Glorious Pork Roast and Gorgeous Roasted Veggies

Roast Pork & Veggies


Today – Thanksgiving eve – I’m all about preparing to roast the turkey. But I need to share a couple of other fabulous recipes with you, especially if you’re looking for a turkey alternative or an amazing side dish to add to your repertoire.

A good pork roast can warm up any dinner menu, and this one is as fabulous as it is easy. Pork roast can end up dry in the oven, but this one comes out tender and moist and full of flavor. I think the key is the luscious herb rub and starting on really high heat before lowering it for the bulk of the cooking.

The original recipe is easy, and it turns out great every time. This week, the pork loin roast was on sale, so I used this larger cut of meat rather than the tenderloin. (The tenderloin is the skinnier cut of meat that the recipe calls for.) Although most experts say you can’t cook these different cuts of meat the same, I’ve found that I can use this recipe successfully with both types of pork roast. I just adjust the cooking time a little if I have a smaller roast.

Since our garden has been doing well, I took a quick trip out to the backyard for some fresh herbs. Of course, a trip to the grocery store works equally well. Or you can use dried herbs. If you use dried, you just use less.

IMG_3735 IMG_3737 Thyme for the roast rub


Mix up the rub for the roast in a small bowl.

Herb rub for roast

This roast rub smells heavenly (ignore the ghost scissors that you can see through the glass bowl).


Then spoon it over your meat and rub it all over.

IMG_3740 Beautiful roast ready for the oven


I had a 3 pound roast and no roasting rack, so I reduced the cooking time a bit. Stick it in the oven at 475 degrees for 20 minutes. Then lower the temp to 425 and roast for 40-45 minutes more. When the internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees, take the roast out of the oven. Then allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes before carving. After it rests, slice it and serve. The 3 pound roast served 4 of us with plenty of leftovers. The meat retains its flavor beautifully, so the leftovers taste great. They’re also fantastic on a sandwich. We made Cuban sandwiches with the leftovers, a little cheese and pickles. So delicious!


Roast Some Veggies to Complete the Meal


The meat is so flavorful, and a big platter of gorgeous roasted vegetables makes the perfect accompaniment. The Pioneer Woman (my foodie crush) offers this amazing recipe with creamy butternut squash, red onions and Brussels sprouts. She makes it as a beautiful side dish for her Thanksgiving feast, but it made a fabulous match for my pork roast. It really brightens up the table, so it would be perfect for a dinner party or special occasion or anytime. Did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious?

I had some butternuts that our son grew in the garden, so I used those, but you could just as easily use a package of precut squash from the store. I cut them up and threw them on a pan with the Brussels sprouts and onion. Then I did a little sprinkling and drizzling and stuck them in the oven with the pork roast for the last 20 minutes. They cook at the same temperature as the pork, so it works out perfectly.

Veggies ready to roast

Gorgeous butternut squash, red onion & Brussels sprouts ready to roast


When they come out of the oven, put them on a platter, drizzle with some balsamic glaze and pomegranate seeds and you have the prettiest dish ever. The glaze and the pomegranate truly do make these veggies magical, and they compliment the pork perfectly, too. The recipe was easy, even if it required some prep work, but the end result was worth it.


Gorgeous roasted veggies

Look how pretty these roasted veggies are!



Now, don’t you want to eat? Go. Make these. You’ll love them!





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Tattered and Torn in the Aftermath of the Election

tattered flag

How I feel … tattered to bits. (Photo by frankieleon on Flickr)


A tattered flag, blowing in the wind. After yesterday’s election, this photo seems symbolic of how many of us feel today. It feels raw and unreal, like someone knocked the wind out of me. I have an ache in my heart, a weight on my chest and a lump in my throat. And I am shaken to my core.

I know many of you feel the same, and I think we need each other right now to help process our feelings and make sense of the reality that has been thrust upon us. Our candidate didn’t win, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost. I’m trying hard to believe that (although I don’t think I’m there yet).


Comforting Our Tattered Souls


Now, more than ever, we need each other. To share our devastation, to offer words of comfort and wisdom. To heal our freshly wounded spirits. So, yes, I’ve been reading Facebook posts and news articles. I briefly checked my Twitter feed to see what inspiration I can find there. I watched Hillary deliver her speech this morning, and while I remain inspired and hopeful, the sadness and disbelief consume me. These feelings will need to dissipate before I can turn my tattered psyche to meaningful action. But she reminds us,

This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.

Whatever we do, we must remember the strength that comes with our diverse perspectives and bring them together to make a difference. After all, our nation was built on this notion, and it still holds true – we ARE stronger together.


Tattered images come together to reflect our beautiful diversity

Our diversity makes us strong. (Photo from the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts on Flickr)


Other Voices in the Storm


For me, beyond the heartbreak lies the fear. Fear of what this really means for our nation. Fear for our near and distant futures. Fear for the world our children will inherit and how this will impact their hopes and dreams.

I know those wiser than me will find a way to make sense of all this. And I stand ready to do my part to make sure our country remains a place to be proud of. I love what Amy Bruinsma says today on Her View from Home,

We have an opportunity to meet ignorance with understanding. We have an opportunity to bring light into this thick cloud of dark.

Fear will knock, its beckon louder and louder, don’t leave it on the other side of the door. Answer the knock with courage.

And she provides this quote:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ Nelson Mandela

She offers a Canadian’s perspective on our election, and she beautifully describes why this impacts all of us – not just those of us in the United States. It’s more than an election; it’s about our very freedom and way of life.

Glennon Doyle Melton at Momastery reminds us that women have always been warriors, and whatever happens, we’ll continue to be warriors. She tells us,

We are not what just happened. But we might be what we do next.

The next right thing has and forevermore will be: Get back to work.


From Tattered to Tough, Shattered to Strong


The best we can do is spread a message of kindness, love & respect, especially to our kids – three infinitely difficult concepts in times like this. Unfortunately, the ugly campaign made the lack of these 3 traits normalized to an unprecedented degree. I still fear that the incivility that has characterized this campaign has become the new normal and that our divisions will only become more pronounced.

But we march on and do our best to raise a new generation. Hopefully one that will turn out to be more thoughtful and united than the current one. As an older people, we must think of our younger voters and children as we address the challenges that will inevitably present themselves. What can we do to ensure that they have every opportunity to build bright futures? How can we open our hearts and minds to every son and daughter of our nation, whether they are black, white, brown or yellow; straight, gay or trans; able-bodied or differently-abled?


It Won’t Be Easy But We Can Do It


We must educate one another about the problems in our communities and work together to find solutions. This means stepping up to fill a need rather than sitting back and letting someone else do it. And it means practicing patience (hard to do), teaching tolerance and appreciation of differences (also hard to do), and allowing ourselves to be in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes sitting in discomfort is just the thing we need to move us to action.

It means loving the unlovable, walking in another’s shoes and fighting injustice and divisiveness with everything we have, so we can all contribute to building a more perfect union. It means examining our systems and institutions to be sure they’re working for everyone and re-learning how to compromise and cooperate – vitally important skills we learn at the earliest age but seem to have forgotten.

Our democracy asserts that public servants serve the public, not just the people who agree with them. So make sure your public servants know what you need, and hold them accountable for addressing our collective challenges. And be sure to do your part to actively participate in local, regional and national community affairs. Our democracy depends on us all working together. As members of this republic, this is our job. Let’s do it well.

We’re can only get better when we share and support on another. Whether your candidate won or lost, what can you do to help move us all forward during this contentious time? Leave your comments below (and please be thoughtful and respectful of each other).


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