Pork Loin Rosemary Roast with Creamy Rosemary Gravy

So, I was freaking out today. Is anyone else out there a control freak? Growing up I had no idea I was a control freak. I was always the one just “going with the flow”, whatever, sounds good. I am a typical middle child, book nerd, peace maker, introvert.

Now, my birthday is approaching and I’m afraid that what other people plan won’t live up to what I was thinking we’d do. Like, I just gave my husband a DETAILED list of EXACTLY what I want to do on my birthday. Is that too much? I don’t know. At least I know what will happen, and that I won’t be disappointed that my husband didn’t pick up on my “hints”. Heh. Well…. bad or not, now I’m excited because he said he was really happy to see, in detail, what I wanted to do… and that he could make it happen. Whew!

Now, since I love to cook… I, at times, find myself saying… I’d rather just make it at home. Then I can control what ingredients are put into it and it will cost way less. So, I mentioned that to my husband and he said NO. Lol… problems, right? I’ve got a great husband who knows how to deal with my crazy emotions. 🙂

But this was one meal that I was considering making for my birthday since it was a crockpot meal and I wouldn’t have to “cook”. But, since I was appropriately shot down, I made it for dinner tonight!

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Ingredients

  • 3 TB extra virgin olive
  • 2 TB minced garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1/2 onion sliced thick
  • 7-8 potatoes cut into 6-8 pieces each
  • 2 lb. center pork loin (or two 1 lb. pork tenderloins)
  • 1 1/2 cups favorite white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup free range low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup half&half with 2 TB flour (or cornstarch)
  • 2 TB butter

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This is what the roast will look like when it comes out of the crock pot!!!

Instructions

  1. Spray your crock pot with some non-stick olive oil cooking spray.
  2. “Crust” the pork loin by placing and rubbing all dry herbs and garlic all over the pork loin and then place it into the crock pot.
  3. Wash and cut potatoes and onions and place into the crock pot with the pork roast.
  4. Add the white wine and the chicken broth, and then add the 2 TB of butter broken up into smaller pieces of the cop of the meat and potatoes in the crock pot.
  5. Put crock pot on LOW for 6-8 hours for best results, OR on HIGH for 4 hours.
  6. About 20 minutes before you want to eat, remove the pork roast from the crock pot and set aside on a plate and cover with foil to let it rest. Then, remove the potatoes. (At this point, you can do as I did and make mashed potatoes with them, or just eat them roasted.)
  7. Take the juices and onions from the bottom of the crock pot and put into a medium sized sauce pan. Heat up on medium-low. Do NOT boil.
  8. Put the 1 cup of 1/2&1/2 into a measuring cup and whisk in the flour (or corn starch). Then, SLOWLY whisk into the sauce pan with the drippings from the crock pot to make an AMAZING gravy!!! Then, add the FRESH rosemary to the gravy.
  9. Place the resting pork on a cutting board (you can add any accumulated meat juices back to the sauce if you like!). Slice the pork very thinly and place on to a serving platter. Pour the warm gravy over top.
  10. Serve with potatoes, and veggies… or just DIG IN!

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Had to give this shot of the pork loin with the yummy, creamy gravy…

It sounds like a lot, but it was pretty easy because most of the day it was just sitting in the crock pot! Then you just whip up a gravy from the juices and voila! It’s juicy, tender and just comforting really…. perfect for a chilly and windy day!

And now, for the quote of the day: This was my day today.

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Sun-dried Tomato Parmesan Pasta

You know… I was actually really hoping it would snow. It’s weird coming out of my mouth, because I lived in the cold upper mid-west for most of my life, and now in the south I put on a THICK winter coat when it goes below 50 degrees… cuz that’s seriously chilly. But, when it snows, my husband gets to work from home, and then I get to see him more AND he gets to actually eat dinner with us! But, sadly, the snow and ice missed us, and he actually had to drive the 45 minutes to work… boo. Oh well, I’m glad he has a GREAT job that he loves to go to! But… for the sake of my little girl, who, as all other girls her age, is OBSESSED with Frozen STILL and really wants to see snow so that she can go outside and pretend she’s Elsa. So, I’m hoping for 1 short day of snow. Then I’ll be good. 🙂

So last night I had the girls over to watch the bachelor, and my friend brought over her kit to help me put on my jamberry wraps that I couldn’t figure out how to put on with my strangely overpowered hairdryer… with her little heater thing, it worked WAY better! HA! And we had a great girls night doing our nails and watching the strangeness that is the Bachelor. It’s like a car accident… you just can’t help but watch!

So, before the girls came over I had to quick make dinner and I had been wanting to try my own version of a sun-dried tomato pasta dish for a while since I saw this one on pinterest… so, I figured… chicken and pasta is quick, I’ll do that! I did have to eat it out with the girls, but it got done in time!!! 🙂

This one a real winner… so so good.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil in a jar
  • 4 large chicken tenderloins
  • 2 TB (about 1/4 of a small onion) onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz shell pasta (or whatever pasta you have)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or dried, if that’s what you have)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
  • salt, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing as described below:
  2. In a large pan, on med-high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) and diced onion in 1 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar – see note above) and 1 TB fresh olive oil for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. (Don’t burn the garlic or it changes the flavor of the whole dish!) Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil and onions, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika and italian seasoning (for color) and cook on high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and cut into 2 in pieces and place back into skillet.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
  4. Place the sun-dried tomatoes back into the skillet with chicken. Add half and half and parmesan cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. (Don’t put on high heat or it will curdle the half and half.) Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick – don’t worry – you’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and the hot sauce and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  5. Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once – you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more basil, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
  6. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

And… VOILA!

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Dig in, and make your tummy happy!!!!

Ok, and for the quote of the day, it’s a funny play on what I’ve been working on. Especially since I LOVE the Duggars, I love how in their home, they don’t yell and scream at each other. It’s just not how they speak to each other. Since my husband and I have gotten married I’ve had to tame how I speak to him when I’m upset, and I’ve done SOO much better making sure I’m respectful with how I handle it…

With my children it’s an hourly battle. I literally at times have to step out of the room, count to ten, and then go back in. Otherwise it would at times come out as a full on scream. So… I’m gonna keep this in the back of my mind… read and enjoy. 🙂

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