Amazing Pork Tenderloin {Recipe of the Week}

This week a friend on twitter shared a recipe for pork tenderloin made in the slow cooker. I am a huge fan of my slow cooker. HUGE. It makes our busy weeknights easier to manage. This recipe was just like the title suggests… AH-MAZING! Highly recommend. Lil’ A ate every bite and K gushed at how delish it was.

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The pork was tender and full of flavor. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies for a complete meal.

2013 Dream Board

A few months ago, Nikki suggested I create a Dream Board to help get me back on track. At the time, I was feeling pretty blue and lacking motivation. This idea really appealed to me but I didn’t act on it. It was a difficult year and I just couldn’t see a way out of the sadness I was feeling. Early December I finally found my happy again. I felt hopeful and excited about a few new prospects. All of this has spilled over into this new year and I think this is the perfect time to create my Dream Board.

Here are a few goals for the up coming year:

Try a new recipe each week

Try a new recipe each week

Finish redecorating the guest room

Finish redecorating the guest room

Finish Project Basement and my studio space

Finish Project Basement and my studio space

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Start an Etsy store

Walk jog run 500 miles

Walk jog run 500 miles

Participate in the Cap City Half Marathon

Participate in the Cap City Half Marathon

Plan and host a Lalaloopsy themed birthday party

Plan and host a Lalaloopsy themed birthday party

Read 100 books

Read 100 books

And the BIG one…

Register for the Disney Half Marathon and save for a family vacation

Register for the 2014 Disney Half Marathon and save for a family vacation

Adventures in Baking: Apple Cobbler

Oh how I adore Fall. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it a million more times. This season makes me so happy. A few weeks ago, my in-laws took Lil’ A apple picking and today I used up most of those yummy apples in a dessert.

From past posts, I’m sure you are all extremely aware of my limited (at best) baking skills but I didn’t want the apples to go to waste and the kiddo wasn’t digging the idea of making applesauce. So I hopped over the the Supercook site to see what I could make with my sparse baking supplies.

Enter… Easy Apple Cobbler!

 

And it was easy! The most work comes in when peeling and chopping the apples but I did this task while watching 666 Park Avenue. The whole house smelled amazing!

And as for the taste? After the first bite K said, “Shit! This is good!” A ringing endorsement if I ever heard one!

Unstuffed shells… It’s what’s for dinner!

In an effort to eat at home more and save money in the process, I have been trying to make meals ahead to freeze and using my crockpot more. If I haven’t yet mentioned my current and deep love for Once a Month Mom here it is… This site is amazing! A ton of fabulous recipes that will meet any dietary restrictions from gf to dairy free to plain old anything goes. I just love how the recipes include photos and instructions to either prepare or to freeze.

Last week I made the unstuffed shells recipe from OAM, Lil’ A LOVED this dish proclaiming she wants to eat it every single day. This recipe was easy to make and was perfect for making 2 meals for my family of 3; one went into the oven and the other into the freeze.

Since I was feeling a bit under the weather I pulled out the frozen version of this dish for K to pop into the oven later. I had written all the instructions for preparing on the lid of the container making prep super simple.

I am pleased to report that our frozen version was just as delicious as the first go round.

Unstuffed shells

This is the perfect meal for a crisp fall day served with a salad and yummy crusty Italian bread. This will definitely make it into the monthly menu!

Adventures in cooking: Hawaiian baked ham & swiss swammiches

Today was a seriously lazy day. I did take a walk around the neighborhood in the drizzling rain and then introduced Lil’ A to yoga. She was so cute asking me to check her form. Since it was a blah day, warm sandwiches seemed the perfect choice. I stumbled upon with recipe on Pinterest the other day and have been craving it ever since! The recipe I found is posted on The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife.

Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
1 12 pack of King’s Hawaiian Original Rolls
1 lb. deli ham, shaved
1 lb. Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons of poppy seeds
1 onion, chopped
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and mix in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion and poppy seed. Simmer for several minutes.
2. Cut the entire pack of rolls in half, horizontally (keeping all top and bottom halves in tact).
3. In a greased 9×13 pan, place bottom half of rolls and spread 1/3 of the onion mixture over the bottom of the rolls followed by the ham and cheese.
4. Replace the tops of the rolls and spread the remaining onion mixture over top.
5. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes and, once finished, separate for serving.
Rave reviews from both K and Lil’ A on this one. Very easy to make and so very delish!

Jersey Shore!

After the tumultuous year, I don’t think K or I believed we would be able to take a vacation. Travel simply is not in the budget. Period. However, we received an amazingly generous offer to stay for a week at Chez Hynes, our dear friends Nikki and Mike.

So we packed up the car and made the 8 hour trek to New Jersey.

Top left: S I M P Squirrel in K’s pants!
Top Right: Toes on the road
Bottom Left: My hipster chic chia latte
Bottom Right: Where I wanna live! Long live 10!

It was a really wonderful week. Here’s a taste of some of the fun (once I get all the photos off my camera I’m sure there will be another post)!

Black light mini golf. The artwork on the walls was super cool. Glowzo kinda freaked me out but I have a thing against clowns.

A trip to Thompson Park allowed the kids to feed the deer.
We ended the day with a bonfire.

Best friend love! Good thing I’m not the jealous type. Ha!

Dumby cop patrols the neighborhood. Only in Jersey!

Top row: Long Branch Beach
Middle Left: My beach bum!
Middle Center: Point Pleasant Beach
Middle Right: The shells were amazing!
Bottom Left: Beach Ice Cream Man!
Bottom Center: Face painting on the Boardwalk
Bottom Right: K cuddles with his Boardwalk winnings!

Of course no vacation would be complete without good food and there was plenty! Nikki made a huge from-scratch Italian meal for us the first night with ALL THE MEAT (which was kind of a theme for the week). I ate way too much and found 6 of the 8 lbs I had lost prior to vacation in Jersey.

Top Left: Nikki made us these adorable mini-ice cream cakes for our anniversary
Top Center: More ice cream cake! This time to celebrate Matthew’s 8th birthday.
Top Right: S’mores cookies ~ deadly!
Middle Right: Lunch on the Boardwalk
Bottom Right: Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream 
Featured Photo: Beer battered cod atop mashed potatoes during a lunch with a friend at Due Mari in New Brunswick. AMAZING!

It was nice to actually have the time with our hosts to hang out rather than feeling rushed in the short weekend visits we’ve had in the past. I can’t wait for them to visit in the Fall!