Dinner · Pork · Sunday Dinner

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

Hi friends! I’m back after a week of rest from blogging. Thanks for checking in today! Let’s start out by talking about Easter since I missed it last week!

Sometimes even good family traditions need to be tweaked. We typically always have either ham or turkey breast for Easter, but I felt the need to try something new (imagine that!). I looked through some cooking sites and found a delicious sounding recipe for Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin from Food and Wine site. While we’re not wine drinkers, they have some great recipes and this one did not disappoint!

The Pork Loin is marinated overnight, giving it flavor. Then in the morning it’s seared in a pan, giving it that nice crispy edge that any meat should have! It is then roasted in the oven for a relatively short amount of time. I did this all before heading to church. Then I sliced it and put it on the platter. All I had to do after church was warm it in the oven a bit. The pan juices made a really savory gravy to pour over top!

I love apples with pork, so I also made a side dish that would incorporate that flavor. I cooked apples with cinnamon and a little sugar until the apples were tender. Then I baked sweet potatoes and we topped the potatoes with a spoon of the apples. It was SO good!

Here’s the recipe for the pork loin. I hope you’ll make this in the near future! It’s a keeper!

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch of rosemary, leaves only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds center-cut pork loin 
  • In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork and marinade to a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush off as much of the marinade as possible. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a work surface or carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing and serving.
A full plate, but an even happier heart! Our Savior lives!

Of course dinner was ended with a slice of my Coconut Cake with lemon filling!

How was your Easter and did you serve anything out of the ordinary?

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

Comfort Food · Dinner · Easy recipe · soup

Empty the Freezer Soup

Savory soups that simmer on the stove create two things –

  1. An aroma that’s irresistible
  2. A meal that satisfies both appetites and hearts

Last week I had the blessing of spending time with my parents and helping out during a time of hardship. Fixing meals each day was one responsibility I took on with great delight. A sampling of my menu included things like, Pinto Beans like Cracker Barrel’s, traditional Rump Roast dinner with all the trimmings, Baked Potatoes topped with broccoli cheese sauce – all recipe I’ve made many times.

But then my mom requested I make her recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup. She had this recipe in her head and verbally shared it with me one morning. I realized it would pull together very quickly, and would also use up some of the little bits of this and that in the freezer. Always a good thing, right?

During the fall and winter we eat lots of homemade soups. Some of my favorites are Senate Bean Soup, and Cream of Wild Rice Soup but both of these recipes are a little labor-intensive and take some time to prepare (but so worth it!). I love having a delicious soup recipe that’s a snap to pull together, and my mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup definitely fits the bill! You can use whatever vegetables you like/have on hand. This soup is a great way to use up those little bit of leftovers hiding in the fridge or stored in your freezer!

Here’s her simple recipe…

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup lima beans
1 potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 can Bush’s northern beans
1/3 cup barley
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef and onion. Drain any fat. Add the chicken broth and then all the vegetables, spices,seasonings and barley. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes.

I like to serve a soup like this with a crusty bread and a side salad.

Yum! This is a perfect winter meal that will:

  • Wisely use up leftover veggies in your freezer
  • Warm bodies
  • Win the hearts of those that sit at your table!

Open up your freezer, grab those veggies and throw them in a pot for this delicious soup this week!

Refresh your menu with a savory soup!

Comfort Food · Crock Pot · Dinner · Ground turkey · Main dish.

Turkey Meatloaf in the Crock Pot

My husband loves Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf and with good reason – it’s delicious! However, it’s also high in calories. Because we’ve both been trying to eat more healthy, and are avoiding those high cal Cracker Barrel entrees, I looked for a meatloaf recipe using ground Turkey. That was when I came upon this gem – BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf that turned out to be FANTASTIC and also cooked in the crock pot! What? Meatloaf in the crock pot? You talk about easy! This recipe is a winner all the way around!! Take a peek!

BBQ Glazed Meatloaf – Cooked in the Crock Pot!

Clean-up was a cinch! Pull the foil out of the bottom of the crock pot and wipe it out! Ta-da! Friends, this recipe is for you if you’re looking for:

  • Delicious
  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Easy to clean up

A friend of mine told me she steers away from ground poultry because it just doesn’t seem right! Well, I understand, but you need to give it a try! It’s so good, and so much better for you! Now for the recipe!

BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup shredded Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp Dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (I used Dijon)

1. Fold a 24-inch length of foil in half lengthwise. Fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 5-6 quart slow-cooker.

2. Put the turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the foil in the slow cooker.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meatloaf juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 3–4 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low.

4. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture over the meatloaf, spreading it smooth. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the glaze is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. With the help of the foil, lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker and transfer to a platter. Discard foil and cut the meatloaf into 6 slices. Yields 1 slice meatloaf per serving.

This meal was absolutely delicious! My husband isn’t pining away for his Cracker Barrel meatloaf anymore!

I made this meal for our Sunday dinner and it was so great that it was ready when we got home from church! I mixed up the meatloaf the night before, then popped it into the crock pot before we headed out the door. What a great meal when you need something savory and have time to let the crock pot do the work!

Do you eat ground poultry? If not, I really hope you’ll get some turkey and try this recipe! I believe it will convert you!

Here are a couple other turkey recipes we love.

With love from my country kitchen,

Dinner · Make-Ahead

Shepherd’s Pie Made Light

I have a beloved cookbook that houses the recipes of some of our nation’s best Bed and Breakfasts.  One such recipe is for Shepherd’s Pie.  If you’ve never had it, it’s basically a roast beef dinner served in a casserole dish.  The beef, gravy and vegetables are on the bottom and then it gets “iced” with mashed potatoes! 

My cookbook’s recipe  contains a very detailed list of ingredients, including roast beef to make this delectable dish.  I don’t often have a roast on hand to make it, so I’ve learned that there is a simpler, but still delicious way to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It uses ground beef instead of roast. That makes it so much faster, but still delicious! 

My favorite new substitute for the roast is ground turkey, making it lower in fat.  Don’t worry – you still get the gravy, the vegetables and the mashed potato topping!  I like using just carrots and celery with the meat. I don’t want it to taste like a beef stew, but you could certainly add other vegetables to it. This is a great weeknight dish with all the hearty flavors your family will love!

Another blessing of this recipe is that you can make the whole thing up to two days ahead of time and pop it into the oven to heat up for dinnertime!

Here’s the easy recipe:

Shepherd’s Pie

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes:

  • 1-1/2 lbs  potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Filling:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (of course you could use lean ground beef as well)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until cooked and soft.
  • Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large saute pan brown meat over medium high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
  • When cooked, set aside on a plate.
  • Add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. (Add other vegetables of your choice) Sauté on medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the flour, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat and mix well. Simmer on low about 8-10 minutes.
  • Spread the meat on the bottom of casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes turn golden.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes before serving

This would be a great dish to take to a new mom, someone recovering from illness or surgery, or a new family that’s moved into your neighborhood.  Add a salad (how about a copycat Olive Garden Salad?) and a biscuit (here’s my favorite recipe) and you’ll have a complete meal!

If you like make-ahead recipes, you might enjoy this one for Hot Chicken Salad!

With love from my country kitchen,