It’s no secret, Christmas is a special time of year. The lights are magical. The snow-dusted sidewalks are pretty. Christmas Carols are playing full swing. And of course, tis the season for giving. There is something about Christmas that sparks more good in people and you’ll notice more giving both to those you love and those in need. It’s when you see bell ringers freezing but greeting you with a smile as they ring their bell in hopes for some donation, no matter how big or small. It’s the time of year when people reach out and do kind things for others, even complete strangers. We open our hearts a little wider, love a little more, and do our very best to make a difference in this crazy world we live in.
Yes, Christmas is the merriest time of the year, but it’s also the busiest. There is shopping, cooking for holiday feasts, decorating, and of course, there is the normal day to day stuff that still needs to be done. It’s all a bit overwhelming I know, but in a few days it will be Christmas so it’s definitely time to get into the holiday spirit!
I have to be honest, there is nothing better to put me into the holiday spirit than family visiting and cooking up a storm.
There is never a shortage of food at my house….ever! Ask my friends and family. There are a few passages in the bible where it mentions we all have our unique gifts from God. (Roman’s 12:6-8 for example). I’ve been told many times, entertaining friends and family is mine. Thank You God! And thank you friends for always being so kind! I am truly Blessed!
One of my fondest memories is back about 7 years ago when I was newly dating my husband…. I invited him out to Hutchinson for dinner. He happily accepted my invite thinking he was taking me out to dinner. He kindly asked me “what is your favorite restaurant to dine at in Hutchinson?”. I said, “my house!”. At first I think he thought I was kidding, but he soon realized I was very serious. He must of loved my cooking, because the next year in my Christmas stocking I discovered, (along with all my running accessories), nestled in the toe of my Christmas Stocking, my best Christmas Gift ever…and I mean ever! My diamond! No wonder I love Christmas!
I not only love to cook for others, I kind of enjoy my cooking too. You’ve probably noticed from my posts, that for the most part, I cook with mostly local, organic, ingredients. My recipes are mostly healthy, and balanced with protein, fat and carbs. I am not much of a baker, but do love dark chocolate, especially in my smoothies, a treat at night after dinner, and an occasional healthy gluten free cookie. But just like Thanksgiving, when it’s a special Christmas Dinner, no dieting allowed! This year my entire family helped out with our early Christmas dinner…..just take a look at this feast!
Good thing my nieces and I got in a good workout at BootCamp that Morning! We had a fun but good workout with a white elephant gift exchange. Here I am being silly with my nieces.
Not only did we workout prior to our Christmas dinner, we also enjoyed a Holiday 5K Fun Run the next night to run off some of that dinner. This time the men joined in too.
It was my husband’s first time doing a pork tenderloin on our Green Egg. It was a HUGE success. I should have snapped a picture of him weaving the bacon. It was a bit tedious and considering the bacon didn’t stay in place due to shifting the pork tenderloin on the grill, I am not sure I would take the time to make it look perfect. It did look pretty though. If you’re looking for a main course this Christmas, my husband says try this! It’s easy, tasty and you know what they say, “everything goes better with bacon”, even more pork. HA!
BACON-COCONUT SUGAR PORK TENDERLOIN
- 1 large pork tenderloin
- 6 tablespoons of coconut sugar
- 4 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of smoke paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 package of good quality bacon (we used smoked antibiotic free from Costco)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or other neutral high heat oil)
- 1/2 cup of Major Grey’s Chutney (available at most grocery stores or purchase on line at Amazon) I have also used Stonewall Creek brand.
- 4 tablespoons of whole grain or Dijon mustard
- Preheat your oven or “Green Egg” to 275 F. Removed the sliver skin (the slivery-white connective tissue running along the top) from the pork tenderloin with a sharp knife. Pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels and set aside.
- Combine the coconut sugar (can use brown sugar), salt, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub all of the mixture into the pork tenderloin. Wrap the tenderloin with the strips of bacon, securing along the sides with toothpicks.
- Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet, or other oven proof skillet, over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the bacon-wrapped tenderloin and sear — do not disturb it while it’s searing – – until deep caramel brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the tenderloin and continue searing until the other side is browned.
- Mix the chutney and mustard in a small bowl and brush generously over the top of the tenderloin. Transfer the skillet to the oven or Green Egg and cook the tenderloin until a probe thermometer reads 140 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the tenderloin to finish cooking and for the juices to redistribute into the meat. Remover toothpicks and slice in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces for serving. Serve with any left over chutney on the side.