Pork Tenderloin with Cumin Chile Marinade


This is MOST excellent served with Sesame Peanut Noodles and Spicy Cilantro Salad.  That trio will make a meal complete.  Maybe a few steps, but WELL worth it! Our house is filled with tree planters right now, and I had to fight to get a few leftovers for lunch!

2 tbsp cumin seeds

4 scallions – 3 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, roughly chopped  (remove seeds if you prefer mild flavor…)

1 2 in piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp oil, plus more for grilling

1 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp soy salt (plus 1/4 cup soy sauce for dip)

1 tsp chinese 5 spice powder

 kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

2 pork tenderloins

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

If you want to do these on skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

To serve family style, simply slice pork tenderloin lengthwise, then in half – ending up with 4 pieces per tenderloin.

Toast cumin seeds untily lightly browned – set aside.

Combine scallions, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, 1 tbsp oil, brown sugar, 2 tsp soy sauce, 5 spice powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in food processor or blender.  Pulse until a smooth paste forms.  Add cumin seeds and pulse lightly until seeds are cracked.

Lightly season pork with salt and pepper.  Rub well with about 3/4 of the paste.

Cover with plastic wrap, or do this in a ziplock bag and seal in fridge for at least an hour.

Sauce:  Combine 1 tsp of cumin paste with 1/4 cup soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and 1 tbsp water. Set aside to drizzle after meat is cooked and to serve at table. Stir in sliced scallion and set aside.

Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Add 1 tbsp cumin paste to 2 tbsp oil and set aside to brush on while grilling.

Grill pork and brush with oil/cumin paste. 

Serve with sauce on the side, drizzling some of it lightly over the meat just before serving.


Spicy Cilantro Salad


This salad pairs so well with Sesame Peanut Noodles and Pork Kebabs with cumin and chile – you will love it!

4 scallions (green onions)

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 minces garlic clove

1 tsp each:  sesame oil, chili oil and kosher salt

1/4 tsp brown sugar

1 thinly sliced serrano chile (remove seeds)

1 english cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 head iceberg lettuce

Finely slice scallions, reserving white parts.  Soak white parts in cold water 15 minutes, drain well and combine with finely sliced green parts.

Wash cilantro and lettuce well.  Spin dry – roughly chop cilantro, removing long stems and thinly slice lettuce.  Add to bowl with scallions, chile and cucumber.

Mix together rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, chili oil, salt and sugar.  Mix well until sugar is dissolved!

Toss dressing with salad (lightly) immediately before serving.


Sesame Peanut Noodles


I have been looking for the perfect peanut noodle dish, and finally found it. Serve this with spicy cilantro salad and pork kebabs in cumin and chile – a winning combination for sure.


12 ounces chinese egg noodles, cooked and drained

3/4 cup green tea (strong is best)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 cup roasted peanut oil

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus some for sprinkling over top)

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 -2 tbsp minced ginger (depending on your ginger love!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 mini bok choy, chopped fine

1/4 cup each finely chopped red and yellow pepper

kosher salt


roasted peanuts

To make the sauce combine green tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and peanut oil in a blender or food processor.  Add sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.

Toss the sauce with the cooked noodles – garnish with cilantro, sliced green onions, roasted peanuts and more sesame seeds.  I like this served at warm or room temperature, but it is just yummy cold also. 

Sun Dried Tomato Brie

brie two ways

Brie is a favorite appeitzer, whether served hot and oozing, or cold on a cheese platter.  This is one of our favorites – always a hit to take when you need a quick easy appetizer.

minced sun dried tomatoes

generous sprinkling of fresh herbs, minced  (parsley, oregano and basil work well)

finely chopped fresh chives

finely chopped fresh fresh garlic

salt and pepper


olive oil

Depending on the size of the brie wheel you have – mince up enough of the toppings to generously cover the cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, squeeze a bit of lemon over, and top with salt and pepper.

Heat in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, just until the cheese starts to bulge against the rind.  Serve with fresh baguette, toast rounds or your favorite cracker. 

This also works really well on the grill if you have a good heat resistant container to both warm and serve in.

Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Pecan Brie Round

brown sugar pecan brie round


This recipe is so easy – I am not going to use any particular ingredient amount so that you feel free to work with your own taste preferences.

Round of brie

brown sugar

toasted pecans (roughly chopped)


chile flakes (or cayenne pepper)

salt and pepper

Sprinkle brown sugar over brie (no need to cut off the top), sprinkle with cayenne pepper or chili flakes, chopped toasted pecans, and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Squeeze just a little bit of fresh lemon juice over, and dot with butter over surface.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  If you keep the rind intact, it should just start to look like the rind is bulging a bit.  Once you cut into it, the cheese will be ooey gooey, butter melted and all the seasonings are just a little bit of nirvana!

Serve with either fresh baguette, toast rounds or your favorite crackers.

Yummy Greek Burgers

Sorry, no photo yet – I was in such a hurry to eat these I didn’t take a picture first …. soon I promise as I will be making them again quickly!


1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound mild Italian sausage meat

½ a medium size onion, grated fine (about ½ cup)

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp freshly chopped basil (if it is out of season use dry)

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes

1 tsp kosher salt


1 tsp freshly ground pepper


Gently mix together and allow to rest until firm.  Lightly oil and grill.

Serve with flatbread buns, tsatsiki aioli, grilled tomato slices and crunchy lettuce.

Thai Style Grilled Pork

Tonight I felt like a Thai inspired meal – which started with Vegetarian Penang Curry – I wanted a protein to grill that would complement the sauce and flavour of the curry.  This was perfect – my only disappointment was that as it was ready – the skies opened up with crazy rain, hail, thunder and lightning.  Nope, no grilling going on here.  So – it was grill pan.  Second best always, but it turned out quite delicious!
Thai Style Grilled Pork


1/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground

Blend well and set aside for serving.


2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp low salt soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp freshly ground ginger

1 tsp chili flakes

1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper

3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely minced

1 pound pork steak, or tenderloin

(be flexible with the pork – tonight’s was pork steak on a grill pan – but this would be great threaded on to skewers)

I let this marinate for an hour before grilling, but up to 24 hours would be even better.

This is easiest if you mix the marinade in a ziplock bag or tightly closed container, add the pork and allow to marinate until ready to cook.

Grill pork, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and green onions – serve with dipping sauce.

The meat is great all by itself, but served with the dipping sauce it is over the top yummy.  

We served it tonight with Penang Curry and Jasmine rice.


Red Wine Vinaigrette


1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

7 tbsp good quality olive oil

Whisk together dry ingredients and slowly drizzle olive oil until incorporated.

This dressing is my basic house dressing – used for everything.  Salads, marinades, dressing up a bit of grilled baguette …. use your imagination…

(I also love this for tossing vegetables in it before and after grilling)P1100664

Flaky Pie Crust with egg and vinegar


Everybody loves flaky pie crust – but people are divided on whether to use shortening, lard or butter.  Through trial and error, I think I have found the best of them all – by combining lard and butter.  Try it ….. so light and flaky – you will love it.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 3/4 cup cold vegetable lard or (if you prefer) shortening
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 5 tbsp very cold water
  • Lightly beat egg and vinegar

Whisk flour and salt

Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in lard/butter until pea sized.  Add very cold water to egg and vinegar mixture.  Make a hole in the center of the flour blend and stir in the egg/vinegar/water combination.  Work just until pastry comes together – adding slightly more liquid if it doesn’t, and if it is too wet, add a wee bit more flour.  Work together just until it all comes into a solid mass.  Knead very lightly on floured surface.  Wrap tightly and put in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.

Roll on lightly floured board until just thin enough to use for pie dough.

This recipe makes enough for 1 smaller pie (top and bottom) or a large deep dish pie crust bottom.

White Cake Made Easy and Delicious!

pink cupcakesEverybody needs a simple white cake recipe to use for birthday cakes, layer cakes, shape cakes or just an easy dessert with whatever fruit is in season – here it is!


1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp whole milk

Preheat oven to 350

Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan or prepare 12 muffin tins with paper liners or grease.

In medium bowl, or kitchen stand mixer – cream together butter and sugar.  Cream really well, until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well between each one until batter looks full of air.  Add vanilla.  Combine flour with baking powder and sift.  Add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Pour in the milk and stir or blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Pour into prepared cake pan or muffin tins.

Bake for 30 minutes for cake, or 20-25 for muffins (test at 20 minutes).

This recipe is so versatile – today’s mix was because Sloan wanted PINK cupcakes, and pink they were …. you can use this for a layer cake – just double for a 2 layer cake, or it makes 12 smaller cupcakes.