do-able for any dinner party: Crock-Pot Fruit & Pork

Hey friends and happy Wednesday! Is the week flying by or is it just me? I am losing track of the days, but that’s okay since it means we are that much closer to the weekend : – ) It’s dinnertime here in Australia, which made me realize that I still hadn’t posted the crock-pot recipe I mentioned in a  post last week. This recipe originated from my Mom’s recipe book (I’m not positive where she got it from but it sure is a good one!), and since she knows my love of crock-pot meals, she always shares her recipes with me. This particular recipe was quite a hit when she made it for my grandparents, so she photocopied it for me and I’ve just been waiting for the right time to make it!
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Whenever I am seriously stumped for dinner ideas, I typically turn to crock-pot recipes, which is exactly what I did last week.  I absolutely LOVE entertaining and holding dinner parties, but I certainly don’t love the cost of them. That’s one reason why I love crock-pot meals. You can turn simple, inexpensive ingredients into a special, gourmet-tasting dinner. Honestly I can’t imagine not using my crock-pot. My top five favorite things about crock-pot cooking are:

1) Set it and forget it:
Who has time to stand around waiting for a meal in the oven for hours upon end? I don’t think many of us! I love the flexibility of this machine- just throw your ingredients in the crock-pot in the morning, set it to low, and let it cook all day. Then your dinner is ready when you walk in the door!

2) Easy clean-up: One-pot clean up? Yes please, I’ll do the dishes tonight.

3) Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers: I love having leftovers for lunches all week. Plus, as the meal sits,     the flavors tend to intensify.  Yum!

4) The aroma it creates:  Coming home to the smell of a delicious simmering dinner just makes me smile. Plus, your guests will get even hungrier once they walk through the door!

5) Simple ingredients=sensational meals

While I’m professing my love of crockpots, I’ll confess that I have been dying for a new one, particularly a girly one. Here’s my top 3:
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(Mom if you’re reading, there’s a Christmas present idea!)

Anyway, back to this recipe. I’ve been wanting to share this because it’s super simple to prepare and definitely do-able for any dinner party. Plus, it will feed quite a few people. This fed five active and hungry girls, and I had so much left over it could have easily served at least four more!

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Dried Fruit and Butternut Squash
Ingredients:
1 (approx. 3-pound) lean boneless pork tenderloin
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup pitted dried plums (or prunes)
4 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
1/2 cup water

Directions:
1) Assemble your crock-pot and spray interior with cooking spray. Then turn on high. Chop your butternut squash and set aside. Then, cut the pork roast into chunks, about 1-2 inches thick, and set aside (You could also just cut the pork in half crosswise,  but I liked having it in portion-sized chunks so that I was able to serve it onto dinner plates right out of the crock-pot without having to slice it afterwards!)
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*FYI: Do yourself a favor and buy pork tenderloin. I had to cut all of the fat off of this pork roast and it took me ages!*

2) Combine the brown sugar, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl, and rub the pork evenly with the mixture.
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3) Place the pork in the crock-pot and arrange the dried apricots, dried prunes(or plums), and butternut squash around the pork. Then add the water.
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4) Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 1 hour. Then reduce the heat to low and cook it for about 6-7 hours, until the pork, fruit, and squash are all tender. Serve and enjoy!
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I served this alongside of roasted vegetables and Naan bread, which was the perfect pair for dipping into the “sauce” that creates in the crockpot around the dish. The girls loved it, I hope you do too! Have a great Wednesday : – )

Do you like to cook with crock-pots? 
What do you think of the pink options? I am in love!

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25 thoughts on “do-able for any dinner party: Crock-Pot Fruit & Pork

  1. I had no idea you could get a personalized crockpot with pictures and a zebra pattern, that’s so fun! Hope you get your new Girly cooker soon :) And I like to use a crockpot at my boyfriends house so I know he has healthy lunches for the week…set up some chicken and veggies and forget it! Then he has food for the week. And it is economical, you can make a lot of food at one time and nom on those leftovers. And you cannot beat the smell. I especially like using one for chili. Thanks for posting, the dried fruit idea is very cool.

    • I didn’t know personalized crock-pots existed either! Hehehe I really hope my Mom gets me a pink one eventually! I thought the dried fruit was awesome, it was my first time doing that in a crock-pot!

  2. Oh my gosh those crockpots are soo pretty!! I love the one with pictures on it, what a great gift idea. I want a pink one! I actually haven’t had one in years (i know, i know) i always meant to buy another one after my last one died (it was old, it used to be my moms) but i just never did. but now im thinking its ok i waited because now i realize i need a pink one. i just do :) that dinner looks unbelievably good!!

  3. Those crockpots are so seriously adorable! So I just got one myself and have YET to use it! While I don’t eat meat, I could surely do something surrounding that yummy sounding sauce stuff. :) I keep on hearing about how awesome a crockpot is, I really need to work on using it! I even got it next day shipped because I thought I would need it ASAP(for what?!?!) and that was 2 months ago. Whoops.

  4. It’s funny that you posted about a crock pot meal today, because we just did one on Sunday! i was telling Dani that I actually am not a huge fan because I LIKE being in the kitchen and cooking and drinking wine, however, for the times when I dont have hours to devote to a meal, I should remind myself about my cock pot because that’s the best solution! That meal looks yummy- love throwing dinner parties!

    • I like being in the kitchen too (and drinking wine :)) , but sometimes it’s nice to not have to fuss too much! You are the queen of dinner parties, and you’re darn good at it!!

  5. i LOVE that last pink crockpot!! NEED!! :) I love using the crockpot! I don’t feel like I had totally mastered using it yet (I know it’s not really tricky, but I’m challenged in the kitchen!) but it makes life so much simpler! Plus during the summer it saves from heating up the house with my oven!

  6. I just bought my first slow cooker a few months ago! Everything I’ve made in it so far has been great; I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to buy one. The pink ones are hilariously awesome. I vote #3!

  7. Pingback: Foodstuff Friday/ Facebook: Sh*t Just Got Real | Commitness To Fitness

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