Friday, June 24

Local Food

We've made some new friends this year who grow their produce much closer to home than many of the sellers at the farmers' market. I love that I can order produce mid-week and pick it up at the farm (which ensures a continual supply of freshly made salsa!)

The girls and I drove over yesterday to pick up our order. We enjoyed chatting with Will and Keli who offered to let us drive around the farm. Well...I wasn't going to let such a generous offer pass me by. :)

Tuesday, June 21

Farmer's Market Finds

We've hit that part of the summer where the kids are scattered to the four winds. Not my favorite part of the season, for sure, but I know they have fun at camps and on other trips.

With all the chaos, I've taken a little breather on cooking. My menu plan, if you can call it that, for the last two weeks has been mostly pulling things from the freezer and sporadic cooking of 'planned overs'.

I had a stash of black bean burgers in the freezer which we all love. Coupled with the homemade buns, they're a winner around here.

Also in the freezer were some black beans and brown rice leftover from the making of the burgers so I thawed those and added some frozen corn. I made a big bowl of yummy salsa. I think one combination or another of those things was our lunch every day last week. (And, oh, how I looked forward to it!)

Another easy but delicious option for us is omelettes. I throw in whatever I bought at the farmer's market - mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, spinach - as well as some herbs from my beds outside for a nutritious, comforting meal.

Tonight, the girls and I made a pot of hummus soup. The recipe showed promise but didn't quite live up to my hopes. I'll post it after I've tinkered with it a bit.

I know this is a less-than-inspired meal plan but the break from a batch of new recipes has given me time to complete some other projects around the house. Getting things in order always leaves me feeling creative so I'll show more of that soon!

(Remember to click on the EAT page above for recipes mentioned here.)

Thursday, June 16

Set Point

In last night's class, I talked a bit about set point and how real food can play into finding yours. This is something I believe in so strongly that I thought I'd write about it here as well.

If you've never heard that term before, the quick explanation is that everyone's body has a weight/body-fat ratio that is most desirable for optimal functioning. It is the point at which we feel our best, look our best, are most fertile, etc. (Read more here or here.)

It is not the point at which you are the thinnest you've ever been. If you've ever been so lean or thin that people said you should gain a little weight back, you were likely below your set point. The set point is where your genetics lead you to be, or more simply, the way God made you to look.

Monday, June 13

Chocolate Cake

If there's one thing we take seriously around here, it's chocolate cake. This is our current favorite. We all like it's rich, almost brownie-like consistency. I like that I can use such a high ratio of whole grain flour.

Tuesday, June 7

Lessons In Grace

What was I thinking??

All I wanted was for the garden to be watered. I should have known, though, that...

One hose + three kids = the mother of all screaming fights.

Monday, June 6

If I Could Only Bake One Thing... would have to be cornbread. I think I may love it more than chocolate and that's really saying something. Considering my great fondness for it, I'm amazed I've never posted the recipe before.

Perfect Cornbread 
   (Yes, that's the name listed in the cookbook...)

1 c whole wheat flour
1/8 - 1/4 c honey (or sugar), according to taste
4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 c yellow corn meal
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/4 c oil (I use olive or coconut)

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in cornmeal. Add eggs, milk and oil. Beat until just smooth. Pour into lightly greased 9x9 pan (or muffin tins). Bake at 425˚ for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with lots of real butter or, my favorite, crumbled in most any soup, chili or stew.

This Week's Meal Plan

A telltale sign of seasonal eating is repetition. It's a necessity, really. If you find something you love, you better have it as often as you want because veggies come and go all too quickly!

This week's trip to the market yielded a nice surprise - garlic scapes! I discovered them last year and, due to house construction, wasn't able to put in my own garlic bed in the fall to ensure my supply.

Friday, June 3

Oh, the Joys of Vinegar

Well, that might be a bit of a stretch but if I've often said if I could have it piped into my house, I would.

For a couple of years now, I've cleaned the whole house with nothing but baking soda and vinegar. The truest test of its cleaning power came last weekend, though, as C and I were working in the yard.

Thursday, June 2

The FDA Food Pyramid Collapses... well it should. It was a worthless 'guide' whose recommendations were brought to you by bloated corporations with monstrous lobbying budgets. 

What we now have is this graphic...

It's pretty. 

It's easy to read. 

Accurate? Mmmmm....I don't think so but, then again, I believe God gave me instincts to tell me what to eat. The government?? Well, I'm grateful that it paves the roads I drive on and somewhat educates our country's children but I couldn't care any less what a bunch of Beltway fat cats say I should feed my family. (And that, my friends, is about as political as you'll ever hear me write...)

So, goodbye Food Pyramid. Someday my grandkids will think you look oh-so-quaint and delightfully retro but, to me, you've always been outdated...

Wednesday, June 1

Chocolate Syrup

1 c cocoa powder
2 c sugar
1 c water
1/4 t salt

Combine sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Mix in salt and water. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.

Add two tablespoonfuls to a glass of milk. Stir vigorously and enjoy!

NOTE: This doesn't make the milk as dark brown as commercial syrups but the flavor is great.