Slow Cooker Maple & Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

I made this pork for the family the other night, and we all snarfed it down! The sauce is unexpected, almost like a Carolina BBQ sauce flavor, but not quite. So tasty! Adapted from here.

Slow Cooker Maple & Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

2 lbs. pork tenderloin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. maple syrup (cut in 1/2 if using pure syrup)
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme crumbled
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. cold water

Sprinkle tenderloin lightly with salt and pepper.
Place pork in a slow cooker sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine syrup, garlic, mustard, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme. Pour over the pork.
Turn pork to coat thoroughly.
Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hrs (check temp around 6.5 hours - pork should be cooked to ~150 degrees F), or on HIGH for 3-4 hrs.
Remove pork to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Simmer for 5 min.
Combine the cornstarch and cold water; whisk into the reduced juices and cook for 1 min. longer.
Slice the pork and serve with the thickened juices.

Serves 6.

Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes

I discovered this simple recipe the other day and made it to go along with our pork tenderloin. Very easy, super tasty, and it's really nice to not have to heat up the kitchen with the oven! Adapted from here.

Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes

1 lb. Yukon gold baby potatoes or red potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic minced
salt & pepper
1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese
chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium sized bowl combine the potatoes, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan.
Add to the basket of your air fryer. Cook at 400°F for 10 min.
Toss the potatoes in the basket and continue to cook for 8-10 min. or until tender and crisp.
Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 4.

Brownie Pudding Delight

I made this delicious dessert for Brian's birthday this year, and we all loved it! I froze it initially, but it was nearly impossible to cut without a countertop thaw for about 30 minutes. Next time, I'll probably just keep it in the fridge. I also skipped the chocolate drizzle and chocolate bar shavings on top, and opted for Heath candy bits instead. Adapted from here

Brownie Pudding Delight

1 brownie mix (for a 9×13 pan)
Brownie mix ingredients (oil, water, eggs)
8 oz. cream cheese (1 package, softened - light cream cheese okay)
1 c. powdered sugar
16 oz. Cool-Whip frozen whipped topping (8 oz. containers - 2)
3 oz. instant chocolate pudding mix (1 package)
3 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix (1 package)
3.5 c. milk
Hot fudge or chocolate syrup (optional)
1 plain chocolate candy bar (like a Hershey's bar) or candy bits (Heath)

Mix brownie mix according to directions, and bake in a 9×13 inch greased and floured pan.
Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Spread mixture on top of the cooled brownies.
Blend puddings and milk together and carefully spread on top of the cream cheese mixture.
Top with second container of whipped topping.
Put chocolate shavings and chocolate syrup on top (or candy bits).
Refrigerate until ready to serve (or freeze it).

White Chocolate Grill Copycat Israeli Couscous

I found this recipe a while back after having an amazing parmesan crusted steak with this couscous on the side at the White Chocolate Grill. While I enjoy most things on the menu, this is my favorite and we don't make it over there very often. It makes quite a bit, so I often find myself sharing with Aimee and Brian (who also happen to love it!).

White Chocolate Grill Copycat Israeli Couscous

4 c. of Israeli couscous
1/2 c. shelled pistachios
1/2 c. golden raisins
3 radishes (julienned to the best of your ability)
6 large fresh basil leaves (about 1/3 c. after chopped)
1 sprig of fresh parsley (about 4 Tbsp.)
1/4 c. minced red onion
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I like the kind made with olive oil)
2 Tbsp. champagne or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
S & P to taste

Cook the couscous to the box directions, then cooled to at least room temp.
Chop the pistachios slightly (you want larger chunks).
Julienne the radishes to the best of your ability, mince the parsley and red onion, then chiffonade the basil.
Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar and honey. For a smoother mixture, mix the mayo and honey first, then add the vinegar 1 Tbsp. at a time and whisk thoroughly between.
Just before you serve, mix all ingredients together, reserving some pistachios and basil leaves to garnish.

Kinda Fancy Oatmeal Cookies

I made 2 batches of these oatmeal cookies last Friday, and they're still chewy 3 days later! I really like them plain, Brian, of course, prefers them with chocolate chips. The flaked sea salt on top was a really nice, kinda fancy touch, to counteract the sweetness of the cookies. (Adapted from here.)

Kinda Fancy Oatmeal Cookies

PREP TIME:  15 min.
COOK TIME:  up to 12 min.
YIELD:  2.5 dozen

1.5 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. packed brown sugar
0.5 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 c. old fashioned oats
Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat with the paddle attachment until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula if necessary, for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined and smooth.
With the mixer off, add all of the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and mix until just combined. Be sure to not overmix, or the cookies will turn out dense. Stir in the oats.
Line large baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough into round balls, about 2 Tbsp. per ball. Place on the lined baking sheets, about 2” apart.
Bake for 10-12 min. or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown but the centers are still light golden and soft. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cookies with flaked sea salt. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 min., then transfer cookies to a wire rack.

Optional Mix-Ins:    (Add up to 1.5-2 c. of the following ingredients)   chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, M&M’s, flaked coconut, chopped toffee

TikTok's Baked Chicken Feta Tomato Pasta

Made this last night, and it did not disappoint! All of us thought it was delicious. (Adapted from here.)

TikTok’s Baked Chicken Feta Tomato Pasta


Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 35 mins 

Total time: 50 mins

Serves: 6-8


1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces

3-4 c. cherry tomatoes (up to 2 pkgs.)

1 (8-10 oz.) block of feta cheese

1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp. olive oil

1-2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt, divided

1/4 tsp. pepper, divided

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic or 2 cloves, crushed

1 (12-16 oz.) box of your favorite pasta

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place cut chicken pieces into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle them with lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, dried basil.


Scoot the chicken out of the center and place the block of feta there.

Arrange the tomatoes evenly on top of the chicken. Then pour 1/2 c. olive oil evenly over everything and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.

Bake uncovered for 35 min.

Cook the pasta in salted water (1.5-2 tsp. salt) while the chicken cooks. (Before draining the water, reserve 1 c. pasta water in case you want to thin out the sauce.)

After 35 min., remove the chicken dish and add the chopped basil and crushed garlic. Stir well until the melted feta is completely distributed.

Add the drained pasta and toss until coated. Serve with bread and/or a salad.

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