Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin

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I only have one sibling– a sister. Which means that in our little family of four my dad was the odd man out. I never thought about that much growing up, but since I’m the mom of three boys it has occurred to me that I’m the odd one now.

Growing up I took it for granted that someone would be around to ask opinions about outfits. “Do these shoes go with these pants? Should I wear this scarf?” Either my mom or sister would be around, and they would know just what to say. They always told me if something looked wrong and could even lend me something of theirs if I needed it.

Now I am completely without female help or advice. If I ask my husband about an outfit he looks at me like a deer in the headlights and I can almost hear him thinking, “Oh no. What do I say?” I know he means well, but he just doesn’t have female instincts. One time he actually said, “Uh, I don’t know. Is that a style now?” Ouch.

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About a year ago I realized how much I was missing spending time with my mom and sister. Not just for outfit advice, but to be with other women who could understand stuff I was going through because they had been there too. So I organized monthly “ladies nights” for the three of us. We have gone out for brunch, seen movies that our husbands wouldn’t want to see, gotten pedicures, and gone shopping.

For one of our recent get togethers we went to a free cooking class at our local Williams-Sonoma store. The theme of the class was “cooking with apples.” This recipe was one that we learned how to make. It is pretty simple and perfect for fall. My mom makes her own apple butter, so I used hers when I made this. When I cook this it reminds me of my mom and sister and all of the fun times we have had.

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Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin (adapted from a recipe from a Williams-Sonoma cooking class)

1 pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim any excess fat off of the tenderloin. In a small bowl mix together the salt, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and sugar. Rub the spice mixture all over the tenderloin and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the apple butter, vinegar, garlic powder and hot sauce. Set aside.

Heat the oil in an oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the tenderloin. Let the tenderloin brown on one side (this should take about 5 minutes). Turn the tenderloin over and brown the other side.

Spoon the apple butter glaze over the top and sides of the tenderloin. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check the temperature of the pork– it should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. (If it isn’t up to temperature, bake for a few minutes longer.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves: 3-4

Time: 40 minutes

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