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Making the Most of a Bake-and-Break Moment


Ever have one of those days where everything seems to fall apart…your life? Your relationships? Your bakeware?

A few weeks ago, while I napped on my couch, I woke to a thud-crash in the kitchen. No one was there. Nothing had fallen. I panicked. I was certain a burglar or rabid animal had somehow taken a tumble inside my oven. Armed with my heat-proof glove, I crept toward the stove and opened the door, expecting something other than my pork tenderloin to attack me. I imagined how I’d retell this saga on on one of those bizarre, late-night reality shows. You know, the ones intended for insomniacs whose minds brim with Snapple facts and urban legends. 

I peeked inside. There it was: my late great-grandmother’s (Mama Ev’s) old baking dish, cracked in half like the San Andreas Fault and splayed on the bottom rack. I don’t know how it happened; all I know is that it was enough to make poor Mama Ev turn in her grave. I pulled out the balsamic pork tenderloin just before it could fall through the shards. I lucked out. Or should I say, I was smart enough to wrap it in aluminum foil beforehand.

I couldn’t save the pan, but I did save the recipe for you. The aluminum foil not only prevented it from splattering all over my oven, but it also made the pork and vegetables so savory; so succulent. Make this meal, enjoy it, and keep yourself together if your dish falls apart.

Balsamic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin (Serves 4)


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • fresh rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper 

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper on all sides. This will help give it a tasty crust. 
  3. In a shallow frying pan over medium-high heat, sear the tenderloin in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it’s golden brown on all sides. 
  4. Remove the pork and set it aside to rest.
  5. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, then add your onions, carrots, celery and rosemary.
  6. When veggies start to cook down and stick to the pan, pour in the balsamic vinegar.
  7. Lower heat to a simmer. Allow the veggies to soften and the balsamic to thicken.
  8. Line a glass baking dish with two semi-long sheets of aluminum foil and fold the sides of the foil upward to make a pouch. 
  9. Carefully and slowly pour the balsamic vinegar reduction and vegetables into the foil pouch and nestle the pork tenderloin in between so it absorbs the juices. Wrap the sides of the foil over the top, leaving a slight gap so steam can escape. 
  10. Bake for 45 minutes per pound (e.g. if your pork tenderloin weighs two pounds, bake for about 90 minutes). Not sure if it’s done? Stick a meat thermometer in the center (or the thickest part). When it reaches 145° Fahrenheit, it’s ready. Wait a few minutes before slicing into the meat, though. You don’t want the juices to flow out; you’ll end up with parched pork.

For every piece of trash life throws at us, we’ll find at least one treasure. Mama Ev’s baking dish may be useless, but this superb supper and oh-so-strange kitchen saga are two sure-fire dinner party hits. 

If we stay calm amid chaos and find the funny in our misfortunes, we just might survive.


love holly



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