Friday, September 10, 2010

Do it yourself, gosh darn it!

That's DIY, I mean. As in the DIY Street Fair. I'm rushing out the door to get myself down to Chicago for this weekend's Renegade Craft Fair, but wanted to pop in quickly so you can plan for next weekend's not-to-be-missed event: the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (9/17-19) — that's two days and three nights — of live music, lip-smacking good craft beers from the Mitten and lip-smacking good craft crafts from the Mitten, too! This is one of my favorite shows so I hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cuban-Style Pork worthy of the clipping service

My stepfather, Dennis, is not known for his culinary expertise. He has two specialties in the kitchen: meatballs and meatloaf. (Yes, that's two.) Dennis does, however, have a penchant for clipping articles out of newspapers. If he finds out you are interested in a topic, you'll have your own personal clipping service whether you like it or not. The boy, for example, regularly receives envelopes in the mail with all articles pertaining to solar power Dennis can lay his hands on — no note, no post-it, just the articles neatly trimmed from the page. I think it's sweet. That said, with all his clipping, it is rare to find a recipe in his archives. Yes, he may find something on an unusual cocktail on rare occasion, which we then try out at the next family gathering, but, recipes are not the norm. That is why it is so unusual that the one I'm about to lay down was cut out by him back in the 90s. Something about it caught his eye and my mother, brothers and I have been making it ever since. It's chock full of citrus and garlic and easily straddles this strange season between summer and fall.  

Cuban-Style Pork 
Serves 4.

1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tb freshly squeezed lime juice
1 pork tenderloin or 4 boneless center-cut pork chops
1 Tb olive oil

Combine onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper in a baking dish just large enough to hold the pork in a single layer. Pour orange and lime juices over and stir to combine. Add pork and marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill. Remove chops from marinade, scraping off excess. Grill until just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side depending on size of tenderloin, or until a meat thermometer reads between145º and 155º. Remove and let rest five minutes before slicing to serve. 

If making chops, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high. Add pork, after scraping off excess marinade and cook each side 4 to 5 minutes, or until just cooked through.

While the pork is cooking, pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 3 to 5 minutes to make it safe for consumption. Spoon over pork and serve with rice and baby carrots sprinkled with a tiny bit of cinnamon and allspice.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

I finally signed up for The Sketchbook Project 2011! "It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks," says the web site. What a great concept! Everyone who participates receives a blank Moleskin sketchbook and a theme. You fill the book with your scribblings and nonsense and then send it back. In March 2011, the books will go on tour en masse visiting museums and galleries in Brooklyn, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland (ME) and Atlanta. It then finds its way back to become part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. The project is organized by Art House Co-op which specializes in huge international art projects open to anyone and tying thousands of artists and everyday folks together.

When you sign up, you have the option of choosing a theme or having one selected at random for you. There were just too many good ones:
•    Help!
•    Jackets, blankets, and sheets
•    Things found on restaurant napkins
•    It's raining dogs and cats
•    Revenge
•    Trading forever
•    Dirigibles and submersibles
•    Capture the flag
•    ... you'd be home by now
•    Make mine a double
•    In 5 minutes...
•    Adhere to me
•    Coffee and cigarettes
•    Boys and girls
•    The greatest story ever told
•    Science project gone wrong
•    Down your street
•    Secret codes

I had one selected at random and am really excited because it wasn't even on the list: A record year for rainfall. Yay!  It's due back in January, so I better get drawing… but the project is open to anyone, so go check it out and get your sketchbook!