Lately, my favorites days consist of Lucy and I spending long, lazy afternoons in the kitchen baking, cooking, and exploring. She likes to pull all the bottles and spice bags out of the pantry (and even test her strength by lugging the big bag of potatoes out and around) while I make some of our favorite recipes.
Today was inspired by our trip to Lester’s yesterday (after a beautiful, crisp morning in Bowering Park). In addition to our regular veggie haul we picked up a large bag of turnip greens and a gallon of cranberries. Knowing we wouldn’t get through these goodies during the week I set out to freeze them in single portions to use throughout the months ahead.
Turnip greens became a favorite of mine while pregnant; they are an excellent, natural source of folate. When Lucy went to sleep for her midday nap I cleaned, blanched, and dried most of the giant bag keeping some fresh to eat this week. Then when little L woke up and came downstairs to join me, we cleaned the cranberries and she helped me pour them into 1 cup bags (for muffins or other goodies) and 4 cup bags (for cranberry sauce). While we were sorting I had a pot of sauce simmering on the stove. I used this recipe since I wanted to avoid conventional sugar. I didn’t have any organic oranges and didn’t want to use the peel of a conventional one, so I squeezed the juice from one clementine into the mix. When I took this off the stove Lucy eagerly tested it out. Then she asked for more….and more! By the time she got through round three she had bright red cranberry juice everywhere! Arms, legs, face, clothes and even on the soles of her feet (yes, she stomped in the bowl). It was fun 🙂 I plan to serve this tomorrow night with one of our favorite casseroles (it’s a bit of a treat rather than a weekly thing): Broccoli, Chicken & Quinoa casseroles. It’s a recipe from the book Quinoa 365 which has a lot of great ideas for this favorite grain!
Next came the cranberry muffins. I’ve been using this recipe from Simple Bites a lot lately (I love this blog for the great recipes and also the tips for cooking whole foods for families more easily. I’m planning to work through some of her ideas in the coming months as I find myself with more and more time for these relaxing afternoons). I used fresh cranberries and chocolate chips for my add ins and they turned out delicious, as usual. Lucy and I relaxed on the couch with a cup of tea for me (water for her), a plate of muffins, and her favorite books before heading out into traffic to pick up Sean.
This is the first of many posts about food! I love to cook and bake (and eat) and am a bit obsessed with whole foods and their impact on health. Recently I’ve been wistfully telling Sean that I’d like to become a chef. He laughs a little and asks if I’ve learned anything at all about turning the things you love in life into your job 😉 But that topic deserves a whole post to itself! More to come… for now, happy eating!