It’s the end of summer (can I get an amen?!?). My garden is slowly petering out, and I’ve made just about all the salsa I’m going to make this year. With the last tomatoes coming in, I decided to try a fancy-schmancy roasted tomato soup recipe. It just looks and sounds fancy, but it’s actually super easy!Read More
Did you know you can cook granola in the crockpot? You totally can! It still gets crispy and golden brown, it just frees up your oven. This is helpful if you need your oven for other dishes, or it’s summertime and you want to keep the oven off, or you live somewhere overseas where you don’t have an oven.Read More
I kind of don’t know how to say this. This sauce doesn’t knock my socks off. Oh, it’s good. It tastes like pizza sauce and it’s great on our homemade pizza. David loves it and thinks it’s the perfect sauce. Every time I try to change it he huffs a little bit. He likes basic, no-frills sauce. I like fancy-schmancy, heirloom tomato Smitten Kitchen sauce, and things like that. So I guess I should say, if you like regular, normal, home-cooked food, you’ll probably think this sauce is just right.Read More
A while back I stopped posting my weekly meal plan. Honestly, I was getting bored posting it, so I thought you might be sick of reading it every week!
I enjoy reading other’s meal plans periodically. I always come away with new recipes or ideas to try. I decided to switch to posting my meal plan monthly. Hopefully that will still provide some inspiration for your meal planning, but not be repetitive and yawn-worthy:)Read More
I keep a notebook in my kitchen to write down new recipes. I jot down notes of what I’m changing in old recipes and scribble down ideas for new dishes. I have trouble making a recipe as it’s written. I pretty much always change something. Keeping a kitchen notebook has been helpful because now I can repeat the things that we really like.Read More
We’ve already had one massive heat wave this summer. Thankfully, we survived, although my electric bill this month is pretty ugly. Since I was sure not going to turn the oven on during the triple digit heat, I poked around the internet and discovered some new crock pot recipes. Cooking potatoes in the slow cooker was one of my experiments during the heat wave, and I’m converted. It always seemed a bit wasteful to keep the oven on for an hour just to cook some potatoes. David loves baked potatoes but I don’t make them very regularly, mostly because it takes up the oven for so long. With this new method he’s sure to get his potatoes a lot more frequently!Read More
There are some meals that I just don’t think to make in the summer. Pot roast. Lasagna. Enchiladas. It’s too hot. I’m not turning the oven on unless it’s unavoidable (read: we’re all out of bread).
But we do like enchiladas. In fact, I make three different kinds and we dearly love them all. Enchiladas are usually one of our first fall meals once it finally cools down outside. There is something to be said for eating things seasonally in that it sure builds anticipation. But since it’s hot from about April though September, that’s a looooong time to go without enchiladas. Too long, if you ask me!Read More
We love pasta of any kind and in any sauce. It borders on an obsession in this house, but for a while I felt bad about serving it. Spaghetti just isn’t a very nourishing meal, right?
Well, it depends. If we’re talking refined, enriched pasta and sauce made from canned tomatoes (swimming in BPA), then no, spaghetti isn’t very nourishing.
But we can totally make a few upgrades and turn it into quite an acceptable meal in the nutrition department. Let’s talk about that.Read More
Casseroles get a bad rap. I think this is because we’ve all had too many lukewarm, bland, chemical-laden offerings at church potlucks. Real food casseroles can be delicious, nourishing and serious comfort food. Just don’t take casseroles to church. They’re not going to taste good after sitting at room temperature for two hours;)Read More
I’ve always liked salmon patties. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is a super healthy food, and it’s a frugal way to feed a family fish. For a long time I bought the canned salmon without skin and bones. I wondered why anyone would buy canned salmon with all the skin and bones in it!Read More
Snack Chunks. Sounds appetizing, right? “Snack Balls” seemed odd, and “Snack Bars” limits the shape, so . . . Snack Chunks.
They taste good, I promise, in spite of the lame name;)
We’ve been really enjoying these the past few weeks. Since it is so hot now we’ve been swimming almost every afternoon. It’s so nice to have a healthy snack made ahead of time, so I can wake the boys from their naps, hand them a snack chunk, then head out to the creek. I’ve been enjoying being a little lazy, I admit.Read More
We all have our favorite foods. If you’ve been eating a real food diet for long, chances are good that you’ve given up some of your favorites. Sometimes it’s easier to just not eat something than it is to figure out a healthified version.
Some things are too good to give up. Many times I think it’s more the emotional attachment and memories than the actual taste. Whatever the reason, I needed to remake Chicken Elegante.Read More
Last week was pretty relaxed in the meal planning/cooking/healthy eating department. My brother and his girlfriend were here and we just chilled out and had fun! We went out to eat a few times, hiked, had a few picnics, swam in the creek, and just had a generally lazy week. It was awesome and much needed!Read More
I’ll never forget my first tostada. My family was invited over for supper by another family in our church. The other family had two boys, both close to my age (13. Isn’t 13 pretty much the worst age ever?). The mom of the other family was from Columbia and her food was incredible. I can still picture her frying the tortillas and pulling the big pan of shredded chicken out of the oven. Man, it was good.Read More
No cow. Still. The trials I have to go through, sheesh;)
After doing a pretty good job of cleaning out the pantry, tomorrow is grocery shopping day! I’m planning on hitting several stores before picking up my Azure Standard order, so the boys and I will be leaving bright and early to fit all the stops in. I have my lists, calculator, coupons and coolers ready. Grocery shopping is a big undertaking around here!Read More
Food for Thought
--Tammy wrote a really, really good post on including children in your kitchen work. This is something I’ve been struggling with, and this post was a great encouragement to me. It inspired me to make some adjustments to my kitchen routine to make room for my little helpers. Since she has five kiddos I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about!Read More
I get bored with plain brown rice. Especially when the main dish is very basic, rice needs something to make it a little more special. Not so “meh”. While this broccoli-cheese rice is inexpensive to make, the flavor is rich and the comfort factor is over-the-top!
Cheese makes everything better, so naturally I added cheese! Two kinds, in fact. When in doubt, add more cheese, right?Read More
I haven’t been baking much lately because it’s been so hot! We’ve been swimming in the creek a lot and we’re all getting a little tan:) All the swimming is making everyone extra hungry. It seems like no matter how much I cook, someone is needing more to eat!
It’s supposed to cool off for a few days later this week so I’m going to do some baking to store in the freezer. I’m planning on making:Read More
Taco bowls are make a regular appearance at our table. They’re frugal, healthy, filling, easy, versatile and fast. What more can you ask from a meal?
Oh, and everyone loves them!
If served over corn chips they’re typically called haystacks. Without the grain they’re sometimes called layered Mexican dip or one of a zillion other names. Here, we call them taco bowls, and this is how we build them.Read More