CAL-culus

There are more calories in 2 Samoas Girl Scout cookies than in a 12 oz can of Coke Classic.

Friday – iPod Random 5

  1. Ceremony (New Order)
  2. I Engineer (Animotion)
  3. Stop Whispering (Radio Head)
  4. Last Dance (The Cure)
  5. Tugena (Dead Milkmen)

TO DO LIST FOR NEXT WEEK:

Pulled Pork

Frank was commenting about the effort he put into his pulled pork and how good it turned out.  My pulled pork recipe is significantly easier, but those who have tried it say that it’s the best they’ve ever had.  I could probably open a restaurant selling pulled pork sandwiches.

To start with, I go for a better cut of meat than a pork shoulder – I use a pork tenderloin.  It is important to trim off the fat and silver membrane, or the tenderloin will shrink to non-existence before you get a chance to eat it.

Coat the tenderloin in olive oil and then rub in a dry rub consisting of a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, red pepper, chili powder, a pinch of cinnamon, and an infinitesimal amount of ground cloves along with a healthy quantity of brown sugar (I judge the amounts by sight, taste and smell).

Brown the tenderloin either on the grill, or under the broiler.*

Once brown, slow cook the tenderloin in a Corningware container with the lid on at 200 – 250 °F in the oven until the pork shreds easily with a fork.  Mix the shredded pork with some of your favorite bbq sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays).  It shouldn’t be drowning in the sauce – I might use a 1/2 cup for a 1 lb tenderloin.

* Most of the time I go the easy route, and brown the tenderloin under the broiler in the same corningware container I use to slow cook it.

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KiTARO Bistro of Japan

I took the family to KiTARO Bistro of Japan on Saturday. I had checked out there website and knew going in that the prices were a little steep. Although I was interested in trying the main restaurant, the kids like it when the cooks make the food in front of you, so we were seated in one of the two Hibachi rooms.

KiTARO is the unique looking building located near Hwy 40 on Hwy K. It’s the one that jumps out at you as “Hey, I’m an Asian restaurant.” I think the target customer would be someone on a date or business meeting. The restaurant is nicely decorated and the staff was friendly and helpful.

That said, I’m beginning to think that all Japanese Steak houses are pretty much the same fare. They always start you off with a beef onion broth, followed by a salad with ginger dressing, and then you can order Chicken, Shrimp, Lobster, or Steak. They always make a vegetable medley containing mushrooms, onions, zuchini and one or more other vegetables. At KiTARO they assume everyone wants fried rice, so you have to ask special for steamed rice.

Danielle and I split the Filet Mignon dinner, medium rare, and Brenda and Justin split the New York Strip, medium, and Shrimp. Allison wasn’t hungry, though she normally eats at the Japanese Steakhouses. She had steamed rice and some of the other food we had.

Our steaks weren’t cooked quite how I would have expected them, and were good but not great. The rest of the food was decent and the staff nice, but if you are only interested in the Hibachi room, I would recommend Ariake instead. The food is slightly less expensive and a little better and the restaurant is even more cozy, but not cramped.

Windy City (part 2)

  • Sunday (day) – We started off by going to Shedd Aquarium. It only took us one train and one bus to get there. The line to get in was a bit long, but once again, the kids thought it was worth it. We saw lots of strange/interesting/unique fish and turtles, but one of the highlight for me was that the octopus was very active. We had lunch at a sit down restaurant in the aquarium, with a great view of Lake Michigan. It was a little pricey, but well worth it when you consider the other option was a crowded food court. Plus they gave the father’s a free beer for Father’s Day. After the Aquarium, we took a bus (and a short walk) to Millennium Park where the kids played in the water along with hundreds of Chicagoans. We also sat on the grass and listened to a children’s choir and saw The Bean (a.k.a. Cloud Gate).
  • Sunday (evening) – We got a little late of a start looking for dinner (we were all beat after the Aquarium/ Millennium Park). The Mexican fish place we had planned to eat at had a line out the door, so Lucy recommended a Mexican restaurant on Chicago. Lucy went 2 for 2 on her restaurant choices (not bad for a 7 year old). It was my favorite kind of restaurant — a hole in the wall with authentic food and reasonable prices. There was virtually no wait, and the food was great (and plentiful — none of the adults finished their meals).
  • Monday – Justin and I went to the Field Museum while the girls went to the American Girl store for shopping and lunch. I can’t speak for the girls’ day (although they said it was great) , but we could have easily spent hours more at the Field Museum. As a bonus, since we are members of the St. Louis Science Center, our admission was free (except for the extra things we added on). We had a scary moment at the beginning when my phone rang –“Jim, where are the keys to the van …in my pocket (oh ^*^$&$% the girls dolls are in the van and the lunch was the whole purpose of the trip)… [luckily I had left the van unlocked]. We spent a full hour in a special exhibit on new dinosaur discoveries, and more than an hour in the Darwin exhibit (Justin would have spent even longer, but I warned him that we were going to run out of time). We spent an hour or more in the Egypt exhibit, and the rest of our time looking at various other exhibits (Sue, the gem room, rocks and minerals, …).