Pressure Cooked/Crockpot- Healthy White Chicken Chili

 

I have never made white chicken chili but I have always heard people saying that it is their favorite kind of chili. It reminds me of an enchilada,  I have no idea why but it does. I finally figured out a meal prepping system that works for me. I bought plastic 16oz microwaveable containers to put leftovers or meal that I make for lunch to put them in the freezer. This works out because I can take a container out at 8AM with no icepack by 12 it is still partially frozen so it is kept cold and then I can pop it in the microwave and I have a quick lunch or dinner. Chicken chili sounded easy and like a great option for lunch over the next few weeks. My game plan is to make 3 big meals to put into containers that way I have a variety and am not eating the same thing every day. I hope you enjoy this healthy chicken chili 🙂 It is so good and would be even better with cheddar cheese and avocado on top.

Not my most glamorous picture of white chicken chili..but hey.. it sure tastes good!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cans of great northern beans (drained)
  • 1 16oz jar of salsa verde
  • 1.25 pounds of frozen chicken (if using instant pot) Thawed if using crockpot
  • 1TBS of oregano
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1tsp of garlic powder
  • 1tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Sour cream, cheese, and avocado to top if wanted

Directions:

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Step 1: Combine all ingredients in to a pressure cooker and stir

Step 2: Cook on high pressure for 20 min– when finished perform a quick release and shred the chicken and return to the pot.

Step 3: Top with any additional toppings you would like

 

CROCKPOT Directions

Step 1: Combine all ingredients into a crockpot (do not use frozen chicken– used thawed chicken)

Step 2: Cook on low for 6-7 hours and high for 3-4

 

 

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Easiest oven baked crispy chicken fingers

IMG_3087.jpgI am a Cane’s and Slims kind of girl. I crave ranch and chicken fingers. I blame this on chicken finger Friday from my college days. The downfall is that fried chicken is not friendly on the waistline. I was craving a “homey” kind of meal and wanted to come up with a healthier version of chicken fingers. I also love Mac & Cheese. If I was on death row… that is what I would want. A steak, sweet potato, and mac & cheese.  If you are looking for chicken fingers that are healthy and super easy… these are for you 🙂  Y’all I am on the cooking struggle bus. I have been making things but honestly, they have been thrown together weeknight meals that I am too ashamed to share with all of you. I am going to keep trying to post more but my schedule and workload are occupying my life. That shouldn’t be an excuse.. but holy cow I have no time haha. Bare with me as I try to get more diligent at posting “post worthy” recipes and not my “let’s see what I have in my fridge and can whip up for dinner” meals.

Side note: I served my chicken fingers with homemade ranch and Annie’s mac and cheese! Brent wanted buffalo sauce in his so he added some to the ranch and mac and cheese. Not my kind of thing… but hey!

Fun fact: Frozen chicken tenderloins have become my BFF. The get out about a pound at a time and thaw it in the fridge overnight and they are ready for my meal prepping or an easy dinner. Plus… they are way cheaper than buying poultry fresh.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbs + 1/2 tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tbs + 1/2 tbs Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp  Paprika (note the measurement change)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 430 Degrees

  1. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray non-stick cooking spray on the sheet
  2. Place 1 cup on panko on a plate
  3. Add 1/2 Tbs of onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of paprika and salt and pepper (set aside)
  4. Crack two eggs into a shallow bowl and beat until mixed (set beside the panko plate)
  5. WE WILL BE DOING THESE IN BATCHES to avoid the panko balling up
  6. First batch: Take half of the raw tenderloins and place on a plate
  7. Your line up should be as followed: Raw chicken, eggs, seasoned panko and greased sheet
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  9. Take one tenderloin at a time and dip into the egg mixture to coat the tenderloin
  10. Place the chicken tenderloin on the panko plate and roll it around until all sides are coated
  11. Place on baking sheet and begin the process again
  12. Once the first batch is done you should be almost out of panko– throw away the plate or grab a new plate if not using a disposable plate
  13. Take a new plate and place remaining 1 cup of panko, 1/2 tbs of onion and garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of paprika + salt and pepper.
  14. Begin the process for the last half of the tenderloins

Once all of the chicken is on a greased sheet spray the top of them with the cooking spray.

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Pop in the oven for 20 min (flipping them at 10 min)

Once they are thoroughly cooked (no longer pink in the center) you can crisp them up!

** Turn broiler setting on high and brown the tops of the chicken tenders until they look crispy. This should take 3 minutes! Keep an eye on them.

  • While my chicken was cooking I made the Mac & Cheese and ranch for dipping 🙂 IMG_3087.jpg

(20 min) Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

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Brrrrr……. I don’t know about you but here in Northwest Arkansas it has been absolutely frigid. School has started back and I needed a recipe to keep me warm and something that was easy to take to campus. I am not an expert at meal prepping because I really fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to what I am craving for dinner or lunch. I wanted something EASY and yummy, let me tell you… this soup recipe ROCKS.  I put this together in a matter of minutes and have been eating on it for three days and still have a ton of leftovers. Bare with me this semester because it’s going to be a long ride! My goal is to post more and I haven’t quite figured out how to do that just yet with my schedule. It’s definitely going to take me meal planning (die)…. but it’s worth I️t 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock
  • 6 oz of Tomato Paste
  • 10 oz Cheese Tortellini (I used marketside brand)
  • 16 oz Bag of frozen veggies (this is for pure convenience people) use fresh if you want to chop for days.. haha
  • Spices: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Parsley, Oregano, Salt, and Pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Heavy Cream

Directions:

  • Bring Vegetable stock to a boil over medium/high heat

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  • Add in tomato paste and mix well- Bring to a low boil

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  • Add in your frozen vegetables and keep simmering (5-6 min)

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  • Add spices and stir

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  • Then add 10 oz of  uncooked cheese tortellini (cook for about 2-4 minutes)

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  • Add in cream and then continue to cook for about 3 more minutes.

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  • Add more cream if you’d like– I probably added about 1/2 and dash of cream.
  • Salt and pepper to taste!

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Louisiana inspired Chicken and Rice

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After the holidays when your fridge is empty and you have eaten literally everything you could ever want over Christmas and to ring in the new year…. you need a detox. At least that is how I am feeling. I am tired of eating out (Cane’s and slims I’m talking about you) and need just a healthy yet hearty dinner. Well, one recipe that comes to mind is one of my weeknight favorites.  Every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it more. I remember the last time I had this I mentioned to a friend “remind me that I love this and should make it the next time I can’t decide what to have for dinner.” This recipe calls for chili sauce and sometimes I have a hard time finding it. Especially when I go to little Walmart as opposed to big Walmart. My CPG friends are shaking their heads as they read this because that’s how I have always distinguished between the neighborhood Walmart and the supercenter (I know I am not the only one.)  If your grocer doesn’t have chili sauce use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.  I serve this over brown rice with a side roasted asparagus. You can serve it over any rice you want!

Sidenote: I added Tony C’s seasoning to the tomato sauce to give it some zest –you can add Tony C’s to the chili sauce if you want but if using tomato sauce instead then definitely add it!

(I feel like I should be in Louisiana eating this dish btw)

Ingredients:

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided use
1 cup dry brown rice or any rice of your choosing
2 cups water
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
½ cup  chili sauce (Heinz) OR Tomato Sauce (I prefer chili sauce over tomato)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Preparation:
1. Cook rice according to the bag or box!
2. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in another medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add chicken and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
5.  Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili or tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently boil, covered, for 10 minutes. — If you used tomato sauce and not chili then add Tony C’s.
6. Divide rice between four serving plates; top evenly with chicken mixture.

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Recipe adapted from Beachbody.com

Creamy Tomato Pressure Cooked Spaghetti (one pot)

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I decided to ring in the new year with some PASTAAAAAA. What is better than spaghetti and wine??? Spaghetti that is cooked in 9 minutes with one pot is better than just plain old spaghetti. I have my normal spaghetti recipe down to an art. I cook the meat, brown the onion, pour the wine and make the sauce. I wanted to spice things up a bit and combine everything into one pot which means only one pot that I have to clean. Are you down? Sounds too good to be true huh? Well… it isn’t. If you do not own a pressure cooker, I highly recommend getting one. They are incredible. I have an instant pot that I got a few years ago and it never ceases to amaze me. I sometimes go weeks without cooking in it and then I make one dish and I think to myself “why did I ever stop using this magical machine?”

One thing I did in this recipe that you do not have to do is to cook the noodles in 1 cup of red wine and 1 cup of water. Typically you would just cook them in 2 cups of water (or enough water to cover everything in the pot.) I like red wine in my sauce so that is why I chose to use it to cook the noodles. It does make things tangier and you will need to add salt and sugar.

Also, I love a creamy tomato sauce.  You do not have to make it creamy it’s just a personal preference of mine. Omit the heavy cream if you just want regular tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Ounces of Pasta- UNCOOKED
  • 2 Cups of liquid (I did 1 cup red wine, 1 cup water)
  • 1 Jar of high-quality pasta sauce or 23-25 oz of your fave sauce
  • 1 lb of meat (I used extra lean ground beef so there was nothing to drain)
  • 1/2 Large yellow onion
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Press the Saute button on the instant pot. Pour some olive oil in and begin to brown the meat. Add the onion and garlic while continuing to break up the meat until it is fully cooked (Pink —> brown) IMG_1867.jpg
  2. Add in a jar of pasta sauce and Italian seasoning
  3. Add in the spaghetti noodles (uncooked and broken in half)
  4. Add the two cups of liquid and if you need a little more to cover what you’re cooking– add more!
  5. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and select cancel/off
  6. Make sure the pressure cooker is switched on top to NOT VENTING
  7. Press manual high pressure-  9 min
  8. Once it is finished perform a quick release (switching the vent switch to vent)
  9. Take the lid off and stir
  10. Add in the heavy cream a TBS at a time until you reach desired creaminess 🙂
  11. Add in a 1/2 TBS of sugar (if not cooking in wine you might not want to add that much. Add in 1/2 tsp)– taste and add more if needed
  12. salt to taste

Top with parmesan 🙂

Instant Pot Hibachi Fried Rice with Sesame Chicken and Yum Yum Sauce

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Not my best picture…. but it sure tasted good 🙂

My initial goal was to save my Chinese dinner for New Year’s eve but as you can see..that didn’t happen. Talking about what I was planning to make just made me crave it even more. I have made this sesame chicken AKA: Chinese Chicken 100+ times. It is my GO TO Chinese recipe and a favorite of anyone who has had dinner at my house. This even convinces the Chinese dishes made at home skeptics (Tia) and will make anyone believe that a meal cooked by you can and will be better than take-out Chinese food. However, I would like to get my hands on some take-out boxes to get the full effect and I am a sucker for a good fortune cookie even though I don’t actually eat the cookie.  This was my first time making the Instant Pot (pressure cooked) Hibachi fried rice. I was impressed. 1. I was shocked at how quickly the rice cooked and 2. it actually tasted like fried rice! I am posting this in time for you to gather the ingredients (I know what you’re thinking.. rice vinegar? sesame seed oil? when in the world will I ever use this) believe me it lasts a long time and you will be making this dish again. Both recipes call for the sesame seed oil so that’s a win in my book. I get really excited when I have ingredients on hand. It takes a while to build a stocked kitchen. With every purchase of a new spice, oil or vinegar you think why am I spending money on this?? As you continue to make new recipes you will see that a lot of those crazy purchases appear more than you expected and lucky you… you have them on hand 🙂

About the Yum Yum Sauce... to be honest, it took a minute to get the recipe the way I liked it. Some of you might like mayonnaise, this girl doesn’t unless it’s a dip or recipe where I can’t taste it. It breaks my Honey’s heart when I say.. please don’t put a lot of mayonnaise in it. Am I a true Southerner????? My identity is in question here people.

Heres what I know and then I’ll quit talking your ear off… Some people might prefer the Yum Yum tomato based sauce and others might prefer the mustard based sauce. I think I should have made the mustard sauce. I was looking for more tang when my rice was ready to serve. I kept adding soy sauce and then decided that I didn’t want to be blimp today and I think the mustard sauce would have taken care of it. I will post both and you pick which one sounds better for your taste buds 🙂

One more thing!– I used an instant pot and a cast iron skillet. These are both staples in my kitchen. A pressure cooker is a crockpot on steroids. You can make my Mississippi Roast in one hour!!!!!!! You cannot beat it, people. Click on those links to get one in your kitchen. (A preseasoned cast iron for 22 bucks???? YES PLEASE)

ENJOY– ♥AA

Chinese/ Sesame Chicken — This recipe is already on the blog but I will post the halved version below. This is great for 2-3 people. If you eat like I do… it’s good for two haha! If you want the FULL version that serves 4-6 here is the link to the other page on my blog

Chinese/ Sesame Chicken  – Halved recipe serves 2-3 people (FULL RECIPE ABOVE) 

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Ingredients:

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  • 1lb of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1/8 cup of whole wheat flour (or regular flour)
  • 1/2 Tsp of black pepper

Sauce

  • 1/2 Tbs Sesame Oil
  • 2TBS + 2 Tsp of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/2 TBS of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves (I use pre-minced in a jar)
  • 1/8 Cup of Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup of Chicken Stock (or broth)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and pepper. Toss chicken pieces in mixture until they are all evenly coated with flour.
  • Preheat a medium sized non-stick, oven-safe skillet and spray cooking spray or heat with oil in the skillet. Place chicken in pan, and cook until the chicken has browned on each side. DO NOT COOK ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
  • While the meat is cooking in a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, and garlic.

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  • Pour mixture into the seared chicken, and toss around a bit to mix. Place entire skillet into the oven, and cook for about 20 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes.

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  • **Note: If there is extra liquid when you remove the skillet from the oven turn on your stove to high and boil it off constantly stirring the chicken. It will create and thick and yummy sauce 🙂

Instant Pot Fried Rice 

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups of Jasmine rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cups of water (for cooking the rice)
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil (for cooking the onions)
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce- I added more (it just depends on what you like)
  • 1 tbsp of salted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • Half of 1 large white onion, chopped
  • One 10-12 oz. bag of frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans (mixed veggies)
  • Yum Yum or Mustard Sauce

Directions:

  1. Using a strainer, rinse the Jasmine rice thoroughly for about 90 seconds until the water draining from it is no longer cloudy, but clear (NOTE: Do NOT skip this step.  If you do, your rice will likely cook very mushy and too sticky)
  2. Add the rinsed and drained rice to the Instant pot and then add the 2 cups of water and give it a stir
  3. Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” we want HIGH Pressure for 3 minutes.  When it finishes cooking allow a natural release (Natural release means letting the pressure come down on its own without you flipping the release switch at the top (venting black thing haha)  for 10 minutes (Keep track of the time by seeing how long its on the keep warm setting– it tells you automatically) followed by a quick release (flip that switch)
  4.   Fluff your rice with a fork when done, transfer to a serving bowl and set aside. Doesn’t the rice look amazing?? and in 3 minutes?? yessssss.
  5. Back to the Instant Pot (don’t worry about cleaning it), Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel,” add  in the sesame oil and hit the “Sauté” button and “Adjust” so it’s on the “Normal” or “Medium” setting (mine usually always stays on the normal setting)Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 10.30.10 AM
  6. Once the oil begins to sizzle, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden utensil and add in the chopped onion.
  7. Let it cook for about a minute and then add the peas, carrots and corn. Add the butter and cook together for about another 2 minutes (veggies in butter? YUM)
  8. Slide the veggies to one side of the pot and add the eggs to the other side and constantly stir as they begin to cook and scramble.  SIDENOTE: It’s important to constantly stir the egg so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot).  Once the egg begins to cook, mix it in with the veggies for a few moments until done
  9. Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel,” add the rice back in and add the soy sauce (I added a lot more than two TBS. I kept adding until it tasted like how I wanted it to!

Yum Yum Sauce (the tomato based sauce)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1/4 Cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TBS of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste
  • 2-3 tsp of sugar (depends on your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Mix all ingredients together! Taste and add more cream if too strong of a mayo taste or too salty (add sugar)

Mustard Yum Yum Sauce

  • 2 TBS of dry mustard
  • 12teaspoons sugar
  • 5 TBS of milk
  • 2 TBS of heavy cream
  • 2 TBS of  hot water
  • 1cup soy sauce
  • garlic clove, minced or 1/2 TBS of garlic powder if you do not own a blender 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend OR if using garlic power whisk together in a bowl.

I did not make this mustard sauce recipe but searched for the best one online and will try it next time 🙂

Roasted Pork Loin with Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce

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2018 is that you? I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by. I feel like it was seriously just the fourth of July. Regardless, the weather has changed and Christmas has come and gone, our bellies are full and our hearts are happy from spending time with family and friends this holiday season. Brent and I just celebrated our trip around the sun and I wanted to make a special dinner. Yes, I cook but to be honest I have not been spending as much time as I should in the kitchen. I say that because this happens to all of us. We get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to make time for things that bring us joy. Whether that be art, photography, gardening, reading, exercising, cooking, crafting, building or whatever your passion might be. Mine, as you know, is cooking. In 2018 my goal is to post more and grow this blog. I hope you will join me in that and feel free to make requests for meals you would like to see more of!

On to the pork…… This recipe is AMAZING. I absolutely LOVED it. Not only is this dish EASY PEASY.. it looks hard and like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours. Well, guess what, the joke is on them. You didn’t slave away you prepped and whipped it out like a boss. MAKE THIS RECIPE. Yeah, I know I say that every post but on this one, I mean seriously make it. This recipe came from a cookbook I got for Christmas and it is divine.

Enjoy,

One 1.25 Pork Tenderloin

Marinade:

  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbs plus 2 Tsp of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 1 Tbs of a minced shallot
  • 1 Tbs of minced garlic

Cream Sauce

  • 6 Tbs of Hellman’s Mayo
  • 6 Tbs of Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Tbs of Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs of finely grated parmesan
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chives for garnish

Directions: Marinade 

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together using a whisk. Before placing the tenderloin in the bag, remove all of the skin (white parts) with a sharp knife. Place in a zip-top bag with the pork loin. Refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.

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While the pork is marinating go ahead and whip up the cream sauce!

 

Directions: Cream Sauce 

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Cream Sauce (AKA: the best dipping sauce for anything)

Mix together all of the mayo, sour cream, minced garlic (see the trick below for peeling the cloves), Dijon, parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork or whisk and refrigerate.

Directions: Cooking the pork loin 

Heat the castiron skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While the skillet is heating remove the tenderloins from the plastic bag and pat dry with a paper towel. This is the key to a great crust. A wet tenderloin will not make a good crust. Once the cast iron is heated place the tenderloin in the skillet. (DO NOT MOVE IT– Really though… do not touch it) wait about one minute before flipping (if it is hard to lift, it is not ready to flip because the crust has not been made.) Flip on all four sides till it is seared on the outside.

Place the seared pork loin in a baking dish into a preheated oven to 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the pork reaches an internal temp of 150-155 degrees. Once the pork loin reaches the internal temp, take it out and place it in foil and wrap it up for 10 min. This allows the pork to rest and makes it even more DELICIOUS.

Pork is supposed to be a little pink. This is hard for me because I typically overcook pork. Invest in a meat thermometer it really does make a difference. I can honestly say this is the first time I cooked pork the right way and it was AWESOME.

To plate this pork.. slice it into medallions and drizzle some cream sauce over the pork and top with chives.

Whip this up for a dinner party or a weeknight meal and impress any crowd or just yourself with you superb cooking skills.

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*This recipe is from the Love, welcome serve cookbook by Amy Nelson Hannah!