Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inspiration for the Last Few Days of Summer

Love her shoes!

I don't know about you but I am on a mission to soak up the rays and wear as much white as I can before Labor Day! Do we still have to abide by that rule anymore? I think I may boycott it for a bit since the weather here in sunny San Diego usually stays lovely through October. Thoughts? Will I be committing a major fashion faux pax?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Friday Night

Friday Night Update-

I don't quite know where to begin. First I guess I'll share the recipe I made because it was delicious. One of my favorite kinds of recipes are ones that only have a few ingredients, and the recipe is even better if I already have the ingredients on hand!

Look at that piece of meat!
I made Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin and now that I think about it it is a pretty suggestive dish if you catch my drift! Just leave out the pork and it sounds like some sticky, sexy pet name. Wait. Now that I think about it it is even better when you leave in the pork reference. Oh geezzzzz.

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

4 tbs butter
2 tbs honey
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an ovenproof pot, heat butter and honey over medium heat until melted.  Sprinkle  pork tenderloin with Cajun seasoning and black pepper.  Brown each side for 5 minutes.  

Place pan in oven and roast for 7 - 10 minutes.  Transfer the pork to a plate covered with foil to rest. Add water to pan and stir over medium heat.  Simmer until sauce is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Slice pork on the diagonal and drizzle sauce over top to serve.

I really like making pork tenderloin because I find it pretty simple to make and it is so moist and delicious. But you have to be careful and not let it cook for too long or else it will be anything but moist and delicious.

So after I dinner going and curled my hair and donned my dress the man came home. And he was so cute he didn't want to see me till he was dressed too. So he snuck into the bedroom to change.

A little while later I hear a knock at our bedroom door. With a smirk on my face I open the door to my date for the evening. I swear he read my post of Friday. Except he stays far away from here. He doesn't even want to know the address... so how did he know that I love that moment so much?  There is my man in a button-down and tie looking at me in my slinky black number.

Mission Accomplished.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Serious Need for Some Unexpected Fun"

It started a little something like this-

A phone call from Elise to Boyfriend

Elise: Hi.
Boyfriend: Hi there.
Elise: Would you like to come over to my place on Friday night for dinner?
Boyfriend: Oh so it's your place now?
Elise: Don't focus on that part- so would you like to join me?
Boyfriend: (sounding a little confused...)You mean before the bonfire? (We have a friend's birthday bonfire that night that doesn't start till 9pm)
Elise: Yes, before the bonfire!
Boyfriend: Ok!
Elise: Oh and this is a classy dinner so suit and tie appropriate.
Boyfriend: O K!
Elise: Ok! See ya when you get home.
Boyfriend: Ok!

Yes, I just asked my live in boyfriend over to "my" place for dinner on Friday night. And I feel silly admitting this but I was nervous to do so! Why was I nervous to call my boyfriend, who I live with, and ask him on a date to our place? I have no idea but it was kinda fun. It gave me the fun, jittery, fluttery feeling that I haven't felt for a while! And I have a serious need for some unexpected fun.

So as you probably have realized it is not Saturday, or even late Friday evening yet, so I have no idea how this date is even going to go! But I'm assuming it will go well :)

So here is my plan ladies- I always get home about an hour and a half before he does so I have plenty of time to prepare. One thing that I miss about the pre-living together days is that moment when I am all dolled up for a date and he is at the door and he sees me for the first time.

I love that look.

Anyways- back to Friday night. So I'm going to get dinner going.

The Menu:
Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin (recipe later!)
Mushroom Risotto
Fresh Greens with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, onion... and whatever else I can find.

Once dinner is in the oven/ready to go it's hair time! I'm going to curl my hair for the man. I rarely curl it so when I do it's always a special occasion. And tonight the special occasion is him. Just because.

Then I'm going to put on this slinky black number that I bought a few weekends ago when he was out of town from Forever 21- total score. To give the dress a bit of detail for you- I am going to be a little embarrassed to wear it out in public if you get my drift....

Then... I'm assuming it will be go time and the man will be arriving.....

I have no idea how the rest of the evening will go so you will just have to wait with me and see!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun Popcorn Treat

My late night snack of choice right now is homemade popcorn! It's so easy and quick to do- you should try it!

The thing is you need A LOT of ingredients...

1. Corn Kernels
2. Olive Oil
3. Salt

I hope you have all of those things. Well you may need to buy the kernels. I didn't always have those on hand, but still I hope you can handle the rest of them :)

First pour about two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan (Use a pan with a lid. You will thank me later). Let that heat up for a minute or so. Not too long or else it will burn and not be tasty anymore.

Then measure the kernels. I usually use 1/4 cup for the boyfriend and me. 

Then toss them in the pan. Be sure to mix those babies around so that the oil has coated each kernel.

Have you ever done Jiffy Pop? You know that shake-shake, back and forth motion that you use to cook the Jiffy Pop over the fire? Well I use the same shake-shake, back and forth motion when making my popcorn.

In this post I make it look like the kernels instantly pop. But they don't. It's more like after a minute or so of the shaking off and on...

But then... they just take off!

 Love the motion in these shots! (I really need to use a proper camera. I'm sorry about the photo quality...)

Then after few minutes or so (maybe I should time this process next time) you are ready to pour your delicious fresh, pretty healthy, popcorn into your holding receptacle of choice. I like bowls.

Add your salt right away while the popcorn is still hot. It will stick better and be tastier that way. I also like to pour half of the popcorn in the bowl, then set the pan down and sprinkle salt on the half in the bowl, then add the remaining popcorn to the bowl and salt the top. I find that there is more even saltage that way. Even salt distribution if you will.

I hope you enjoy this treat as much as I do!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Girls Night!

Just last night I had a couple of lovely ladies over for an easy gathering of wine and hors d'oeuvres. I highly recommend hosting an evening like the one I just had.

I used Pingg which is a charming electronic invite system (like evite but cuter in my opinion) to invite the ladies over and keep track of the lengthy guest list (ha! there were six of us total!)

Everyone brought a bottle of wine and a dish to share- it was lovely. I made spicy BBQ meatballs (sorry no pictures- I forgot). But they were super easy. I bought frozen Trader Joe's Italian meatballs and cooked them in the Trader Joe's BBQ sauce. Done. :)

Also a plate of pita, cucumbers, zucchini, and tzatziki sauce- yummy if I say so myself.

And some delicious tomato-brie-basil-onion crustinis

To make the Crustinis:
Sourdough bread
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Cut some sourdough bread into slices.

Cut your tomatoes, basil, and onion. I used heirloom tomatoes because I am really into them at the moment. It's not quite a love affair. Let's just say it's a crush... anyways.... put the tomatoes and onion in a small bowl. Drizzle a bit of balsamic to coat the tomatoes and onions. Salt and pepper to taste :)

Now cut the cheese. The brie that is. Don't do that other thing that references "cutting cheese" people don't usually appreciate when the cook behaves that way. I'm not a twelve year old boy I promise.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the oil, that will just taste gross. I add oil to the pan wait a minute or so then hold my hand over the pan, if it feels hot its good to go.

Add the pieces of bread to the pan of hot olive oil. Keep your eye on these potential toasties. They will not be toasted until-OH MY GOODNESS THEY ARE ALL TOASTED PERFECTLY ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Then you will need to swoop in and save the day and save those babies from the burning oil.

Once you have removed all of the toasties from the pan start layering the cheese while they are still hot. You want the cheese to have the opportunity to melt if it wants to. Then the basil pieces. Then spoon the tomato/onion/balsamic mixture on top.

Presto! Delicious!

We also enjoyed shrimp ceviche, grilled chicken and zucchini kabobs, avocado and brie quesidillas, quinoa, and other veggies. Sooo good.

We later played Apples to Apples which is so much fun- don't you agree?

They always say the cards you collect represent you. Ahh!!! Apparently I'm Brawny, Loyal, Isolated, Dreary, and SWOLLEN!! Can you believe it?! HA!

All in all a fabulous evening spent in the company of great girls. Love girls night!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Something Like a Bucket List

How about a kissing checklist anyone? :)

I would like to add:
    In the rain
    In an elevator
    In the ocean

I may have already checked off quite a few on this list already..... how about you?? Do you have any other places we should add to our Kissing Bucket List?


P.S. Still working on my volunteer options... I promise.