Hello! Monday’s ovah!

It was too gorgeous of a day to be stuck inside a gym, so after work I took it outdoors! I followed the same 1.5 mile loop as I did last night, which contains steep hills to really challenge myself and nice dips to recover. I ran the loop 3 times, for a total of 4.5 miles in 43 minutes, whoop! Honestly, I was going to bail after two loops since my legs felt like bricks, but decided to keep going because, as they say, no pain no gain. :D

Oh, I wanted to tell you, I’ve noticed that my runs – hills in particular – have gotten significantly easier since I started incorporating squats and lunges into my strength training sessions during the 40 day challenge. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, do you? I guess I always thought that running was strength training my legs, but now I’m not so sure that’s the case! Fellow runners/strength trainers, what do you think?

At any rate, we’re heading to the Caribbean for dinner tonight with Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin!

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I’ve had a pork tenderloin in my freezer for ages but, to be honest, I haven’t done anything with it because pork tenderloin is kind of…boring! My opinion has totally changed since trying this recipe though!!

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Per my 1001 Foods to Die For book: “Jerked meat is a popular street food in Jamaica, perfect for those who revel in hot seasonings. Originally, the Carib-Arawak people of Jamaica would prepare their meat by piercing it, then pressing spices into the holes…”

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“…A shallow pit was dug and a fire prepared using green allspice wood to produce a fragrant smoke. The meat was placed over a grid of branches, and allspice leaves covered the meat to intensify the smoke.” Cool! :D

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I was this close to busting out the outdoor, gas grill but it scares the beegees out of me and Ben wasn’t home when I started cooking to make sure it was still ok to use after standing dormant all winter. Better to be safe than sorry! :)

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I can’t tell you how incredible this smelled when it hit the hot grill pan, and  it tasted even better!

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I just love how the tenderloin is cut in this recipe too. First you butterfly it lengthwise, then you butterfly each new half so the entire thing lies flat.

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I only used 1 jalapeno pepper in the marinade, which made my lips slightly tingly. It was the perfect spice level for me. Other seasonings and spices like fresh ginger, cinnamon, allspice and thyme make this ho-hum pork tenderloin into something spectacular!

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The meat cooked for about 4-5 minutes a side, until the center was barely pink and sooooo juicy! 8O

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And although plantains are a typical Jamaican side dish, sweet potatoes are a little bit more accessible, so I mashed one up with some cinnamon, butter and a wee pinch of salt. TDF!

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Mmm, what a special, out of the ordinary dish. We just loved it! :D

Do you happen to know what’s happening tonight?? Gossip Girl is making its triumphant return after the longest hiatus known to man!!! CHUUCK! BLAIIR! CHHAAAIRR!!

Have a great night everyone. :)

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Have you ever been on a tropical island vacation? If not, where are you dreaming of?