Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I’ve made this recipe several times now…and it is DEEEEELICIOUS.

I found it on this lovely blog: Kitchen Confidante.

I don’t cook pork tenderloins very often (mostly because a good pork tenderloin is not very cheap) but they were on sale this past week at my favorite local store (Sprouts). They sell good meat and have great sales often – so when they do, I stock up.

Anyway, back to the pork! This recipe is what we are having for dinner and I thought I’d share! It is so easy and quick and really – one of the best pork tenderloins I have ever had.

I’m serving it with roasted cauliflower, carrots, and onions & spinach salad.

So…if you need a new recipe…try it!

Here is the link again

I’ve done it on both the oven & the grill and both were great – but I liked the grilled better – but I am partial to anything grilled!!

Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous Saturday! I got to sleep in this morning {thank you hubby!!} and then have coffee with some amazing ladies and the rest of the day we’ll be doing yard work and playing outside…it is SO nice outside that I might even lay out. In March. YES!!!

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Iced Coffee

*this pretty picture was taken by Ree, thepioneerwoman, not me. just so we’re clear.

Oh how I love coffee. Have I mentioned this before?

Lately I especially love iced coffee.

Maybe it was the crazy hot Texas summer or maybe the pregnancy hormones which cause my body temperature to run much much hotter than normal but at some point iced coffee surpassed regular old hot coffee for me.

A friend introduced me to Starbuck’s iced coffee – not a frap mind you, just an iced coffee with syrup. The yumminess & the knowledge that it is SO much cheaper than a “regular” drink at Starbucks quickly won me over.

Then I tried making my own at home. It was pretty good.

Then I tried making Ree’s recipe.

We’re on a first name basis you know, because I’ve been reading her blog and cooking her recipes for-EH-ver.

Mmm.

Perfection.

That Pioneer Woman. She never fails me.

You can click the photo or that link to find the recipe with Ree’s gorgeous step-by-step instructions.

It was super easy! I was a little nervous that I was going to end up with coffee grounds in my concentrate but I didn’t.

I halved the recipe (because I didn’t have a big enough container to hold 2 gallons and because let’s face it, 1 gallon should tide me over for a while).

I used a bag of Dunkin’s hazlenut coffee (12oz) and a gallon of water.

I put hazlenut (sugar free) syrup and half & half (fat free) in mine…because I’m trying not to gain TOO much pregnancy weight and I am going to drink the stuff every single day from now until eternity.

I’m not really sure how they make half & half fat-free and I probably don’t want to know.

I also drink it out of a big mason jar with a stripey straw. Which makes it taste even better.

So go make a batch! You won’t regret it.

Recipe {Chicken Enchilada Casserole}

photo & original recipe (which i modified a little)

I guess I am on a recipe sharing roll…but this is another REALLY easy and really tasty meal.

When it comes to cooking, “easy” is my modus operandi these days.

I am so un-inspired to cook in the summer. I just want to eat fruit all day long. Most days that IS all we eat…fruit and salad with some sort of meat on top. Usually meat that I grill because our oven makes our house dang hot. And it is already eleventy-zillion degrees outside…the A/C needs all the help it can get!

It just so happens that these last 2 recipes happen to go in the oven…which is partly due to the fact that we are out of propane for the grill and party just random.

Anyhow…long story short! This recipe was very yummy, came together in a few minutes, and would easily feed a crowd…

{Ingredients::}

1 pkg small corn tortillas (white or yellow – whatever you prefer – I used yellow)

3-4 C. chicken, cooked & chopped (I used the leftover chicken from these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos which I made recently…I probably used about 3-4 cups of chicken because it is what I had. You could do it with less and be fine)

1 can Fat Free Cream of Chicken soup

1 can Fat Free Cream of Celery soup

1 (16 oz) Fat Free sour cream (again, I used the whole thing but I am sure it would be good with only 8 oz)

1 can Rotel, mostly drained (I used mild b/c regular is a little spicy for Hudson.)

1 tsp (or more) cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 C shredded cheese (I used colby jack. Cheddar or pepper jack would be good as well)

{Directions::}

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, sour cream, rotel, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

In a 9×13 glass dish spread about 1/2 C of the sour cream mixture.

Now, get your tortillas. Dip them in water before you put them in the baking dish…I just ran them under the faucet. After you get them wet, layer the tortillas on top of the cream mixture.

Then add a layer of chicken.

Then sprinkle some cheese.

Then repeat…tortillas…cream…chicken…cheese…tortillas

You could probably do 3 layers…I was lazy and only did two. Make sure to end with tortillas.

At this point I still had some cream so I put it on top of the tortillas and then added cheese.

Next time I will use up all the cream on the previous layers and just top with cheese so it’ll be a little crispy on top.

I sprinkled a little extra cumin on the top because I like it.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes…until heated through and the cheese is nice & bubbly.

Yum.

We had this with…you guessed it…fresh fruit.

It would also be delish with a big spinach salad.

Recipe {Pizza Rolls}

I made these for dinner last night. I found the recipe on Pintrest (my new addiction), and it is originally from this blog (I used her pics because they are great and I didn’t take any).

They were SO quick, easy, and good!! It is a fun & different way to do pizza. You could really jazz up the recipe with different toppings & cheeses but I just kept it plain-jane last night.

This would be great party food. It would also be really fun and easy to make with kiddos.

{Ingredients}

1 can refrigerated pizza crust (I used Pilsbury thin crust)

*you could also make your own crust but i wasn’t in the mood yesterday*

garlic powder, salt, italian seasoning

shredded cheese (I used mozerella and pepper jack)

toppings (I used turkey pepperoni – you can find it at Kroger with the regular pepperoni)

sauce for dipping (I used Ragu Sweet Tomato Basil)

{Directions}

Pre-heat your oven to 425.

On a lightly floured surface (cutting board, wax paper, parchment paper) unroll the crust.

Season with garlic powder, salt, and italian seasoning (or whatever you want).

Sprinkle on the cheese (make sure to get it all the way out to the edges) and your toppings (i.e – pepperoni for us last night).

Starting with a short end, tightly roll the crust up into a log.

Slice into 1″ sections and place on a lightly grease baking sheet (or if you’ve got it, place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and put the slices on that. Clean up takes all of 5 seconds that way!! Yay!).

I sprinkled a little more cheese on the tops of the slices & a little basil.

Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.

Serve with sauce for dipping.

Easy peasy! 

Happy 4th of July!

image credit

Tonight we are headed over to BBQ & hang out with some friends from our home group who have a great view of fireworks from their backyard. We {most especially ME} are really looking forward to it!!

Because, 1. This is the first 4th of July that I haven’t worked in 4 years. Seeing fireworks outside instead of out of the hospital window will be a really treat!

2. Especially because I {LOVE} fireworks!! Love. Love. Love.

3. I’m bringing these…

image credit…her pics are so much better than mine!

Nothing says summer….BBQ…4th of July…like PEPPERS!!

Mmm.

I’m about as excited about these peppers as I am about the fireworks!

If you click on the link under the picture you can follow Ree’s recipe. They’re the easiest thing in the world to make. I cook mine a little longer than she does because I like ’em a little softer. I’ll probably also blanch them after I halve and seed them because not everyone likes them as hot and I aim to please

🙂

I’ll post some pics of the cutie boy in his 4th of July gear tomorrow.

{Chicken Carbonara}

Yup. Another recipe.

I am such a foodie.

I think it is so fun….searching for new recipes. Pouring over gorgeous pictures of meals. Prepping the ingredients. Cooking the meal. Enjoy good food with my people.

I don’t make fancy food. Or at least not very often 😉 because let’s be honest…there is no time for that around here!

This recipe sounds a little fancy…but it is SO simple. It is delish. I think it would be great for feeding company – in fact, if you come over for dinner sometime soon – you will probably be eating this dish!

Oh, and did I mention that it also comes together in mere minutes?! That’s what I am talking about!

* * *

{Chicken Carbonara}

adapted, though barely, from Tyler Florence’s Spaghetti al la Carbonara

* * *

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken

1 lb dry spaghetti

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces turkey bacon, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 large eggs

1 C shredded parmasean (NOT the powdered kind. Uh uh. Don’t do it.)

coarse black pepper to taste

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped (I probably used 1/3 – 1/2 C)

1 small handful fresh basil, chopped (Probably used about 1/4 C)

* * *

1. Pull the skin off the chicken. Discard. Pull the meat off and shred or chop. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente (tender, but still firm to the bite).

3. While the water is coming to a boil/pasta is cooking: Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the diced bacon. Saute about 5 minutes then add the minced garlic and black pepper. Add the parsley & basil (FYI – the fresh herbs totally make this dish). Add 1 C. of the chopped chicken (you can add more if you want. I saved the rest and got another meal out of it and there was plenty in the dish).

4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the parmasean.

5. Reserve 1/2 of the starchy cooking water from the pasta, then drain the pasta. Add the noodles to the skillet with the chicken, bacon & herbs. Mix it all up.

6. Now – remove the skillet from the heat so as to not scramble the eggs – add the egg & cheese mixture to the noodle mixture. Mix it up quickly with the hot noodles, it will thicken as it cooks. I mixed it with a pair of tongs. It will cook fast, maybe 2 minutes. Add some of the reserved pasta water if you need to thin the sauce out a little.

TA-DA!!

* * *

I served this with a caesar salad and some garlic bread. Easy peasy and everyone loved it. Me. Jordan. Hudson. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen Hudson consume a meal with such enthusiasm…with the exception of a bowl of Blue Bell (the kid has his priorities straight).

Half way through dinner I decided to take a pic because it was SO good…the pic isn’t all that good…because I was anxious to finish my yummy dinner 😉 but it gives you an idea of the thing.

And the funniest thing was that Hudson started slurping & sucking his noodles up into his mouth when we gave him a bite.

He is a funny kid.

See the fun for yourself:

P.S. I think this would be just as delicious without the chicken and even easier. My man likes the extra meat…so I add it…but…something to consider!

{Lemon Bars}

Obviously, taking gorgeous pictures of food is not my gig. But I am always more likely to make something if I see a photo…so…here is my humble attempt. Notice how my crust is way too done…we’ll talk about that. Read on.

* * *

My hubby loves a good lemon bar & I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for quite some time and I do believe I have gotten pretty darn close!

I made these for Jordan’s father’s day treat.

I should probably first say, we like our lemon bars thick & a little tart. 

So if you like ’em thin and extra sweet…don’t make these…or at least adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds.

* * *

{Lemon Bars}

adjusted from “Bake Sale Lemon Bars” on allrecipes.com

Crust Ingredients

1.5 C flour

2/3 C powdered sugar

3/4 C butter, softened

Filling Ingredients

6 eggs

1.75 C granulated sugar

6 T flour

1 C lemon juice

more powdered sugar for dusting on the top

* * *

For the crust: Combine flour, pwd sugar, and softened butter. Mix well. This will be a sugar cookie kind of consistency when mixed.

Press in the bottom of a greased 9×13 (or if you like ’em real thick…a greased 9×9)

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

* * *

For the filling: Whisk eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon juice together until frothy. I let this go in my kitchen aid with the whisk attachment for a 3-4 minutes.

Pour over hot crust. Place back in the over and bake about 20 more minutes.

Let cool. Dust liberally with powdered sugar. Top with cool whip or whipped cream. I like them with fresh berries on top too 🙂

Enjoy!

* * *

Note: watch this time. My oven cooks pretty hot and the bottom of my crust turned out way more crunchy than I hoped for it to. Oh well, now I know for next time. There are still yummy!

And…For the purpose of documenting this pregnancy better than I did last time. Here is what I am looking like at 15 weeks.

The belly is on its way. Sheesh, things happen faster the second time around!

 

{Recipe} Gone in 60 seconds Dip

Tonight is our home group Christmas party … ugly sweater style!  I’ll *hopefully* remember to take some pics to post.

I am making Gone in 60 seconds Dip (recipe courtesy of my friend Shauna).  It is SO good.  I could eat the entire thing all by myself and not be sorry.

My pants might not fit the next day.

But who cares?

It is so good.

I think it could also be called: “Do they lace this with crack?” Dip.

Without further ado…

{Ingredients}

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup chopped green onions

¼ cup mayo

1 jar of red hot pepper jelly (found in peanut butter/jelly area of stores)

Serve with Wheat thins or Club crackers (I personally like wheat thins better than club)

{Instructions}

Mix first 4 ingredients and spread out in a nice dish and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.  Before serving, pour hot pepper jelly over the mixture and spread out evenly. Serve with the crackers.

Easy peasy. You gotta try it!!

Now … some eye candy for you::

Until next time.  Much love.

{Recipe} Thanksgiving Ham

I made the ham for Thanksgiving this year.

It was SUPER easy.

Lots of people asked for the recipe.  I think it is fun to cook meals that inspire a “wow” when tasted and an even bigger “WOW” when they hear how easy the meal was to make.  This ham is one such meal. So, here is the recipe::

(i would post a picture but it was all eaten up before i thought about it. trust me. its yum)

1 (8-9lb.) bone-in picnic ham*

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

Place 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar in the slow cooker (CrockPot).  Add water & orange juice.  Rub remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar on ham.  Place flat side down in the CrockPot and cook on LOW for 8(ish) hours.

TA-DA!!

Isn’t that easy?!  After 8 hours the ham falls right off the bone.  Yum!!

* side note:  I assume you could use any sort of smoked ham – bone-in or boneless. i used my big 7 qt CrockPot.  however, if you aren’t cooking for a huge crowd and/or have a smaller CrockPot, just get a smaller ham – but watch the cooking time!

** also: the water/orange juice probably isn’t needed however, i cooked this overnight and didn’t want to wake up to burned brown sugar.  the ham makes a lot of juice, so i bet it would be okay on its own.  though i did like the extra flavor of the orange juice, subtle but tasty!

*** adapted from this recipe