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North Carolina, United States

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1. All my posts are written for myself first (with my followers in mind of course). If I make money from a post due to third party advertising such as Google or Foodbuzz, then so much the better.
2. If I write about a product, cookbook or restaurant, chances are that I received the product, cookbook or meal for FREE.
3. If I write a review about a product, cookbook or restaurant that was not FREE, I will disclose that in my post. I will always write about local establishments and businesses (non-chain) gratis- I support local businesses and hope you will too.
4. FREE product does not guarantee a positive review.
5. If you are interested in sending me a book or product to review, or want me to review a restaurant, please know that I make every effort to post reviews within 4 weeks of receiving a book, within 2 weeks of receiving a product, and within 1 week of dining at a restaurant.
6. I write for several websites and print publications in addition to my blog and my writing interests are strictly food or cooking-related, so please make sure that your book or product is food-related in some way.
Friday, September 25, 2009

Taste of Home Christmas 2009

The other night when we got home from work, we found a package laying on the front porch. My husband, the accountant, immediately asked, "what did you order now?"(He suspected a cookbook purchase). Ok, so maybe I have a teeny little weakness (well...ok....giant weakness) for cookbooks, and he-who-knows-me-well was right to suspect a covert amazon purchase. However, as I informed him with self-righteous indignation, I had not purchased anything (that I could remember). Plausible deniability is a wonderful thing!

So the mystery package lay on the counter for a while as we both went about the usual home-from-work puttering that is part of our nightly routine. Feed the dogs and bird, take out trash, pack lunches, etc. An hour later, I opened the box, determined to send back whatever boon the cookbook gods had sent my way. This was bad. Real Bad. Inside the box was one of my particular weaknesses...a Christmas cookbook! I told myself I would just flip though it and then send it back. I told myself that if it wasn't too expensive, maybe I would consider keeping it. I told myself...well...you get the picture. My husband groaned when he saw the book. He knew right then our checking account would take a hit because, after all, it was "a Christmas cookbook honey"!

In a last-ditch attempt to save myself from temptation, I decided to open the envelope attached to the box. You know, just to see how much the cookbook cost so I could talk myself out of becoming too attached to it. Inside there was a letter. "Dear Mrs. Hawkins, You are receiving this complimentary copy of Taste of Home's Christmas 2009 cookbook as our thanks for your contribution. Your recipe/craft can be found on page 88". What's this? A FREE cookbook? And I'M IN IT?? Suffice it to say that I got a little excited. Ok...a lot. I'm pretty sure our neighbors heard me yell, and I know I scared our chihuahua because she avoided me for the rest of the night.

I had no idea what recipe it could be, mostly because I enter so many contests. I didn't want to waste time checking my contesting notebook, so, risking multiple paper-cuts, I quickly flipped to page 88 and there it was in all it's glory: my recipe for Tuscan Pork Stew! Like a proud parent at kindergarten graduation, I got a bit misty seeing my baby there in print. It was beautiful!

So all's well that ends well. I got a new Christmas cookbook plus bragging rights, our checkbook escaped unscathed, and you, my dear readers, get the Tuscan Pork Stew recipe! By the way...the book is terrific and full of wonderful recipes with full-color photos. Buy yours today at Taste of Home.

Tuscan Pork Stew
1 boneless whole pork loin roast ( 1-1 1/2 lbs.) cut into cubes
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups frozen pepper and onions stir-fry (or fajita) blend, thawed
1/2 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
Hot cooked fettuccine (optional)
  • In a large skillet, brown pork in oil until no longer pink; drain. Place pork in a 5-qt. slow cooker.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, broth, vegetable blend, wine, marmalade, garlic, oregano, fennel seed, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if desired); pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until gravy is thickened. Serve over hot cooked fettuccine (if desired).


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1 comments:

Anne said...

'Covert Amazon purchase' LOL! Oh, I so have that same weakness - and I justify it with used book purchases for pennies (nevermind that the shipping is still $4).

This. Is. AWESOME. I'm so excited for you!

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"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom."

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