Balsamic Honey Lime Pork Roast

I love a good roast and a pork roast, when cooked right, can be very tender and juicy. I like that I have the option of throwing it in the crock pot to cook all day, grill, smoke or even bake up the roast. For this recipe I baked it, but the marinade can be used for any of the above methods.  

Balsamic Honey Lime Pork Roast

2lbs. Pork Sirloin Roast

1tbsp oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2tsp garlic powder

2tsp onion powder

2tsp chili powder

2tsp paprika

1tsp pepper

1tbsp honey (I used Tupelo Honey)

1 small lime

Directions:

Whisk ingredients together and pour over pork roast. Let marinade for at least 20 minutes. (The longer the time, the more flavor.) If you plan on smoking or grilling, I would recommend letting the roast sit overnight in the marinade.  

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place roast in a roasting pan or oven safe baking dish, cover with remaining marinade, and bake for 1 hour.  

Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. I topped mine with a black bean and corn salsa (recipe below) and served with sauteed colored bell peppers.

   
 Black Bean and Corn Salsa:

1 can of drained black beans

1 can of drained corn

3 roma tomatoes diced

1 jalapeno diced

1 green pepper diced

1/2 onion diced

2 avocados diced

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour prior to serving.

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Key Limes are a staple here in Florida, and grow easily in pots or in the ground. One of my co-workers had an abundance of key limes from her little tree and brought in a container full. I didn’t waste any time grabbing a handful to take home!

Limes

After scanning Pinterest for a few suggestions, I had found three different recipes to use the limes in. I tried to stay away from the typical Key Lime Pie, because let’s face it, only those in Key West know the real secret to a perfect Key Lime Pie. So for the first recipe I made a Key Lime Bundt cake. As with any recipe, you can substitute ingredients that fit your lifestyle and availability. So if you do not have access to key limes, regular lime juice will work just as well.

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Key Lime Bundt Cake:

3 cups of flour (I always use the Self-rising flour)

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

A dash of Salt

1 1/2 cups of Butter flavored Crisco (or any shortening will do)

2 cups of sugar ( I used 1 cup sugar and 1 cup Splenda or Truvia)

6 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (My preference is Mexican Vanilla, but regular works great too)

1/4 cup fresh key lime juice (3 limes)

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar

3 tablespoons of lime juice (1 lime)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bundt pan with butter cooking spray. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until blended.

Add flour mixture to the butter mix, alternating flour and milk. Starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until all is blended and smooth.

Mix in vanilla.

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I just have to take a minute and talk about how amazing this vanilla is. It is from Mexico, made in the Yucatan, and I love it. It is a slightly stronger than store bought vanilla extract but makes cookies and cakes so much more flavorful.

Mix in vanilla and lime juice, making sure all is blended. Pour into your prepared bundt pan.

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Bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned and knife comes out clean.

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Let cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer over to a cooling rack and let cool an additional 10-15 minutes. Prepare the Key Lime Glaze by whisking all ingredients together. Once you have moved the cake to a plate, drizzle with the glaze.

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Serve warm and enjoy!

Underground Treasures

Last summer we took a little road trip up to Marianna, Florida and visited the Florida Caverns State Park and Blue Springs. It was amazing to see what was hidden underneath our feet. The formations and the explorations were breathtaking. One particular formation was called the Wedding Cathedral, and there had once been a wedding there in that very part of the cavern. Bats fluttered above our heads and the air was damp, and the kids had a blast exploring and learning all about the caves 

    
    
 As we exited the caves, we had an amazing walk through the forest of the state park, admiring the cypress trees and creeks. Thankfully the weather wasn’t too terribly hot and humid, as it is known to be in August, and we enjoyed finding other little caves along the forest path. We even ventured into a dark tunnel!

   
 To wrap our exciting weekend we headed to the Blue Springs. With its cold water (70 degrees is pretty cold when you are swimming) it is a popular summer spot. There are caves hidden under the diving board, and fish swim in the crystal clear waters. It is a beautiful natural spring that not only makes a great swimming hole, but leads into a stream that

you can rent canoes and paddle boats by the hour to explore.Springs Cave Springs

Our evening was spent fishing and enjoying the peace and quiet before heading back to real life.

   One of the things I love about this state is abundant adventures we have been able to have. And I can’t wait to have many more!

About Me

Welcome! I am a single mom of three amazing kids with a love of travel and local culture. I strive to eat and drink local as much as possible and enjoy venturing beyond the white sandy shores of the Emerald Coast and explore and taste what’s out there!

  

Farmer’s Market Find

I had recently went to one of our local Farmer’s Markets. The benefit of Florida living is that Farmer’s Markets are almost year round and there is always something new to try. My main purpose of going this trip was to pick up some Tupelo Honey. There is nothing better than local, fresh harvested honey. As I was sampling some of the different varieties, the vendor offered me a free jar of freshly made Lemon Jelly. Eager to try it out, we made homemade biscuits that night. Well, as for regular jelly, it was super tart. But it did make a great glaze for chicken strips! By adding a dash of honey, chili powder, pepper, garlic and onion powder, along with some water to thin it out a bit, the flavor mellowed out and tasted great. Paired with a cheesy Baked Potato and broccoli, it was a hit in our house.Lemon Pepper Glazed Chicken Strips:

3-4 Thawed Chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 tsp. oil

Lemon Glaze (if you don’t have access to Lemon Jelly, below is a recipe to make your own lemon glaze)

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

Cornstarch (to thicken)

1/4 cup Water

2 tsp. Pepper

2 tsp. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Honey

You can add or subtract the amount depending on taste.

Directions:

Heat oil in pan. Once oil is hot, add chicken strips. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium/high heat until chicken is no longer pink. After chicken is cooked, turn heat to low and toss with Lemon Glaze. Simmer until glaze is heated through.

You can mix and match seasonings depending on preference. Add some ginger for a more Asian flair and pair with rice or more spice to heat it up.

Enjoy!!

Apalachicola: A hidden gem on the Forgotten Coast

One of the perks of living where we do, is the opportunity to explore local fishing towns and experience fresh local seafood. Apalachicola is one of my favorite places to visit. It is a quaint little town nestled along the Forgotten Coast Highway (Highway 98 in Northeast Florida) and boasts of some of the freshest oysters and Florida history. We took some time last fall to get a taste of the local fare and explore an old cemetery that is said to be haunted.

Our first stop in our travel was to Grady Marketplace. I loved stopping in this old store that held a bounty of Forgotten Coast Highway merchandise as well as art and jewelry from local artists. Handmade soaps and kitchen items, along with great gift ideas are to be found.

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After we explored Grady’s Market, we walked down to the local historical cemetery on Chestnut Street. It was a beautifully spooky cemetery with old grave stones and Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. During Halloween, there are Cemetery walks as well.

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Our last stop was at the Hole in the Wall. A local favorite that serves up freshly caught Apalacha Oysters. We ordered a varitety that had fresh raw oysters, Oyster Florintine and Rockerfeller Oysters. Highly recommend making this a stop on your journey through Apalachicola. There are other great options to choose from; from fried oysters to chicken, the Hole in the Wall will have something for everyone!

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I am truly blessed to live along such beautiful part of the country and have the ability to get out and explore. I encourage you to do the same! Whether it’s here in Florida or your own Forgotten Highway, get out and see what the world has to offer.

Fresh Local Emerald Coast Fare

Blogfood

I love eating local. What’s even better is when you catch it yourself! I am not much of a fisherman but having the opportunity to get out into the Gulf of Mexico and catch some big fish was more than I could pass up. This picture really doesn’t do it justice as to how amazing this fillet is. Amberjack is a thicker steak fillet with a mild white fish taste and it pairs very well with local white Muscadine wine. (My favorite is from San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine, FL called Vinter’s White.) I chose to blacken this particular batch, and it was hit in our house.

Blackened Amberjack:

Two to three fresh Amberjack fillets (I soak mine in milk for at least 4 hours prior to cooking to help tone down the fishy taste)

2 tsp. Olive Oil

Season Salt (to taste)

2 crushed garlic cloves

Pepper (to taste)

1/4 cup of Garlic Herb Marinade

Directions:

Heat the pan to medium heat and add the 2 tsp. of olive oil and garlic. While the oil is getting hot, take the milk soaked fillets, add the seasonings and pepper. Cook the fillets for about 2 minutes on each side, add the marinade and cook for additional 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through and fish flakes.

I paired mine with sauteed broccoli slaw and sauteed fresh green beans, but Amberjack pairs well with a variety of veggies and pastas. Get creative!