Monthly Archives: November 2011

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin

In this Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin recipe, the pork loin is filled with garlic, then rubbed with herbs & wrapped in bacon for a delicious dinner in under an hour!

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin

Balsamic Vinegar, garlic, bacon, pork and rosemary, oh my!

Bacon Wrapped Paleo Pork Loin

After a busy weekend there’s nothing better than a lovely Monday night family dinner, and what better than bacon wrapped pork loin for family dinner with friends and roomies!

Paired with Twice-Baked Rosemary Blue Cheese Potatoes and Nutty Green Beans with Bacon and Blue Cheese, this was one epic family dinner!

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 3 lbs boneless pork loin
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 6 slices bacon

Begin by pre-heating the oven to 400°F.

Brush the loin on all sides with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Balsamic Pork Loin Recipe

Cut six slits in the loin to make a nice little home for the crushed garlic.

Balsamic Garlic Pork Loin Recipe

Use a garlic press to crush one clove of garlic into each slit, then push the crushed garlic well into the pork.

Garlic Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe

After the pork is all garlic-ed up, put the spices together and get ready to rub!

Place the steak seasoning, black pepper, 4 sprigs chopped rosemary and 4 sprigs chopped thyme in a small bowl together.

Rosemary Pork Rub

Rub the spice mixture on to the loin, making sure to cover both sides evenly.

Herb Crusted Pork Loin Recipe

While spicing up the pork place 2 sprigs of rosemary and 2 sprigs of thyme on the loin.

Rosemary Thyme Pork Loin Recipe

Now it’s time to double up the pork and wrap the loin in bacon, making sure to wrap up those sprigs of rosemary and thyme!

Bacon Wrapped Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Now the pork is ready to roast away!

Bacon Wrapped Rosemary Pork Loin

Place in the oven. After 40-45 minutes, place a meat thermometer into the center of the pork.  The pork will register at 165° F when ready.

Slice the pork loin into thick cuts and serve.

Rosemary Garlic Balsamic Pork Loin

The pork is juicy, bacon is crispy and check out those little pockets of garlic… Yum!

Rosemary Garlic Balsamic Pork Loin

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Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin

In this Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin recipe, the pork loin is filled with garlic, then rubbed with herbs & wrapped in bacon for a delicious dinner in under an hour!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 449 kcal


  • 3 lbs boneless pork loin
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary divided
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme divided
  • 2 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 6 slices bacon


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Brush the pork loin on all sides with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  3. Cut six slits in the loin to make a nice little home for the crushed garlic.
  4. Use a garlic press to crush one clove of garlic into each slit, then push the crushed garlic well into the pork.
  5. After the pork is all garlic-ed up, put the spices together and get ready to rub!
  6. Place the steak seasoning, black pepper, 4 sprigs chopped rosemary and 4 sprigs chopped thyme in a small bowl together.
  7. Rub the spice mixture on the pork loin, making sure to cover both sides evenly.

  8. Place 2 sprigs of rosemary and 2 sprigs of thyme on the loin.
  9. Wrap the loin in bacon, making sure to wrap up those sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
  10. Place in the oven to roast.
  11. After 40-45 minutes, place a meat thermometer into the center of the pork.
  12. The pork will register at 165° F when ready.

How to: Throw the Perfect Pumpkin Carving Party

What could be more fun than carving pumpkins, drinking pumpkin beer and eating pumpkin chili??  Add Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats, Pumpkin Bread and Spinach Artichoke Dip and there is pretty much nothing more fun in the world!  This is how you throw the Perfect Pumpkin Carving Party!

Things you will need:

  • Orange plastic tablecloth (to cover your pumpkin carving table)
  • Halloween Paper Plates/Napkins/Bowls (for all your Delicious Pumpkin Themed Food!)
  • Carving utensils/stencils (enough for all of your guests to carve their perfect little pumpkins)
  • Tealights (to light up the inside of your perfect pumpkins)
  • 2 Large bowls (one for the pumpkin guts and one for the pumpkin seeds)
The Perfect Pumpkin Carving Party Menu:
  • Pumpkin Chili
  • Traditional Chili
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip and Chips

For the pumpkin chili, click on the link for the recipe!  I also made traditional chili in case someone didn’t like pumpkin (not sure why, because I shun anyone who does not like pumpkin, bahaha) but it’s easy to throw it together in a crock pot, so I did!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies) (14.5 oz)
  • 1 package chili seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
Brown the ground beef, then combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot.  Allow to cook for 1 hour on high, then continue to cook for at least 3 hours in the crock pot on low. I top mine with grated cheddar cheese and jalapeños, yummy!

While your chili’s are simmering in their respective crock-pot’s, get your Pumpkin Bread ready to bake!
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 large eggs (whisked)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
Combine sugars, flour, baking soda and spices in a bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the whisked eggs, milk, melted butter and pumpkin puree. Then, mix in the dry ingredients.
Now it’s time to pour the batter into a loaf dish and bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes.
The bread should come out golden brown, moist and delicious!
While the pumpkin bread is baking and bringing that amazing aroma into your home, get those little Pumpkin Rice Krispie treats going!
Ingredients (makes 8 pumpkins)
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 package mini marshmallows
  • orange food coloring
  • green gum drops
Melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Then, add the orange food coloring, stir to combine.  Add the Rice Krispies and stir to coat.  Wait about 10 minutes for the mixture to cool then use a buttered spoon (or buttered hands, like I do!) to form the Rice Krispie treats into little Pumpkins.  Top with green gum drops and you have a super cute, festive treat that is easy and everyone loves!
Now, right before your guests arrive prepare your Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 4 oz frozen spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14.5 oz)
  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Start by thawing out the frozen spinach by placing it in a microwave-save dish covered with a lid and into the microwave for 5 minutes. While the spinach is defrosting, blend the artichoke hearts in a food processor until only small chunks exist. When the spinach has been defrosted combine this with the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, garlic powder and artichoke hearts in a 20 oz small casserole dish.
Top with the mozzarella cheese.
Place in the oven set at 350° for 25-30 minutes. To make this dish fit in with the festive pumpkin-themed night, I hollowed out a small pumpkin and put the dip inside, SO CUTE!
Now it’s time to set up your yummy table of munchies before all of your pumpkin-loving guests arrive!
Now that all your food is ready to go, you can enjoy carving a pumpkin with your guests while they help themselves to chili and snacks!

Adventures in Dogsitting

Somewhere between 25 and 25 1/2 I somehow became a “dog person”.  Not really sure how that happens. Growing up we had a dog when I was very young, Scooter, he was a super cute cocker spaniel my parents had years before this little bundle of trouble arrived in their lives, but unfortunately I barely remember him. When the economy was in a better place (pretty sure that’s anytime in the history of the world before now), the house I spent my first few years of fabulous life in sold within a week and the house we were building would not be ready for months so we had to move into an apartment. At that time, Scooter went to live with my grandparents and unfortunately never made it to the new house. After that, we never had pets again. Ok, actually I did have 4 goldfish and I named them after characters on 90210… sad thing is, I’M NOT JOKING! But, no more dogs for us. Growing up I was always scared of big dogs, because well I’m a little girl and I don’t like things that bite me, bark at me or jump on me… usually 😉

I can not pin point the exact time, place or event that made me a “dog person” but over the last 1 1/2 years I’ve somehow found myself letting furry little dogs sleep in my bed, wake me up in the middle of the night barking, taking them to bars and showering with them (story to follow!) Yes, I have become the free West Hollywood “pretty girls with little dogs” dog sitter! Let me introduce you to my clan and share with you my favorite memory with each adorable little creature.

I’ll begin with my first little dog sitting victim, Lola. Although, come to find out, she was definitely not the victim!

As her Mommy (my BFF) always says, “at least she’s pretty!” Truer words have never been spoken!  She may look cute and tiny but this is one fierce little long-haired chihuahua! My BFF saved Lola from a mean man who was using her for breeding and abusing her so naturally the little one is not too found of the male race! She’s a “little” bark-y and she tends to bite at any male within striking distance, but other than that she’s as cute as a button and she loves me so that’s all that matters 🙂

My BFF goes out-of-town once or twice a month for work so therefore I’m on “Princess Lola Duty”! Luckily, she lives about 1/2 mile from my house so it makes dog sitting for her about a 2 minute drive or 10 minute walk away! I always try to go see little one as often as I can throughout the days that my BFF is out-of-town and bring her to my house when I can, but this semester has proven to be a tad bit more difficult to get over there as often when Mommy is out-of-town. She is always left with plenty of food and water and since she’s only 5 lbs she’s pretty low maintenance, but one rather difficult week of exams there might have been a night when I forgot to go over and let her out before I went to bed. I awoke the next morning with a text message from my BFF about how things were going in NY, then all of a sudden… LOLA!!!  I literally sprang from bed, put on flip-flops and my glasses, jumped in my car and almost ran over 3 smart cars and a bicyclists on my way to her house! I ran in and of course little one still had food, water and was doing just fine so I threw on her leash and took her out for a walk. It wasn’t til I was walking around the corner in her neighborhood that I realized I was wearing gym shorts that said “Miller Lite” on the butt and a Batman t-shirt with flip-flops and glasses, needless to say, not my best look, but making sure my little niece was good was my first priority 🙂

Next, meet Lily.  My precious little Lily. I call her snowball because she is  a little white, ball of love!

I was given the honor and privilege of looking after this little cuddle bug for a whole week last year and we had such a great time together!  We played with other dogs…

We played “crawl on Aunt Whitney”…

And yes, we went to Happy Hour!

The last day of her stay with me I decided to let her cuddle with me in my bed while I worked on homework. apparently I got carried away on the homework and forgot to take her out for a while, before I knew it I was being peed on! I grab the little one and remove her from my bed quickly.  I realize shortly after that my little snowball now has a limp on one of her back legs.  I begin to think that as I was gently, but swiftly removing her from my bed that I might have broken one of her little tiny legs, I now begin to call my Mom, my Dad, GOOGLE was on overload with questions like “how to tell if a dogs leg is broken” or “what is wrong if a dog is limping?” or “how to cure a dogs broken leg”.  You get the picture, I was freaking out!  I thought my friend was going to return and I was going to have to tell her I broke her dog and she would never let me see my little snowball again! Luckily, she took the news very well and said that she does the “gimpy” thing all the time and she was fine. OMG, thank the Lord!!! Over 1 year later, I still get to see my little fluff ball whenever I make the journey into “the valley”!

My last, but definitely not least, little furry friend is Aphrodite. Yes, you may be thinking the same thing I did when I was first introduced to her, “who would name a dog Aphrodite??” but many celebrities also name their dog’s oddly, Barry Manilow’s dog was named “Bagel” while Janet Jackson named her dog “Buckwheat”, Anne Hathaway named her dog “Esmeralda” while Nicole Richie named her dogs “Foxy Cleopatra” and “Honeychild” and Reese Witherspoon’s little bulldog is “Frank Sinatra”. I don’t have the time, nor do I care where or why these celebrities named their dogs this, but I do know how my little furry friend became the “Greek goddess of love”!

My girl Jaime found Aphrodite wandering the streets of Greece alone, a small, malnourished little puppy so she brought her back to CA and nursed her back to health. Aphrodite is the easiest and most mellow dog I’ve ever been around and how could you not fall for this little ball of love?!?

There was a time at the beginning of this year when barely a day went by that Aphrodite wasn’t at my house. One day I decide to take her to Runyon Canyon with me!  She’s a tough and athletic girl so I brought her all the way to the top, we went past her friend “Mr Ed the horse” and up the dirt path to the very top of the mountain.  Just about the time we get to the top I notice how dark it is getting.  I bust out my phone to take a pic from the top…

… and down pour!  Now Aphrodite and I are literally running down the side of the mountain, through the mud, soaking wet!  It was actually a pretty fun run, but when we got to the bottom she was one soppy mess of a Greek Goddess!!!

Now the question becomes, how am I going to get her home in my car like this… so this happened…

Hahahaha this picture is amazing because it’s so her, she’s like a little person! And she literally just sat like this the whole way home, I’m telling you, best dog ever!!!

Now the question is, what do I do with her when I get her home, well I must carry her in because I don’t want her to track the mud all over the floors, then I’ll set her in the shower and wash her, what do you wash dogs with? BedHead Brunette Goddess Shampoo?? Sure!

Well this is kind of working, but she now will not move so it’s looking like we’re showering together!

Oh my gosh she looks so traumatized hahaha, but clean at least 🙂

And now time to dry and cuddle!

Oh my gosh she’s so cute! She and her Mommy have moved back to Northern California and I miss both my beautiful blondes very much!!!

Moral of the story is, I may not be the best dog sitter of all time, but I’m free and I love being an aunt to these amazing little doggies!

Pumpkin Chili

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili is the perfect gluten free fall recipe combining tons of spices and flavor for a delicious dinner, requiring only 15 minutes of prep!

Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Oh my poor neglected blog! 🙁 Mr Rodas, the math professor I like to refer to as the “Grim Reaper”, does not realize that his 40 hours a week of pre-calc homework is affecting more than just those 15 dwindled down suckers still left in the class after the first two exams created by the math devil himself!

It’s affecting the thousands of my loyal blog followers that have not gotten to enjoy my witty sense of humor, delectable recipes or insight into my favorite things for an entire week! But no need to worry, I’ve made my grand entrance back into the blogosphere with an AMAZING new recipe for you all to enjoy in this, my favorite, fall season!!!

Read the full post here!