Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the Kitchen With Chris: Honey Soy Pork Tenderloin

Are you guys aware that Kris Jenner is releasing a cookbook that's ALSO entitled "In the Kitchen With Kris"?! What kind of chance do you think I have with the lawsuit I plan to bring against her?

I moved out of my comfort zone this week. I've been fairly successful in the kitchen since I began taking on these culinary experiments. I've been successful at cooking chicken, and chicken, and chicken, and chicken, and chicken.

I picked a Honey Soy Pork Tenderloin, largely because I have the sense of humor of an eleven year old, and the word "pork" kinda makes me giggle, but also because I bought soy sauce for another recipe awhile ago, and I don't know what the hell else to do with it. I found it on Pinterest (obvies), you can find it on my Pinterest boards here. Or you can view the recipe on the site where it originated at Add a Pinch.

It's another crock pot recipe, so I figured I could do my shopping on Sunday night after work, run home on my lunch break Monday afternoon to throw everything together, and when I got home that evening I'd have a delicious meal waiting for me.

And that's basically how it happened...with a few hiccups along the way.

It was nothing major, considering the troubles I usually run into. Like, if we're comparing forgetting my grocery list to that time that I almost died from all the smoke pouring from my oven when I tried to make Grilled Cheese Pull Apart Bread (I'm just promoting the shit out of my old posts this week), this week was a breeze.

I got off work at 9 and stopped back at home to change into something a little less godawful than the olive green polo and name-tag that I'd been wearing all day. My phone was beeping incessantly at me, begging to be plugged in. I figured I'd only be gone for fifteen minutes, and I could go fifteen minutes without my phone. So I plugged it in and left, honestly feeling like I'd accomplished something important.

Yeah, that's right. I don't even need to play Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for 15 minutes.

What I did need was the list of ingredients that I'd saved on my phone.

It's a testament to how easy this recipe is that I remembered all of the ingredients without the list. The only one that I had trouble with was some seasoning that I couldn't remember the name of. But after explaining to the Cub Foods employee unlucky enough to ask me if he could help me find anything that I was looking for some seasoning, but I didn't remember the name, and I didn't know what it looked like, but I was pretty sure it was Canadian; we were able to narrow it down to Montreal steak seasoning.

Here's what you'll need if you want to give this one a try yourself:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 cloves minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 2 1/2-3 lb pork tenderloin

Then you just spray the crock pot, throw in the meat, mix up the rest of the junk and pour that on top. Cook on high for four hours or on low for six hours.

A child could make this.

So on Monday I told my co-workers I was going to take an extra fifteen minutes for lunch to give myself plenty of time to get back home, do the required measuring, and mixing, and pouring, and get back to work. I was feeling pretty confident until I unwrapped the pork loin and it ripped right apart as I tried to pull it out of the package. I was a little bit psyched about somehow having gained enough super strength to rip apart pork flesh without even trying, but after considering the responsibilities that would come along with suddenly becoming a superhero (fighting crime seems hard and scary, no thank you, please), I decided to investigate other explanations.

Turns out I'd bought Pork Tenderloin Tips instead of just a regular whole Pork Tenderloin, and I reacted in the way that I do every time something goes wrong when I cook.

Full on panic.

I immediately began trying to run contingency plans in my head. Running to the store to buy a new tenderloin wasn't possible in the time period I had. Maybe I could just order pizza tonight? I could put the pieces back together in the shape of the tube that it came in using toothpicks and the power of prayer to hold them together?

I only had a few minutes left on my lunch break though, and I did not have time to be doing slimy meat puzzles.

So I just threw the pork tips into the crock pot, dumped on the rest of the ingredients, crossed my fingers, and headed back to work.

In the end it just ended up taking a little less time than anticipated, but the finished product was so delicious, albiet super hideous.

It looked a little better once it was on the plate (and paired with some wine).

Omm. Nom. Nom.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Top Gun

Okay, you guys, Top Gun is awesome.

Of course, my opinion of this movie can probably be explained by the fact that I'm also a fan of gay porn.

Seriously though. Straight guys are getting into this movie?!

I've indignantly refused to watch Top Gun for some time now. I claimed no interest in cheesy 80's action movies. Then I was moved to tears by Terminator. I'd decided that Tom Cruise couldn't be taken seriously after that whole couch jumping period he went through. Then I re-watched Interview With the Vampire, and remembered that he is actually super talented (and super gorgeous). I also had a problem taking any movie seriously that featured 80's power ballads on their soundtracks.

Top Gun has changed that for me. I want Kenny Loggins's Danger Zone playing in the background every time I do anything. I want it playing when I'm brushing my teeth in the morning. I want it playing while I'm road raging at fellow motorists on my way to work. I want it playing as I shake the vending machine that my pop tarts are stuck in. I want it playing as I sit pantsless, watching What Not to Wear, elbow deep in family sized bag of Cheetoes.

"Oh really, HyVee sales associate? You're out of Three Meat Totino's Pizza Rolls?"

"Well guess who's gonna walk out of here without making a fuss? This guy."

The only time I don't want Danger Zone playing is when things are about to get sexy, in which case, Berlin's Take My Breath Away will do quite nicely.

**Spoilers ahead**

So the breakdown of this movie is 10% people dramatically removing or putting on their sunglasses,

10% the most quotable lines in any movie I've ever seen,

and 80% the opening sequence of every gay porn ever.

It's not even subtle...

I spent much of the movie with my mouth agape, honestly wondering if maybe I'd accidentally grabbed some parody version of Top Gun at the video store (Versatile Bottom Gun, perhaps?), but I'm not even sure that Family Video has a back room for that kind of movie.

 The plot of the movie seems to take a backseat to finding ways to get these men engaged in sexually charged stares, homoerotic banter, or just straight up naked and touching each other. Tom Cruise, Maverick, is a bad boy fighter pilot with a vaguely shady past who, along with his partner, Goose (who has porniest mustache I've ever seen that's still somehow kinda sexy), get chosen to enter into the Navy's most elite flight school.

(Sexual) Tensions arise the first day in class between our main characters and Val Kilmer (who turns out was super f#%!ing hot once up on a time), Iceman, and his partner, Slider. They don't really say to much to each other, but they do blow each other with their eyes.

That's an awfully limp wrist I'm seeing on that extra sitting in the back of the classroom.

The rivalry between Maverick and Iceman builds as they both insist to the other that they'll end up as Top Gun, even though you can clearly tell they're definitely both power bottoms. The whole situation comes to a head when the two duos run into each other at a bar, and Goose and Slider have this discussion about ass play and penis size.

Yeah. Something's definitely flaming here.

We're also introduced to some chick that's going to be Maverick's beard for the rest of the movie. He goes after her pretty hard, but he does it via a musical number surrounded by twenty men, all dressed identically singing back-up.

You're not fooling anyone, Mav.

There were a lot of scenes of them flying around in their planes at this point, and quite frankly I was confused by most of them. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight when they were all shouting into their walkie-talkies and wearing helmets...and pants. I'm pretty sure that the gist of it was that Iceman was in the lead in the rankings, 'cause Maverick was a rebel and super not into safety or rules.

It all boils over when everyone is standing around naked and sweaty in the locker room. Iceman calls Maverick dangerous in the locker room, and the assertiveness of the whole thing is such a turn on that Maverick just goes ahead and ssumes the position right there in front of everyone.

Look at the guy on the left checking him out. I'm not even making this stuff up, you guys.

After that whole incident, Mav starts to really look at his life, look at his choices.

Just accept it, we'll all still love you.

They shove a bunch more plot in here, but I'm not sure about the timeline of the events anymore, mostly because I'd given up on taking plot notes, and focused instead on noting every scene in the movie where I saw nipples.

Like their super intimate volleyball game.

I need someone to tell me if straight guys really behave like this. If so, I'll seriously consider going back into the closet.

Towards the end, shit got super real. Goose is killed in a horrible accident during one of their drills. It's a pretty shocking and sad moment, and it brought me to the brink of tears. Tears that I'm certain would have  spilled if the very next scene (seriously, RIGHT after they pull his body out of the ocean) wasn't this...

Dat ass.

The movie got significantly less porn-y from this point on, and I got significantly less interested. I'm pretty sure Iceman wins Top Gun, but it's fine because Maverick learned something more important about himself or whatever. Then they go off and shoot down some bad guys (at least I think they did, I'd moved on to my second bottle of wine this point).

I really think I'm going to recommend that they reconsidering leaving this DVD where kids or fundamentalist Christians can see it when I return it to the video store.

Shit, Becky.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

On Tuesdays We Drink Pink

A few weeks ago I received a text message at 10 o'clock on a Tuesday night instructing me to come to the bar. I was moments from getting into bed, but I figured I could go down for one drink just to say hello.

The night ended at 2:30 in the morning with me sitting pantsless on my living room floor, devouring a pizza that had not been given enough time to cool, shouting, "LORELEI F#%!ING LOVES YOU, LUKE. QUIT BEING A DICK!" at my TV.

Things got a little out of hand, and I blame the Vodka Collins.

That delicious pink elixir transports me back to a simpler time. A time when the syrupy sweetness of grenadine didn't immediately make me consider calorie counts. A time when getting accidentally drunk on a Tuesday night was kind of expected. When my nights out were bankrolled entirely by all the student loan cash in my checking account. When the only responsibility I had the next day was a class that I was just going to blow off to watch twelve straight hours of Top Chef in my dimly lit apartment anyway.

A time when I was 21.

I've recently added a few younger people into my social circle (including an especially feisty 21 year old). It could be because they're awesome and super fun to be around, but it's probably because the last time I was home my dad chuckled and pointed out that the hair on the top of my head was getting pretty thin, and now I'm trying desperately to still be young and hip.

As if I was ever hip.

It was with this group that these poor Tuesday night choices were made. And I paid the price. The rest of the week was shit. I'd fallen behind on sleep far too early in the week, so when 8:30 on Friday night rolled around, I got a text that was all, "Where are you? Are you still meeting us out tonight?," and I was all, "I've been in bed for two hours, don't call here again, f#%!er."

You can imagine my hesitance when I was informed that due to the "success" of the previous week, Drunk Tuesdays was now a thing, and I was to start planning my life accordingly.

They just didn't understand...

I just can't bounce back like you guys anymore.

So Tuesday rolled around, and I adamantly refused to join. I'd worked two shifts that day. After I paid my cell phone bill, I was going to have $6 in my bank account for the rest of the week. And I was still trying to bounce back from drinking until dawn around a campfire for "Roomie Reunion: Wilderness Edition" that Saturday. Another drunken late night was absolutely, positively, under no circumstances, out. of. the. question.

But it would be rude not to stop down and say "Hi."

I was there for maybe ten minutes before I shouted, "F#%! MY PHONE BILL!" and ordered two more drinks.

If you're legitimately concerned for my well being and troubled by my recent decision making. Don't worry. I am too. And I know about all of the choices I've made that I haven't blogged about.

This phone bill should have been paid weeks ago. I've had the money in the account, sitting, waiting for me to call in and just make the stupid payment. But my bank account just looks so empty once that money is gone. So I put it off. I got text message reminders letting me know my account was past due. I got warnings that they may need to discontinue my service. I even got a voicemail asking me to kindly review my account balance and deal with my shit.

I was totally gonna pay it too. Like a bunch of times. I would get one of those text messages and think, "Oh yeah, I gotta do that...once I finish this photo shoot on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Or I'd listen to a voicemail and be like, "I haven't done that yet? Once this episode of Buffy that I've seen a billion times is over, I'm totally on that." I got as far as calling in and setting up the payment, but in the end it asked me to enter my account's PIN number.

Which is something entirely new to me, so I just hung up and ate pizza rolls instead.

So by the time Tuesday rolled around, there was a good chance that my phone was going to be disconnected due to my own idiocy. As I sat with my first drink, (purchased by a friend who had taken pity on my sad financial state) I started to think it through,
"I'm getting paid on Friday. I'll easily be able to pay the bill then. And it's Tuesday night meaning there's only like two days before that. I could dip into that phone bill money just a little bit. Even if they did turn my phone off. I could survive two days without it. In fact, it might even be good for me. I really shouldn't be as dependent on my cell phone as I am. You know, now that I think about it, this might honestly be the best thing that could happen to me right now."

Someone else should be making the decisions in my life.

The night was a blast. The morning was a disaster. I should have known better.

Karaoke is different though. I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow.