Monday, June 25, 2012

Adept at Pork!

I have really never been able to cook pork unless I took 12 hours to slow cook it. Put it in a crockpot or a smoker, it was fine, but every other way I tried, it was always tough, chewy and stringy. I have tried both pork chops and pork loins, baked, pan seared, and grilled., and it never came our right.

I'm a BzzAgent, so I was challenged by Bzz and The National Pork Board to try it again. They sent me recipes and tips and also pointed out how healthy pork is, so I decided to try once more to make a decent dinner out of a pork chop. I sent my husband to the store to pick out the pork, mostly because I don't have the confidence to do it myself. I knew he would do a MUCH better job! He ended coming home with a loin chop, and I only know this because of the "Know Your Chops" section of "All About Chops" booklet that came with my packet. He suggested we brine the pork to keep it juicy, and since I have had success doing it with turkeys, I thought that was a good idea. I made a brine of 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water, peppercorns and bay leaves, and let it brine a few hours. I then removed it from the brine (don't want it to be overly salty!), patted it dry with a paper towel, and rubbed it with the Basil Garlic rub from the Pork: Be Inspired website, and then let it sit, covered, in the fridge until the next night.

It only took about 10 minutes on the grill (5 mins each side), and they were DELICIOUS! I was shocked! They weren't fall apart tender, but they weren't totally chewy bricks either like I normally end up with. I served it with spaghetti squash that has been sauteed in butter and garlic, as well as a healthy green salad. My husband was super stoked, which was awesome because he had worked until 9pm that night, and I was completely in charge of making dinner. In fact, I think this was the best dinner I had made in a long time! And I have Bzz and the National Pork Board to thank. I will definitely be making more pork in the future!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gucci Flora Collection

I finally got my Gucci Flora Collection in the mail! I was really excited because I have a hard time trying fragrances in stores - it sometimes takes me a long while to decide if I like a scent or not. I also have a favorite perfume, but it was a limited edition that wasn't available to the public, so I have no way of getting another bottle. I keep hoping I will run across a perfume that smells similar, and since it is a floral based fragrance, I had high hopes for the Gucci Flora Collection.

Back to the package. It was wrapped up so nice, in a gorgeous box (that I will totally reuse!), tissue paper, etc. It came with three small bottles of the frangrances, a set of testers to give out to friends and some marketing info. Of course, I immediately applied all three on three different spots on my body... and immediately forgot which one I put where!

After that fiasco, I've decided to use them one at a time, so that I could know which ones were which. First I tried the blue bottle - Glamorous Magnolia - since blue is my favorite color. It smells nice going on, almost sweet, but the way it wears is lovely. Sweet and floral but almost fruity, citrusy at the same time.

The next day I tried the green bottle - Gracious Tuberose. The smell was a little strong and green at first, almost as if I would sneeze by smelling it. I didn't though! After a couple hours it mellowed out into a not so floral but very expensive smelling perfume.

Then I tried the pink bottle - Gorgeous Gardenia - It's not unpleasant, but it smells pink. Baby-powderish if you will. Maybe a touch of baby powder, but high end baby powder if you catch my drift. I'm not a fan of most gardenia perfumes, but this one is not overpowering at all, it's just not as much my style as the other two.

I have also tried mixing them. All three blend well together and really allow you to experiment. I do like Glamorous Magnolia and Gracious Tuberose together the best, maybe because I can't decide which one of those is my favorite!

I definitely like all three of them AFTER they have set on my skin a little bit, sometimes the first few whiffs is a little strong. They wear amazingly well. I was also able to share some samples with a couple friends and I hope they like them as much as I do. Now, I am saying I like them, not that I love them. I have yet to find a substitute for my favorite perfume, but the Gucci Flora Collection is a good alternative until that happens.