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Posts Tagged ‘best pork loin recipes’

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The time has once again moved forward an hour. When I was working full-time the “spring ahead” portion of daylight savings time was always a killer. For most of my life my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. When the time changed in spring, a precious 60 minutes of sleep disappeared over the horizon. Ironic how now, when I could sleep in until nine if the spirit moved me, I’m up staring at the ceiling at 4:15 thinking about my first cup of coffee. This morning the cat woke me up by licking my hair. What is up with that? Anyone else have a cat that displays this peculiar behavior?

I did a little research on cat licking after writing that last paragraph. Seems cats do this as a grooming ritual with those they consider peers. Nice to know she considers me part of the litter. Certainly I’m part of it once a week when I empty her box. Another hypothesis, as it must be considered such lest the article was penned from the feline’s point of view, is that some cats enjoy the taste of hair products. A suggestion offered by the writer to stop this habit was to remove your hair from the cat’s reach. Really? Now I’m not a Mensa card carrier, however, I’d like to think I’d have reached this conclusion on my own. With Boo, I suspect it would be the former rather than the latter. A very picky eater this cat. Yesterday I put a small scoop of wet cat food in her dish in lieu of her usual kibble. Wet food can be good for older cat’s digestive systems, or so I’ve read. After staring motionless at the bowl for five minutes she cast a long nasty look my direction and walked off in disgust. Sorry.

On a sadder and totally unrelated note, the world lost Stephen Hawking this week.  What an admirable human being and what amazing contributions to science he will leave behind.  Funny how some people seem so much further evolved than others. Always amazes me. Like super humans who tap into more of their brain power than we mere mortals are either capable of or choose to do. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to understand this phenomenon? Probably it will remain just another addition to the growing unanswered questions side of my life list.

Trapped by his disease for most of his adult life, he seemed to make peace with it. When asked by a reporter how he managed living with ALS,  he replied, “It gives me more time to think”.  Some people handle adversity with such grace and bravery it shames those of us busy concerning ourselves with poor cell phone reception or a pimple erupting  on our chin. Sometimes I think we can be dreadfully ungrateful as humans. Those of us fortunate enough to be able walk across the room, see where we are going while we do, and hear our children laugh should be able to find some joy in those precious gifts alone. Sounds simplistic I know. Just be happy. But, why not? With all that we have been given why is it many of us find happiness so elusive? Certainly drug manufacturers are making a fortune off of anti-anxiety medication and mood elevators. Perhaps it is because with all the beauty and joy in the world, the balance is sadness and diversity? Who knows.

Up in the middle of the night recently faced with a dismal selection on TV, I tuned in an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. Always interesting to see how the 1% spends fills their days. One of the stars featured had a massive home along with a serious shopping addiction. There were separate rooms set aside for a massive storehouse of clothes, shoes, jewelry and an assortment of colognes suitable for setting up a kiosk at the local mall. Amazing. Buy, buy, buy. How many pairs of pants does one human need? Truth is unless I’ve missed something you can only wear one pair at a time. What is lacking that pushes us to keep trying to fill the coffer?

Yet another example of life’s inequities. Why is it some people have so much abundance while others struggle to get by? Yin and Yang I would suppose. Balance, once again, in all things. On the opposite side of the coin from our celebrity hoarder was an article about food insecurity in the Sacramento area I read recently. This is a subject that interests me deeply as I am involved with our local food bank and the great work they do. The writer cited an impressive number of adults and children suffering from food insecurity in Northern California. These staggering numbers reflected only those names on the books, leaving the unreported as an additional uncounted for demographic. Such people are dealing with where their next meal is coming from, not which cologne to spray on themselves, a far different reality. People often ask about homeless people or those going to bed hungry, “why don’t they just change their lives”? When you are concerning yourself with meeting the basic human needs there is little energy left for propelling yourself forward or making the situation better. Many people live one paycheck from the street, and that has to be a terrifying place to be.

It is so easy to dwell on what you don’t have. People say “I would be happy if I had a boat”, or “winning the lottery would make my life perfect”.  If this criteria was the key to happiness why are Ferrari owners getting divorces, and lottery winners ending up in bankruptcy court or bickering with greedy relatives? Perhaps the key to being happy is focusing more energy on what you do have. The gifts in your life. There should be found much to celebrate for many of us. Food on our plates, clothes on our backs, a healthy family, a place to call home. In my world I get great joy out of my “near perfect moments”. I have spoken to these before. Moments bringing me to the brink of tears with their bounty, reminding me how glorious a place the earth can be to make your home.  Sitting in the warm sun on a hillside ablaze with wildflowers, digging my toes in the wet sand and watching the ocean, kissing a baby’s feet when they are fresh from the tub. In my case, I also find endless enchantment with the creatures sharing our planet. Boo and all the beasts that inhabit our world bring me pleasure each and every day. There is so much beauty available by simply walking out the door and looking around you.

So I will offer up this really delicious pork loin which definitely brought a smile to our faces. Luvin my Instant Pot these days. Aside from the shorter cooking time, cleaning up is one pot in the sink.

Instant Pot Mandarin Orange Pork Loin

1 peppercorn pork loin cut in half
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained reserving liquid
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. Tamari
3 Tbsp. hot (use Med. or Mild for less heat) chunky salsa

Brown pork in hot oil over med. high heat until seared on all sides. Place in Instant Pot.

Put all remaining ingredients except mandarin oranges in blender and puree until smooth. Pour over pork. Cook for 50 mins. on Meat/Stew setting under high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally. Remove pork and tent. Pour sauce into small saucepan. Simmer for 10 mins. Stir in 1/2 of the mandarin oranges (save the rest for a salad). Slice pork and pour sauce over top.

Serves 2-4

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