Archive for Category: For the Love of Food

Spice Rubbed Pork Loin Sliders with Dijon Remoulade {#PorkParty}

In my last post I shared with you a video recipe from the National Pork Board for a Spice Rubbed Pork Loin BLT Sliders with Dijon Remoulade.   I also offered a giveaway of $50.00 in Costco cash, but we’ll get to that momentarily.
I got a big huge pork loin from Costco and when I came home I cut off the ends into roasts and the middle was cut into loin chops.  I used one of my favorite kitchen tools—the Foodsaver my mom gave me years ago—and froze the other loin and the chops for later use.   That’s four meals from one loin, and I only paid $14.37 for it.   Broken down that is about $3.60 per cut of meat for FOUR MEALS for a family of six.   Amazing!
Last night I made *my* version of the Spice Rubbed Pork Loin BLT Sliders with Dijon Remoulade!   Of course, I didn’t have any Dijon Mustard so I used regular yellow mustard and it was perfectly fine.  I also didn’t have Thyme, but I had a mix of herbs (to be added to oil for bread-dipping) that included Thyme, so I used that in the spice rub for the pork loin.


While I roasted the loin at 400 degrees for about an hour, I prepped everything else.   I sliced up the tomatoes,  washed the lettuce, fried up the bacon, and made the remoulade.



The important thing to know about pork is that it is so easy to overcook it.  So, at 60 minutes I took it out and checked it with a handy-dandy meat thermometer.  Once it read 145 degrees, after being inserted in the middle of the roast, I knew it was done (I actually checked the temperature at 50 minutes first.)   It’s crucial to let it rest, and after it thoroughly did I sliced it into thin little cuts for the slider assembly.  While it rested, I also got the Hawaiian rolls ready.  They just needed a few minutes in the oven, at 300 degrees, to get all perfect and nom-nom-nommy.

Then it was time for the assembly line of yumminess…



The whole roast disappeared as I kept making the sliders and they kept being eater.
Everyone asked, “Mama, when are you going to make these next?!”
For sure….soon!!

Spice Rubbed Pork Loin BLT Sliders with Dijon Remoulade

Recipe from Pork Be Inspired!


Dijon Remoulade: 1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish, OR finely chopped dill pickle
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin:

2 pound boneless pork loin roast
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
24 dinner rolls, such as Hawaiian or potato
2 cups baby arugula
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 24 rounds
12 slices bacon, cooked each cut into quarters to make 48 pieces

Cooking Directions

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin:
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Combine the cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub all over the loin. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350  degree F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 145 degree F, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.


Carve roast crosswise into thin slices. Divide slices into 24 portions. Spread each roll with remoulade. Fill with equal amounts of the pork and arugula. Top with a tomato round and 2 pieces of bacon. Serve warm.
Makes: 24 sliders, 12 serving

Now, for the winner of the $50.00 Costco Giveaway:
As generated by, the lucky winner is:  Kim T. of “Live from the 205”!  Congrats, Kim!!!


This post is the second post that is part of a campaign with The National Pork Board and The Motherhood.  All opinions are always my own!

The Past Two Weeks in Food

Michael and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on September 30th.  We decided to enjoy two lunches together instead of one dinner.  Bonus!  We got to spend more alone time together AND we had two spectacular meals.
Thus begins this food essay….
This was my plate from Atlanta Hwy Seafood Market.  I had the shrimp and crab-cake plate.  Michael had the grilled Mahi-Mahi and shrimp plate.  This food was just as good, if not better, than some of the down-home seafood we’ve had in New Orleans.  For real, child!
I had a bowl of Gumbo, and Michael ordered a bowl of Red Beans and Rice.  When we were half way through our bowl, we switched.
On Sunday, we went to our local sushi joint.  This was the aptly named Lover’s Roll.
Later on I presented Michael with this dessert.   A banana split made with love (and a lot of nuts!)
The next day I made some stuffed bell peppers.  All of the ingredients were bought at Aldi.   Which?  God, I wish they would open an Aldi in our town.
I’m sure, by now, you know that I am a Moe’s Ambassador.  This is one of my favorite ambassadorships.  Not only do I love the food and stand behind their freshness, I love our local Moe’s for the people that are they employ.    Great food, great atmosphere and kids eat free on Wednesday.   SCORE!
This week I finally made Banana Bread.   I adapted a from a recipe I found on Brown Eyed Baker (whom, coincidentally, is one of my favorite baking recipe sites.)
This past week Olivia, Davey, and I went to lunch with my friend Maria and her daughter.  Livey didn’t like her Hot & Sour soup.   Guess who loves Hot & Sour soup, though.  Me!!!
My mom sent us a care package with three jars of Ajvar (hot pepper spread) and one jar is almost gone already.  It’s a little spicy and goes super well with toast and feta cheese.
After almost 2 weeks of Michael being gone for work he took us all out for dinner, to Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, and I was able to cure my big, bad, burger craving with the Hickory Smokes BBQ Burger.
Yesterday, I drove through Billy’s Country Kitchen – Home of the Heavenly Biscuit for the first time ever.  I don’t know why I’ve never been here, in our over five years of living here, but I will definitely go back.  Not only for the biscuits, but the wonderful man that owns the place.  Our experience, at the drive through, was nothing short of blessed and favored.  The best thing about it is that we paired these Heavenly Biscuits with preserves that Michael brought back to us from Nashville’s Loveless Cafe.  The Peach Preserves are to. die. for.
Thank God for my gym membership!  For real.


The S’more, The Merrier!

“This summer, the Hershey Company is encouraging families to create their own S’mores memories with the Say S’mores campaign. Starting June 15, families are invited to capture and share their favorite S’mores moments on the Hershey’s brand Facebook page at for a chance to win S’mores-themed prizes.  The grand-prize is a Canon Rebel Camera, a slate marble outdoor firebowl, $250 SnapFish gift card, roasting skewers set and all of the ingredients needed to make S’mores, including Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars. Families who visit the Hershey’s brand Facebook page on or after June 15 can download the Say S’mores application to participate in monthly photo contests and receive a $1 coupon good toward the purchase of any two Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar 6-packs.”


Last week, our friend Pasha was visiting.  Pasha is an exchange student from Ukraine, and he’s due to go home soon.  We’ve had a great time bonding with him, and I thought it was a perfect night to introduce him to S’mores.  We couldn’t have a bonfire to roast marshmallows, so in a pinch I decided to try making them in the microwave.  I was skeptical, but —oh my gosh— it worked!

For dinner that night we had gone to Moe’s (can’t beat Kids Eat Free night!)  Pasha said he was too full to have dessert, but I still made them.  He liked them so much that he ate TWO!

Here’s some video I took of the merry S’more munching:


The kids were so happy, and now that the cat’s out of the bag—what with making delicious S’mores in the microwave—I’ll have to make S’mores for them as a treat more often.  One of them even said, “This means we can have S’mores any time we want now!”

And, that’s what happened just one night later when The Bigs stayed up late to watch a movie together.

Now you totally want some S’mores, right?

Well, good, because one reader will win a S’Mores Prize Pack!

The Prize Pack includes:

  • a 6-Pack of Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
  • a box of graham crackers
  • a package of marshmallows

TO ENTER: Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite S’mores memory!
Extra Entries: Tweet or Facebook this giveaway!  Make sure you let me know, so I can count your entr(ies).
Eligibility:  I’m sorry friends in other countries, but this giveaway is only open to US residents.

[This post is part of my participation in the Hershey’s “Say S’mores” Promotion with The Motherhood. All opinions and sentiments expressed are my own.]

{Sweet} Traditions

Thank you to Log Cabin for sponsoring my post about updated traditions in my household.

To learn more about Log Cabin Syrups (which are all free of High Fructose Corn Syrup), breakfast for dinner, and other new ways to update traditions in your home, click here.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Growing up in a Macedonian family we followed many traditions.  Over the years, as I have grown as a mother, I have realized how important it is to keep traditions alive.   While they might not be exactly the same as they were when I was a child, keeping family traditions is very much a goal of mine as the matriarch of our little-big family.

Most recently I adapted the Orthodox New Year’s tradition of hiding a coin in a strudel to hiding it in our family favorite…cornbread!   I’m sure I could probably give a go at making the cheese strudel like my mother and grandmother do, but, over the years, we have come to love cornbread so much that it was a natural evolution of the tradition.

Before I met Michael I had never even tried cornbread.  However, becoming the wife of a man who was born and raised in the south, and eventually living in the south, has really broadened—not only—my taste buds, it has also supplemented my tradition bank.   Now I have Macedonian traditions to draw from, and southern traditions too!

New OrleansOne of my favorite traditions is the one that involves eating Red Beans and Rice on Mondays.  When we lived in New Orleans we found ourselves eating out a lot (I mean, it is dubbed the “Fat City”), and one I enjoyed the most was eating our traditional Monday meal, in the French Quarter, on a balcony like the one at Bourbon Vieux or Cajun Cabin.

Making Red Beans and Rice, at home, is super simple, though.   And, when we make a big pot of them we always make a big pan of cornbread.  There’s nothing like mixing it all up, dousing it with Louisiana hot sauce, and gobbling it up till your belly hurts.  The sausage, the beans, the rice, the cornbread, the flavor—it’s definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

The best thing about making meals with cornbread, though, is having leftovers for breakfast.   The kids love it so much.  They pop their leftover piece in the microwave, for a few seconds, and top it with our *family’s favorite syrup.  Adding milk and fruit makes it one of the best breakfasts ever.

It really is funny how so many traditions revolve around the dinner table.  Food brings family together, and traditions bind us to our past.  I hope that our children continue them, and pass them on to their children someday.

Every tradition grows ever more venerable – the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe. —Friedrich Nietzsche

*Our family’s favorite syrup is Log Cabin, and it has everything to do with the fact that it is free of high fructose corn syrup. Good syrup doesn’t need to have any of that stuff in it, and I am happy that Log Cabin realizes that!   While this is a sponsored post from Log Cabin Syrup, I am emphatic about foods that are free of HFCS, and hope that others do their best to eliminate it from our daily diets.

Cooking With Friends

I’m co-hosting an upcoming class in the Web’s first-ever virtual cooking school, Cooking Connections, and I would love for all of you to participate!  Here’s what you need to know:

When: Wednesday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: The Motherhood

The class I’m co-hosting is called “Cooking with Dad,” and it is hosted by my friends Jim and Shannon.  Seriously, you have to join us for guaranteed fun and laughter, you know, along with all the insight and wisdom.  Jim and Shannon will be chatting, via live video feed, and the rest of us will be sharing anecdotes and tips for having fun in the kitchen with Dad (and/or the other non-cooks of the family) in the text-based comments below the video!  It’s always been my dream to cook with these two, and now I (kinda-sorta) have my chance.  Don’t miss out on the party!

The class is sponsored by ConAgra and hosted by The Motherhood.


The other fabulous co-hosts are:

Julie, Angry Julie Monday, | Ashley Evans, Schadenfreudette, | Tanis Miller, Attack of the Redneck Mommy, | Dan Deguia,, | Lotus Carroll, Sarcastic Mom/, | Melanie Sheridan; Mel, a Dramatic Mommy, |PJ Mullen, Real Men Drive Minivans, | Diane, Momo Fali, | Robin Sue Joss, Big Red Kitchen, | Eddie Carroll; Life, One Pixel at a Time,

We hope to see you there!

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