Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jewel Eats: Christmas Cookbook!

One of my sisters gifted me "Martha Stewart Living's One Pot" cookbook for Christmas. And I read it cover to cover in one day.  Y'all know that I love eating and I love cooking what I eat because it's the best way to ensure you're sticking to a low-sodium diet. Low-sodium is good for maintaining a good blood pressure which in turn is good for maintaining healthy kidneys.  Win-win. 

I've had my eye on this book since it came out because I'm a Martha Stewart Living stalker. I started cooking Martha's stuff when I was in college and moved into my first apartment with friends.  I've found most of her recipes to be fairly easy, straightforward, and delicious.  So, when the One Pot cookbook came out...I made a note to put it on my Christmas list so that someone else could buy it for me.  Now, I've only made one recipe out of this book, but I think this is a great thing to have around especially during these cold winter months.  The book is all about roasts, slow-cooker meals, dutch oven meals--full dinners that can be cooked in one pot/pan/dish.  And since it's just me and Ben in my household, most of these big dinners can be eaten over two to three days.  

So the point of this post: I'm inviting you to come on this journey with me, of trying out several recipes in this new cookbook, over the next three months.  By April it'll start to get warm again and we'll all be talking about Easter eggs and salads, and less about roasting and braising things I'm sure.  

The first thing I made:  Tuscan Pork Roast

Some thoughts about this recipe:
  • I'm a meat and potatoes kind of gal. So naturally, I whipped up a batch of garlic mashed potatoes to go with this.
  • I need a new digital thermometer.  I immediately threw out the one that I used to make this roast because it was defective.  I feel like it took me an extra 20 minutes to cook this thing because of how messed up my digital thermometer is.  Either that, or I need a new oven.
  • The recipe instructs you to rub about a teaspoon of salt all over the pork. I reduced it to about 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon and I didn't think it was bland at all.
  • Believe it or not, this was my first time eating fennel, fennel seeds and Italian hot cherry peppers! Well, maybe it wasn't the first time I've eaten them but it was definitely the first time I cooked any of those things.  I have to say: I'm a fan of all of those!  The Italian hot cherry peppers were toasted with the fennel before roasting them together in the oven with the pork roast.  They added a nice spicy kick to the leaves that I was crazy about.  
  • This isn't the first time I've made pork loin.  It's actually one of my favorite meats to cook because it's inexpensive and delicious.
  • Because I also had to purchase two new spices (fennel seeds and ground coriander) for this meal, the total cost of the ingredients was about $30, and Ben and I were able to get 4 servings out of my 2 lb pork loin.  So it was roughly $7.50 per serving.
In sum, I really liked this and I'll definitely make it again sometime and I would definitely make it for guests.   

That's all for now. Expect a new "One Pot" recipe in about two weeks!