What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

Every cook needs a great sure-fire main dish recipe, a secret side and an outstanding dessert so she can confidently pull together a meal that is perfect for guests.  I’ve recently found two new recipes that will be on my new “go-to” menu.  One is for a pork loin done in the crock pot and finished under the broiler with a glaze. It is amazing! The other is a great apple pie!  For these recipes and my little secret side dish, read on…
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Pork Loin cooks fairly quickly in the oven and I fear it will dry out while we’re at church when roasted with the oven method, so, I was excited to find a recipe for Pork Loin that cooks in the crock pot, then is finished with a brown sugar, balsamic vinegar glaze under the broiler.  Oh. My. Goodness!  This recipe is fantastic! The meat was tender and juicy, and the broiled glaze added a nice little crust on the outside – something most crock pot recipes are missing.
For my secret side dish, I bought Sam’s Club’s potato salad, found in their refrigerated section.  It’s so good – I’ll probably never make homemade potato salad again!  A little help from the store when everything else is homemade is a real blessing!  Here was the whole menu I served last Sunday when having company over for dinner:
Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed pork Tenderloin
Potato Salad (Sam’s Club) ~ Oven roasted Asparagus
 ~ Salad ~
Make Ahead Butterhorns
Apple Pie Ala-mode
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Crock pot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds Pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic; crushed
  • ½ cup Water – I used Chicken broth for extra flavor
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce

Mix together the seasonings: sage, salt, pepper and garlic.
Rub over tenderloin. Place ½ cup water in slow cooker; place tenderloin in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.  Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.

Place pork on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.
Place pork on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.

Ina Garten says your guests will always remember dessert, so it needs to be really good!  A sweet friend of mine brought us an Apple Crumb Pie when my husband was recovering from surgery a few months ago.  It was so wonderful I asked her for the recipe.  It turns out that this is her mom’s recipe that has won several blue ribbons!!  I was not surprised when she told me!  I’ve been making Apple Pie for a long time, but this is the best recipe I’ve ever had!  It only requires one crust, since it has the yummy crumb topping.  So if you don’t like fussing with a top crust, this recipe is for you!  The sweetness of the crumb mixture is perfect!  Add a little ice cream and you have heaven on a dessert plate! 

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Prize-Winning Apple Crumb Pie

1 Deep dish unbaked pie shell
8 C thinly sliced peeled apples – I like to use Granny Smith apples
1/2 – 2/3 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 C sugar
3/4 C flour
1/3 C butter

Toss apples in a mixture of 1/2 – 2/3 C sugar and cinnamon (depending on the tartness of the apples).  Put into pie shell.  Combine remaining ingredients using a fork and sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, or until apples are tender.

That pie recipe is so simple and I think that’s what makes it so good!  It lets the apples be the star of the show, and finishes it off with that yummy crumb topping.  This dessert will not disappoint!

Do you have a “go-to” menu?  I’d love to hear about it!

With love from my country kitchen,


4 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

  1. My sister in law makes a delicious lasagna. Years ago I asked for her recipe and she sheepishly admitted that it came from the side of the Mueller’s lasagna noodle box! Well I did not care where it came from, it was delish and I still use this recipe when having company for dinner. I add a salad and bread for a complete meal. As for desserts, I have quite a few I love the most recent being the Triple Chocolate Buttermilk Poundcake that was on the February cover of Southern Living.


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