Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dublin Coddle One-Dish Dinner in Honor of St. Patrick's Day

When it comes to dinner, I love to 'experiment' on my family once a week or so.  This experiment usually entails trying a new receipe with the waiver that we can get take-out if the meal is not edible in any way.  Last year around St. Patty's Day, appropriately enough, I found this receipe on  I cooked it up with a few minor changes (that you will see below) and was surprised at how tasty it was!

Dublin Coddle One-Dish Dinner

"Coddle" is the Irish name for this traditional comfort food - a favorite of Dubliners young and old. A hearty helping of sausage and potatoes with bacon and carrots creates a simple, satisfying meal.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Time-To-Table: 50 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 3 slices uncooked bacon, cut into small pieces*
  • 6 frozen pork sausage links, cut in half crosswise (or Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage)* *
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch thick sliced carrots
  • 6-7 medium sized Russet potatoes cut up in cubes or sliced round.  (You could also try red potatoes.)
  • 1 cup apple juice***
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In 4 quart Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook bacon and sausage until
    browned.  Drain on paper towels; set aside.

2. In same saucepan, cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly
    golden.  Add carrots, potatoes, apple juice, parsley, salt and cooked bacon
    and sausage.

3. Reduce heat to low.  Cover; cook 30-35 minutes or until potatoes and
    vegetables are soft, adding more apple juice if the mixture gets too dry.

TIPS:*I cooked and added all the bacon as directed. The flavor was amazing, but I like my bacon to be on the crispier side. So, next time I make this, I will add the bacon as directed, but will make a couple of more slices to crumble on top just before serving.

**If sausages are too frozen to cut; thaw slightly. Add some spice and heat to this entree up by using spicy pork sausage links. Also, I used Jimmy Dean Sage Flavored Sausage. The added sage stepped up the flavor of this dish.

***I definitely used more than 1 cup of apple juice. I added it throughout the cooking process so it created a little broth, which was perfect to have with some crusty bread.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New GumDrop Pacifier and Accessories by The First Years Review

Pacifiers have been one of the few ways we could soothe Mason during his early days.  He was colicky and a poor sleeper.  But, once my husband found the secret of what we called "Binky and Bounce", things got much easier for us.  And, Mason was much happier and more comfortable.

It was a long 18 months until Mason slept through the night consistently.  Fast forward and Mason is almost 2 and happily uses his pacifier to help him sleep at night.  So, I am always on the lookout for new products, especially pacifiers.

When I recently saw the ad for The First Years GumDrop Pacifier and I knew I had to try them with Mason.  I instantly fell in love with the fact that this pacifier is made of one piece of latex-free silicone.  Other brands we have used in the past are the traditional silicon nipple and plastic holder.  I am forever checking and rechecking that the nipple has not loosed and is safe for Mason.  The GumDrop Pacifier has taken those worries away!  The lightweight, "single body construction" of this pacifier means no loose parts to break off, or worse swallow. 

Overall, this pacifier is great.  I especially love the new design.  The GumDrop Pacifier  is soft and is designed to fit the natural shape of your baby's face.  The GumDrop Pacifier offers the same nipple shape as the Soothie.  But, with it's contoured shape, there is no fear that the top of the pacifier will even come close to covering your babies nostrils.  This pacifier has a great fit in Mason's mouth and he readily uses it.  Looking back on Mason's newborn pictures, I didn't realize quite how big the pacifier we were using was. As an older child, I am not as concerned, but it is always in the back of my mind.  But again, the GumDrop Pacifier puts those worries to rest. 

What else is there to love?  The GumDrop Pacifier  meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for pacifiers.  To me, that says safe, safe, safe and I feel comfortable with that.

When you go to check out the GumDrop pacifiers, don't forget to pick up some of The First Years Pacifier Wipes and pacifier attacher.  If you have a child who uses a pacifier while out on the town, you know that the pacifier will inevitable fall on the grimiest of floors and pick up all kinds of germs.  Having an attacher is very important and it is nice to know the GumDrop pacifierseasily work with most pacifier attachers.

First off, The First Years Pacifier Wipes smell awesome!  When you open the pack, you are greeted with the refreshing smell of apples.  The First Years Pacifier Wipes helps to keep pacifiers, toys, bottles little hands, and just about anything else clean while on-the-go.  These wipes are designed to clean children's items that have dropped and go back into your child's mouth, which is just about everything! These wipes are made with food grade ingredients, which means they are safe.  No alcohol, artificial preservatives, or chemicals have been used in creating these cleansing wipes.

You get 30 wipes per pack and are well worth it!  They are great when there is no sink or anyway to clean a newly dropped pacifiers or toy.  I love the design of the wipes holder that is now available too.  The package fits snugly in the holder and there is even room inside to tote extra pacifiers.  Because of it's small size, the package fits well in the diaper bag.  The closure on the package works great too.  The wipes are sealed so they won't dry out.  If they happen to open and get a little dry, just add some water to reactivate the wipes and you are set to go!

If you have a child who uses a pacifier, this is the one to choose!  The wipes and accessories are a no-brainer and just make healthy sense that will keep your child well.

You can find these great pacifiers and accessories at retailers like Babies R Us, Target, and Walmart.  To see what other moms are saying about GumDrop, check out this video: