Garlic Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Yum yum yum. Last night I made my very first pork tenderloin and it was TO DIE FOR. Oh so good, my mouth is just watering thinking about it! Keep in mind when reading this recipe, that my oven is a dinky old electric in a not so updated apartment, so your oven may heat differently, especially if you are blessed with a gas stove!

IMG_2511Pork Tenderloin (I think mine was about half a pound)

3 large garlic cloves

1 tbsp. of your favorite pork seasoning rub

olive oil

1 tbsp. parsley

Kosher salt

ground black pepper

Begin by patting the tenderloin with a paper towel and trimming excess outer fat. Preheat the oven to 375. Place the tenderloin in a shallow baking dish and pour olive oil over it (I really just eyeballed it, making sure it was well coated). Season the tenderloin with salt, pepper, and the seasoning rub.

In a separate bowl combine about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and a decent amount of the seasoning rub. Roughly chop the garlic and then “smoosh” it with the edge of the knife, creating a paste-like texture. Add the garlic to the mixture and whisk all ingredients together.

Once they’re well mixed, brush over the surface of the tenderloin. Flip the tenderloin over and coat with more olive oil and then brush on the remaining mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the tenderloin and cook for an additional 15 minutes. (I coated mine with extra olive oil when I flipped it, to be sure the garlic didn’t dry out.) The internal temperature should be about 150-155, this ensures juiciness.

I hope this recipe pleases your family as much as it did my husband! He made “yum” noises all through dinner 😉

God bless!


Mouthwatering Dairy-Free Couscous

My cousin’s wife, Julieta (that’s pronounced hoo-lee-ett-ah), gave me this recipe and it is to die for! Yum yum yum, I would make this every night if I could! I made a couple alterations to her recipe, as I have some food allergies, and it was delicious!


For the salad:

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 tbsp. mild curry powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 (10 oz) box couscous

3/4 c. golden raisins

1/2 c. coarsely chopped cashews

1 cucumber peeled, seeded, & chopped

1/3 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

zest from one lemon

For the dressing:

1/3 c. mayo

1/4 c. olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth, curry powder, and salt to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and allow the couscous to absorb the broth for about 6 minutes. Once the couscous has completely absorbed the broth, fluff it with a fork and add it to a large mixing bowl. Now add the raisins, cashews, cucumbers, parsley, and lemon zest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. Do not add to the couscous until just before serving because the couscous will absorb it too much! If you’re not going to serve it right away, store the dressing in the fridge.

Mmmm, happy eating!

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

I must give credit to the original creator of this recipe here. She has some really wonderful recipes on her site. I made these muffins a little bit differently than she did, but they turned out just as delicious as hers sounded! These are dairy free but they do contain butter (I can have butter because it is the milk fat which contains no milk sugar so it doesn’t have any lactose in it). If you can’t have any butter, simply use a dairy free butter. I would also like to add, these don’t look as cute as hers because I didn’t have any muffin tins. But, they still turned out great! Oh and she uses orange juice but all I had was orange mango peach 😉 You can also use any fruit as well as the chocolate chips or instead of the chocolate chips. I think next time I make these, I’m going to use peaches.

1/2 c. butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 c. chocolate chips (dairy free)

1/2 c. coconut milk

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tbsp. orange juice

Preheat oven to 375. Fill your muffin tins with liners (you can just spray with Pam if you don’t have liners). Mix butter, sugar, and salt and beat in eggs. Mix the baking powder and the flour in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, and orange juice and mix. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes.

When they finished baking, I sprinkled some sugar on top of them for added texture and flavor.

I MUST add, this is the best recipe for licking the bowl. I don’t normally care for muffin mix in the bowl, but this stuff is really sweet. Dare I say it tastes better than cookie dough?


Cooking with Food Allergies

Well, it’s happened. My fear has come true. In high school I had some serious struggle with food allergies. Two pages worth to be exact. Well, they weren’t food “allergies” (I didn’t blow up like a puffer fish) as much as they were “sensitivities”. I was sensitive to dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, and most fruits and veggies. My actual “allergies” listed on the report were gluten, tomatoes (which I never had a problem with, oddly enough), and onions. Life was extremely difficult for me as I’d always been a eat-what-you-want kind of kid and I’ve always loved all foods (including veggies). Luckily enough, I could eat all the meat and seafood I wanted, which not everyone with food allergies can. My mom is a wonderful cook and thank the good Lord I have her because she made everything from scratch. It was extremely hard because barley is not the yummiest ingredient and the most disgusting and dry not my favorite substitute for gluten.

You may or may not know, your allergies change every seven years. Luckily because these were food sensitivities, I only had to avoid them in my diet for about three months and then I could gradually work them back into my diet. You normally develop allergies by eating a lot of the same foods, so I have learned to eat a large variety of different foods. I have been eating most of the foods I wasn’t allowed to, for about three years since all of that happened, without a single problem. But…the dream is over. I have been struggling with breathing problems, tummy troubles, and hives for a couple months now and I have finally come to the realization that they have returned. The good news is, the list is significantly small this time! I haven’t been able to touch onions since high school (they end me into the hospital) and dairy has really only been a lactose issue.

Currently, due to hives, tummy troubles and breathing issues, I cannot eat ANY dairy, potatoes, onions, bananas, carrots, and almonds (which make my throat swell, scary!). I know, it’s a rather odd list and I’ve got to be honest, I can work with it. Thank goodness, my momma taught me how to cook and how to cook with substitutes.

I am mainly writing this for the following reasons: A. Sometimes, it’s nice to know you’re not alone. B. Food allergies are on the rise and recipes seem to be getting harder and harder to make because of this. C. To help those of you who have just discovered their or their children’s allergies, understand that it IS possible to eat. (In high school, I often felt like eating was more of a chore than anything else, but it doesn’t have to be that way.) D. To share my substituted and created recipes that work for me so you can enjoy them too!

I post a lot of dairy free recipes and my favorite dairy substitute is coconut milk! If you have any questions please feel free to comment and I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge! Food allergies require a lot of patience, research, and testing foods (which is not always a positive experience). It can be very discouraging but it is never impossible! Also, if you know of your allergies from an allergen specialist, make sure he or she provides you with a list of substitutes! My doctor gave me a huge packet on substituting and cooking with unfamiliar foods!

Good luck to all of you struggling with food allergies!

Honey, Lemon, & Garlic Chicken Pasta

I honestly threw this together for dinner tonight as I am low on groceries (hence my earlier post about tuna salad on a hotdog bun). I promise, my husband and I are going grocery shopping tomorrow! Anyhow, this dish is delicious and was a big hit with my hubby! It’s a relatively light meal, (I’m not talking about carbs or fat, I mean it’s not overwhelming with flavor) but it will fill you up! Lastly, this recipe is mostly about your desire of taste and eyeballing, I’ll write it how I made it but you can of course alter it to your liking.

1 box of thin or angel hair pasta

6 chicken breast tenders

olive oil

2 lemons

3 cloves of garlic


chicken seasoning

1 tbsp parsley

salt & pepper

First start with the chicken. Preheat your oven to 375. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place the chicken on it. Coat the chicken with a generous drizzle of olive oil, then sprinkle the chicken with the chicken salt, salt, and pepper. Flip the chicken over and repeat. Slice a lemon and place the slices on the chicken. Mince one clove of garlic and spread it over each piece of chicken and bake for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, boil a pot of salted water (I like to add a little drizzle of olive oil to the water while it boils). Once the water has come to a boil, cook the pasta until al dente.

Once the chicken has baked for 15 minutes, remove the lemon slices and flip the chicken. Drizzle some honey over the top of each piece of chicken and squeeze the lemon juice (from half of the second lemon) over each piece of chicken. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Drain the pasta. While the pasta is draining, pour the olive oil into a large pan (just enough to fill the bottom of the pan). Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Chop the other two garlic cloves and toss them into the olive oil when it has heated up. Quickly add the pasta, and the other half of the second lemon, to the pan. Cook the pasta in the pan for about two minutes (just until the garlic is cooked). Be sure to stir the pasta constantly while cooking (this part is very important, as it is easy to burn pasta and garlic). Once the garlic is cooked, toss the pasta into a large bowl.

By this time, the chicken should be done cooking. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pasta. Add the parsley and enough salt and pepper to flavor the pasta. Stir the whole mixture together and yummy, it’s ready!

Enjoy 🙂

Easy & Delicious Tuna Salad

Okay so I would like to start off by saying, ignore the hotdog bun. I ran out of bread when I made these today so I had no choice but to put the tuna salad on leftover hotdog buns. It just goes to show us homemakers are good at making do! I would also like to add that some of you may be giggling at the idea of a recipe for tuna salad, but I have had my fair share of dry or tasteless tuna salad. Not everyone knows how to cook, so I’m posting this recipe with the hope that maybe someday we can rid the world of sad tuna salads 😉

1 can of tuna

1 Roma tomato

1 tbsp mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp relish (or thinly chopped pickles for freshness)

1/2 tbsp sugar

dash of pepper

Open the can of tuna, drain it in the sink, and place in a bowl. My grandma, bless her precious heart, rinses her tuna in water before adding it to the salad…not good, it washes all the flavor right out! Chop one Roma tomato into small chunks (you don’t want them to be too big in the salad) and add to bowl. Add mayo, mustard, sugar (this helps cut some of the fishy flavor and adds a subtle sweetness) relish and mix well. You can add more mayo if you like it extra moist, but too much mayo is overpowering to me so I just start with a small amount and work up. From this point the recipe is up to you! You can toast a couple pieces of bread and add the tuna, or make tuna melts, or you can do what I did and put them on a hotdog bun. (It was actually pretty yummy!) If you’re a gluten-free kind of person, you can put the tuna in a piece of lettuce and roll it up to make a tuna lettuce wrap!


All Natural Room Freshener

Before I start this post, I have to give credit where credit is due. I found this on Pinterest. Here’s the link to the original genius: One More Moore  

I live in an apartment (as seen on my post about my living room makeover) which was unfortunately inhabited by smokers just before I moved in. Consequently, my home smells like cigars every time I walk through the front door (on top of the tiny, old apartment smell they all have). I have tried everything to cover the smell, including air fresheners, scented plugins, and shampooing the carpet. Nothing helped damper it enough to last. The plugins worked for a while but they make me sneeze and I hear they’re full of all kinds of horrible chemicals we shouldn’t be breathing. I wanted something that smelled natural, like cooking or baking. So I found this on Pinterest, added my own twist to it, and immediately tried it the next morning.

You simply put a pot of water on the stove (about halfway to 2/3 of the way full) and add what you think smells good. The original post I found said to use rosemary, lemon, and vanilla. Unfortunately, I’m out of rosemary so I opted for something a little simpler. I sliced a whole lemon and sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon in the pot, brought it to a boil, and then set to simmer. It smells so good in here! It smells kind of like someone is baking ginger snap cookies! You can do whatever combination of scents you enjoy. I think I’m going to try orange & mint, something with lavender, orange & cinnamon, and definitely the one she suggested.

Hope this helps cheer up your day!

Dairy-Free Chicken Salad

Forgive me for this picture, no matter what I did I just couldn’t make this look good, but I promise it’s delicious! Have I ever let you down before? This is my mom’s recipe and it really hits the spot. My mouth is watering just writing this post 😉 This recipe makes about 4 servings/sandwiches.

6-8 chicken breast tenders, thawed

olive oil

2-3 stalks of celery

1/2 c. walnuts, toasted & chopped

1/2 c. halved grapes

3/4 c. mayo

1 tsp. mustard

1/4 tsp. sugar

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 c. coconut milk (sweetened or unsweetened)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place chicken on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, spaced out. Brush both sides of all the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes and then flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The chicken is done when the center is no longer pink at all. I usually cook mine till the internal temperature is between 160 and 170 degrees, it cooks it completely without drying it out. While the chicken cooks chop the celery and add to a large mixing bowl. I usually cut my celery down the middle and then chop it, I don’t like the pieces to be too big. Cut the grapes in half (make sure you use a really sharp knife or they’ll just squish onto the cutting board) and add them to the bowl. Next add the mayo, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper and mix together.

Once the chicken is done, let it cool and slice it into cubes. When I slice it, it usually falls apart and shreds, this is a good thing as you don’t want it to be super chunky. I freeze my walnuts to keep them fresh so I like to toast them before chopping them into the salad. I usually cook them for five minutes at 350 degrees. Once they cool, chop them and add them to the mixture. Add the coconut milk and mix to thin the mayo. If you aren’t allergic to dairy (like me) or you aren’t vegan, than feel free to add 1/4 c. milk or cream instead! This salad is best on lightly toasted bread with a little touch of mayo on the bread. These also make delicious lettuce wraps!

Enjoy and God bless!

Breakfast Potato Hash

This is my husband’s recipe and let me tell you, yumm! This doesn’t have to be for breakfast, but I enjoy it most in the morning. This recipe is for two!

1 pkg. smoked sausage, chopped

6 Idaho potatoes, chopped

1 tsp. fresh oregano

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1 garlic clove

olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil into a skillet, about enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Add potatoes and cook for a few minutes before adding the sausage, oregano, thyme, garlic, and salt & pepper. I advise adding the garlic last because it cooks very fast! (Sorry this recipe wasn’t more specific, it’s my husband’s and he tends to just throw the kitchen sink into the pan and heat it.) You can add any spices you think will enhance the flavor, this is really a “catch-all” dish!

Happy eating!

Meatloaf Muffins

Now I know most people flinch at the mention of “meatloaf” but I promise my meatloaf is not a classic meat loaf.

You’re just going to have to trust me.

Meatloaf Muffins:

1 lb. ground beef

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 egg

1/2 c. crushed crackers (like in my meatball recipe)

2 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. onion powder


1/3 c. ketchup

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. yellow mustard

Preheat your oven to 375. Mix the beef, salt, black pepper, egg, cracker crumbs, garlic, and onion powder in a large bowl (I use my hands just like in the meatball recipe). Grease a muffin tin and shape the mixture into large meatballs. Place the balls into the muffin spaces and press down lightly to flatten into spaces. Mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a bowl (be sure to get out all the lumps from the brown sugar). Spread a little bit of the sauce over the top of each of the muffins.

(Please excuse my muffin tin, it’s had a lot of use.) Bake for 20 minutes and ta-da!!

Enjoy 🙂