Super Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Super Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Every woman has her go-to recipes when guests are coming over, as well as a short list of easy busy school-night dinners, holiday dishes, and family favorites.  This dish meets every one of those criteria. Dress it up, dress it down.  Like a pair of jeans – casual with a tank top and scarf, ready to wow with boots and a little sparkle.  That’s this recipe.  Serve it up quick for family when you’re pressed for time, or on china when friends come to call.       Peppercorn-Garlic Pork Tenderloin Serves 4-5, double for guests Ingredients – 5 TBS. coconut oil 3 small sweet potatoes (or ten red potatoes), thick slices or cubes 1 /2 white onion, long strips 1 bunch asparagus, 2-3″ segments Trader Joe’s Peppercorn-Garlic Pork Tenderloin (Regular grocery stores have their own variations on this theme.  The important thing is “pork tenderloin”.  Take a few extra home and store them in the freezer.)   Heat up that cast iron skillet your Mother-in-Law gave you last Christmas.  Get the coconut oil steaming hot then brown that tenderloin, 2 minutes each side.  Next, add onion wedges and potatoes next to the meat.  Coat them in the oil, and transfer skillet to 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until internal meat temperature hits 170 degrees.  I often throw asparagus on top for the last 5 minutes.   This dish is complete in and of itself.  No need for a side dish!  Though a salad and some crusty bread never hurt anyone.Oh… and pears too.  Pears are fabulous this time of year!   Do try this recipe and let me know if it becomes one of your staples. Eat up, Wen...
Favorite Fall Snacks

Favorite Fall Snacks

  There’s this window every afternoon when I want something sweet yet substantial to get me through till dinner.  And in the fall, I want that snack to be extra special, like pumpkin cake and a spiced latte… but I can’t do that now, because I’m forty.   Everything changed at forty.   Now I’m not complaining about 99% of growing up, but that 1%  that’s covered in maple frosting… I really miss!  I loved the way I used to be able to grab a brownie at 3pm each afternoon and never gain a pound.  It was wonderful!  No sugar crashes, sleepless nights, sudden freak-outs with my kids, or weight gain.  Just chocolate, pure and simple.   But that was yesteryear, and so I’m getting creative with my afternoon snacks, and thought I’d share two of my favorites. I am not, mind you, going to give you the calorie count… just in case it’s as caloric and fatty as my brownies and spice cake!  I am in denial that jam and candied nuts are bad for me until I hit Fifty!   First up…   Vanilla Yogurt with Pecan Pieces & Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds It’s just that simple and absolutely divine!  3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt, sprinkled with pecan pieces and the phenomenal seasonal sensation, Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, from Trader Joe’s.  Be forewarned, there is nutritional information on the link I just shared… and, I repeat, I am not advocating that you look.   Now here’s another Smashing Fall Favorite…   Honey Smoked Turkey, Brie, and Fig Preserves This is just a fancy meat roll-up!  Just like you make for your kids...
Newlyweds with a side of Chicken Salad

Newlyweds with a side of Chicken Salad

There’s a bit of a story here before you get to my favorite Chicken Salad Recipe. Read on…   We stopped attending our Sunday school class at church about a year ago, we just didn’t feel that it was where we were supposed to be.  We kept the boys in their two hours of Sunday School fun, but stopped going to our second hour.   Instead we purposed to sit together in the cafe, and earmark that time to really connect with one another – about the deep-down soul stuff we’d been carrying over the course of the week, or piling up over the years of our marriage.   It was an incredible blessing on so many levels.  Primarily, it took the edge off of anything that burdened me throughout the week.  I’d relax at the thought, “Sunday’s coming!  Matt wants to know my heart.  I can share what concerns me today… on Sunday.”  Within this safe place, we started sharing with more courage and listening with more grace about all the issues in our marriage, our parenting, our individual dreams and struggles.  It was a safe time, a loving time, a healing time.   Then the day arrived when we stopped coming to the table with an intense need to be heard.  It’s like all the build-up from the first 12 years of marriage had been worked through and we were communicating well and loving one another intentionally again – Not just on Sundays but throughout the week as well. It just took six months worth of Sunday mornings to get us there.   Now there we sat, across the green...
Labor Day Rest – for moms

Labor Day Rest – for moms

It’s Labor Day Weekend, Y’all!   Time to turn up the music, open wide the windows and enjoy perfectly temperate days!  BBQ some ribs, make a peach cobbler, float in the pool, and drink homemade lemonade.  Then wake up early and pack up the car for a sandy day at the beach.  Don’t forget the surfboard and shovels, or the cooler heavy laden with drinks and grapes and sandwich meat.  Then Monday let’s go for a bike ride as a family and peddle till our muscles ache and our brows drip health and happiness. At least  that’s our relaxing agenda this long weekend before school starts up Tuesday.   Here’s the nitty gritty truth about “LABOR DAY”… It’s a laborious prospect for Moms!   All this eating and going and sand ground into the seams of our hardwood floors.  Just getting ready sends my head to spinning.  In preparation I’m cleaning house today, making sure all the laundry is done, and planning fun meals and holiday snacks!  Out I go into the garden to gather late summer roses for each table, and hang the water colors our boys have painted over this long season of fun.     Ironically, this day that celebrates REST takes a whole lot of work!  Can I get an Amen from the choir heading to the grocery store this afternoon ?   Be Still and Know that I am God. Psalm 46:10   Personally I wonder if this spiritual challenge was ever intended for Moms’ hearts!  But there’s the spin:  The heart not the hands.  The heart, not the serving and the loving and the moving.  That can’t...
Lemon Bars Recipe

Lemon Bars Recipe

This recipe, my mother’s recipe, has been a favorite of mine since I was a young girl.  Before my hair turned from blonde to brown I knew summer tasted like lemon bars.  Now I have my own home, and my own summer-time children, making deep sense-memories as they pick their fruit straight from our lemon trees.  Buckets full of yellow in a bright green bucket from spring through mid-summer.     An hour’s worth of picking takes two and a half hours to squeeze!   The boys like their lemonade without pulp, so I press it through a fine sieve.  But some fresh squeezed juice remains pulpy, and I place it in a  Tupperware labeled with a piece of masking tape, upon which I write PULP. I use this juice with pulp for my lemon bars.     My Mother-in-law’s been asking for this recipe for nearly a decade now.  No fooling.  I never meant to be elusive, keep it for my own, it’s just slipped my mind a dozen times.  When I remember to look I can’t seem to find the thin paper with three layers of ingredients scribbled in blue ink.  But I found it this week.  Made it for her visit.  And promised I’d write it out for her.  I’m doing that now. Because today my husband’s Mama leaves Southern California’s lemon tree dappled hills, rich soil and salt air.  But when she arrives home in sticky sweet Texas, the land of southern hospitality, she’ll find my Mama’s lemon bar recipe in her inbox.  Enjoy!   LEMON BARS bottom layer 1/4 cup confectionary sugar 1/8 tsp salt 1 cup flour 1/2 cup cold butter, cut...