One Red Couch

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Dinner was awesome last night and I wanted to save the recipes I used so I can remember for next time.

For the pork: Fennel Crusted Pork Chops

I used fresh fennel seeds from my fennel planted that had gone to seed. Then we finished the pork in our need wood fired oven. I think next time I might add the carrots to the oven with the pork as they could have used a little more “doneness”.

For the potato-parsnip mash: Mashed Parsnip Potatoes

I’ve made this before. I also added a couple of cloves of garlic to boil with the potatoes and I dramatically cut down on the butter and used half n half instead of cream. I like to serve them with a mix of horseradish and sour cream.

For the carrots: Glazed Carrots

I always make extra of these because they are great warmed up.




I’ve been feeling like our lives are so busy that I’m afraid I’m not savoring my boys as much as I should. Very soon they won’t want “uppies” and they won’t beg to come in my bed to snuggle. 

I have a friend who says that she likes to Instagram photos of her kids so that it helps keep the memories of their smallness and childhood. I keep meaning to do “something” with the hundred of photos I have on my phone of them. In the days of “real” cameras we used to take fewer pictures and print everything. At least then we had boxes photos to sort through. Now we just upload them to our computers and they stay hidden until we decide what to do with them. Not that I write that, I guess it’s not that different , but I have so many to sort through now the task seems daunting. Lord know I have a ton more I “should” be doing than messing with preserving memories. Or do I?

Boys at their desk







Pulled Pork

We made 30lbs of pulled pork for our New Year’s Day party this year. We did a few test runs beforehand to make sure there was no panic at serving time and I still second guessed myself on cooking time. The translation of my 2.5lb roast to 6 5-6 lb roasts needs a little tweaking. I think good to remember for next time is that it’s perfectly ok for the pulled pork to be done hours before it needs to be served. It seems to only get better with time.

Here’s the recipe:

‘Not so Sweet’ Pulled Pork

  • 2.5 lbs pork butt or shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • 1 t worcestershire
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl. 
  3. Place the pork in a roasting pan or dutch oven and pour the sauce all over. Cover and cook at 300 degrees for 6 hours. 
  4. Check at 3 hours and see if the sauce is cooking down too quickly. If so, add 1/2 – 1 cup water.
  5. If the sauce doesn’t cook down enough once the pork is tender, you can pour off the sauce into a small sauce pan and reduce to your desired consistency.



We also had some amazing cheese from Taj Farms as well as these Zucchini Pickles, Marinated Mushrooms, and Bean & Corn Salad.


Coming down

Our trip to Finland was magical. Probably one of the most awe inspiring places I’ve been to. Not only was the scenery beautiful but so was the company. Visiting my old friend and her growing family warmed my heart. She always makes me feel good about myself and inspires me to be a better,  happier, more content person.

We spent six months planning the trip and the palling entertained me and got me through some dark times. Now as we are returning back to reality, I decided to try to make one of the treats we had while we were there.


I found a blog with a great recipe. I’ll have to work on my technique, because hers are absolutely beautiful and mine are a little “rustic”.