neighborly gifts

I love it when I get a text from my neighbor Minki that says something like, “Send your son down if you want to try some bread I just made”. Because we all know delicious things will follow. And always adorably packaged. I’ve learned a lot about presentation from her.
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1 bread close up

The bread was so yummy and like nothing I’ve ever had before. It was topped with cheese and corn and was sweet and delicious.

Minki is also an uber-talented crafter, an artist really. She has two blogs, one in English and one in Korean. Don’t be afraid to check out the Korean one, the pictures really tell the story of her beautiful handmade crafts and sweet family.

this week in my kitchen

Linking up with Beauty That Moves. Just a peek at what was happening in my kitchen this week.

Breakfast on the patio.

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Chocolate Chip cookies.

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Not a pretty shot of this Beef Chili. But it was tasty.

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And the first Strawberry Jam of the season. I had forgotten how good homemade jam is.

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And Kids Cook Night. Grilled chicken sandwiches with corn on the cob. I love seeing my kids in the kitchen.

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coffee and friends

I am lucky enough to have a lovely, creative neighbor right down the street from me who makes the loveliest art. Here is a tiny example of a card she made me, inviting me over for coffee this morning.

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A latte, and a homemade apple cherry scone were waiting form me when I arrived. All on this adorable handmade tea mat. It was a lovely visit, full of ideas for her sweet little girl’s birthday party tomorrow. I have never had the privilege of having a friend that is also a neighbor. She is also my first in real-life friend who likes to sew and craft, so that is an endless topic of conversation.

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The garden is sadly neglected, but if you look hard enough (and crop closely), there are little pockets of beauty and evidence of spring everywhere.
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We need to get out and plant the vegetable garden, but it is not going to happen this weekend. I hope you are stopping to find beauty wherever you are.

 

whole foods kitchen love

I’ve been having a blast in the kitchen with the Whole Foods Kitchen workshop. Here are some highlights:

almond milk

stirfry with greens

raspberry oat bars

savory wheatberry salad

apple oat cake

I love making the almond milk (so easy) to go with the homemade granola that had come to be a staple in our pantry. If only I could remember to get the almonds soaking the night before! I am really trying to up my intake of vegetables- green smoothies, salads as whole meals and I even dragged out the juicer again. When I realize that I might not make it through all the veggies in the CSA box, I start juicing. Plus I like that there is less sugar than when I make a green smoothie. Both are good, it just depends on the day.

My frustration is the reluctance of my kids to eat some of the recipes. I want to cut down on meat, but beans are a hard-sell around here in the under 14 set. I keep sneaking them into things like pasta dishes and soups, but the kids  just move them around the plate and  avoid them. It’s better than refusing to eat the dish, I realize, but disappointing, nonetheless. That said, they are definitely more open to “mom’s wacky whole food meals” than most kids their age. It’s all progress.

Whether or not the kids will eat them, I am cooking and freezing a lot of beans these days. I love having them ready to go in the freezer, reducing my dependence on canned beans and their BPA problems. I have to admit that I get a kick out of having all my bowls of soaking beans, grains, and almonds set out at night, ready for cooking the next day. It makes me feel so organized and homemakerly. 🙂

The workshop is already about half over, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It’s fun to have a whole new nutrition topic to dig into each week, and I love having a bunch of new recipes to try every Monday.

The only downside is that all this cooking leaves the kitchen looking like this. A lot.

the cake

If you came here thinking you will read something about wholesome, nutritious food, then avert your eyes, because we went the other way for Boy 1’s birthday.

I found this cake on Pinterest one day and after I repinned it, I had something like 30 repins in the next 15 minutes. It is actually just a regular cake with frosting under there, then surrounded by Kit Kat’s and topped with M&M’s. It was a kick to make, and got such a great reaction from the kids- I just had to share.