Quick & Juicy Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is in our dinner rotation here at Casa FSL.  It’s super simple, flavorful, and juicy.  Oh yeah, it’s lean too.  An easy win.

I make this in my covered stoneware baker which cuts the roasting time in half.  Really.  Invest in one (mine’s Pampered Chef, but I’m sure any one would be fine).  It works like a high speed crockpot.  Dump everything in, cover it, pop it in the oven, and pull it out in 30 minutes (when it should have taken an hour).

My sister-in-law gave me this recipe, she’s awesome.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F

Plop the meat and cut potatoes into your baker

 

Mix up 1/3 c balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c olive oil, 1/3 c chicken stock & 1 t minced garlic.

Pour on top of the tenderloin and potatoes.

Sprinkle with rosemary, salt & pepper.

 

Cover & bake for about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Slice & serve.

 

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin

1 t minced garlic

1 t rosemary

1/3 c olive oil

1/3 c low sodium chicken stock

1/3 c balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

a few red potatoes cut into uniform bite-sized pieces (I used 5 baby ones)

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Place the tenderloin in the baker and surround with cut up potatoes.

Mix the liquid ingredients and the garlic in a small bowl, then pour over meat & potatoes.

Sprinkle on the rosemary, salt & pepper.

Cover & bake until pork reaches 155 F in the center.  Let this stand for about 5 minutes. Pork is supposed to be 160 F, it should keep cooking in it’s juices while it stands it will reach 160 during this process.  If you overcook pork it’s like chewing on Manolos.  Not good.  If you want to be on the safe side, however, cook until meat registers at 160. The potatoes should be soft enough to stick a fork in easily.

 

 

Something I Haven’t Seen In a While

True confession:

Not all that long ago I had kind of a bad rep. My room’s carpet wasn’t recognizable. It didn’t see the light of day for, like, years.

Funny story actually, on my wedding day, my father walked in my room. The first words out of his mouth were, “Your floor! I didn’t know you had a grey carpet?! It’s nice! I don’t think I’ve seen it before. (turns and yells down the hallway) Hey! Guys look! Mindy’s floor!” Ummmm…. Hi there father! I’m your first born in her wedding dress! That’s what you’re excited about?! My floor?!

I used to have various piles around my room. One of which resembled Mount Vesuvius. It was referred to by my family and close friends simply as “The Ramp”. Rocco used to run up the mountain of clothes and shoes in order to get onto my bed, hence the name “The Ramp”.

Needless to say, organization has never been a strong suit of mine (to put it mildly).

When Mr. FSL moved into our house with me, I’m sure that he was unaware that he married Pig Pen. He heard a few rumors, but never saw the elusive Ramp.

Pig-Pen

Image via Wikipedia

I had a clean slate moving in. Literally. We really had nothing. When we bought our nightstands for our bedroom, they were empty.

One year and 2 months later, his top drawer had a few important papers in it. Mine looked like this:

Old habits die slowly, what can I say. Nobody’s perfect.

This past weekend, something came over me. I cleared out so many parts of our house that clutter started popping up in. I saw on some blog (so sorry I can’t remember which one!!!) last week that this woman put only things she used right before bed and in the morning in her nightstand. Genius I tell you.

Here’s a list of some of the crazy things I found in the black hole top drawer:

Old catalogs
Rocco’s toothbrush (!)
Expired coupons
My wisdom tooth in a tooth fairy box (ew)

Never before worn underwear with tags on them still
A picture frame My birth certificate
Memory cards for my camera
24 birthday cards from August
Ticket stubs
Receipts CD’s Chargers to phones that I no longer have

I am a complete weirdo. If I was to be mentally evaluated base solely on the contents of my nightstand, I’d be locked up. C’mon, ticket stubs, underwear & a tooth?! I can’t believe I publicly am admitting to any of this, but hey, It’s my blog.

Most of the junk was tossed. I put only things I’d use in bed in it ( I’m a copycat).

The new contents of my top drawer:
A vanilla cookie scented candle
A lighter
Mints
Emergency chocolates
Chapstick Nail polish
Kindle & charger
Phone & charger

Oh Em Ghee.

That’s ah niiiiice!

I actually rigged it so my kindle & cell phone charger wires come through the back of the drawer so they charge while tucked away!

Pshhhht…. Who you calling Pig Pen now?

Anyone doing any Spring cleaning in the Winter like Backwards Mindy? What’s in your nightstand? Be honest. I showed you my tooth fairy box for crying out loud!

Eye Candy Friday: Hello Yellow!

{IMG from Maddiegdesigns.com}

{IMG from saraplus2.blogspot.com}

{IMG from bellemaison23com}

{IMG from littlelovables.com}

{IMG from aphrochic.blogspot.com}

{IMG from Staceysheppard.wordpress.com}

{IMG from livecreatingyourself.com}

{IMG from apunchofcolordesign.com}

{IMG from homebunch.com}

Just Because I Hate Returning Things

Just because I hate returning things to stores, I am trying to make this new comforter work.  Out of sheer laziness, here is my new attempt for our bed. 

What do you guys think now?

Should I just return it and get it over with? I actually kind of like it like this. Do you mind returning stuff or are you like me?

Self Host Self Help? Not So Much.

If you follow me on twitter, you know what I’m about to say.  If you don’t follow me on twitter, you should.  Click here ;) .

In a fluttering, impulsive, (so very typically me) fashion, I decided (in a split second) to purchase my own blog domain and make the jump to a self- hosted website.

In the next week or so, I’ll be posting the link up to the new address.  I’m really excited to have more control over the blog’s layout, have access to more interesting bells & whistles, and other cool stuff.  I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am very excited but I am struggling quite a bit, actually. If any readers know anything about using wordpress.org and want to help a sistah out, I would reeeeally appreciate it. Please e-mail me at FindingSilverLinings@gmail.com.

Speaking of changing things up, I dyed my brown hair black (thanks Tiffany for your input!), *iPhone pic, sorry guys*.

 

I cashed in a few gift cards at Home Goods and picked up a new comforter for our bed.  I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I love the pattern, I love my headboard.  I don’t know if they mesh well.

Rocco was digging it.

Thoughts on the new blog venture, hair color, bedding, Rocco’s mustache?

Please help this indecisive girl out!

Pinterest Party Link-Up

Jami over at What The Graham?! is hosting a linky party that I’m totally into!  You all know about my slight Pinterest addiction/obsession right? Right.

I’m linking up my Pinterest inspired D-I-Y Glitter Heels post!

There are going to be lots of big projects floating around over there, so head on over, look & link, and tell her Mindy from FSL sent ya!

A Little Eye Candy

I used to post a series that consisted of a motivational quote every Friday (it was called  “Friday’s Food For Thought”).   I wanted this blog to be a positive and motivating experience for myself as well as anyone else that stumbled upon it.
Somehow that series phased itself out because not following through is a major weakness of mine.  As a blogger, I liked having a little bit of structure to my game plan.  At the end of the week, I wasn’t wracking my brain in an attempt to come up with something fun, new and exciting.  It was a definite post that I could depend on, as well as the FSL readers.  A blog goal of mine was to start either a linky party once a week (which is kind of in the works) or a weekday theme of some sort.
 
Also, this blog use to be very home decor heavy (which I love!).  We haven’t been doing too many exciting things in that area lately, but just because we haven’t done any amazing improvements, doesn’t mean there isn’t tons of awesome inspiration out there.  My head is overloaded with ideas for future projects -thanks in part to Pinterest and house-y blogs!
Here’s a little line up of some good stuff floating around in cyberspace that has caught my eye…
{IMG from decorology.blogspot.com}
{IMG from decorhacks.com }
 
{IMG from housetohome.co.uk}
{IMG from Sara-Kate-Studios.com}
{IMG from elementsofstyleblog.com}
 

{IMG from inspirationforhome.com}
I’m not promising this series will be a permanent fixture on FSL, but we’ll take it week-by-week and see how it goes.
I’d love to hear some reader input from you guys.  Is this something you’d look forward to seeing here weekly, once in a while, or never ever again.  I trust your opinion :)  Thanks for stopping by!
xo
Mindy

The Best Chipotle Chicken Recipe Ever!

Over here at Casa FSL, I’m a bit of a gambler. I play Dinner-Time-Russian-Roulette.  About every week or so, I create or road test a new recipe.  Some nights are good, some nights get the thumbs down, other nights meh.

Let me paint a little picture for you guys.  Once I tried to make “Honey Sauced Crock Pot Chicken”.  That ended in Mr.FSL taking a bite and saying “This steak is a little dusty.” Um, it started as chicken.  Dusty?! Yeeeeah. Some new dinner attempts just don’t work.

This one did more than work.  It’s seriously the best new recipe I’ve gotten my hands on in a long time.  It will be making an appearance in my dinner rotation for sure.  Plus it took like 30 minutes from start to finish.  Really. I got it from Cooking Light Magazine.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Combine

1/4c minced onion

1/4c agave nectar

3 T low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

1 minced chipotle pepper

1T adobo sauce from the chipotle can

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I didn’t have minced onion and couldn’t find minced chipotle in the store.  So I did what I always do.  I threw all of the above ingredients into my trusty Magic Bullet.

Poof!  Minced everything!  This is cutting edge cooking folks.

Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle 4 chicken breast halves with salt & pepper, then add the chicken to the pan.

Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Add onion mixture to pan; bring to a boil.

Bake for 8 minutes (or until chicken temp reaches 165F).  Flip once and baste.  Remove chicken from the pan.

Return pan to medium heat and  bring glaze to a boil.  Cook until thick and bubbly.   Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.

Pour over chicken.  I served mine with lime slices and blue corn chips.

1 Serving = 1 breast half (no chips). Calories per serving : 276.  Winner winner chicken dinner!

*Side Note*

I wrote this post twice.  It was much more entertaining the first time around.  Sorry :(  .  I swear this recipe is AH-MAZING!  Give it a test drive on your stove & let me know how you liked it! And, wash it down with a Skinny Girl Margarita while you’re at it ;) !

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Do you have a “dinner rotation” of tried & true recipes?  Or are you a kamikaze chef like moi?

Donkey Kong Power Cookies

When I was in elementary and middle school, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Game Cube were the cool hi-tech video games in our house.  My little sister and I would play Donkey Kong until our eyes were swirling.  No lie, at one point we actually were hallucinating that we were hearing the Banana Fairy!  Don’t judge.  Sick. I know. Mishy, you know what I’m talking about, girl!! (sigh) The good old days.

click image for source

Well, our mom raised us a chocoholics.  It’s genetic.  Brownie or chocolate chip cookie crumbs were probably packed under our fingernails and chocolate smeared on our cheeks as we magically imagined ourselves as super-strong gorillas.   Every now and then a banana would find its way into our coco-laden kitchen, one of us would grab it, hold it in the air like it was a light saber and say “Ooooooh! Banana!”.

What?!

I never said we were normal.

I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic lately, so I whipped up a healthy nod to our Donkey Kong Country days  last night.

These cookies are perfect as a grab & go snack, breakfast, or as dessert. They are loaded with protein and taste awesome. The only added sugar comes from the chocolate chips (which is a trivial amount, and can be omitted if you like…but why would anyone want to omit chocolate?! To each his own, I’m not hating ;)  ).

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Mix together the dry ingredients first in a large bowl.

* 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats  (you may need more if you need to make the dough thicker)

* 3 scoops of  protein powder (I used BSN’s cinnamon roll but any flavor will do)

* scant 1/2 t baking soda

* a dash of cinnamon

Next, add in your wet ingredients.

* 1/3 c skim milk

* 2 egg whites

* 1/4 c canola oil

* 1 t vanilla extract

In a smaller bowl, mash 2 very ripe bananas.  These guys almost got tossed by Mr. FSL because they were “gross”.  I thought they were just perfect :D  So did my furry friend who was eyeballing them for a week now.

OOOOH! BANANA! (I couldn't resist)

Mash them up and leave them pretty lumpy.  The banana lumps will keep these muffins really moist and chewy.

Fold in the mashed bananas.

Measure out 1/4 cup mini sized semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

I felt like I needed a doughier consistency so I added a little more oats.

Once you’ve reached your dough consistency, coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Taste the dough because it’s awesome.  (disclaimer: you shouldn’t eat raw eggs, but I did and I lived to tell about it ;) )

I used a medium sized cookie scoop and lined them up like little soldiers on the tray.  They don’t really spread much, so they can be pretty close together.

Bake until the edges are golden brown. Mine took about 9 minutes, but keep checking on these guys.

Let them cool.  (Check out my new Valentine’s Day dishes I scored for 50 cents each!!)

Store in an airtight container.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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What food brings back childhood memories for you?  Were you into video games as a kid?  Which ones?  Did you have any hallucinations of banana fairy twinkly sounds?

How I Brought My Old High Heels Back To Life!

If you know me, you know what a shoe girl I am.  It sounds cliché, but it’s true.  It’s almost embarrassing that I used to sneak new shoe boxes into my house or leave them in my car until nobody was home.  “Oh these shoes? These old things?!  I had them at the bottom of my closet and forgot all about them until I found them tonight”.  If I was Pinocchio, I would have poked out countless eyes with my quickly growing nose.

IMG from Insidepulse.com

This was last weekend’s attempt to “organize” some of my summer shoes and stuff them under my bed in this vinyl thingamajig.

Let me get to the point.  I saw this on Pinterest and had to do it. Click HERE to see my pinboards.

D-I-Y Glitter Heels!! Click here to see the tutorial I followed.

I had the perfect heels waiting for this project.  Scuffed, comfy, and sitting in my closet already.

See?!  Scuffed. These girls and I have been through some good times together.  I just wasn’t ready to toss them yet…

I gathered my funky old shoes, super-fine glitter (I had silver & blue on hand), Mod Podge (I used satin finish), a stiff bristle paintbrush, a disposable tray, and a large piece of paper (or newspaper to protect your work surface).

I poured out about 1/3 of the glitter onto my tray. I decided to go with only silver.  You can mix colors if you’d like I’m sure.

I poured in a blob of Mod Podge.  You can always add more, so I went easy and it was just enough.

I stirred it up until it was well mixed and goopy.  I panicked a little bit when it looked cloudy, but Mod Podge dries very clear. No worries :) .

I applied a not-too-thin-but-not-too-thick first coat to the shoes.

I let this coat dry for about 20 minutes. Then I slapped on another coat.

It’s pretty safe to say that at this point, I was squealing like a 10-year-old Justin Bieber fan.

I was twirling skipping wearing these all day long!  I kept looking down at my feet and giggling!

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What do you collect?  Are you a shoe/ purse/ jewelry hoarder?  Confessions shall be filed in the comment section ;)