Brenda McClain is a Frustrated Cook, Blogger and Art Gallery Director. Contact her by email: Find more at; or

Pork Tenderloin with Fruit and Sweet Potatoes


1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

2 medium sweet potatoes, quartered lengthwise

2 medium Gala apples, cored and/or 4 Plouts, quartered

1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 lb pork tenderloin

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Heat oven to 425°F.

Grease large, rimmed sheet pan. (We save

butter wrappers to grease baking sheets.)

In a large bowl, mix melted butter, sage, salt, and pepper.

Add sweet potatoes, fruit, and onion; toss to coat. Using tongs or slotted spoon, transfer to pan in single layer.

Add pork to bowl with the mixture, and toss to coat.

Add to pan with sweet potatoes and fruit. Roast approximately 25 minutes or until pork is no longer pink (145°F) and potatoes are fork-tender.

Heat maple syrup in a 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, just to boiling. Immediately reduce heat to low; cook 7 to 8 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Set aside.

Slice pork, and divide among four plates. Divide potato and fruit mixture on top of pork; drizzle with maple syrup. Top with pecans.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad


1 medium tomato, cut into 6 slices S

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


On two salad plates, arrange tomato slices in a circle, slightly overlapping. Top with cucumber. Sprinkle salt over tomatoes and cucumber.

Buttery Brown Bread with Rosemary


1 cup very warm water (120°F to 130°F)

1/4 cup instant nonfat dry skim milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/4 teaspoons regular active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ white whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 to 5 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves -- If you don't have any, we have enough for both of us - email me.


In bowl of electric stand mixer, place water, dry milk, sugar, oil, salt and yeast. With paddle attachment, mix until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the flour; beat with paddle attachment to combine. Add another 1 cup flour; beat to combine.

Replace paddle attachment with dough hook; increase speed to medium. Beat in just enough remaining flour until dough is slightly sticky but pulls away from side of bowl. (You might have to add more than 2 1/2 cups flour total, but try not to go over too much). With mixer, knead 5 to 6 minutes, or knead 10 minutes by hand, or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in lightly greased bowl; cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place (80°F to 85°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat just until it turns brown; set aside. Lightly grease 8x4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray; set aside.

Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 14x9-inch rectangle. Brush dough with browned butter; sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Fold 1/2 inch of long sides up over butter. Starting with one short side, roll up dough being careful to keep sides tucked in. Pinch seam to seal with slightly wet fingers. Place pan; cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove plastic wrap; bake about 30 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Remove from pan to cooling rack; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Nutella Cheesecake Bars



One pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ cookie mix double chocolate chunk

Vegetable oil, water, and egg called for with cookie mix pouch


2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Nutella™ hazelnut spread with cocoa

2 eggs

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla


1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Chopped toasted hazelnuts, miniature white or semi-sweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix Crust ingredients with spoon until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool 10 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl frequently. Beat in hazelnut spread. Add two eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended. Beat in 2 tablespoons cream and the vanilla. Spread evenly over cooled crust.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Cool 30 minutes on cooling rack.

In 2-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and 1/2 cup whipping cream over low heat, stirring until chips are completely melted and smooth.

Carefully pour and spread topping over filling.

Sprinkle immediately with nuts or chips. Refrigerate two hours or until cooled completely. Cut into eight rows by three rows.