Herbed Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This is an easy marinated pork dish that comes together in a flash.  This meat comes out so tender that it was mistaken for filet mignon at a dinner party I held last fall!  First, gather the ingredients you’ll need.

 

Ingredients:

One plain pork tenderloin, generally 1-1 1/2 lbs

2 tbsp olive oilDSC_3338

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and mix thoroughly.  Allow the meat to marinate for at least an hour, longer is better.  Sometimes I even marinate it overnight in the fridge if I think of it ahead of time.  If rosemary or thyme aren’t your thing, feel free to use other herbs or spices.

 

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Using tongs, place the tenderloin on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Discard the leftover marinade.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees in the thickest part of the tenderloin.  After removing from the oven, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes so that the juices evenly distribute.  Slice and serve with your favorite sides!

 

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Fun Friday Finds

In my attempt to post 3 times weekly, I thought I’d make Friday a little bit more fun. I’ll share products, ideas, and thoughts that I’ve come across each week. Please share some of your own in the comments! After all-sharing is caring. 🙂
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This is the Fitbit Charge HR.  I purchased one a few weeks ago from Amazon and am SO happy I did.  I previously had an UP by Jawbone and became very disappointed with it.  Namely-it wouldn’t count my steps if my arm wasn’t swinging.  And let’s face it, I am pushing a stroller or grocery cart a lot these days. Returning home from an hour-long walk while pushing an extra 60 lbs. only to find out you didn’t get credit?  NOT COOL.  The Fitbit Charge HR gives you credit based on your elevated heart rate.  And for that, I’ll always be loyal.  It easily syncs to an app on your phone, so you can check on things like average heart rate, floors climbed, and calories burned throughout the day.  You can also input your food intake and target weight and it will determine how many calories you should be consuming per day.  It’s been a very fun new toy and it’s motivating for sure!

 

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Oh, Lula Clips, how I love thee.  My sister Britt introduced me to these magnetic carseat clips and they are so handy.  They hold the straps of a carseat open so you can easily locate them and fix them into place.  No more digging for straps under your child’s behind  when you are in a time crunch!  Plus, they are a great conversation starter.  Just sayin’.  (PS-that’s not my child, but he’s adorable!)

 

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Thanks to my wonderful friend Jen, I’ve been reading Child of Mine on and off for the past year and a half.  Now that I have a 2-year-old who has very specific opinions when it comes to food, this book is more valuable than ever.  The premise is that I, as the parent, decide the what, where, and when of mealtime, while the child decides the whether and how much.  So far, I’ve found that it has all but eliminated the battles over eating and it keeps me from making more than one meal at a time.  Win!  My hope is that this approach will encourage intuitive eating, a skill that I continue to work on daily.

 

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Rebecca Hersher

 

My mom ran a small in-home daycare while I was growing up and Becky was one of my favorite “daycare sisters.”  She is a fun, wise, and determined young lady who, after graduating from Harvard, now works as a producer for National Public Radio.  Her reporting is tremendous and we are so proud of her.  I literally squeal when I hear her distinctive voice come on the radio.  She recently spent the winter in Greenland, reporting on their high rates of suicide.  Click here to check out her work. Way to go, Beck!

 

*I have no affiliation with any of the products mentioned here and all opinions are mine alone.

And then he turned 2…

Our sweet boy turned 2 yesterday!!  In some ways, it seems like no time has passed and yet life before Griffin seems like ages ago.  Here are a few things to know about Griffin at age 2:

  • He was born 10 days early, on a rainy Saturday in Boston
  • He weighed only 5 lbs., 7 oz.IMG_4191
  • His first word was Dada
  • He is curious but cautious, sweet, smart, silly, and loving
  • He hid his eye drops for pink eye down his pants!
  • He adores his baby brother
  • He loves cars, trucks, balls, Elmo, his loveys, and clocks
  • His favorite foods are raspberries, grapes, yogurt, and cheese
  • He has strong gross and fine motor skills
  • He interested in how things work
  • His favorite people are his Dad, Wes, and his grandfathers, Opa, and Pappa
  • He climbed out of his crib, with his sleepsack on…once
  • He loves to be outside
  • He can be very mischievous

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2 Days Old with his Oma

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5 Months Old

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20 Months Old with his brother

Sweet Potato “Fries”

If there is one vegetable that everyone in our house agrees on, it’s sweet potatoes! We LOVE them and eat them often-with fish, with chicken, even with our eggs in the morning!  My favorite way to prepare them is to chop them up into “fries” and roast them.  They are a great snack or side, they are easy to reheat, and always go fast!  Here’s how I make them:

 

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3 medium sweet potatoes

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp olive oil

 

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch sticks.  Place in a large mixing bowl with cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Using clean hands, toss well until all potatoes are well coated.  You can use any other spices you may like-nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar also work well.  Evenly spread the sweet potatoes out on a cookie sheet.  I line my sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until soft.  Serve and enjoy!

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Watercress and Sweet Pea Pesto

I recently came across this article extolling the nutritional value of watercress.  I admit I knew very little about this dainty leafy green and often overlooked it at the grocery store.  It turns out watercress is an excellent source of calcium and Vitamins A, C, and K, among other things.  I set about creating a recipe that incorporates this wonderful vegetable.  Watercress and sweet pea pesto is what I came up with.  Here’s the recipe:

 

2 cups fresh watercress, tough stems removedFullSizeRender (11)

1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

 

Combine all ingredients but the olive oil in a food processor.  Slowly add the oil after all other ingredients are incorporated.  Toss with warm rotini or penne and any remaining sweet peas.  You may want to save a bit of the boiled pasta water if the mixture needs to be thinned out.  This was a HUGE hit with my picky toddler.  He even asked for seconds!  Enjoy!

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Self Care

When I gave birth to my first son, I was 36 and could not have felt more ready to start a family. For so long I’d dreamed of the husband, the children, and the house with a white picket fence. I had a successful career as a speech language pathologist, a beautiful new home, an amazingly supportive family, and wonderful friends. When Griffin came along in April of 2014, we were elated and couldn’t wait to bring our boy home.

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It wasn’t long before the reality of having a newborn set in…big time. I was overwhelmed, anxious, and all of a sudden felt entirely unprepared to care for this precious little boy. I’d spent years babysitting, worked with children in my professional life, and naturally had a million opinions on child-rearing.  Ha!  I expected to be tired from breastfeeding around the clock and from getting to know my little guy.  What I didn’t expect was how quickly I lost my sense of self as Griffin became the very center of my world.

A friend asked me at one point “What are you doing for self care?” I was baffled. Self care? Was that even a thing? And if so, did I need it? It turns out it is a thing, and oh man, I needed it!  I struggled at first with how to relax.  Early on, I remember my sister taking Griffin for an afternoon so I could have a break.  I felt paralyzed by all the options-do I sleep?  Do I read?  Do I exercise?  Do I eat?  In the end, I booked a last-minute massage.  It was miserable!  I laid there feeling guilty for not being with Griff, for spending the money, for not knowing how to take care of myself.  So began my journey towards finding my own joy, to really understanding what I need to be the best wife, mother, and person I can be.

Here are some ideas for self care that have worked for me so far…

Date Night

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Steve and I work hard to have a date at least one night each week.  Sometimes we go out alone, sometimes we meet friends, and sometimes we cook at home and play cards.  In dealing with the stressors of everyday life, taking some time to check in with one another and simply talk is a must for us.  Spending time with Steve also reminds me that we’re in this together and I feel much less overwhelmed.

Friends!

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Making time for my friends is something I try to do, but also one of the first things to get lost in the shuffle and busyness of parenting. Although visits aren’t always possible, quick phone calls and texts can do wonders for me if I’m having a particularly difficult day. There is something very comforting and grounding in knowing I’m not the only one who feels like they cut grapes for a living.

Find a Playgroup

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This one is essential!  Through a local mom’s group, I was matched with a group of 3 women who had babies right around the same time as I had.  It has been such a blessing to have these amazing ladies and their babies in our lives.  We bounce ideas off one another, we laugh at how similar our baby’s antics are, and we’ve even shed some tears together.  Watching our kids grow has been so much fun and I truly don’t know how I’d have made it through the past 2 years without them!

Exercise

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This is the definition of self care for me.  After Griffin was born, I was petrified of exercise as I was afraid it would negatively affect my breastmilk supply.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to exclusively feed him breastmilk and I poured all of my energy into doing so.  I found that if I ate extra calories and drank a lot of water, I could keep up with his demands and still get those workouts in.  Regular runs and yoga classes are a time for me to decompress, breathe, and check in with myself.  I have so much more energy now that I’m in better shape and am able to play and lift and shlep with the best of them.  And I FEEL better.  I’m happier and more grounded and that makes me a better mom. 

Do Something You Love

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For me, this turned out to be cooking and baking.  When Griffin was 6 months old, with the support of the husband and our amazing babysitter Elena, I was able to start taking a weekly cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.  There, I further explored my passion for food and food preparation.  I LOVED the time spent there and I was so excited to return home to see my baby at the end of the day.  A little time apart did wonders for my mental health and I was  cultivating a skill at the same time.  Win-win!

Go Outside
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On the hardest days, fresh air and movement worked wonders for us-and they still do!  Sometimes it’s as simple as walking around the block, other times we take a ride into Boston and play in the public garden.  No matter what-it always makes me feel better.

Give Yourself a Break 

What I mean here is….be gentle with yourself.  Feel all the feels, cry all the tears, take a nap.  I think as new moms we put A TON of pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone.  And frankly-we can’t be.  I see now that my own health, mental and physical, is just as important of that of my babies.  If that means my child gets a bottle of formula instead of breastmilk so I can complete an extra sweaty workout, so be it.  If that means my toddler watches an episode (or 2) of Daniel the Tiger so I can check my email, he’s going to be fine.  I’m not saying that making yourself a priority is easy.  It’s something I continue to work on each and every day.  But I see how much more love and energy I can give when I’m happy.

Ask for Help

Ahhh…this is a tough one.  I’m lucky to have family, friends, and neighbors nearby who readily help me out.  Asking them for that help, however, is not so easy.  I’ve found, though, that they are not just willing to help, but eager to help.  They’ve been there too! Some of them are STILL there with their own families, yet selflessly give up their time and energy to help a sister out.  You want to take my son for a couple of hours?  Yes!  You want to drop off a meal?  Yes!  You want to hold my baby so I can shower and (gasp!) blow dry my hair?  Yes! Just say yes, people.  You’ll be so glad you did.

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So tell me..what do you do for self care?  Anything you’d add to my list?  

 

 

Morning Glory Muffins

Do I have a treat for you today!  I recently read about morning glory muffins on a favorite blog of mine, Kath Eats Real Food.  I baked a batch this morning and I LOVE them.   As I had just finished reading Andie Mitchell’s memoir, It Was Me All Along, the timing was perfect to try out a recipe from her new cookbook, Eating in the Middle.   I really identified with Andie’s struggles with food and with her current outlook on food-eating in a balanced way and making each bite count.  In that spirit-here’s the recipe!

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking sodaFullSizeRender (5)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup cooking oil

3 large eggs

1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple

3 large carrots, shredded

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

 

First, shred 3 large carrots using a grater

 

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Next, in a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.

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Next, in a large bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and pineapple.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

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Add the carrots, raisins, and coconut and fold in with a spatula.

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Using a small ice cream scooper, fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through completely.  The finished product is adult and toddler-approved!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Easy Citrus Vinaigrette

Since my boys generally both nap in the early afternoon, I often struggle with how best to use my precious hour or 2 of free time.  Do I shower?  Write those thank-you notes that are embarrassingly overdue?  Take a nap?   Usually, my first choice is LUNCH.  I am all about quick lunches that satisfy me, but don’t make me feel too full.  Salads have become my lunchtime staple in the past few months.

In an attempt to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet, I’ve been throwing all kinds into a big mixing bowl, tossing them with a homemade vinaigrette, and voila-lunch is served!  My favorite dressing right now is orange vinaigrette.  I end up using most of the orange in the salad, which is a great way to sneak in some extra vitamin C.  First, I zest the orange and then cut off the entire peel.

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Then I segment the orange and add the pieces  directly to my mixing bowl with the zest.

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Next, I add olive oil, salt and pepper, and whatever herb or spice I may have around to the bowl and mix well.

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Lastly, I add my salad ingredients and toss thoroughly.  Today I used baby spinach, pine nuts, and smoked salmon.

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Off to write those thank-you notes…

My Favorite Breakfast

Welcome to Katrine in the Kitchen!  I’m Katrine and this is my attempt at documenting our crazy, messy, wonderful life with two boys under 2.  I love to cook and create in the kitchen and am lucky enough to be able to stay home full-time caring for and feeding my family.  Here we are-me, my husband Steve, and our two boys Griffin & Parker.  (photo cred:Stephanie Cargan Photography)

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I thought it only fitting that my very first post really capture a perfect morning for me.  My sons and I are up and eating by 7 each day. I’m a morning person and feel very inspired to create yummy meals for my toddler and I first thing.  My favorite is an English muffin with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with chives.

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Growing up we had a big patch of chives in our yard.  I remember feeling so lucky when my dad would hand me the scissors to go cut some for our eggs on a Sunday morning after church.   Now that I have a home, yard, and family of my own, those chives are there to remind me of those sweet moments.  And the smoked salmon is a nod to my mom-she’s from Norway and always served smoked salmon as an appetizer when she had a formal dinner party.

 

Now, before you think our mornings are this neat and organized, let’s be real for a second.  There is spilled milk, interruptions to nurse my 6-month-old, spit up on my shoulder, tripping over Griffin’s ride-on bee, you get the picture.  It’s also the Red Sox home opener this afternoon, but my child insisted on wearing his Patriots sweatshirt.  At least he’s close! I hope you’ll continue to check back from time to time to see what we’re up to and what’s cooking in my kitchen!

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