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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pork Loin Roast with Root Vegetables and Holiday Bacon Appetizers

I'll start with the appetizers. I first saw these on the Pioneer Woman's blog, before Christmas. I had contemplated making them for my Cookie Party, but for some reason, I didn't. I had some thawed bacon the other day and I wasn't going anywhere, so I made some to snack on, while watching the Inauguration. Let me tell you how torturous these things are. I had to endure the smell of bacon and Parmesan for 2 hrs, before I could taste these little suckers. But it was worth the wait. They were crunchy, salty and crispy. I know they sound weird, gross even, but they are really oddly good.




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Holiday Bacon Appetizers
The Pioneer Woman

Club Crackers,
Thin-Sliced Bacon,
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Begin by laying crackers on a cookie sheet, face up. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of cheese right out of the container… It can be slightly heaping. Now just spoon 1 teaspoon of cheese over each cracker. Repeat on each cracker… Until they’re all covered. Now take your package of bacon… Wrap 1/2 piece of bacon around each cracker… Being careful to completely cover the cracker. You want it to fit snugly, but don’t stretch it too tight as you wrap. Place the little delights on a baking sheet with a rack… And place the pan in a 250-degree oven for around 2 hours.

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One of our big ways to save $$ on groceries, is to buy whole pork loins, when they come on sale. We then slice them into pork chops and roasts. Last night I made a roast in the oven with root vegetables. It was perfect for the weather we've been currently having. I seasoned the roast with spices, about 5 hrs before placing it in the oven. I roasted the pork and vegetables in the same pan. It came out really well. The vegetables were flavorful and the pork moist. I think next time I'll roast the veggies for a bit, before adding the meat, to get more caramelization.



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Roast Pork Loin with Root Vegetables

1- 2 lb pork loin roast
2 T paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme in a small bowl. Rub mixture onto roast, until completely covered. Refrigerate roast at least 1 hr, before cooking. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and onion. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place vegetables into a baking dish. Place roast in center of vegetables and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2-2 hrs, or until internal temperature of pork is 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes, before slicing the roast.