Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Venison Tenderloin Roast

I'm a lucky girl in many ways, but I am definitely lucky to have to step-father who shares the spoils of his hunting expeditions.  And last year, he got two deer, so there was a lot of sharing!

Since deer season is set to begin again in his area, I'm in a mad dash to finish all of the wonderful cuts of meat we got last year and this tenderloin is actually part of a larger roast I made into stew a few weeks back.  It was a small roast--maybe one pound tops--so it was perfect for a quick and yummy weeknight dinner for two.

Plus, once it was defrosted, it only took 10 minutes to prepare--start to finish! 

Pan-seared Venison Tenderloin
1 lb. tenderloin (whole)
2 Tbs. garlic powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. cracked black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil

Heat a frying/sautee pan over high heat.  Add olive oil.

Pat dry tenderloin with paper towels, and evenly apply garlic, salt, and pepper.

Once the oil is shimmery and just starting to smoke, add the tenderloin.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side--probably 4 sides--for a rare center and medium rare ends.  It should be dark brown but not burnt.  Turn off heat and remove loin to carving surface and tent with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.

*You can use a similar preparation for a beef or pork tenderloin as well, if you finish it off in the oven since they are generally much larger than 1 lb.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knitting in Round

A while back, I posted that I was planning to knit a hat.  After a few consultations with some of my knitting helpers and an Amazon purchase of double-sided needles, I started knitting. Now that I'm about halfway through, I wanted to share the lessons I've learned so far.

Before we get started, please keep in mind that this hat is my first attempt at a few things:
1. I'm knitting off of a chart for the first time
2. I'm knitting in the round for the first time
3. I'm knitting a hat for the first time (I've crocheted hats, but never knitted one)

When reading a chart, make sure you read the accompanying instructions.  I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but sometimes there are things written in the directions that affect how you use the chart (i.e. change of needles).

Make sure you read the chart from right to left--the opposite of the direction in which you are currently reading this post. Charts are put together in the direction (most) people knit, and I'm finding it really helpful in visualizing my project as I knit.

Another cool thing about the chart--it's very easy to keep tabs on how many stitches you're supposed to have, and that you've made the right stitch in the right place, too.  I'm really wondering why I haven't used charts before now and what I was so afraid of! 

Which leads me into my next learning curve topic:  When knitting in the round, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LOSE ANY STITCHES off the ends of your needles.  I don't know if I just have a stick management issue or what, but I just about had a breakdown yesterday when I started my cabling work and lost about 2 stitches off the ends of each needle in the process.  In order to combat this (and the 30 minutes it took me to locate and re-attach each lost stitch), I "MacGuyver'd" it.

I put hair elastics over the stitches at the end of each needle so I can keep them on while working other needles.  It's a bit rudimentary, but I knit a few rows like this last night, and it seems to be working really well.

I've been making myself knit at least one row a night, so I will get this done by mid-January at the latest (40 rows to go!) though I'm thinking I should be able to finish before Christmas for sure.  Pictures will be posted of the final project for sure, so keep an eye out.

Any other knitting tips you'd like to share? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas List


Today's freak snow storm has shifted my thoughts to winter, and with that, my favorite of sports--SKIING!

I hope Santa brings me some of this fun ski stuff, because even with the best intentions, I could NEVER make this stuff:


God, do I need new goggles. My current goggles are kids' goggles (my tiny face requires a small goggle) and since I couldn't find women's goggles when I bought them 5 years ago, they're ridiculously uncomfortable.  And since they're 5 years old and made many a ski trip, they're on the brink of totally busted...And these Smith goggles are so pretty!  And they'll fit my face. And my glasses.  And in my Christmas stocking.


I tried these out on a free demo last year, and I kind of fell in love.  I didn't think that after my K2 burning luv's I'd find another ski that I just felt so comfortable on automatically, but lightening struck twice with these.  There's no difference to the 2012/13 model from the 2011/12 model other than the graphics on top (something which Nordica actually admits to publicly, oddly enough), but these graphics are much better than last year's.  I dig.


Standing on the snow for hours can get cold.  And since most of my students (I'm a part-time ski instructor) are having their first lessons, there's not a whole lot of skiing going on.  Most days I barely even put my skis on, actually.  So comfortable and warm base layers are pretty key. 

I'm actually still searching for a perfect set, but UnderArmour makes a pretty good set that wicks that moisture away, keeps you warm, and is very reasonable compared to the other options out there.  I'm not thrilled that they don't make the cold weather pants in a capri length legging, though.  The seams on their full length leggings hit right where you have nerves in your ankles, and with the compression in your boot can cause cramping and just plain old pins and needles.

For the entire winter, I live and die by my SmartWool socks.  I LOVE them and wear them with any kind of shoe I can fit them in (ballet flats don't work, p.s.).  Even if you're not a skier or other snow sports enthusiast, I recommend them.  They aren't itchy on my highly wool-repellant skin, have a bit of elastic woven in to keep their shape so they don't sag, and have different "padding" and support patterns according to activity which really doesn't help with foot fatigue.  And they're machine washable (not dry-able).