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Tuscan Pork Loin in Herb Bread

April 20, 2016


This dish is just a gem to have in your repertoire. It might be in the top three for my favorite recipes I’ve ever posted. If it looks rustic and heavenly in these pics, that’s because it is. IMG_8293

It is also a testament to how some things are worth the wait. I first tore this idea out of a magazine years ago, and kept it in my trusty binder of recipes (it was before Pinterest, that’s how long ago it was! But I still love my binder of magical recipes.) The article was on a Tuscan cooking class by the Divina Cuccina, which just sounds like Heaven, right? For those of us who can’t hop on a plane and head over there, this dish is the next best thing.

When the recipe somehow disappeared from my binder, I took to the internet to search for it. Happily I found a new blog to obsess over in the process. But most importantly, I found this long lost recipe.

I love this dish because it is so easy, but it is perfect for any occasion and makes it special. A party, a picnic, the beach, a random Tuesday night (which is when I made it!). It has huge flavor thanks to these: IMG_8338


It is so easy to just sear the pork tenderloin and then lay it in the flavored baguette. The magazine article I read said to tie it with cooking twine, so that is how I did it. The Italian Dish says to wrap it in aluminum foil. I’m not sure it’s going to matter because the end result is this soft, fragrant garlic bread that is very moist, and pork that has been so infused with flavor from the lemon, garlic and herbs.  I have to say I really loved the crunchiness of the bread on the outside contrasted with the chewiness on the inside, so I like it with the twine. (It also made for fantastic leftovers, and since the bread was like herb croutons, it was delicious on a salad for lunch the next day.)  But I might try it in foil next time and see.

Side note: one of my favorite things at holiday parties is eating filet of beef with garlic bread, so I think this whole operation could be done with a beef tenderloin and some garlic bread. Just saying.


IMG_8341IMG_8359 - Version 2

If you do check out the Italian Dish site, notice that she has a link to her baguette recipe which she just whipped up before making this dish. Do not let that distract you or make you think you’re not worthy. You are. It is just fine to do this the easy way and pick up a baguette. I actually love that this has such simple ingredients, you can keep a pork tenderloin and a baguette in your freezer and defrost the night before so you always have it on hand.

Ok, go forth and make this and fit it into your summer repertoire. You will thank me, I promise!

Tuscan Roast Pork in a Baguette

The size of the baguette and pork tenderloin don’t have to match exactly. You will be trimming off the ends of the baguette to fit the meat.


  • 1 small baguette
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 large rosemary sprig
  • 1 large sage leaf sprig
  • 1 teaspoon course sea salt
  • 2 springs flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cut the baguette in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out some of the soft insides (you can use these for bread crumbs for a later use).  Set aside.

Strip leaves off rosemary and sage sprigs.  Place the garlic, herb leaves, sea salt, parsley and lemon zest on a cutting board and chop everything up finely.  

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat.  Season the pork tenderloin well with freshly ground pepper. Sear the pork on all sides in the pan and remove after you have a nice crust formed all over.  

Brush the remaining olive oil, 2 tablespoons, onto the inside of the baguette halves.  Sprinkle the herb mixture on top of the olive oil. Place the pork tenderloin on the bottom half of the baguette, place the top half of the baguette on top of the pork and cut off any overhanging bread on the ends.  Wrap the baguette up tightly in aluminum foil or tie in cooking twine and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 45-55 minutes and remove.  Let rest for about 10 minutes.  Remove foil or ties and slice.

Recipe is origionally from Judy Witts and was adapted on

Sausage Kale and Lentil Stew

October 13, 2015



So, this might be the yummiest recipe I have ever posted.

It starts with bacon. Then a ton of good for you veggies softened in the bacon fat.


Then add kale….

imageandouille sausage…(you can totally substitute a less spicy smoked kielbasa or sausage if you are making this for kids)…


and French lentils…(from Target no less).



Add chicken broth and whole tomatoes and simmer it all for an hour.

Can I just explain how the flavors of the spicy smokey andouille sausage and the bacon drippings flavor the whole dish? Such a great combo of textures and flavors.


I adore lentils and kale and soup, so if you do too it is pretty hard not to love this dish. Oh, and don’t forget the shredded asiago cheese and bacon crumbles on top – they totally make this dish.

This is the exact kind of thing a crave when I go into a sandwich shop in cold weather and having it in my house (while I am still in my sweats, writing) makes me feel like a lucky, lucky girl.


So consider yourself armed for the cold weather months ahead. Happy Eating! Katie

Sausage, Kale and Lentil Stew (printer version here):

3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (about 4 ounces)
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
3 large carrots, diced (about 1¼ cups)
3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
2 bay leaves
8 ounces French lentils
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick diagonal slices (or other sausage)
2 cups fresh kale, coarsely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces and drain on paper towels. Reserve for garnishing.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaves to the bacon fat. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the vegetables, stirring frequently until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the lentils, sausage, and kale. Add the tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, covered, until lentils are tender. Stir and add more salt and pepper to taste, as desired.

Ladle into bowls and top with the reserved bacon bits and some grated cheese. Serve immediately. (Recipe from Katie Lee’s The Comfort Table)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Slow Cooker Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash

September 29, 2015

Every kitchen needs some workhorse recipes.



This Slow Cooker Meatballs and Sauce recipe is mine.

It takes 15 minutes to throw it into the crock pot and we can eat forever. If you are in a hurry, you can just throw jarred sauce into the crock pot, then add the meatballs (this kind is my favorite spaghetti sauce of all time but any sauce will do since it is slow cooking with other flavors and meatballs.) Either way, I love how tender they end up, just like a real Italian restaurant or deli. And you notice there are no breadcrumbs in this recipe, making it totally low carb. If you are so inclined.

But if you have 5 minutes, it is so easy to make this sauce. First you sauté onions, garlic, whatever veggies you like (I used spinach since my kids can’t pick it out and tend to eat it) with tomato paste.


The sauce and the meatballs took me about 15 minutes. I threw it all in the crock pot and at dinner I had this:


I tend to double the recipe to freeze some or use some for subs, but if you do any more the 6 qt. pot can’t hold it (I tried).

Spaghetti is one of my kids favorite dinners, so we have it almost every week. But to make it healthier lately I have been using spaghetti squash for mine (and my husbands who loves to eat low carb). It makes this meal perfect for everyone.

If you have never cooked spaghetti squash before, here is the method I learned a long time ago at Wegman’s (which you might remember me talking about in this post). They actually had a lady demonstrating how to cook spaghetti squash. One more reason I miss them so.  You slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then you place it in a microwave safe baking dish with about an inch of water. Then throw plastic wrap on top. Cook for 20 minutes.

When it is done, you have this gorgeous squash that has actual strands of squash, just like spaghetti. Blows my mind every time:


I drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and honestly I could dive right in to this alone:


But it totally can take the place of spaghetti without missing a thing.



So in case you don’t already have a meatball recipe you love (or one for the crock pot!), here you go! Buon Appetito.




Slow Cooker Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash (printer version here): 

(Serves 6-8, but doubles easily so freeze half)


For the Sauce:

2-3 T. olive oil

1 yellow onion diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 t. garlic salt  + ½ t. pepper

1 can tomato paste (3 oz)

2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomoatoes

2 t. dried Italian seasoning

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. salt + ¼  t. pepper

crushed red pepper optional (I leave out for my kids and add to mine)

pinch of sugar

For the Meatballs:

1 + ½ lbs. beef/pork/veal mix

2 eggs

½ cup grated Parmesan

3 T. yellow onion, minced

3 garlic cloves minced

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

2 t. salt + ½ pepper


2 Spaghetti Squash, split in half and seeded



Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and spinach. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes until soft. Add the tomato past into the onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add mixture to the crock pot with the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, pinch of sugar and salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the bround meat, eggs, Parm, oinion, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper together. Scoop up mixture and roll into a ball the size of a walnut. Carefully drop into the crock pot. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6-8. Taste and season sauce as needed during the last hour. (Note: We ate them after 3 hours and they were still good, but sauce deepens if it cooks longer).  Serve with fresh basil and Parmesan.

To cook squash:

Place spaghetti squash in microwave safe pan and add 1 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook for 20 minutes. Alternatively you can roast a whole one at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool before you cut it in half.

Note: I found this on the internet years ago but my printed out copy that I have been using doesn’t have a source and is super worn. So my apologies to whoever provided me with this recipe. Many thanks!


Greek Al Fresco Lunch

June 4, 2015



What kind of food blogger would I be if I threw a lunch for our families that was easy and delicious, took 20 minutes to cook, looked gorgeous all spread out, went great with white wine, and I didn’t share it with you?

Seriously, I posted before (complete with horrible photos that did not weather the transition to the upgrade of this website well) about how much we love Pork Souvlaki. We call them Greek Tacos because they are a similar concept and level of ease as the South American variety. But the flavors are my favorite!

So when my oldest son RJ made his First Communion a few weeks ago, and all of our families were coming over to celebrate afterwards, I decided to do a greek spread with the souvlaki since it can feed a crowd and it is so quick to make. And it just can’t get any easier then opening packages of hummus and tabouleh and putting lemony tangy pork in a pita with some feta and tzatziki sauce.


I should throw in that I have had a steep learning curve trying to throw food parties with small children.

If you have never tried to do it, imagine trying to be a line order cook at a restaurant in the dinner hour and a preschool teacher at the same time. 

If that sounds hard, it is.

It has to be simple. But the food lover in me really wants it to be good too. And pretty. Can we get pretty too or is that too greedy?


Not with this spread.


IMG_0101^^I am obsessed with aged goat cheese right now.  Learn more about them here.

I cubed and marinated the pork the night before. The morning of, I made the orzo pasta salad while the meat cooked, which took 20 minutes. You can do the pasta salad the day before too though, obv.

Then add these sides:

Pita Bread





Tzatziki Sauce (yougurt with dill and cucumbers). For Ina Garten’s recipe for this click here

Cucumbers, Tomatos, Mint, Mixed Greens

My husband likes to use romaine lettuce instead of a pita for a low carb version. 


After the ceremony we were starving but it really only took me a few minutes to set everything out while the kids played in the back yard.

 I used white kitchen towels from Target as napkins and I loved them – I can totally picture them with cute ribbons and napkin rings in the future, but since this was entertaining with kids, setting them in a bucket is a victory.IMG_0105

Our whole family had such a special day together and we were so happy for RJ! We had lots of full bellies and full hearts.

And to my amazing Greek friends, I know you can cook Greek food about a THOUSAND times better then this, but let the people with small kids eat your yummy flavors via store bought sides.

And, of course, let them eat cake.


Happy Eating, xoxo Katie


Pork Souvlaki (printer version for Pork Souvlaki and Orzo Salad here):

If you can find Basile’s Pork Souvlaki seasoning mix, making pork souvlaki is as easy as marinating 2 lbs. of pork tenderloin with:

4 T. of Souvlaki seasoning
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of olive oil

If you can’t find it, follow this recipe I got from

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

Marinate for 2-3 hours, then cook the meat on the stovetop:


Orzo Salad with Feta: another summertime backyard favorite, travels well.

  • 1 lb package of orzo, cooked and drained according to package
  • 8 oz. of feta, crumbled
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jar of drained, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bottle light Greek or Italian dressing
  • 2 T mint, chopped (Optional)

Toss all ingredients together and serve hot, room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

February 27, 2015

imageOh hello there.

How’s your week going?

We are on February School vacation week here, so we took the kids up skiing to North Conway, NH. It’s been a mixed bag with some wonderful ski days and others so cold we were shivering on the chairlift and huddling for warmth. If you follow me on Instagram you know we’ve reached an amazing point where all our older kids can ski with us down most trails and it is such a joy. Though there are some serious heart palpitations for this momma, we mostly have smooth sailing as we fly down the hill.

But no matter what the weather our days always end apres skiing with friends or sitting around a fire. I knew it would be very hard to be Whole30 compliant on vacation, so I have been MOSTLY eating paleo with a few glasses of wine and beer, giving myself that 10 day lent wiggle room. March 1-March 30 will be my hard core window and I am so excited. I honestly love how I feel when I wake up the days I’m compliant. And I am reading It Starts With Food now, and it is SO interesting. Highly recommended.

Also highly recommended are these jalepeno poppers. Just crazy good. They have 4 ingredients and take 10 minutes to make. Think they will be a ski house staple because my husband and kids were super sad when they were gone. (Note to self: make a double batch). They aren’t even hot at all which I thought was surprising. If you like heat you make want to save some of the seeds and mix it into the cream cheese or leave in the popper.

They are ridiculously easy to make.

imageI love jalapeno poppers so much, and I usually roll them in crushed corn flakes and fry them. But I saw pics floating around of them wrapped in bacon, and I had to try them. My husband was just a teeny bit excited.

First you put the bacon in a 400 degree oven so they cook for a little bit, 5-7 minutes. While they cook, you halve the jalapenos and remove all the ribs and seeds, which is where the heat comes from.  Then you stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and sharp cheddar cheese.  I have added cilantro, chives and green onions in the past to my jalepeno popper stuffing – all of which are delicious – but I didn’t have any on hand here.

imageTake the bacon out of the oven before it is done, blotting them on a paper towel lined plate, and then wrap them around each one. You can use toothpicks, but I didn’t have any and did fine tucking them underneath.

imageAren’t they cute?

Then pop them back in the 400 degree oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the cream cheese oozes out. (Yum).

imageHope you get a chance to make these soon, you will thank me!


Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Poppers (printer version here):



10 Jalapeno Poppers

1 brick of cream cheese

¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese

2 T. chopped cilantro, chives, or green onions (optional)

1 lb bacon



Cook bacon halfway at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

Slice jalapenos in half and discard stems, seeds and ribs. Mix together cream cheese and cheddar cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add chopped herbs if using. Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture.

Take bacon out of the oven and lay on paper towel lined plate. Then wrap each jalapeno half in a slice of bacon.

Cook at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes until cheese is oozing and jalapenos are soft.

Bo Ssam

December 4, 2014


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The week before Thanksgiving, my husband’s best friend stayed with us since he was attending a conference at University of New Hampshire around the corner.

Matt and his wife, Heather, are scientists, foodies, parents to two adorable girls, disgustingly disciplined in working out, and the best quality you can ask for in a friend: Giant Hearted. Matt always has food stories that he tells very casually and then you taste what he’s talking about and your mind is blown (like that time he told us how he liked to grill chicken legs that were coated in salt, sugar and Tumeric and when I tasted it, they were so yummy).

This was the case with this Korean dish, Bo Ssam.  He told us about his friends marinating a pork shoulder overnight in sugar and salt, then cooking it for 6 hours low and slow. Then you stack it on lettuce, with chili oil and this scallion-ginger sauce, and if all that wasn’t enough THEN you put a raw oyster on top.  We sat there with Red Hook IPA’s on tap, watching the show Down East Dickering which is the funniest show – it’s like Pawn Stars meets Duck Dynasty, but in Maine –  and as he described this culinary event and the history it has in Korea in a variety of forms. He had me at yummy and easy to make, but then he threw out the raw oyster on top? Super curious.

We have to make that this week, I said.

Ok, said Matt.

So when he texts me how to make it, it is a link to this New York Times article. At this point I will encourage you to click over to this article because it’s amazing.

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I love the first line of the article because it was exactly how I felt making this: “This is a recipe to win the dinner party sweepstakes, and at very low stakes: slow-roasted pork shoulder served with lettuce, rice and a raft of condiments.” How has this not already been made popular? This dish is so amazingly good and simple. Something about the ritual of the whole meal – the marinating, and the slow cooking, and the chopping of endless amounts of ginger – just builds up your anticipation of eating it, and then when you do, it totally delivers. Its simple, but has so many textures and flavors, and so much for your hands to do pulling at the falling apart pork and building your next lettuce wrap, that you just get into this really cozy place where your taste buds are so happy that your mind just gives in and sighs. Sitting around sharing this dish with friends is so much fun. It yields so much pork that it is great for a crowd, and I made pulled pork with our leftovers.

You start by getting a big bowl and mixing a cup of sugar, a cup of kosher salt, and Matt strays from the NY Times recipe and adds 1/2 cup Herbs De Provence and Garlic Powder which I will definitely do next time as well. Then you line a counter with saran wrap, place the pork shoulder on it, and cover it with the salt mixture. Wrap it up and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

IMG_9121Then you just pop it in the oven for 6 hours at 300 degrees. At this point you have spent less then 5 minutes on this pork shoulder (also called picnic pork). And you end up with something that looks like this:

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When you do the last brown sugar glaze blast for 10-15 min at 500 degrees, you make the unbelievably flavorful condiments. So guess what happens when you mix garlic chili sauce with sherry vinegar and grape seed oil? Exploding taste buds, that is what. Ditto for mixing 1/2 cup of ginger (!), 2 1/2 cups of scallions (!!) and grape seed oil.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetThe article called for kimchi and a fermented bean paste, both of which I didn’t have and didn’t miss, but if you can find it I am sure your Bo Ssam fireworks will be even sparklier. And if you are lucky enough to be drinking wine in the kitchen with some friends, get them to shuck the raw oysters. (Matt did ours for his first time and they were all perfect. Show off.)

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetSo I hope some of you reading this are lucky to have big groups of people for the holidays, and while your busy playing card games and drinking Rum & Cokes, let this slowly cook away in your oven, then gather around a table and have a totally new, totally amazing feast. I know I cannot wait to do it again.

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Momofuku’s Bo Ssam (printer version here. Recipe taken from NY Times article above.)





  • 1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup herbs de provence
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar


  • 2 ½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
  • ½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


  • 2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)


  • 2 cups plain white rice, cooked
  • 3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 1 dozen or more fresh oysters(optional)
  • Kimchi (available in many Asian markets, and online)


  1. Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.
  4. Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.
  5. Prepare rice, wash lettuce and, if using, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.
  6. When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.