Sunday, August 26, 2007

So Many Things to Blog About...

So little time. This is a general housekeeping blog. I will try to catch everyone up on everything that has been going on here in my little life. Let's try a list format for ease of writing and reading...keeping it simple.
1) Summer was H-O-T. The kids spent much time fighting and cranking, but they just started playing together. Elena has finally learned that a baby brother can be fun to boss around. She gave him the bizarre nickname of Brother Munka, and chases him around shouting orders, "Munka, NO, you come here with me!" or "Come here wittle Brudder Munka. Silly Munka! What are you doing?" VERY CUTE.
2) Elena's grasp of language continues to improve. She is now into using surprising verbs and descriptions to get her point across. Two examples of this happened last week:
She was using a colorful term a bit too much, so Gwammy (my Mom) put "freakin" in time out. Well, last week she said it again and I reminded her..."That word's in time out, remember?" Her response? "Mom, I know, it just jumped into my mouth."

I stripped my bed. She watched and later said to me, "Mommy, that was so funny when your bed was all naked nudity. It REALLY needed its clothes on!"

3) We are attempting potty training. She is pretty well pee trained at this point. However, we still continue to struggle with the other. Anyone have any ideas?

4) Liam is walking. He walked just after his first birthday. Elena had walked at 9 months, so we have been waiting forever (or so it feels). I am hoping this means the tendonitis in my elbow will improve...walk on little man!
First steps:

Getting better at it:

5) I got let go from my job due to a misunderstanding. Yeah, right. Stay tuned on this one, folks.

6) I decided to become a consultant in Business Development and secured my first client. Check out I am working on helping them go-to-market more effectively and developing relationships for them with brand owners in the packaged goods space. It's very exciting to be part of an organization of Futurists! Talk about a forward-thinking organization!

7) I am taking my firt plane trip with the kids on Labor Day. We are flying to Orlando to then go to see a good friend and her kids in Gainesville. Wish me luck! I'll send a "postcard".

8) Lots of walking, outdoor play, visits to Lake Candlewood, picking raspberries in our's been a fun summer.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer Fruits Stuffed and Glazed Pork Roast

I did some research on pork loin roasts tonight and then made up my own recipe. I am going to write it down here so I don't forget it, it was yummy.

1 pork roast, at least 2 pounds
ground pepper and whole mustard seed to taste
1 fresh apple
1 fresh plum/plumicot
1 jar of baby food (I used blueberry apple baby food, but any would work)
2 fat Tbls. of dijon mustard
1 Tbls brown sugar
2 tsps. ground thyme
1 tsp garlic powder/2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp salt (separated)
1 tsp cider vinegar
half dozen carrots
butter (no set amount, but about 6 pats)
1 box of prunes (you will only use as many as fit in the channels in the roast)

Prepare pork roast - wash, dry and place in greased broiler pan. Prepare carrots, scrape and cut in 2 inch dices and put aside.
Slice long channels into the meat (3 of them) and stuffed them with prunes (you could easily use apricots, dried apples, fresh apples, roasted garlic, fresh shallots, garlic, onions, etc...)
Salt and pepper and sprinkle with ground thyme and garlic powder (or rub with cloves of garlic) and place in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut up apple, plum/plumicot in slices or cubes (I think in retrospect, it might have been good cut in smaller dices), put aside

Heat a small saucepan over med/high heat and saute some garlic and finely sliced onions (I used the dried kind from the spice aisle and fresh garlic), when the aromatics are clear, add baby food, brown sugar, vinegar, dijon mustard, ground thyme, a tsp of salt, cut up apple and plum, and some ground pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes until mixture thickens to a glaze.

After 30 minutes in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and add the contents of the saute pan to coat the roast with the glaze. I tossed the big pieces of apples and plums on the side of the roast and added the carrots to the side as well, separating them so they weren't touching each other, but were coated with the glaze. Set the timer for one hour (total cooking time should 30 minutes per pound at 350 or until internal temp reaches 160-170 degrees). Every 20 minutes or so, baste the roast and carrots.

When the roast comes out of the oven, move it to a plate and let it rest under an aluminum foil tent.

Use a spatula/spoon to remove all the carrots from the pan. I sliced them into rounds and, right before serving, glazed with some of the sauce, some of the cooked fruit and a couple of pats of butter.

Meanwhile, collect all the drippings from the roast pan and deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of water. Reduce sauce in a large frying pan (or you can just put your roast pan right over a burner like you do when making gravy). After the roast rests for 20 minutes, slice into 1/2 inch slices, and arrange on a platter. Finish the gravy with a pat or two or butter to thicken and pour over all the slices....arrange the glazed carrots and fruit pieces on the platter next to the meat and VOILA!