Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chinese Ketchup and Garlic Soy Broccoli


Last night I made Ina’s Broccoli with Garlic and Soy Sauce with a  simple rice pilaf and grilled pork tenderloin.  The tenderloin was one of those peppercorn packaged ones, which I shouldn’t admit that I like as much as I do.  They’re so easy and I did make two of the three components for dinner last night from scratch, so I feel no guilt about it.

The broccoli was delicious, but I think next time I’ll roast the broccoli instead of blanching it.  The ratio of garlic and soy were perfect; I’m a little upset this is Ina’s recipe, it seems so obvious that I wish I had come up with it.  I did use less crushed red pepper than the recipe called for and my husband and I just added more at the table.  The adults got hoisin drizzled over our pork; the kids each got little ramekins of “Chinese Ketchup” (hoisin) for dipping.

– Catherine

Oh Yes We Did


That is a picture of a bacon-wrapped hot dog.  Enough said.

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.

– Catherine

Mexican Pizza


Last night, I ate Mexican Pizza for the first time in about twenty-five years.  I decided to make a meal I knew would be a home run for my kids after a week of very adult eating.  My mother didn’t make meals aimed at getting kids to eat; she didn’t have to, everything she made was delicious for everyone at the table.  I can’t imagine my mother ever owning a book like we all have now with surreptitious ways to get vegetables into children or creative plating tactics to “trick” kids into eating a balanced meal.  Mexican Pizza was as close as she came to tailoring something for us.  That’s what I thought when I made it last night, anyway.

But, then I ate it and remembered how good it is.  I got worried there wouldn’t be any leftovers for me to eat today standing in front of the refrigerator alone, Nigella-style.  Forget kids, I’m making this the next time we don’t have to arm wrestle those jerks to get the last piece.

We piled each piece with lettuce, tomatoes, diced avocado, jalepeños, salsa and used plain Greek yogurt as a stand-in for sour cream.  So, even for a “kid’s meal”, it wasn’t entirely unhealthy.   No sneakiness required.

– Catherine

Mexican Pizza

1 lb of ground beef, cooked using Andra’s taco recipe

3 oz Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

3 oz Cheddar cheese, grated

1 can of refried beans (I used pinto beans that I mashed myself)

6-8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a non-stick baking sheet with flour tortillas, overlapping as necessary, leaving about an inch overlapping the edge of the pan.  Use a spatula to spread the refried beans over the tortillas.  Spread the beef mixture and top with the cheese and bake until cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp and starting to brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Cut into squares and pass Greek yogurt, lettuce, diced tomatoes and avocado and salsa at the table.

Tabouli with Mediterranean Meatballs and Yogurt Dipping Sauce


I called these “Mediterranean Meatballs” because I don’t think it’s fair to the Turks that anything with garlic, mint and feta in it gets attributed to the Greeks.  I mean, it’s a region, after all.  They’re not eating “Greek Salad” in Turkey; it’s called “Shepherd’s Salad”.  Thank goodness the Liancourt Rocks don’t have a cuisine, right?  What a mess classifying that would be.

This tabouli is enough on it’s own, but I made the meatballs at the last minute to round out dinner and am so glad I did.  My oldest daughter and husband made sure that every forkful had some tabouli, a little bit of meatball and dipping sauce on it.  No matter what national cuisine you decide to classify them with, you should definitely make them.

– Catherine


2 cups bulgur wheat

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup of mint, finely chopped

1 6 oz can of black olives, chopped

2 cups of grape tomatoes, diced

1 bunch of scallions, green and light green parts, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine bulgur wheat,  2 cups of water, lemon juice and 1 tsp of the salt in a large bowl.  Stir and cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season to taste and serve.

Mediterranean Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp ground cumin

Handful of fresh mint, chopped

Salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with hands, careful not to over mix, using olive oil to prevent sticking.  Roll meatballs and place them on a rack on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, until internal temp reaches 130°.

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 0%)

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

Lemon zest from one lemon and 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and serve with the meatballs.

You had what for dinner?


The encyclopedia business here is slow and we’re having to say goodbye to another one of our families who are in search of hardbound opportunities further West.  It’s always sad to see friends go but this will be especially hard for my son who will have to say goodbye to his first best friend.  Over the last two weeks, we have let the boys squeeze out every moment together with sleepovers, extra time playing video games, hours on the trampoline and playing with legos long after normal curfew.   Last night the boys ate dinner at both houses.  It wasn’t planned but it was just another way to let these two friends grab a few extra minutes together.

After dinner, Sam walked Matthew home. When Sam got back he said that it took a little longer than usual because he had to explain to Matthew’s parents what we ate for dinner.  Slob. “Slob you say, mmm, that sounds delicious.  What is slob?”  Matthew’s dad asked.  “Lettuce with chicken” (of course), Sam told him.

I don’t think it mattered what they ate;  last night was all about the company.  They have about a week left to squeeze in as much time together before Matthew and his family get in the car for their big break out West.  I’ll make sure to give Matthew’s mom this recipe so he can eat slob and think of Sam when he gets to his new home.  -Andra

Slob (Larb.  I got this recipe from my mom who I think got it from her mom.)

1 lb ground beef (not chicken)

1/2 cup rice, pureed in the blender to a fine powder

1 onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 oz oyster sauce

4 oz. lime juice

Crushed red pepper, to taste

Washed and dried romaine lettuce

Brown the meat over medium hight heat with the onion and garlic.  Add the powdered rice to the meat mixture and stir.  Add the oyster sauce,  lime juice and crushed red pepper.  Cook until all of the ingredients have been incorporated.  Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves.

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