Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pork Tenderloin Au Poivre -Pork with cracked black peppercorns

Well now, doesn't this sound fancy... I wanted to try something a little different and this Pork Tenderloin Au Poivre was very tasty and only called for a few basic ingredients. The hardest part is cracking the peppercorns and take it from me, putting them in the food processor is bad advice folks, just-don't-do-it. I also found that for two tenderloins I only needed a couple tsp of peppercorns (before crushing them). I followed instructions for searing on the stove and finishing in the oven, this allowed me to make a nice pan sauce at the end.
We enjoyed adding this new flavor to our pork tenderloin recipe list,
and I bet it would be great on the grill too.

Pork Tenderloin Au Poivre-from Brooklyn Farmhouse
One 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of any silverskin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp very coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C chicken stock
1 Tblsp butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Season pork with salt and peppercorns, pressing the peppercorns lightly into the meat to adhere.
  3. In a medium saucepan with an oven-proof handle, add the olive oil and garlic and heat on medium until the garlic is just golden, turning the garlic occasionally, 1-2 minutes. Remove and discard garlic clove.
  4. Turn the heat up to high. Add the pork tenderloin and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes per side, or until the entire tenderloin is evenly browned. This will be smoky folks.
  5. Put the entire pan (with pork) into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 150ºF. Carefully turn the pork once during cooking.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven (the handle will be very hot). Place pork on a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Pour off all but 1 tsp of fat remaining in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat (do not clean pan) and add the chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture boil until reduced slightly (a little less than 5 minutes).
  8. Add the butter and using a whisk swirl around in pan until it has melted into the sauce.
  9. Taste the pan jus and season with S&P if necessary.
  10. Pour pan jus over sliced pork and serve.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Witch Tree Topper

I've envisioned this moment for years... about 13 years to be exact. When I bought this fiber optic witch at Walmart she just never fit in as a stand alone decoration, too big for one spot, too small for another, so she's been packed away patiently(?) waiting... Now that I'm using a 6' tree for Halloween this 13" Witch Tree Topper is perfect! I'm thrilled with the way she looks, even like that she's kinda looking down at what's going on in the room.

It's so nice when you finally find the perfect spot:@)
Gotta chuckle, at first I was concerned I wouldn't have enough ornaments to decorate a big tree, now I'm thinking I could bring out the full size Christmas tree for Halloween next year! Stay tuned for snippets and sneak peeks...
The fiber optics change colors, here are a few of them...

Go ahead, let out a little cackle (you know you want to:@) and have a happy day!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Snippets and Huge Jack-O-Lanterns!

I found some really fun things on my shopping trip this morning and a few of them actually came home with me:@) This Jack-O-Lantern was at Walmart for $5.97, it's a huge 14" wide by about 11.5" tall. Since I'm using a 6' Halloween tree this year I needed something for this spot, a lit Yankee Candle inside gives off a nice glow... An added bonus, the bottom says "made in the USA"-I love that!
Just to give you an idea of how big it is, here's a pic with a can of soup.

Look at all this bacon goodness I found at the Walmart too... 
The only thing that came home with me from this group was pictures, Earl was relieved:@)

Picked up a 97¢ grab bag of Halloween tidbits at Goodwill, 
and I'm pleased to report that I already have an idea or two for them! 
Stay tuned...

We're headed up to a gorgeous 78 degrees today in Philly, I hope it's beautiful where you are too!
Have a happy day:@)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Free Shipping on Halloween!

I wanted to share that World Market is offering free shipping on all Halloween items HERE! They have everything from tricks to treats, not to mention decorations, glasses and baking items! Pour a cuppa and stop by, it's frightfully fun folks:@)
You may notice this apron is from Williams-Sonoma, there is a similar one at W-M, I couldn't copy their pic.
If you like the W-S one, it can be found HERE.
I'm not compensated for mentioning any of this, just love free shipping!

Happy Halloween Shopping:@)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Football and Weddings

This week for my Personal PIGskin Challenge I thought it would be neat to see if the world of football and weddings might peacefully coexist. And judging by a quick click onto Pinterest, I wasn't the only one curious... One thing is for sure, a football themed wedding would be a fun one:@)

This cake topper is perfect for the couple that has a great sense of humor! HERE

As for the cake itself... Well, how about this beauty from Cake Studio...

 And yes guys, there are actually wedding bands that look like a football HERE.

How about this great garter from ETSY HERE.

And of course the men need boutonnieres... These keepsakes are from FootballRose.com:

Fun Jerseys... It said they're from David's Bridal but there wasn't a link.

And finally, we need party favors... How about some chocolate footballs from LittleThingsFavors!
So I'd say yes, football and weddings can go hand-in-hand!
As long as...
You don't get married on a football Sunday:@)

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spooky Mini-Me Skeleton Ornament

I made a Spooky Mini-Me Skeleton Ornament, complete with apron, chef's hat and pie! The only thing that's not exactly true to life is... I'm not, um... quite that skinny:@) I've seen these little skeletons decorated many different ways. They come as a garland with four on each one at the Dollar Tree and thought the baker would be fun. This would be great for Halloween parties, you could gather up a bunch of buttons (my pie is a button, craft stores have many themes) and little embellishments and let the kids decorate one for whatever their interests are.
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The fabric was leftover from my tree skirt and I made the apron completely with Liquid Stitch-no sewing!

Scare up a little fun this Halloween and have a happy day:@)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pumpkin Sheet Cake-9x13 Quarter Sheet Cake Size

On today's episode of The Pumpkin Palooza Pantry... There are things I just didn't grow up with that I really enjoy now, bar cookies and sheet cakes are at the top of the sweets list:@) My idea was to scale a cake down to a more manageable size for a small family, and this will help use up 1/2 C of leftover pumpkin too. This 9x13 Pumpkin Sheet Cake was adapted from King Arthur Flour and you can get the recipe for a larger cake by clicking the link. I'm guessing it would make about 6-8 nice cupcakes too if you'd rather go in that direction...
These little sheet cakes bake up so fast, mine was done in 15 minutes, and the cake stays so moist!
This was a big hit at Sunday dinner and while I sent a couple slices home with the kids, 
I don't mind telling you, I did make sure to save some for my morning coffee:@)

Pumpkin Sheet Cake, 9x13 Quarter Sheet Cake Size-adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/2 C vegetable oil-I used half oil, half sour cream
1/2 C brown sugar
1 Tblsp sugar-they call for 1/4 C
2 eggs
1/2 C pumpkin
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
*1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp each ginger, nutmeg and cloves
1 C A/P flour
1/4 C chopped walnuts, toasted-I didn't have any but would have loved them!
1/2 C raisins

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbslp butter, softened
1 Tblsp maple syrup
1 1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
pinch salt
1/2 C toasted walnuts for the top
  1. I added all of the cake ingredients to a bowl and mixed them up good. *I just shake in the spices to taste. You can click the link HERE to see specific instructions. 
  2. Grease a 9x13 sheet pan well-I used Crisco.
  3. Pour batter into sheet pan and spread out.
  4. Bake at 350 until done, start checking around 12 minutes, mine took 15.
  5. Cool and add frosting. Note: I didn't make this frosting (although it sounds great!), I just winged it with about 3oz cream cheese, 1 1/2 Tblsp butter, 1 C powdered sugar, splash of vanilla and just enough heavy cream to get it started.
Enjoy a seasonal treat and have a happy day:@)

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