How can you save money on groceries, save time in your day, and still please the whole family? With a recipe that takes advantage of a cheaper cut of meat by cooking it all day in the crockpot, making for an easy dinner when you get home in the evening.

My oldest son LOVES pork loin, and when he saw a pork loin roast on sale in the paper, he began waving the ad in front of me. “Please, mom, please will you get this?” You’d think I never fed the boy meat, but he is a teen after all, so any meal eaten more than ten minutes before doesn’t count.

I realized at the store that this was a loin roast and not the pork loin that I usually buy on sale. Nonetheless, for $1.78 a pound, I was willing to experiment.

Since this son is gluten-intolerant, I have to adapt many recipes to make them work for our dinner table. In an online search, I found two recipes that sounded great. I took my favorite ingredients from each, eliminated the flour, and a new family hit was created:

Crockpot Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Roast

1 pork loin roast

1c. brown sugar

1 T. Dijon mustard

2 T. apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic

1/2 t. chili powder

1 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1/2 t. cumin

1t. cinnamon

Place the pork loin roast in a crockpot. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl to form a thick paste. Rub it all over the roast, set the crockpot to cook for 8 hours, and you’re done.

In the evening, I cooked up some rice in the rice cooker and heated some vegetables to go with it. The roast in its own juices over the rice was great, but if you like a thicker gravy, you could add some cornstarch or flour just before serving.

If you try it, let me know what your family thinks!

Get out your party hats; it’s time for a celebration! Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate and Almonds Day. I don’t know who came up with that idea, but it seems like a grand excuse to enjoy a delectable dessert. In searching for a yummy recipe to try, I came across one that serves two purposes. First, it contains the required ingredients, bittersweet chocolate and almonds; and second, it is a nearly flourless torte. What is the purpose in finding a flourless torte, you may ask. Well, my oldest son must eat a gluten-free diet and so I am always in search of delicious recipes that are easy to adapt for him. If you’ve never had to deal with a gluten intolerance, let me just tell you that almost everything prepackaged in the grocery store contains gluten or flour in some form or another. Finding gluten-free alternatives for a teenage boy is no small task. So, I was very excited to discover this easy to follow recipe. It contains only three tablespoons of flour, which can easily be substituted with three tablespoons of rice flour. This is a gooey, fudgy cake that goes great with vanilla ice cream. It doesn’t take long to prepare and your friends and family will be impressed! On that note, I am delighted to share a scrumptious recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Cake.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Cake

Bon Appétit | May 1999

by Michel Depardon, St.-Rémy, France

yield: Serve 10 to 12


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Finely grind 1/2 cup almonds, flour and salt in processor. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until thick, about 2 minutes. Fold in almond mixture, then chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (center will fall). Press edges down with fork to level top. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Cut around cake; remove pan sides. Beat cream in large bowl to firm peaks. Mound cream atop cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup almonds.