Friday, December 23, 2011

Homemade fruit on the bottom yogurt can be made with a spoonful of jam, homemade or store bought yogurt stored in half pint mason jars in the fridge for a week. 

The food in our house changes with the seasons and just when I am looking forward to yummy foods of the next season someone announces to me that they don't like that... ugh. I love routines and traditional foods when they work for us but it makes it challenging when you know recipes by heart and they say they don't want to eat that any more. So this year after trying to please my families palate we are trying to keep it simple so the mommy doesn't go crazy. Simple salads, less ingredient meals, and untraditional breakfasts. My husband likes fruit on the bottom yogurt with granola so that is easy because I can make those ahead of time and put them in the fridge. For the kids the somewhat untraditional breakfasts they are eating are leftover rice turned into pudding, homemade quick breads(zucchini, pumpkin or banana) with butter or cream cheese or hard boiled eggs and toast. We also always have apples, pears, and right now oranges to snack on in the winter. During the week it is our own homemade cold breakfast and on the weekends we make a big egg/meat/potato breakfast with Dad. For lunches it is leftovers, soups, salads and/or raw vegetable plate. For dinners we have a different type of meal every night... one night is soup, a stew night, a rice with roasted veggies meal, a roast chicken with salad meal, a meat pie meal, and sometimes a pasta meal. We try to stick to the same types every week but only one time per type per week so we keep it varied.
So keep your recipes simple so you can enJOY your time nourishing your family. Here are some simple recipes we like:
Oat Soda Bread
Homemade Larabars(they can be made ahead to keep on hand for snacks)
My favorite place to go for SIMPLE recipes is Stone Soup(love her beans with ham hock and salads)
Also love Shannon's simple cookbooks on Nourishing Days(grain-free and nutrient dense)
A Keely family tradition is to take leftover bits of meat and veg and turn them into a meat pie....must be that irish heritage to try and use every last bit. I mix it all together with a homemade cream soup recipe(the recipe is halfway down the page on the link), put it in a baking dish and top it with a pie crust. It bakes at 350 for about 45 minutes. I even use up hearts, livers and other "not-so-kid-friendly" meats in the meat pie because they can't tell.
Do you have any simple nourishing meals your family enjoys in this season?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter CSA

Our biweekly Winter CSA
 So as I watch our little garden outback slowly go to sleep for the winter and I dream of spring planting we are eating from our winter CSA. Last year it was a lot less but this year we decided to give them one more try since I am not fond of the grocery store. We were pleasantly surprised with the abundance and variety. I even giggled a little when I saw the stalk of brussels. Our favorite way to enjoy most of these fall veggies besides raw is to roast them with a little walnut oil. Last night(would have had a photo but it disappeared to quickly) we had a piece of ham, roasted carrots and brussels. Simple but naturally sweet. The fun thing about this CSA compared to the summer one is they never tell you what anything is. It is a scavenger hunt through the seed catalogs to identify everything. I normally do ok with this till I got to the large roots in the back??? They are not turnips or beets but actually a very large chinese radish. So they are all for me since I am the only big fan in the family. Oh, I can sneak in a few slices on their salads but these are 2 huge roots that need to disappear in 2 weeks before I get more. So that pile on the table and the other squash, apples, potatoes, and onions I have stored are what we are eating for the next two weeks. With an organic CSA being about $23 a week(but we actually pay the whole thing at the beginning of the season) we try to eat only what they give us and what we have stored from the harvest. So every other week I wait to see what they give me and what meats my freezer holds before I plan what we will eat for the next 2 week. One of my favorite cookbooks to use with this way of planning is "Simply in Season" by  Cathleen Hockman-Wert and Mary Beth Lind. Our favorite from the cookbook is Maple Walnut Scones with maple cream added to the top when they are warm from the oven.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today being one of those "elfing" days... Cookies, sewing, and sending cards, oh my!
Actually my thoughts keep going to another countdown in my head.... the one where winter ticks away while you drool over seed catalogs... ok, I do. I LOVE fresh from the garden veg and fruit. I thought those catalogs weren't supposed to come until January in the midst of some winter blizzard. Well, anyway while I am contently warm in my little home waiting to see what God has next for us, I think about what I might plan for next year's garden.... or not plan. So as not to get frustrated over the not knowing if or what to plant in a garden I may or may not harvest... I can still learn more about the fruits and vegetables I would love to grow someday. So what I am starting next week when the gifts are all wrapped and we finish up our last week of school for 2011 is a index card file of all the plants I dream of growing someday. Some I have already grown and others I don't have room to grow here... like asparagus and horseradish. It is good to learn about the different kinds your family likes and when they get planted and harvested. Which ones are best for storing and which ones taste best. That will keep me busy all winter and make for a nice resource when I am done. Also we did sign-up for next years CSA so we always seem to have a nice abundance of wonderful vegetables and fruit from that. I even started seed saving the past 2 years of some of our favorite vegetables from the CSA and friend' gardens.
Our favorite seed catalogs:
Johnny's Seeds
High Mowing Seeds
Baker Creek
The Cook's Garden
Renee's Garden