Friday, February 3, 2023

THIS Pork Tenderloin


  • 4 to 6 pound whole boneless pork loin
  • 1 TBS Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 TBS grapeseed or safflower oil
  • Unsweetened apple juice
  • Water
  • Oak or apple wood chips

Total time:4 hour – Prep time:1 hour – Smoke time:3 hour – Serves:8 people

Directions for electric smoker:

1. Rinse the pork loin in cool water and pat dry with paper towels to remove all moisture. Trim any silver skin and excess fat. Do leave a 1/4″ of fat cap on for moisture and flavor. Place the loin on a sheet pan.

2. Combine the spices and herbs with the oil in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the loin and allow it to rest for at room temperature for up to 60 minutes. This is a good time to make your slaw so it too can rest.

3. Preheat your electric smoker to 225˚F.

4. Place 50% apple juice and 50% water in the bowl at the base of your smoker. Add the wood chips to the side tray.

5. Place the pork loin on the middle rack inside the smoker, fat side up, and insert the probe thermometer. Close the door and set the timer for 3 hours. You are looking for an internal temperature of 155˚F. Begin checking the meat at 2 hours.

6. Check the smoke every 45 minutes and add wood chips if you don’t see any smoke. Add water and apple juice as needed.

7. When the pork is smoked to the correct temperature, remove it to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing to serve. Slice thinly for sandwiches and slice into 1/2” thick pieces for an entrée portion. Enjoy with slaw and maybe some roasted potatoes.

Directions for a charcoal smoker:

1. Rinse, dry, trim, and season the meat as described above.

2. Soak the wood chips in water for 30 to 60 minutes.

3. Light the charcoal as directed in the smoker instructions in the base of the smoker. Add the wood chips when the charcoal is turning white and the thermometer reads 225˚F. Place the water bowl in next and fill with 1” of apple juice and water. Place the grill rack on the smoker.

4. Place the loin, fat side up, on the grill just above the water bowl. (You might have to cut it in half to fit properly). Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat is 155˚F. This will take approximately 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours with the grill temperature at 225˚F to 250˚F. Add more wood chips at 60 minutes. You might also have to add a few more coals.

5. Serve as suggested above.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Chowhound Chili Recipe

This recipe went missing when Chowhound discontinued their webpage in 2021/2022. I found it on and am copying and pasting it here so it won’t go missing again.

Make-ahead note: The flavors continue to develop as the chili sits, so go ahead and make it up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate it in a container with a tight-*fitting lid. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 45 mins, plus 6 to 8 hrs in the slow cooker 
  • Active: 45 mins 

Ingredients (15)

For the chili:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pickled jalapeños or green chiles, drained

For serving:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Sour cream


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell pepper, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and measured salt and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, and beans, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.
  4. Stir in the jalapeños or green chiles. Taste and season with salt as needed, and serve with the cheese, scallions, and sour cream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hoodie Bath Towels

When people are pregnant or new parents, I gift them hoodie bath towels. Everyone is impressed by them and they are SO EASY to make.

First, start with thin towels. The Room Essentials brand from Target works well. Purchase two Everyday Bath Towels and one hand towel.

Second, fold the hand towel in half and cut it. Fold one half of the hand towel in half and sew the raw edges together. TaDa! You have a hood.

 Third, take the bath towel and fold it in half, as if you were to wrap it around yourself. Find center and attach hood center at that point. Sew the hood on. 


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Fried Rice

Fried Rice
Recipe from Gimmie Some Oven

4 c. COLD white rice
4T butter
2 whisked eggs
veggies- fresh or frozen
salt & pepper
optional: green onions

4T soy sauce
2t oyster sauce
1/2t sesame oil (top with when removed from the heat)

OUR TRICK: Add the cooked items to a big mixing bowl as you go instead of just moving things to the side of the pan.  This helps make a big batch!

Pizza Pasta Salad

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad
inspired by This Gathered Nest's recipe

Cooked pasta
Italian dressing (& lots of pepper) or pesto
Meat- pepperoni and/or salami
Veggies- tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion
Mozzarella- pearls or shredded

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup shortening
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup vodka
3 T. cold water (Ice water works best)

Add dry ingredients, butter, and shortening to food process until crumbles form. Then add liquid until dough forms. 

Divide into two rounds
Wrap in plastic
Refrigerate or freeze

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Garlic Pesto Chicken

1/2 bottle Italian dressing
4 Tbsp pesto, divided
2 chicken breast halves or 4 bone-in pork chops
8 oz penne pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup half-and-half
1-2 Tbsp flour as needed

How to Make It:
Step 1
Cut chicken into one-inch strips. Add to a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Whisk together 2 tablespoons pesto and dressing (or marinade) in bowl. Pour marinade mixture over chicken and make sure chicken is fully coated. Marinate overnight in refrigerator or freeze for several months.

Step 2
Boil water and start on noodles. Add chicken to skillet, heated over medium, and cook fully, 3-5 minutes on each side. The marinade will cook down.

Step 3
In a separate skillet, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons pesto and and chicken broth. Simmer until mixture has reduced by half. Add tomato sauce and half-and-half. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss with pasta and add 1-2 tablespoons flour if mixture needs to be thickened.

Step 4
Place chicken over pasta and serve.

I received this meal as a frozen meal from Jennifer Wright.