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I’m pretty sure today was the hottest day yet in Seattle, so hot that the last place we wanted to be was cooped up inside. After running a few errands, and being gifted a bit of pork loin from my lovely parents, we headed up to the rooftop of our building to do a little grilling. It was a gorgeous sunset, but unfortunately the beautiful light didn’t make for great pictures, so we’re stuck with my Instagram shots! We served it up with spanish rice and a side of fresh avocado. The creaminess of the avocado was the perfect addition to this slightly spicy meat masterpiece.

Spanish Pork with Pico de Gallo
adapted from my recipes

1 pound pork tenderloin

for the pork rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

for the pico de gallo:
5 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 jalapeno reppers, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the dry ingredients for the pork rub. Brush olive oil over the pork, and sprinkle evenly with chili powder mixture. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Place the pork on the grill and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your tenderloin) until the internal temperature reaches 140 degress F. For the pico de gallo, combine all the ingredients together and additional salt and lime juice to taste. Serve over the finished pork.

There’s nothing like a Wednesday off! I love two tiny 2-day work weeks. And sunny days! It’s not often that we get a sunny Fourth of July here in Seattle – the joke seems to be that summer starts July 5th every year. But not this year! We had a fabulous rooftop garden party at our friend/neighbor’s place, which was even lovelier since we didn’t have to get in the car and fight any holiday traffic. Yay!
Burgers, brews, lawn games and a fantastic turnout made for quite the day.

Phew! Well, my sister’s engagement party went off yesterday without a hitch. We went for a swanky americana theme – a summer barbecue with a bit of class. I think the bloody mary bar was the biggest hit! You can’t see them all in the picture below, but we had about 10 different kinds of pickled vegetables to add, and they were all so delicious.

It was so much fun, and everyone pitched in. Husband and I made kabobs with steak, chicken and a variety of veggies – and my now famous potato salad. It’s a pretty simple salad, but with a great balance of flavors and what I call the ‘secret ingredient,’ white wine vinegar! It adds just the right amount of tang and gives the creaminess just a bit of a bite. And I add a little more celery, because I love the extra crunch.

Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon
via real simple food

3 pounds small red new potatoes (about 24)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon

Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, the 2nd teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Add the potatoes and celery and toss to coat. Fold in the parsley, tarragon, and bacon before serving.