Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rosemary, Garlic & Mustard Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Shhh! I have a secret - while I might wish that I was a world traveling, music loving, NYC bar hopping super star sometimes in real life I sometimes am just absolutely unable to leave the 4 walls of my living room behind. I am currently in the middle of a particularly busy November that had me away from home more than half of the month (18 days). I knew that this weekend would be one of the only chances that I had to cook at home and I was really excited to eat something that didn't come wrapped in its own single serving package! Before I left I had stocked up on a few things so that I would have some supplies when I got back waiting for me....because as I have mentioned before grocery shopping on the weekends is just not an option!

Pork tenderloins are one of the fastest and easiest dinners to serve a crowd. Because of their even size and shape, it cooks well in the oven and can be quickly done to a perfect medium. The benefits and the downfall of pork tenderloin lies in its low fat content - as a very lean meat, it is prone to being dry if overcooked (similar to a chicken breast). Don't be afraid of cooking it though! Just invest a few dollars into a meat thermometer and you will never have to second guess if it is done enough for safety but still retains enough juices to make it delicious. I removed this pork tenderloin around 142 F which is in the medium range - it then rested for about 10 -15 min while we all gathered around the table and sorted out seating assignments (we had to vote on who got the "kids" chair....luckily as the hostess I was given the head of the table!) The pork was served with a side of string beans dressed in 15 yr balsamic and red & purple roasted potatoes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Upsidedown Apple Ginger bread cake

At the beginning of October I was woken up early on a Saturday morning and told to get dressed in something warm but comfortable and to hurry up! With so little info I was both curious and confused but I decided to go with it and let my boyfriend take me on an adventure.... About 30 minutes later we arrived at Hillview Farm in Gillette, NJ. After a tractor ride out to the field, we focused on finding apples that would stand up to baking....of course while sampling plenty of apples on the way! We spent a great day out on the farm picking different types of apples and enjoying the orchard and came home with a basketful ready to cook up.

I had done some work researching some apple recipes and wanted something different than the standard apple pie or apple crisp so when I saw this gingerbread cake recipe I couldn't resist! For this recipe, I used mainly Cortland apples and I felt that it came out perfectly however any firm, tart apple would be a good choice. Also check out some variations on this recipe made with pears