Peppered Pork Tenderloin

A month or so ago I treated myself to a cookbook that I’ve wanted for quite sometime – the “other” Sopranos cookbook. It’s full of great recipes, stories, tips and tricks from my favorite Italian mafioso family. I really love the first one, and figured the second rendition had to be just as good.

The first recipe I tried was this peppered pork tenderloin, and I was completely blown away. If you’ve been visiting the site regularly, you know that I make many different versions of pork tenderloin. But, the simplicity of this one is just wonderful. A quick marinade made up of basic ingredients, then it’s tossed on the grill to cook. It doesn’t have a sauce, or anything like that – which really allows the grilled pork flavor to shine. This was the first meal we enjoyed outside this year, so it made it all the more special.

Between the two tenderloins I cooked that night, there was just enough leftover for Cuban paninis the following night. The pork was perfect for the sandwiches, as it doesn’t have any other overpowering flavors. I love the meals that I can turn into something completely different the next night!

So, if you’re looking for something quick and easy…as well as delicious, add this one to the menu soon. We all loved it, and I’ve already made it twice since then!

Source: adapted from Entertaining with the Sopranos

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

A good recipe for a soup that doesn’t take all day to make is a real lifesaver. Especially one as hearty and filling as this broccoli & cheese version. It takes only a few short minutes to throw together, and the flavors are just out of this world.

It’s rich and hearty, but still doesn’t weigh you down the way many dairy-based soups do. The addition of fresh broccoli really adds a freshness to the flavor, and you can never go wrong adding plenty of cheddar cheese to anything in my book.

My girlfriend came over for lunch about a month ago or so, and I made this served with some crusty bread and a salad. We both loved it, and I’ve been thinking about making it again ever since. It reheats great as well, which is always a plus. Would also be great for a last minute, easy dinner!

Source: slightly adapted from Yammie’s Noshery

Shrimp Alfredo

This has long been one of my favorite dinners. Especially in the summertime, when the shrimp are fresh and cheaper than chicken here on the Eastern Shore. It comes together quickly, taking more time to prep the shrimp than to put the dinner together – and the results are so delicious and satisfying.

I used to make this dish with lemon pepper seasoning – but, I’ve found that the use of fresh lemon, garlic, and black pepper lends such a burst of fresh flavor that I like to use that combo provided I have all the ingredients handy. Which, I almost always do…

It’s simple enough for a family dinner after a long day at the beach, but also impressive enough to be served to guests at a dinner party. I’ll usually pair with a salad or a steamed veggie like broccoli to round out the meal.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

As the third-trimester winds down, and we get closer and closer to the due date – I’m getting tireder and tireder of just about everything, cooking included. So, a go-to easy meal like this one is a lifesaver on those nights when I’m just exhausted.

I’ve always secretly loved a bowl of Hamburger Helper, but hated the fact that I couldn’t pronounce half of the things on the ingredients label. Not to mention the astronomical sodium content…and, the fact that you feel like you have a lead pellet sitting in your stomach for hours afterwards. I knew I could do better at home!

So I set out to make a homemade version, and I tried a few before I finally settled on one that I really loved. It takes the same amount of time to bring together as the box you buy in the store, and is about a million times better – both on the health front as well as taste. Ingredients like basic spices in your pantry, milk, pasta, and lots of freshly shredded cheddar cheese are the only things on my ingredient list.

You could easily pre-mix a few batches of the spices and pasta together and store them in a resealable bag to have them ready to go – making this dinner even quicker and easier. It always feels great to kick yet another boxed processed mix to the curb!

Source: adapted from Food.com via Iowa Girl Eats