Chili, Cinnamon, and Oregano Boneless Pork Loin Roast


Today was a fabulous day! The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is the day my cousin, Molly, arrives at my house so we can prep for the big day together. I look forward to this day each and every year. Molly and I have such a wonderful time getting ready for Thanksgiving together. Today, Molly brought her niece, Ava, along. Molly was at her sister, Katie’s, house last night. They will all be here for Thanksgiving and Ava wanted to come early with Aunt Molly to hang out with us. Ava is such a sweet girl, I’m loving spending today with her.  Our day started at Smashburger in Del Mar, where we met for lunch. I enjoyed their Harvest Salad with grilled chicken (I love that one!). I know, it’s a burger place, but they have good salads and I knew I’d be making a nice dinner for all of us and wanted to be a bit on the hungry side.

I’d been planning on making a boneless pork loin roast for dinner tonight using fall flavorings. To me that meant starting with cinnamon and going from there. I ended up mixing chili powder, oregano, kosher salt and pepper to to make up my dry rub. While I was in the shower, an idea to make a glaze out of orange juice and honey came to me. I usually do my thinking on my morning walks while I’m exercising, but this week is a busy one, so I haven’t been out walking … I seem to be coming up with my recipes in the shower instead.

I started with a 2-1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast. I made several small slits with a paring knife in the top of my roast. I like to do this so the flavoring seeps into the meat a bit. I minced three garlic cloves and set them aside. Next, I mixed together the seasonings I’d be using for the dry rub. I combined 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.


I poured 2 tablespoons olive oil in my cast iron skillet. I rubbed half the spice mixture on the bottom of the roast and placed it in the pan. To the top of the roast, I added the minced garlic and then the dry rub.

I seared the meat on the bottom for 4 minutes, turned it and seared the top for 3 minutes. I turned it back over so the garlic was on top. My pan seemed a little dry, so I added 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil to the pan before placing my cast iron skillet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55 minutes.


I pulled the roast out of the oven to rest.


While it was resting, I mixed orange juice and honey together and brought it to a boil on my cooktop, whisking it periodically. This only took a few minutes. I then drizzled the orange juice and honey glaze over the rested pork before slicing.

This was a delicious pork roast! I hope if you try this recipe, you will enjoy it as well as we did.



2-1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2 more, if needed)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons honey


  1. Place olive oil in cast iron skillet
  2. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, chili powder, oregano, kosher salt, and pepper.
  3. Rub bottom half of pork with half the dry rub.
  4. Pierce several slits in top of pork and sprinkle minced garlic over roast. Add rest of dry rub.
  5. Heat olive oil and place roast in skillet.
  6. Sear for 4 minutes on bottom, turn and sear 3 minutes on top.
  7. Place in preheated 375 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  8. In a small skillet, bring orange juice and honey to a boil.
  9. Drizzle over pork before slicing.


Until next time, Kris


Pancetta Pork Roast


Have you ever had something cooking in your house that smelled so good, your mouth was just watering in anticipation of eating the fabulous meal you were preparing? That’s what happened yesterday for me.

My sweet friend, JoAnne, was coming for dinner. I was looking forward to seeing her and enjoying a meal together with her and my husband, Dennis. JoAnne’s husband, Jack, was away in Alaska on a fishing trip. JoAnne’s son, Christian, was busy last night and my daughter, Kylie, was busy as well.

When I returned from my walk yesterday morning, I was about to put my slow cooker back in the place I store it when it hit me that maybe it would be a good idea to use it to make my pork roast. It turned out to be a fabulous idea because my house smelled so good all afternoon.

I sliced small slits all over the top of my pork roast and stuffed pieces of fresh garlic into the slits before sprinkling the top and bottom of the roast with kosher salt and pepper.

I browned all sides of my pork (4 minutes per side) on the cooktop in one tablespoon of olive oil and then set it aside on a plate while I made my topping that I wanted to flavor my pork.

To make the mustard mixture for the topping, I mixed together dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, grated parmesan, Herbs de Provence, the zest and juice of one lemon and red pepper flakes.


I spread this mixture over the top of my pork and added a 4-ounce package of pancetta to the top.

I sliced two fennel bulbs and a sweet, yellow onion, and peeled 8 cloves of garlic (which I halved) and laid this in the bottom of my slow cooker as a bed for my pork roast. I also poured 1/2 cup of sparkling Italian Mineral Water into the bottom of my slow cooker. Sometimes I add wine to the bottom of my slow cooker, or chicken stock, but thought I’d try something new (and it worked!).

I set my slow cooker to high for 4 hours. My house smelled so good while this was cooking. The smell was incredible. I was hungry for dinner all afternoon. I’m glad I decided to cook my roast in the slow cooker yesterday for just that reason.

I served my pork over the cooked fennel and onion with a side of hericots verts that I sautéd in olive oil, butter, kosher salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and the juice of half a lemon. (Hericots verts is a younger and skinnier green bean.) JoAnne made a lovely salad with strawberries, cucumber and candied pecans with a wonderful dressing she prepared. JoAnne makes the best salad dressings, she’s definitely an expert in that department!! We also had a crusty olive bread to round out our meal. It was fantastic! It was the perfect summer evening for ice cream cones, which JoAnne brought for us all. She brought three types of ice cream. I have to say, the lemon was my favorite, it was so refreshing!


  • 1 pork roast (I used a 2 pound roast)
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 bulbs fennel, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, total (4 sliced, 8 cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Pat pork dry with a paper towel.
  2. Slice small slits on top of pork. Place pieces of garlic into slits.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat olive oil in pan on stove.
  5. Brown both sides of roast, 4 minutes per side. Set aside on plate.
  6. In large measuring cup, mix together mustard, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, Herbs de Provence, lemon zest and juice and red pepper flakes.
  7. Spread over pork.
  8. Top with pancetta.
  9. Lay over bed of fennel, onion and halved garlic cloves in slow cooker.
  10. Set on high for 4 hours.


Until next time, Kris




Pear Cider Boneless Pork Loin Roast


I really love pears. I used to love pears out of the can when I was a kid. Since it is pear season, I’ve been eating a pear every day for the last month or so. A few weeks ago, while at Trader Joe’s, I couldn’t resist this Pear Hard Cider that I saw on an end cap.


I decided I’d buy it and decide what to make with it at a later date. The later date turned out to be today and this is what I did – I marinated a boneless pork loin roast in this fabulous cider. First, I scored my pork and then sprinkled kosher salt, pepper, dried thyme, and garlic powder over both sides of my meat.


I then placed it in a glass dish and poured about 3/4 of the bottle of cider over the meat and let it marinate for a few hours.


I placed my meat in a preheated 375 degree oven for 70 minutes.


When the meat was done, I removed it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.


I then sliced the pork and served it with whipped rosemary and garlic sweet potatoes and roasted green beans. This roast turned out very juicy – it was wonderful! I sprinkled dried thyme on the meat after I sliced it.

I just want to mention that this would also be wonderful in the slow cooker. Season the meat and pour the cider over the meat in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 8 hours.


  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bottle Pear Hard Cider


Score top and bottom of pork. Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder over meat. Place in a glass dish and pour cider over the meat. Set in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pork roast in a 9×13 dish. Pour half of the marinade around the meat. Put in oven for 50-70 minutes, until internal temperature reaches between 145-160 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

Grandma’s Pork Chops … With a Twist


I think I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but my Grandma was a wonderful cook. Every time I make pork chops, I call my Mom regarding the cooking time, etc. I did just that yesterday when I was going to be making pork chops for dinner. She said to me “Grandma always coated them in flour and egg and cooked them in a little butter on the stove top and then transferred them to the oven for 30 minutes.” I did mostly everything my Mom told me, but I wanted to add a couple herbs, plus garlic powder to the salt and pepper my grandma, and my mom, added.

I set up my breading station … one bowl with flour, one bowl with egg and one bowl with breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, oregano, basil, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper. I first dried off my pork chops with a paper towel and then sprinkled kosher salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. After that, I dipped each pork chop in flour, egg and the bread crumb mixture (in that order).

After my chops were prepped, I placed them in a cast iron skillet that I had been melting one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in. I browned them for 3 minutes on the first side and two minutes on the second side. Next, I placed them in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.


Alongside the boneless pork chops, I served broccolini that I roasted in the oven for 15 minutes as the chops were cooking.


  • boneless pork chops
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a sprinkle for the chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus a sprinkle for the chops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Set up breading station … 1 bowl for flour, 1 bowl for eggs that have been beaten, 1 bowl for bread crumb mixture.
  3. For breading, mix together bread crumbs, grated parmesan, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Dip pork chops first in flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture.
  5. Melt together butter and olive oil in large skillet and cook pork chops over medium-high for 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side.
  6. Transfer skillet to the oven and finish cooking chops for 20-25 minutes.


Until next time, Kris

Boneless Pork Ribs in the Slow Cooker Cooked in an Orange Barbecue Sauce

For tonight’s debate, I debated ordering a pizza for dinner. I quickly nixed that idea and decided to make boneless pork ribs in the slow cooker. This was debatably the best idea.

I had a lot I wanted to get done this afternoon so wanted dinner to cook in the background while I completed some tasks I needed to get done.

I put a layer of onion and fennel (I included the fennel leaves as well) on the bottom of my slow cooker and placed the ribs over that.


I sprinkled the ribs with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I added a thyme bundle and the zest and juice of one lemon. I included the lemon halves as well.


For the sauce I mixed a bottle of barbecue sauce (I used a sweet honey barbecue sauce) and 1 cup of orange marmalade and poured it over the top.

I put the lid on the slow cooker and set it to cook for four hours on high.

I made a corn bread to go with our ribs and will have a simple iceberg lettuce salad.


There’s no debate on which dinner was best for us tonight. It was definitely the ribs. However, I bet the local pizza restaurants are quite busy with lots of deliveries this evening.


  • Boneless pork ribs (I used two packages)
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced (leaves included)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 sprigs of thyme, tied in a bundle
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce (whatever type you choose, I chose sweet honey)
  • 1 cup orange marmalade


1) Lay onions and fennel in slow cooker. Add ribs, kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Zest the lemon over the ribs and add the juice. Include the lemon halves in the slow cooker. Add thyme bundle.

2) Mix barbecue sauce and orange marmalade and pour over ribs.

3) Set slow cooker for 4 hours on high.


Until next time, Kris




Apricot Rosemary Pork Sirloin Roast


This weekend was a bit cooler in San Diego … the meteorologist mentioned we’d be having fall like weather over Labor Day weekend, which put me in the mood for a pork loin roast. I had apricot jam in my refrigerator and decided to make a sauce with wine, apricot jam and rosemary.  I started with a 1.7 pound pork roast. I poked holes all over the top with a fork and sprinkled kosher salt and pepper over both sides of the pork. I also sliced three cloves of garlic and laid them on top of the pork.

In a small saucepan, I mixed together white wine, dijon course grain mustard, apricot preserves, olive oil, fresh rosemary, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I brought this to a boil, whisking as it was cooking.  After it had come to a boil, I let it sit for a minute and poured it over my roast, which was in a 9×13 glass dish.  I roasted my pork in a 375 degree oven for 70 minutes.

I decided to serve this over crispy parmesan kale.


This was really good and I didn’t even miss having a starch with our dinner.  I hope you like it!


  • boneless pork sirloin roast (I used 1.7 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

For Sauce

  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pat pork dry and poke holes over the top of the meat with a fork. (I do this so any flavoring I use seeps into the meat). Sprinkle the entire roast with kosher salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon salt on top of pork, 1/2 teaspoon on bottom. Divide the pepper in half for the top and bottom as well). Lay the garlic cloves over the top of the meat.

In a small saucepan, combine wine, apricot preserves, olive oil, dijon mustard, rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes. Whisk together and bring to a boil.  Continue to whisk as sauce is heating. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let it cool down for a couple minutes. Pour over the pork and place in your preheated 375 degree oven for 50-70 minutes. It took me 70 minutes for my oven.  I took the meat out of the oven at 135 degrees, covered my dish with foil and let the temperature raise another 10 degrees (ten minutes). I went by America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbook for my timing and temperature for the pork. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Crispy Parmesan Kale

  • 1 package kale
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • drizzle olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay kale on a large baking sheet.  It’s amazing, one package of kale will cover your baking sheet before it goes into the oven, and when it comes out, it will cover about a quarter of the pan.  It does shrivel up!! Drizzle kale with olive oil, kosher salt and parmesan. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris



Mandarin Orange and Chili Roasted Pork Loin

MandarinOrangeChiliPorkIf you’re looking for a delicious way to enjoy a pork loin roast in the warmer summer months, I believe I’ve created a recipe you will love.

As I was walking the aisles at my local Trader Joe’s, I came upon a bag of Dried Mandarin Oranges.  They come in a 6 ounce bag and I found these near the nuts and other dried fruits.  I immediately grabbed a bag and started to ponder on what I could make with them. I walked over to the meat section and when I saw the pork roast, I decided that is the type of meat that I would use.  Next I needed to decide what to add to these dried mandarins to make this sauce something spectacular.  I grabbed a bottle of white wine and headed back to the nut/dried fruit aisle and picked up a bag of sweet and spicy pecans (this is where the chili flavor comes in, as I did not add any chili powder to my sauce).  I try to have these in my pantry at all times because they are so good with so many things. They are tasty sprinkled on a salad and also chopped up and sprinkled over a wedge of brie cheese.  The options are limitless.  Next, I hiked back over to the produce section (at least I was getting my steps in!) and selected a package of fresh thyme and a lime.  This recipe was coming together in my head nicely.

To prepare my roast I placed it in a shallow glass dish.  I pierced several slits on the top of my pork.  I sprinkled kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over both sides of the meat. I peeled and cut four cloves of garlic in thirds. I placed each garlic piece in one of the slits I made in the top of my pork.

Next, I prepared the sauce I would roast the pork in.  I chopped my dried mandarins in thirds (I wanted them to stay a bit chunky in the sauce) and put them into my Cuisinart Food Processor (this is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Thank you, Mom!). I added 1/4 cup of the sweet and spicy pecans to the processor, along with two tablespoons of fresh thyme (no need to chop, just remove the leaves from the stems.  The food processor will do the chopping for you.  As I said, best gift ever!   I pulsed these items together leaving the mixture slightly chunky.  I now added olive oil and white wine, plus the zest and juice of one lime.  I pulsed the mixture together one more time and gave it a taste.  I thought it needed a little something, so added about two tablespoons of sugar.  This turned out to be just what my sauce needed.  Perfect!  I placed my roast in a roasting pan, on a rack and poured my sauce over the meat and sprinkled a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over the top.

I placed the loin of pork in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes per pound.  My meat was 2 pounds and was done to perfection in an hour and 20 minutes.  I served this over a bed of cooked spinach.  It was pretty and delicious.

I hope you try it and think it’s delicious too!


  • 1 pork loin roast, 2 pound
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch for sprinkling
  • dried mandarins, 3/4 cup, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet and spicy pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white wine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pat your pork dry with paper towel and place in a shallow dish.  Cover both sides of your pork with kosher salt and pepper. Pierce pork about 12 times, deep enough to hold a third of a garlic clove.  Chop the dried mandarins and place in a food processor.  Add spicy pecans.  Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and add to the food processor as well. Pulse until mixed together, but still slightly chunky.  Add olive oil, wine and the zest and juice of your lime to the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds.  Place your pork in a roasting pan on a rack and pour the sauce over the meat.

Place in your preheated oven for 2o minutes per pound.  This came out to an hour and 20 minutes for a 2 pound roast.

 Until next time, Kris