7 Quick Takes {delicious new recipes}

Instead of using my naptime freedom to watch the latest episode of “Nashville” [oh, Tammy Taylor Connie Britton, you rock my world], I thought I’d grace the internets with my first 7 Quick Takes installment. I’ve been meaning to get on Jen‘s bandwagon for quite awhile now, but well, we all know I’m a lazy blogger.

One of the stresses of moving was the time it took to get our kitchen in order. I know meal planning and preparation can be a big stress for some, and this might change when I have a child who eats more than little bites of our food, but for me making dinner is often the best part of my day. I feel like with a destroyer of everything in her path crawling baby, I never really get anything “accomplished” [other than forming her soul and mind, of course]. However, when I can bring together the chaos of ingredients to create something that makes sense, it just puts me at ease and makes me proud. I know this sounds idyllic: trust me, it’s not. I often let out quite a few profanities as such-and-such is burning on the stove or I realize I’m missing a key ingredient. And, let’s not talk about the fact Ryan and I ate at 10 PM on Monday, because I was a wee bit off on my timing.

ANYWAY…I’ve tried some amazing new recipes these past couple weeks, and since I’ve been slacking on actually posting my weekly meal plans, I thought I’d share them now. You’re welcome.

1. Pork Loin. This recipe came from an ah-mazing book that Ashley recently gave me. Thankfully, it’s also online. I substituted cran-apple juice for pomegranate juice, because, well, it was way cheaper. Still delicious. With aforementioned pork loin, I served this beet and sweet potato hash. It was so pretty! And yummy.

2. Speaking of sweet potatoes, I was daring and tried this sweet potato pizza. Definitely a keeper. I didn’t include kale the first time, but I think I’m going to make it again tonight with the kale. I’ll let your inquiring minds know how it goes. Oh, and I added some garlic with the olive oil on the crust. A must.

3. The first “real” meal I cooked in the house, eaten on a card table, no less, was this fantastic sweet potato pot pie, compliments the book I already mentioned. Yes, I was an over-achiever and monogrammed it too. Evidence here.

4. I don’t know if you could tell, but our CSA share has been laden with sweet potatoes… Both Karen and Erin were raving about this sweet potato and pork soup on the Facebook, so I had to get with the trend. Gotta be honest, it is an ugly dish, but the taste is anything but ugly. [Note: I only used half of a pork loin for recipe #1, then I used the other half for this soup. I know, I know, I am a meal-planning savant.]

5. So, I’ve tried whole wheat versions of focaccia bread time and time again. They always turned out “meh.” However, I trust Erika, and she posted this focaccia bread a while back. Well, I substituted all whole wheat pastry flour, then added two tablespoons of vital wheat gluten and an extra tablespoon of water. It was fabulous.

6. I’ve made this pumpkin bread quite a few times before, but this time I tried maple syrup instead of honey. Yum.

Aaaaand, if you want to make a healthy bread UNhealthy, try this pumpkin spread, compliments the pumpkin fairies: half a block of cream cheese, softened; half (or a little less) stick of salted butter, softened; about 1/4 to 1/3 cup pumpkin; 1/3 cup powdered sugar; 1/4 teas cinnamon; 1/8 teas ginger and nutmeg; pinch of ground cloves. Mix it with an electric mixer until smooth-ish.

7. Oh, you want more sweet potato recipes? Alrighty then. This sweet potato shepherd’s pie was quite tasty. I didn’t put egg in the potatoes, because that seemed weird to me, but Rachael Ray probably knows more than I do, so you should probably listen to her instead.

Happy weekend, y’all. Go eat some sweet potatoes.*

[*This post was sponsored by the American Council for Sweet Potatoes…not. That group doesn’t exist. Or maybe it does. I’m too lazy to google it.]