Midweek Meal: Roast Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes

While visiting family in the Pacific Northwest my mother-in-law made a wonderful pork roast slow cooked with sweet potatoes and onions. The rich savory and sweet mixture was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A simple side salad of mixed greens was the perfect addition to this tasty and savory dish. Here’s a similar recipe from About.com with a bit of apple juice thrown in—the perfect meal to get you in the mood for fall. And perhaps the best part? You can make this meal on a tight budget and it’s versatile enough to add your own favorite spices and extras.

Here’s What You Need:

1 boneless pork loin roast, 3 to 4 pounds, fat trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

And Here’s How to Make It:

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Coat a large ovenproof Dutch oven with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. When very hot, add the pork roast. Cook, turning, until all sides are browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the honey, orange juice, apple juice concentrate, pepper, and brown sugar. Spoon over the pork roast. Place the sweet potatoes around the pork. Cover and bake for 2 hours. Pork should register about 150 ° on an instant read thermometer.

Place the apple quarters around the pork. Bake, uncovered, basting frequently, for 20 minutes, or until the apples are just tender. Let the pork stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve pork roast sliced, with the sweet potatoes and apples.
Serves 6.

Let us know if you make it!

Honey Oatmeal Cookies

From All Recipes. com

I’ve been on a search for the perfect, healthy snacks for my young sons, and I came across a wonderful honey oatmeal cookie recipe this weekend and wanted to share it with you all.

These cookies contain no sugar (!!!), have a nice doughy texture, and are perfect for afternoon snacks. They go great with milk and, for the adults, coffee. I think they’d also be great with raisins or nuts added to the dough.

I found the recipe via All Recipes.com and sightly altered the ingredients to include butter rather than Crisco.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup honey
  • egg
  • 3/4 cup butter (or shortening, as the original recipe calls for)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 And here are the directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Beat together shortening, honey, egg, water, and vanilla until creamy. Add combined remaining ingredients; mix well.
  3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes.

That’s it! Super easy and perfect for all ages.

Easy Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Even picky kids love taco night – whether you make them at home or pick them up to go. This simple slow-cooker chicken recipe will yield enough meat for 10-12 tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or even a Mexican-style chicken soup, if you’re so inclined.

Ingredients:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of salsa
1 envelope of taco seasoning

Directions:
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker, add salsa and taco seasoning. Stir.

Set the cooker to low heat and let simmer for 6-8 hours. The chicken will become very tender and be ready when you can shred it easily with a fork.

Prepare however you wish! We like to use large flour tortillas, sour cream, cheese and lettuce to make tacos in my house, but I have also prepared some delicious chicken quesadillas with the leftover chicken meat.

Crazy Good Snickers Popcorn

My daughter and I have been looking forward to Spring Break for pretty much ONE reason – the premiere of “The Hunger Games” movie. Like almost every pre-teen through teenager, she is obsessed with the Hunger Games books and owns piles of licensed merchandise, posters, tee shirts, etc. We have tickets to the midnight premiere, and of course when I think of movies, I think of popcorn.

While doing my morning rounds on Pinterest, I found the most amazing Snickers popcorn recipe, but of course I would never break the rules and sneak in my own treats to a movie. This is strictly for at-home movie nights, but you can bet I’m already planning one of those. So, without further delay, I present to you: Snickers Popcorn!

Snickers Popcorn
Recipe from cookiesandcups.com. Be sure to visit for more great photos from this recipe and more!

  • 8 quarts air popped corn (about 2 cups of kernels)
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 30 “Fun Size” Snickers bars coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz melted semi sweet chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°

  1. Over medium heat boil butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in your baking soda.
  3. Pour over your popcorn and stir to coat evenly.
  4. Transfer to waxed paper lined counter and sprinkle peanuts on top. Stir until all is coated evenly.
  5. Transfer popcorn into a large roasting pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and stir in your coarsely chopped Snickers. Return to oven for 3 more minutes so the Snickers begin to melt slightly into the popcorn.
  7. Remove from pan and transfer popcorn back to wax paper to cool.
  8. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of popcorn if desired.
  9. Let set and store in an airtight container.

adapted from Paula Deen’s Caramel Corn

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)