As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more plan ahead easy dinners! Who ever dared to suggest that the days of summer were lazy clearly wasn’t busy running their family all over creation. While some nights might be nice and leisurely, others are fraught with a flurry of activity. But what’s a family to do? They still have to eat. That’s when a little planning ahead comes in handy.
I am such a super fan of anything that can be prepped in advance, which is why I favor marinated meats and do-ahead potatoes. I knew this pork tenderloin was a real hit when my Nick said, “It tasted even better than it looked.” From a teenager; that’s quite an endorsement!
Rosemary and Garlic Marinated Pork Tenderloin;
I love, love, love my vacuum sealed pork tenderloins from CostCo. I recently picked up two packs of two tenderloins for a mere $20.00. One packet went in the freezer for a rainy day, while I made this flavorful marinade for the other.
I’m also a big fan of the Good Season’s Italian Seasoning packets. I always have them on hand. For a salad, I mix it up with balsamic vinegar, while for a marinade I might use a good white wine vinegar.
1 cup of Italian salad dressing (I make a double batch and used the rest for a quick, fresh salad)
2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp fine ground sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together in a Zip-loc baggie and add the two pork tenderloins from the vacuum sealed pack.
Marinade in the refrigerator over night.
An hour or so before you are ready for dinner, either Pre-heat the oven to 350° or Pre-heat the grill and reduce to a medium-high heat.
Roast in the oven for about an hour, or on the grill for approximately 35-45 minutes; until the meat reaches 145°-150° on an instant read thermometer.
Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve…
Twice Is Nice Baked Potatoes;
If you’re already doing the work, you may as well make two meals. I always make one more potato than there are people that I will be serving, just in case there is a casualty in the scooping process.
You’ll need one half of a potato per person, per serving.
To make 8 twice baked potatoes, I used;
5 baked potatoes
¾ stick of butter
½ brick of cream cheese
Generous splash of milk (and more for mixing)
2 Tbsp of chopped chives or scallions
Shredded cheddar for mixing or sprinkling
Pre-heat your oven to 350°
Scrub each potato with a brush until clean
Pour a little olive oil in a small bowl
Cut one sheet of aluminum foil per potato
Poke each potato with the prongs of a fork in several locations
With a basting brush, rub olive oil over each potato
Wrap up each potato in a sheet of aluminum foil
I line a baking sheet with foil and line up the potatoes
Bake the potatoes for a very long time, until they are extremely soft and easy to work with, up to two hours
Lay potatoes out to cool until easy to handle
Slice each potato in half lengthwise
Score each potato; I take a sharp knife and cut all the way around the edge of the potato, leaving about ½” of a border
Then I slice a line down the middle, and score two more times horizontally, making six quadrants
Using a teaspoon, I allow the scoring to be my guide, and scoop out the flesh of the potato
In a large bowl, I place the softened butter and cream cheese, and the chopped chives or scallions, adding the potato pulp
Add a good splash of milk and beat with a hand mixer
Once the mixture is nice and creamy (you made need to add a few more splashes of milk), add the shredded cheddar should you so desire
As much as my kids really like shredded cheddar cheese, they prefer their twice baked potatoes cheese-less. Since I am practically a short order cook, I prepare their potatoes without shredded cheddar; Hold the pickles, hold, the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us………
Fill each hollowed out potato with potato mixture
Since I was making double batch, I placed 4 potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet to cook immediately and the remaining 4 in a glass baking dish that I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I sealed the baking dish with a lid and placed the pan in a large freezer bag to keep the potatoes fresher, longer after I put them in the freezer. Now I’ve got a nice side dish for dinner another evening (defrosting before baking).
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly
Cool and serve
Veggies are an important element to every meal. Add an easy lettuce, chopped tomato and chopped cucumber salad, tossed with the left over salad dressing as a side.
Plate the meat, potato and salad, and…..serve!
More planning ahead, more east dinners, more marinated meat, more twice baked potatoes!
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