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Category Archives: food

Giant bowl of vegetables

I was going to call this post low carb lunch, but then I decided I don’t give a crap about fad diets or what things are called, just about good food. I saw a pumpkin muffin recipe that sounded good, but was turned off a bit because it was labeled “paleo”. I don’t follow the paleo diet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make those muffins, right?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, the giant bowl of vegetables, aka my low carb lunch. I bought avocados recently, but didn’t want them to go bad, so I was trying to come up with something awesome to use them in. Then I was feeling lazy a few days ago, so I just chopped up a small tomato, an avocado and some cucumber, mixed it in a bowl with some salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar called it a lunch. It was a giant bowl of vegetables, but so filling I didn’t feel like I wanted any bread or anything else with it. I also wasn’t grabbing random foods between lunch and dinner.

If I’d sliced the avocado and put it in a sandwich, I might not have had those feelings of satiety and deliciousness that came with the giant bowl of vegetables. I could’ve put lettuce in to make it a proper salad, but I didn’t want lettuce, so I didn’t make myself feel guilty for not having it. I’m thinking, as weather gets cooler, that it’ll morph into “bunch of vegetables all sautéed together”, but for the past four days I’ve really been enjoying the simplicity of chopped vegetables.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in food

 

CSA week 2

We share a full share of a CSA membership with both sets of grandparents, so each week we get half of the box and one set of grandparents gets the other half. We’re almost to week 3, so I figured I’d write a smidge on how we’ve been doing so far. Week one we received “farmer’s choice”, which included multiple types of lettuce, chard, and spinach. Week two we picked radishes, arugula, garlic scapes x2, and red butter lettuce.

So far, we’ve sautéed both the chard and the spinach, grilled some of the scapes, and had multiple salads with the lettuce and radishes. Not only have we actually been eating the CSA veggies, I’ve been keeping up with proper veggie storage (so the lettuce isn’t getting wilted or mushy, for example).

I’m looking forward to the next 20 weeks of veggies, and hopefully being as on top of using them all as I’ve been so far. Maybe my children will even eat some of the veggies, too (though I’m not holding my breath on that one).

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in food

 

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Sweet potatoes

Somehow I’d convinced myself that sweet potatoes were more complicated to cook than white potatoes. I guess since I’d only really had sweet potatoes as some sort of complicated sweet potato with marshmallow topping or mashed or pie or hash, I figured they had to be highly manipulated before being edible. Then we got somewhere between 10 and 20 small sweet potatoes from our CSA boxes, and they were piling up so I looked into sweet potato recipes.

I know that I’m probably the last to know, but apparently you can bake sweet potatoes the same way you bake white potatoes: scrubbed, poked and in the oven for a while. I did make myself an amazing hash with the smaller CSA sweet potatoes, carrot, apple, bacon and apple cider, but I just baked the larger ones, smushed out the inside and mixed it with some butter.

For some dinners, I do a really simple variation of meat chunk (pork chops, chicken pieces, whatever) and potatoes in the oven, salad, rolls and maybe another veg (green beans or maybe some root veg in with the meat chunk in the oven). Recently, I hadn’t really been into the white potato so I hadn’t been making one for myself, but now I’m making a white potato for Andrew and a sweet potato for myself.

I know it’s a simple thing, but it feels good to become more comfortable with a greater variety of ingredients. I’ve been eating way more sweet potatoes this past couple of months than usual. I’m also open to try any other sweet potato recipes, if you’d like to share.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in food

 

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Nesting or preparing for the apocalypse?

I’ve recently taken to preparing for the birth of our second child, doing all of the normal nesting-type stuff one reads about in pregnancy books or articles on what you need when your baby’s born. I’ve been cleaning, organizing, putting food in the freezer, all of that normal stuff. I’ve also, apparently, been preparing for the apocolypse.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing like those who prepare their homes for the end of days. I’ve stocked up on paper products from Costco, so, for example, we don’t need to buy toilet paper, etc. for the next 6 months. Also, we have enough oatmeal for a similar time period (unless I go crazy and make tons of lactation cookies). I’ve been making lists of foods, both for meals and snacks, that I can stock up on as we get closer to the due date. I’ve been working on all of those little cleaning or organizing tasks that I’ve been thinking about but never actually finding time for. (When I was pregnant with Grace, I gave myself permission to not scrub the tub grout and it taunted me every time I took a shower until I finally had the energy and time to clean it. Yesterday, I vacuumed the back staircase which I’d been meaning to do since 2011. There was no way I’d be walking up and down the stairs with a newborn looking at the same fluff of dust that’d been there for months. I might empty and scrub the flatware drawer.)

For some reason, getting closer to the birth makes me feel like I’m entering some sort of quarantine. I did similar things towards the end of my pregnancy with Grace. Intellectually, I know that the world doesn’t disappear once a baby is born. Target and grocery stores and everywhere else don’t cease to exist because I have a baby. Despite the fact that I might not be up to going out to the store doesn’t mean that someone else can’t go to the store for me. I know this, yet still I’m trying to prepare for what feels like the inevitable, that we’ll need to be prepared for weeks or months of being holed up at home.

I’m sure being as prepared as I can can only help. I’m not really trying to prepare for the apocalypse, either. I mean, I’m not getting us freeze-dried meals or anything, just stocking up on stuff for the freezer and pantry so we only have to think about the perishables for the first weeks post-birth. This frantic preparation also probably is related to my inability to imagine what life will be like once there’s two kids in my family, so at least I’ll be able to go to the kitchen and find some food even as every other aspect of our lives are in disarray. That’s a topic for a different post, though.

Did you prepare for the postpartum period by stocking up like I’m doing? Any tips, advice, words of wisdom for someone going from one kid to two?

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in food

 

Cleanliness, housekeeping, excess.

My parents (I almost said my mother, like it was only her responsibility even though both parents worked outside the home…but that’s a post for some other day when I’m feeling more political) were never great at home maintenance in terms of house cleaning. Cleaning was something to be done in binges before company came over (or for whatever other reason), but we never really got in to a weekly or even monthly cleaning routine. I did have some friends with weekly chores. One friend even had a weekly cleaning time that she would participate in with her whole family, everyone doing their part to keep the house clean. I somewhat kept my room as tidy as i wanted it to be, but never actually cleaned as in dusting or vacuuming.

This makes it sound like our house was a pit of dirt, which it wasnt. Somehow cleaning happened but it was never really on a regular basis and I wouldnt be able to begin to tell you who did what and when. Part of that, though, is due to my inability to remember much of my childhood. (Again, a post for another time and another mindset.) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in food

 

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Trying new things!

I’ve been thinking about focusing on two or three culinary techniques per “season” so I have a few months to explore new recipes, ingredients, and methods. The obvious choice for spring is salads and dressings, which I’m looking forward to (as well as possibly growing some of my own lettuce for the first time). I’ve made pies twice in the past few weeks (strawberry rhubarb and sweet potato), so I’d like to try more variations of pies fillings (sweet and savory) as well as more variations of pie shapes (regular 9″, mini, handheld).

As it’s getting colder and closer to winter, it seems obvious to choose soup as the second technique to focus on, but I’m not a big soup eater, so my next thought was braising. I’ve braised roasts a few times but I would love to learn more about it and branch out into other proteins. Maybe I’ll try soup when I’m figuring out salads and go on a soup and salad rampage!

I’d also like to learn how to make bread, branch out in varieties of cookies, smoke meats and better use the veggies I get in my CSA or from the garden or farmers’ market. As I learn these things, I’d also like to get better at reducing food waste (remembering to save onion, carrot, celery, etc skins and ends for stock would be a good start).

Do you have recipes or techniques you want to learn more about? Any tips for perfecting pie crust or favorite fillings?

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in food

 

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Stock (To make your own, see page whatever)

It’s oddly frustrating that it takes the possibility of making food for a pregnant (now new mom) friend to get me to try recipes I always thought were too something. Not hard, but just not something I felt it necessary to try. Stock was one of those things. I was contemplating making mushroom barley soup for aforementioned friend, when I read “beef, chicken or vegetable stock (to make your own, see page ***) or water” in the list of ingredients. It took me a while to think about it, figuring I’d either buy some vegetable stock (she’s vegetarian) and use that with water. Then I realized I had some not so awesome looking (as in a little wilt-y but not *bad* per se) veggies in the fridge that’d be great for boiling to death to make stock. Needless to say, I made a huge batch of vegetable stock and used it to make a double batch of mushroom barley soup, as well as some lentil and sausage soup for us. In my humble opinion, the soups turned out awesome. I also had some zucchinis that had no obvious future, so I grated them up and made zucchini muffins, some with pecans and some with chocolate chips.

I say oddly frustrating, since it points to a trend in which I am almost completely externally motivated. It’s something I’m working on, trying or doing things because I want to or because I think they are the right thing to do, rather than think about how someone else might react. I’m looking forward to taking this new recipe motivation and making new foods for my own family. I really do like cooking, I just get stuck in recipe ruts sometimes. Hopefully getting excited about trying new recipes will stave off the next rut for a while.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in food

 

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