Celebrating America with Homemade Baby Food: Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Mangoes, Peaches

By Erin

This is a belated 4th fourth of July photo.  The bow is simply amazing, is it not? And that shirt. I die. It’s from the Hartstrings outlet.

We spent the 4th in Rehoboth, hanging at the pool and taking advantage of my parent’ s large and light-filled kitchen to make some homemade baby food. In addition to mangoes and peaches, I dabbled in some veggies, too.

As I discussed before, I followed the inspiration of some of the tasty baby food brands out there, like Ella’s, and paired foods that have similar colors together. I started by chopping up some baby carrots.

And… mangoes and peaches. Because they are Baby T’s favorite. I put them all in my trusty steamer/rice cooker.

When they were done, I peeled off the skin. It comes off so easy when they’re cooked, I find this to be the fastest way to make baby food.

Pretty Mangoes and peaches in the blender.

I also boiled a sweet potato.  I leave the skin on (I wash it thoroughly!), cut it up into pieces, and boil until very soft. You can use the water to thin out watever you’re making, if needed.  The water has all the nutrients from the skin. At least, I think it does. But I’m not a dietitian, so maybe don’t ask me if that’s a true fact, or one I made up. The answer will be, one I made up.

I add the carrots and sweet potato to the blender.

And blend that combo right up! Yum!!! I mix the fruits and veggies to come up with more complex/better tasting flavors. For example, Baby T doesn’t seem to really like carrots. But when mixed with all this tasty stuff, she doesn’t even know she’s eating them. Deceiving my child right from the get-go. A-plus parenting right here.  That’s juuuuussst about as great as the time I caught her sucking a beer-soaked dish towel. But that’s another story about my excellent horrible parenting for another day.

 

All done and ready to eat and freeze for later!

My child won’t sit in a high chair. PLEASE tell me someone else has this issue.

And a little family photo time.

Homemade Baby Food: Mangoes are Delicious!

By Erin

I’m proud to say that I’ve been making major, major progress on making baby food. So much progress that I’m finally ready to share recipes, tips and tricks.

Baby T has been LOVING mangoes from Ella’s Kitchen and Happy Baby, so I decided to give it a whirl making my own and mixing mangoes with other fruits to create more complex meals, both flavor-wise and vitamin-wise.

Here are two that went over well: Mangoes and Peaches, and Mangoes, Peaches and Blueberries.

We were down at my mom’s house in Delaware last week, and the grocery store had perfectly ripe peaches and mangoes.  I took one peach and one nice, large ripe mango:

Total side note, my camera was just loving the natural light in my mom’s house. Our condo is very dark; never ideal for food photography.

She had bought some nice, plumb blueberries that I found in her fridge:

I cut up the mango and peach, leaving the skin on.  I leave the skin on, because it’s much, much easier to get it off after the fruit is steamed. Making baby food is time consuming enough, so I found some shortcuts. This is one of them.

I then steamed both together in a rice cooker.  I didn’t get a baby food maker, and then, once I started making food, I was too cheap to buy one – and we were too short on space. I already had a rice cooker, and realized the steamer basket in it was exactly what I needed. If you don’t want to splurge on the baby food maker, a rice cooker is a cheaper option, that can do double duty –  cooking veggies and rice for you, too!

Ours is similar to this one. You put a bit of water in the bottom, enough to cover the bottom and reach about 1 cm high or so – it doesn’t have to be exact. Then, place the vegetable steamer bucket that comes with the rice cooker (it’s a white bucket with holes on the bottom) in, on top of the water. Place your fruit in the steamer bucket. I just load mine up! Place the cover on it, and turn the knob to “cook.”

I normally let it go for about 20 minutes, and then check the fruit. You want the fruit to be really, really soft and juicy, like this:  

When the fruit is soft enough, take each piece out, removing the skin. Be careful – they will be hot! The mangoes you will need a knife for fork for,  

The peaches will easily just shed their skin:

If these fruits are nice are ripe, you shouldn’t need any water – they should be juicy enough to blend into a nice puree.  You can use either an immersion blender (the stick blender) or a regular old blender.  Put the fruit in, after removing the skin:

and blend on high until its the consistency you want. If its not getting thin enough, you can try to add a little bit of water (like a few tablespoons) but try to first blend it without. Here’s mine, no water added!

Baby T (and mommy!) loved it! 

A few days later, I decided to add some blueberries, to give a wider variety of antioxidants and vitamins! I cut up and steamed the peaches and mangoes, just like before. When they were done, I put them in a mixing bowl and added blueberries – not cooked – just a handful.

I used the immersion blender to blend it into a nice, thin puree.  It took just a minute or so!  This mixture was a juuuust a tad thicker – but still thin enough for a baby – because the blueberries weren’t cooked.

To measure portions, we bought a cheap food scale. (Mr. T really likes to be accurate!)  I put a bowl on the scale, and set it to zero.

I spooned in the mixture until it got to the weight I wanted, which is about 3.5 ounces. I added a bit more, because I like a bite, too!

Here’s Baby T after her mangoes and peaches! Clearly a happy camper! 

Let me know if you give this a try. I’ll be sharing other successful fruit and veggie mixtures soon.

Homemade Baby Food, Take 1.

By Erin

I had always imagined that when I had a baby, I’d whip up homemade baby food like I was Diane Keaton in Baby Boom. And then I had a baby. And went back to work. And continued breast feeding… and realized that having time to do all of these things AND make homemade baby food was nearly impossible.

The first bite of food I gave baby T was a sweet potato that I attempted to make. But it wasn’t mashed up nearly enough, and the poor nugget hated it, nearly gagging.  I tried again, with a banana. She literally vomited right after eating it. Then I tried with some peas. She ate about three bites and then refused.

I cut my losses and explored the world of packaged baby food. And I learned that my baby didn’t hate eating, she just hated my cooking!

I found a lot of good organic stuff out there – Ella’s Kitchen and Happy Baby turned out to be Baby T’s favorites, but we also found things from Plum and Earth’s Best that she liked as well. Her very, very favorite Carrots, Apples and Parsnips from Ella’s Kitchen.

This is the first time she had this flavor. She grabbed the package from my hand to chew on it when she was done. No questions here if she’s my child. 

She also really liked all of the single fruits from Ella’s Kitchen, The Butternut Squash One from Ella’s, Mixed Carrots from Happy Baby, Winter Squash from Happy Baby, Earth’s Best First Pears, Plum Sweet Peas, and mangoes from any brand.

After a few weeks I did start making food again, taking a cue from Ella’s Kitchen and making my homemade food much thinner and mixing fruits and veggies together.  I’m happy to say, its a been a success – some things more than others.  I still give her packaged foods twice a day at daycare, but I give her homemade food at dinner, and then also for breakfast or lunch on the weekends.  I’ll post a full tutorial in a few weeks, along with some creative recipes, after I really perfect them.  In the meantime, here’s some highlights.

Baby T’s favorite so far was sweet potato, carrot, peach, apple and pear:

Green beans, apple, pear was also a hit.  And, I learned using breast milk storage bags is an easy way to store food. They can be expensive, but if you have extra, its’ a good way to make them useful, or you can buy the Target brand, which are cheaper than other brands.

Plain sweet potato was also a favorite, once I got it thin enough!  I also froze food using the conventional ice cube tray method.  We bought a food scale, which helps ensure that I’m giving her around 3.5 ounces when I take the cubes out of the freezer.

Happy Cooking!

The Cookie Thing: Helping Make Fool-Proof Cookies!

By Erin

A few days ago I was sent The Cookie Thing. Obviously, I love any excuse to make cookies, so I was more than happy to test this out. The Cookie Thing is really a simple design, but its brilliant. It  made rolling out cookie dough (you can also use it for pie dough and more, too) totally fool proof.

The Cookie Thing arrived at my door very cutely packaged.  It’s essentially pieces of wood that are cut to four specific sizes and a simple wooden rolling pin. To use it, you place the dough between sheets of wax paper.  Then you pick two matching planks from the group of four sizes, and place them on either side of the dough. Finally, you use the roller on top of planks to roll out the perfect thickness.  And there you have it – dough rolled out to the exact right size you wanted. So simple right? Exactly. Why didn’t I think of this first?

As a side note, I’ve never rolled out dough between wax paper before, but it’s so smart.  It makes the process easier because you don’t have to add extra flour to roll out the dough and then worry about all the extra flour changing the flavor.

I’m going to try the Cookie Thing on pie crust next.  Last time I made crust from scratch it was WAAAAAAAAAY too thick. So hopefully this will help.  Here’s a step by step of how I used it to make cookies.

I used the white rollout cookie recipe from The Cookie Thing’s website: 

When done, I laid a big handful of the dough on a sheet of wax paper; I made it longer across, so it was like a log.

I laid another sheet on top.  The Cookie Thing comes with four sets of wooden planks – 1/8 inch through 1/2 inch.  The smallest is for dumplings and pies, the middle for cookies, and the largest is good for things like slicing cakes in half to fill with filling.

I chose what size I wanted to use – 1/4 inch – and placed them on either side of the dough.

I placed the roller on top, and rolled until the dough was the width of the planks – perfectly one quarter inch.

When it was finished, I placed the dough (still in between the wax paper) in the fridge. I rolled out the rest of the dough, stacking them in the fridge:

The recipe I used called for chilling the dough overnight. So after it was rolled out and I put it in the fridge, I let it chill overnight.  Using the chilled dough with the cookie cutters was MUCH easier than soft dough. So this is a practice I will definitely continue.

The next day, I took a cutting board and spread flour on it.

Then I took a sheet of dough out of the fridge and removed the wax paper.

Then the fun part came – I cut out some cookies!

 

Look how even they are! Perfect, huh? I sprinkled them with a little sugar before I placed them in the oven.

They turned out beautiful! For more information on The Cookie Thing, check out the Facebook Page. 

The Way to His Heart? Veal and Heart Shaped Pasta, of Course!

By Erin

My Sweet Hubby has never been one to like going out on Valentine’s Day. The crowds, the prix fix menus, the PDA… its just not his thing. But don’t worry – he always remembers to send me beautiful flower arrangements or chocolate covered pretzels (my favorite!) so I’m happy to reciprocate by cooking something delicious and creating romance at home.

If you’re looking for something special to make, try veal. Veal’s one of those fancy things that I don’t cook to often, but when I do I’m soooooo happy. It’s a nice way to mix up your routine, and its much, much easier to cook with than you would think. Pair it with some heart shaped pasta to keep the love  theme going. The hubs and I both love Marsala, and we always eat Marsala with a side of pasta with red sauce. So here’s my recipe for veal Marsala with heart-shaped pasta and homemade tomato sauce. A dish that is the perfect Valentine’s Day meal. You could serve your side pasta however you like it – with butter and cheese, with a little garlic and olive oil, or with a red sauce like I did. I received the heart shaped pasta as a gift, but you can buy it online – just Google!

We like our marsala sauce with mushrooms and lots of onions, just like or favorite restaurant, Presto, makes it. fF you’re a traditionalist you can skip the onions. (Although I don’t know WHY anyone would skip onions in pasta sauce! They’re delicious!)

Here’s my basic Marsala recipe, which I’m still perfecting to be just how we like it. This sauce recipe is good for four people.

You’ll need:

  • Veal (2-3 pieces per person, depending on size.) 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bottle Marsala wine (the bottle I use is 12.7 ounces.)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use high salt, high fat, because that’s much more delicous!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 12 or 14 oz. package of sliced mushrooms. (You could use less, but WHY?!)
Our Shop Rite has the best meat department and sells the veal in perfect strips. They label it “Veal for Scallopini.” Here’s what it looks like:
Pound the veal with a meat pounder. This will tenderize the veal.  It’ll be a bit tough, otherwise.
Then heat the butter and about a tablespoon or two of olive oil (I eyeball it, just sprinkle it in the pan) over medium high heat.
 Cook each piece of veal toroughly, a few pieces at a time.
The veal will cook fast, just a few minutes on each side.  Remove the pieces as done and set them aside on a plate.
Slice the onions, chop the garlic and wash the mushrooms.  After removing all the veal, do not clean the pan. Place the onions and garlic right in the pan. If there is no grease/oil left, add a bit of olive oil.
After a couple of minutes, add the mushrooms.
After both the onions and mushrooms are soft, add the chicken broth, marsala wine and a dash of salt.
Turn the heat way up on the burner, and reduce the marsala by half or so.  I like really thick sauce, so during this stage I’ll add a tablespoon of flour to help thicken it.  Next time I’m going to add two tablespoons.
When it reaches the desired thickness, add the pieces of veal back in and cook for 4-5 minutes, until they’re heated.
Serve on individual plates with lots of mushrooms ad onions!
For the tomato sauce, I use:
  • 1/2 an onion diced (if I don’t have one, onion powder does the trick in a pinch.) 
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • a dash of red wine
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • dash olive oil
I heat the onions and garlic with some olive oil in the pan, then I add everything else about 6 minutes later. I then bring it all to a boil in my copper pot and let it simmer for however long it takes to cook the veal. Not too long, or it will get too thick. 
After cooking the pasta, I drain it quickly and toss it into the pot and cook it with the sauce for a minute before serving. This helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
And then I serve it! I like to keep my veal and pasta separate, but the hubby likes them on one plate!

Valentine’s Day Treats

By Erin

I was in Target the other day and saw these little goodies:

 

I spend alot of time at Target these days. Like hours and hours.  It’s magical when its cold outside and you’re going stir crazy in the house and you have a baby.  It’s filled with never ending aisles of everything you could possibly need. Like that bag of Hugs. Which got me thinking about this box of deliciousness:

And this little package of hevean:

And these frozen berries that were in my freezer:

I started thinking that those three things would be just like those Hugs…. only so much better. Because if you’ve ever had Ghirardelli brownies, you know nothing is better than those. Even homemade brownies can’t come close.

So I set out to make a delicious – but easy  – Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie.  And I did! They are easy, delicious, and perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat. I made two versions, depending on your Cheesecake flavor preference:

These two (above and below) have Hugs on top. Lesson learned about the hugs – don’t put them in the oven, put them on when you take the cupcakes out. Or they’ll brown on the top like below!

So here’s what you’ll need and what to do! My recipe made 16 Brownie Cheesecakes.

  • 1 Box Brownie mix – and the things to make the brownie mix according to directions. We know my favorite – Ghirardelli. But any will do!
  • 1 package Philly cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Handful of frozen (or fresh if they’re in season) raspberries

Preheat the oven to 325.

Make the brownie mix according to the box. Mix by hand and let it sit while you make everything else. This will help it thicken up so it sits nicely on the bottom of the cupcake!

Take your frozen or fresh raspberries and blend them in the blender.  If they’re frozen, let them defrost for a few minutes. This many will do:

I just love how pretty raspberries are.

Set them aside to continue to get soft. (That’s the cream cheese getting soft behind them!)

Next mix the cheesecake layer.  With a hand mixer, blend the package of cream cheese (let it soften first), sugar, vanilla and and egg. It should nice and smooth when done.

I use this vanilla because its amazing.

Now its time to layer! I found these pretty red paper cupcake wrappers in my cupboard and decided to use them.

Place these in a cupcake or muffin pan. Fill them just less than half with brownie mix.

There are two ways to do the cream cheese. For Raspberry Swirl brownie cheesecake:

Then add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture on top. Spread it around with the back of a spoon.

Then dip a knife or toothpick in the raspberries so you get just a touch of them on the end and swirl into the top of the cheesecake mixture.

OR – if you want make Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies: 

Mix a large spoonful of raspberries into the cheesecake mixture.

Then apply a dollop of this mixture on top of the brownie mix. Spread with a spoon.

Place them in the oven on 325. Set the timer for 45 minutes and see if they’re done. The spoon should come out clean, possibly a LITTLE gooey on the brownie part if you like very gooey brownies.  If you want, top with a hug immediately after taking them out of the oven. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

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An Oldie But Goodie: The BEST Chicken Soup

By Lia

Earlier this week, Erin posted about her one hour chicken tortilla soup, which reminded me of one of my own foolproof chicken soup recipes, which has…well, no title. It’s just chicken soup. BUT! It also takes an hour, feeds me for days, and I love it so much that I actually have to check myself from cooking it week in and week out, just for variety’s sake. It is SO good.

We originally published this way back in 2009, but haven’t since then, so no time like the present! Here is the original post!

***

While chicken soup for your soul is a good thing, chicken soup for your stomach is a delicious thing – and in my book that’s just a little bit better.

I confess to not being the best at cooking soups (yet!) but I do have a foolproof recipe for chicken soup that is tasty and doesn’t take long to prepare. Now that the temperatures have dipped into the freezing range, I consider this essential eating. As an additional upshot, a big pot of soup can last and last, providing a delicious lunch or dinner for days.

Soup-1-150x150

Hello, lovah…

To feed two you’ll need:

 

  1. Four large carrots
  2. Three medium-sized parsnips
  3. Two large medium-sized Idaho potatoes
  4. One small yellow onion
  5. Two large containers of chicken broth
  6. Chicken thighs or drumsticks. Lately I’ve been using Harvest Valley thighs because they have a lot of flavor and are both antibiotic- and hormone-free. (Skinless or not, is up to you. However, when I don’t buy skinless, I cook with it on and then remove before eating. Do what makes your stomach happy!)
  7. Optional: Egg noodles

Step One: Put a large pot of water on to boil. While you wait, peel and slice the parsnips, carrots, onions and potatoes. Set them aside.

Step Two: Once water is boiling, drop in the chicken and cook until there is no pink.

Step Three:
 Dump out approximately half of the water in the pot and add all the veggies. Pour over one container of the chicken broth, dipping into the second container if the pot is not full. (Keeping the water retains some of the juices that flowed out of the chicken while it was boiling but replaces it with a more powerful chicken flavor.)

Step Four: As water/broth boils off, keep replacing it with broth from the second container. Meanwhile, if you are cooking egg noodles as an accompaniment start them (with the soup or in a separate pot, up to you) when you have about 15 minutes left to go.

Once the veggies are soft, you’re done! Happy eating!

One Hour Chicken Tortilla Soup

By Erin

These days, I’m all about meals that pack in a variety of food groups but can be made quickly.  I’m trying to keep the sweet hubby and I healthy this winter, and I’m a firm believer in getting nutrition from food, not from supplements.  However, we battle some serious food allergies to raw fruits and vegetables in this house, so that requires everything to be cooked – which takes time. Funny, because that’s the one thing I don’t have a ton of these days.  The baby does take a nice long nap in the afternoon, but its just a bit too early for dinner cooking, since we tend not to eat until around eight.  Instead, I normally have to squeeze dinner making in during a shorter nap she’ll take around 7.

I found Rachel Ray’s Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup   recipe in her Just in Time cookbook. The recipe looked tasty, and I know that Rachel’s recipes are always easy to follow and fast to make. I used her recipe, but I doctored it up a bit and made some changes.  Doesn’t it look tasty?

It’s perfect for this cold weather, and I made it from start to finish (like on the table finished) in just under and hour. PERFECT for a weeknight.  And, its packed with veggies and protein.  Yum. If you’re a slow cooker kinda girl, you could probably throw it all in the slow cooker, too, although I made it on the stove top.

Here’s my final recipe, inspired by Rachel’s.  Give it a try!

  • Olive Oil – just enough to cover the pan
  • 1.25 lb. package of chicken thighs (Rachel Ray uses chicken tenders – you could use those or breasts.  I prefer thighs in soup because they’re fattier, so I think they add to the flavor and help the soup stick to your ribs in this cold weather.)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (we buy a big container in the spice section, I add taco seasoning to just about everything – not just tacos!)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5-6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapenos diced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 32 ounce container of chicken stock
  • White Corn Tortilla Chips
  • 1 cup shredded Cabot White Cheddar or any other cheddar or taco mix
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:

  • Dice onion, pepper, scallion, jalapeno.  Begin to cook these over medium high heat with the olive oil.

  • Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces, removing some of the extra fat as you go.  I used this package of thighs that is 1.25 pounds from Target. I don’t normally grocery shop at Target, but I find it super convenient these days when its difficult to get to more than one store in a day! And, this package is the perfect portion size!

 

  • Add the chicken in with the onions and peppers while they’re cooking.
  • Add taco seasoning and mix well.

  • Add the Coriander, Thyme, Salt and Pepper. This is what Coriander looks like, in case you’ve never used it. (I hadn’t!)

  • Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil for a few minutes to make sure everything is cooked. Then, bring it back down to medium and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Break some white corn chips up and layer the bottom of your bowls with them.
  • Sprinkle with grated white cheddar or other cheese
  • Add a couple of leaves of cilantro

Pour soup over the chips and enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

By Erin

Last year for Valentine’s day I made the sweet hubby heart shaped meatloaf.  Isn’t that the cutest little dinner for two?  And if you’re cooking for kids, how cute is heart shaped food?

I’m not sure what I will make this year, but I’m thinking it just may be a heart shaped chicken pot pie.  I bought a small cake pan shaped like a heart from Michael’s, which is what I cooked the meatloaf in, and will also be what I use if I make a pot pie.  Other than placing the meatloaf in the shaped pan, the rest of the recipe was just like making a normal meatloaf – so how easy is that? You can use your regular meatloaf recipe, or you can use mine, which you can find here.

Stay tuned for more Valentine’s Day ideas!

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Maple Brined Pork Loin with Spiked Sweets

By Erin

The sweet hubby’s go-to dish for family parties is a maple-brined pork loin.  It’s delicious, not too labor intensive, and easy to make for a big group – especially when you buy a giant pork loin from BJ’s.

While we’re at it, let’s take a Time Out for one minute to discuss the meat quality at BJs.  OMG. I love it. I swear by their tenderloins – they are delicious.  And, cost-wise, its the best deal around.

Back to the story. At Christmas, the sweet hubby had bought a 9 pound pork loin from BJs to bring to our Christmas Eve dinner. He used two-thirds and froze the last third. When I learned that a few friends were coming over last week, I decided to take the last of the pork out of the freezer and serve it with sweet potatoes.  The pork was tender, juicy, and just the right amount of sweet.

You DON’T need to buy a large pork loin for this recipe – the brine and glaze can also be used on a much smaller pork loin. It’s also easy enough to make on a week night.  (You can brine it the night before, or in the morning before work.) The recipe I’ll give you before is good for a 3-pound loin or less. For a bigger one, double the recipe.

Doesn’t the end result look great?

And, the sweet potatoes – which are spiked with a touch of Drambuie!

For the pork brine:

  • 1 Pork Loin
  • Enough water to cover the loin in  bowl or pot
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Some black pepper (just a bit)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary
In a large pot or bowl, Pour salt, maple syrup and smashed garlic into water. Add some fresh ground pepper. Stir until salt is dissolved.  Place the loin into the pot, making sure its covered by the water.
I used this Maple Syrup:
Adding the pepper to the pot before I stirred it all together:
Then place the pork into the pot, layering the rosemary and thyme on top of the of the loin.  I bought these small packages of the fresh herbs and just used the whole package. (I only used 5 cloves are garlic.)
Rosemary:
Thyme:
Pork in the brine, covered with spices and ready to go in the refrigerator for a while.
Refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight. I made the brine first thing in the morning, set the pork in it and then cooked it at night. The hubby always brines it overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 325. Mix the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard

Cover the pork with the glaze.

Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan – FAT SIDE UP. Place it in the oven on 325. It should roughly take 20 minutes per pound.  Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature – you don’t want to get trichinosis!  The temperature should get to 160 degrees.  About halfway through, add some more glaze to the top.

And for the mashed sweet potatoes!  I had planed to use Bourbon, but we didn’t have any.  So I used Drambuie. This recipe highlights the creaminess and flavor of the sweet potatoes, without being too sweet.  The process also ensures that they’ll be super smooth – without additional butter or cream! You will need:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Drambuie
  • Sea Salt

First, I peeled 4 sweet potatoes and placed them in a pot of water.  I boiled the water until the potatoes were nice and soft.

I then strained them.

Next I used my ricer to smash the sweet potatoes. You could use a masher, or even a Kitchenaid or hand mixer, but I love the texture the ricer gives the potatoes! When they are pipping hot its so easy to use. Just put a few in at a time, and smush!

Then add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon Drambuie. Stir both into the potatoes.

Add a few shakes of sea salt:

Spoon into a dish and place in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then serve!