Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dress Rehearsal

Today, I attended part of the dress rehearsal for the Havre de Grace Dancers recital. Several of my co-workers at the Tidewater had children and grand-children in the show, and tickets for the actual performance were scarce. It was free to get into the dress rehearsal, though, and it was adorable. This year’s theme was the 80’s.

Lexi and Eva performed in "Ballerina Girl," and they were great!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Grilled Pork Banh Mi

I found this recipe in this month's Food & Wine magazine, and I was really excited about it. It looked easy, and like it would taste like Mom's cooking. I prepped most of it last night, then packed everything up to take to work today.
Grilled Pork Banh Mi


  • ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • Six 8-inch-long rolls or 2 baguettes, cut into 8-inch lengths and split
  • Hoisin sause and Sriracha chile sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • ½ seedless cucumber, cut into 2-by-½-inch matchsticks
  • 1 ½ loosely packed cups cilantro sprigs
  1. In a blender, puree the fish sauce with the honey, sugar, pepper, scallions and garlic. Transfer the marinade to a bowl, add the pork and toss. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Thread the pork through the top and bottom of each slice onto 12 bamboo skewers.
  2. Spread the rolls with hoisin and Sriracha. Light a grill and oil the grates. Brush the pork with oil and grill over high heat, turning, until just cooked, 4 minutes. Place 2 skewers in each roll, close and pull out the skewers. Tops with the cucumber and cilantro and serve.
When I got to work tonight, I marinated the meat, put it on skewers, and asked the guys in the kitchen to grill it up for me. Then I shared with my co-workers. I can't tell you how satisfying that was. The flavor was great, the meat stayed tender, and everyone who tried the meat loved it! Except Tom, of course. After trying it, he said I could have the rest. No problem there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fiesta 5K

It's official! I'm signed up to participate in the 2012 Fiesta 5K.

It's a walk/run (I think I'll participate in the walk) being held on May 5th to help raise money for ALS reasearch. OJ Brigance, a former Baltimore Raven and Baltimore Stallion (Canadian Football League) who has ALS, is the honary chair this year, and the Ravens asked the band if they'd like to participate. I decided that it'd be something fun to do. If you'd like to make a donation to ALS research, visit my page here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring

Is this really the first actual book I've read this year?

I picked it up at the grocery store a few days ago since I've really enjoyed the two audiobooks by Mary Balogh that I've listened to. I definitely liked The Temporary Wife better than A Promise of Spring. The Temporary Wife was a bit faster paced, and the story was more satisfying. All of the conflict was known to the reader from the beginning. In A Promise of Spring, the story was a little slow and took too long to resolve for my taste.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Peach Glazed Ham

Since I had to work on Easter, and wasn't able to cook a family dinner, I thought I'd give this recipe a try for dinner tonight.
Slow Cooker Peach Glazed Ham


  • 1 fully cooked smoked bone-in ham (7 lb)
  • ¾ cup peach preserves
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup white cranberry and peach juice
  • Fresh peach slices, if desired
  1. Spray 7-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove excess fat from ham. Make cuts about ½ inch apart and ¼ inch deep in diamond pattern around top and sides of ham. Place ham in slow cooker. In small bowl, mix preserves, brown sugar, mustard and cranberry juice until smooth. Spread or brush mixture over ham in slow cooker.
  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 hours or until meat thermometer reads 140°F. Remove ham from slow cooker; cover with foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
  3. Meanwhile, pour juices from slow cooker into 2-quart saucepan. Heat to simmering; cook until slightly thickened. Serve ham with sauce. Garnish serving platter with peach slices.
Unfortunately, I was on call at the restaurant tonight, and was called in. I asked Tom to turn off the crock pot at 5, but he didn't get around to it until 8, so the meat was a little mushy and fell apart like pulled pork. He really enjoyed the flavor, though. I thought it was a little too sweet for my taste. That could have been from cooking extra long, so if I try this recipe again, I'll make sure it comes out at the right time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Fur Wreath

Wanda turned me on to a cute little wreath made by Patty Schaffer, and I decided to make my own. My local Wal-Mart didn’t have the green Fun Fur, so I chose to make my wreath with purple and try to give it an Easter theme, instead of spring. The little Easter eggs that I had purchased from the Dollar Store didn’t want to adhere to the wreath well, so I went with the flower trim, instead.

Overall, I think it turned out well. Maybe I’ll attempt using the eggs again, just to give it more of an Easter theme.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cheesy Potato Soup

I didn't go especially crazy with the last soup we attempted to make, so I found a different recipe, without beer.
Cheesy Potato Soup

  • 2 slices bacon
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 2½ cups diced peeled russet potatoes (about 3 small)
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups Progresso® chicken broth (from 32 ounce carton)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crispy. Remove from skillet, reserving fat in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towel, then refrigerate. In same skillet, cook onion in bacon fat over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
  2. Spray 3½ to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix onion, potatoes, celery, broth, salt and pepper.
  3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 7 hours.
  4. In small bowl, beat flour and half-and-half with wire whisk until well blended; stir into soup. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 30 minutes longer of until thickened. Stir in cheese until well melted. Crumble bacon; sprinkle over soup.
Now, I cooked this recipe on the stovetop instead of in the crock pot, and I think it turned out well. I just cooked the bacon and onions as directed, then instead of putting everything in the crock pot, I threw it in a pan on the stove and boiled it for about 25 minutes before adding the flour/cream mixture and cheese. It was a little thick, so maybe I should have covered the pan. Or simmered instead of boiled? Still, the flavor was good, but it needed a little salt. And can you believe it, Tom said it was delicious! And he knew there were onions in it! I'll probably make this again someday :-)