Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Lunch: Bacon Mac and Cheese and Fruit Salad
Dinner: Herb and Garlic Roast Pork Loin, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Apparently, I didn’t do too bad in the meal planning so far this week. I was a bit worried because the budget cut caused me to really pare down my menus. Sure, it was only twenty dollars, but we’re looking at a three hundred dollar difference between this semester and last semester while we’re only looking at the difference of around 10 guys per meal. So I have the guys on a poor man’s menu plan. It’s a menu plan I’m rather familiar with because Tyler and I were have been on it since we got married. Hamburger is cut with ground turkey because the turkey is cheaper and doesn’t shrink as much but since it‘s mixed with hamburger you still get a beef taste. Meals have more “filler” such as rice or beans which allows me to stretch out the servings. I make less sides. Sure there is a meat, a veggie and a starch with every meal, there just isn’t anything beyond that. I might have served a salad along side chili and cornbread; now I just serve chili and cornbread. I might have served rolls or biscuits with tonight’s dinner last semester, but they aren’t in the budget for this semester. I also make things that have fewer ingredients or less expensive ingredients. Let’s just say there will be no barbeque ribs this semester where I made them once a month last semester. But, a poor man’s menu plan doesn’t mean you have to suffer. In fact, most of what we call “comfort food” is relatively inexpensive to prepare. Take the cinnamon rolls I’ll be making for Friday… butter, flour, yeast, milk, sugar and cinnamon… these are things I generally keep on hand (ok, maybe not the yeast… I don’t like yeast, it gives me the heebie-jeebies). Even if I didn’t already have most of this on hand, none of it is really bank breaking. The most expensive thing on that list was probably the cinnamon, and I got a huge jar of it for $5. After years of budget menu planning, I think I could probably teach a class. You know, in these times they really should have degree on frugal living. Perhaps it would involve a yurt. Maybe the class could be taught in a yurt. I want to go yurt camping. Did you know several state and national parks rent yurts? If Tyler and I ever get around to going on our honeymoon, maybe we can rent a yurt. I doubt we’ll ever be able to afford anything swankier (unless we win the lottery… I have my ticket. I’ll let you know). I like the word yurt. I mean, it is kind hard to say yurt without the !. Sort of like “nee!”. You know, like the knights who say nee… from Monty Python… No? You have no sense of humor. Well, yurt makes me smile at least. Yurt yurt yurt yurt puma yurt! Hee hee… puma.

Sorry about that… I get easily distracted sometimes. I promise it won’t happen again. (Yurt!) Anyway, the herb and garlic roast pork loin is an excellent example of how you can make something tasty and delicious without breaking the bank. Hey, it’s even something that looks and tastes fancy enough to serve to guests… but at $1.77/lb (Sam’s Club) it’s cheaper than just about anything out there (except maybe chicken leg quarters, which were 97¢/lb).

As an aside… my favorite words are so far pamplemousse, parapluie, puma and yurt (Yurt!). Am I the only one who is dorky enough to have favorite words? Do any of you guys have favorite words?

Herb and Garlic Roasted Pork Loin
serves 8-10

3 ½ - 4 lbs Pork Loin Roast**
6 cloves Garlic, peeled
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tbs Dried Rosemary
2 tps Thyme
Seasoning Salt
Black Pepper

Pre heat oven to 400. Do not trim the fat from the roast, leaving it on will help keep the roast moist and tender. With fat side up, make 6 deep cuts in the meat just big enough to stuff in a clove of garlic. If the garlic cloves are really large, you can cut them in half. Stuff a clove of garlic down each hole. Drizzle the oil over the roast, be sure to coat it on all sides. Rub all sides of the roast with rosemary and thyme and sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper. Put roast fat side up in a roasting pan on the roasting rack. Bake at 400 hundred for 10 minutes then turn the temperature down to 250. Roast for 1 -1 ½ hours, until the roast’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (Should take approx 20 minutes per pound, but be sure to check your roast with a meat thermometer as it can take more or less time, depending on the size and shape of the meat.) Remove roast to a platter and allow to set for 10-15 minutes before slices. While you wait for the roast to rest, you can make a pan sauce or a gravy with the drippings in the bottom of the pan. (Yurt!)

** This is a pork loin roast, not a tenderloin. The tender loin is the smaller, skinnier cut. It’s usually only about 1 pound. The pork loin is much larger, usually found between 2-5 pounds and is usually around 4 inches in diameter.


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