On Tonight’s Plate 2

Tonight’s dinner was nothing to be proud of. Sure, the stuffing was good, but it was just modified Stovetop (a guilty pleasure for me). The sauteed garlic spinach was tasty, but nothing special.

Those wedges you see there are kabocha squash, which was new for me. I’d never heard of it or tasted it before. I often can’t pass up something new I see in my produce store, and this was one of those times. I overcooked it, so it was dry, but it still had great flavor. It really reminded me of chestnut. I’m looking forward to trying it again, and doing it right.

The big disappointment of the plate was the pork chop and apples. I seasoned the chop simply, with just sage, salt, and pepper. It ended up being bland and unattractive. Why did I not sear it beforehand? I don’t know. Most of the sage flavor ended up in the apples, which was unappealing. The apples gave off a lot more water than I had anticipated, and the pork chops ended up steaming in their shared dish. Total failure. Just like my attempt at daily blogging for NaBloPoMo. Life got busy, my husband had

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On Tonight’s Plate

Tonight for dinner I made maple and mustard glazed pork tenderloin with onions and cranberries, mashed yukon gold potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, and mushrooms sauteed in homebrewed wine. It was pretty easy and it was seriously delicious.

The pork loin was almost the star, but for me the cranberries were the real winner. It all came together in about an hour, and I was taking my time and socializing while cooking.

I used Maille Old Style Mustard, but any coarse-grain mustard will work. Please use real maple syrup, it’ll make you smile.

2 lbs pork loin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) coarse-grain mustard
rubbed sage
cranberries
dehydrated onion

Heat oven to 425F. Heat some olive oil in a big pan. Season your pork loins with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a bit of rubbed sage over them. Sear them for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden. While they’re in the pan, put some dehydrated onions in a bit of water to rehydrate. You could probably use minced fresh onion here if you have don’t have the dry stuff. Or some onion powder. Place the browned loin in an olive oiled baking dish. Add

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Dairy Free Rice Pudding

No, it’s not exactly the same. It’s just not. But if you’re unable or unwilling to eat dairy, I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. And if it’s been years since you’ve had rice pudding, you may not even be able to tell the difference.

I had leftover white rice from Chinese food, so I used a quart of rice. A packed quart is 5 cups, so this made a huge batch. Do a half batch if you’d like a more reasonable amount.

5 cups cooked white rice
6 cups “milk”
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Earth Balance
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

I used 4 cups of Silk Pure Coconut and 2 cups of Silk Pure Almond. I would have used all coconut, but I ran out. I would suggest something other than almond milk, because the almond milk has a funny color. If color is no big deal to you, go ahead and use it.

If you want to make this vegan, you could definitely use an egg replacer like Ener-G rather than eggs.

Beat your eggs into your milk. Place all ingredients except vanilla into a large pot

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Spider

I walked into the laundry room and saw a huge spider. Mega spider. The sort of spider an arachnophobe dreads finding in her home. I yelled for my husband, also an arachnophobe.

“I’ve got a spider I need you to kill, and you’re not going to like the look of it!”

He saw it, shuddered, and found something to kill it with. It was in an awkward spot, perched high up in the corner behind the washing machine. I left the room, because if there’s anything worse than seeing a giant spider in my laundry room it’s seeing a giant spider move in my laundry room.

I’m safely out of the room, playing with the baby, when I hear, “Whoa! The fucker jumped at me!” This is totally not what I wanted to hear, and I said as much.

“Well, he’s gone,” says my husband.

“Gone?” I query. I’m completely unsatisfied with this.

“He jumped at me, and then dropped behind the washing machine. I’m not going to pull the washer out to hunt for the spider. He probably crawled into a dark crevice. I’m sure you’ll never see him again.”

I’ll spare you the whining and sniveling that came

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Balance

The NaBloPoMo prompt of the day is this:

Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?

This is actually an issue I suspect I’ll be dealing with soon. Being a new mom, I’m probably still in the honeymoon phase. When I think of the possibility of putting my baby in day care, I shudder. I love that I get to spend all of my time with her, that I am her biggest influence, that I see every tiny step she makes towards being a walking talking person. I’m thrilled that I have the ability to do my small job from home, supporting the small business that makes a living for my family. If my husband weren’t such a hard worker, I wouldn’t have the wonderful opportunity to be a full-time mom.

That being said, I can count on one hand the number of hours I’ve been able to go out without a baby for something that isn’t household related. I’m a homebody, so this maybe isn’t as bad as it would be for the average person. Still, though, I do miss being able to spend time doing things other than momming.

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I Am Not A Vegan

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. I love meat, and I have no intention of removing it from my life. Especially since it’s been just over a year since I started enjoying seafood and I still have a lot of things to try.

That being said, I bought myself a vegan cookbook. It seemed like the easiest solution for simply creating dairy-free dishes that my whole family can enjoy while I’m abstaining from dairy for the duration of the breastfeeding. You know the wonderful thing about cooking from a vegan cookbook when you’re not actually vegan? The freedom to incorporate meat or animal products into any recipe you’d like. For real, people. If someone goes through all of the extra trouble it takes to make a delicious complete meal without meat, adding meat really takes it over the top.

Anyway, I’ve found a vegan cookbook that I really like. My whole family enjoys the dishes I make from this book. Especially when I add meat. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just a regular meat-eating foodie, check out Appetite For Reduction. I love it, and in the next few months

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