Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin

Our Thanksgiving was so wonderful! Brett and I ventured to Kansas City on Wednesday night and stayed with his parents through Saturday morning. We celebrated Thanksgiving with his dad’s family on Thursday…and what a spread it was!

Friday morning, my mother-in-law Ellen and I woke up at 5:00 am to hit the Black Friday sales. This was officially my first big Black Friday. Last year we were ten days away from closing on a house, so we were pretty cautious about our spending. This year we’ve been having way too much fun! Kohl’s was without a doubt the best place to score deals. I don’t want to give too much away because some of you readers are getting gifts from me, but I will say this: every year, my company has an “Angel Tree” with hundreds of Salvation Army requests from families. I believe last year, nearly 800 Angels were fulfilled. I always get so excited to choose my Angel, and spend more on them than I do on any of my family or friends. This year, I found an Angel who asked for bath towels. I would like you to take a moment and think to yourself: if you could ask for ONE thing for Christmas – ONE thing – and the answer was bath towels, imagine how truly in need this person is. Clean, soft bath towels are their only wish.

So, while perusing Black Friday adds on Thanksgiving Day, I noticed that Kohl’s was selling “The Big One” bath towels for SUPER cheap. Large bath towels for $2.99, hand towels for $1.99, and wash clothes for $0.99. When we arrived at Kohl’s at 5:45 am on Friday, I made a bee-line for the towels and chose a big assortment in beautiful colors. The rest of the day we shopped for family, friends, and ourselves, but I am so happy that I was able to start my day off the “right” way, thinking about someone in need.

With the holiday spirit in mind, here is a delicious pork recipe that would be perfect for any sit-down holiday dinner. The apple butter gives this pork a very moist texture, and the apple flavor carries through the entire tenderloin. Every single bite was flavorful! I served this with green beans and sauteed sweet potatoes (cut up a few peeled sweet potatoes and simmer with a bit of water, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until tender.)

Happy Holidays!

Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin – adapted from Apple Butter Pork Loin on allrecipes.com

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 C apple juice
1/2 C apple butter
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (don’t leave this out!)

Preheat oven to 375. Season trimmed tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place tenderloin in a roasting pan (which keeps it mostly out of the juices.) If you don’t have a roasting pan, use a “makeshift” by rolling up pieces of foil into narrow strips and placing the pork on top. Pour apple juice into pan. Whisk together last 4 ingredients. Baste the top of the tenderloin with half of the apple butter mixture.  Bake 25 minutes, and flip tenderloin. Baste again with remaining apple butter. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees. (no thermometer? Juices should run clear and no pink remaining in meat.)

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