Post from my blog 2 years ago:

I have begun the preliminary process of putting Christmas together in our pied-à-terre with the thriftiest of purchases possible (the majority under $5 and some of it costing nothing); things already milling about the apartment; and a pair of garden shears. This not only ensures that I do not overextend my budget, but that I shun the temptation to go the garish route. With a few well placed items and minimal embellishment, you too can create charming vignettes in every niche of your home (and by you, I mean all 6 of my followers)!

If you don a hooded sweatshirt and some sunglasses and take an early morning stroll through your neighborhood (when major business establishments have not yet opened), you can snip a small sampling of landscape varieties and tuck them nonchalantly into a darling $1.99 Trader Joe’s reusable tote.  With a bundle of conifer studded evergreen branches, flowering jade segments, berry-laden fern spangles and a $1.99 silvery ornament from Target (despite a boyfriend’s irksome peace sign hand gesturing), one can create an elegant holiday door swag culled from the catalog pages of Pottery Barn.
Excavate some loose change from the recesses of Grandma’s chintz slip-covered sofa and visit your local Goodwill store. There, you will surely unearth an assortment of interesting vessels that will prettify an otherwise humdrum potted plant. This $3.49 miniature tree from the supermarket was deposited directly into a $2.99 sterling silver urn without much ado, rendering the dining table ready to make festive anything one should splay atop it.
Gather any small ornaments from Christmas past or present and impale the open top side with a short skewer to resemble a lollipop, insert and make merry a windowsill with $.99 decorative kale in a $.99 painted terra cotta pot.
A gorgeous scalloped bowl that I snagged smugly for $3.99 (based on a random woman’s urging that it is so me because I look like a classy gal) is inviting enough to eat the glossy and matte glass baubles that have been substituted over lackluster bananas and kiwi fruit.  The bedouin, jeweled snowflake with the peacock feather pompadour — half off at Michael’s for $2.49 — sits atop an existing long-necked Christmas color themed vase.
After a day’s worth of thrifting and decorating, you will no doubt be famished. A pork loin (the other white meat) butterflied; rolled up with sage dressing; and roasted in the oven is a super easy, moist and delicious early supper.

I realize it’s been a week since Thanksgiving, but I had stuffing and yams to clear out of the cupboard that could be whipped up in a jiffy. Accented by fresh haricot vert and a cranberry sauce that I simmered with a sublime, organic peach butter courtesy of Backyard in a Jar, and it was holiday feast written all over again.

Stuffed Roast Pork Loin

  • 1 package pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 sage leaf chiffonade (cut into thin strips)
  • 1 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 1 small package stuffing mix

Preheat oven to 375 F.

  • Butterfly pork tenderloin and pat dry.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt butter.  Add celery, onion and sage until softened.  Add chicken stock until simmering.  Add stuffing mix until completely moistened.
  • Spoon half of stuffing mixture onto butterflied pork loin and spread out. Reserve other half to serve as a side. Roll up pork loin and secure with toothpicks.
  • Place in oven safe pan and roast for 45 minutes uncovered.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes under foil and cut into slices.

Corky Nepomuceno

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Corky Nepomuceno has 64 post(s) on Fullerton Foundry