Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Crock-Pot}

Glaze makes everything better. Am I right? Brown sugar and balsamic vinegar reduce down to make a glaze that I want to pour on everything. I may have licked that spoon a couple of times too. With the pork loin prepared in the Crock Pot, it makes dinner super easy.

Balsamic Glaze

Please excuse the glare from my lovely fluorescent kitchen lighting. Gotta love a 1980’s kitchen. Yes, that’s sarcasm. And a post for another day. Actually, home renovation is (just) one of the reason’s I haven’t been blogging of late. We have slowly been doing some work on our house. We’ve had our windows replaced, we did some painting (a work in process) & have a couple more projects in the works.

Glazed Pork Lion

One of the other things keeping me from blogging is my kids’ schedules! They are crazy with spring sports! As much as I love them to participate, having 3 kids to get to three different practices has been running me ragged. Which is why I am so happy to have another crock pot recipe to add to my arsenal. I LOVE the convenience of a slow cooker!

Pork Loin w Balsamic Glaze

I let my pork loin cook in the crock pot during the day, then made up my glaze and added once the meat was finished cooking. I’ve seen other recipes do it different ways, but I like this method, because you get that nice thick glaze covering the pork.

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:1]

Recipe source: Just a Pinch

I’ve seen recipes using pork loin and pork tenderloin. Yes, they can be used interchangeably, but keep in mind that the tenderloin is more lean and will dry out quicker, so you may need to adjust your cook time. I also think pork turns out better cooked on low in the crockpot, as opposed to high.

What’s cooking at your house? Any home renovations going on? Talk about time consuming and costly! I’d love for the Property Brothers or some HGTV peeps come along and do it all for me! In the meantime, I will be looking for more things to glaze.

Also, if your family is suffering from seasonal allergies like mine, check out yesterday’s post for a giveaway of Pfizer Pediatric products!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife, Life with Lorelai (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Creamy Sausage Dip {with skinny option}

Sausage is like crack. It rivals the beloved bacon. They each have their own special place in my meat-loving, nitrate infused world. In other words, I love sausage. I don’t eat it often, because let’s face it, it’s not a health food…BUT, let’s make an exception for this dip. It’s a great appie and should make any sausage loving person very happy. Oh, and it has cream cheese in it. And we know cream cheese makes errything a little mo’betta.

This dip goes by many names: sausage dip, cream cheese sausage dip, Rotel Sausage Dip, etc. Since I was out of Rotel when I made this, I’m just calling it Creamy Sausage Dip! I used salsa in the place of the Rotel, and it wasn’t as spicy as I like, but still delicious. I’ve been making this for years, and originally got the recipe from my cousin. There are variations all over the net, but this is my verison.

Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled (and drained if needed) *hot or mild
1 can Rotel Tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups salsa, drained
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (1 also works, will just be thicker, as pictured)
Mix cooked sausage and cream cheese in a pot over medium heat. Stir often until cream cheese has mostly melted. Add Rotel or salsa. Stir to combine and continue to heat until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is warm throughout. Dip can be placed (or prepared) in a crock pot to keep warm while being served.
Serve with chips, crackers, pita crisps, etc.
Want your Creamy Sausage Dip to be a little more waistline friendly?

Skinny Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled (buy it or make it)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups salsa, drained
1 or 2 (8 oz) package(s) fat free cream cheese
Prepare as above.
Serve with homemade tortilla chips, or store bought baked tortilla chips. It’s still not a health food, but a little more figure friendly! ‘Cuz everyone wants to eat party food…dieting or not!
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Designed Decor, Sowdering About in Seattle  Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds Pilgrimage, Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts LatelyCraftionary (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest

Healthier Sausage “McMuffin” Casserole

I know I just posted a breakfast dish yesterday, but what can I say, I really like breakfast food. As a matter of fact, we had breakfast for dinner just last night. This is a variation of the Egg ‘McMuffin’ Casserole I have on the blog. I have to say, I like the sausage version even more!
Sausage McMuffin Casserole EAH
I made an 8 x 8 dish, but you could double it to make a 9 x 13. Head over to Eat at Home where I have the recipe posted today!

Also, don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post, where I have a giveaway going on for Chinet Bakeware!

Southern Style Pork BBQ – In the Crock Pot

Today I’m going to share one of my family’s favorite foods, pulled pork barbecue…Southern style! I realize that barbecue is different depending on where you live – but around here, it’s a vinegar based sauce over slow-cooked pork and served with a vinegar based coleslaw, served alongside some fried hush puppies or corn sticks. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Even though I’ve been eating this most of my life, I just recently figured out how easy it is to make at home. Super easy. Super, super easy using one of my favorite small kitchen appliances – The Crock Pot! Or a slow-cooker if you prefer. I realize ‘Crock Pot’ is actually a brand name, but so is ‘Band Aid’ and most people don’t walk around asking for an adhesive bandage. Anywho, how irrelevant.
Traditional pulled pork barbecue is smoked over hot coals for hours, but frankly, ‘ain’t nobody got time fo dat’ (but if you do, please call me over so we can get our pig pickin’ on!). This version is still delicious.

 Southern Style Pork BBQ

3-5 lb pork roast
1-2 bottles Uncle Yammy’s Southern Style Barbecue Sauce*
*If you can’t find a good Southern style barbecue sauce, you can make it like this from Southern Plate.

Place pork roast in slow cooker and pour a bottle of sauce over it. Let cook on low for 10-12 hours. (I do this overnight. A 5 lb roast may need 12 hours, whereas the 3 lb should only need about 10). In the morning, carefully remove roast and drain juices, reserving about a half cup. Using 2 forks, pull pork roast apart, it will fall apart easily. Place pork back into slow cooker, add reserved juice and 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of barbecue sauce (it depends on the size of your roast and how ‘saucy’ you want your meat). Let heat through for a couple of hours on low (I just use my ‘warm’ setting, b/c my cooker runs a little hot I think.)

I like mine on a bun with slaw and a little extra sauce! My girls eat theirs sans slaw, and the hubs likes his without the bun. Of course, the very best way is to take a piece of cornbread, cut it in half (horizontally) and make a sandwich with it. (I’m thinking about you, grandma!) Yes, lawddddy-BE… that’s some good stuff!
This makes plenty to have leftovers or to feed a crowd. You can also make this with chicken (see post here) instead of pork. It’s not the same flavor, but still pretty good, and easy!

So what about you? Are you a vinegar sauce or a red barbecue sauce person?!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet ConfessionsWho Needs a Cape?Sweet 2 Eat Baking; and The Gooseberry Patch

Pork Chop-Hashbrown Casserole

I don’t know if it’s my Southern roots or what…but I do love a casserole! There is just something about having everything cook in one big ol’ dish that makes me happy. It may also be because I am one of those that likes to mix all my food together when I eat, unlike my brother, who likes to eat everything separately. (To the point that when he was young, NONE of his food could touch or he wouldn’t eat it!) Or, maybe I’m just a lazy cook and like to throw everything in together…whatever the reason, I think my love of casseroles is well established here on the blog. I mean seriously, there is Chicken Parmesan Casserole, Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Chicken and Dumpling Casserole…you get the picture.

Also, hashbrown casserole is one of my favorite dishes. I looove carbs potatoes. Are y’all Cracker Barrel fans? Awesome hashbrown casserole. I digress. This dish is Southern comfort food…pork chops, potatoes, cheese….yum. With a side of green beans of course. If you’ve followed for a while, then you know my sides are going to be green beans or salad. Every.Time.
You do brown your chops before placing the whole sha-bang in the oven…and this may not be absolutely necessary, but I recommend it for the best flavor. I wish I had browned mine a little more, but I hate dry meat and I am bad for overcooking pork. This recipe is from the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Homecooking cookbook via The Country Cook. I lightened it up a little to make it more Weight Watchers friendly. (I’m not to list points b/c it will vary greatly depending on size of chops/ingredients used and it’s difficult to determine serving size with the potatoes.)

Pork Chop-Hashbrown Casserole

5 pork chops (I used bone-in approx 1/2 inch thick chops)
*seasonings for meat  (I used Mrs. Dash original, salt, pepper)
*Cooking spray or oil to brown pork chops
1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup skim milk
Frozen Hashbrowns (I used Ore-Ida Shredded Hashbrowns – whole bag, thawed)
Onion** (1 cup or to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 cup cheese (I used Kraft Fat Free Cheddar to reduce the WW points)
**I just sprinkled some dried onion over the top of my potatoes before adding the cheese b/c I knew my kids would not like a strong onion flavor.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Season your pork chops as desired and place in a skillet to brown on both sides. (Do not cook completely through because they will finish cooking in the oven with the potatoes.)
  • In a large bowl, combine your yogurt or sour cream, milk, and Cream of Chicken soup. Add your hashbrown potatoes (mine were not completely thawed and it was fine) and onion if using. Mix until combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. If you are using full fat ingredients, you may not need to season the potatoes very much. Mine needed plenty of salt and pepper!
  • Spread your potatoes into an ungreased 9×13 casserole dish (the original recipe said ungreased…in using reduced fat/fat free products, I will probably spray mine with cooking spray next time. They didn’t stick much, but did a little.)
  • Sprinkle cheese over the top of the potatoes.
  • Add pork chops on top of the cheese and bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through. (I usually use a meat thermometer b/c I’m a terrible judge.)
Adapted from: The Country Cook

We enjoyed this meal and I plan on making it again. What about you? Are you a casserole fan?

Yay! This recipe was featured over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage!
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts LatelyThe Girl Creative (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet ConfessionsWho Needs a Cape?Sweet 2 Eat Baking;

Baked Bacon & Eggs

Are you looking for an easy and delicious Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch idea? This Baked Bacon & Eggs makes a large casserole dish full of cheese-y scrambled eggs, topped with bacon. They are probably the best eggs I’ve ever had!

I’ve never thought about cooking eggs in the oven, except as part of a breakfast casserole (which we are quite fond of as evidenced by this, this and this!) – but these are basically scrambled eggs baked in the oven! Convenience…I love it.  I originally got the idea from Finding Joy in My Kitchen when she posted her family’s recipe for ‘Christmas Eggs’.  I decided I would make them for one of our many breakfast suppers. However, as per usual, I didn’t bother to read all of the instructions prior to making the dish.  I realized I was supposed to let the egg mixture sit overnight.  Oops. Time for plan B – I Googled baked eggs and found another recipe at Cooks.com that did not require sitting overnight.  I kind of merged the 2 recipes and came out with a delicious dinner, that did not require sitting overnight!

Baked Bacon & Eggs

1 dozen eggs (I like Eggland’s Best)
1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
4 oz. plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 package pre-cooked bacon (or about 10 slices regular or turkey bacon)
1 cup shredded cheese (your preference, I used a blend of cheddar and Monterey)
salt and pepper – to taste
 
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
-Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. (I omitted the salt since I was adding cheese and bacon.)
 
-In a large skillet, cook the eggs until set, but not cooked through (Side note – OR you can place your egg mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and place in oven, stirring occasionally so they cook evenly, until done. Approx. 15-30 mins. I opted to pre-cook mine.)
 
-Remove from the heat and allow eggs to cool. (I stuck mine in the fridge for a few minutes.)
 
-while eggs are cooling, cook bacon in microwave (if using the pre-cooked). Once done, crumble and set aside.
 
-When eggs are cool, stir in the yogurt (or sour cream if using).
 
-Spread the egg mixture into a greased/sprayed 9×13 dish.
 
-Top with crumbled bacon and cheese.
 
-Bake for 15-20 minutes until eggs are fully cooked and cheese is nice and melted.
 
I served ours with grits and biscuits. Delicious! I thought I would have leftovers since it was a dozen eggs for a family of 5 (and Mr. Three will not eat eggs), but nope…that casserole dish was wiped clean!
 
I’m linking this recipe up with  (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions  and Mums Make Lists

This recipe was featured at:

Breakfast Pizza

The other day I mentioned a breakfast pizza in my brunch post (don’t forget to enter the giveaway!) and thought I would share the recipe today.  It’s so easy, and can be made pretty quick depending on the ingredients you choose.  I am finding that you can put pretty much anything on a pizza crust and it’s going to be a hit! (Remember my macaroni and cheese pizza?!)
This is one of those meals that can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner (and brunch, of course).  I went with the basics of bacon, egg and cheese, but the topping options are pretty much endless.  I originally got the idea from Pinterest, and the pin was from the blog Born Free.  I used my favorite store-bought crust, b/c I didn’t have time to make homemade pizza dough, and baked my bacon, which was a first for me.  I highly recommend it if you hate dealing with popping, messy grease from regular bacon.  I haven’t tried this with turkey bacon yet.

Breakfast Pizza 

pizza crust of choice
2-4 oz. cream cheese (optional, but recommended)
4-6 eggs (depending on the size of your pizza crust)
6 slices of bacon (or topping of choice); cooked and crumbled
1-2 cups shredded cheese (depending on your preference)
salt and pepper (to taste)
As you can see, this recipe is so versatile that this is just a guide.  I made 2 large pizzas, so I doubled my quantities on everything (the above is for one). Next time, I will use more cream cheese (I only had 2 oz for 2 pizzas) or I will try using sausage gravy as my ‘sauce’!
  • Heat oven to required temp for your pizza…I think mine was 425. I pre-baked my crust for abt 7 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, scramble your eggs.  Add salt and pepper as desired – just remember that if you are using bacon, it’s going to add a lot of salt.  (I just used pepper.)
  • When the crust has finished baking, remove from oven and add your cream cheese.  Cover crust as you would with pizza sauce.  You can add any seasonings you like as well.
  • Add scrambled eggs on top of the cream cheese, place bacon or other toppings on top of eggs, top the whole pizza pie with cheese.
  • Pop back into the oven until cheese is nice and melted and crust has completely cooked.  This took about another 7 minutes for me.
This was something everyone enjoyed, and it was so easy, I’m sure I will make it again soon.

Speedy Sausage Muffins

I came across this recipe for Speedy Sausage Muffins at Susie QTpies Scraps of Life.  It is a recipe from one of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.  It seemed simple enough, and more importantly, it seemed like something at least 2 out of my 3 kids would eat.
I took the recipe, and made a few healthier substitutions…..my changes are in italics.

(Healthified) Speedy Sausage Muffins

1 lb. ground turkey sausage, browned and drained
3 c. Bisquick Heart Healthy biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
10-3/4 oz. can Cheddar cheese soup
3/4 c. water

11 ounces skim milk

Directions
Combine sausage, baking mix and cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.  Stir together soup and water; add milk to sausage mixture, stirring just until combined.  Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups, filling to top of cups.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.  Serve warm.  Makes 16 12 muffins. (I filled my muffin tins very full!)

We had these for dinner with fruit salad and grits. (We do love our breakfast for dinner!) The verdict…..AWESOME.  My girls loved them, as did I.  They tasted like a sausage biscuit or a huge sausage ball.  They also freeze and reheat well!