Slowing down for meals

I would put good money on the fact that since many of our families are busy, busy, busy, many mealtimes are often hastily cooked and dolled out, especially dinner. As such, I found this post on slowing down mealtimes (from Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas writing as a guest on Kitchen Stewardship) really refreshing.When I was young, even with many activities, my mother still tried to have most of our meals sitting at the dining room table. I didn't fully appreciate it as much as I do n … [Read more...]

Vegetable Labor

Feeding family vegetables is hard work. Hard, but necessary, I get it.A combination of: being raised in California, reading Michael Pollan, and fulfilling the duties of an Army wife to keep her husband trim has honed my focus on getting fresh vegetables into my crew. Let's face it, men will only eat vegetables that are washed and cut and put in front of them. Also Texas Mommy forced me to make all my own baby purees, and, consequently all four children are great consumers of produce as well. … [Read more...]

Simple Meal for a Crowd

Somewhere in a giant stack of recipes I pulled out this oven-baked paella recipe. It sounded impossible to dump chicken stock on rice and bake it, but it turned out great and would be very easy for a large-ish crowd. We have many friend on different diets, especially gluten-free ones, so I am always looking for something not overly labor intensive for company that everyone can eat. These were the ingredients called for, but you could easily swap out proteins and veggies and spices. All you have … [Read more...]

Power-House Quick Mix for Busy Families

My mother was a vegetarian in her teens and early twenties mostly for health reasons... all before meeting the son of a cattle rancher. As a result -- and even as we had a farm of our own and ate meat often growing up -- she knew a lot about the chemistry and nutrition combo's to get complete protein in other ways.She recently reminded some of the younger mommas in our family about one of her go-to recipes, and I thought you might like it. What's great about it is that it can be a base for … [Read more...]

A Pill A Day?

So there have been copious news articles recently surrounding the efficacy of vitamin supplements: see here and here. But I am wondering has anyone actually ditched their daily prenatals or multivitamin?Our family strives to eat whole, real foods and minimize processed foods, but even with much of our food budget going to organic produce, grains, dairy and meats, I have also read that the vitamin content in these foods is not what it was 50 years ago. We get our Vitamin D the old fashioned … [Read more...]

Holiday Meals with Company: What Worked for Us this Year

Over Christmas this year, we were privileged to host several extended family members in our own home, which was such a thrill for us since we are usually traveling for the holidays. I knew that with 6 adults and 5 children to feed at various stages throughout the week, I would need to have a firm meal plan in place ahead of time, so I made a detailed grocery list and away I went. All in all, I think that everything worked out quite well, and I only needed to make a couple of additional grocery … [Read more...]

A Pennsylvania Dutch Tradition

Growing up, I can remember teachers having us write down our favorites--"favorite color", "favorite activity", "favorite food", etc.  My answers always went something like this: blue, art/drawing, and potato filling.  What in the world was "potato filling"?  Most of my peers were writing "pizza" and I stood out, leaving others to question.  The best answer I could provide was that potato filling was a cross between mashed potatoes and stuffing, mixed together with additional yumminess and baked i … [Read more...]

Caramel Apples, check.

Fall is the season for baking and decorating and crafting. I have made peace with the fact that crafting isn't my thing. No ability, no desire, no thank you. Fortunately, my oldest daughter is a crafty type, and a nostalgic little soul, so anything we've done in Falls past needs to be done again or else it's not really Fall.So, after several flesh burns from 300 degree caramel, a lost tooth, a legendary mess of toppings on the kitchen floor, and half a bag of chocolate chips consumed in the … [Read more...]

Thoughts on baby food?

I apologize in advance for having two posts in a row about feeding a baby, but it is an important topic in my life right now! I’m sure one of the Builders has written about this at some point and I missed it when I was a reader (maybe not?), but I’m looking for some feeding advice. As I wrote here I am still nursing (hooray!) and will continue doing so hopefully for several more months. Even so, we have started Pia on some baby food here and there and though we are not jumping headlong into fee … [Read more...]

Easy Morning Magic

MaryAlice mentioned in her Fall Morning Magic post that she sometimes used packets of oatmeal in the morning.Ditto here. I have also been guiltily buying them since August so that I would not have to get up  a few minutes earlier (also not a morning person) to make oatmeal and deal with the pot boiling over while I try to ensure that schoolbound kids are ready for school and others are ready for homeschool. They are so easy and the kids can dump contents in a bowl, add a little instant hot … [Read more...]