Monday, January 26, 2015

Opposites Attract

As much as I am drawn to simple, one pot meals my husband love tedious, challenging cooking.  

Exhibit A:  This is pork belly, slow roasted for hours in the oven served with couscous. And that bottom piece of food art? Well, that is a vegetable terrine.  Its layered with fried apple slices, a mixture of potato, parsnip, and ricotta mash, roasted carrots with a maple glaze, puree of spinach and kale and topped with steamed asparagus and caramelized pearl onions. 

Each layer has to be made, then layered, then refrigerated so it can be sliced for serving.  The result is an amazing vegetable medley, but seriously?

I'm not complaining mind you. I love the meals that are placed before me for dinner. I feel like the luckiest girl sometimes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Soup Kitchen

Soup is my "go to" winter meal when I don't know what to make for dinner.  I like soups because they are one pot meals, make great leftovers, and are a great way to use up items in the fridge.

The makings of a soup are simple:

I like to start out with a traditional mirepoix, which is just a fancy word for sauteed carrots, onions, and celery or a version of it.  I always use extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

Add stock of some kind.  We currently have veggie, turkey, and quail stock in the freezer.  Any of these make great soups.  You can also just use water, but your soup will not be as flavorful.

 Add lentils or beans.  You can add rice as well, but I'm not a fan.

 The result is a delicious, warming soup. If you have a bit of extra pasta sauce, salsa, or veggies that isn't enough for a meal, add them to your soup.  They will add to the flavor and texture and use up that bit of food that would otherwise turn into a science project in the back of your fridge.

If you are feeling really ambitious, a freshly baked loaf of bread or homemade biscuits will compliment this homey meal.

What is your favorite "go to" meal?

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I love Fridays. They are the end of a work week and the start of the weekend.  I can stay up late and do crazy things like have wine and chocolate for dinner and read until 2 a.m. (I did.)

Our Saturday "to do" list:

My "to do" list items are all things I enjoy.  They are relaxing tasks that also have a positive result. Win, win.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Momentary Lapse of Reason and Bees

Ok, so I was going to quit this blog and even posted about it (which I've deleted). I thought it would make me feel like one less thing to cross off my list, but the fact is I really like this little space.  It made me feel sad and empty - not the relieved feeling I was going for at all.  So, what does one do when they feel like their "to do" list is unattainable? I guess I should just prioritize and stop putting pressure on myself, which is self induced anyway.  Type A personality here. Does anyone else do this to themselves? I'm blaming this on hormones, cold weather, and a third thing, which I can't come up with at the moment.

So moving on....

Last night, we got the most exciting news.  Our local beekeepers association has a scholarship program.  My son applied and was chosen.  What does this mean? We will be taking 6 sessions on beekeeping and then given two hives of our very own along with a mentor for two years to assist us in establishing our hive.  I've always wanted bees!  

The average beekeeper is 60 years of age.  The association wants to bring in a younger crowd so the art of beekeeping doesn't become a lost art. Last Christmas I was given this lovely book my a friend.  I've read it, but now I'm going to read it again with a different perspective.

This is so good on so many levels.  We can attend classes as a family. I can add this to next year's curriculum as part of our Science studies. Oh, and we get to keep bees!

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year: 2015

It's a new year, a clean slate, a fresh start.

We are challenging ourselves this year to see how much we can make from scratch.  This means buying 1 ingredient items and making them into what we want to eat (with the exception of dairy items because we don't have room for a cow). This was MY idea and I am already kicking myself for even suggesting it. But, I do like a good challenge, so we will see how it goes.

We are  really good at making food from scratch for breakfast and dinner.  It's lunch that always gets us.  We decided to make a good supply of quick homemade pre-made items to stock the freezer.

So far we have:

-black bean burgers
-hot pockets (I made broccoli and cheddar cheese and chicken, broccoli, and mozzarella with marinara sauce- which had to be made from scratch as well).  Initially I wanted to use pepperoni, but my husband reminded me that pepperoni was not a 1 ingredient item. (Man, he's a stickler.)
-granola bars

Next on the list is bean and cheese burritos which my son eats a lot.  I have to learn to make tortillas first.  I have a recipe and plan on tackling this.  I will feel like a super hero if I can pull it off!

So, here's to a new year of challenges.  I'm looking forward to it and hope I can keep the momentum going.  We are definitely going to sign up for a CSA again.  We really missed it last year. We didn't frequent the farmer's market as much as we would have if we had to go to pick up our share. I've already contacted the farm.  We will also continue the attempt of growing our own veggies in our sad, shady soil.

What is your new year's resolution?  Also, if you have make ahead meal ideas, feel free to share!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Christmas!

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man
the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!"
-  Charles Dickens 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

God Bless You

"Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a half penny will do.
If you haven't got a half penny, then God bless you.
"   -   
Traditional English Christmas rhyme