I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel as if this whole weekend is just going by so quickly. I can’t believe we are already half way through Sunday. I love being busy and having a lot of plans and events to attend, but sometimes it’s nice to just R-E-S-T. You know what they say though, time flies when you’re having fun, and a lot of that has been happening. It all started before the weekend had even officially began.
On Friday I didn’t have a moment to myself beginning at 5:30 am, until Saturday at 12:00 am when my head finally hit the pillow. We hosted Tim’s parents at our house Friday night for a special birthday dinner in his mother’s honor. I really enjoyed planning and creating the menu for her night. Starting on Thursday evening, I began the preparation for the dinner party. I created the marinade for the pork tenderloin. I cleaned and cut the brussels sprouts. Laid out ingredients for.. wait I forgot that part. I had a dessert in mind that takes planning ahead, including bringing ingredients to room temperature, baking the item and refrigerating overnight. I meant to make it Thursday, but somehow it completely slipped my mind. More on that in a bit, but first came a few still delicious, yet saltier decisions.
The main dish was a pork tenderloin, marinated overnight Thursday, and then grilled Friday night. I adapted my version of the pork tenderloin marinade from a Cooking Light magazine recipe, Pan-Grilled Ginger-Honey Pork Tenderloin.
3 pound pork tenderloin, marinated overnight in…
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
I used this Toasted Sesame Ginger Seasoning, but basic sesame seeds would work just fine.
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Mix together all ingredients. Pour over pork in large bowl.
Marinate over night in the refrigerator.
Heat grill pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle a little Olive Oil. Cook Pork, covered, for 15 minutes on each side. (This depends on the temperature of your burner. If not fully cooked inside, either place pork on a roasting rack and bake at 350 degrees for an extra 10 minutes, or slice pork into 1 inch thick and cook in grill pan over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes.)
The actual Cooking Light recipe called for the pork to be grilled simply with salt and pepper, and then to baste the marinade onto the pork. I decided to marinate overnight though and I am glad I did. The pork was so tender and literally melted in your mouth. I think this had a lot to do with the acid from the lemon juice and sodium in the soy sauce breaking down the meat while it refrigerated. The magazine also did not include olive oil, garlic, pepper or sesame seeds, but I thought these additional ingredients gave the pork just a little extra kick.
The next item on the menu was Rosemary and Parsley Roasted Red Potatoes.
Set oven to 450 degrees.
Using 1 bag of roasted red potatoes, wash and cut into 4 or 8 pieces, depending on size of potato, and place on large baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper, dried rosemary and dried parsley as desired
Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.
Broil 1-2 minutes on high until potatoes are a nice golden brown.
As a second side dish, I made pan fried brussels sprouts. I meant to bake them in the oven, but time got away from me so this way worked just fine.
2 teaspoons bacon grease (just a little goes a long way and adds a ton of extra flavor) or olive oil
Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half,
Sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Over medium-high heat, melt grease/drizzle oil around pan.
Pan-sear brussel sprouts for 7-10 minutes until cooked through, with a slight bite to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in bow.
As an end to the meal and a way to top off the celebration, I wanted to make a stand out sweet treat. That is why I still couldn’t believe I had almost forgotten, in my opinion, the best part of all! This dessert is my husband’s absolute favorite, and he somehow convinced me it was his mom’s as well. I am still not sure if this was simply a trick for him to get to enjoy the dessert he loves the most, but either way I thought everyone would enjoy it. However, I had forgotten about the preparation and cooling time. How would it turn out? How would it taste? Could I finish in time, or would the night end on a sour note?……
Questions for the Readers
If you could pick any dessert to have for your birthday, what would it be?
What meals do you think are worth the extra planning and preparation time it takes to make them?