I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.
It began as a tiny seed, and grew surrounded by friends.
Confession time. I hate leftovers. They make me a bit crazy. I’m impressed by people who can eat the identical thing for lunch that they ate the night before. But seriously? Don’t they get bored? To each their own, but when I sit down to a meal I want the food on my plate to look (and taste) differently than the last time I saw that same food. The challenge is that it makes life a whole lot easier (and usually healthier) if once or twice a week you prep and cook large batches of food for future eating. So what is a leftover snob supposed to do? For me, the answer (aside from keeping a well stocked pantry) is to prep and cook individual items rather than meals. Cut the vegetables, but don’t make the salad; cook and rinse the beans, but just store them for easy portioning; and cook the protein with just enough seasoning to keep it tender. Cook extra ingredients, not meals. That way there is always something to grab and go. Or, if you have time, lets you create something a bit more involved. Continue reading
When I’m in the kitchen I almost always have music on. Usually it is CBC Radio, but often, especially if I have the house to myself, it is showtunes. I love musical theatre. I love being in it and I love listening to it. I have so many great memories attached to different shows and the reminders they bring of friends and different times in my life. Now, I’m sure many of you have had the experience where you press that funny little genius button on your computer and you get a playlist of songs, some of which you don’t even remember owning. So the other day it was no surprise when, in the midst of cooking, a showtune started playing on my computer. As I was slicing up a pumpkin on came songs from the Broadway musical The Lion King (yes, the stage version not the movie). Singing along at the top of my voice about life and the circles it has I looked down at the pumpkin and thought yes it’s true. Life is a circle. So let me tell you a little bit about the circle of one pumpkins life.
I can’t believe it. One year.
A year ago today over a plate of, obviously, noodles I wrote my first blog post. It’s a blogaversary!
That calls for champagne.
I debated a long time before starting mostlynoodles. I was waiting for all of my ideas to be brilliant, my design to be fabulous, and my recipes to be perfect. I’m still waiting for those things, but here we are a year later. I realized that blogging is a lot like life. It never is perfect and I’m not sure I would want it to be. Continue reading
I haven’t been blogging or cooking much lately. I have lots of excuses but no real reasons. You all know what that’s like. Keeping so busy with the business of living you don’t have time to actually live. The other day while I was in the midst of paperwork I decided enough was enough and that it was really time I made myself a real lunch. Thankfully I had some beans in the fridge ready to go. Ten minutes later I had lunch. Warm and crispy cannellini beans with sage. Since I’m very aware that everyone has mealtimes that can easily get rushed, or worse yet forgotten, I thought I’d share.
New years resolutions. Goals. Affirmations. Call them what you will, it’s pretty hard at this time of year to avoid them. Whether you make them or eschew the whole idea, it’s fairly common following the holidays to want to eat a little healthier. After the excesses of the last few weeks, like it or not, most of us could stand to dial it back a bit on the fat/richness/carb factor in our meals.
One of my continued goals in 2012 is to eat locally sourced food as often as possible. The problem is that the one thing I always want at this time of year is citrus. Which of course couldn’t be less local for me if it tried. Now I confess, I eat lemons like they are going out of style all year, but come the winter months I crave ruby red grapefruit and oranges. I blame it on all the ordering of Florida citrus we did as band fundraisers growing up (is that an Eastern thing?)
The past several days haven’t been much about cooking. I’ve been having too much fun enjoying the fall weather out in my garden. As I watched literally hundreds of people wander my street to enjoy the beautiful fall leaves I was reminded that feeding oneself is as much about the spirit as the stomach. The rains will be here soon enough beckoning me back to the kitchen, but in the meantime these are some of the things feeding my soul.
Fall leaves outside my window…
Discovering cartoon cute (but posionous!) mushrooms in my yard…