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Pancetta-wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream

January 16, 2017

Pancetta-wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream


Total: 1 Hour, 25 minutes

Makes 8 servings

Every once in a while, it is nice to have an excuse to make something a bit fancy – elaborate even. And while I like to think that as a family of 3 (well, maybe more like 2 and a half), we eat some nice food, I will rarely break out the really fancy stuff, for fear our toddler will cut dinner short or request mac and cheese instead.

So I welcome Christmas. Not just because it is my favorite time of year, but because it gives me an excuse to host. To make something a little more than your average nightly meal. And, while I tend to make ham on Christmas Day, I thought I would mix it up this year. When I saw this recipe in Southern Living for pancetta-wrapped tenderloin, I knew it had to be good. And, I wasn’t wrong.

It was surprisingly easy, once I got down the “wrapping technique.” And, on a platter it looked very impressive. It also made fantastic leftovers – putting the beef on buns with the horseradish cream as a sandwich.

This will be making a comeback next year – and hopefully before then. Bon appetit!


1 (5- to 6-lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
14 very thin pancetta slices
Wax paper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Kitchen string


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Cook tenderloin in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, arrange pancetta slices in 2 rows on a large piece of wax paper, overlapping to form a rectangle the same length and width of tenderloin.

3. Sprinkle garlic and rosemary over tenderloin. Place tenderloin on edge of 1 long side of pancetta. Tightly roll up tenderloin with pancetta, using wax paper as a guide. Discard wax paper. Tie tenderloin with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin registers 120° (rare). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard kitchen string before slicing. Serve with Whipped Horseradish Cream.

Note: For medium-rare, cook tenderloin to 135°, or to 150° for medium.


Whipped Horseradish Cream


1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 1 minute or until soft peaks form.

2. Fold in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.



Old Fashioned Holiday Ham

January 3, 2016

Ham #2Although most find me to be a bit crazy to offer hosting Christmas in our house after moving in just 2 weeks prior, but I would not have had it any other way. Not only did I want our nearly 2-year-old to spend Christmas morning in his new home, but I wanted an excuse to cook a big meal. Perhaps the first big meal in our new digs.

And since it was Christmas, I felt ham would be the best choice. Not to mention I find it fairly easy – it’s already cooked and tough to mess up. But I felt like I was in a ham rut. Not a bad ham rut, as I love ham with mustard and gingersnaps, but I wanted something different. New house, new recipe.

Nothing seemed more classic than a ham with some pineapple and maraschino cherries. Now I made the mistake – or very fortunate choice – to pick up maraschino cherries from our local wine shop. They were Ham #1.jpgfrom Italy and I thought they would surely be better. And they were, but at $25 a jar, I am still undecided if they were worth the splurge.

This traditional ham recipe is from the lovely Paula Deen and is incredibly simple – just pineapples (and juice), maraschino cherries, mustard and brown sugar. The result was not only beautiful, but also delicious.


Serves 12+


1 spiral-sliced half ham (Paula prefers Smithfield)
1 20 -ounce can pineapple slices, juice reserved
1 small jar maraschino cherries
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard


Preheat the oven as directed on the ham package and follow the instructions for baking the ham. Remove the ham from the oven about 30 minutes before the end of the warming time.

Decoratively arrange the pineapple slices on top of the ham, securing them with whole cloves, if using, or toothpicks. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and secure with a clove or toothpick.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and just enough of the reserved pineapple juice to make a thick glaze. Spoon the glaze over the ham and bake for the remaining 30 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and carve.


January 1, 2013


Hi, this is Sarah’s husband, Rob, guest posting today. We’re wrapping up another fun yet busy holiday season. Below is my recipe for pizzelles – the Italian cookie that has always been a tradition in my family. Whether you pronounce it “Pete-Zelle” like I do or “Pizz-elle”, the light, crunchy cookies always taste like the holidays to me. The recipe is easy, but 1) you need to have a pizzelle iron and 2) you need to have some time – once you make the dough, you gotta keep ’em rolling out of the iron until you’re done.  I dedicate this post to my father and grandmother, who I wish were around to enjoy these (and maybe provide some tips!) – miss you both! Happy New Year/Buon Anno!


6 Eggs3.5 cups of flour

1.5 cups of granulated sugar

2 tbsp of vanilla

1 cup margarine (or butter) melted

4 tsp of baking powder.

Beat eggs, add sugar gradually, add cooled margarine to eggs,  sugar and then vanilla (or almond extract or other flavors – feel free to experiment here. Some of my relatives used anisette and my dad would stick in cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor). Then add flour and baking powder until sticky. The dough should be light yellow in color.

ImageDrop small (quarter/half dollar) sized dollops of dough on the heated iron. Let them cook for 30-45 seconds (every iron is different, you’ll probably sacrifice some) and then take them off to cool on a rack. Since they taste like waffle cones, you can take a few of them and fashion them into ice-cream cones while they are warm!

A Dedication

November 14, 2010

When I reflect upon my love for cooking and baking, I know it was not only nurtured, but also stemmed from a strong hereditary place. I think of my days as a young girl and I remember baking cookies with my mother, cutting cheese in decorative shapes with my grandma and making pies from scratch with my grandmother.

My mother, a fantastic cook, would teach me to peel carrots and make spaghetti squash (quite possibly my favorite activity) to help her put dinner on the table. She taught me the importance and love that goes into a home cooked meal, at the table, as a family every night. This is something I try to stay true to every day of my life, and hope to pass along to my children as well.

My grandma is a true entertainer – a home-cooked meal is only half of the experience, it is the presentation, the theme and the attention to detail. She taught me decorative garnishes, how to make a hog dog into a turkey for Thanksgiving (don’t ask) and how to throw an amazing theme party. I have clearly inherited her passion for entertaining, as I throw themed book club parties and buy various serving platters to perfectly match the food served on it. She has taught me that the whole dining experience is a way in which to catch up with old friends and show loved ones that they are, indeed, loved.

And my grandmother was a southern traditionalist. You would never, under any circumstances, find a pre-made pie crust in her freezer. When we spent holidays and family visits in her home in Tennessee and later Alabama, most of the visit included grandmother and I in the kitchen for hours, making anything from an elaborate Thanksgiving feast, to a homemade rhubarb pie, to a banana pudding dessert that was my granddaddy’s favorite. That love of cooking and baking existed just as much when she visited us in Michigan – exemplified by my fondest memory of making a carrot cake and putting frosting decorative carrots on the white cream cheese frosting.

With my grandmother, it wasn’t the destination, it was the journey. It wasn’t a means to putting food in bellies or even for entertaining friends and family. For my grandmother, it was the act of spending an afternoon in the kitchen, making from-scratch foods with the predominant ingredient always being love. It was putting something on the table that was made with her two hands – no shortcuts.

And, as I reflect on my culinary childhood, I realize that I embody each one of my female mentors. I have learned the importance (and sometimes healing nature) of a home-cooked meal from my mother, the art of entertaining with love from my grandma – and from my grandmother I learned to enjoy the journey.

And lately, especially in the past few years – I have not just learned to enjoy the journey, but I find a small obsession with it. On a Sunday afternoon when most are shopping, cleaning the house and watching football, you generally find me in the kitchen, making something from scratch that I easily could have bought in the store. That journey has taught me to slow down, enjoy life’s pleasures and take pride in my ability to make something fantastic out of many ingredients.

My friends and co-workers always ask me where I got this from. Why do I feel the strange need on a Sunday to make maple nut bars and bring them to friends? That answer is easy – my grandmother.

On Saturday, November 6, we laid my grandmother to rest. She was 93 years old and had been married to my loving granddaddy for 68 of them. She was such a large part of my life in so many ways, and taught me more than I could ever put in this blog entry. But, when I cook or bake – I think of her most. When I think of why I have the strange desire to make a pie on a Sunday afternoon, I know that is a part of her inside me. That passion for food comes from her.

So, as sad as saying goodbye to her was this past weekend, I celebrate her life – as a wife, a mother, grandmother, a great grandmother, and a cook. And I thank her for instilling me in a love for the journey, something I will keep with my the rest of my life.

Dedicated to Philomene Miller Stone, 1917 – 2010.


February 4, 2009

So here it is – my cooking blog. I must start my reiterating that I am not a gourmet chef. I don’t even consider myself a chef at all. But, I am a cook who loves when good ingredients come together in an amazing dish.

My recipes are sometimes long and involved (mostly for Sundays) but most of the time are easy and can be made in less than an hour. I work some long hours, and normally don’t walk in the door until 7 or so. But, instead of plopping down in front of the television to “stare at the fire”,  I would much rather turn on some music, pour a glass of wine, and cook. Yes, call me crazy, but it is true!

My goal for this blog is to share my food passion with others – whether they already share my love for cooking or find it a chore and WANT to find that love!

I know this blog will evolve over time, but my initial plans include posting new recipes I have tried (and most likely altered) and have loved. Also, I will post tips on cooking that I have found helpful to me.

Today I will start by sharing a recipe I tried and loved a couple weeks ago – a Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions. I am going to give kudos to Bon Appetit right now because their recipes are many times my favorites. They get the credit for this one!

Yes, this is a Sunday dish for sure. But, the time to prep up front wasn’t much, then you just have to babysit. Don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients – most of it is a spice rub (and I even cheat and used pre-ground corriander and white peppercorns – although I am a firm believer in freshly-grated nutmeg!). The dish smells up your whole house so you spend the entire day looking forward to dinner. Cook it on a Sunday when it is cold and snowy like I did a few weeks ago! 

Happy cooking!


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