Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm finally able to sit down and write my second post! We have been traveling all over the place for Christmas. We had such a great time back in our home town visiting family. I love this time of year. And I especially loved that this was our first Christmas together as a married couple! We had such a fun time decorating our home. We set up our Christmas tree, put garland and stockings on our mantel, and created a little snow village in our entry way. LOVE Hobby Lobby's 50% off Christmas sale, by the way. Great way to start our Christmas decoration collection.

Now it's back to reality as the Holidays have come to an end, but I love my reality, so it's really not so bad at all. We hit the ground running when we got back to our home. We had a progressive dinner in our neighborhood the night we got back! We hosted desserts and I made bite size apple pies, rich chocolate cake, and strawberries with fresh whipped cream. That, however, will be in another post. This post is about the meal we had on New Year's Day.

Black Eyed Peas
I have never been a fan of the traditional New Year's Day meal of black eyed peas and cabbage. Every year growing up, we had that. It's not a reflection of my mother's cooking. She was actually quite good. I just could never stomach the boiled cabbage and bland black eyed peas. And I didn't care that they were supposed to bring you good health and good wealth for the coming year. In fact, I still don't care. So, I was going to forego that tradition and come up with something else, but my husband fought it. He insisted that we at least have the black eyed peas. And since I love him, I obliged....But I refused to just boil them. I searched and searched for what I thought would be a good recipe that would change my mind about those little legumes, and I found one of Paula Deen's recipes on the Food Network website that I used. While it slightly improved the taste of them, it still didn't make me like them, and even my husband agreed that the recipe would probably have tasted better with a different kind of bean (maybe pinto....). Anyway, perhaps you like black eyed peas and would love this recipe!

Moving on to the rest of the menu, I prepared raspberry chipotle pork loin, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls and cranberry-feta salad. The mashed potatoes and crescent rolls are pretty self explanatory :) But I will share my recipe for the pork loin and salad!

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Pork Loin
We do not eat pork all that often. And when we do, it's usually in the form of bacon, maybe once a month, if that. But several years ago, my husband and I found the Fischer & Wieser raspberry chipotle sauce while grocery shopping. We bought a bottle and proceeded to look for a recipe to use for it. There are two pork loin recipes using the raspberry sauce on their website, and this one is very similar, but we have added a few things over the years to make it our own!

The ingredient amounts really depend on the size loin you buy. The following is based on about a 3 lb. loin. (I have a 6 lb. loin pictured, so I doubled the below recipe, but we cut it in half for roasting purposes--each portion is approx. 3 lb.).

Pork Loin, or Pork Roast, depending on the consistency you prefer (approx. 3 lb.)
1/4 c. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 bottles Fischer & Wieser Roasted Raspberry Chipotle
1 jar Tabasco Red Pepper Jelly

  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Cut most of the fat off of the top of the loin, leaving just a small amount. 
  • Chop up the fresh herbs and garlic; Mix with olive oil and salt & pepper; Rub all over loin
  • Place loin fat-side-up on a rack in roasting pan, with about 1/3 c. of water at the bottom of pan.
  • Combine one bottle of raspberry sauce with most of the Tabasco pepper jelly.
  • Pour most, but not all, of mixture over loin.
  • Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in oven. 
  • Typically you want to cook pork for about an hour per pound. However, we have a gas oven and find that it cooks much more quickly. So depending on your oven, I would say to try 30-45 minutes per pound and adjust accordingly. 
  • About 20 minutes before it's finished cooking, remove the loin. Remove the foil and pour the remaining raspberry-pepper jelly mixture over it. Place back in oven--without the foil.
  • In a small saucepan, heat about half of the second bottle of raspberry sauce with the rest of the pepper jelly. (This will be a dipping sauce for the pork--it's also very good on mashed potatoes!)
  • When the pork loin is finished, remove from oven. Slice and place in serving dish. Pour drippings from the bottom of the pan over the sliced pork. 
  • Add some to the  drippings to the dipping sauce in the saucepan and pour in serving bowl.


Cranberry-Feta Salad
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1.5 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 bag Baby Spinach
1/4 c. Craisins
1/3 c. Feta Cheese
Handful of your favorite croutons
Slice of a lemon

  • Mix olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl. A really small bowl, like for dipping sauces.
  • Combine the rest of your salad fixings (except the lemon) in a large bowl. 
  • Toss the salad in the olive oil-garlic salad dressing.
  • Spritz the salad with the juice from your lemon slice and toss salad again.

You're done! But warning! You will smell like garlic for about a day after eating :)


  1. YUM! Sounds fantastic! I'm not a big black-eyed pea fan, either. And I'd rather eat dirt than boiled cabbage. But your pork loin sounds delicious! And the salad!

  2. Oh my - that looks awesome!! I'm going to have to try the pork loin soon.

    And yeah, I'm not so much a fan of black eyed peas or cabbage. Bleh. I think we need to change it up a little and make brownies and cheesecake signs of health and wealth for the new year. Who's with me??

  3. Mmmm, sounds good! :) I happen to like the way Mom fixed the black-eyed peas - but I also just like black-eyed peas. I hate the boiled, cabbage, though!