Monthly Archives: November 2013

Green eggs, no ham: A post-holiday restorative breakfast

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After a major food-focused holiday sometimes I like to eat a bit lighter for a spell, trying to focus on the veggies and lean proteins that may have been conspicuously absent from my carb and gravy laden plate.  Eggs nestled in sautéed greens is one such recipe.  Perfect for restoring order to your body while still fueling you through the morning.

And I don’t know about you, but I feel mighty accomplished if I’ve eaten dark leafy greens before noon.  It leaves me with one less thing to worry about over the course of the day.  Like exercising first thing in the morning.  You get to feel healthy and righteous all day long, never worrying you might not get around to it later.   But this is easier and yummier than working out. Continue reading Green eggs, no ham: A post-holiday restorative breakfast

Thanksgiving dinner turkey pot pie

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is leftovers.  In fact, for several years when my family had gone as guests to someone else’s house for the holiday, my sister and I would make a second Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.  It worked out well because our neighbors worked on Thanksgiving.  With a bonus round on Friday, they got to celebrate the holiday, and we got to have their company and all the leftovers we wanted (with the food exactly as we like it: traditional herb stuffing, gallons of gravy, multiple pies…oh, and turkey, too).

I love a good turkey sandwich with stuffing, gravy, cranberry, and mayo all crammed in some good bread.  But I can only eat so many of those.  For dinner on the Friday or Saturday following Thanksgiving, it’s got to be turkey pot pie, using as many different leftovers as I can without turning it into a meat trifle (remember that episode of Friends?). Continue reading Thanksgiving dinner turkey pot pie

Thanksgiving day wishes

On this holiday, let us give thanks for all the blessing in our life.  Let us reflect on that for which we are most grateful, especially the people and gifts we most take for granted.

If you are moved to say grace or a blessing at the table tonight but don’t have one in mind, consider the (mostly secular) prayers that spoke to me, which I’ve compiled below.

Whatever your traditions are, I wish you health and happiness for you and yours.  Happy Thanksgiving! Continue reading Thanksgiving day wishes

From thankful to thoughtful: Conscious consumption on Black Friday

As November marches on, we get ever closer to the holiday frenzy that peaks December 24th, when the stores finally throw customers out to go spend some time with the precious family members for whom they’ve been shopping like mad.  It seems that the “Christmas season” starts earlier and earlier each year in retail-land.  And Thanksgiving seems to be the only pause in the action.  If we’re fortunate, for one precious day we get to spend time with our loved ones, enjoying a meal and giving thanks for all we have.

While you rest for a moment in that space of love and gratitude, I urge you to extend your thoughtfulness to the holiday shopping you may have planned later this week.  Retail giants are clamoring to attract every last dollar they can.  They use door busters, coupons and extended hours to lure us in.  And it works.  We’ve all seen the footage of parents gone wild trying to be the first one to get their hands on the flavor-of-the-year toy, fellow humans be damned.  It’s funny, but it’s also sad.  Less than 24 hours after giving thanks for all that we have, we are fighting over stuff with the intensity refugees might bring to a food drop.  Really?  Are we that desperate? Continue reading From thankful to thoughtful: Conscious consumption on Black Friday

Thanksgiving side dish: Beet salad three ways

My mother has always said that the Canadians have it right: Thanksgiving should be in October.  The harvest is so much more bountiful a month earlier than American Thanksgiving.  However, there are some great vegetables that are in season this time of year.  In our area, that includes many varieties of winter squash, carrots, kale, chard, and beets.

While beets haven’t featured often in our Thanksgiving line up of side dishes, there’s no good reason for that.  Except perhaps that we have them with dinner regularly. If you do too, consider preparing them a different way for Thanksgiving (check out the three options below).  If you don’t make beets, give them a try.  My husband swore he hated them until about 3 years ago, when a good preparation won him over.  I’m still working on our son, but he will eventually join us on the bright side, too.

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I love beets for their distinctive taste, nutritional value, and flexible preparation.  Allow me to elaborate. Continue reading Thanksgiving side dish: Beet salad three ways

DIY bean bag chair: Meet the Rollie Pollie

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Remember how I mentioned I’ve been on a DIY kick lately, brought on by my illness-induced antsy-ness and disinterest in food?  Well, one night recently it drove me to the internet, where I got stuck for hours on a single website.  (I fell way down that rabbit hole!)  I bookmarked tons of projects, but the one that compelled me to actually make something right away, was a pattern for a bean bag chair.  (Do you ever find that while the internet is a great resource, you often have time to either do a project or read about one, but not both?  I hate that.  I wish we could buy an iTunes gift card for our own time.)

It's a great spot to read
It’s a great spot to read

Anyway, the pattern was designed by a sewing blogger.  You can find it here.  She calls it a Rollie Pollie, and it’s marvelous.  It does cost $8, which gave me pause.  I have grown accustomed to getting things for free on the internet, but I eventually realized that I wouldn’t bat an eye at a corporation charging for a pattern, and I was actually much happier to support an entrepreneur instead.  So I ponied up the money and am so glad I did.

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Continue reading DIY bean bag chair: Meet the Rollie Pollie

1 chicken, 4 ways

Eating well without breaking the bank or cooking every minute of the day requires strategies to economize on time and money.  One way I like to do that is to start with one dish and transform it into another (and another and another).  With a turkey or ham, that’s not too hard because there is usually lots of leftover meat.  But even a simple roasted chicken can be given new life several times over.  My most ambitious feat yet has been to cook one chicken, four ways.  Check it out: slow-cooker roasted chicken becomes chicken pot pie, fried rice and chicken broth.  Three out of these four recipes I have shared already on the blog, but now I’m putting it altogether for you to show you how to save time, and throwing in a simple description of how I make fried rice.

Here we go… Continue reading 1 chicken, 4 ways

Make-ahead breakfast: Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal

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We eat a lot of oatmeal around here.  Rolled and steel-cut.  Simmered and microwaved.  Baked in muffin tins and in slabs.  So when I came across a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal, you knew I had to try it.  (It is pumpkin season here at Economist at Home, after all!)  The prep for this version is quick and easy, but it requires a long lead time – 24 hours to soak the oats before cooking and 40 minutes to bake before serving.

So, pick a day you could realistically pop this in the oven 40 minutes before breakfast and not have your whole day thrown off (a weekend perhaps?).  Working backwards, set aside 5 minutes two nights prior to your baking day to soak the oats and another 10 minutes the next night to mix in the other ingredients. Continue reading Make-ahead breakfast: Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal

DIY bulletin board

I’m back!  I’ve had a cold for four weeks now (remember the one that took me down and required homemade soup?).  Two and a half weeks in I got stomach flu, too.  Needless to say, I wasn’t up for much blogging.  Nor cooking.  My sense of taste and smell have been seriously diminished.  So even after I regained the ability to eat normally again, I haven’t had much interest in cooking or eating.  (Gasp!)

However, I have a new (old) love.  A lovely morning spent perusing a DIY magazine generated a spark that lit a crafty fire.  I have been on a roll, my friends.  I’ve got numerous projects to tell you about, but I’ll start with a brilliant DIY bulletin board.  It’s quick, easy, inexpensive and really beautiful.  It requires no special skills or tools to assemble (although it does require a power drill to mount), and it is completely customizable to your taste.

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DIY bulletin board (before pinning papers up)

I’ve been wanting a giant bulletin board for my office for a long time.  You see, I’m a visual person.  Out of site, out of mind.  So if I can’t see my notes, bills, project materials, inspirational and educational what-nots, I tend to forget about them.  No bueno.  To avoid that, I keep all those papers spread around my desk. Also no bueno.  A huge board is a perfect way to convert empty wall space into an organizational system that works for me.

Initially I thought I wanted to make a cork board.  But the raw materials cost a fortune.  And I worried about hanging such a heavy board given that our walls don’t take kindly to screws.  A quick internet search yielded an ideal solution. Continue reading DIY bulletin board