Sweet and Savory Pork Roast

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My crockpots are probably one of the busiest pieces of equipment in our kitchen.  I use them weekly.  This morning I prepared a simple yet delicious dinner (the tween queen’s favorite meal actually) in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner.

This roast is tender and full of flavor.

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You can find my recipe and the ingredients on my Facebook page today here:  Sweet and Savory Pork Roast

 

Oven Roasted Potatoes

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Oven roasted potatoes give me a “homey” feeling.  I know that sounds weird but it takes me back to a time when I was about 12 years old and staying at a friends house whose mother was very “old fashioned” at the time.  A typical 1978 stay at home housewife she always made meat, potato, and vegetable dinners.  Most every time I ate over she was making her oven roasted potatoes with some type of roast and peas.  I lost touch with the friend over the years and last year her mother passed away.

Tonight I made our oven roasted potatoes and while they were cooking, my mind drifted back to to those times and how I loved watching her work in their tiny kitchen in the simple home they owned.  I was snapped out of my trip down memory lane by my 12 year old daughter coming into the kitchen and opening the oven while making her “mmmmm” sound.  Shortly after, the man of the house came through and also opened the oven and smiled.

Here is how I make our oven roasted potatoes.

We love using some of the potatoes we grow for oven roasting.

Wash and chop the potatoes
Place them in an oven safe bowl and drizzle with oil (see note below)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to combine
Bake in a 375 degree oven until soft and browned (about 35 minutes)

You can put sour cream, ranch, or blue cheese on these or eat them like a french fry using vinegar and ketchup!!

NOTE: I use Wildtree Grapeseed oils for almost all of our cooking. They have infused oils and they are light and fabulous. One small jar lasts our family a year!! Our favorites are the garlic and the basil pesto oils!!

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Crushed Dorito Taco Salad

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This salad is a huge hit!!  It can be a full meal, served hot or cold,  and you can add many additional items to it.   Here is how I made mine:

1 bag of romaine lettuce (or any lettuce of your choice). You can add as much or as little lettuce as you like.

1 8 oz bag shredded cheese (sharp, taco, cheddar)

1 12 oz bag Doritos (crush them in the bag)

1 16 ox bottle Catalina dressing

1 lb ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning

Brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning

Put the lettuce in a large bowl

When beef is done, pour it over the lettuce and stir it around

Top with shredded cheese and Catalina dressing and mix again

Refrigerate if you want to serve it cold and place crushed Doritos on before serving.

If serving at room temperature or warm, place the crushed Doritos on top and stir before serving.

NOTE:  items you can serve on the side or mix in–chopped tomatoes, kidney beans or black beans, corn, black olives, jalapenos, chopped onion, sour cream etc.  The items are endless!!!

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Birthday Dinner (cooking strip steaks)

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This past Tuesday was the man of the house’s birthday.  It was a big one (50!!) and the kids were very excited to have a wonderful grilled strip steak dinner along with the potatoes they harvested and a chocolate chip cookie cake for dessert.

He works in the medical field and had a first case at 6:30 a.m. and a late case that started at 6:30 p.m. so the kids had to contain themselves until he was finally home.

I am not a master on the grill.  As a matter of fact, I probably shouldn’t be allowed to use that thing!!  But use it I did and I think I did a great job on our steaks.

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When cooking any type of steak I always rinse it first.  I season it with Montreal Steak seasoning which has all the wonderful spices you need such as garlic, black pepper, salt, onion powder etc.  I let that sit for 1/2 hour and then before grilling I put a few pats of butter on the side that will be face up on the grill letting it melt and season the meat as it cooks.

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For perfect steaks you should always cook them on high heat quick.  We like ours medium rare so it does not take long for the outside to get browned while the inside stays light pink and juicy.

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The potatoes were grown in containers this year (see post here on how we grew potatoes).  I steamed them in a little garlic oil and water and seasoned them with freshly ground sea salt.

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A side of corn and a tad of sour cream with chopped chives finished our plates.  It was delicious.

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The kids were finally happy to sing to their dad!!

 

 

Orange Juice Ice Cubes

Orange juice is not just for breakfast!!

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Pork Tenderloin prepared with OJ

I LOVE to cook pork with it.  It really brings out flavor in pork loins, tenderloins, or chops. Recipe for tenderloin here and pork chops here.  When frozen you can just pop in 5 frozen OJ cubes.

It is fabulous in smoothies adding the natural sweetness you need to offset some of the bitter greens you may put in there and aids in the digestion of them.  You can add the ice cubes in place of plain water cubes.

These are great in many drinks including Mimosas, punch, iced tea, green tea, seltzer, and tonic.  My kids like them right out of the bag and the minute one complains of a sore throat I hand them a cube!!

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Whenever I have Orange Juice that is getting close to the expiration date I will fill up the ice cube trays and freeze it for future use!!