Now that I’m a mom I look forward to Mother’s day. This year the boys and my husband went all out to make sure I was taken care of on the special day. It began with a leisurely stroll on our local greenway. I enjoyed the pitch perfect weather and my boys (with the exception of Alex) enjoyed the fact that the cicadas have pretty much taken claim over the entire city. It’s a once every thirteen year phenomenon and we’re smack in the middle of it. Nick, being all boy, found joy in grabbing them by the wings and letting them go to fly away once again. Drew just chased them up and down the walking bridge laughing the entire time. Only Alex had no desire to jump into the bug fray. In fact, I think he was a little “bugged out” by the time we finished the adventure. That’s my boy.
We followed up the walk with a stop at the local yogurt shop and an afternoon nap for me. That’s right a nap. I don’t think I’ve had one of those since I was three years old and it.felt.great. When I got back up and joined the land of the living, this is what I came down to witness:
My husband, who hasn’t set foot in the kitchen more than twice in our married lives to cook a full on meal, was doing just that. I tell ya, I could get used to this. It’s too bad Mother’s day is only once a year.
It’s back to normal life today and back to the dinner grind. If you’d like to get your husband cooking, this meal is a great segway into the kitchen. It involves the grill (the manly aspect of the meal) and a simple yet flavorful salsa that seriously makes the dish (the almighty segway).
To whip up the marinade, you’ll grab up a gallon sized ziplock and add in some balsamic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, lime juice, garlic, and salt. Add in your pork, close er up, and let it rest in the fridge for a couple hours.
When you’re ready to cook up a delicious grill inspired dinner, heat it up and get that gorgeous loin cooking. And I do mean gorgeous.
Once it’s cooked through and the temperature registers 145 degrees in the thickest part of the loin, remove and cover it with foil for about 5 minutes.
Now’s the time to put together that gorgeous salsa. I’m seeing some mango, strawberries, mint, cilantro, avocado along a few other surprises in that bowl. Trust me, they all belong there.
Mix it together, slice up that tantalizing loin, and drop a heaping spoonful (or three) of that gorgeous salsa over the top. A feast fit for a kitchen loving husband. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s day!
Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Mango Salsa
Total Time: 2 hour 30 min
For the Marinade:
1-2 Pound Pork Tenderloin
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 Lime, Juiced
1/2 tsp Salt
For the Salsa:
2 Cups Strawberries, Chopped
5-10 Mint Leaves, Chopped
2 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
1 Small Avocado, Chopped
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Yellow Pepper, Chopped (about 1/3 of the pepper)
1/2 Mango, Chopped
1/2 Lime, Juiced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Honey
Mix together all the marinade ingredients with the exception of the pork loin in a gallon sized ziploc bag.
Add the pork to the bag, seal and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
When you're ready to cook up the pork, fire up the grill on medium-high heat (around 425 degrees).
Place the pork loin on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, flipping once. The pork will be done when the temperature in the thickest part of the loin reaches 145 degrees.
Remove the loin from the grill and cover with aluminum foil. Let sit for 5 minutes.
While the loin is sitting, grab up the ingredients for your salsa, drop them into a bowl and toss them up.
Slice up the finished pork and serve the strawberry mango salsa over the top.
Southwestern Stuffed Mushrooms
Kids say the darndest things. Last night we were sitting down to dinner, enjoying some quality time, when Alex made a sudden declaration that he didn’t like meat. “All meat?” I inquired. “No meat.” he replied. So I asked him the next logical question that came to my mind. “Do you think you might want be a vegetarian when you grow up?” An overly exaggerated look of utter frustration washed over his face as he rolled his eyes at me and sighed. “I thought we already discussed this. I want to be an ice cream truck driver when I grow up!” Silly, silly mommy for asking such a ridiculous question. But hey, as long as he drives his truck through my neighborhood it’s all good to me.
Family Friendly Fridays: Chicken Fajitas
Having resided in Dallas, Texas for six years before moving to North Carolina, I can most definitely appreciate great TexMex fare. With so many enticing options to grab a pleasing plate of authentic grub right at your fingertips, it’s hard to know where to go first. I definitely have my favorites: Mi Cocina (Margarita anyone?), Via Real (their chicken Monterey is UNREAL) and Blue Mesa Grill ( Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Enough said.) to name a few. But if a sizzling fresh plate of fajitas is what you crave, then Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth is your place. Best darn fajitas I’ve every put my mouth to. Period. Let me break it down and show what I mean. The dinner menu is a total of three items. Chicken Fajitas, beef fajitas, and a family sized dinner with enchiladas, tacos, and cheese nachos. That’s it. You better believe they do ’em right.
Missing these beauties the way I do, I had to try and recreate my own “go-to” fajita platter. Joe T’s is a pretty big commute these days and we’re not planning to move back anytime soon. I’m sure my version doesn’t do the original justice, but it still fills that ever present craving I always seem to have for a pepper and onion loaded, guacamole topped, cheese and salsa filled, flippin’ delicious chicken fajita. Oh, and remember that salsa verde we whipped up a couple days ago? Throw a spoonful or two on these beauties and watch them sing.
is addicted to loves salsa. Take my kids to a Mexican restaurant and we might as well save the money on the meals because they’ll scrape the dishes of salsa clean and ask for more before the drinks even arrive at the table. My husband practically inhales the stuff. And for him, the hotter the better. He’s the one asking for the “muy caliente” batch sitting in the back of the kitchen. You know the one; it’s usually deemed to have a little too much kick for American Gringos. Well not my husband. He relishes in the deliciousness of a good salsa induced sweat.
It can be said that salsa is the Mexican version of ketchup and I believe it. It tastes good on (and in!) just about everything. Give me a bowl of salsa, some chips and a beer and I’m as happy as a girl can be. Recently, I’ve really been getting into salsa verde. It has a real “limey” flavor that you just don’t get from regular salsa. And the best part about about this green nectar of the Gods is how truly easy it is to make.
Mexi-Chicken Roll Ups
It’s one of those weeks. My vacuum is broken, and my house is in desperate need of a suction. My husband is missing in action for the next few days with work and, wouldn’t you know, Nicholas is home sick with a fever that won’t seem to go away. We’re expecting a delivery of new bedroom furniture for the boys rooms, but as it stands now, their accommodations are such a disaster that I can barely step foot in them, let alone move heavy furniture around.
I’m starting to feel that all too familiar caress of the “I must have a “Calgon take me away” bath and a large glass of wine IMMEDIATELY” syndrome. When you’re alone in the house with three boys, though, bathes and wine aren’t always an option. Step in choice number two. Which, I might add, ranks right up there with hot water and wine.
I cook up something amazing. A dish that’s both delectable and tummy pleasing; mind calming and sheer comfort food all rolled into one. For me, that’s stuffed chicken. It can be stuffed with just about anything anyone wants to throw in and I’m ready to take it on just so long as one of the accouterments is cheese. Lots of cheese.
This little creation lives up to it’s purpose. With the addition of both cream cheese and jalapeno jack, it’s loaded with everything an overworked mom needs to replenish her sanity for another day on the job. Heck, just looking at that picture and seeing the cheese oozing out of the chicken makes my blood pressure drop a notch.
Grab a large glass of wine and let’s do this.
17 Bean White Chicken Chili
Have you ever bought one of those packs of beans from the grocery store? You know the ones, they have 17 different flavors of legume in the assortment and a recipe for the same old soup on the back every time you pick it up.
Well, I just so happened to have one such bag gracing the inside of my pantry a few weeks back that was bellowing at me to eat it. Being the adventuresome food blogger that I am, I decided to veer away from the bean sack’s dinner plans and instead attempt to create a dish of my own. It would be a chili dish. And while I was at it, I resolved to make it a chicken based chili. And if I was going to use chicken, why not take it one step further and make the base be something other than tomatoes. I was on fire; the inspirational juices were flowing like a glass of cool water on a hot summer day.
I threw in a little of this, and a bit of that. The steam was rising and the water was bubbling. All I needed was my witches hat, a wart and a good cackle, and I would have been concocting one seriously wicked witches brew. When the smoke cleared and the spoon was laid to rest, what remained was one seriously delicious white chicken chili.