Thursday, September 23, 2010

To Market, To Market


To market, to market, to buy a fat pig

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

That old children’s rhyme popped into my head as I was headed to the grocery store. And while I did not come home with a fat pig, I came home with a pork loin and lots of fruits and vegetables. If you missed my tablescape yesterday, here’s the menu for my family dinner to usher in fall:

Apple-Fennel Salad

Marinated Pork Loin

Fresh Mustard Greens

Wild Rice


Apple Dumplings with Vanilla Ice Cream


I found this recipe in last month’s Southern Living and my husband, the salad connoisseur pronounced it a “keeper”! The slight licorice flavor of the fennel bulb and the parsley give the salad a light and fresh taste, while the walnuts and apples provide the rich hearty flavors of fall. I’ve adapted it slightly.

Apple-Fennel Salad

1/2 cup coarsley chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 shallot or green onion, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Gala apple, cored, quartered and sliced thin

1 medium-size fennel bulb, sliced thin

1 celery rib, sliced thin

1 (5 oz. pkg.) arugula

1 cup loosely packed fresh flat Italian parsley leaves

Whisk together olive oil and next four ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange arugula on salad plate or platter. Top with desired amount of vinaigrette. Top with apple, fennel, celery, and parsley mixture which has been tossed with vinagrette. Top with toasted walnuts.

****personal note: Next time I might replace the arugula with mixed baby greens. It did not add that much extra flavor, in my opinion, and arugula is fairly expensive. I also doubled the vinaigrette recipe because my family tends to like a lot of dressing.


The dessert recipe appeared in my local paper yesterday in a column called Recipe Finder. Readers can write in to request or submit recipes. This was an answer to a request for apple dumplings previously served at a now defunct legendary local restaurant. It was offered as a substitute for the original recipe. What caught my attention is the surprise ingredient—Mountain Dew! Easy and delicious, this recipe was promptly added to the file! Once again, I have taken a few liberties with the recipe.

Apple Dumplings

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered

1 (8 ct.) pkg. crescent rolls

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ground cinnamon

8-12 ounces Mountain Dew soft drink

Unroll crescent roll dough. Divide into four sections. Wrap each section around an apple wedge pocket style and pinch edges to seal. Place in a greased baking dish. Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract and spoon over dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour Mountain Dew over dumplings. Baked in a preheated 350 degree oven 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

****personal note: The original recipe recommended using 1 crescent roll per apple quarter. I found this to be a bit miserly and used the equivalent of two rolls. I found seamless crescent roll dough and used that cut into quarters. Also, in my opinion, the vanilla ice cream is not optional---it’s a must :)!

corn bread

I must tell you—my claim to fame is my corn bread. Grown men have been know to whisper in my ear, “this is better than my mother’s. Please don’t tell her I said so” :) If you’d like the recipe, you can find it here. Also, the marinade we use for pork loin is very good. We love it on shish kebab and thick pork chops for grilling. You can find that recipe in one of my very first posts here.


I am joining Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Click on her button on my sidebar for transportation. I am also linking to our sweet Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for My Favorite Things on Saturday. This menu is truly one of our favorite things. You can join Laurie on Saturday here.


Thanks for stopping by! The good news: I’m over my guilt about not feeding my family. The bad news: I’m still cleaning the kitchen :) Happy Fall!~~Susan


  1. Yummmmm!!! I'll have to try these recipes! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you very much for these delicious recipes. The only thing better would be an invitation to the dinner!!


  3. Thanks for the recipes. I clicked over to your cornbread recipe because I've also gotten lots of compliments on mine. I, too, use an iron skillet. I didn't inherit mine, but I did buy it in the '70's and have been using it ever since. My cornbread is probably more fattening than yours. For the equivalent ingredients, I use 1/2 stick butter melted in the skillet as the oven pre-heats. Then I pour the melted butter into the batter before pouring the batter into the skillet. Yummmm.

  4. Everything sounds delicious, Susan. I've always wanted to try making apple dumplings. This seems like a prize winning recipe! Thanks!

    Oh, great, mouth watering pictures! ;-D


  5. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I'll be making some of thoe apple dumplings. Yum! ~ Sarah

  6. Oh man!!!! I'm sitting here, wondering what to make for dinner, and you're making my mouth water! Looks delicious!

  7. Susan,
    YOur meal absolutely screams "Autumn"! I am going to try every single one.
    Look for your wonderful apple fenel salad on StoneGable's menu next week.
    And those apple dumplings!!!! I usually make them with puffed pastry, but I am trying your delicious sounding sweet treat!
    Thanks for these fall dishes! 2 YUMMIES up!
    xo Yvonne

  8. Oh it looks so good. I will definitely have to try these recipes. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  9. I had my healthy dinner of salad with low fat dressing and chicken, and thought I was satisfied - until I opened this post !!!! :-D
    One of many reasons I don't cook any more than I do - I DO NOT want the clean up. Judging from the wonderful recipes and dishes you have prepared and shared with us, your family is very well fed!
    Get some rest - You deserve it! :D

  10. Your menu sounds delicious...the salad does seem like a keeper, yummy!

  11. What a wonderful meal. And what a wonderful dessert. How unusual - it sure looks yummy. I have lots of apples this year, so this would be a great one to try and I have plenty of Mountain Dew fanatics.

  12. I am not a big salad eater but I want some of that ice cream with apple dumplings, Susan....Christine

  13. Dinner looks great! And I know what you mean about doing the dishes:@)

  14. Susan, I'm stealing your recipes...the dessert looks wonderful and I've so been wanting a good cornbread recipe. That pic at the end make me LOL. Sooo funny! Thank goodness for dishwashers...the ELECTRIC kind. :)

  15. I will try these! My husband loves apples...anything apples! He will LOVE the dumplings! Coming over from Laurie's 'A Few of My Favorite Things!' I posted a Fruity Wassail yum for cool fall nights!

  16. The salad sounds very yummy. I find that that arugula has to very very fresh and of good quality to get the proper peppery bite to make a real difference in salads. Its my favorite raw leafy green though.

  17. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing these recipes, everything sounds so delicious and I look forward to trying some of these.

    Happy weekend

  18. Oh, that salad looks devine and the apple dumplings -- YUM!!


  19. Your recipes sound delicious, love the shot of you doing the dishes.

  20. Hi Susan,
    I am transporting over to see your corn bread recipe. I haven't made that in awhile.
    One apple? How many does that make?
    I used those acorn pans I got so cheap last year at Bill's. Come over and peek!

  21. Yum! The salad looks delicioius. I make that apple dumpling recipe frequently - so easy and delicious. When I'm asked for the recipe, someone always says "did you say Mountain Dew?" I'm so glad you linked this to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

  22. Hi Susan,

    I would like to be coming to dinner at your house, the menu sounds divine. Many thanks for sharing the recipes. Oh yes, the cleaning of dishes and the kitchen after a dinner party, can be a big job.

    Happy week

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