This recipe is a good one-even if I did it in a unique way.
I found this recipe in Rachael Ray’s magazine. Usually when Rachael’s magazine shows up, I thumb through it, and I throw it in the recycle bin. A few recipes in her December issue, however, were interesting.
Of course, I didn’t have all the fancy ingredients that the recipe called for, and so I made do. I also started it one morning for supper the next day.
Sometimes I like to drag stuff out.
Here is how I did it:
A 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Combine the garlic and red pepper flakes and sprinkle over the pork. Gently sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pork too-you don’t need a lot of salt here. Wrap the seasoned tenderloin in plastic wrap and place it in a container in the refrigerator all day.
Go do random things like shop, eat Chinese, and watch mind-numbing TV.
Later that night, about two hours before bedtime, decide it is time to cook the pork. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut several strips of bacon in half. Cover the pork loin with the halved bacon so that the pork is completely covered. Then, transfer the pork to a roasting pan and roast at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.
After the pork has roasted and your kitchen smells divine, sleepily remove the pork from the oven, allow to cool, place it in a container, and return it to the refrigerator for tomorrow. Go to bed and dream of that smell.
This pork is unbelievably juicy and the bacon is delicious. Of course, you can wrap anything in bacon and it will be delicious.
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: food, smoking
This Christmas, my husband got a smoker.
He has always wanted to master the art of slow grilling and smoking meat, and he has practiced as much as the weather would allow.
He’s smoked ribs, game hens, chicken, and bologna. He smoked a turkey, but since it was from the back of the freezer where it had been hidden for a few years, only our dog had a bite.
Filed under: Food I Make, Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: bacon, breakfast, eggs, food, Muffins, pioneer woman
Saturday mornings were made for breakfast makin’. The usual fare at our house is pancakes, plain for me followed by chocolate chip for everyone else. A meal of pancakes starts the weekend off right.
This week at work, things were a little quiet as my kids were taking tests, and so I had a little free time to explore my cookbooks. One on the pile to search for new things in was the Pioneer Woman. I love her recipes, hate her show. Regardless, I chose several new recipes to try-a cake, a meatball thingy for bookclub, a chicken wing dish, and a new breakfast dish to try.
This morning, the breakfast muffins made their debut.
I decided to scale PW’s original recipe back a little. Even if they were delicious, we didn’t need twelve breakfast muffins for four people. I also could not sacrifice a dozen eggs and a pack of bacon for one dish. I used about three fourths of what she called for for each ingredient and broiled the muffins accordingly.
When I opened the oven, the smell was intriguing. The muffins with all their breakfasty goodness, including an almost uncomfortable amount of eggs and bacon, looked very yummy. Their tops had browned and the edges of the English muffins were perfectly toasted. I was impressed.
We sat down with our muffins and the usual pancakes.
The muffins? Worst recipe ever.
I mean, they were totally gross. The intriguing smell was the smell of too much worchestire sauce before noon and too much mayonnaise for anytime of the day. I tried one before anyone else, and my bites were like eating a hot, manly deviled egg. Bleh.
This recipe was not a keeper. Instead, my experience may cause me to tear the recipe out of the cookbook.
I’ve got no love for these love muffins.
Filed under: Random Foodie Thoughts
Getting into the movies may cost an arm and a leg, but the popcorn is worth it.
Filed under: Food I Make, Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: blueberries, bread, cooking, dessert, food, lemon, recipes, southern, Trisha Yearwood
A friend of mine at work recently gave me a gallon size bag of fresh blueberries. Her dad was given some, and he passed them on to her, and then she passed some on to me. Did she give them to me because she is a good friend, or because she knew I would try to make something with them and that I would share that attempt?
I think we all know the answer to that one. A little bit of both.
I adore blueberries, and I have never seen any so fresh. We have blueberries at the grocery store here, but they are blue yet bland. These were the real deal.
Other than pancakes, which aren’t really shareable except on Saturday mornings in your pjs, I was at a loss for what to make that I could share with my friend and the rest of our staff. What to do?
Time to break out the cookbooks.
I looked at several, but other than the previously mentioned pancakes, I found nothing. Inviting my co-workers over for a slumber party was going a little over board, I thought. Luckily, my girl Trisha Yearwood had an idea. Really, her sister contributed the recipe to the book, but Trisha’s pic is on the front of the cookbook, so I give them both credit.
Anyway, I decided to tweak the original and mesh their recipe with my own. I added quite a few more pecans than the sisters did. The original only calls for 1/2 a cup, and I probably added closer to a cup. I like to have plenty of pecans in a dish so that it is clear that pecans are in there. Otherwise, it just looks as if dirt or some other unfortunate particle has entered the food. More pecans = no pecan/dirt confusion.
I also doubled the original and converted it into a bundt cake. It was very pretty that way, but the icing slid into pools on the side.
Regardless, everybody at work ate it. Like I have said before, that is not really an indication of a delicious recipe since any food left in a teacher workroom will be promptly eaten no matter its condition. The blueberries were so plump and pretty, and the cake was very moist. It lacked lemony-ness, I thought, but no one else complained.
I made the same recipe loaf style the second time I made it. I used the same method of operation, but I baked it for about ten minutes less than the recipe called for. I also doubled the glaze recipe to add more lemon to the mix.
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: bread pudding, college food, dessert, family, food, life, recipes, southern food
There is a soft place in my heart for kids in college. The studying. The small dorms. The roommates. The food.
Many moons ago when I was in college living in the dorms, I had a meal card that bought my lunch from the cafeteria five days a week. They had salads, sandwiches, a hot plate, and burgers. The food was always fine, but it wasn’t home food and some experiences were always better than others. For example, it was in that college lunchroom that I first encountered lentils.
I can’t really remember eating in my dorm room much. I know I did eat, but I really can’t remember what I ate, and I really don’t remember cooking anything. I know that I had chicken salad a lot from the grocery store. I also remember the time my then boyfriend brought me a bag of homegrown tomatoes that I sliced and ate on sandwiches. That was pure heaven.
The tomatoes, not the boyfriend. The tomatoes were much better than the boyfriend.
Well, now my niece is the college girl eating weird food in her dorm room. Recently she made a meal in her dorm room and commented on it on Facebook. A few college friends of hers posted about what she made, which was some “noodles and vegetable stuff” and a bread pudding. Comments went back and forth about the meal, and it all ended up with me offering to feed these poor, starving college kids a homemade bread pudding.
It was fun.
2 cups of milk
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, separated
1/2 cup of sugar
4 cups of King’s Hawaiian bread, cubed
2 eggs, beaten
Dash of salt
Dash of nutmeg
1 t vanilla
2 cups of powdered sugar
In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until a skin forms over the top. To it, add the butter and the 1/2 cup of sugar and stir. In a large bowl, pour the milk mixture over the bread and allow to soak for fifteen minutes. This will look watery, but it will be fine.
While the bread is soaking, mix the eggs, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla together. When the bread has soaked long enough, add the egg mixture to the bread mixture. Bake in a well-greased square cake pan for 35 or 40 minutes.
While it bakes, make the sauce for the top by melting the stick of butter in a small saucepan. When the butter has melted, add the powdered sugar and turn up the heat to medium. Stir constantly and quickly until the mixture is thickened and the butter is well incorporated.
Pour the sauce over the top. Store in the refrigerator but serve warm.
My family and I delivered this bread pudding and some other groceries to my niece recently on a cold winter’s night while she was working on a paper about a poem. While we there, we got to take her out to eat, see her dorm room, and spend some time with her. It was so fun to see the girl who was born when I was in college taking her turn as the college girl.
That didn’t make it any easier to leave her in that lonely dorm room, though.
But hey, she’s a strong, smart chick with a great deal of confidence and a good head on her shoulders-a lot like lots of other ladies who paid their dues in college dorms with brick walls.
Not saying those are traits I have, but my dorm’s brick walls were bright Pepto pink.
A few days after our visit, on that same Facebook post that started the whole bread pudding conversation, one of the friends who first commented about that meal posted that my niece had shared a bit of my bread pudding with him. He said it was “clutch.”
I guess that’s a good thing?
Regardless, it got the job done. A few college students have now had a bit of home cookin’, and hopefully it made them a little happier. And, they know all they have to do is comment on Facebook about food, and I’ll be glad to share some more of whatever they want.
Just making the food, sharing it, and thinking about the college life was plenty of fun for me.
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: baking, cakes, desserts, food, home cooking, life, mississippi mud cake, snow day food
Snow days-or ice days around here-mean baking. I have the time to try something new on these special days, and it is great fun.
We got out of school today in the early afternoon due to the impending white gloom on its way, and Mr. Opinionated got off work a little early too. I perused several cookbooks before he got home from work trying to decide what to bake. I was thinking of maybe a new sweet potato pie recipe or maybe a coffee cake. Both, however, were shot down.
“How’s about a Mississippi mud?” he asked.
And so it is.
Snow day baking is the epitome of making do-I can only do with what I have on hand. I had plenty of eggs, sugar, flour, butter and such. I didn’t have plenty of powdered sugar and oil, though. And, I was not about to leave the house only to slide from here to the store.
So, the question of this snowy, bleak day is: Will this cake idea work?
The recipe is the same as my momma’s with some minor snow day-necessary modifications. I used 1 and 1/4 cups of water instead of 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of oil. I had heard that that would work and was the secret to my friend’s super moist cakes. Instead of oleo, I used salted butter. I didn’t have a whole box of powdered sugar, and so I used the 2 cups I had. I also added a cup of pecans that I roasted for seven minutes in the oven while the cake was in. That’s a Paula Deen thing. I also had to substitute marshmallow fluff instead of marshmallows; I used most of a 13 ounce jar. Last thing, I baked my cake for 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes to help achieve the muddy quality I was looking for.
The cake came out of the oven fine. I poked holes across the top of the cake with a toothpick to prep it for the creme. Spreading the marshmallow creme was a challenge, so I plopped it on the top of the cake and covered the whole thing with aluminum foil to let the creme melt a little.
That took a while, but it worked. The creme spread so nicely that I decided to add a little extra. Wallah!
Then, I sprinkled the pecans on the top.
The warm icing went over all of that, and then the aluminum foil went back over the whole thing to rest. I noticed the creme poofing a little, but I thought that would be a good idea to keep the whole thing warm and gooey.
Looking back, I don’t think I should have done that. My warm and gooey cake looked more like a hot mess than a chocolate cake. The warm cake and warm icing turned the topping into a mesh of marshmallow, chocolate icing, pecans. It didn’t look too much like the mud I was looking for. Mississippi Slosh Cake, anyone?
Regardless, it tasted amazing. It wasn’t like my momma’s cake; I didn’t taste it and say, “Mmmm…childhood,” or anything like that. It was amazing, though. It was warm and gooey and good. The recipe, however messed up it is, is a keeper.
Snow days are the greatest.