Monday, December 31, 2012

Dry Rubbed Pork Loin with Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays

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This Dry Rubbed Pork Loin with Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce was an absolute hit at my house.  So anytime my kids love a recipe, it is definetly a keeper.  I came up with this through a mixture of different recipes that I already used on other items, the dry rub was a rub that I use from time to time on pork chops and chicken, while the barbecue sauce is my go to homemade barbecue sauce. 

The best part of this meal for me was I paid $9 for this pork loin and had enough leftovers to get two meals out of it. 

To start off I removed as much of the fat and membrane from the pork loin as I possibly could.

I then mixed up my Dry Rub which consisted of:

1 tablespoon Paprika
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

After I mixed up the Dry Rub, I rubbed down my entire pork loin with it and placed it in my broaster oven (this can also be made in your regular oven).  I let the pork loin cook for three hours at 350 degrees.  When the pork loin was finished cooking I removed it from the oven and let it cool for about ten minutes. 

While it was cooling I mixed together my Honey Barbecue Sauce. 

In a saucepan I melted 1/4 cup butter.  Once the butter was melted I mixed in:
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Simmer mixture over medium heat for five minutes.

Once my pork loin had cooled for ten minutes and my barbecue sauce was done I used an electric knife to slice the pork loin.  I then poured the hot barbecue sauce over top of the sliced pork loin.  I did not use all of the barbecue sauce, but served some of the remainder on the side for those who wanted more barbecue sauce on their pork loin.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ideas For Celebrating New Year's Eve With Kids

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner now is the time to start preparing for your New Year’s Eve party. I am not one for going out on New Year’s Eve but instead choose to stay home with my kids that night. After supper we will take our baths, and will slip into our pajamas for a night of fun. If you are looking for a fun (and inexpensive) way to enjoy New Year’s Eve with your kids here are some great ideas.

Make it a Game Night

Our kids always receive a bunch of games at Christmas, so New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to play those new games. We turn the TV off, enjoy some snack foods and play board games.

Make a Time Capsule

This is something new that I plan to incorporate this year. We will sit around the table, write down our favorite memories for the year, and then seal it in a decorated Mason Jar. This will be put up in our Christmas Decorations. Next New Year’s Eve we will open it back up and enjoy our memories of 2012.

Write Letters to Family Members

This is a tip I read earlier this week but haven’t decided if we will do it or not. The idea is to have each member of the family write a letter for the other family members. After they have been written they are sealed up to be read on New Year’s Eve next year.

Year In Review Printables

I have been seeing these everywhere this year, and think they are a great idea. The worksheets include a spot for favorite foods, favorite memories, what you are looking forward to next year and more. You can find printables for these at 30 Handmade Days, and Today’s Mama.

New Year Birthday Cake

This is one of my kid’s favorite traditions. Each year we will make a “Birthday” cake for the New Year. The kids help me bake and decorate the cake each year. Then towards the end of the night we will use the numbered candles for the top (2012, 2013, etc) to distinguish the New Year. We will light the candles and the kids will blow them out together.

Watch The Ball Drop

By the time we have finished playing games and enjoyed our cake the kids are generally pretty worn out. At that time we will all gather up our sleeping bags and pillows to watch the New Year’s Eve events on TV. We always celebrate when the ball drops in Times Square but I have heard of other families watching the ball drop in London or other countries around 7:30 PM so that their younger children can get to bed at a decent hour and still enjoy the fun.

No matter how you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve I wish you the very best and a Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Christmas 2012

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Yesterday I talked about Making Next Year's Christmas Even Better Than This Year's but today I wanted to talk about our family's Christmas this year.  I have to say this Christmas was one of my absolute favorites.  It was a fun few days of celebrations, and I really enjoyed myself. 

However, the month of December did not start out all that great.  I was super busy in my Etsy shop, and finsihing up finals for school.  It was very stressful.  I didn't have enough freezer meals planned out, and we ate out way too many times this month because I was too busy to cook.  We didn't make it to the holiday light displays or get to do some of the fun things we wanted to do because I was so crazy busy.  This will not happen again.  I am closing down my Etsy shop simply because I am worn out.  I will be opening my own website and offering only ready to ship items there. 

On December 21st I was finally able to set my crocheting aside and start enjoying myself.  Once this happened my Christmas experience improved one hundred percent.  On the 21st my daughter and I made cookies for a cookie exchange I went to that night.  Then on the 22nd we took the family Christmas shopping, this was the only day that I did any in-store shopping.  Everything else was bought through Amazon.  We visited Santa on the 22nd and went to church that night.  It was an amazing day. 

On the 23rd my husband's family came up and we spent the day with them.  Then on the 24th we went down to Kentucky to visit my family.  We didn't get home until late on the 24th and the kids were exhausted.  The youngest ones wore the pajamas my mom had bought them on the car ride home so they were able to go straight to bed when we got home.

Then there was Christmas Day, the day we had all looked forward to. 

We had decided we weren't going to be in a hurry that day.  The plan was for the kids to get up (which they didn't wake up until 10 AM) and get their stockings.  After they opened their stockings we cooked breakfast.  Pancakes and bacon.....

After breakfast the kids were able to open their first presents.  The presents were numbered as they were wrapped.  The kids were only allowed to open one present each hour.  This would give them a little bit to enjoy each present before they had to open the next one.  This allowed for a lot of this.....

The kids spent time around the kitchen table playing with the K'Nex and the Shrinky Dinks they opened early in the morning.  Taking breaks every hour to open a new present.  I was worried the kids wouldn't like it but they did and we were able to spread the present experience throughout the day.  We will definetly be making this a tradition.

Around 4 PM we went to the local Chinese restaurant for our annual Christmas Dinner.  This has become a tradition for us and one that we all enjoy.

After we returned from the restaurant the younger kids discovered that there were new bikes for them in the garage.

Also after dinner we opened all of the remaining presents under the tree which resulted in our living room looking like this....

I hope you all had as an enjoyable Christmas as ours!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making Next Year's Christmas Even Better Than This Year

The presents have been unwrapped, new toys are strewn from one end of the house to the other, and the after Christmas wind down has begun. Before you put this Christmas behind you in the history books now is the time to look at what worked this last year, or didn’t work for that matter while it is all still so fresh in your mind. Now is the time to look critically at how your Christmas experience played out and to write down what worked or didn’t work for you so that you can remember next year. Writing down your experience, thoughts, and things you want to remember is important because while you think that you will remember it all next year let’s be honest you won’t remember it at all.

One of the first steps to taking stock is to look at what your personal thoughts were on this year’s Christmas experience. Did you feel like you were rushed the entire month? Is there something that you can do to help beat that rush? Did you really like how your family went looking at Christmas lights one night on a whim and would like for your family to do that again next year? Were there any other special little things about this Christmas that you want to repeat next year?

When I looked at my own experience this year I realized that I worked too hard before Christmas and next year I want to be sure to take more time off at Christmas. This may mean doing more work the months of October or November but when December rolls around I want to have more time off. Since I was so incredibly busy we didn’t eat as well as we should have, and ate out a lot. I think this can be avoided by preparing more meals that can be frozen in the months of October and November for use in December. If I prepare just two freezer meals a week during those two months I should have the month of December covered. As far as things that worked great this year I did feel less stressed on Christmas Eve and was able to get more sleep by having everything wrapped before Christmas Eve. Usually I am a let’s wrap it all in one night kind of gal but this year I tackled a dozen or so presents each night on the nights leading up to Christmas Eve so that by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I had all of my wrapping done.

Since you don’t celebrate Christmas on your own you can also recruit your family to share their thoughts on how this Christmas went. I did this by asking them to write down their favorite things about this Christmas and their least favorite thing about this Christmas. I also had them rate the activities we did before Christmas, by doing this I was able to determine which activities we will make a priority for next year and which activities we can skip.

After all of that I looked at the food. Were there any foods that we had there were extreme hits this year? What about that cookie that your friend brought to the Cookie Exchange you attended and that you would like to make next year? Now is the time to gather up those recipes and get them written down. Also be sure to write down a copy of this year’s menu, along with the recipes that you used, this will help in planning next year’s menu.

After you have made all of your notes on this past Christmas now is the time to put them away. If you have a household binder with a section for Christmas you can store them there. If you don’t have a household binder you can put your notes in an envelope and store them with your Christmas decorations, that way when you get out your decorations next year you will have your notes ready for you. After all, if you are anything like me you will probably forget that you made the notes in the first place!