Sunday, December 16, 2007

The weather outside is frightful...

Snow. We got it in spades this weekend. It started last night and it is still coming down. The helpful weather station at the university says we received about 25cm of snow, but I think it was a little more than that, at least in some places. The snow came up tot the top of my green boots which stand about 35cm tall.

We started the day with a call from a friend letting us know church was canceled this morning (thanks Darren!) Shortly after we got up and shoveled our driveway. The plow hadn't come yet so the end was easy. It took us just under an hour to get the whole thing done.

Thinking today would be a great day for doing laundry we headed to the grocery store to pick up some laundry soap. The trip took us about twice as long as it normally would - none of the sidewalks were shoveled. We took a quick photo tour of our neighborhood when we got back.

We ate some lunch and I watched the last 3/4 of a football game and then it was back out to shovel the driveway again. Another hour gone. We then ate dinner and I am now writing this post.

It's been a long day of mostly being out side and shoveling. I can't complain though - the snow was light and there wasn't any freezing rain. Plus Tara and I got to spend a bunch of time together. I hope it snows like this more often.
Snow Angel

There are a few more photos from today on flickr.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Roasted Pork Loin

I tried a new Pork Roast recipe out last night with a bunch of friends. It's in the latest Fine Cooking issue (Jan 2008): Roasted Pork Loin with Maple-Mustard Crust.

It really is an excellent recipe. Everyone enjoyed it and it's pretty simple to make. The only gripe I have is the cooking time - it took almost twice as long to get the roast to 145F than the recipe called for.

I recommend picking up this issue. In addition to great recipes for the pork left-overs, there are great recipes for bread pudding and gnocchi.

Below is the recipe I used (their recipe plus some tweaks).


8-10 C apple juice
3/4 C salt
1/4 C brown sugar
6 cloves garlic crushed
6 sprigs of thyme

1/2 C maple syrup
5 tbsp whole grain mustard (PC brand works great)

1 4-5 lb Pork Loin, boneless and tied up.
1 large fennel/anise bulb, sliced
2 large apples (granny smith worked well), cored, peeled and diced
3 tbsp veg oil.

Step 1 - Make the brine and brine the roast (do the previous day)
Bring 3 cups of the apple juice to a boil and add the rest of the brine ingredients. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved and remove from heat. Add remaining apple juice and let cool. In a large ziplock bag add the pork loin and the marinade and let sit for 18 hours.

Step 2 - Make the glaze and prep the roasting pan (preheat to 375F)
Make the glaze by mixing the maple syrup and mustard.
Put the apple, fennel, and oil in a roasting pan (a dutch oven works great). Toss.

Step 3 - Roast
Drain the Roast from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel. Place roast on the apples/fennel mix. Pour glaze over top.
Stick an instant read thermometer into the centre of the roast. Put the roast into the oven and roast until the temp reaches 145F (between 90 and 120 minutes)
Remove the Roast and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve.

That's it. I promise next time to take pictures of the roast.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sausage, Leek and Apple Pie

I tried out a new recipe tonight: Sausage, Leek and Apple Pie.

When I was young we would eat store bought savory pies - I think they might have been made by Swanson. They had beef and peas and carrots in them and the crust was always hard and didn't taste like much. I never really liked them.

So when I saw the recipe for the savory pie at Making Light, I was a little hesitant. I mulled it over in my head for a couple of days before deciding to give it a try. It didn't have any of the same ingredients that I remembered from the old ones I had as a kid and all the recipes I've made from the Making Light have turned out well.

It took me just over an hour to get the pie together and another 45 min to cook it (this included time to make the pastry). It turned out well - not spectacular but way way way better than the pies I remember and the recipe is definitely filled with potential. I ate it with a nice Australian Pinot Grigio.

I did deviate from the recipe a tad. I omitted the saffron because I didn't have any in the house. I forgot the splash of sherry (which I do have in the house). Both of these would add to the savoriness and goodness of the pie. Next time I think I'll increase the sausage and decrease the leeks (there was a lot of cooking water that had to be reduced). I also didn't have any tapioca in the house which explains the runny sauce.

But all in all the recipe is a keeper. I may even try making individual pies to take to work/school.