recipes + food

Let's talk about dinner, shall we? That daily meal that can be – at least to me – both a satisfying comfort and a source of unresolved stress. Of all my routines in life, dinner seems to be the one I cannot figure out how to optimize. And for someone who loves to optimize and to cook that can leave me feeling quite frustrated. Not to mention that dinner comes around every. single. day. Last year I wrote about our current dinner situation, its challenges, and some ideas for simplifying. More recently I've been revisiting our dinner routines again, possibly... Read more →

Nearly every morning for the past many months, Chris has made himself the most admirable quick breakfast saute of greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and an egg. I'm quite jealous because I've been trying to increase my veggie consumption and would love to consume a heaping portion of vegetables so regularly. And Chris would be happy to double the portions and make some for me. The only problem is that Chris's breakfast looks entirely disgusting to me. Watery, wilty greens? Nope. Mushy, burst cherry tomatoes? No and no. The mushrooms sound okay but not enough to redeem the dish as a whole.... Read more →

Despite loving to cook and being a very organized person, feeding my family day in and day out continues to feel just short of running as smoothly as I'd like. It's not terrible. We do have some systems in place that work pretty well. And every night we feed everyone, usually with a homemade dinner that is not cereal. So there's a lot to celebrate! But I keep feeling like the whole thing, from meal planning to making a grocery list to shopping and the actual cooking of dinner, could be optimized. As one of my goals for the year,... Read more →

When the boys are bored (plenty of opportunity for that lately) they'll often say "no" when I suggest an activity I want to do with them: Can I read you a book? Want to do a puzzle? Play a game? No, no, no. But something they are always up for is an activity they first did at my sister-in-law's house: no recipe baking! As the name implies, no recipe baking is mixing up ingredients to your heart's delight, putting it in the oven, and seeing what you get. They are thrilled by it every time! I will admit that as... Read more →

Apparently I'm not the only one turning to comfort baking right now. The mixing of familiar ingredients, using my hands, and certainly the wafting smell of baked goods brings calm, certainty, distraction. In the last week I pulled out a recipe for a humble but hearty muffin that a friend shared with me a while ago. It's a staple at her house, baked on a weekly basis and accompanying many school lunches. I've made them before and loved them but we don't routinely buy applesauce so they aren't in regular rotation. I'm rethinking that after watching Dash devour three freshly... Read more →

My pregnancy is drawing to a close and I'm reflecting on the things I've loved these last 40 weeks. From maternity clothes to foods to books there have been some stand-out favorites that I'd love to share with you... My maternity wardrobe is bigger than these eight items (one not pictured) but these are the things I'm reaching for on a near daily basis. Honestly it's kind of been the capsule wardrobe of my dreams. I love not putting much thought into what I'm wearing for the day but still feeling pulled together and comfortable. As evidenced by bathroom mirror... Read more →

In addition to the best pimiento cheese, there's one other family recipe that I crave around the holidays: my Aunt Peta's spicy-sweet pecans. But first we need to clear up a couple of things. For one, my Aunt Peta wants to make sure I tell you that this is not actually her recipe. She remembers having these pecans at a school or church function and then asking for the recipe. But for all of my life I've associated these spicy-sweet pecans with my Aunt Peta and so I think of this recipe as hers. Plus I always love a recipe... Read more →

One of my 2019 goals was to have "one family meal" meaning that more often than not we are all eating roughly the same dinner each night. At the beginning of the year this felt like a struggle. Often I was making two meals and didn't feel like we had any meals that everyone would eat. I'm happy to report that as 2019 wraps up I'm feeling really good about our family dinners! We've found meals, or at least combinations of food, that work for everyone at the table, and my meal planning/grocery shopping/cooking systems are working well. Having more... Read more →

Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday because it's a day all about loved ones and food. It's also a really fun holiday to plan and planning is one of my favorite things. There's browsing recipes, thinking about table decor, deciding who will make what, and planning fun things for the kids to do. We're hosting Thanksgiving this year so I have lots to plan! I love keeping a Thanksgiving Pinterest board for collecting recipes and ideas. Who's gathering There will be our family of four, Chris's parents, and Chris's sister's family. All together that's five adults and five kids (ages... Read more →

This month my daily health challenge is to not eat any added sugar. Foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit and plain yogurt, are okay but nothing with sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even Stevia or sugar alcohols (a newer sweetener common in protein bars and all those high-protein ice creams). I knew that would eliminate a lot of foods but I was surprised by just how many! In the week before the challenge started, as I started reading food labels in earnest, it was disheartening to realize sugar is in e v e r y t h i n... Read more →