Last night we were eating an apricot glazed pork tenderloin roast and the most beautifully soft and lightly sweet biscuits I have ever tasted. Missing from our table was a household staple of red meat and Russet potatoes.
You see, we were eating without my teenage son who is a total red blooded, red meat eating carnivore of a teenager who is sure that french fries and french fries alone are the solution to any vegetable question (his biggest stretch is baked white potatoes…seriously).
I realize I am the proverbial “bad mom” for letting him get away with this mentality, but I do have various veggies on our table every night for the taking and although I may cajole him into a bite or two, I choose to not go to battle over eating them.
Somehow, you learn as a parent to pick your battles all along the way and eventually, with a few scars mind you, you earn your “seasoned parent” stripes and learn that you just can’t follow all those dang rules that are set out in those infamous parenting books and you stop comparing yourself and your child to others.
Leah, an efriend of mine and fellow blogger (The Seven Hills Collection), is ready to give birth to her first child and this brings up memories of being a new parent and thinking that you never know the answers and that you are always doing it wrong; whatever it was. This post is to tell her that when she is up to her eyeballs in parenting do’s and don’ts, and “helpful” neighbors or relatives who are sure their way is the only way, I want to tell her that her way, the one that suits her, is the one that matters.
I remember when I was sure I had to swaddle my newborn just right, avoid the “evil” pacifier, listen to my son cry himself to sleep because that’s what “good” moms do. And the list goes on forever and still carries on now, but my advice, though unscientific and unasked for, is if it kills you to listen to him cry, then pick him up. He will survive.
Trust me, my son is NOT attached at my hip; infact as I write this, he is at a Track and Field team party celebrating their season and he casually told me, “You can come to the awards thing at the end…if you want…it’s up to you”. I kind of wish he still needed me to soothe him to sleep, but that would be weird so I just am happy that he is growing up strong and independent.
When my son came home later that night, he let me know he was more than relieved to have dodged the pork roast “bullet” at our house along with the sweet potato biscuits—gasp! Although, I have to admit, I was a bit relieved that he didn’t want the only biscuit left that night…I was kind of hoping it would be my breakfast tomorrow.
For the record, I gave up the whole cry himself to sleep thing after three long and painstaking nights. There were many things I didn’t do by the book nor even close to the book and there were many, many times I did what got me through and guess what, I have two happy and healthy kids who are doing great in school, have nice friends and are good with who they are. What more could I want? Only vegetable eating perhaps.
Well, I hope you make these over-the-top soft and delectable sweet potato biscuits and if anyone is dodging them at your house, then more for you my friend! I have also included a short description of my pork roast since it was very yummy and took about two minutes to prepare. How can you go wrong with that?
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Changed a smidge from Paula Deen’s Recipe
makes about 6-8 biscuits depending on how big they are.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 2 medium or 1 very large potato)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
3-5 tablespoons milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes…I used 6!)
For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub and poke your sweet potatoes a few times with fork and cook them in the microwave on high until soft (about 8 minutes or so depending on your microwave)
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut very cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes and then put them in the dry mixture. I like to use a pastry blender (hand tool) in the beginning and then mix with my hands to feel the mixture. The butter should end up pea sized and the mixture should be gravel-y but not sandy. The pea-sized butter helps make your biscuits flaky by creating air pockets when they bake. Now, add all your sweet potatoes and some of the buttermilk a couple tablespoons at a time, carefully incorporating the milk and potatoes with a rubber scraper. Once your dough looks like this, stop. Don’t over mix or add in too much milk.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll (I patted out the dough instead of rolling. It is a very soft dough) out the dough to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased pan or on parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Watch your oven: If the biscuits are browning too fast, lower the temperature.) Serve warm…with a little butter please.
Roast Pork with Apricot Glaze –
1 pork tenderloin (many packages come in two’s so just double the recipe then)
dash salt and pepper for seasoning the roast
1 t. ground ginger, you will use 1/2 t. to season pork roast and 1/2 t. for glaze.
1/3 c. of apricot jelly (I like to use no sugar added)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and coat a rectangular glass dish with cooking spray. Simply season your pork tenderloin with salt, pepper and a 1/2 t. ground ginger. Next, get a large skillet nice and hot with some Canola oil in the pan…like about 2 T. On medium high heat (or high depending on how hot your burner gets), sear all sides of the pork tenderloin, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. When you turn the pork, dont’ let bits stick to your pan, you may want to use a spatula instead of tongs as you turn it to sear it on all sides. Place roast in a glass rectangular Pyrex dish or such coated with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, put in your apricot jelly and place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so to slightly melt it and make it smooth. Add your ginger and mix with a fork or small whisk to get it smooth. Brush the glaze on your seared roast with a pastry brush and put it in on the middle rack of your oven. You can throw in peeled chopped sweet potatoes tossed in olive oil with rosemary if you like for the easiest side dish ever.
Baste the roast with the remaining glaze about 15 minutes after cooking and then keep roasting it. Throw out the remaining glaze since a raw pork pastry brush has “tainted” what ever’s left. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your tenderloin. Most are about 1 – 1.5 inches thick in diameter and they take about 30 minutes to roast but the thick ones might take about 45 minutes. I do the unthinkable and make a small cut in the center when I think it should be done and take a peak. It can be a very, very light pink but should register 160 degrees F. on a meat thermometer. Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from the oven to allow the juices to rest inside the pork. This way the yummy juices don’t run all over your cutting board instead of flavoring the meat.
If you would like a little more glaze for drizzling over the pork, just mix up a little bit more apricot jelly and ginger and microwave it again so it’s hot. It’s beautiful to pour it artfully over your pork on the serving platter with the roasted sweet potatoes surrounding it. A very nice presentation, a delicious meal and it’s super easy. Don’t forget the gorgeous basket of biscuits!
May 20, 2011 at 5:42 am
Those look beautiful! I love sweet potatoes. Paula Deen is all the rage where I live too.
May 20, 2011 at 6:44 am
These look heavenly! We, too, had pork tenderloin last night, but nothing like this! I LOVE sweet potatoes and have made a fan out of my husband. (Side note: He had never had a baked sweet potato until I came along!) Anyway, these just might make their way onto the table at Thanksgiving…I am sure I will need to try to perfect them quited a bit before then ;). Thanks for sharing Geni! Can’t wait to try them!
May 20, 2011 at 7:37 am
Geni, I smiled and related with all that you wrote! And I laugh when I think about how I worried about potty training my son and all the “advice” I was given! I believe M&M rewards did it for my daughter! Fast forward to today; my son may not eat much veggies but I know he would LOVE having fresh baked biscuits!
May 20, 2011 at 8:16 am
Whats funny, is all my parents to get me to eat when I was a kid were the veggies. I never, ever, ever wanted the meat. Or potatoes (unless they were lathered in butter).
Those biscuits sound incredible. Definitely another ‘must try’.
May 20, 2011 at 8:55 am
Ok, you know I love this post. Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement as we embark on this wild ride. I, for one, would consider it a raging success to have raised kids that are secure in who they are. I wouldn’t care if a green leafy vegetable ever hit their lips! 🙂
May 20, 2011 at 10:12 am
I completely agree for your advice for Leah. Basically you’ll know what is right for you and your family.
What a beautiful post!
May 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm
OMG…I will die..these look so so so good! I make either pancakes or biscuits every weekend for breakfast..my hubster loves them and he like sweet potato a lot too..This is straight up my try list!
May 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm
May 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm
If a bullet was made out of pork roast and these (amazing looking) biscuits, I would gladly throw my whole body in front of it. With my mouth open.
May 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm
best. comment. ever.
I can’t stop laughing!!
May 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm
When I was growing up, my mom kind of tricked me into thinking that if I didn’t eat my green vegetables, I would fail out of school and have no friends. Although I know now that my veggie intake won’t really have a significant impact on my grades or social life, I’m happy she taught me to eat my green veggies 😛 I know it’s probably too late to try and trick your son into eating vegetables, but if he has a mother like you than I’m sure he’ll do great in life with or without the veggies! 🙂
May 21, 2011 at 4:04 am
Ah great post! From what I can tell, when you have a baby people are very quick to tell you what is “right” and what is “wrong”…all of which are completely different and sometimes contradictory! I never ate veggies as a kid and now i love them. So, really. it probably doesn’t matter all that much.
I LOVE these biscuits! If I were your son I would totally have gobbled up the last one!
May 21, 2011 at 4:52 am
I made sweet potato and cheddar biscuits over the winter and we devoured them! these look perfect!
May 21, 2011 at 9:32 am
I just wanted to let you know that you are a Genuine Blogger. Celebrate your blog, as it is comes across to the reader as heartfelt and genuine. There are no rules with this honor. Accept it and relish in the thought that your blog is “award worthy” without having any strings attached. If you choose to give this award to a deserving fellow blogger, please do so with no “rules.” Award it to someone for his or her genuineness in blogging. Free and clear.
Kay aka Babygirl – Pure Complex
May 22, 2011 at 12:37 am
Anything with sweet potato or even potato starch on any baked good will make it so smooth in texture, I recently have made something with those before and its called ensaymada (http://angsarap.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/ensaymada/) and is was so smooth.
May 22, 2011 at 6:48 am
Hi Geni, this looks incredible! can you please send some my way? 🙂 btw, thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. it means so much to me my dear friend:)
May 22, 2011 at 8:26 am
Geni, great post, I can totally relate to what you say! I did my own thing, my kids did not go by the book, they still don’t. But then again, neither do I. I still deal with the picky eater part, which is difficult when you like to cook. Those biscuits look amazing. I love the color!
May 22, 2011 at 10:22 am
I guess we do have to pick our battles. I think that I would’ve been glad he didn’t want the biscuit 🙂 I am saving this recipe. I must try sweet potato biscuits.
May 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm
Hi, Geni. I like the idea of SP biscuits (OK, that’s just my short-hand for the yam addition), and I really enjoyed the Cointreau Cake. If I’d only had alcohol-laced cupcakes in high school calculus, I might have enjoyed it a bit more….
Thanks very much for stopping by and checking in – life is just getting in the way of blogging these days, unfortunately. So not much going on in new recipes or time for photography, writing, editing, etc.
May 23, 2011 at 8:11 am
Yes, perhaps the cointreau cupcakes helped my Calc. teacher survive his high school students. Hope life’s craziness is all good stuff for you.
May 23, 2011 at 7:31 am
Bread and potatoes are 2 of my favorite things! These biscuits sound just perfect, especially with all that melted butter on top. 🙂
May 23, 2011 at 8:13 am
I never claimed to be a minimalist! 🙂 Butter is awesome when slathered thickly on a biscuit. There’s just no other way.
May 23, 2011 at 8:28 am
How delicious those biscuits sound!
Here’s my soup advice for southern California: Turn on the AC and close the drapes! That’s how we celebrated many thanksgivings and Christmases when we lived in La Jolla. We’d also pray for rain so we could pretend it was snow!!
May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am
love your post! I definitely have to agree that it is very difficult starting out as a new parent not knowing what to do or if whatever we do will be “good enough”. They don’t come with manuals, so of course, it’s trial and error. But they survive, as do we, and as you said, they’ve got good friends, are happy and healthy, do well in school and above all are confident in who they are. What more could we ask for?
I congratulate you on a job well done – both on the biscuits and the kids, but especially, the kids!
May 23, 2011 at 11:04 am
I have never had biscuits made with sweet potatoes…they look so good, esp. topped with the melting butter….yummy!
May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm
Nice post Geni, and I totally see your point as I went through the same issues with my son…in time they will change. I thought that my soon would never eat veggies as I had to hide the shredded carrots in the spaghetti sauce and so on…now he devours big bowls of salad. Your biscuits look delicious, nice color and look really moist. Great paired with the roast pork. Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂
May 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm
By far the most delicious biscuit I have seen!
May 24, 2011 at 3:34 am
Oh, Paula Deen recipes rock and you made an amazing looking biscuit!
Although I do not have kids, I have heard the same comment you made from my friends who have: Do what gets you through, forget about the books! 🙂
May 25, 2011 at 9:47 am
Those kids are perfect! Some day he will start eating vegis.
May 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Spoken from a true grandma! 🙂
May 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm
Geni, my daughter is the same way, and once in a while she’ll ask to eat broccoli just to make me happy. She’ll eat mint from the garden, she thinks it’s a vegetable. 🙂
May 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm
Gosh, I know exactly what you meant by all that mom-stuff! I’ve got teenage boys as well, and the older one won’t eat half the stuff I make for dinner. As for them growing up and becoming more independent, there are moments when I find myself actually looking forward to the older one going off to college (next fall), and there are just as many days when I wonder how the heck I’ll deal with the shock/loss of him being gone. Isn’t it interesting how that tendency to compare your parenting to that of others eventually just sort of evaporates? Thank God it does, in any event!