Monday, March 22, 2010

Apricots meet Babe

Our local grocery store had an amazing sale on meat a few weeks ago, so I stocked up on it like I was either feeding the 5000 or preparing to live underground for the next year. It's a good thing I have a large chest freezer in the garage.

One of my overdosing purchases was pork loin. I've never done anything to a pork loin other than hand it to my husband and ask him to put it on the grill. I was in the mood to try something a little savvy and was thinking cranberry-ish but lo and behold! There was a recipe for Apricot Stuffed Pork Loin (thanks again Junior Leagers!). I was intrigued and had to try.

You basically reconstitute dried apricots and make this fabulous stuffing with sauteed onion and bread crumbs and seasonings, stir in the apricots and stuff the loins. Sounds easy, and it basically was - until the actual act of stuffing of the loins came into play. Let me remind you, I've never done anything more than hand a plastic sealed marinated piece of pork over to a loved one. This time, I actually opened the package and had to do something with it.

Much to my surprise, two pork loins were present in this package. I butterflied them and layed them flat and stood back to analyze. There was fat, which I promptly cut off. I realize this was probably left on to self baste while cooking - but I don't do fat. Off it went. Then to stuff each piece and roll it up. Ummmm. Tricky! Each piece of meat wasn't long enough to do this so I improvised.

One piece of pork was gingerly placed in a large pan, the stuffing was tossed on top and I threw the second piece of pork on top of that. The directions say to then secure with cooking string. Well, don't we all just have that lying around? I considered the kite string from my son's turtle kite, but then remembered he made a spiderweb out of it last week on our stair railing and it had to be tossed. Oh well. Toothpicks to the rescue! My magnificent stuffed pork loin was baked to perfection after a layer of butter and salt/pepper topped it off. My family gave it a two thumbs up and I was pleased.

Tomorrow is the kickoff of my preschool teacher appreciation week and I'll be loading up the family roadster with delicious treats. My house smells amazing right now - I made these mini cheesecakes from a recipe I made in the 4th grade. Can you believe I've held on to it this long? Also on the menu are chococlate chip cookie tarts with a hershey kiss in the center. Fabulous - I've sampled several already. I'm debating on brownies and I also have an array of salty snacks - nuts, chips, etc that will be there. Top it off with a refreshing cup of raspberry lemonade and you'll think I do this full time.

For dinner tonight? So glad you asked! Roast beef with carrots and potatoes. Crockpots are such an amazing invention. I feel like Violet Beauregard eating the forbidden gum of Willy Wonka's. Should you happen to be one of four people in the entire world to have never seen the movie - it's flavored like roast beef.

Ciao friends! Thanks for reading!

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