Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

It’s what’s for dinner!

If you are a pork fan, like I am fast becoming, this marinated tenderloin is a MUST try!

It turns out tender and juicy with a fresh citrusy herb flavor that pairs great with potatoes and fresh vegetables for a delicious, easy weeknight dinner.

Prepare and marinade the meat the night before, then all you have to do is throw it on the grill for 10-15 minutes for dinner.

Leftovers are great sliced thinly for sandwiches or tossed in a stir-fry.  Such a bonus to get a couple completely different meals from one easy recipe.

Hope you will give it a try, and hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 4 Fresh Ripe Lemons, Juiced and Zest from one
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1  Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pork Tenderloins (approx. 1 lb each)

Directions:

Make marinade by whisking together first 8 ingredients.  Pour into large Ziploc bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and coat.  Marinade overnight in refrigerator or at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.   Place tenderloins on grill.  Discard excess marinade.  Grill 10-15 minutes or until meat reaches 135 degrees F.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Enjoy with roasted new potatoes and steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

*Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I had the joy and privilege of hosting a Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower for my bright and bubbly daughter-in-law to be this past weekend.

I had fun decorating and preparing for our girly party!

Thanks to Matron of Honor and beautiful sister, Laura, and loving, gentle mom, Pat for co-hosting with me.

(And a super special thanks to my BFF Jill for taking all of these photos as well as helping with anything else needed while I was busy hosting.)

Liz was surrounded by the love of her Mom and three sisters…

and there is another beautiful girl on the way to add to this gang!

First things first – the Bubbly!

and a toast to the bride-to-be.

Friends and family attended.

Families mingled meeting and getting to know each other…

and several generations shared in the joy and love.

New moms and great grandmoms…

and moms with babies on the way,

and moms who get to share ❤ .

Then there was brunch.

Where we served a buffet of Chicken  Salad on Sliced Crostini, Crispy Veggies with Hummus, Fresh Fruit and Honey Walnut Brie, along with…

Mini BLTs served on Heart-shaped biscuits,

Loaded Deviled Eggs,

and a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Candied Pecans.

Aunt Kathy made the MOST amazing cupcakes I’ve every tasted!  Strawberry Lemon with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting,

My friend, Pam who makes the most amazingly beautiful sugar cookiedoodles, made these gorgeous and delicious treats that we served along with my cookie pops.

The guests brought and shared amazing gifts for our newlyweds to be.

We played a few games.  Pretty simple ones really… Like guess the number of corks and gave away prizes when a timer went off during gift opening.

Some sweet and funny stories were shared when guests filled out a “Mad Lib” story…

and then chose to share with the group.

And then the groom-to-be (my son, Nick) arrived with flowers, smiles, and a tight hug.

Favors of Homemade Lavender Sugar Scrub were given to guests as a thank you before leaving.

A kiss and an “I love you” at the end of the day, but the beginning of a lifetime.  (with a little bit of sweet granddaughter drool on my shoulder)

It was a great day to celebrate a great young lady!

Love you Liz!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks Jill!

Party Supplies:
Toasting Flutes for Mimosa Bar
Juice Carafes for Mimosa Bar
Tissue Paper Tassel Garland
Tissue Paper Pom Poms
Tissue Paper Honeycomb Balls

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

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Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread.

Aren’t these loaves beautiful?!  I recently found this recipe that makes homemade bread so easy!

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You can mix this dough together in five minutes.  Then it just needs to rest for two hours while you go about doing something… anything else.  After that, throw it in the fridge – for up to 14 days!  Whenever you want a fresh loaf of bread, grab a hunk of dough, and bake it.  Super simple, super delicious!

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So… disclaimer… you obviously can’t make it from start to finish in five minutes, but that really is all the longer the dough takes to mix together, and there is no kneading, so it really is a simple way to make warm, fresh, delicious homemade bread quickly and easily with just a few simple staple ingredients!

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

  • Servings: 4 1 lb loaves
  • Print

Ingredients:bread-5-minute-rustic-artisan-bread

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (approx. 100 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt (I love using Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

Pour water in large bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and salt, and mix until dissolved.  Add flour all at once, and mix until completely incorporated.  That’s it!  Five minutes.  No kneading.

Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and let it sit for two hours.

After two hours, cover bowl with saran wrap (but not too tight as it needs a little vent for gases to escape), and throw it in the fridge.

Your dough is ready to use at anytime in the next 14 days.

When you are ready to bake a loaf, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grab a hunk of dough with floured hands.  Do not punch it down, and do not knead or overwork it.  Gently shape as desired into a ball, loaf, rolls – whatever you like.  Place on a baking stone. (I bake absolutely EVERYthing on baking stones – cookies, bread, roasted vegetables, meatloaf, french fries – they are all I use in the oven – and the results are awesome!) You can let it rest for 30-40 minutes or bake right away – depending on the density you desire.  Dust top of dough with flour (and salt if desired).  Slash a few cuts in the dough with a serrated knife.

Place an empty metal broiler pan on bottom rack of oven and fill with warm water right before placing dough in oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crust is a rich brown color and firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*original recipe found at Leite’s Culinara

Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken Spring Mix Salad

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Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken & Spring Mix Salad.

They say it is important to balance colors in our diet.

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I love to make salads from whatever I can find in the fridge and pantry – especially at lunch time – when it is only me, and I can make it whatever way I want!

I often make a large batch of grilled chicken during the week so I can have leftovers for salads and snacks.

I love mixing veggies and proteins and fruits and nuts in a beautiful, colorful meal.

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This yellow and green salad just “happened.”  I had not planned it to be yellow and green, but when it ended it up that way, I marveled at it’s beauty as well as it’s deliciousness.

For this “springy” lunch time salad in the middle of February – when the temperatures in our part of the world have been more spring-like than wintry – I found myself topping a bed of Spring Mix greens with beautiful yellows.

Enjoying yellows and greens not only in my salad, but in the air here in Mars in this beautiful stretch of Spring in February.

Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken & Spring Mix Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed greens -Spring Mix
  • 1/4 cup sliced Vidalia sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Handful of golden raisins
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • Balsamic Viniagrette Dressing
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Place Spring Mix salad greens in large salad bowl.

Add onion, tomatoes, shredded cheese, golden raisins and chicken.  A handful of walnuts and/or pumpkin or sunflower seeds  would be great too!

Drizzle with Balsamic Viniagrette and a dash of salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

Does anything warm you up more wonderfully on cold winter days than a steamy, creamy bowl of soup?

I made this yummy creamy, cheesy cauliflower soup one day this past week, and we absolutely loved it.

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When hubby, who typically prefers to eat lunch out during the work week, asked for a serving to take for lunch the next day, I knew I had a real winner on hand!

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It is chock full of delicious vegetables simmered in broth and then creamed by adding an easy cheesy roux and blending a bit.  You could completely cream it if you like, but I like to cream about half and leave plenty of hearty chunks of the cauliflower, celery, carrots and sweet red peppers.

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Fresh thyme really adds a fabulous fragrance and taste, and hot sauce is a great way to kick it up just a bit!

Imagine serving this with some crusty french or chewy ciabatta bread to dunk in it or alongside a sandwich or salad.

Hope you’ll give it a try, and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:creamy-cauliflower-soup-4

  • I head cauliflower, broken into florets (5-6 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I made from water and 3 tsp. chicken base)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • Dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups half and half or milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (do not use pre-grated)
  • 2 tsp Cholula Hot Sauce (or you can use Sriracha or your favorite or none)

Directions:

  • Combine all vegetables, thyme, and chicken broth in a large pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter, then add flour, salt and pepper to create a roux.  Whisk half and half in slowly.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook and continue whisking for 2 minutes until thickened and smooth.  Turn heat off and stir in shredded cheese until melted.  Add hot sauce (if desired).
  • Pour creamy cheese mixture into vegetables and broth.  Stir until completely combined.
  • Puree to desired consistency using Immersion Blender leaving chunks of vegetables, but creating a creamy texture.
  • Ladle into bowls to serve.  

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing

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Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing.

YUM!  Another wonderful way to enjoy one of my favorite vegetables!

Hubby said we are going to turn into broccoli this week!  We’ve had broccoli sprouts, steamed broccoli and broccoli slaw over the past few days.  I think I could eat it every day.

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This recipe is so easy – especially if you buy the pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix Green Giant makes.

Have you tried it yet?  What do you like to mix into your slaw?

Here’s how I made it:

Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:broccoli-slaw-with-viniagrette-dressing-1

  • 1 12-oz bag Broccoli Slaw Mix or 6 cups shredded broccoli stems, shredded carrots, and shredded red cabbage
  • Dressing
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp seasoned salt
    • 1/2 tsp dill weed
    • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • Optional Add-ins
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Soy nuts
    • Craisins (dried cranberries) or golden raisins
    • Broccoli sprouts

Directions:

Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Empty broccoli slaw mix into large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over top and mix thoroughly to combine.  Add any optional add-ins you like.  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

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Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast.

Oh my dear programmable crockpot – how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways….

All kidding aside, I do love cooking in the crockpot, and I love this new one I got that is programmable and then keeps dinner warm once its done cooking.  They have come such a long way since the first one I got oh so many years ago as a newlywed.  I use it at least once a week – especially in the colder weather months.

This past Sunday was a bit of a cold, lazy day, so this Honey Balsamic Pork Roast was just the ticket for dinner.  That hubby of mine is going to make a pork lover out of me yet!

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A tender white meat pork loin with a full flavored simple sauce that turns into a rich, easy gravy warmed up and filled our tummies – especially with a dollop of mashed potatoes and healthy serving of steamed broccoli.

Just look at that yumminess!  I am beginning to think pork is the “other white meat” Hubby keeps trying to convince chicken-lover me into believing.

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Here is the simple, yet hearty and flavorful recipe I slightly adapted from SixSisterStuff.   Hope you’ll give it a try.

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

Ingredients:crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-with-onions

  • 2-3 lb. pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup beef broth (I made using 1 cup water and 1 beef bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I realized I was out, so used Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – I am the queen of improvising!)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Place pork roast in crockpot and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle honey over top of roast.  Add rest of ingredients except for the last two (butter and flour).  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

When ready to serve, remove roast to cutting board to rest.  In a small saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour to create a roux.  When thickened, pour juice from crockpot into roux, and stir to incorporate and thicken into gravy.  Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Shout Out for Sprouts!

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Freshly Sprouted Broccoli Sprouts

A Shout Out for Sprouts!

Are you a sprout lover?  I’ve always enjoyed them, but they are not always readily available in my local grocery stores.

I was reminded of them when I recently read Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard and blogged about how to make The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg.   Vivian recommends serving hard boiled eggs for breakfast on a bed of fresh sprouts (broccoli for her).  I didn’t have any fresh sprouts the day I made my “perfect” hard boiled eggs, so I put mine on canned bean sprouts (which was NOT a good choice by the way).

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Freshly Sprouted Green Pea Sprouts

So wasn’t I surprised when a new blog follower here at The Creative Life In Between, RCollab, commented on one of my posts, which made me curious about their blog, and the first post I saw from them was called DIY:  Sprouting Sprouts!  It was as if the blogging gods sent me a gift of inspiration.  Check out their blog for the complete, easy instructions.

RCollab is an abbreviation for Our Collab or Our Collaboration where Colleen and Raphy, a sweet young couple, share their passion and adventures.

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Sprouting Seeds Day 1: 1 Quart Mason Jars and Cheese Cloth

Did you know there are many health benefits of eating sprouts?  The impressive list includes the ability to improve digestion, boost metabolism, increase enzymatic activity throughout the body, prevent anemia, help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, prevent neural tube defects in infants, protect against cancer, boost skin health, improve vision, support the immune system, and increase usable energy reserves.*  That’s quite a list – eh?

Additionally, sprouts contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In terms of minerals, sprouts contain manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium.*

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Broccoli Sprouts Day 6

So I was excited to find a sampler pack of certified organic non-GMO sprouting seeds from The Sprout House. It contains a dozen 2-ounce packages consisting of Alfalfa, French Lentil, Kamut, Mung, Daikon Radish, Clover, Green Pea, Garbanzo, Adzuki, Broccoli, Hard Wheat, Black Sunflower, and Green Lentil sprouting seeds.

My first try was the broccoli and green pea, and I love them both.  It was so easy to do, and the price is so right!  I am currently soaking the alfalfa and lentil seeds and can’t wait to try them.

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Chicken Breast on Rye with Broccoli Sprouts

When our youngest son came over on Saturday to help my husband with a project he is working on – an art/photography studio for ME in our home (woohoo!) – I made us some yummy grilled chicken breast sandwiches with muenster cheese, fresh broccoli sprouts, romaine lettuce, tomato slices, and a smidge of Dijon Mustard on rye bread!  They were delish!

Sprouts are not only great to add crunch and flavor and nutrients to sandwiches, they are delicious in salads, in wraps, with hard boiled eggs and to just eat plain!

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Sprout House Assorted Organic Sprouting Seed Sampler

If you want to give them a try, here is a link to where I ordered them:  Sprout House Assorted Organic Sprouting Seed Sampler.   There are simple directions right on the bag similar to RCollab’s instructions.

How do you like to eat sprouts?  Which ones are your favorites?  Can’t wait to hear!

Happy Sprouting!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Organic Facts.net

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

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The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

It’s a age old debate, and there are likely as many methods as there are stars in the sky, but I recently tried this method from a great book I’ve started devouring that was recommended by a friend, Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard.  This book is as much a story as it is a cookbook and as much an inspiration as it is picture book.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Vivian also has a PBS Series called A Chef’s Life and a restaurant called Chef & the Farmer.

So I tried Vivian’s method and loved it.  Complete simplicity and success.  A hard boiled egg generously topped with more salt and pepper than seems reasonable and a dab of Cholula hot sauce served on a bed of sprouts drizzled with fresh lemon juice = the perfect quick breakfast!

Here’s how to make them:

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Place two eggs in a 2-quart sauce pan.  Cover with cool water to an inch above theperfect-hard-boiled-egg eggs.  Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain the eggs, and run cold water over them until they are cool enough to handle.

If you are cooking more eggs, let sit 12 minutes.  

That’s it!  Simple!  Success!  The perfect food.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Oodles of Zoodles

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Oodles of Zoodles.

Has anyone else joined the zoodle craze?

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Low carb, low calorie, gluten free, grain free, wheat free, healthy, nutritious, unprocessed, vegetarian, cheap and and easy ZOODLES!

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Zoodles are zucchini noodles.  Or better put, vegetable noodles made from spiral cut zucchini.  They can be used in so many ways!

I recently purchased a SpiralLife Vegetable Slicer, and couldn’t wait to give it a try.  Super inexpensive at $14.99 on Amazon, it was easy to use, easy to clean, and easy on the wallet.

I made my zoodles to accompany a light dinner of Lemon Butter Chicken this week, and we loved them.

I simply sauteed them ever so briefly in olive oil with salt and pepper and a couple cloves of minced garlic.  After about two minutes, I added a handful of halved grape tomatoes and a generous grating of fresh Parmigiano reggiano cheese.  After sauteeing another two minutes, my zoodles were ready to serve and eat.  Yum!

How are you making your zoodles?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi