Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend


This was my third mother's day (excluding the one when Evelyn was in the womb) and it just may have been the best. My in laws were in town, and they bought us a night at a bed and breakfast downtown. It was strange to just drive a few exits down the highway to have a little getaway, but at the same time it was fun to be a tourist in our own city. This was my first night away from Evelyn EVER, and it was wonderful.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Birthday Pancakes


I am a distracted person these days. I've had this recipe, photographed and all, sitting for over a month. Between my two-year-old, my pregnancy, my house, and my two part time jobs (nanny two days a week and write note cards for a real estate agency), there is little time to pursue my hobbies.

One of my favorite things to do is be alone. In moderation, of course. I cherish the mornings when I can get up before Evelyn and sit in quiet solitude with my breakfast, coffee/tea, and Bible. These are the mornings when I feel like I can take on anything. Sometimes, though, I am just so tired that I sleep until Evelyn wakes up.

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Grocery Stores


Do you ever think about the grocery stores you shop at and what they say about you? I wonder if you, like me, have multiple stores that you frequent at different times throughout the month. Or maybe you're a loyal customer to just one store. Let me tell you, I go to four stores throughout the month, and two stores about every other month. And each store has its own personality.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Turning Two + Pumpkin Cheesecake


Evelyn turned two on October 20th. It's hard to believe she used to be a tiny, helpless baby when now she runs, jumps, speaks in sentences, and has a true personality. For her birthday party, I decided to go with the toddler trifecta: bubbles, balloons, and birthday cake. You really can't go wrong with that.

Except instead of a traditional birthday cake, I wanted to make something that everyone would want to eat. So I decided on pumpkin cheesecake (recipe below). I knew one would not be enough, so I planned to make two. Then I wondered, maybe I need more? I decided ahead of time to pull the double chocolate cookies I had made previously out of the freezer to serve with the cheesecake. Then the night before, I thought we might need more dessert. I whipped up some chocolate lavender cupcakes. Needless to say, I was maybe looking for excuses to bake new things I hadn't tried before.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Farm Dinner


I recently had the delightful opportunity to cook a four course dinner for my friends and neighbors. Last year at the Whitelock Community Farm Annual FUNdraiser (which you can attend this year, coming up on November 8th!), they bid on and won a dinner for two at the farm.

I enjoyed planning the menu around produce available from the farm as well as making it fall inspired. And since I know Courtney and Jonathan, I knew which ingredients to avoid and which to embrace, for example, nuts are out, and cardamom is a sure thing.

The Meal

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Short List: Lunch and Dinner


Summer is winding down. I'm about to pull up the remaining tomato plants, pickle the green ones, and plant some cool weather kale and radishes. The nights are cool and the days are warm and breezy. I always say that my favorite season is when they change. I love the excitement of cooler temperatures and turning leaves. When fall gives way to winter, I love the smell of snow and pulling out warm scarves and boots. Spring brings life and joy, and summer means swimming. At the start of fall, I will savor warm comfort food, go apple picking (and making apple butter), and eat out on the picnic table for as long as we can stand it. And host fire pit parties.

I owe you a second short list. I posted the previous one here, one that highlighted brunch and dessert. This list is all about lunch and dinner. The idea behind it is highlighting my go to recipes if I don't want to do much thinking or if unexpected guests are coming. These are all recipes that I do well, and it surprised me to look over them and see that most of them are soups or stews. Add some homemade bread or rolls, and you're all set. Here is the list.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bacon Fat, Chard Stems, and Fennel Fronds


What do these three things have in common? They usually end up as food waste. Me, being the thrifty gal I am, I like to try and use everything. Even fennel fronds

I used to pour off my bacon fat and discard it. Then the low-fat craze ended (for most) and I realized that I cook with olive oil. And butter. They are fat. Bacon fat is fat. Why am I throwing it away? Silly me. Save it in a jar in the fridge. I use it to fry eggs, saute veggies, and grease the pan for cornbread. I save my olive oil for salad dressing and my butter for baking.

But wait, you say. Even with fats being allowed in a normal diet, isn't bacon fat too high in saturated fat? I recently read an interesting article about our body's very real need for saturated fats. The link between heart disease and saturated fats has been debunked. The real killer is refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour) and unhealthy oils, such as canola oil and and soy oil. I'm not sure how well I do avoiding sugar, but...