Another whirlwind weekend in the books! While I loved the sunshine, I would have liked it to be about 10 degrees warmer, but as long as it is sunny, I am a happy camper. It makes me wonder why I don’t live in California! On that’s right, I don’t think I’d be able to have a house on an acre lot and only have a $371 mortgage payment 😛
Let’s rewind to Friday, shall we? I bring you Week Two of Food Fun Friday with my twin sister Jennifer. Early Society was our pick of the week, just a couple blocks from my office on the corner of Wacker and Clark. We passed by it earlier on one of our lunch time walks and pretty much instantly made a reservation.
You all know how much I love a good burger, and decided to give this one a try. Holy balls, I am so glad I did. Perfectly seasoned beef patty, cheddar cheese, toasted soft bun, AND they cooked it medium rare just the way I like it. We spent $1 to upgrade our fries to Parmesan fries, so yummy. We chose to get teh sauces on the side, and I am glad I did – that white one is a seasoned mayo, which probably would have added 1o points to the burger. We split a small appetizer of guacamole with wonton chips, each ate half our burgers and probably 1/3 of our fries and called lunch 20 points. We tracked it, had no guilt, and moved on. Such a fun way to spend a Friday lunch! We haven’t decided where we will go this Friday yet. To offset the burger I had for lunch, I ate a salad for dinner Friday night, chopping up two ounces of leftover pizza as croutons to the top.
I woke up Saturday happy to be going to my happy place – The Chopping Block. The outdoor grill patio at Lincoln Square officially opened and we had a Big Green Egg extravaganza to kick off the season. Grilled pizza, pork, ham, turkey, vegetables – it was so much fun! Great to see all my friends again, I felt like Norm from Cheers when I walked in – everyone looked up and said “Biz!”
I totally wanted to buy this cow – but even with my discount it would have been $15. But here is a quick lesson on choosing beef – the meat around the most muscle is going to be the cuts of beef you want to cook low and slow – the chuck and round portion. The brisket also needs a bit of love, while the sirloin, tenderloin, short loan is super tender, doesn’t have a lot of connective tissue and can be cooked quick and will be very tender.
Got to work with my buddy Nick – he and I pretty much hit it off personality wise within the first 5 minutes we met last August. He’s also insulin diabetic, swears like a truck driver and is just fun to be around with. I’ll have to have him and his wife out for a BBQ sometime. I wasn’t happy to be back at The Chopping Block at all.
I got home Saturday night and Hannah and I hung out for a bit before she and Jacob watched a movie. Shelley, I don’t think you’ll mind this snap chat filter – not sure what the filter is, but can it be on my face all day long?
Sunday morning I did some chores around the house before I met my Mom up for our CROP walk. I raised $280! – thanks to Lori, Lisa, Josh, my MIL Bonnie, Carrie and Rob, Debby, Paula, Lynne and Anonymous for helping me reach my goal!
We did the shorter route (2.6 miles) because my Mom had an event to go to at 3:30. It was beautiful out and it was nice to spend time with my Momma.
I hadn’t done a meal plan, but stopped by the store and did a quick grocery shop on the way home. I did remember that I pinned a recipe from Skinnytaste – I follow a local Chicago girl Lean Lassie on Instagram, and saw this recipe through her. Gina’s recipe called for putting the pork in the crock pot, but since you know I love to grill, decided to make a grilled version. I followed her recipe below for the pork and pickled veggies. I just marinated the pork for an hour in that mixture below: 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. ground pepper, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar – the only thing I did different was that I grated a whole jalapeno into the marinade, because I love it spicy.
In case you didn’t know, pork can now be cooked to a pink center. I think if my sister were to cook pork, she would cook it until it was well done. Jenn, do you even use pork?? Anywho, cook pork to 145 – let it rest – perfect pink perfection. I love how the brown sugar caremalized the meat on the crust. So good!
Gina’s recipe added sliced cucumbers and red cabbage to the bowl, but since I had the grill going, decided to grill up radicchio and zucchini. I just tossed the veggies in a bit of grape seed oil, salt and pepper. If you haven’t been using grape seed oil, you should try it. Especially for sauteing veggies and the grill. It has a way higher smoke point than using olive oil, and it literally has no flavor at all. Save your good olive oil for finishing, like vinaigrettes.
The finished dish: 1/2 cup of cooked white rice mixed with cilantro (3), 4 ounces of pork (3), pickled veggies, the grilled zucchini and raddichio. I added 1 point for the grapeseed oil for the veggies, and 1 point for the pickling liquid for the veggies, making this an 8 point bowl of goodness.
This, was basically amazing. The pork was spicy, with a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar in the marinade, the pickled veggies, the delicate radicchio and grilled zucchini? Swoon. I am so happy this made a lot so I am having the same thing for lunch today. You may be seeing this dish once a week this summer! My store routinely sells pork tenderloin for $1.49 a pound, making this super economical.
I have a confession to make. Tony would be a bit embarrassed about our yard. While someone may see these as weeds, I see them as wishes!
The lawn service is coming Wednesday for the first time, so only a few more days before my lawn becomes the eye sore of the block. I know I should care more, but the yard was Tony’s deal – and even though this is my third summer without him, still haven’t grasped the whole lawn maintenance yet.
Roman was my grilling buddy yesterday. While I like to think he is out there to be with me, I really know he was just hoping I’d drop some meat off the grill:
Happy Monday – what was the hightlight of your weekend? Any new recipes on the menu this week?
Make it a great day!!