Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinteresting Review: Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

     It's been a while since I've posted a Pinteresting Review. Today I have selected this pork with pan sauce.
     This is the best pork I've ever made! It is so flavorful and moist. It takes a while to marinate, but the hardest part is waiting. You will not regret making this one!

Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

by Robin
Prep Time: 3-4 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • 1⁄2 cups olive oil
  • 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-lb. pork tenderloin
  • Pan scrapings from pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 2-3 tbsp of pork marinade (thoroughly mixed)
  • 1-2 tsp butter
Combine all marinade ingredients (first 9 ingredients) and reserve 2-3 Tbsp. Place the pork tenderloin and marinade in a Ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, sear each side of tenderloin for 2-3 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the meat has reached 160 degrees. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, make the pan sauce. Place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and scrape up all the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add the marinade and let it boil down for 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and remove from heat stirring until butter has melted. Pour over the pork tenderloin.
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Swagbucks: Don't Wait for Gift Cards!

     Are you tired of waiting a week or two for your Amazon gift cards to post to your Swagbucks credits? Swagbucks has come up with a solution...
     Just in time for the holidays, Swagbucks has brought back Expedited Shipping on all of the Amazon Gift Cards in the Swag Store. Starting November 1st, all you have to do is order and verify your gift card by 2pm PT to get it the next business day. Just select the Expedited Shipping option and chip in an extra 50 SwagBucks to get the deal! It's super simple, and if you haven't verified your account it can be done easily via cellphone.

DIY Preschool: Pumpkins

     This is the first year that Big E is pretty excited about Halloween. She loves dressing up. She loves the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins. She loves going to show her costume to the rest of the family. All the cousins have corresponding outfits to promenade to various houses. This year, they were all superheroes. We had Captain America, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Batman and Wonder Woman were super girly and glittery costumes complete with tutu's.

      Leading up to Halloween (and rounding out the rest of the week, actually) we focused on Pumpkins.There are so many activities to do with pumpkins that we have spent a couple of weeks on this theme. We have reviewed some of what we have already done, and learned a few new things too.

Daily Skills:
AWANA verse & activities
Calendar time: add day, count days, sing days of week, months, today is...
color, number, letter, word of week review F and E, 5/6, is/for
Sing ABC's while point to the correct letter (one-to-one correspondence)
Skill of day: from Pumpkin Printables

Other Activities:
Look at F and E is for pages, cut those apart
Use F and E is for page cutouts to sort by beginning sounds
Add F or E is for pictures to our Alpha-book (pictured here)
Look for "F" and "E" everywhere (stores, books, etc)
Put snack in groups of 5/6, give each person 5/6
spell words with playdoh or magnetic letters
look for words in books and on signs
review sight words: "and, the, see, can" fishing game (magnetic fish, read the word when caught)
review sight words: pick up game (throw down cards with words, and she picks up what I call out)
Read families-themed books: The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, and Pumpkins
Pumpkin Printables
Starfall.com "F and E", calendar

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Swagbucks: Be on the Haunt for More

     As Halloween draws near, Swagbucks has another opportunity to join in on some fun and earn extra Swagbucks. For all you fans of Swagbucks, this Monday will be a terrorizing treat: an all-day Swag Code Haunt where you can get multiple codes that add up to 70 reward points that you can use to get free stuff on Swagbucks.com. The fun begins at 4am PDT on their blog and you should download this image- it's got a bunch of hidden images that will serve as clues to help you get codes all day long. New to Swagbucks? Enter CODEHAUNT during sign up to start with 100 Swagbucks! Happy Haunting...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Swagbucks: Vampires vs Zombies

    Halloween is just around the corner, and Swagbucks is joining in the fun with festivities of their own. In addition to the regular ways to earn Swagbucks (daily checklist, special offers, tasks, surveys, search, SBTV, games, codes, and the new and improved Shop & Earn) there is a battle between vampires and zombies going on. Watch this video to find out more information on that: Zombies vs. Vampires: Which Team Will Win? - Swagbucks TV
     If you aren't getting free rewards at Swagbucks yet, now is the time to start.The haunting time is near, which can only mean Swagbucks HallowEARN Collector's Bills  are here. From now to the end of October, you can collect up to five festive bills just from searching online via Swagbucks Search. Collect all five to immediately win a bonus of 13SB. That sure will come in handy to completing your Daily Ghoul Meter and earning eve more bonus SB.
    Are you still wondering what Swagbucks are? Click here to find my first post about it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Denim Bibs

     I hate when jeans get holes in them. I also hate when they don't fit anymore...although lately, mine aren't fitting because they are too big!
     I figured there was something I could make out of them, so I started saving unusable jeans. A thought came to me as I was sorting thought Big E's clothes. All of the bibs we used for her are disgusting. They look terrible. I would never take them into public. So, I thought that jeans would make really good bibs. They are dark and heavy so stuff wouldn't soak through to the clothes underneath. Besides, Little E needs a few things that aren't hand-me-downs anyhow.
     Basically, I took a bib we already had and made a pattern from it. If you don't have a bib laying around, you could probably find a pattern on the internet. After I had my pattern cut, I just added cute stuff and a snap. Here's the result:

  • Create a pattern for a bib by tracing an existing one, or print a pattern from the Internet. Make it slightly larger than you want the bib to be to allow for seams.
  • Cut two pieces for each bib; one denim and one backing fabric.
  • Sew ribbons, fabric, or whatever decoration you want onto the denim piece.
  • Put right sides together on both pieces and sew together. Leave a couple inches open so you can flip it  the right way to finish the bib.
  • Flip the bib the right way and pin up the hole. Sew around the edges for a finished look.
  • Add velcro or snaps for a closure.
Extra details:
The backing on each bib pictured matches the fabric on the front. I just used leftover fabric scraps and ribbon.
I used a zig-zag stitch to sew around the butterfly.
Craft stores sell iron on patches and words that would be cute on these bibs too.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Plan Oct 15-19

     Short and sweet today: I'm so excited for this week's meals! Some old favorite and some great sounding new recipes to try.

Sausage Pizza Roll Ups, broccoli
Meatloaf, Green Beans, Rolls
Whole Wheat Caprese Lasagna
chicken Garlic Stir-fry
pizza roll ups

linked to menu plan monday

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple Scones

     I have another great Fall recipe for you today. I'm inspired by my friend who makes scones as much as I make muffins. Scones seems so fancy. Maybe it's just the name. I made Strawberry White Chocolate Scones one other time. They weren't too hard to make and they were so delicious, so I don't know what has taken me so long to try again.
     These Apple Scones were inspired by a post from What's Brewing in the Kitchen. I was assigned to this blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, and I couldn't pick just one recipe. See my post for SRC here: Pork Stir Fry with Garlic Sauce
     I made some adjustments to make the scones a little healthier (more fiber & protein, lower sugar). I added whole wheat flour, substituted some sugar for stevia, skipped peeling the apples, and added cinnamon and sugar sprinkles before baking. You may also notice, the original recipe was a stovetop recipe. If you are interested, the nutritional information (per scone) is listed just below the picture.
     Overall, the scones were easy to make. Big E helped me mix everything together and press it into a big square. She also helped brush on the milk wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. The scones turned out rich and hearty. They weren't dry, but they weren't necessarily moist either. Perfect with a cup of coffee, I'd say. Big E asked for them for a snack, but she kept saying, "Can I have a scotch?" Ha! Of course, she had no idea what it sounded like she was asking for.
164 calories, 23g carbs, 7g fats, 5g protein, 5g sugar, and 4g fiber

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp stevia powder
2 Tbl sugar
4 Tbl butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large apple, cored and finely diced
2 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, stevia, and sugar
  • Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbles.
  • Combine the egg and yogurt.
  • Stir in the yogurt mixture and the apples.
  • On a flour surface, pat the dough into a half-inch thick square. Use a pizza cutter to cut into fourths, then cut each fourth in half to make 8 triangles.
  • Place triangles on a  parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  • Brush each scone with milk and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar
  • Bake @ 425 for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Shiny Toe Caps

     One thing I hate more than anything else is buying something that is immediately broken or ruined. This happened recently. We had to buy Big E some black dress shoes. She wore them a total of three times before the toe was broken up and peeling. Now, I realize this might not be as big of an issue if we had real leather shoes. But, spending $50 on shoes that a kid will only be able to wear for two or three months is crazy. Besides, leather gets scuffed up too.
     Well, I searched Pinterest and the rest of the Internet until I found a solution. I found a lot of tutorials on spray painting shoes, using acrylic paints, and even mod podge with glitter. To me, these solutions were temporary. These glues/paints were not made to be used on clothes, so they would probably just flake off and I'd be in the same situation again in another week. As I mentioned before, this drives me crazy! One solution I found that seemed worth trying was Freesole.
     Free sole is a urethane formula that is used to protect and repair shoes. I figured if any other shoes fall apart in a week or my soles come undone, I will be able to use it again. So, I justified it was worth the $7. That is still cheaper than buying new shoes every time they get scuffed up. Click here to see it on Amazon:Gear Aid Freesole Urethane Formula Shoe Repair 1oz

     Well, after applying, there is still plenty left in the tube for other repairs. As you can see, Big E now has shiny toes and heels just to make it look like it was supposed to be that way. Shiny Shoes are a big hit with the three year old crowd. The scuffs are covered (I did color them in with a sharpie first), and the shoes should be protected from further toe damage.
     This smell of the freesole will knock your head off. It's pretty strong, but it's easy to use. It's like a thick gel. I used a paintbrush to spread it on after the area was taped up. Don't worry about brushmarks; they disappear as it sets. I got a little on my finger, and it washed off easily with soap and water. I removed the tape after about 45 minutes, and then let it dry all the way.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Stir-Fry with Garlic Sauce

     It's Secret Recipe time again. This month, I was given the blog What's Brewing in the Kitchen. My favorite thing about Amy and Zach's blog is the number of healthy recipes they have posted. There were so many delicious looking recipes, it was hard to pick just one to spotlight for this month's reveal. I've pinned apple scones and parmesan crusted chicken to make another time, but I'm focusing on this stir-fried pork today.
     I took Amy's advice and bought the hoisin sauce and sesame oil. She was right, it really set this stir-fry apart from others. I think there will be plenty of recipes to try using those ingredients, especially since we love Asian inspired dishes.
    Overall, the pork stir fry was excellent. It was full of flavor and pretty easy to make. The hardest part was figuring out the amount of ingredients to use, since my pork was about 1-1/4 lb! Everyone at our house enjoyed it very much. We actually made it twice, since we bought a whole bottle of dry sherry to make it. We also used the dry sherry for a chicken recipe that I'll be posting pretty soon.
     If you are interested in the nutritional information, with my 1-1/4lb pork and all the proportional adjustments, I ended up with 3-1/2 one-cup servings.  The nutritional information will be the same, just not as many servings. This dish has 342 calories, 14g carbs, 15g fats, 29g protein, 6g sugar, and 3g of fiber per one-cup serving. I served this with 2/3cup of brown rice which brought my calorie total for this dinner to 494.

slightly adapted from What's Brewing in the Kitchen
3/4 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl fresh ginger
5 tsp peanut oil
a handful of diced onion
orange or red bell pepper, sliced
bag of frozen broccoli
Garlic Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 Tbl hoisin sauce
1 Tbl soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

  • Toss the pork with the soy sauce and sherry. 
  • In another small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and 2tsp of the oil.
  • Prepare the garlic sauce.
  • Heat 1 more teaspoon of oil in a skillet over high. 
  • Add pork and cook, stirring to break up clumps, until browned. Transfer to clean bowl.
  • Add 1 more teaspoon of oil to the same pan. Add onion and cook until tender.
  • Add another teaspoon of oil and bell pepper and cook until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, steam the frozen broccoli.
  • Add the garlic mixture you made at the beginning.
  • Stir into the vegetables and add the pork and broccoli.
  • Whisk the garlic sauce and add to the skillet.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Apple Pie Parfait

     Fall is the perfect time to make foods containing apples. Apples are the most delicious at this time of the year. Since I've been trying to eat healthier, I didn't make an apple pie this year. (If you are looking for a recipe, this one is my favorite)
     This parfait is perfect for breakfast or a desert that you don't have to feel guilty about eating. It tastes like an apple pie, but is filled with protein, fiber, and other good stuff. As pictured, the parfait has 263 calories, 38g carbs, 10g fats, 12g proteins, 24g sugar, and 5g of fiber. Of course, if you use slightly different ingredients, it may vary a bit.

1/4 cup granola (This is my favorite homemade version)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 Tbl honey
1/2 an apple

  • Slice up the apple, sprinkle with cinnamon and cook in the microwave until tender. 
  • Layer yogurt drizzled with honey, granola, and apples. It's more fun to eat it in a fancy cup.

DIY Preschool Recap Oct 1-5, 2012

     For preschool this week, our theme was one of my favorite things: Ice Cream! Big E loved learning about ice cream, and even had a chance to make her own at the end of the week. As you can guess, our letter of the week was Ii. The number was 4, and the word was "can."

Daily Skills:
AWANA verse & activities
Calendar time: add day, count days, sing days of week, months, today is...
color, number, letter, word of week review
Sing ABC's while point to the correct letter (one-to-one correspondence)
Skill of day: inchworm pattern, graphing, and counting, BrainQuest pages, colors and shapes
Read Easy Reader

Other Activities:
Look at I is for page, cut those apart
Use I is for and H is for page cutouts to sort by beginning sounds
Add I is for pictures to our Alpha-book (pictured here)
Look for "I" everywhere (stores, books, etc)
Put snack in groups of 4, give each person 4, add 4 raisins to ants on a log
spell "can" with playdoh or magnetic letters
look for "can" in books and on signs
review sight words: "and, the, see" fishing game (magnetic fish, read the word when caught)
review sight words: pick up game (throw down cards with words, and she picks up what I call out)
Read families-themed books: Curious George Goes to the Ice Cream Shop, Milk to Ice Cream, From Milk to Ice Cream
Make I letter craft
make homemade ice cream in ziploc bag (recipe follows)
Starfall.com "I", calendar
H puzzle
alphabet maze  I
Kumon cutting page

Ice Cream in a bag recipe:
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbl sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

2 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup salt

  • Put milk, sugar, and vanilla in a small resealable bag. Tape the bag to ensure it stays closed tight. 
  • Fill a large resealable bag with the ice cubes and salt.
  • Put the milk bag inside the ice bag. Tape up the ice bag too.
  • Shake the bags until the mixture turns into ice cream.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Oct 7-13

     This week will be filled with fun Fall activities. I think Fall might be my favorite time of year...or at least I really like doing Fall type activities. Hayrides, Headless Horseman, pumpkin patch, bonfires, and apple orchards are all among my favorite things. I don't like the cold that comes with it, but I deal with it to do the fun stuff. On a side note, a bonfire isn't complete without s'mores...or my two variations thereof: using Reese cups instead of a chocolate bar...or using dark chocolate and raspberries with the marshmallows. Yum!
     Despite all these fun Fall activities, I've still be working my rear off at the gym. Literally. I'm down 8lbs in two months! Slowly, I'm finding ways to enjoy my favorite foods in healthier ways or in moderation. I've signed up for a 5k on Thanksgiving Day, so I'll be able to make up for having to eat 2 Thanksgiving dinners! I'm already planning how to eat healthy on that day too.

     When we will be eating at home, this is our plan:

yogurt parfaits with frozen berries and granola
egg and turkey bacon sandwiches
oatmeal with cookie butter!
chocolate oatmeal pancakes
apple muffins (whole wheat, naturally sweetened)

fruit and cheese sticks
crackers or veggies and hummus
nuts/trail mix

Taco Salad
Pork in Garlic Sauce, brown rice
peanut butter and berries sandwiches (brown bag dinner!)
Headless Horseman foods
Broccoli & Italian Sausage Pasta
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza on whole wheat beer batter pizza dough

Linked up to Menu Plan Monday
Taco Salad

Special Note

For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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