Archives for January 2012

Apple-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Do you need a fancy-looking meal to impress some dinner guests? This tasty meal from Simple & Delicious was so easy to make for how nicely it turned out. It also made great leftovers since the stuffing kept the meat nice and moist. And since it’s all fresh ingredients it needs no allergy changes, except for the cornstarch.

Start by chopping an apple and some onion.

Apple and onion

By the way this was one of my Christmas presents. It’s an immersion blender that can also attach to become a food processor. Sure makes chopping quicker!

New blender

Anyway, next saute apple and onion in oil until tender. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper; cook another minute or so and remove from heat.

Saute

Make a lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin and spread apple mixture over the meat. Close tenderloins, tie with string, and secure the ends with toothpicks. I didn’t have string so I just used several toothpicks, which worked just fine. Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 15 minutes.

Stuffed

Meanwhile, combine the juices and mustard in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch (or arrowroot) and water until smooth and gradually stir into juice mixture. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until thickened. Stir in parsley.

Cooked

Pour 3/4 cup of sauce over tenderloin and continue to bake until meat reaches 160. Let stand before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.

Served

Recipe:
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 pork tenderloins (I made one)

Sauce:
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. minced parsley

Enjoy!

Thrifty Redecorating in the Kitchen

I enjoy redecorating our home. Whether it’s buying something new or just doing a little rearranging, sometimes a little change can make a big difference in freshening up a boring room. I find that one of the most difficult places to decorate is the space above the kitchen cabinets. Other than sticking a few fake plants up there, I’ve never really known what to do with that space. When we first got married and were living in an apartment our cabinets had about six inches above them so there really wasn’t any need for anything besides a couple of plants. Now our house has almost two feet above the cabinets, way too much space to leave empty!

I started out my redecorating project by googling kitchen cabinet decorations to get some ideas about what other people do with that space. I found a blog with some tips and chose two images that were most appealing to me and bookmarked them as my inspiration. What I like most about these is how colorful and interesting they look. I really like the “full” look right now. I feel like it makes a space look cozy and lived-in.

Inspiration 1Inspiration 2

I went out to a couple of thrift stores and purchased a couple of items that I thought looked interesting and fit into my color scheme. Our house is mostly earth tones/fallish colors. I came home with a few decorative plates and other random items that I was drawn to. Then I took the tip that the article suggested and cleared off all of my current things to start with a blank canvas. My main goal was to stay away from putting any of my fake plants back up there. Here’s what it looked like before…

Before cornerBefore centerBefore right

Then, after sitting and staring at empty cabinets for a few minutes not knowing where to begin, I finally started to put some of my favorite items up first to see what they would look like. I just kept finding items that I already had to fill in the extra spaces until I had the full and cozy look that I was going for.

After leftAfter cornerAfter centerAfter right

All together I spent only $16 on a few new items and the space looks completely different! Everything else I used were things I already had and rarely used. Bonus… putting up some bulky items that take up a lot of space in my cabinets means I now have more space to better organize the things I make use of all the time.

Close up 1Close up 2Close up 3Close up 4Close up 5

So what do you think? Is it too much or just right? I need some opinions since my hubby was more concerned about getting to the microwave to heat up lunch than evaluating my decorating for some reason. 😉

After whole

One thing is for sure… it’s a lot more interesting than before. I find myself stopping to take a better look as I pass the kitchen.

Enjoy Life Foods: Chewy Bars

I just love Enjoy Life Foods! As you can probably imagine, I was more than happy to sample their newly reformulated chewy bars. Enjoy Life Foods kindly sent me a box of each of their four tasty flavors of chewy bars. Before now I had only ever tried the very berry flavor, so I was eager to give the others a try.

Enjoy Life boxes

I wasn’t too surprised that I enjoyed each flavor since I enjoy all of their other products. I was a little surprised at how small of a portion they are… however, they are more filling than they look like they will be and did leave me feeling satisfied. I think the very berry is still my favorite, but it sure wouldn’t be too hard to talk me into having another one of the chocolate flavor.

Chewy bars

The thing about having food allergies is that there really isn’t such thing as convenience foods anymore. We never stop and pick up take-out on the way home like we used to, and most of my snacks consist of cutting up fruits and veggies. This isn’t so bad on days when I’m mostly at home, but it’s not so easy to manage when we’re on the go. Now I can have a quick and easy snack again. I stick one of these in my purse when I’m heading out to the store or pack one with my lunch when we’re going somewhere for the day. I could even see grabbing one for breakfast on a busy morning.

As always, I know I can trust this brand to be food allergy safe for me. All of their products are made in a dedicated gluten-free and nut-free facility and are always free from the eight most common allergens. If you haven’t tasted Enjoy Life Foods‘ chewy bars yet, give them a try! Let me know which one you like the best.