Favorite Fall Meals and Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

It’s hugely important to think about the why behind hospitality and why we invite people into our homes, into our mess and into our lives. But we also need some very practical how-to’s; so today, we’re keeping it simple at Circling the Story and talking recipes.

What’s your favorite Fall meal? I’m always on the lookout to change up my own cooking routine rut, so I’d love to hear some of your favorites. Please share them!


I devoured Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bread and Wine, and it was one impetus for starting this November series on the blog, Around the Table. I’ll have a book review on the blog soon, but until then, here’s a recipe to tide you over.

It’s her maple balsamic pork tenderloin. It’s easy and delicious and perfect for a chilly Autumn night. You can serve it with hunks of crusty bread and roasted brussel sprouts. If you’re still on the fence about brussel sprouts, you need to roast them. None of this steamed disgustingness. Toss your sprouts in a little olive oil, add some minced garlic and salt and pepper. Pop them into the oven at 400F for 35-40 minutes, tossing them occasionally. They’re also amazing with caramelized onions or bacon (or cook them in bacon fat).

But without ado, Shauna Niequist’s maple balsamic pork tenderloin. I just halved the recipe for our family and it was perfect. I also didn’t have dijon so used regular yellow mustard and my hubby didn’t want to part with good beer for cooking, so I substituted a bit of apple cider vinegar. Basically, it’s a very forgiving recipe!

Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, from Bread and Wine

-2 pork tenderloins
-1 cup maple syrup
-1 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 heaping  Tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/2 cup beer or white wine

Whisk together maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon. Add 1/2 cup of the maple balsamic mixture to the beer or white wine to create a marinade. Save the rest of the maple balsamic mixture to make the glaze. Several hours before serving, salt and pepper the tenderloins, then pour the marinade over them. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Just before serving, cook on the grill or on the stove. On medium-high heat, cook for 4 minutes on each of the four sides until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. We did ours on the grill and cooked them over medium-high heat until the internal temperature reached 145 degrees. While the pork is cooking and then resting, pour the remaining maple balsamic mixture in to a small saucepan and boil gently until reduced by half, about 15 minutes, creating a thick glaze. After the tenderloin has rested, slice it diagonal one-inch slices. Pour the glaze over the sliced meat, or put it in a little pitcher and let people pour it on their own slices.

This month I’m writing on life Around the Table. I hope you’ll join me, cook with me, and invite others in to your real and virtual spaces. Please take time to comment below and share this post if it resonated with you.



  1. That sounds really good! I just made this soup the other day and it was super yummy… and though I’m not Paleo I think it’s OK for you?

    Pumpkin peanut curry bisque
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
    1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed (1-inch cubes)
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cubed (1-inch cubes)
    3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
    2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
    1 cup water, plus more if needed
    1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
    3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
    Salt and ground black pepper
    Chopped fresh mint or cilantro, to serve

    In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil.
    Add the onion and cook until tender, but not brown, about 5 minutes.
    Add the garlic, potato, apple and curry paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the curry paste is very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the stock and 1 cup of water.
    Once the liquid boils, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pan, then let the soup cook until the potato and apple are very tender, about 15 minutes.
    Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
    Stir in the pumpkin and peanut butter. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. The texture should be like heavy whipping cream. If the soup is too thick, whisk in a bit of water. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between 4 serving bowls and top with mint or cilantro.
    Start to finish » 25 minutes
    Servings » 4
    Nutrition information per serving » 250 calories; 120 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 8 g protein; 770 mg sodium.



    1. Sounds fantastic. The only sub to make for Paleo is almond butter for peanut butter. But we eat bread here — I mainly just can’t have dairy. Thanks so much for sharing!



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