Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Break Feasts

Our son Collin(pictured far left) came home for Spring Break from Rice University and brought his friend Dan (pictured far right) and their Harem. The girls from left to right: Beth, Annie, Julia, Katherine, Liz, Aida, and Megan. We thoroughly enjoyed their visit. They were the nicest, brightest, and most polite house guests! Individually unique, interesting and fun to be around! For me personally, a great opportunity to do what I enjoy most cook and host!
Feasts prepared and enjoyed began with a cheese assortment upon their arrival. Since not all of them our from our great state of Texas, they ventured out that evening in search of some local Bar-B-Q and wound up at one of my favorites Granzin's Bar-B-Q in New Braunfels, worth a visit just for the potato salad. The next morning my husband and I prepared Eggs Benedict, Apple Strudel French Toast, Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, Coffee and Orange Juice. They spent a day enjoying the Riverwalk and came home hungry! Later that evening, we enjoyed the biggest Pork Loin (about 7 pounds) I have ever prepared, with Fresh Roast Asparagus, a Whole World Salad (it had the whole world in it!), Cornbread Dressing and French Bread. And sent them home with fresh baked Pumpkin Cranberry Bread.
Parents, you can be extremely proud. Your children have grown up to be lovely adults! Beautiful manners, considerate, polite and truly wonderful and considerate house guests! They are each welcome back anytime and we hope to see them again soon!
Pork Loin Roast with Orange Marmalade/Apricot Sauce
This can be prepared with any size pork loin, I would still make the same amount of sauce. I poured the sauce over the sliced roast but you can, pass the sauce instead.
7 pound boneless pork loin roast (the big ones can be found at Costco)
4 T Hot Dijon Mustard
4 T Regular Dijon Mustard
Fresh Ground Pepper
Kosher Salt
8 oz jar Orange Marmalade
8 oz jar Apricot Preserves
2 T Light Karo Syrup
1/4 C Pomegranate Vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Put pork loin roasting a large baking dish (9x13). Combine mustards in a small bowl and spread over top and sides of roast. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and generous amounts of fresh grown pepper. Place in 350 degree oven, uncovered and roast until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees (about 1-1/2 hours). Remove from oven, let rest covered in foil for about 10-15 minutes. Slice in 1-1/2 inch thick slices. Ladle sauce over roast slices and serve.
Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine marmalade, preserves, Karo syrup, vinegar and spices. Bring to boil and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
Roasted Asparagus
2 bundles of thick asparagus, break ends at natural break
olive oil
sea salt fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and arrange asparagus side by side. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, turn to coat. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Note: if you can only find thin asparagus, then back off on length of time to roast for about 10 minutes. Can be served at room temperature.
Whole World Salad
This is what I had on hand, just use what you have on hand and make it your own!
Arugula Baby Spinach Caperberries
sliced cucumber
quartered tomatoes
green onions, large dice
roasted beets, sliced and diced
Red, yellow and orange bell peppers sliced thinly
Feta cheese broken into large chunks
Kalamata olives
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp Maggi
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 C extra virgin Olive oil
Combine dressing ingredients until well incorporated, set aside to dress salad just before serving
Candied Pecans:
3/4 C pecan halves
1/4 C brown sugar
3 T butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
Combine ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat, toss until the sugar begins to crystallize. Pour out onto granite or foil to cool.
Toss vegetables in large bowl. Break feta & pecans over salad. Toss with dressing. Top with fresh ground pepper and serve.

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  1. This all sounds amazing.. those kids wil be crying going back to 'university food!

  2. What a fun time it must have been! The pork sounds amazing!

  3. This food was amazing! I look forward to following your blog, and maybe I'll make the change from baking to cooking more often!

  4. Sweet Julia, next time you can teach me to bake!~LeslieMichele

  5. Those kids were really lucky having you as their host.

  6. Looks like a great group! And that orange-apricot sauce sounds like a winner!

  7. That pork recipe and accompanying dishes sounds like something straight out of Southern Living! Love the family get -together with all the friends! You are so nice to graciously invite the harem! I must get ready for Spring break myself! Oug. Then Easter! wow.

  8. I have to thank you again for accommodating my friends and I. Everyone had a great time and loved you guys and the house (not to mention the amazing food)! Sadly we have reverted back to eating our servery food here and I must say pork will never taste as good again. Love you guys and can't wait to come back home again.

  9. Looks like a fabulous bunch! Hope you all had a wonderful time. Can't wait to try the pork recipe - sounds delicious:)


I'm so glad you stopped by and I can't wait to read your comments. I will stop by your blog shortly!