Category Archives: eating well

Lazy weekend breakfast for autumn: Pumpkin pancakes

Are you ready for the onslaught of pumpkin recipes??? Now that zucchini season is winding down my thoughts turn to pumpkins, squash and apples. I haven’t made it out to the orchards for apple picking just yet, so pumpkin it is!

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I found some beautiful heirloom varieties at the farmer’s market, which I’ll use to make a simple dessert (perhaps a custard?) in which the pumpkin really sings. And, my grocery store ran a sale on organic canned pumpkin last week so I stocked up to use in recipes where the taste of pumpkin (and possibly tin) is more muted. Think muffins, bread, and pancakes.

The first in that series is pumpkin pancakes. Continue reading Lazy weekend breakfast for autumn: Pumpkin pancakes

I’m a convert…to slow cooker “roasted” chicken

I have never perfected the timeless art of roasting a chicken.  I can handle a turkey (perhaps because everyone’s expectations of the bird are pretty low, let’s be honest).  But roasted chicken has me stumped.  I’ve tried numerous can’t-miss recipes (techniques really) and I still failed.  Usually they come out undercooked, so I put them back in the oven and let it go a little longer, which turns out to be too long.  Dry chicken.  Boo!

I’ve roasted whole birds on a rack and on a bed of root vegetables and a rack over a bed of root vegetables.  I’ve slid butter and herbs under the skin (ew!), roasted it breast side up and breast side down, and even flipped it part way through.  Stuffed it.  Left the cavity empty.  You name it, I’ve tried it.  To no avail.

With breast meat that tends to dry out and thigh meat that determines the proper cooking temperature, I feel like the deck is stacked against me.  It’s like betting against the house in Vegas  – I’m gonna lose, it’s just a matter of how badly.

But then I spotted a tip for cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker.  I was skeptical, but I tried it.  It was okay, but too plain for me, and lacking the glory of a true roasted chicken.  It tasted of compromise somehow.  Continue reading I’m a convert…to slow cooker “roasted” chicken

Maple-lime yogurt sauce

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I love a hot breakfast. During the week we rely on homemade muffins and oatcakes stashed in the freezer, and oatmeal cooked on the stovetop or in the slow cooker (the recipes for which I will eventually post). But on the weekends I like to make something that I wouldn’t have time to do during the week. Something that has us lingering around the table in our pajamas and feeling the sheer joy of a leisurely Saturday morning. Continue reading Maple-lime yogurt sauce

Stone soup. Not really, it’s Minestrone.

I had in my mind that I didn’t like minestrone. I probably got that idea from the numerous cans of it I’ve eaten over the years, with their suspicious cubed carrots and potatoes. All the chunks have the same texture, except the beans, which are mealy. And the taste of tin pervades each bite. Restaurant soup, with few exceptions, isn’t much better. It tastes like nothing more than tomato, holds no surprises, and is still a bit tinny. So I was convinced minestrone itself was deeply flawed.

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Folks, I was wrong. (See, honey, I can admit it.) Continue reading Stone soup. Not really, it’s Minestrone.

Mom down! Mom down!

This weekend a cold took me down like a lion fells a gazelle.  It snuck up from behind, bit me in the ass and laid me flat.  Like that poor wounded animal I kept trying to get up and escape my fate.  In my case it was to attend to my family and home, trying to carry on as usual, but I ended up splayed out and whimpering shortly after each attempt.

Before I succumbed completely, I did manage to whip up a quick broth-based soup with noodles and veggies.  The broth I made last week never made it into the freezer, so it was easy to just dump in some chopped carrots, celery and kale and a handful of tiny pasta.  Man, did that taste good.  And it made me feel better, too.

It's difficult to get a clear photo of a steaming hot soup!  Hubby blew on it while I snapped the pic, but it's still a little blurry.
It’s difficult to get a clear photo of a steaming hot soup! Hubby blew on it while I snapped the pic – I’m sure that’s how the pros do it – but it’s still a little blurry.

Sunday, after a nap, I had another fit of mom-guilt insanity Continue reading Mom down! Mom down!

$200/month grocery challenge – Part V

This is the fifth installment of a 5-part series.  Missed the first four parts?  Go here, here, here, and here

My family and I recently completed a 4-week experiment in which we aimed to drastically reduce our spending on groceries and continue to eat well, perhaps even better than before.  Did we make it?  Yes and no, but we sure did eat well.  If you’re curious, here are our weekly meal plans for the month.

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Reflections 17 things I learned while doing this experiment: Continue reading $200/month grocery challenge – Part V

$200/month grocery challenge – Part III

This is the third installment of a 5-part series.  Missed the first two parts?  Go here and here

My family and I recently completed a 4-week long experiment in which we aimed to drastically reduce our spending on groceries and continue to eat well, perhaps even better than before.  If you’re curious, here are our weekly meal plans for the month.

Seasonal produce: A dilemma
Did we make it?  Yes and no.  Yesterday I explained the way in which we succeeded.   Today I’ll expand on how and why we didn’t.

Abundance brought on our failure.
Abundance fueled our failure

Continue reading $200/month grocery challenge – Part III

Pickled peppers

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Last week a friend swung by to pick me up for a moms’ night out and brought with her a bag of chile peppers – jalapeno and Serrano to be precise.  “Someone gave these to me, and I figured you could do something with them, right?” she offered, ominously.  I don’t eat anything spicier than mild Taco Bell sauce, but who am I to refuse free food, if that’s what you call this stuff. Continue reading Pickled peppers

$200/month grocery challenge – Part II

This is the second installment of a 5-part series.  Missed the first part?  Go here

My family and I recently completed a 4-week long experiment in which we aimed to drastically reduce our spending on groceries and continue to eat well, perhaps even better than before.

The outcome
Did we succeed?  Continue reading $200/month grocery challenge – Part II