I shouldn’t be cooking, but I am

I have more on my plate right now than I like, and usually that puts me into an “eat what comes my way” mode, but I’m lashing out against my better judgment. I am losing weight still, which I guess comes with continual nursing and recurring illnesses of the digestive system. That isn’t what most people like me for, in fact, I think it makes some people angry that I have to make sure I eat enough. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not my mother or cousin who would blow away if they didn’t remember to eat every meal, but my numbers are below normal for me, despite the postpartum pooch that will probably remain with me to my dying day. That said, I am going into the kitchen to make sure that what I put in my body is good for me rather than the empty calories that supported me through law school.

This week, after spending the majority of Sunday and Monday ill, I made brownies, skillet tuna casserole, veggie fajitas, pork loin with roasted root vegetables – including these wonderful blue potatoes we got at the farmers’ market this summer and have been storing in our window well, and last night it was mini pork pies. That is more than I probably make when I’m not studying for the bar. Weird, but I guess I have just felt the need to be domestic when all around me is legal and brooding.

I didn’t really get any good pictures of what I made, because guilt still compelled me to quickly return to the books, but I had such a nice time in the kitchen that I am disliking studying more and more everyday. I guess I would probably do that anyway.

For the brownies, pork loin and tuna casserole (comfort food after our sickness last weekend), the recipes came from my America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. The pork pies were a modified version of a magazine rip-out.

Cupcake tin pork pies:

3/4 lb ground pork (I took off a chunk of the pork loin before I roasted it and threw it in the food processor to make my ground pork)
1 medium onion, small dice
salt and pepper
1 T chopped fresh sage
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten and divided
2 9 inch disks of refrigerated pie dough – yes, I used premade pie dough because I am afraid of making pastry dough.

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Butter 12 muffin cups
3. Combine all ingredients, but the dough and 1 T of the beaten egg
4. Unroll and cut out twelve large circles (big enough to line the muffin cups)
5. Re-roll the dough and cut smaller circles for the tops, or if you’re like me, then you didn’t have enough left over so you cut out fun little shapes for the tops of the pies.
6. Line the 12 cups with the dough and fill them with about 1 1/2 T of the pork mixture, using it all up among the 12 cups.
7. Place your toppers on – if you got enough out to make full toppers, put a small hole in the top for a vent. If not, decorate the top with your decoration.
8. Bake until the tops are brown and slightly puffy – 30-35 minutes, removing to cool for about 15 minutes before eating.

We want to experiment and try other fillings because these were so good and really handy. Next, I think we will try feta, ground chicken and sun-dried tomatoes with a touch of oregano. And yes, i took pictures, but I have no idea where the camera has gone.

Here is the roast pork loin and the really pretty and out of focus purple potatoes.
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