Sunday, January 26, 2014

Best Weekend

It was inevitable. I knew the blog hiatus would happen, and it's not as though I didn't have absolutely any time to blog, but sometimes those extra few minutes that I did have I simply wanted to sit and relax and maybe just sit on Pinterest for a few (or 60) minutes. I have also been engaging in some mindless pleasure reading, which has just been good for my soul. Westwood has been crazy, but fun, and tomorrow is the day that I take over the classes full time - yikes! Bring on the lesson planning and grading! My workouts have been a lot of running, and my meals have not been anything special - aside from some apple pork tenderloin I whipped up in the crock pot last week.

The recipe is extremely easy, and though the pictures aren't exactly appetizing, it sure tastes great, so if you want something healthy and just a little bit sweet, this recipe might be the one for you.

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 apple (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 squash
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon


1. Slice slits into pork tenderloin horizontally, about 3/4 of the way through the meat
2. Place one apple slice in each slit
3. Transfer porkloin to crock pot and drizzle with honey and cinnamon
4. Slice onion, sprinkling onion slices over the porkloin
5. Surround porkloin with remaining apple slices
6. Cook on low for about 4 hours
7. Cook broccoli and zucchini/squash in the crock pot with the pork tenderloin, or in the oven for 18 minutes heated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit - this step is completely up to you!
8. Enjoy! 

I, of course, recommend topping it with salsa
This recipe (inspired by this recipe) could easily serve 5 people, or it can last you five meals - so whether you are hoping to entertain or come home to a delicious dinner, you should give it a try.

In addition to spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen, I also enjoyed dinner with Dylan at a delicious new restaurant, Parkside (a sister restaurant to Olive and June), and we both agreed that this one might just top our list of restaurants.

We split the Friday evening special - the Grilled NY Strip for two, which came cooked medium rare, and with a side of delicious vegetables. In addition to the vegetables that came with our meal, we opted for a side of sweet and sour brussels sprouts that were extra delicious due to the addition of spiced peanuts. I tried to imitate the flavor when I tried my own hand at making brussels sprouts for the first time, and though they were fairly tasty, they just weren't quite the same. Guess I'll just have to keep trying!

My attempt
This past weekend was truly a great one. Austin got a little surprise when the entire city essentially shut down due to a "snow" day, so we had ourselves another 3-day weekend. Something tells me this 5-day week is going to be rough! Anyway, I obviously didn't have to go to school, but I was also unable to take my English Language Arts certification exam that was scheduled for Friday morning. I woke up at 6am, thinking I would certainly find an email telling me whether or not the exam was still happening. There was no such email in my inbox, but I quickly learned that the testing center wasn't scheduled to open until 11am, and my test date would have to be rescheduled. I still don't know when that will be, but fingers crossed that it's soon!

The little bit of snow and ice that was on the roads cleared up by the late morning, so there was nothing stopping the Hills YoungLife from heading south on I-35 toward Lake McQueeney for our spring all-area retreat. I'll admit right off the bat that I had a pretty bad attitude about the retreat, mainly because I was tired from the craziness of the past week, and the weather didn't do much to help my mood. So, though I went in with a pretty sour attitude, I ended up having such a great time. It was certainly cold, and while I did not join my teammates in their 11:30pm lake jump, I did enjoy a night of rest, laughter, encouragement, and worship. I don't think I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a great community, and it was so nice to be able to take a step back from the craziness that surrounds all of us and enjoy just being together.

In contrast to a chilly Friday, Saturday and Sunday were absolutely beautiful days here in Austin. Dylan, my roommate Jamie Lynn, and I took advantage of the perfect (albeit windy) weather and headed out to Capitol City Trap and Skeet Club. Remember the last time I did that?

Last round we shot sporting clays, but this time we shot skeet. I'm still not very good, but I sure had a lot of fun doing it, and I had two great teachers in Dylan and Jamie Lynn.

And now I'm ready to curl up with a book and go to sleep early, because something tells me this week will have me moving at 100 miles per hour. My heart is full from this weekend, though, so I already know that it's going to be a great week. Here's to touching base with y'all at least once this week (though I make no promises)!

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