Feeding My Family // Entertaining

Tonight I cooked for my parents. I wanted to make them a nice meal as they contribute so much to our lives and often they just get a fleeting, albeit heart felt, thank you in passing. So I gave my mom two choices and I was stoked when she picked the Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin. I got the recipe from my year long meal plan (friend) and recalled it being delicious but I have only made it once probably close to five years ago so I was excited to do it again. You can find the link for the recipe on my “meal ingredient list” here making with so any other fabulous recipes or just go to it directly to it on the Simply Recipes page here, but I encourage you to print off and use that list as the awesome resource it is!

Entertaining Tip 1: choose a main course that bakes or simmers a while. This gives you time, precious time, to work on side dishes or do other prep work. You can clean up, finish cooking other components, decorate, or even just maintain some sanity with a recipe like this that has required baking time for an hour, or simmers a while on the stove.

So while the pork cooked and the cauliflower roasted, see my instagram story to see it all real time, I was able to get loads done.

– finish the sauce

– do my dishes

– set the table

– make the salad and a homemade dressing

– complete the cauliflower

– tidy a bit (otherwise read as hide the unfolded piles of clean laundry in my closet)

This left me fairly calm, cool, and collected when my guests arrived. I make soups, chilli, and bakes potatoes, when company is coming, for the same reason.

This “California Salad” is my most favorite, especially in summer. But when I saw my perfect avocado, on the verge of going bad I knew this was the perfect choice for tonight. It is just romaine (sometimes I use red leaf lettuce) with diced avocado and tomatoes. Then tossed with my mom’s famous California Salad Dresing. If you have been following along in the 31 days of feeding my family challenge than you know know a lot of my success, passion, and enjoyment of food and cooking I got from my mom. I even wrote about her a few days ago.

So without further ado here goes…

Wendy’s California Salad Dressing

Grab a mason jar with a lid and toss these ingredients in – shake and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. Wait until right before so it doesn’t get soggy and know that a little goes a long way.

1/4 cup oil (whatever you like, I use olive oil)

2 Tb seasoned white wine vinegar (I like it with tarragon or oregano)

2 Tb sugar

1/2 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp minced parsley (fresh or dry)

1/4 tsp Oregano (if dried rub between your fingers to release flavor since it’s not being cooked).

1/8 tsp black pepper

It was nice that the dressing, sauce, and cauliflower were all seasoned with parsley so they tied together nicely. And for this non-parsley gal it really was still tasty.

The sauce was made with butter, shallot, garlic, cream, dijon, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. I just poured it on a platter before laying the panko crusted pork tenderloin in it.


Toasted panko, olive oil, salt and pepper were pressed into the marinated pork tenderloin. It had soaked in buttermilk, dijon, salt, and brown sugar for an hour first.

Entertaining Tip 2: ask your guest(s) to bring something (keep it simple) or give them a suggestion if they offer. This lightens your load some and they feel good about contributing. I often suggest a salad or rolls since people can make or buy them pre made to keep it simple if they want to.


My mom offered so I asked her to grab rolls. She MADE her homemade yeast rolls that, to me, are so good they are like dessert. Her recipe is simple, and you can find it here. Our family makes these for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Easter.



I repeated the cauliflower recipe I made a few days ago. I just made a couple alterations. I cooked it at a slightly lower temp ( 375° ) for a little bit longer (1 hour instead of 40 min) so it could cook alongside the pork, and I added garlic powder on it with the salt and pepper during roasting.

Dinner was a huge hit. The kids loved the pork and cauliflower too.  Although they did dip it in a serious amount of ketchup. My dad gave the highest praise I think he’d Ever given me! Yahoo.

I know my guests felt spoiled which was the goal.

Entertaining Tip 3:  Keep it simple and make a recipe that you know and love. I happened to revisit a recipe I had only made once before. But, typically I suggest making a tried and true recipe for guests.

Entertaining Tip 4:  don’t sweat the small stuff. Your guests probably won’t even notice, and it’s never worth letting the small stuff stop you from entertaining.

Entertaining Tip 5:  ask for help. Maybe a friend can give you a recipe suggestion, or shoot me a message. I am always happy to help you select something for a table full of people, houseful, or a party.

What’s your favorite recipe to make for guests?  Any entertaining tips you can share?

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