Homemade Mojo Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients for homemade Mojo

Ingredients for homemade Mojo

My mommy (yes, I still call her mommy and I’m 35 years old!) makes the best pernil in the world! Pernil is a pork shoulder picnic roast that is marinaded in mojo (say mo-ho with a spanish accent) and cooked at a low temperature in the oven for several hours. The meat is scrumptious and just falls apart!

I have not personally mastered the art of making pernil. I haven’t even tried. I do have a growing stash of pork tenderloins that I’ve scored great deals on and they are taking up space in my little freezer. It’s not quite the same as a giant roast, but nevertheless, my mommy suggested I marinate a pork tenderloin with mojo and throw it in the slow cooker.

So I did.

Only I didn’t use the bottled mojo like my mom does.

I’m the crazy homemade lady so I decided to make my own. It was time consuming but worth it.

Here’s the link to the mojo recipe I used.

http://www.food.com/recipe/traditional-cuban-recipe-cuban-mojo-cuban-marinade-148976

Here are the changes I made:
I didn’t use peppercorns. The bottle at the store was almost $4 and quite honestly, I never use peppercorns. Shhh… I don’t like the grind your own pepper thingamajiggies. I know, I know… I said above I’m crazy. 🙂 But in a good way. Anyway, I subbed ground black pepper for the peppercorns. And I did make the soured orange juice with the addition of two freshly squeezed lemons.

The mojo recipe yielded three cups of mojo. I did not need that much. I used one cup and froze the other two cups.

Here’s how I made our Mojo Pork Tenderloin:

Ingredients:
1 cup of homemade Mojo (see above link)
1 Pork Tenderloin
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Directions:
1. Put the tenderloin in the crockpot. My tenderloin was mostly defrosted but not completely. Sprinkle the top of the tenderloin with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pour 1/2 cup of the mojo on the tenderloin.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. My crockpot has pre-determined times as my only options so I cooked it for 6 hours on high. If you have the time, low is better. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the tenderloin over and pour another 1/2 cup of the mojo on the pork.
3. When the tenderloin is ready, shred the pork in a bowl with two forks.
4. Either mix the shredded pork back into the crockpot with the drippings and cooked marinade or make a gravy with the drippings from the crockpot.
5. To make gravy: Scoop out the drippings from the crockpot and put in a medium sized pan. In another bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Mix well. Add the cornstarch water to the drippings. Heat on medium low and mix well until the mixture resembles gravy. You may have to add water to thin out the gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve the gravy over the pork.

There you have it… my not quite pernil but a little taste of home mojo pork tenderloin.

***Updated Notes***
Since originally posting this recipe, I have made a few changes. I added one cube of my homemade sofrito. (Click here for the recipe.) I also turned the pork tenderloin several times throughout the day and basted it with the liquids with each turn. I then shredded the tenderloin in the slow cooker and let the pork soak up all of the juices and flavor. Oh my! It was even better this way!!!

Yes, the recipe uses 3 HEADS of garlic!!

Yes, the recipe uses 3 HEADS of garlic!!

 

Making Mojo

Making Mojo

 

Pork Tenderloin in the Crockpot

Pork Tenderloin in the Crockpot

This marinade would be equally delicious with pork chops. Marinate and then grill…Mmmmm… I must make that next!

Happy Mojo-ing!!! 🙂

Grab ‘n Go Snacks (Dairy and Egg Free!)

“Everyone bring a snack!”

“Let’s have a bring your own lunch picnic!”

“Our classes have snack time.”

My view of food has completely changed since finding out SG is allergic to dairy and eggs. When I hear those phrases above, I know I have to speak up and ask if I can bring snacks for everyone. And for my friends not to bring anything. It is so worth it to have SG included AND safe. And it’s totally awesome when friends volunteer to bring safe snacks to share! My friends ROCK!!!

Here’s a list of safe snacks I’ve compiled. Please share this post and save it for later. You never know when you might make friends like us and need this list. 🙂

If you’re new to food allergies and aren’t quite sure what store bought snacks are dairy and egg free, this is the list for you.

As always, please read every label, every time.  Companies can and do change recipes and ingredients.

This is our “grab and go” safe snack list. It is BRAND SPECIFIC. If you buy the generic Oreos, they may contain milk (I’ve read that some generic Oreos do have milk!)

Enjoy!

Oreos- Regular chocolate and double stuffed chocolate, Golden Oreos (regular and double stuffed)

Kraft and HyVee brand marshmallows

Rold Gold pretzel sticks and twists

Dole Raisins (These are super plump and amazing!)

Florida’s Natural Organic Fruit Snacks, “Fruit Grove Nuggets” and “Berrilicious Nuggets”

GoGo squeeZ Applesauce Pouches

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars “Oats ‘n Honey”

Simply Balanced Strawberry Fruit Strips

Plain Cheerios

All Enjoy Life products (They are free of the top 8 allergens.)

Original Ritz Crackers

Mott’s Natural Applesauce

Honey Maid Graham Crackers: Chocolate and Honey

Honey Maid Teddy Grahams: Honey, Chocolate, and Chocolate Chip

Pop Tarts: Frosted and Unfrosted Strawberry and Blueberry

Dole Fruits in Plastic Cups: Peaches, Apples, Pears, Mandarin Oranges & Pineapple

Fresh Fruit & Veggies
(Please note: It’s best if a fruit isn’t cut at someone’s house other than the food allergy parent. Cross contamination can occur and make the fruit unsafe. CC can come from a cutting board, knife, colander, the parent touching an allergen then cutting fruit, etc. It’s best to bring a “pre-packaged” fruit or veggie like cuties, bananas, baby carrots in the unopened bag, etc.)

Candy: Smarties, Starburst, Skittles, Dum-Dums, and Starburst Jelly Beans.

We are always looking for more safe snacks.

Please comment below with any other dairy and egg free snacks that you have discovered. Thanks so much!

Our Safe Snack Box

Our Safe Snack Box

 

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Food Allergy Awareness Week: My Mommy Confessions

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It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week. Maybe you already know that food allergies affect 1 in every 13 children under the age of 18 years old in the United States. I’m not going to wow you with a bunch of facts. I’m going to let you know more about us. And how food allergies affect our lives.

So here are my ramblings and confessions about our life and food allergies:

1. We don’t want to be different. Oh, we don’t want to. But we are. We didn’t ask for this lifestyle. We only do what we have to do to keep our child safe.

2. We are not crazy. Yes, sometimes I feel crazy. Or “cray cray”, as SG has come to say.

3. We are not out to ruin anyone’s traditional treats and foods. Birthday cupcakes at school or traditional holiday foods can be DEADLY to children with food allergies. There are plenty of fun, new and safe ways to celebrate birthdays and holidays. You may have to forego a store bought cupcake or that famous mac and cheese or pecan pie, but really, isn’t it worth it to have a loved one with you? We only want to be included in a way that’s safe.

4. That last sentence bears repeating. We want to be included. Food allergies don’t have to define our lives. We live with food allergies. It’s a part of us. But it doesn’t have to define us or isolate us. But sadly, sometimes it does.

5. Our church- a biblical church based on Jesus Christ as Savior- has been amazing! SG is well cared for. Her class all has safe snacks and all kids get wiped with baby wipes. The church has been so wonderful in accommodating our special needs. And the people… the people… they have stood in the gap for us. They have sat with me when I cried and poured out my heart about some difficulties and struggles due to life with food allergies. And then they have touched my heart so deeply and invited us into their homes. Y’all, you just don’t know how much these sweet Christ loving people have touched our hearts. They have shown me the love of Christ in real and tangible ways. You know who you are. And thank you. You are loved.

6. We don’t go out to eat as a family. I have learned to bake and cook. When we first got married, I received an apron that said “Domestically Challenged” and I’m proud to say that is no longer true. While I’m not a chef, I’ve learned I can throw down some good homemade food!

7. I love Vegans. We, however, are not Vegan. But I’ve learned to search “Vegan” whatever and tons of safe and yummy recipes pop up. They have already substituted in baking for me. And we love Vegan products! Hello Daiya cheese & Earth Balance products! SG would never be able to enjoy “cheese” like goodness if it weren’t for all the yummy Vegan products out there. Thanks y’all!!!

8. Worrying is not a good thing and a sin. Yup. I struggle with worry. I’ve found some verses about worry that I’ve highlighted in my Bible.


“But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands…”
Psalm 31:14-15 (NIV)

“…and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
Acts 17:26b (NIV)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

Food allergies have exposed this sin of worrying and is a reminder daily to trust The Lord with this very precious gift of a child He has given me to raise up. I sometimes struggle balancing doing my part in keeping SG safe and just plain ole worrying.

But then I remind myself,

“God has my times in His hands. He has SG’s times in His hands. I have to be responsible for certain things like her diet and right now her environment, but The Lord has our times in His hands. Worrying will not change that. Trust The Lord. Trust The Lord!!”

9. Food allergies can wear on marriages. Mine has remained strong- and actually, been strengthened by our standing side by side together. We are in this together. I’m thankful for a man who has agreed to keep our house free of dairy and eggs to keep our daughter safe. I know that isn’t always the case and I’m so blessed that we are united in our decisions.

10. Sometimes I get jealous when I see a family eating ice cream. I feel cheated somehow. The moment is fleeting. I’m glad for that. I don’t want to give in to jealousy. I know that’s a sin. Sometimes I get tired of cooking all the time and wish we could go out to eat as a family without worry or stress. Then I snap to my senses and look at the beautiful little reason I’ve given all that up. For six long years we tried and failed to have a baby… until on our very last try we conceived our precious child. Who happens to have food allergies. She is worth it. Who cares, really, about ice cream from an ice cream shop? I have a precious child who is worth every single sacrifice I make.

We are just normal people trying to lead a safe and normal life.

So there you have it- my random thoughts and confessions for Food Allergy Awareness Week.