Thursday, May 26

:: Roast Pork with Pears ::

We're hosting Cannon's aunt and uncle for dinner tonight, so Parrish and I made this recipe today. I've made it a few times and it is impressive (perfect for the boss' dinner, holidays, etc) without being difficult.

Roast Pork with Pears

3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh sage, plus sage leaves for roasting
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3.5 lbsm halved horizontally (I get the butcher to do this step for me)
3 ripe Bosc pears, halved lengthwise
4 leeks, white portions, halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In mini food processor, process parsley, chopped sage, garlic, salt, pepper and 3 Tbsp oil into fine paste. Spread on cut side of one pork half; place other half on top. Tie roast with kitchen twine. Tuck sage leaves underneath twine. Season roast with salt and pepper.

I told Parrish to get next to the roast for a picture and he literally touched the side of his head to the raw roast. Oops. I couldn't stop laughing. I guess he took me literally.

In 5 1/2 qt. dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbsp. oil. Add pears, cut side down; cook 5 minutes. Transfer to plate. Brown pork on all sides, 8 minutes. Transfer to plate. Place leeks, cut side down, in pot in single layer. Set pork on top. Place pears along sides of pot.

Roast for 45-55 minutes. Transfer pork to carving board; tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. Transfer leeks and pears to platter. Slice pork; arrange on platter. Serves 8-10

(recipe from the Williams Sonoma catalog-I changed the type of pears to one that is in season during the summer)

Herb snippers-a life saver. I cook with a lot of fresh herbs during the summer and have recently found the solution to getting that tiny foliage off the stems without going crazy. These snippers (from Fresh Market-found in the produce section) have a center section that you place the herb stems in and then pull gently to remove the leaves! It's a snap. One more reason not to go the easy route and head to the spice cabinet!

I'm serving the roast with these baby carrots. I get tired of making the same old veggies and these provide some variety. You can get the recipe here.

Parrish helped me clip some hydrangeas from the yard for a centerpiece. Someone once told me that if you go to a lot of trouble with centerpieces and fancy dinners it looks like you're trying too hard because everyone knows it's not something you would normally do. I have the exact opposite opinion. I don't just do this for company. I don't always make a fancy dinner and have centerpieces on the table, but I do prepare meals with love and set a pretty table at least a few times a week because it is a way that I show my love to my family and friends and something that I both enjoy doing and get satisfaction from.

Parrish has been earning marbles now for about 2 years. A friend told me about this parenting tool and I love it. When Parrish does a chore (like setting the table) or gets a good report from school, or has good behavior, or has to have a shot, or does a workbook page, he gets to choose one marble for his jar. When the jar is full he gets to pick out a new toy. It helps so much with the daily shouts of, "mommy, come here-this is so neat-I want that!" while watching commercials. I just say, "oh, that's so cool. Are you going to earn your marbles for that?" He always says yes (and yes, every other day what he is earning his marbles for changes) and that's the end of it. Same goes for when we're at the store and he's begging for some toy. It instantly puts the ball back in his court. I've said no without making him feel like he's not in control. He knows that if he earns his marbles he can have it. Just not today. It has been a life saver for me. Telling Parrish I am going to take a marble from his jar for bad behavior is like telling him there is going to be no Santa Claus this year.

Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
Proverbs 31:13-15

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