Cerdo al Caramelo (Pork Loin with Caramel Sauce)

This is another recipe taken from My Colombian Recipes.  This was our main dish for Thanksgiving 2011!

Serves 6


  • 3 pounds boneless pork loin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups grated panela or brown sugar
2 cinnamon stick
Pinch ground cloves


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grind together the garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture over the pork and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

3. Place the pork in a pot and add 5 cups of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

4. Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and set aside. Add the cinnamon sticks, melted butter, brown sugar or panela, and ground cloves to the cooking liquid. Mix well and add the mixture to the pork.

5. Cook for 30, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads exactly 138 degrees. Add more water if necessary.

6. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Arrange the meat on a platter and pour the sauce on top.

7. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm.


Scott’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I have a creamy mashed potato recipe already posted that is great, but it also requires baking after the mashing – kind of like a twice baked mashed potato.  I didn’t want to spent an extra 20 minutes baking, so I went to work modifying a standard mashed potato recipe.  They claim this recipe SERVES 6.  I guess maybe if seconds aren’t allowed and you control portions, but this served four and people were upset when we ran out.  This is a simple mashed potato recipe that I modified to make creamy mashed potatoes.  Definitely in the rotation!  (P.S. – Definitely not Lent compliant).

  • 2 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Dash pepper


  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for25 minutes or until very tender.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Add milk, butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.
  4. Add sour cream and whip until creamy

Crock Pot Chicken Breasts

This is a new recipe I came across when I was trying to figure out a quick way to cook up some chicken breasts without needing my contant attention. Crock pot I thought!  Found this recipe on cooks.com.  I substituted provolone cheese for Swiss cheese, and to be honest, none of the low fat ingredients in the recipe went into my crock pot.

I made this with 5 chicken breasts, but used 6 pieces of cheese to cover the chicken thoroughly.

Serves 4 when teenagers are involved

Prep Time – <10 minutes


  • 6 boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 slices of low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c. low-fat milk
  • 2 c. Stovetop Stuffing Mix
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted


  1. Lightly grease crockpot or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place chicken breasts in pot.
  3. Top with cheese.
  4. Combine soup and milk (make sure stirring well).
  5. Spoon soup mic over cheese; sprinkle with stuffing mix.
  6. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing mix.
  7. Cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 4-6 hours.