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!
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:
(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
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
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!)
*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.
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.
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!