Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Pork Loin

My Mom introduced me to this recipe about 2 weeks ago, the night before we left for Yellowstone to be exact. It's a recipe from Emril that was on Good Morning America, but his recipe had prunes....YUCK! So my mom changed it and took out the prunes. It turned out absolutely delicious!
I loved this recipe so much that I wanted Dusty to try it, so I made it last week. He loved it too! We concluded that this is the perfect recipe for a crisp fall day.

This is what you are going to need:
-1 1/4 cup Apple Cider
-2 1/2 lb Boneless Pork Loin
-2 tsp Salt
-1 tsp Pepper
-3 tbsp Olive Oil
-2 small Onions-cut into 1/2 inch wide wedges
-2 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp Apples-peeled,cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
-2 cloves Garlic-sliced
-1/4 cup Chicken Broth
-2 tsp dried Thyme (or 4 fresh Thyme sprigs)
-2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
-4 tbsp cold Butter

First preheat the oven to 325 degrees and then heat the olive oil in your Dutch Oven over high heat. While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, season the pork loin with salt and pepper on both sides.

When the oil is hot and ready, add the pork loin and brown on both sides (which takes approximately 4 minutes on each side). Then remove it from the Dutch Oven and place it on a baking sheet or platter.

Reduce the heat to Medium and add the onions, apples and garlic.
Caramelize them for about 3 minutes until they turn a slight golden brown. Then add 1-1/4 cup of apple cider and bring it to a boil. The smell of this combination reminds me of my moms homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving! It's heaven!

Return the Pork Loin to the Dutch Oven and nestle it in with the onions and apples. Add 2 tsp of Thyme and bring it to a simmer. Cover the Dutch Oven and transfer it to the oven. Cook the pork loin for 40-50 minutes until the pork is cooked all the way through....NO PINK!
Once the pork done cooking, remove the Dutch Oven from the oven and place the pork loin back onto the platter.

This next part is where the magic happens, trust me.
Turn the heat up to Medium-High and bring the apple/onion mixture to a boil to slightly reduce the mixture. Add the cider vinegar, salt and pepper and then stir to combine. Reduce the heat to Medium-Low to allow the sauce to simmer...not boil. Next, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time while stirring until it is completely combine. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Cut the pork loin into thin slices and spoon TONS of sauce on top of it. You must have tons of suace because it is that good!

Yellowstone National Park

Two weekends ago my family took a little trip to Yellowstone National Park. We are so lucky because we only live 5 hours from Yellowstone and 4 hours from Glacier National Park. Right smack dab in the middle of possibly two of the most beautiful places on Earth. My family had such a great time....we saw everything the park had to offer!

Here are some of the things we saw....
Tons of Buffalo

Old Faithful Geyser

Grizzly Bear and.....

They were so cute and this was an unbelievable opportunity.
We were so blessed to see them!

If we weren't lucky enough....we got to see a wolf right after seeing the Grizzly bears!

Although all of those pictures are great....this one is my absolute favorite.
I love this picture so much.

This trip was a weekend full of fun and amazement. I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful area with such great opportunities to see nature at its finest. If you go to Yellowstone, I highly suggest going in the late Fall like we did. You get to see so many beautiful sights and hear the Elk buggling. No words can describe it. You just have to do it!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Halloween House

Last week I found this adorable Wilton Gingerbread Halloween House at Walmart. When I saw it, I knew I had to make it. But of course making this house had to come with some difficulties....actually one. The house comes pre-assembled, which can be a good thing but for me it was bad. The house kept breaking!

I had to return the house to Walmart to get a new one because the roof crumbled! I opened and checked tons of kits before I finally found one that didn't have cracks in it. But when I got home, I realized my kit didn't have the food coloring dye it was suppose to come with! UGH! Thankfully I had a bottle of black dye to use for the frosting otherwise it would have been a orange and white house, which isn't as spooky!

After a couple of hours of intense decorating, I think my Halloween House turned out to be adorable! I highly recommend buying candy corn and pumpkins to make a yard for the house because it was not included in the kit.

If you have the time and feeling creative, go to Walmart and get yourself this kit. It's only $9 and really fun!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"This is Halloween!"

Even though it's 2 weeks pre-mature...Dusty and I got super excited and decided to carve pumpkins tonight instead of waiting for Halloween. He and I had tons of fun picking out our stencils from online and looking for the perfect pumpkin. These are the best pumpkins that we have carved yet!

I made Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Dusty made Scar from The Lion King

We had so much fun! Next time, I am stepping up my game because Dusty's pumpkin is so incredible!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cotes de Porc Sauce Nenette

Guess what.....it's time for another Julia Child recipe!!!
For the first time in a long time I actually had time to make a recipe that didn't involve a microwave, so I took this opportunity to try another Julia Child recipe. I'm finding that the more recipes I make of hers, the easier they are becoming to make. Maybe it's because I am finally able to decode insanely difficult written recipes....who knows!

Last night I made for Dusty and I "Cotes de Porc Sauce Nenette" which translates to Pork Chops with Mustard, Cream and Tomato Sauce. And like every other Julia Child recipe....it did not disappoint!!!

First you need to marinade 2 Pork Tenderloins:
Marinade Simple
(Lemon Juice and Herb Marinade)
-1 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp pepper
-3 Tbsp lemon juice
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp parsley
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1 bay leaf crumbled
-1 clove mashed garlic

Rub the salt and pepper into the meat. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and add the pork. Flip the pork around until it gets covered nicely in the sauce and then put a lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge for 3-4 hours turning and basting the meat several times during.

Now that you have marinated the pork, this is what you need:
-3 tbsp cooking oil
-2 tbsp butter
-1 clove mashed garlic

Preheat the oven to 325. Scrap off the marinade on the pork and dry it with a paper towel. According to Julia, this allows the meat to brown properly (and it really works!). Heat the oil in a dutch oven until it is moderately hot and add the pork tenderloins to your dutch oven. Brown the tenderloins for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Remove the pork from the dutch oven onto a plate and pour out the cooking oil. Then add the butter and garlic.

Return the pork to the dutch oven and baste them with the garlic butter...it smells so good!

Cover the dutch oven and place it on the lower third of your oven for 20-25 minutes. Turn and baste the pork tenderloins once or twice while they cook.

Meanwhile, you need to make the sauce!!!
Here is what you need:
-1/2 cup whipping cream
-1/4 tsp salt
-Dash of pepper
-1 tsp dry mustard
-2 tsp tomato paste
-1 tsp chopped basil
-1 tsp chopped parsley

Simme the cream, salt and pepper in a small saucepan for 8-10 minutes or until it has reduced to about 1/3 cup.
In a seperate bowl, mix the dry mustard and tomato paste together. Add the hot cream to the bowl and beat it together. Mix in the basil and parsley.

Once the pork tenderloin is done, remove them from the dutch oven and pour out the garlic butter/fat juice. Add the sauce to the dutch oven and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

That's it! Serve and Enjoy!
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