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Thanksgiving 2011

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I have no pictures of the spread. Once again, I failed to snap a shot before everyone dug in. Whatever, though, here’s what I made.

Turkey, slathered in compound butter made with sage, thyme, garlic, parsley, coriander.
Maple-cured spiral cut ham
Mashed yukon gold potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes with goat cheese and kale
Roasted root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, onion)
Winter squash soup
Baked kabocha squash
Traditional stuffing
Cornbread stuffing with cranberries
Homemade applesauce
Sweet corn
Roasted asparagus
Green beans with bacon
Cranberry sauce, both homemade and from a can
Cream biscuits
Sweet potato rolls
Gravy

Let me just state that this was way too much food for 8 people. Especially when one of those 8 people is a baby. I blended up some turkey, gravy, asparagus, and corn in my food processor, and my baby loved it. She loved it so much that she dropped the gingersnap she’d been sucking on to eat the turkey slurry.

Everything turned out great except for the cream biscuits. The dough felt very wet, like I didn’t use enough flour. I added more, because it was unworkable. They didn’t really rise, and they came out kind of damp, dense, and doughy.

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Posted by MW | Posted in Parenting | Posted on 11-25-2011

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On Tonight’s Plate 5

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I finally got my salad, and boy was it good. I’m beginning my foray back into the land of dairy, going slowly to make sure it’s okay. In case you’ve forgotten, I stopped eating dairy 6 months ago because my daughter (who I am nursing) was having a reaction to milk proteins. I was instructed by a GI specialist to cease consumption of dairy until “a few weeks” before her next appointment, which is December 19th. I think I cried when I found out. I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end.

I started easing my way back in last week with some processed nasty garbage that I used to love, which was mac-n-cheese from Wawa. I barely ate any of it, and was highly disappointed. My baby seemed fine with it, though. No reaction, so I get to continue.

This week I decided to do it right. I had a few ounces of chevre, and it was heaven. Assuming my baby again has no reaction, next weekend I will probably add creamer to my coffee. Black is getting kind of boring.

Anyway, back to the salad. It’s simple, pretty, healthy, and delicious. Everything a salad should be.

Spring mix

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Posted by MW | Posted in Parenting, Recipes | Posted on 11-19-2011

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On Tonight’s Plate 4

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Pot roast, yukon gold mashed potatoes, braised onions, gravy… That right there would be a hit on its own. Usually I’d have some carrots in there but I forgot to buy them when shopping on Monday, much to my dog’s chagrin. After yesterday’s fry-fest I needed to have good vegetables. I made steamed fresh green beans tossed with Earth Balance and garlic, and I made zucchini sauteed with shallots and scallions. Easily the best zucchini I’ve ever made. Granted, I’ve only been making zucchini for about a year. And shallots make anything tasty. I’m looking forward to a salad tomorrow, though.

My general pot roast seasoning:

a sprig of rosemary
some dried thyme
a few pinches of sage
a dash of tarragon
shit-ton of fresh ground pepper
beef broth or bouillon as the liquid

After the roast comes out, sift flour into the remaining liquid while whisking. Add a bit of gravymaster if it gets too light in color. Salt to taste. This will be the best gravy ever. You’ll have tons, so freeze some for future use. Try using it with meatballs, or thinly slice up a cooked steak and pile it on a hearty bun then pour

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Posted by MW | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 11-17-2011

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On Tonight’s Plate

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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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Posted by MW | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 11-10-2011

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I Am Not A Vegan

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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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Posted by MW | Posted in Health, Recipes | Posted on 11-05-2011

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CSA Disappointment

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This year we participated in our first CSA. It was a vegetable CSA, though we also got eggs. Overall, it was a whopping disappointment. Before it began I would spend roughly $30/week at our produce store. After it began I spent around $25/week. Our CSA cost 460, and lasted for 20 weeks. I’ll do the math for you, that’s $23/week. While I was happy to get organic produce, and thrilled to support our local agriculture, this just really didn’t work for me. I got too many ingredients which I had no use for and a lot of the produce was bland. The real eye-opener was when my own green bean plants were producing dozens of delicious beans and i got a small handful of mediocre beans as part of my haul from the farm. If I could grow tastier produce, with my minimal gardening experience, what was I paying for? Also, being on a rather strict budget, I was very disappointed that I wasn’t able to save much money on my weekly grocery trips after having made what I felt to be a sizable investment.

We picked the least expensive CSA around. It was close to home and $300 less

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Posted by MW | Posted in Gardening, Health | Posted on 11-03-2011

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