Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

image via Martha Stewart

This year, Halloween was overshadowed by the hurricane and all the devastation it created.  The weather is still cold, windy and wet, but we're going to try and make the best of it and go trick or treating tonight anyway.  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is predicted to hit our area this afternoon and last 36 grueling hours.  We've been through blizzards and other hurricanes before, but everyone seems to be really worried about this one.  Every time we have really bad weather, I am really bothered by the welfare of homeless people and animals in our area.  I hope everyone makes it through this one OK.  Here's how it's looking right now outside our front door.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


What a full and wonderful day we had in Baltimore today!  Darren's cousin Christina is still in town and we invited her to join us on our day trip.  Our family had an appointment with a photographer in Baltimore to take Christmas portraits and thought that maybe she'd like to see what B-more was about.  The studio was located near Clipper Mill, a former industrial-turned-artists' community on the outskirts of the city.  It was a little gem, with artists' studios and shops and the popular Woodberry Kitchen...which although had great atmosphere, was a overrated in food, in my opinion.  The industrial atmosphere made for some very cool backdrops, however!  Afterwards, we headed down to Inner Harbor and found ourselves to be the only tourists foolish enough to walk around the waterfront on the day before a hurricane was supposed to hit!  It was very cold and windy.  Sophie and Grace still managed to find fun, but Darren and I were ready to collapse by the end!

Darren's cousins from Sweden and Quebec, his mom, and Darren.

Woodberry Kitchen's Americana interior

Love the plaid shirted, blue jeaned uniforms...the staff could easily pass for lumberjacks!

Christina and our kiddos at the bar.

This door framed the shot very well.

I loved the architectural elements strewn throughout.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Molasses-Glazed Roast Pork and Sweet Potatoes

My husband's cousin is visiting this week from Sweden, and I got to meet her for the first time!  She is so warm and friendly and has those gorgeous Nordic looks that most of us would kill for.  I'm having her over for dinner on Saturday, and I want to make her a cozy supper, so I think I'll try this recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

By the way, am I the only person that stares at the Williams-Sonoma catalogue and fantasizes about making Martha Stewart-eque meals for my family and friends?

Molasses-Glazed Roast Pork and Sweet Potatoes

2 pork tenderloins, each 10 to 12 oz.
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Season the pork tenderloins lightly with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the molasses, mustard, rosemary and 1/2 tsp. of the red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, the remaining 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and toss to coat the sweet potatoes evenly. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, leaving a space in the center of the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pork in the center; set the fry pan aside. Brush the pork and potatoes with some of the molasses mixture. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pork and potatoes to a warmed platter.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the fry pan and set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently to scrape up the browned bits, until the shallot begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining molasses mixture and the broth and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

Slice the pork and drizzle with the sauce. Serve the pork and potatoes immediately, passing any remaining sauce at the table. Serves 4.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Festival

Hello friends...if you're still out there...I'm back, from what's probably been my longest hiatus yet.  Life got in the way, and I found that blogging fell to the bottom of my to-do's.  Much has happened in the past few months, some good things, some bad things...My baby turned 2 years old in July.  She's no longer just a baby, and is well on her way to becoming a sassy girl.  It seems like another lifetime when I was taking 20 pictures of her a day and posting regularly to the blog!  Also, I started a new job, which was a bittersweet experience.  I left many friends, but was ready to take the next step in my career.  Finally, my father in law passed away.  It has been a stressful and emotional draining few weeks.

But I'm back, and ready to begin the updates on my life again!  We have been keeping very busy and still doing fun things.  Last weekend, we went to a Fall Festival with our cousins.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  Crisp and sunny you can see, the kids had a great, wholesome time!

Sophie's looking forward to joining the Girl Scouts next year, when she's eligible to be a Daisy!