Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine, Cherry & Rosemary Sauce with roasted potatoes and vegetables

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I found this recipe here when I was looking through on Nestie cooking blogs. Tom doesn't like pork chops but likes pork tenderloin so I figured it was worth a shot to make it. I haven't been able to find any dried fruits at the grocery store near us so I substituted dried cherries for cherry flavored craisins.


Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine, Cherry and Rosemary Sauce
Source: Pink Parsley
Servings: 4
Printer Friendly

Ingredients:
    • 1 pork tenderloin, fat trimmed off
    • 8 slices of bacon
    • 3/4 cup red wine
    • 1/2 cup cherry flavored craisins
    • 2/3 cup chicken broth
    • 1 tsp. rosemary
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil 
    • salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Microwave the bacon for 2-3 minutes until just barely cooked. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Slice the pork tenderloin into slices, about the width of a slice of bacon. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Wrap the bacon around the pork slices and secure with a toothpick.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear each piece of bacon wrapped pork for about 1 minute on each side. Turn pork on its side to cook the bacon for another minute per side. Transfer the pork to a plate.
4. Add the red wine and cherries to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Scrape up any of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and cook for about 3 minutes.
5. Turn the heat up to high and add in the chicken broth and rosemary. Cook until the sauce thickens up.
6. Remove the toothpicks from the pork and add them to the pan. Cook for one minute and flip over the pork pieces. Cook one more minute.
7. Plate the pork and spoon the sauce over it.

Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables

Ingredients:
4 red potatoes
3 peeled carrots
1 celery stalk
2 tbs. olive oil
salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme

Directions:
1. Cut the potatoes into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks. Cut the carrots and celery in half and cut into about 2 inch chunks.
2. Place everything into a large bowl. Pour in olive oil and add salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Toss to coat.
3. Bake at 450 for 25 minutes covered with foil. After the 25 minutes, remove the foil and cook 20-25 minutes more. Serve with the pork.

To have the pork, potatoes and vegetables done at the same time, add the bacon wrapped pork to the skillet when there is about 12 minutes left on the second half of baking for the potatoes and vegetables.  

Weekly Meal Breakdown #14

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Taking off work on Friday helped me to get a ton of stuff done, including making a menu for next week. Its a short week because we're going to a cookout tomorrow but unfortunately, its not a cheap one. We spend a lot more money at the grocery store this week than usual, but it seemed like all of a sudden we ran out of everything. The big purchases were paper towels, dishwasher tablets and steak. Even though we went over this week, we've been under by $20 or more dollars for the past 5 weeks, so I think it makes up for it.

I went through my recipe book again (and moved all of the desserts to another binder to make more room) and ended up picking out a lot of multiple-ingredient, fancy name, lots of detail meals that I found on other blogs. I guess it more than makes up for the lag last week where I felt like I was making boring stuff.

Monday - Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with red wine, cherry and rosemary sauce with roasted potatoes and vegetables
1 pork tenderloin - $3.41
3 slices bacon - $0.36
dried cherries - $0.45
3 potatoes - $0.48
2 carrots - $0.28
2 celery stalks - $0.28
Total: $5.26

Tuesday - Southwest Flank Steak with chili potatoes and corn on the cob
 2 lb. flank steak -  $7.84
3 potatoes  $0.48
6 ears corn on the cob - $1.00
Total: $9.32

Wednesday - Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken with fries and sugared asparagus 
3 chicken breasts - $2.65
brown sugar - $0.32
3 potatoes - $0.48
1/2 bunch asparagus -  $1.81
Total: $5.26

Thursday - Mexican Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef - $1.98
2 cups mexican cheese  - $2.00
1 can kidney beans - $0.75
1 can enchilada sauce - $1.39
1 can salsa verde - $1.50
1 can petite diced tomatoes - $0.99
8 tortillas - $1.33
Total: $8.44

Friday - Steak with 3 cheese risotto and parmesan asparagus 
3 steaks - $15.54
1/2 bunch asparagus - $1.81
arborio rice  - $0.65 (I need to find this in bulk somewhere. Redner's has it, but its $7 per container!)
1/2 box chicken stock - $1.25
Total: $19.25

And the total for this week is...47.53. Stupid steaks. I really need them to go on sale for $7.98 per pound again so I can buy a family pack. This $12.98 a pound crap is just crazy!

Weekly Meal Breakdown #13

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I was not feeling very creative this week when I planned out the menu. Aside from dinner tomorrow, its all about simplicity and basic foods. I've exerted a lot of creativity on wedding stuff lately and I think I might have used what typically goes towards meal planning. Next week I'll complain to Tom that we never eat anything interesting and have a menu full of new and exciting stuff to blog.

Sunday - Chicken Chesapeake with baked potato and corn on the cob
3 chicken breasts - $2.75
1/2 lb. claw crab meat $4.59
3 potatoes - $0.48
5 ears corn on the cob - $2.00
Total: $9.72

Monday - Cheeseburgers & fries
1 lb. ground beef - $1.94
3 slices cheese - $0.56
5 hamburger buns - $0.50
1/3 bag fries - $0.76
Total: $3.76

Tuesday - Pancakes and bacon
1/4 box pancake mix $0.50
2 eggs $0.22
6 slices bacon $0.72
Total: $1.44

Wednesday - Spicy-Sweet Steak with cheesy risotto and green beans
3 steaks $12.76
arborio rice $0.39
chicken stock $1.15
green beans $1.00
Total: $15.30

Thursday - PW's Cajun chicken pasta
3 chicken breasts $2.68
orange pepper $1.27
1/2 box linguine pasta $0.50
Total: $4.45

Friday - pizza
pizza dough $1.63
pizza sauce $1.29
2 cups mozzarella cheese $.60
Total: $3.52

The total for this week is $38.19. I'm also quite proud of the fact that we only spent $80 at the grocery store this week. There really wasn't much that we needed and everything that we did need seemed to be on sale!

Product Review: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser with HEPA filter

Last Friday Tom took our old vacuum to his brothers new beach house. They're doing a bunch of painting/cleaning/etc. and he went there to help. Since the vacuum was two years old and we had talked about replacing it anyway he figured he might as well donate it to the new house.

Originally, I wanted the Dyson Animal Ball because of the great reviews it had but I just wasn't comfortable spending (or registering) for a $500 vacuum. Sure the thing would probably last 5 years and we would completely get our moneys worth, but it was just too big of an expense. I looked at the reviews for the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser and decided that it was just as good as the Dyson but a fraction of the price ($140).

When I went to order the vacuum I searched for the best price and found that Walmart had the one with the HEPA filter for $115. It was just too good of a price to pass up. So we ordered it and it arrived yesterday.

Of course, we immediately had to put it together and see just how well it did. Tom vacuumed the dining room and the living room and the results were pretty damn amazing. I figured this was the perfect time to give a review of just how good this is.

We moved in at the end of February. No one had lived in this apartment before us and the carpet was brand new. I vacuumed every weekend with the old vacuum so there wasn't a lot of build up of cat hair, dirt, dust, whatever. After just doing those two rooms, with the pet hair attachment down (not using any of the other attachments or using the hose to get in the corners), we had completely filled the canister with pet hair. You couldn't see any of the pet hair on the carpet before but obviously it was there, hiding. It definitely deep cleaned the carpet and  pulled up a ton of the fibers that the carpet is still shedding from being new. When you walked over a vacuumed area, you left footprints again. We hadn't seen that since the first weekend we moved in.

A few minutes ago I vacuumed the bedroom which is where the cat spends most of her time. Another full canister of pet hair. Amazing. So now,

Pros
- removes pet hair that you can't even see
- deep cleans the carpet
- hose tool gets right up against the baseboards and in other small areas
- indicator light tells you when to empty the canister
- filter is washable
- has two separate other pet tools for cleaning in smaller hard to reach spots
- extra long cord. I can vacuum the whole length of the apartment.
- has a part that can be pushed down for removing pet hair or left up to just vacuum

Cons
- heavy to push around

Honestly, this is new my favorite toy. I hate vacuuming and really despise having to do it. Not with this at all. Its almost fun (in a weird kind of way) to see just how much pet hair you can pull from the carpet.

And the disclaimer crap. I wrote this review based off my own opinions. Bissell has no knowledge of this review and I will not receive any type of compensation for it.

But seriously, if you have any pets at all, this thing is awesome. Go buy one. Today!

Quick Spaghetti with Cheesy Garlic Bread

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When I was a kid I couldn't stand spaghetti. For some reason red sauce on noodles just really creeped me out. Every time my mom would make it, she would serve me buttered noodles instead. Somewhere around 11 years old, my taste buds changed and I started to like spaghetti.

One day I want to make it with a real homemade sauce where I boil down the tomatoes for an entire day, but we haven't made it there just yet. Sometimes instead of using a jar, I'll mix together tomato sauce and paste and add in garlic and other seasonings to make my own.

Quick Spaghetti 
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1/2 box thin spaghetti noodles
    • 1 lg. jar spaghetti sauce, or homemade
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 6 oz. mushrooms, diced
    • 1 small green pepper, diced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbs. bread crumbs
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
2. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package.
3. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned. Drain the grease.
4. Pour in the spaghetti sauce and stir until combined. Add in the bread crumbs to thicken the sauce.
5. Drain the pasta and serve the meat and sauce on top.

Cheesy Garlic Bread
Preheat the oven to 350. Cut a loaf of Italian bread into even slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on each slice of bread and use a brush to spread around. Sprinkle garlic powder, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper over the bread. Add a pinch of mozzarella cheese to each slice. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted.


Weekly Meal Breakdown #12

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This week is only 5 meals. I had planned on cooking tonight but we ended up having a really late lunch and it was kind of pointless.

Monday - Mushroom Beef Tips
1 lb. beef cubes $3.49
1/2 box penne pasta $0.75
1/2 package bella mushrooms $1.00
1/2 box beef stock $0.79
Total: $6.03

Tuesday - Spaghetti with Garlic Bread
1 lb. ground beef $1.93
1 can spaghetti sauce $2.00
1/2 package bella mushrooms $1.00
1 green pepper $0.89
1/2 box spaghetti noodles $1.00
loaf of garlic bread $0.89
Total: $7.71

Wednesday - French Toast & Bacon 
9 slices bread $1.08
3 eggs $0.33
6 slices bacon $0.72
Total: $2.13

Thursday - Mushroom Risotto with Chicken     
3 chicken breasts $3.19
1/2 box chicken stock $1.00
arborio rice $0.39
1 package shitake mushrooms $2.49
Total: $7.07

 Friday - Linguine Alla Carbonara
1/2 box linguine $0.50
6 slices bacon $0.72
3 eggs $0.33
1 onion $0.14
Total: $1.69

This weeks total is $24.63. Hmm, I might start adding breakfast for dinner more often!  

Weekly Meal Breakdown #11

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This week I decided I was going to try a lot of new recipes. Even though I know that I don't, I feel like I make the same stuff over and over again. I guess its just because I use similar ingredients each time.

Sunday - Adobo steaks with Mushroom Risotto and Green Bean Bundles
3 steaks $15.00
shitake mushrooms $3.48
arborio rice $0.39
green beans $0.96
3 slices bacon $0.36
Total: $20.19

Monday - Shrimp Scampi with Crusty Bread
1 lb. shrimp $3.99
1/2 box linguine $0.60
Italian bread $0.89
Total: $5.48

Tuesday - Spicy chicken with Baked Potatoes and Corn
3 chicken breasts $2.77
3 potatoes $0.48
1/4 bag frozen corn $0.39
Total: $3.64

Wednesday - Chipotle Bean Burritos with Spicy Corn
3 burrito shells $0.67
1 can kidney beans $0.75
boil-in-a-bag rice $0.66
1/2 bag taco cheese $1.50
1/2 bag frozen corn $0.39
1 red pepper $1.59
1 green pepper $1.48
1/2 pint half and half $0.68
Total: $7.72

Thursday - Meatball Subs
1 lb. ground beef $1.24
4 hoagie rolls $1.99
1 can tomato sauce $0.73
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese $0.62
Total: $4.58

Friday - Mango Habanero Chicken Sandwiches
3 thin chicken breast cutlets $3.76
4 hoagie rolls $1.99
3 slices provolone cheese $0.72
1/4 cup cheddar cheese $0.62
1/4 bottle mango habanero sauce $0.60
1 jalapeno $0.25
Total: $7.94

The total for this week is $49.55. A bit higher than most weeks, but I have a feeling that the chicken cutlets I'm using for the mango habanero sandwich contains more than 3 in a pack and I'll have to cook them up on Sunday or something. 

There is a sandwich that I'm really excited about making for lunches this week. I don't know what made me think of it, but the idea of turkey and cranberry just popped into my head (I know, we're months from Thanksgiving) so I started looking at recipes online. I found one that uses turkey, cream cheese and cranberry sauce. I can't wait to make for it lunch this week and see how good it is!

Chicken Sesame Noodles

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I honestly had every intention of posting the shrimp and pasta recipe tonight until I called Tom while I was on the way home and he told me that I wasn't making dinner, we were going to his brothers restaurant instead. So, I figured I might as well post something and since I already have a picture of the chicken sesame noodles, I'd go for that.

I looked through multiple sesame noodle recipes on allrecipes.com but couldn't find one that I really liked. I decided to get creative and pick and choose portions of each to create my own recipe. It didn't turn out bad, I just wasn't a huge fan. Tom and C liked it though so I can add it back to the list of things to make.









Chicken Sesame Noodles
Inspired by: Allrecipes.com
Servings: 3-4
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Ingredients:
    • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
    • 1/2 box linguine pasta
    • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
    • 4 tbsp. sugar
    • 3 tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
    • 5 tbsp. soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp. chili sauce
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    •  4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
    • salt and pepper
Directions:
1.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put in a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil (or chicken broth) and cook until chicken is done.
2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook linguine according to directions for al dente.
3. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add the red pepper and all of the other ingredients except for the green onions and sesame seeds. Bring to a boil and stir constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Drain the pasta and add into the skillet as well. Toss to combine.
5. Serve with green onions and toasted sesame seeds on top.

Favorite Foods

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Once again, I've been a bad blogger. I intended to blog the Chicken Sesame Noodles and even took a picture of it, but was just too lazy to actually blog it. Last weekend when I made the cream cheese chicken, I took a picture of that too, with the intent to blog it since my original didn't have a picture. Nope, didn't get to that either.

Wednesday I was extremely tired and didn't bother to cook dinner. Last night I make the pork and pears and didn't find it that appealing (overall it had a good taste, the recipe just needed some modifications to the cooking time, quantities, etc.) so I didn't bother to blog that either.

Tonight I AM going to blog the Shrimp w/ Pasta. I promise. Since it is a very slow day at work and I've already planned out my menu for the week (I'll have that up by Sunday), I figured we could discuss favorite foods.

  • Popcorn. You already know this, but I have a love affair with popcorn. I could eat it daily. 
  • Cream cheese. I love most cheeses equally, but I would have absolutely no problem with eating a tub of cream cheese by itself. 
  • Corn on the cob. Nothing says Hello Summer! like corn on the cob. I'm pretty sure we ate it twice a week last summer when it was in season.
  • Strawberries. Another sign of spring and summer. I just love strawberries cut up with sugar.
  • Garlic. Part of me wonders if I'm not somehow secretly Italian considering the love I have for garlic. I love cooking with it. Hell, I even like opening the jar just to smell it. If it were socially acceptable and created, I would probably wear garlic perfume. 
  • Pepperjack cheese. On a club cracker with a grape. One of the best snacks ever created. 
  • Pretzels. Utz pretzels will always have a soft spot in my heart but I am willing to try other brands. I've been known to eat and entire bag of pretzels in two days. 
  • Sushi. :sigh: California rolls, Philly rolls, Shrimp tempura, spicy rolls....drool... For someone who is not a big fan of fish, I love sushi. I could eat it once a week and never complain. It has been quite some time since we've had sushi. I wonder if I can talk Tom into it for his birthday. 
  • Steamed Crabs. I'm from Maryland, I can't help it. There's nothing like going to Mr. Bill's Terrace and getting some gigantic steamed crabs stuffed with meat and covered in Old Bay. 
  • Risotto. The first time I had risotto was back when Tom's brother's restaurant was a fine dining establishment and not a fun bar with just as good food. My first risotto attempt was quite disastrous, but hey, we all learn. Mushroom risotto is currently my favorite, but thats because I have yet to make the lobster brown butter risotto recipe I found. I'm sure that will completely throw mushroom risotto to the back of the line. 
  • Caramel-flavored coffee. In the winter, a large Dunkin Donuts coffee with caramel swirl and skim milk. In the summer, a small iced coffee with caramel swirl and skim milk. I heart caramel in coffee. Its way better than hazelnut, french vanilla, or any of that other crap. 
  • Jalapenos, habaneros, chipotles. I love spicy foods. I can't have a sandwich from Subway without hots on it. Or a cheese steak. 
  • Chicken cheese steak. Very few places have the ability to make this correctly. Shredded chicken, melted American cheese, caramelized/fried onions, lettuce, tomato, light mayo and hots on a sub roll. That is the ONLY way I'll eat it.
  • Mango Habanero Chicken Sandwich. I had this from Domino's the other week and I instantly fell in love. It was spicy, sweet, and overall UNBELIEVABLE. I'll let you in on a secret, I'm going to make it next week!! 
  • Steak. My favorite steak meal is a medium filet with a loaded (sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon, chives, salt and pepper) baked potato and a garden (romaine, carrots, lettuce, tomato, cucumber) salad with croutons, Salad Supreme seasoning, bacon bits and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. YUMM!
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. No one makes ranch like Hidden Valley. I'm pretty sure I could almost drink the bottle. I dip pizza crust and baby carrots in it. I pour it on salads, use it in dips. The saddest part, Tom hates it so I can't make ranch burgers. :-(
  • Crab cakes. Another MD thing. Do you want to know the best recipe? Honestly, just follow the directions on the side of the Old Bay can. 
  • Crab Dip. I make a mean crab dip. I don't know if I'll ever give up that recipe. I created it all on my own and haven't shared it with anyone. Its just that amazing. I've had people tell me that it rivals the crab dip served at local MD seafood restaurants.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup. There's just something comforting, warming and great about some homemade chicken noodle. It makes me instantly happy. 
I'm sure there are more foods that I would consider my favorites, but after writing this, now I'm starving and need to go find lunch!

So tell me, what are your favorite foods?

Weekly Meal Breakdown #10

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One of my absolute favorite foods in the world is popcorn. Its closely followed by pretzels. Honestly, I could eat popcorn for lunch and dinner just about every night and never get sick of it. When I get a really bad headache, I have a glass of iced tea with lemon and a bag of lightly buttered popcorn and 95% of the time, the headache goes away.  I used to eat the Smart Balance kind but they don't carry it in the grocery stores up here, so I've had to settle for regular popcorn.

Last night I realized that I was out of popcorn. This was a really sad realization as I really wanted popcorn. I had come back from my friends baby shower where I picked at various different foods and wasn't really hungry but hungry enough that I wanted popcorn.

So Tom and I went to Walmart. We had to pick up a card for his mom and a few other things anyway. And guess what he bought me.
Yup, that is 48 packages of popcorn. Do you have any idea how awesome that is? And what's even better is that those gigantic packages of popcorn are only $5 each at Walmart. There is a blog I read pretty often (http://temerity-jane.com/) and every day TJ has a post about why her fiance is the right guy for her to marry. The above picture is one of the many reasons why I'm going to marry Tom. He buys me insane quantities of popcorn! And here is the sad part, I'm pretty sure that those gigantic 3.5 lb boxes of popcorn won't last more than a month. I ate one last night and I'm currently munching on one now.

And now onto the meals for the week, since that is the point of this post.

Monday - Chicken Sesame Noodles
3 chicken breasts  $2.77
1/2 package noodles $0.75
1 red pepper $0.89
4 green onion stalks $0.21
Total: $4.62

Tuesday - Steak with Garlicky Fries and Corn
3 steaks $11.93 (I was too lazy to wait to get a bulk package, forgive me?)
3 potatoes $0.48
3 tbs. compound butter $0.25 (I made this and the price is basically 1 stick of butter)
1/2 package of frozen corn $0.45
Total: $12.66

Wednesday - Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Pears
1 lb. pork tenderloin $9.84
2 pears $0.64
1 loaf bread $0.00 (we bought 2 last week)
Total: $10.48
I might substitute the bread for rice but I'm not sure yet. It will depend on how the recipe goes.

Thursday - Emeril's Shrimp & Pasta w/ Garlic, Lemon, Crushed Red Pepper and Green Onions
1 lb. shrimp $3.99
1/2 box linguine $0.50
1 stick butter $0.25
4 green onion stalks $0.21
1 lemon (juice) $0.32
Total: $5.27

Friday - Linguine Alla Carbonara
1/2 box linguine $0.50
6 slices bacon $0.72
3 eggs $0.33
1 onion $0.14
Total: $1.69

The total for the week is: $34.62. Pretty good considering there were 2 meals over $10. Oh, and I apologize for not having a cooking for beginners meal last week. I was ridiculously tired all week and it was enough effort just to make dinner. Since this week contains pretty simple recipes, I think I can do two of them. 
     
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