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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dining al fresco

It's been a gorgeous day in Fort Worth and the evening is even more pleasant. For the first time since I've had my new deck, I pulled the table away from the railing, and we all sat around it like civilized folk instead of crowding around corners, etc. Susan from next door joined Jordan's family and me. As usual I forgot to take pictures, but we dined well on a blue cheese/pecan dip, a cheddar infused with raspberries, crockpot pork tenderloin (recipe follows), beet salad (only Susan and I ate that), spinach salad with blue cheese and bacon, and Luella's rice (recipe follows). Susan brought chocolate chip cookies and small brownies for dessert, and we had to restrain Jacob. Truly an outdoor feast.

The pork recipe is one that I've seen multiple times on Facebook. I'm sure it came from Pinterest, and I have no qualms about repeating it here. The meat was wonderfully moist, and there were drippings to put on it:

2 lb. pork tenderloin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup (I always have good pure maple syrup on hand for Jacob)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1-1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder

Put meat in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over it. Cook six hours on low. Actually I cooked it seven hours on medium. I'm always so sure that the crockpot isn't going to cook the meat. This was just right.

Louella's Rice

I never met Louella. She was the late-in-life stepmother of my best friend in high school, Barbara Bucknell Ashcraft. Christian loves this recipe so much that I made a double batch so he'd have leftovers (along with some pork). Bonus: Barbara and her daughter Amy will be here to visit in two weeks. I'm excited.

1 c. Minute Rice (health-conscious Jordan has used wild rice, says it's okay but not as good)
1 c. sour cream (Jordan wants to try Greek yogurt; I'm all for health, but some recipes should not be messed with)              
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 can cream of celery soup
1 4-oz. can chopped chilies
Mix and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.
I'm so glad it's truly deck weather!


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