Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Date Night at the Casino

Had an outstanding meal again at the PY Steakhouse at Casino de Sol.

Date Night

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Meet our neighbors' new puppy, five-week-old Greyson! So cute.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Dontcha just want one? or two? This is Linus, the newest addition to our friends Sara & Bill's family. So full of fun personality!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wow! We're back after a huge hiatus. To get started, here's a great video I saw today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just a Few Pictures of Our Recent Snowfall

Well, I haven't posted in months, so I thought I'd get back into the swing by posting a few pictures of our substantial (for Tucson area) snowfall which we woke up to the other morning. Believe me, it was quite a surprise. We knew there'd be a chance, but nothing like we ended up getting. Really beautiful to see and fun to be in -- for a few minutes!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pool Update

These are a few shots of what's going on out back. So far, so good. No problems.

Pool Update

Here are a few more photos of what's happening out back. So far, so good. No problems!

I Finally Found a Use for My Fish Poacher

Let just start out saying this is the second time I've made this recipe, and liked it way better the first time through. I think I know why; there are a couple of differences. The first go-around, I tied together two pork loins, cut from a full loin bought at Costco. Also, I used dried sage, not fresh. Okay, so those are the main differences. The wider thickness of the two loins tied together allowed a longer roast, so it didn't dry out. Also, the fresh sage is so incredibly strong that it gave the second roast a soapy taste. Not pleasant! I tell a lie; there's a third difference. The first time, I used thin slices of pancetta, not smoky bacon. With the bacon, the roast was constantly bathed in bacon fat, so it kind of stewed in a pool of juicy fat, which I ended up draining off.

Enough with all that. How do you like my new brining vessel? It worked perfectly, and I'll use it again for pork roasts and cut-up chickens. The fish poacher has sat in its original box, on a shelf in a storage bin in the garage, for the last twelve years. I'm so glad it wasn't donated to the thrift shop. It fits nicely on the fridge shelf too, not too bulky.

Here's the recipe from Epicurious, with my parenthetical changes/comments.

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Loin

For brining pork
8 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B or amber)
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh sage (dried is fine, actually not as strong)
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed (I used two tied together)

For roasting pork
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage (used 1 tablespoon dry)
3 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B or amber)
16 bacon slices (about 1 lb) (Better with pancetta)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water

Brine Pork:

Combine all brining ingredients except pork loin in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan and heat over high heat, stirring, until salt is dissolved. Pour brine into a deep 4- to 5-quart pot; cool to room temperature, uncovered, about 2 hours.

Add pork to brine, making sure it is completely covered by brine, and marinate, covered and chilled, 8 to 24 hours.

Roast pork:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Pat pork dry (discard brine) and remove any strings, then transfer to a roasting pan. Stir together garlic, sage, and 1 tablespoon syrup in a small bowl and rub all over pork. Lay bacon slices crosswise over loin, overlapping slightly, and tuck ends of bacon underneath loin.

Roast pork until thermometer registers 140°F, about 1 1/4 hours. Stir together 1 tablespoon syrup and vinegar until combined. Brush vinegar mixture over bacon slices and continue to roast pork until thermometer registers 150°F, about 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand in pan 15 minutes. Transfer roast to a cutting board with a lip, reserving juices in pan, and let roast stand, uncovered, while making sauce.

Skim fat from pan juices and discard, then transfer jus to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into jus. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon syrup. Serve pork with sauce.