Yule Mule: Festive Pomegranate Moscow Mule

There’s less than a week till Christmas now, and if you’re anything like me, your to do list is about as long as Santa’s delivery list.

One thing I’m in charge of this year is the Christmas cocktail, and I think we’ve got a winner! This Pomegranate Moscow Mule is as delicious as it is festive.

This cocktail is fresh, easy to drink and relatively easy to assemble. And the the red and green colours make it scream Christmas. So, check one item off that to do list. Your Christmas cocktail is officially covered!

Yule Mule: Festive Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup Ginger Beer
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz of vodka
  • 1tsp fresh juiced ginger
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • Mint for garnish
  • Ice

Directions:

Fill your cup with ice. Add the ginger beer, pomegranate juice, vodka, ginger and lime. Stir well to combine then garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint.

Cheers, enjoy your cocktail (and get started making round two because you’re going to want more than one of these)!

Happy Holidays! Alex and Holly

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Well, it’s official, the snow is sticking to the ground. Pumpkin spice has morphed into peppermint and egg nog, and the nights are now long and dark. Winter is here for the long haul which means it’s time for soup season!

There’s something so comforting about a hot bowl of soup or stew on a cold winter day. One of my favourites is potato leek; it’s creamy, hearty and goes absolutely perfect with a warm slice of homemade bread (that’s a post for another day). One of the things that made me hesitant to make this soup in the past was how long it took to cook, but thanks to my trusty old Instant Pot I can whip this up while the boys are napping.

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Servings: 5

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts 1/8-inch slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions:

  1. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot. Allow pot to heat until the display reads “hot” 
  2. Add olive oil and butter to the pot, once hot add the leeks. Sauté until softened, stirring frequently and not allowing to brown, 8 minutes
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds
  4. Add potatoes, vegetable broth, salt, bay leaf and thyme; stir to combine
  5. Make sure that the release valve is in the “Sealing” position, place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn to lock 
  6. Press “Manual” button on the Instant Pot and set the timer for 7 minutes 
  7. It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up and build up the pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display and count down
  8. Once the cook time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes
  9. Carefully remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot
  10. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs
  11. Use a hand immersion blender to puree the soup until just smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree. Careful not to splash as the soup will be hot
  12. Add in milk and black pepper, stir to combine 
  13.  Garnish with chives and additional black pepper

Hope you enjoy! What’s your favourite type of soup? I’m always on the lookout for a new one to try. 

Happy eating, Alex! 

Tips for weaning from breastfeeding

Writing this post is bittersweet for me. I’ve officially completely weaned Austin off of breastfeeding at 19 months old.

The time was right for me; I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2015 with no break. That’s about 4.5 years now that my body hasn’t been my own. So, while I’m happy to be able to enjoy a cocktail whenever I want, use skincare products without reading the label and to take the good cold meds when I’m sick, it’s still sad to close the chapter on this phase of my life.

Weaning Austin was definitely a bit more difficult than weaning Colton. My guess is it’s because I went back to work after Colton turned one, so he had that separation from me. Austin is a Stage 5-Clinger with pretty much no separation from me in his short little life, haha.

So, without further adieu, here’s how to wean your baby in 100 steps or less:

1. The first thing I did was to stop breastfeeding on demand. I fed both my babies on demand. It was for me as much as it was for them. Fussy baby? Boob. Hurt yourself? Boob. Overtired? Boob. This was the hardest step of weaning for me. Instead of feeding on demand I cut Austin down to feeding when he woke up, before both naps and before bed. It was sooo hard for me to not nurse when Austin was fussy for no reason or to use it as a crutch when he got hurt.

2. After about a month we moved onto phase two of our weaning journey, which was to quit nursing before naps. This step pissed Austin off; oh man did we struggle with this step. For nearly two weeks Austin barely napped. He’d just sit and cry in his crib until I caved and went to get him. Eventually he accepted his new normal and his naps went back normal.

3. The next step I took was to drop our morning feed. This step was pretty easy for us; Austin didn’t seem to be phased too much by it. The only downside to dropping this feed was that sometimes I would feed Austin in bed and he’d fall back asleep for another hour. I miss that, haha.

4. Finally, our fourth and final step—kicking that bedtime feed. I held out on this one for awhile. Partially because I wasn’t quite ready to be 100% done and partially because I don’t think Austin was quite ready. In the end, I used a 3-night girls trip as the final push to kick the feed. I don’t think Austin was even getting much milk in the end, which I think helped this step go smooth. When I came home I just didn’t offer to breastfeed Austin again, and he didn’t ask.

And there you have it, the end to my breastfeeding journey. All in all, we probably spent about 6 months weaning. I wanted to take my time on each step to try and make it as easy as possible for a Austin.

Hope this helps if you’re starting the process of weaning your baby. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Alex