You know that feeling that you get after you’ve been on the road for awhile and you just can’t wait to be home? That feeling of unrest and almost uneasiness – the inability to fully relax because you’re not in your element. I didn’t realize it until the last few days, but that’s how I’ve been feeling. Don’t get me wrong – I loved where I was staying and the company was spectacular, but nothing is quite the same as “home”.
After what seems like forever (really only 2 months), I have made it to my next destination: home. I moved out of my home about a month ago and have been staying with one a my best friends. While I was still able to cook and do pretty much anything I wanted, I just never felt 100% at ease. I was still living out of boxes – spices and baking supplies in one box; extra Tupperware and mason jars for meal-prep in another; winter clothes stored in a suitcase. And although everything was calm at the house, I felt like I was riding a roller coaster on the inside due to the myriad of emotions that I was expereincing. No wonder I felt unstable!
But the living out of boxes will soon be coming to an end, for over the weekend, I made the trek north to my hometown. Finally – home with most of my belongings, my sweet puppy, and my parents. I was so overcome with exhaustion and emotion that one of the first things I did was burst into tears. I couldn’t tell you what emotion that emitted this, but just to have that release made me feel a bit better. And oh, the home-cooked meals! Now, I may know how to cook, but my mom’s cooking blows mine out of the water any day. After eating out for a better part of a week, I was dying for something Southern and homey. And boy did my mom nail it – roasted chicken with “fried” cabbage and broccoli.
Today was the first full day at home and I’ll admit, it was quite the adjustment. I didn’t have to wake up early because I didn’t have an hour commute to work. I was actually able to read and meditate this morning, then cook breakfast as I set up to work for the day. I ate my hot breakfast (hash with eggs) while reading emails and sipping on coffee from a dancing Snoopy mug. It was delightful! Because it’s absolutely frigid in the mornings, I opted to run during my lunch break. Another perk of being home is I could eat my lunch at my desk, not skipping a beat.
All this cold weather got me in the mood for fall even more so than I already was. I had thawed pork loin on my drive home yesterday, but realized around lunch time that I had completely forgotten to start it in the crockpot! I panicked at first and then saw it for the opportunity it really was. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked pork loin just in the oven except maybe one in my life, so this was a chance to try out something new! I perused Pinterest and settled on a very fall-themed dish that was cooked all in one pan. A neighbor gave us sweet potatoes, so I decided they would make a great side to the pork. I already knew I wanted broccoli for dinner (I can never get enough) and was eager to try this new recipe!
Dinner was a success. Not only did my mom not have to cook, but everything new we tried (which was the entire meal) received the seal of a approval from my dad! If you’re a wife, mother, or daughter – you know how important that approval is! I hope you enjoy these two dishes as much as we did! ❤️
Roasted Pork Loin with Apples & Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds pork tenderloin
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 apples, sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
2 T organic apple cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T fresh chopped sage or 1 tsp dried sage
2 large sweet potatoes, skinned and cubed
- Preheat oven at 350F. Lightly grease a roasting pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Season the pork tenderloin with salt and ground pepper; transfer to roasting pan.
- Arrange onion wedges, apple slices, and cubed sweet potato around the meat and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and mustard until thoroughly combined. Stir in sage.
- Pour the apple-dijon mixture over the tenderloin and potatoes.
- Cover with foil and roast for 1.5 hours.
- After 90 minutes, remove foil and place the pan back in oven. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, until pork is cooked through and potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from oven and slice before serving with vegetables.
Roasted Broccoli with Panko Breadcrumbs
1.5 lbs broccoli
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 T coconut spread
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Lightly coated a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Meanwhile, chop up broccoli into florets and place into baking dish.
- Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Melt coconut spread and pour over the broccoli. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and mix to coat evenly.
- Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are slightly toasted.
- Serve immediately with your favorite fall entree!