1). And I bought half a big cantaloupe off the dollar rack that was probably the best I’ve eaten all summer – tasted like candy. The smell of cantaloupe always reminds me of my Grammy’s house when we stayed with her in the summer. I can picture myself sitting at the end of the kitchen table, swinging my legs back and forth because they didn’t reach the floor, watching my grandma cook at the stove while the front door was open and a summer breeze blowing through. It’s amazing that food can bring you back to a place and time that you can remember like it was yesterday, and it was probably 42 years ago.
In case you are wondering, I gained 1.4 pounds the last two weeks, bringing my total summer weight gain to 3.2 pounds. WTF. But, I will have to say, that being on WW helped me not gain 30 pounds this summer, so I’ve got that going for me. But one of the things I noticed is that I almost always eat more stuff than I need to when I am alone. Case in point yesterday. Hannah worked the morning shift and Jacob worked the afternoon/evening shift. Hannah and I planned on running errands together which I was looking forward to. She said she was going to take a quick nap since she was up so early, so I finished up some chores while she slept. She had a work event to go to at 6, which would leave us plenty of time.
Except she slept until 5:40. And what did I do while I was waiting for her to wake up? Eat. I ate a slice of cheese. Then it was a small bag of gummies. Then it was a few tortilla chips. I find that when I am alone, food is my friend for the moment and I have to stop that. I seem to eat better on the days I work. It’s a lot easier to graze throughout the day when I am home.
In my quest to waste less food, I decided to use up some tofu that Hannah brought from her work that wasn’t going to get used and was nearing it’s expiration date. I did a quick marinade with a tablespoon of black bean paste. I have this dried pasta that I love because each dried nest of pasta is exactly one ounce, so easy portion control. I did stop by the store to pick up a few things, and knowing I was going to have stir fry for lunch, picked up bean sprouts and peapods for .82 cents.
But guess what guys. I was completely out of sriracha?! I know, I can hardly believe it myself. I put this pic on Instagram and said “luckily I had Thai chili paste in my fridge and used that.” My astute foodie friend Jacky told me that, um, it’s the same thing as sriracha – doh! Good to know Jacky!
My friend Alison was leaving for a mini vacation with her family and wondered if I could use any of her tomato bounty. When I got to her house and saw that she literally had three Trader Joe paper bags full of tomatoes, I thought it a shame she couldn’t reap her own bounty. So I told her I would can her tomato sauce!
I started with 2/3 of the tomatoes you see on the counter there, because that basically filled up my biggest pot. When I make giant amounts of pasta sauce, I don’t really have a recipe. Although long time readers will love that because my friend loves onions, I added onions to this sauce. I call this my “basic” sauce, because it can be dressed up any which way. Add ground beef to make a bolognese, use it for pizza sauce. Stir in ricotta cheese for stuffed shells. The possibilities are endless! For that size pot, I added 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, one small chopped onion (rough chop because I use my stick blender at the end), about 2 ounces of diced deli pepperoni (my secret ingredient!) with one 6 oz. can of tomato sauce. I let that cook for about 5 minutes, then just threw the grape tomatoes in, and quartered the big tomatoes, and let that simmer on low for about two hours. I then added about 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons of sugar (the tomatoes were on the tart side), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cracked pepper, and 1 tablespoon of butter and stirred that all together. Then just blended with my stick blender.
My FreshTech canner is so much fun to use. I add my clean jars to the canner, then press “preheat.” The canner sterilizes the jars in 12 minutes. I then add my sauce to the jars, put the lids on, place them back into the canner and press “tomatoes” and press “1” from the programmed recipe panel. Then I walk away, and 40 minutes later the canning is done. The best part is that I can start the process all over again right away. I just hit the stop/reset button, add my next batch of clean jars and repeat. Since I got 12 pint jars of sauce from using 2/3 of the tomatoes, I decided I’ll make her salsa with the rest today.
When I was picking up a few things at the store, I saw that they had a small pork shoulder on sale for $7. It was 3.5 pounds. I knew I was going to cook it on the Weber grill, but I was wondering what kind of rub I wanted to do. The obvious choice was to use my beloved Hardcore Carnivore Black rub. But knowing that Hannah wouldn’t eat it at all, and Jacob and I love spicy food, I decided to make a savory/sweet wet rub.
- 1 teaspoon Hardcore Carnivore Black
- 1 teaspoon The Spice House Milwaukee Iron rub
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- that’s it
Whenever I need advice on BBQ, I reach out to my Instagram friend Scott of Grillin Fools. Not only does he showcase some of the best BBQ on his Instagram account, but he also has a website. Anything and everything you need to know about BBQ can be found on that site. I was trying to figure out what temperature to pull the pork out, and through reading some of his posts, decided that 180 was the right temperature. I texted him last night if he thought that it would be a high enough temp before resting, but didn’t hear back from him right away, so I just went with my gut and pulled it at 180.
Once off the grill, I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in my microwave to rest for 45 minutes before slicing. You guys. This is hands down the best pork I’ve ever cooked in my life. The meat cut like butter, it was super juicy and tender, and the bark on the outside of the pork was pork candy. The little bit of brown sugar caramelized on the grill, and with the perfect seasoning with the Hardcore rub with the extra spicy kick of the Milwaukee Iron seasoning, it was the perfect pork roast.
I ended up making a pork sandwich. That is a dinner roll with three ounces of the sliced meat, topped with sauerkraut that I sautéed with just a teaspoon of my pineapple garlic sriracha bbq sauce, then topped with 3/4 of a slice of reduced fat provolone. Perfection in a sandwich – tender juicy pork, spicy bbq sauce with the saltiness of the sauerkraut and provolone. Swoon. I am definitely looking forward to using up the leftovers of this roast!
So today is more getting Bizzy in my Kitchen making salsa. I already told Hannah we’d be keeping a jar for ourselves as payment for the work, which is minimal at best. Then we are actually going to go to the farmers market I usually work today. Since I switched with the owner on Monday, he’s doing my usual market this afternoon. Other than the granola guy next to me and the cheese girl on the other side, I’ve never really walked around the market before! And after parking my car, I always pass by this restaurant, and Hannah and I will stop in for some apps and a glass of wine after checking out the market. Fun!
Oh, and I have to share this – one of my favorite food photographers is Daniel Krieger. And when I think I have taken a better than average food photograph, I usually tag him on Instagram. But he has about 150,000 followers on Instagram, so I realize the likelihood of him actually liking a picture I tag him in is slim to none. But check it out!
Holy balls – he liked not one but TWO of my photos. Just check out one of his photos:
Is that food photography perfection, or what?!
Alright, time to get this show on the road on my TO DO list. I didn’t cross too many things off of it yesterday
Make it a great day!