Monday, November 11, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork & Apples

I just wanted to share this super easy recipe that I recently tried at home.  It turned out so delicious and was a big hit at our house, so I thought I'd share it with all of blogland.


1 Pork Tenderloin

4-5 Granny Smith Apples



Poultry Seasoning (or other seasoning of your choice)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 Stick Butter, cut into slices

Chicken Broth

Slow Cooker

I apologize, I don't have exact measurements on this, but in this case I don't really think exact measurements are all that important.  It will turn out good no matter what.  I didn't measure anything and it was delicious.

Start with your pork tenderloin, slicing it (but not all the way through) making grooves to put apple slices inside.

Slice all your apples into fairly thin slices. (You don't have to peel them unless you just really don't like the skins.)

Take the apple slices and dump some in the bottom of the crock pot.  Drizzle these with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Stuff the grooves of your pork tenderloin with apple slices and place that on top of the 1st layer of apples in the crock pot.  Drizzle this with  more honey and more cinnamon.

Top your tenderloin with whatever apple slices you have left, your butter (cut into pats) on top of that, drizzle more honey and sprinkle more cinnamon on top.

Sprinkle with a little poultry seasoning and salt & pepper to taste.

Pour a little chicken broth on top of everything.  (I just put a little... just enough to keep it moist.)

(NOTE: I thought I had waaay too much cinnamon because at one point it came out much faster than I was expecting and dumped a huge pile of it into my crock pot.  It tasted wonderful anyway.  Not too cinnamon-y at all.)

Cook on low all day or on high for 3-4 hours.

The result is tender, sweet & savory deliciousness that will literally melt in your mouth!

It was a big hit with the hubs.  (That's his 'big hit' face)

This is an awesome dish for fall.  I love comfort food this time of year and the slow cooker is my best friend!  It's so nice to come home to the smell of something delicious and ready to eat the minute you walk through the door!

Enjoy!  I know I sure did!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's Fall, Y'all

Well, it's officially fall... gaining rapidly on winter.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the beautiful colors of the autumn leaves, the crisp, cool air, the sunny blue skies, breezy days, the comfort food, pumpkins and mums, bonfires, hayrides... the list goes on and on.  Fall makes me want to just drive around and gaze at all the beautiful colors and watch as the landscape changes into an array of oranges, yellows and reds.

Early-on this fall, we decided to go on a quick trip to the mountains to see all the beautiful autumn colors.  Of course, it rained the entire weekend, but it was still pretty.

I love all the barn quilts up there... makes me want to build a barn just so I can hang a barn quilt on it.

We had a great time, despite all the rain (and our icky motel, but that's a whole other story....)

We even had some amazing pizza at a little hole-in-the-wall wood-fired pizza place located in a tiny town near Roan Mountain.  This place was just behind the owners' house, in a little barn of its own.

Mmm... so good.  

Autumn wouldn't be complete without mentioning Halloween.  I have been super slack this year about holiday decorating... I usually go all-out with crows, bats, pumpkins, gourds, etc.  This year, however, I managed to put out a few pumpkins and a jack-o-lantern on Halloween day at about 6:00 p.m. just in case we had a few trick-or-treaters.  We didn't.  Not a single one... boo.  Daniel even got out the leaf blower and blew all the leaves out of the driveway and off the porches.  They were all back in about 30 minutes...

We even dressed up this year for Trunk or Treat at my church.  I went as Rosie the Riveter and Daniel went as Willie from Duck Dynasty.  His joke was that all he had to do get into character was tie a bandana around his head.  Mission accomplished.  

That's Daniel on the left in his "costume" just in case you were confused... along with another Willie lookalike.   "OOooo...I got double vision!"  *singing*  

Along with the changing seasons comes a change in weather and it has been pretty chilly at our house so far.  We've been avoiding turning on the heat so we can put off paying those crushing gas bills for a few more weeks.  We have been using our gas logs, which heat up the house nicely with a lot less gas. 

Back story on the gas logs:  I was convinced we were never going to get to use our gas logs because ever since we remodeled the fireplace they haven't worked.  womp womp... Daniel fiddled with them numerous times until we finally decided it was a bust and we were gonna have to buy  new ones.  Finally, he took them apart and found out that while they sat on our back porch during the reno, a dirt dauber had built a nest inside them which was keeping the flow of gas from doing its thing.  He got rid of the nest, and voila, they work like a charm.  The first night we turned them on I was insanely excited... picture me like Tom Hanks in that Castaway movie: "I...have made... FIRE!" (even though it was all Daniel... I didn't help at all, and basically we just turn a knob and the fire comes on...) 

Bonus: it's super cozy and I get crazy excited each and every time we turn them on.  For example, that first night we turned them on, I made Daniel wait and go to the store with me so I could stock up on hot chocolate.  I then had to put on my coziest pj's, cook up some cocoa and sit cuddled up with the hubs and a couple kitty cats while catching up on episodes of 'The Walking Dead'. I'm telling you, fire + cocoa + pj's + hubs + kitties + zombies = a super exciting night in my world.  Plus, a cold house is a great excuse for cuddling up with your sweetie.  *wink wink*

The kitties are fans of the fire too.  :o)

It took a little longer for the leaves to catch up in our neck of the woods, and then, one day... BAM! Color everywhere!

The tree below is in my parents' neighbor's yard.  It's got to be the prettiest maple tree EVER.  Like the prettiest maple tree in the history of maple trees.  I want to clone it and plant one in my yard.

As with all good things, they must come to an end.  It seems to me that fall goes by much too quickly.  All too soon those pretty leaves will fall and it'll be winter.  

On that note, I'll leave you with a quote:

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."  -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


We recently went on a trip to NYC via DC for the wedding of our dear friends, Abbie & Pat.

[ That's not Abbie & Pat... that's us...just thought I'd throw in this pic :o) ]

Our friends Caleb and Kenisha were kind enough to let us crash with them for a night in DC on the way up and it was great to see them and their new house (and their new puppy, Sadie).

We also got to go see the Sunset Parade, in which Caleb performs in The Commandant's Own United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps... which was O-MASING.  Seriously, it was awesome.  And free to the public, so if you're in the area during May - August, it's every Tuesday night at the Iwo Jima memorial in DC at 7:00 p.m.  Check it out.  You won't be sorry.  We had a great time chillaxin' with them, eatin' ribs and buffalo chicken dip.  :o)

We then forged on to the Big Apple to meet up with our friends for Pabbiefest, which was a week-long celebration complete with good friends, good food, fun times, the sweetest wedding, and a very detailed itinerary...which we didn't all.  But it was a great idea!  It's the thought that counts!

It was great to see all our friends and to see everyone come together from all over the world to celebrate with Pat & Abbie on their big day.

Their wedding was so beautiful, and so personal.  That's what I loved about it the most.  It was so true to them, from the bridesmaids and groomsmen dancing, (yes, dancing) down the aisle, an amazing speech by Abbie's father, poetry readings, beautiful music, to the most touching vows I think I've ever heard, written by the couple to each other.

Daniel and Abbie's sister Claire played 'Over the Hills & Far Away' by Led Zeppelin on the guitar and violin and did an amazing job... seriously, there were people on the street cheering them on!

Overall it was just such a happy occasion and so filled with love.  After the wedding was over and everyone was saying their goodbyes, Abbie started crying because she was so happy that everyone had come out and so sad that the week was coming to an end.  That's the great thing about Abbie, she feels things so passionately her heart just can't hold it all in!  And Pat is such a genuinely nice person, and so easy to talk to, he instantly makes you feel comfortable and as if you've known him forever.  So great to see such a wonderful couple in love, makin' it official!

We got to do a little sightseeing while in NYC as well.  Times Square, the Subway, Central Park, the Subway, Grand Central Station, the Subway, the Freedom Tower, the Subway, Brooklyn Bridge, the Subway, The Highline Park, the Subway, the Statue of Liberty, the Subway, and various other sights around Brooklyn and NYC... did I mention we were on the Subway a lot?  Oh, and we did TONS of walking.  In 100 degree weather.  Our ice-cold, air-conditioned hotel room sure felt nice after walking all day in that heat!

Incidentally, this sign was on the building right next to our hotel... yikes...

It was a whirlwind, but fun.  After getting cheated in a major way at a parking deck on our last day... [boo parking deck]...I was ready to come home to my quiet house in the country.

We got to see some pretty countryside on our way home.  We took the long way through Lancaster, PA and saw some beautiful farms in Amish country.  It was nice seeing all that open space after being in the city all week.

Finally, after 16 hours in the car [did I mention we took the long route?] we arrived back at home sweet home.  Back to reality at Casa de Bruce.  Although it meant I had to go back to work [boo work], there really is no place like home!