Recipe | Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin

It’s not easy to make a nice Valentine’s Day dinner mid-week, when there is work, school, and activities. But I was determined to do it yesterday. I’ve been looking through old recipes lately and I knew exactly what I wanted to try: balsamic roast pork tenderloins. This is a recipe I made often when Drew and I were first married. I’m not sure why it’s been so long since I prepared it, but I’m happy to say it will be back in the meal rotation.

The recipe is simple (SO simple), and my kids all loved it, too. Laura especially loved the bits of roasted garlic that flavor the pork.

Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloins

Balsamic roast pork

2  pounds pork tenderloins (1 package with 2 tenderloins)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, cracked
Kosher salt salt and black pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a very sharp thin knife.

Place tender loins on a nonstick, rimmed cookie sheet. Coat tenderloins in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat. Drizzle tenderloins with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat. Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of cracked garlic cloves into meat. Combine salt and pepper with rosemary and thyme and rub meat with blend. Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.

Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve.

I served this with baked sweet potatoes and lemon-Parmesan roasted broccoli. This dish would be great to prepare for company because you get a fantastic result with very little effort! Enjoy!

Recipe | Babci’s Golumpki


Lately I’ve been seeing a recipe for golumpki casserole floating around the Internet. I was interested in making it, and even had it on my menu. But I decided to make actual golumpkis instead. Truthfully, they’re not hard to do. And even though I was not at the top of my cabbage-rolling game when I make these on Monday, they still held together and tasted delicious (which is obviously the most important part).

After I’d put together a pan of the golumpkis, I still had some of the meat-rice mixture left over, but only teeny tiny little cabbage leaves that were way too small. So in a square Pyrex, I just layered the ingredients — tomato sauce, cabbage, meat-rice, repeat. Call it a lazy girl’s golumpki 😉

Now, this recipe is one that stands out from my childhood. When I was a kid, I’d eat everything except the cabbage, and I’d put a little bit of ketchup on top. Nowadays, I love to eat the cabbage, but you know what? I still put a little ketchup on top too. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! OK, ready to get going on this Polish classic? Since this is a  family recipe without precise measurements, I did the best I could to explain. Just leave a comment if something doesn’t make sense! Luckily, we took photos when my parents and I made them back in November, so hopefully those help as well.

Babci’s Golumpkis

1 lb. meatloaf mix (beef, pork, veal)
1-1.5 c. cooked rice
1 small onion, diced
tomato sauce 
large head of Savoy cabbage
salt & pepper to taste


  • Partially core the cabbage. In a stockpot, boil the head of cabbage in salted water for 10-15 minutes until the cabbage has softened. Do not overcook it. Cabbage leaves that are overcooked will break and will not hold the filling. Drain the cabbage and cool. Carefully separate the leaves without tearing and set aside.
  • To make the filling, cook the meatloaf mix and onion together in a large frying pan until the meat is browned. Drain fat from cooked meat. Add cooked rice and about a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. 
  • Cover the bottom of a Pyrex baking dish with tomato sauce. Not too much, just so there’s a thin layer
  • With a paring knife, cut down the thick “vein” at the bottom of the cabbage leaf to make it easier to roll. Add aprox. 2 Tbsps. of the filling to a cabbage leaf. To make this easier, you can use a soup ladle to help.

Golumpki preparation

Golumpki preparation

  • Begin to roll up the golumpki, then fold over the side and finish rolling. Place each roll with the seam side down in your baking dish. The rolls should be arranged close together.

Golumpki preparation

  • Pour a little more tomato sauce over the top of all the golumpkis. Cover the top with cabbage leaves.

Golumpki preparation

  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hr. Enjoy!

Golumpki preparation

Grocery Day

Grocery Haul

I was trying to think of a blog post for today and, really, all I’ve done is grocery shopping. So I guess that’s what I’ll write about! I have long enjoyed “grocery haul” posts (going way back to the days when Crystal at Money Saving Mom would post what she bought using her $35/week budget). I have done a post like this once or twice, but certainly not in the last couple of years. 

Maybe it’s because I love food and frugality, or maybe I’m just nosy but I really do enjoy seeing what people buy and how they are able to save! I don’t think this is something I’ll do all the time, but maybe on occasion. Of course, if anyone is really interested let me know and I can post grocery hauls a little more regularly.

So first… how I shop. I am not a one store kind of girl. There are some things I always get at one place, some things at another, and then I will hop from store to store for the sales. All these stores are located on the same strip of road, so over the years I have charted my course and if I’m not taking my time I can get it all done in a morning. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?

First stop… Dollar Tree
Grocery haul

I needed lightbulbs and detangler and also picked up some tortillas, spices, and Awesome cleanser. I also got a few other misc. items not pictured here.
Total: 9.48

Sam’s Club
Grocery haul

I went in just for peanut butter and bananas, but I was really excited to find this cilantro jalapeno hummus! I really enjoy the Panera sandwich that uses this flavor hummus and I’ve never seen it in a store anywhere. I hope the flavor is close. I also purchased this Italiano dip because it sounded really good and sometimes items at Sam’s come and go. Thinking I may save this for a party.
Total: 22.24

Grocery haul

I was happy that they still have those 1.98 wire baskets. I wanted a few for our bathrooms to hold extra TP. The rose gold was very coppery so I just went with gold. These baskets are really sturdy and I think the price is a bargain! I also scored on beef. One package will be made into burgers for the freezer and I’ll make some beef jerky with the extra-lean stuff. The whisk was a random purchase because it was 50 cents and my wisk is on its last legs. Rugalach was on the day-old bakery counter, so I snatched that up. Then Go-Gurts for Laura’s school lunches, cottage cheese, onions, and red cabbage.
Total: 35.90

Grocery haulShopRite had our favorite American cheese on sale this week, so that was the main reason I stopped in. Also got some turkey for wraps for lunches, and ground turkey which I’ll divide up for the freezer. We prefer to use ground turkey for tacos, but we also like turkey burgers and in the next week or so I’ll use it for copycat P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps, which we haven’t had in forever.
Total: 19.26

Grocery haul

Aldi is where I purchase most of our staples. You can’t beat their prices on most items and with only a few exceptions, they’re just as good if not better than the name brands. I bought a giant tub of spring mix (we go through this like crazy), tri-colored peppers, zucchini, carrots, avocado (such a deal this week at 69-cents! I’ll enjoy them while I can), gala apples (my favorite – I eat one a day!), Parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella, spinach wraps, bagels, fries, half-and-half, eggs, cream cheese, juice boxes, pretzels, unsalted peanuts (they were out last time so I bought two today).
Total: 36.91

And finally, Tops
Grocery haul

I had to pick up our prescriptions and because Wednesdays tend to be crazy, I decided to get fried chicken for dinner just to make things easy. That and a salad and leftover potato salad or chips will be a supper that no one can argue with! I also grabbed my yogurts because they are on sale (have you tried the Dannon whole milk yogurt? SO good!), and these deli soups were BOGO. 
Total: 17.63

So my grand total for groceries today was: $141.42. Considering we are a family of 5, with one teenage boy and one tween boy, I don’t think that’s horrible. Some of this will last us much longer than a week. And there are always incidentals during the week that get picked up (for example, Drew grabbed milk yesterday on his way home, and this doesn’t take into account the ham and bread I’d purchased earlier in the week for school lunches). But obviously, it’s the bulk of my weekly shopping. Living in New York, prices are definitely higher here than in other parts of the country, and we really don’t go out to eat often so everything is made at home. I don’t have a grocery budget per se, so during the month of February I’m really going to track my spending in this area to make sure I’m not going crazy!