Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

While grocery shopping last week, Jeremiah and I took advantage of some meat sales at Hen House. Pork loins were on sale for $3.99 lb. Normally, I cover the pork loin in herbs and wrap it in bacon. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any bacon in the freezer so I needed to come up with a new recipe. We had all the ingredients to make this recipe so it was the winner. It turned out amazing. The pork fell apart and the glaze was sweet but not too sweet. We will definitely make it again. I served this recipe with my Maple Glazed Carrots.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin by Melissa Bossler
img_00601 tsp. ground sage
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ c. water
2 lb. pork tenderloin

Sauce
½ c. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. water
2 T. soy sauce

Pour a ½ c. water into a Crockpot. Then, rub pork loin with seasonings. Cook for 5 hours on low. Then, mix sauce ingredients and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes to thicken. Baste pork loin 2-3 times over one more hour of cooking.

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Stuffing from Scratch

It’s 5AM and I’ve been awake for about an hour now. After 30 minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I had a bit of a panic attack when I remembered that my uniform for work was in the laundry. I jumped out of bed and found myself sorting laundry in the closet as to not wake my fiancé.

I guess that is a bit of news I’d hadn’t shared here. My boyfriend proposed to me at dinner a few weeks ago. It was our 16 month anniversary and we were eating at Houlihan’s in Leawood. It was where we had gone on our very first date. We had planned to go to dinner early because the Kansas City Royals were playing game five of the World Series at 7PM. We were standing outside the restaurant talking about our first date and how we stood outside the restaurant talking after a long dinner. I turned around to walk in and Jeremiah spun me back around before getting down on one knee. I was a little in shock. If I was, you should have heard all the people around us. The people dining on the patio and getting in/out of vehicles were like “Is he prosing?” “Did she say yes?” Of course, without a doubt in my mind, I said yes. We went into the restaurant and the server asked us how it was going. I said, “We just got engaged.” He was like, “Congratulations!” I was like, “It was a minute ago just outside the restaurant. This is where we went on our first date.” The table next to us asked if he could take our photo when he overheard us. He told us how it was he and his wife’s second marriage but when you find the right one, it’s meant to be. The restaurant was so sweet and the manager brought us champagne and dessert to celebrate. Phone calls were made while we waited for our lovely dinner – the George Banks Sea Scallops with risotto and fresh arugula (one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time). As you all know by now, the Royals won it in game five beating the Mets in extra innings. It was also my mother’s birthday so this is certainly a day we will never forget.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping very long since our engagement. I wake up with ideas about our vows or what food should we make during our engagement photos. The date is set for July 2016 so I need to get cracking on these details. The venue is pretty much set, the guest list has been made, our wedding app/website has been created, half the attendants have been asked (including our adorable 3 ½ month old ring bearer), and the photographer has been selected. However, I have no idea what my dress will look like or what colors I want. I also need to email my hairdresser to see if she’s available. Every hinges on what time my hair can be done. Oh let’s hope she’s available because I have zero skill when it comes to doing my hair. I better email her right now, this is really important.

So since I’m awake and my laundry is in the wash, I decided to write a blog post for all of you. It is Thanksgiving week. Can you believe it? Normally, I would have already scoped all the Black Friday ads and had a plan for our day after Thanksgiving adventure. This year, I’m worried about whether or not I need to schedule a dress outing the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my mother and sister. I’m also not sure what on earth to get my fiancé for Christmas in our $75 spending limit?

In honor of it being Thanksgiving week though, I have decided to share with all of you one of the recipes Jeremiah and I will be making for my family. This is a recipe we learned last year while taking a cooking class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not to worry my vegetarian friends, I’m including modifications for you to enjoy this recipe as well. I made both recipes for our Thanksgiving work potluck last week.

stuffingApple, Sage, & Sausage Sourdough Stuffing by Rachel Ciordas
12 oz. turkey breakfast sausage
1 tsp. oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped apple
2 c. chopped celery
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. black pepper
12 c. cubed sourdough bread
1 can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

Cook sausage until browned. Add onion, apple, and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in seasonings. In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture, bread, and broth. Spoon the stuffing into a sprayed 11 x 7 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Nutrition: Makes nine (1 c.) servings. 208 calories, 5 g. fat, 11.9 g. protein, 28.9 g. carbs, 2.1 g. fiber.

Notes:

  • Rachel said to not use green apples for this recipe. They are not sweet/juicy enough to sauté.
  • Did you know you can eat the leafy part of celery? It’s actually really flavorful.
  • I brought two loaves of fresh French bread at Spouts. I cubed 1 ½ loaves and let it sit out in a bowl overnight. I used the extra bread for a brioche French Toast.
  • I used the local brand of ground sausage. It added some extra flavor. 
  • I’ve found the lowest sodium chicken broth is Rachael Ray’s brand.
  • To make it vegetarian friendly, I substituted veggie broth and removed the sausage. In its place, I put some dried cranberries. After my luncheon, Jeremiah and I mixed the leftovers. It was good so feel free to add cranberries to the original recipe.
  • For a little crisper stuffing, bake covered 15 minutes and uncovered for 35-40 minutes.

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Not Fried “Fried” Chicken

Fried chicken is one of my favorite food items. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t crave a little KFC now and then. Unfortunately, traditional fried chicken isn’t super healthy. I ran across this Mr. Food’s recipe for a baked chicken that promised a fried chicken crunch. I have to say, this chicken did have a nice crunch as well as nice and juicy. You have to try this diabetic friendly “fried” chicken.

Mr. FoodNot Fried “Fried” Chicken by Mr. Food’s
1 chicken (3 to 3.5 lbs), cut into 10 pieces (skin off)

2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 egg whites
1 & 1/2 c. cornflakes
1/2 tsp. ground sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Beat egg whites in a second shallow dish. Crush cornflakes and sage in a plastic bag. Then, pour into a shallow dish. Take each piece of chicken and flour it. Then, coat it in egg. Finally, coat in cornflakes. In a sprayed dish, place each piece of chicken. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Nutrition Facts: (2 pieces per serving) 299 calories (64 calories from fat), 7 g. fat, 2 g. saturated fat, 84 mg. cholesterol, 627 mg. sodium, 25 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 3 g. sugar, and 32 g. protein.

Notes:

  • I cut the recipe in third. I only ate one piece with potatoes and felt satisfied.
  • I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • I also used egg white substitute.
  • Recently, I met Bobby Deen at an event featuring his new cookbook. I was surprised to learn during a conversation with him that unsweetened cornflakes aren’t any worst for you then Panko bread crumbs. Since I like the taste better, I wouldn’t worry about using them in recipes. Bobby did still suggest using Panko bread crumbs on veggies though.

Rosemary Au Jus

A couple of years ago, I won a free two night stay at the Marriott City Center Denver at my company holiday party. My sister and I took advantage of it with a long weekend trip the following November. We even met up with an old friend from a junior high camp and a college roommate. Steph and I had a blast visiting a candy factory, educating ourselves at The Denver Art Museum, shopping at a holiday mart at the Denver Botanic Gardens, attending a film festival, and sipping on libations at a wine festival. Plus, we met some of the friendliest people using the public transportation.

Although I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, I had one of the most amazing sandwiches of my life there. It was a turkey sandwich with a rosemary au jus (turkey version of French dip). It’s probably when I feel in love with the seasoning rosemary. I’ve searched the internet and haven’t been exactly able to recreate that dip but this recipe is pretty good. I’m going to give it to you with the turkey recipe but you can always just mix the ingredients with the dripping from however you cook your turkey this Thanksgiving on your stovetop.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Herbed Au Jus by Campbell’s Soups and Martha Stewart*
1 tsp. flour
1 plastic turkey oven bag
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, crushed
6 to 8 pound bone-in turkey
1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)
1 can turkey gravy

Add flour to bag, close, and shake. Place bag in 13 x 9 baking dish. Add broth, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add rinsed and paprika topped turkey to bag. Close bag with tie. Cut six (1/2 inch) slots into the top of the bag. Roast the turkey at 350 degrees for two hours, until meat is done. Let is stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Take leftover juices and mix with on can of gravy on the stovetop.

*Two websites list different sources.