Easy Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe Will Wow Everyone!

Easy Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe!

Stuffed and Studded Pork Loin

Wow everyone with this Easy Stuffed Pork Loin recipe!  It is easy enough to make for a family dinner but impressive enough for entertaining.  I usually make a 2 pound stuffed pork loin but the photos are of a 4 pound stuffed pork loin so the recipe is easy to adjust for the number of servings you need.  

Quick Tip:

Be sure to get a pork loin roast — not a pork tenderloin.  

Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe:


Easy Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe
  • 2 lb Pork Loin
  • 1½ cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Feta Cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Slice the pork loin down the middle but do not cut through the other side. Lay open.
  3. Brush the inside of the pork loin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay the fresh baby spinach leaves down the inside of the loin. Sprinkle with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Chop 2 of the cloves of garlic and sprinkle on top of the stuffing.
  6. Fold the top over the stuffing and using twine, tie the loin together.
  7. Place in a Pyrex dish ( if roasting a 2 lb loin) OR on a roasting pan ( if roasting a 4 lb loin). Brush with additional olive oil and lightly sprinkle the outside of the loin with additional salt and pepper.
  8. Cut the remaining 4 cloves of garlic into halves. With a sharp knife, make small "pockets" or slits alternately down the outside of the pork loin. Insert the garlic clove halves into the slits.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. ( I like to bring the pork loin to 160 degrees and check with an instant read thermometer).
  10. Remove from oven and "tent" with foil for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Step-By-Step Photos:


Stuffed and Studded Pork Loin Ingredients


Here’s how to slice the pork loin open…

Fillet the Pork Loin


Pork Loin


Now just brush with some good olive oil and layer the stuffing ingredients on one side of the loin…

Brush pork loin with olive oil


Stuffing the pork loin


Now fold over the top of the loin and tie it with twine…

Tie the pork loin


Slice the rest of the garlic cloves in half.  Make “pockets” or slits alternately down the outside of the pork loin .  Insert the garlic clove halves into the slits.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes per pound.  Remove from the oven and “tent” with foil for 10 minutes or so before slicing.

Tent the pork loin

Try these other Make Life Special pork recipes:

Prizewinning Pulled Pork Recipe

Love Me Tender-Loin

Easy Entertaining Tips From Joan Lunden


Looking for some easy entertaining tips?  Here are Joan Lunden’s tips for success:

Here is the segment from my interview with Joan Lunden about entertaining in your home with ease .  Joan shared lots of great ideas!

Joan:  I love to entertain in my home.

Vickie:  I do too.

Joan:  And everything is at our house.  Everyone’s birthday, every holiday …you name it… it happens at our house.  And part of that is because I love to do it. Also, all of my aunts and my mother-in-law…everybody…they all come in the door and they say, “ I don’t know how you do this!  You WORK!….You’ve got little kids….and  how do you do this!”   “ How do you put together 5 tables for 36 people …they are all decorated! “   I can do this because I anticipate it.  I go out after a holiday when things are on sale … you know…just some Saturday when I don’t have to go to three soccer games.  Ha Ha! I look for those times and I go out and I buy little things .

I’ve got this incredibly organized pantry and I can pull out me little baskets .  If you told me I had to do a party tonight,  and you gave me a theme, I could do it!  But the only reason why I can do it and be so undaunted about it and have it be fun and not streeful is because I anticipate it and I make sure to go out and get all of these little things and I have all of them there and they are all labeled.

And also, if there is a holiday coming up, I’ll prepare my tables at least days in advance. …Sometimes a week or so in advance.  By doing it that way, I can do it when I’m not stressed out… I don’t get that last minute stress.  And, if I’m missing something, it gives me time.

If I have a dinner party on Friday night, I’ll start thinking about it on the weekend before.  And, as I come up to the day of the party, I go into my pantry and I pick out what I need.  If I’m making bread pudding for example, I get all of the ingredients out and see what I don’t have.  Do I want to make a Green Bean Casserole or do I want to make a Broccoli Puff?  Do I want to do Butternut Squash Soup ?  let me make sure I have all of the ingredients… and I’ll put them in little piles.  Again, that give me the chance to go out and get what I need ahead of time and not get caught short at the last minute.

So, I think that planning ahead  is the most important advice that I can give to people.  And, try to continue to make this whole thing fun.

Vickie:  I think you have touched on another important thing.  You know, people will come to my home when we have dinner parties or family events and marvel at my serving pieces or table settings.  But, you know, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.  I have special serving pieces, casserole dishes, etc, that I feature at different times of the year…but I did not spend a lot of money.  If you plan ahead, and you shop  after the holiday is over for next year…it’s not that expensive  to be able to entertain in style if you plan ahead.  That’s really the whole point.

Joan:  You walk into any big box store and you’ll see right after the holidays all the sales of all the Halloween stuff…then all of the Thanksgiving stuff…..and, you know, it’s a good idea to buy it then.  When you come home, go the next step – get a couple of organizer boxes and put it all there.  If its just here, there, and everywhere….its still hard to do.  But when you organize it, it realy does make entertaining  a breeze.  And, you’ll spend a lot more money going out to dinner, I think, than if you put together a dinner in your home.  You’ll never have the same atmosphere as when you get everybody together in your home.  And, if you have kids like me….I think it’s really important to get kids involved in the cooking process.


Part Three – Joan talks about her kids and living an organized life with a busy schedule.

Also, be sure to check out Loan Lunden’s website for lots of healthy living tips and recipes!



Marshmallow Charger Plates for Your Holiday Dessert Table

I have to thank my friend Oma for this great idea for Marshmallow Charger Plates!  She made two of these for her Christmas Party dessert Table last weekend.  Here is the other Marshmallow Charger Plate…


She started with a round Styrofoam ring and stuck toothpicks into the ring.  Then she stuck the marshmallows onto the toothpicks.  She placed a plate into the center and the magic of the holidays began!  She served  Dove Chocolate Discoveries Truffle Brownies on one and Strawberry and Brownie Skewers on the other one.  

This added so much fun to the dessert table and was really easy to make! 

Thank you Oma for this great idea!!!


How to Rim a Martini Glass with Peppermint Candy

Here is a fun cocktail garnish for a Martini glass!

Garnish a martini glass

Garnish a martini glass with crushed peppermint candy!

 Celebrate in style with this easy Martini garnish.  This will make your cocktail more memorable. Remember that drink garnishes should complement or contrast the flavor of the drink.   I recently made White Chocolate Mint Martinis and a festive rim is crushed peppermint candy……but how do you get the crushed peppermint candies to stick to the glass????

Video: How To Rim a Martini Glass With Peppermint Candy

Have some fun making a martini! Learn how to rim the glass with peppermint candy!


Here is my Success Secret…..

Put some Kraft Marshmallow Creme on a saucer.

Dip the edges of the glass into Marshmallow Creme.

Place the peppermint candy or candy canes into a large zip lock bag and pound with a mallet until crushed.

Dip the coated edge of the glass into the crushed peppermint candies and viola! …. They stick to the edge of the glass!

I love to use this garnish when I serve White Chocolate Mint Martini‘s.  The creamy marshmallow cream and the sweet peppermint candy is the perfect complement to this martini.   I use Dove Chocolate Discoveries White Chocolate Mint Martini Mix.  Be sure to check out my review for that product.  

Remember, “Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!” 



Tiered Buffet Server

Now that’s entertaining…..with this gorgeous Tiered Buffet Server by SCM Designs and available at Sam’s Club.  I love to entertain and whenever I have more than 10 people for dinner – I serve the food buffet style.  Whether the occasion is casual or elegant, a buffet is a perfect way to serve your guests.

The scrolled black wrought iron stand holds five stoneware serving dishes that are perfect sizes for serving.  There are two 9 X 13 inch rectangle serving dishes, two smaller rectangle dishes ( 8 X 10 inch ) and one 8 inch round serving dish.    The stoneware serving dishes are dishwasher and microwave safe.  The   wrought iron stand comes apart for easy storage.

I can’t wait to use this buffet server over the Christmas Holidays!  We will have lots of family and friends over to our house throughout this month.  Here are some of the buffet menus I will be using.  Feel free to add your own recipes to customize these menu ideas for you.  Click on the recipes in that are highlighted and you will go right to my recipe with an easy recipe card you can print, how-to photos to show you how to make the dish AND some of the recipes also have a video tutorial you can watch !

Easy Appetizer Buffet Menu

Baked Goat Cheese Marinara with Homemade Crostini  (Double recipe) :  Bake in 9 X 13 dish and put the homemade crostini is one of the 8 X 10 inch dishes.

Vickie’s Mississippi Caviar :  Put this in the other 9 X 13 inch dish and put Fritos Scoops in the other 8 X 10 inch dish.

Vickie’s Cheese Ball:  Put the cheese ball in the 8 inch round dish and surround it with additional crackers.


Easy Lunch Buffet Menu


 Vickie’s Almost Famous Chili OR Vickie’s Chicken Corn Chowder :  Put in one of the 9 X 13 dishes

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Cut into half diagonally) :  Put sandwiches in the other 9 X 13 dish

Celery Sticks, Baby Carrots, Cauliflower and Broccoli flourettes , grape tomatoes and assorted olives:  Fill both 8 X 10 dishes with the assorted fresh veggies and olives.

 Brownies :  Cut into squares and fill the 8 inch round dish.

 (Put the chili condiments in smaller glass bowls in front of the buffet server)    


Easy Dinner Buffet Menu

Cooker Chops :  Cook in the crockpot and then place chops in one of the 9 X 13 dishes

Cream Cheese Whipped Potatoes  ( Double the recipe) :   Cook in the microwave and put in the other 9 X 13 dish.

Vickie’s Fried Corn:  Put in 8 X 10 dish

Green Beans:  Put in 8 X 10 inch dish

Hot Garlic Bread OR Vickie’s French Onion Drop Biscuits:  Put in the 8 inch round dish



These are just a few suggestions for great buffets using the Adjustable Tiered Server.  This great server is available from Sams Club for $ 39.98. 

Note:  Sam’s Club provided me with a sample of the Adjustable Tiered Server for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my honest and true opinions.




Robust Risotto

Risotto originated in Italy and is a rice dish that is cooked in broth to a creamy (dreamy!!)  consistency.  Risotto can be served as a first course – with some crusty bread – as we are doing  here.  As a first course, it is great paired with a Brut Champagne.  Check out this great pairing at Velvet Palate.

Risotto is typically cooked in a meat, fish or vegetable based broth.  This recipe uses chicken broth ( low sodium) .  Many types of Risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter and onion.  This recipe uses Parmesan cheese, butter and shallots.  Then we ramp it up to robust by adding 1/4 pound diced asparagus, 1/4 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms and Prosciutto (which is a type of Italian bacon).

You have to use a high starch rice to make risotto and this recipe uses Arborio Rice.  This type of rice has the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so it is stickier than the long grain rice varieties.  

While there are many variations on Risotto, the basic preparation remains the same.  

  • The rice is first cooked in onion ( or shallots ) and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat.  
  • Then, red or white wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains.  This recipe uses white wine.
  • When the wine is absorbed, the heat is raised to medium and very hot stock ( I used chicken stock in this recipe) is added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly ( this process is what creates the smooth creamy-textured liquid).  
  • At this point, it is removed from the heat and the finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is vigorously stirred in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible.  
  • This recipe adds the cooked asparagus and mushrooms at this point and is then topped with the scrumptious cooked prosciutto for a robust and over the top risotto!             

Robust Risotto
Serves: 4
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 4 ounces diced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine, heated
  • 1 cup to 1½ cups shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Simmer the broht in a saucepan. Keep warm.
  2. Heat the wine in a separate saucepan and keep warm.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large pan and heat. Saute the prosciutto for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the asparagus and saute 2 minutes. As they begin to get tender, add the sliced mushroom and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is removed. ( do not include any of this liquid or the risotto will not be creamy!). Remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. Add the additional 1 tablesppon of olive oil to the skillet and sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the DRY rice and saute until each grain is coated in oil.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the warm white wine and stir until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Now, start adding the hot broth to the pan in ½ cup increments; simmer and stir frequently until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, about 45 minutes total.
  8. Lastly, stir in the cooked asparagus, mushrooms and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season with salt and pepper, top with cooked prosciutto.
  9. Enjoy!!

Be sure to check out Nicole’s Mushroom Risotto which is a more delicate risotto recipe with a creamy cheesy texture.

This Robust Risotto is a little more time consuming than my other Make Life Special recipes but I was requested to feature this recipe.  I think it is really worth the effort because the layers of flavors in this dish are outstanding.  This really is very easy to make.  Here are the how-to photos:



Crisply cooked Prosciutto ….


Heating the liquids….


Saute the asparagus and then add the mushrooms….


Ladle the broth into the rice…


Grate the cheese…


Ingredients ready to add to the Risotto mixture….


Risotto after it has absorbed all of the liquid…


Stir in the cheese, asparagus and mushrooms….

Risotto is great to serve as a first course with crusty bread or as a side dish with pork.

Remember,” Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”  


****Contest Closed*****”It’s Not You, It’s Brie” Book Giveaway

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kirstin Jackson, author of  ” It’s Not You, It’s Brie:  Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese”.   I had a lot of fun chatting with Kirstin.  It could be because I love cheese.  I love to shop for cheese, I love to smell cheese as its cooking, I love to eat cheese, I love pairing cheese with wine….you get the idea.  Right?  I LOVE cheese.  But, I discovered something else about myself recently.  I also love reading about America’s cheese culture.  And, I think you will too.

I have one (1) copy of “It’s Not You, It’s Brie:  Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese” to give away. Would you like to provide it with a new home?


To enter the giveaway, just answer the following question in the “Speak Your Mind” section at the bottom of this post:

“What is the best cheese you have ever eaten?”

Are you one of those souls who enjoy a simple, aged cheddar?  Or do you – like me – prefer warm brie on a gourmet cracker?  Perhaps you are a squeeze cheese enthusiast ( I won’t judge!) or a cheese gourmand who has a cheese monger on speed dial.  Any way you slice it, I want to know the best cheese you’ve eaten!

Note:  If you are lactose intolerant, or just don’t like cheese, no problem!  Just say something along the lines of “hello” and you’re good to go.


One entry per person, please.

Giveaway begins Monday November 5, 2012 and ends Thursday November 15, 2012 at 8 pm CST.

The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Friday November 16, 2012.

Winner must email MakeLifeSpecial@gmail.com with their name and mailing address.

Note:  Giveaway sponsored by Penguin Group.  Thank you!




Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

Here’s a great bubbly wine for Holiday fun!  The Biltmore Estate Blanc De Blancs is absolutely delicious!  

Everyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE sparkling wine!  So, it goes without saying that I was absolutely delighted when I received a bottle of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs to review for our Holiday Gift Guide.  This sparkling wine is priced just under $25 and would be perfect to give as a gift, to serve at your holiday parties, or to enjoy with your sweetie.  I decided to serve it at a small dinner party we hosted and it accompanied our appetizer course.  The Blanc de Blancs was crisp and the finish was clean and tart.  It had hints of green apples and pears.  This sparkling was so refreshing and really paired perfectly with the appetizers.  It would also be great paired with seafood or cheeses .  

This wine is a brut – which means it is slightly dry.  It has tons of tiny bubbles that we all have come to love in a sparkling wine.  Serve it well chilled – 40 to 45 degrees.  

I was surprised to learn that the Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the United States.  The Biltmore is located in North Carolina and approximately 600,000 visitors  stop by to sample their award winning wines each year.  The Biltmore Winery opened in 1985 as an extension of the Biltmore Estate.

 I toured the Biltmore Winery shortly after it opened.  It was delightful to view their bottling rooms, stroll through the cellars, and of course, taste their award winning wines.

Speaking of awards, the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs took home a Gold Medal with 91 points at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition in May 2012.  This competition showcases the finest in domestic and international wines.

You can visit their website by clicking here,  Biltmore Estate Winery.  There you can learn more about all of their wines, locate a retailer near you, or order their wines online.

I plan on having several bottles of this bubbly on hand to enjoy during the holiday season.  

To view the Video review of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs, click here:  Biltmore Blanc de Blancs Video Review.


I received a bottle of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other manner.  The opinions expressed above are my true and honest opinions.









Bolthouse Farm’s Holiday Nog

‘Tis the Season!  It’s the Holidays and it’s time to celebrate with family and friends!  Bolthouse Farm’s Holiday Nog is absolutely delicious and is great to keep on hand during this time of year for easy entertaining or for unexpected guests.  

To watch our Video Review , click here:  Bolthouse Holiday Nog 

Bolthouse Farm’s Holiday Nog can be found in the produce section of the grocery store and retails for $ 6.00 per bottle.  The Holiday Nog offers a guilt free option to Egg Nog – with only 80 calories per serving!  It has the same great creamy taste of regular Egg Nog – with just a hint of nutmeg – for a true holiday treat.

You can enjoy the Holiday Nog as is, or spike it with a little Brandy for  festive sipping!  Visit their website for other great ideas :  http://bolthouse.com

I liked Bolthouse Farm’s Holiday Nog so much, it inspired me to remake my Brandy Alexander Recipe into Egg Nog Alexander – with Vanilla ice cream, Brandy and Bolthouse Farm’s Holiday Nog.  You can find the recipe for Egg Nog Alexander under a separate post.

‘Tis the season to be merry, so enjoy some Holiday Nog with  your family and friends!


Bolthouse Farms graciously provided samples for us to review and this is my personal opinion which is true and honest.  No compensation received.  

Crock-Pot Seasoning BBQ Pulled Pork Mix Review

Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes have just been released in stores and what better time of year than fall to review these down-home, comfort food creations!  Any time of year is perfect for crock pot cooking.  In the spring and summer, crock pot cooking helps keep your kitchen cool.  In the fall and winter, crock pot cooking allows you to create delicious soups, stews and main dishes that are full of that wonderful slow cooked flavor.

I think the Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes are really exciting!  They are a big time saver for a busy cook and allow you to create easy and creative main dishes with only a few ingredients.  There are currently three mixes that are available:

  • BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Savory Pot Roast Mix
  • Hearty Beef Stew Mix

The BBQ Pulled Pork was first on my list!  As many of you know, I have deep Southern roots and BBQ is near and dear to my heart. ( In fact, I was shocked when I moved north and discovered that there is not one BBQ barn, shack, or restaurant within a 60 mile radius of here!)

I made the BBQ Pulled Pork exactly as the directions on the packet suggested.  I used a  3 pound Boston Butt roast along with the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup dark  brown sugar, 1/3 cup cider vinegar and 1 cup water.  I cannot even begin to describe the wonderful aromas that came drifting out of my kitchen as the pulled pork cooked away in the crock-pot all day!

At the end of the cooking time, I “pulled” the pork……

……and served it up on buns!

I LOVED the flavor of this pulled pork!  It reminded me of BBQ I used to eat in the South —-sweet yet spicy.  I will definitely make this again ( and again ) when I’m in the BBQ mood. 

The Crock-Pot Seasoning Web Site  has additional recipes you can make that are creative uses for these mixes.  I can’t wait to try their recipe for BBQ Apple Pork Chops!  Thick pork chops cook in the slow cooker with onion, apples, apple juice, white vinegar, mustard and of course the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix.  It looks absolutely wonderful!  I’ll be reviewing the other mixes as well, but for now…..I’m thinking about having another Pulled Pork Sandwich!

Note:  I received the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix to use in the review.  No compensation was received.  These are my true and honest opinions. 

Make Life Special
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