On New Year’s Eve we hosted a party of 8 (including us).  This group of dear friends has celebrated this holiday, and several others, throughout the year with great success.  It’s a party of 4 couples that share a history of our children growing up together, life in the same neighborhood and just a magical connection that seems to work.  There are always lots of laughs and plenty of lively discussions but the bottom line is that we have so much fun when we’re all together.  Do you have friends and/or family like that?

Since it was my turn to host the event (we used to do a progressive dinner but have all decided it’s easier to stay in one person’s home and allow each couple to bring appetizer, soup and/or salad, and dessert, with the hosting couple providing the main menu) and because I was recovering from a glorious Christmas with son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter from Austin, I decided to keep the menu relatively easy, thanks to Pioneer Woman! (I love so many of her recipes).

I thought I’d share the recipes with you since they turned out to be very tasty and very make-ahead simple, as well as my table setting for the meal.  I realize we’re all a little “over” the holiday themed decorations and table settings but I want to share this since I believe it adds something to the story…and because I don’t have any original photos of my two recipes I’m providing.  ~side note:  I have signed up for a photography class in late February, maybe there will be better photography associated with my site in the future~

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Preserves






Added by Ree on September 15, 2011 in Main Courses, Pork

Prep Time 5 Minutes ~ notice the prep time?  How great is that?

Cook Time 15 Minutes Servings 12 Difficulty: Easy



2 whole Pork Tenderloins

Salt And Pepper, to taste

8 Tablespoons Herbs De Provence (more If needed)

1 cup Preserves (fig, Peach, Plum) ~ I used fig.

1 cup Water ~ I used 1 tablespoon of water, in a previous run on the recipe I found 1 cup to make the fig preserves too watery.

1 Tablespoon Vinegar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 425. Season pork tenderloins liberally with salt and pepper, then with Herbs de Provence, pressing to get the herbs to adhere to the pork ~I did this in advance and put the tenderloins in the ‘fridge covered; I took them out about 2 hours before they were to go in the oven.

Place the pork on a rack or in a large skillet ~I used a large skillet~ and roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (or until no longer pink; 165 degrees from the thickest portion of the tenderloin) ~it took my oven 25 minutes, it may have  been because my tenderloins were quite large. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While the pork is resting, combine preserves, water, and vinegar in a small pan and bring to a simmer ~I did this in advance and left it in a small pan on the stove, reheated it just before serving.

Slice pork into thick pieces, then spoon the sauce/glaze over the slices. Serve with mashed potatoes, grits…anything you’d like!


I also made my old standard “Scalloped Potatoes” that can be made a day ahead and reheated (after bringing to room temperature) just before serving.

Yukon Gold Gratin



  • 3 ½ pounds medium Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled
  • and cut into 1/8” slices ~ I use my knife, if you have a Mandoline
  • it will make the task easier
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth*
  • 2 cups heavy cream* ~ or half and half, but the cooking time
  • may have to be adjusted to allow the half and half to cook down
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°.  Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Sprinkle garlic over bottom of dish.  Arrange ¼ of the potatoes in dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Continue with layers until you’ve used all

potatoes, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper between each layer.

Pour broth, then cream and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dot with butter.

Cover and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional

30 minutes or until someone golden on top.  At this point if you’re serving the dish the next day, cover and

refrigerate; preheat oven to 350° and bake for 30 minutes (if room temperature), 45 minutes if cold.


*I have used less than 2 cups of each broth and cream, I allow the broth and cream, combined, to come up to about the halfway point on the baking dish, or a little higher before covering and

cooking.  Also, if you are feeling especially daring, you can add cheese of choice to the layers and/or the top of the dish.  I will say the cream and broth creates a very nice cheesy texture to the dish without the cheese.

I served the meal with fresh green beans that had been blanched and seasoned.  Pretty easy and always a hit…try this menu  for one of your winter parties, I think you and your guests will enjoy!