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The Best Food Gift Recipes You Still Have Time to Make

Food gifts are one of the most popular of the gift-giving season, and almost always one of the most well received. Whether it’s a last-minute gift or just a desire to share something wholesome and homemade with friends and loved ones, this menu is all you need to share awesome food gifts.

Skip the expected boxes of drug store chocolate and tins of stale popcorn; these 14 treats and snacks will truly be unexpected, welcome surprises.

Pomegranate Pistachio Bark

POMEGRANATE PISTACHIO DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

This foodie gift is beautifully shared with wrapped in brown butcher paper.

chocolate covered pretzel protein balls

CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL PROTEIN BALLS

These bite-sized gems are like a homemade Lara Bar. Fill a Mason jar with the balls and wrap in a ribbon.

homemade sour mix

FRESH SOUR MIX

Prepare the mix and pour the juice in to clasp-top bottles or re-use wine bottles. Give this gift with a bottle of vodka or tequila.
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Be the Hostess with the Mostess: Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Goat Cheese Sandwiches Recipe

pork-tenderloin-goat-cheese-sandwiches-tall

The more the merrier is my food philosophy. I love hosting and I really get my jollies by sharing dinner with as many friends and loved ones as I can. That, to me, is the soul in food.

I never like to serve the same thing twice. Who would ever want to come over when they know it’s Chicken Something again? But when the menu is always a little unexpected, it makes the invitation that much more enticing.

pork-tenderloin-sliders

Pork tenderloin has been an easy go-to for my menu planning for some time now. It seems strange to say I’m obsessed with this tender cut of meat — but really, I am. I’ve grilled it and served as medallions, shredded for pulled pork sandwiches, sauteed with veggies for fajitas, cubed for pork and veggie stew, and so much more. The question is — what haven’t I used pork tenderloin for?
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The 25 Most Popular Diets of 2014: The 17 Day Diet Dominates Weight Watchers and Jillian Michaels Once Again

2014-best-diets

It’s time to reveal our 2014 Most Popular Diets List, and this one even threw some surprises our way. It’s the seventh annual publishing of our list that started in 2008, and one of the few curated exclusively by the readers. That’s right, we use your traffic behavior* throughout the year to determine which diets, programs, books, pills, and the like are the most talked about, searched, and used for the year.

Here are the 25 Most Popular Diets of 2014 as determined by our readers:

1. 17 Day Diet

2. Plexus Slim

3. Medifast

4. Nutrisystem

5. Weight Watchers

6. 21 Day Tummy

7. Jillian Michaels

8. Skinny Fiber

9. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

10. Diet to Go
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Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and 1988 Aerobics Championship is the Best Music-Workout Video Ever Made

Thank you to whomever is responsible for this incredible video mash-up because it’s basically the only thing we want to watch or listen to right now!

You guys, this is a real thing that happened: the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship Opening. It’s fabulous. It’s everything we tried to block out about the 80s and yet it’s everything we wish could still exist.

1988-Crystal-Light-National-Aerobic-Championship-Opening

Over that video that someone salvaged from a dark, cold place where old aerobics go to die — Taylor Swift. That sick beat from her explosive new hit Shake It Off was seemingly written precisely for this aerobics routine nearly 30 years late.

It’s some Back to the Future time warp stuff we’re trying to wrap our heads around.
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No Brainer Dinner: BBQ Pork Sliders with Homemade Cole Slaw

bbq-pork-sliders

There’s a new D-word, and all of us cringe at its mention. But inevitably, once a day, that question sounds: what’s for dinner? There’s too much pressure on this one single meal that doesn’t even carry the responsibility of being the most important meal of the day. And yet, it’s the one that we focus on the most.

We need it easy, fast, delicious, healthy, and we need all of it for an affordable price. Something has to give, right? Not with these BBQ Pork Sliders! You get the whole package for a fair price in less than 45 minutes. You can’t beat that with a sack of burgers!

bbq-pork

35 Quick & Easy School Night Dinners Your Kids Will Actually Eat

This recipe uses lean pork tenderloin, and the name says it all. This cut of meat is very tender (it’s honestly hard to mess it up) and it’s very lean. Four ounces of pork tenderloin weighs in nutritionally almost identical to the same amount of chicken breast, with 185 calories and 5 grams of fat. For the serving size and the amount of satisfying flavor pork tenderloin offers, you seriously cannot beat this cut of meat. It’s one of our favorite go-tos.

bbq-pork-tenderloin

The pork roasts for about half an hour in the oven, staying moist and building flavor with your favorite barbecue sauce. Sodium and sugar are two things to watch out for when buying bottled sauce, but tasty options abound if you’re willing to read a label.

While the pork is cooking, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare the homemade slaw to top the sandwiches. This is way too easy, and if you’ve got eager hands who love to help out in the kitchen, this is the perfect task to pass on to the kids. Simply mix reduced-fat mayo and milk with white vinegar and scallions (green onions) and toss that with a bagged cole slaw mix from the store.

bbq-pork-coleslaw

Then prep the dinner rolls or slider buns with a scoop of the slaw, finishing with the pork. When this comes out of the oven, you can use a fork to shred or pull the pork. Top with any remaining scallions and barbecue sauce and dinner is served!

bbq-pork-slider

BBQ Pork Sliders
serves 12

INGREDIENTS

One pork tenderloin (about 1 ¼ lbs.)
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
3 cups bagged Classic Cole Slaw (shredded cabbage and carrots)
3 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 ½ tsp. cider or white vinegar
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sliced scallions
12 dinner rolls or slider buns, split and warmed or toasted if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or regular foil coated with cooking spray.
  2. Place pork on pan and brush with 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Roast until meat thermometer inserted in center registers 155 degrees, about 30 minutes.
  3. To make coleslaw, put coleslaw, mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and 2 Tbsp. sliced scallions in a medium bowl and toss to mix and coat. (Can be made 1 day ahead).
  4. Slice pork then tear or cut into shreds or pieces.
  5. Put pork, remaining scallions and barbecue sauce in a large nonstick skillet and warm over low heat. (Can be made one day ahead and reheated just before serving).
  6. To serve, spoon about ¼ cup BBQ pork on each bun bottom. Top each with about 3 Tbsp. coleslaw, then bun tops.

Sriracha oven fries rack

TRY THESE HOMEMADE SIDES

Sriracha Oven Fries (pictured)

Red and Sweet Potato Salad

Parmesan Orange Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Cheesy Black Bean and Sweet Corn Dip

recipe by Terry Grieco Kenny; photos by Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com