When your little one is (all of a sudden) not so little…and a recipe

Every parent experiences a moment (slash hundreds of them) when their child says or does something that inspires a double-take. Just this morning, Rowan and I were preparing for a walk. She always insists on bringing at least one (if not multiple) stuffed animals or dolls on our excursions. This particular morning, she decided to bring her Our Generation foal.

As we got our warm clothes on for the walk, she turned to me and said:

When we walk, we can put the blanket on my horsey to keep her warm and when we get to the store we can take it off!

While it may not seem significant, it’s these little trains of thought that I’m noticing more and more with Rowan as she is getting older. She is extremely conscientious with everything she does – whether it’s setting up her dolls so they can all “see” or how she goes about cleaning her room.

As a parent, I observe these little nuances in her character and attempt to relate them to what her personality may be like some day. With the level of control and obsessiveness that Rowan sometimes displays, this exercise can be terrifying…(just kidding but not really).

Then I come to my senses and realize she’s just a three year old girl and I have plenty to worry about between now and her teenage years…and beyond (gulp!). Might as well just enjoy the ride.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Caribbean Pork Tenderloin with Carrots

This recipe was inspired by one of those random thoughts one Sunday afternoon…I haven’t had jerk chicken in forever…or something along those lines. Undoubtedly inspired by the cooler weather we’ve had recently, the second I started thinking about the spicy goodness of tender, flavor-packed jerk chicken it was bound to make it onto our plates this week.

But as I began to think of how to prepare the dish, I decided to call an audible and use pork tenderloin. It’s cheaper, just as flavorful and pulls apart really well when cooked low and slow.

This dish serves like a stew, which can be served over white or brown rice, or ketogenic alternatives such as cauliflower rice or sautéed spinach.


  • 2-3 pork tenderloins, depending on size (about 2.5 lbs)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp jerk seasoning paste (or desired spice level)
  • 1 chicken bullion cube (2 cups)

Start by slicing the pork tenderloin into approximately 1-2” thick medallions, attempting to create uniform pieces where possible. Season the pork with salt and pepper and set aside in a bowl.

Dice the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and set aside in another bowl. I strive for approximately ¾” chunks of carrot and similar sized celery, while you can go finer with the dice on the onion and garlic. Set all of the vegetables aside in another bowl.

Depending on your cooking setup, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in you dutch oven or crock pot set to a “sear” setting. When the oil is hot, cook the pork medallions on each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

Next, add the vegetable mix to the sizzling pan and cook down until somewhat tender, about 6-8 minutes. At this time, add your preferred amount of jerk paste to the vegetable mix. This will largely depend on the spice level of your seasoning and how hot you want the end product. Mix the vegetables with the seasoning for about a minute and then add your diced tomatoes. Sauté for one more minute and then add the pork back into the mixture. Add the chicken broth and stir. Set the crock-pot to the low temperature setting, or transfer your dutch oven to the preheated 300-degree oven.

Cook for 3-4 hours or until pork is pull apart tender. Serve over desired accompaniment.

Author: American Cana(dad)


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