Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Winter Wonderland

This is the view from my back door off my kitchen today.  A beautiful winter scene.  I walked in and out of the kitchen so many times today, mostly to enjoy this view, but also to snack on the gingerbread that was still warm from the oven.  We had the rare treat of a snow day that we all were able to enjoy from home, no work and no school, lots of sledding, tea, cocoa and of corse gingerbread.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quiet in the House

Just a quick note of thanks for this moment of quiet I am living in.  MM is out for the evening, S and G are off playing together in their room while I sit in the kitchen alone.  The dishes are in the washer humming away, the lights are soft, though it is so dark outside, and I am ready to put on water for tea then get the wee ones to bed and cozy up.  Good evening all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Room with a View

I just returned home from a beautiful walk with a friend, and am now looking out my kitchen windows to the most magnificent sunny fall day. What is making the scene just right, is the lack of leaves that were blanketing our yard Friday afternoon as I left for a weekend away with friends. Apparently Music Man got inspired, recruited the help of Guru and Sunshine, and together they all raked, blew leaves and cleaned up the entire yard. It looks fabulous now, especially on the wonderful fall day we are having. We are blessed with an exceptionally large lot of land surrounded by trees which translates into lots and lots of leaves every fall. Until the next wind blows though, things are looking beautiful out there!!!

I was away this weekend with an incredible group of women to celebrate with a friend who is about to get married. The time was spent knitting, reading, sharing amazing meals together, playing games and most importantly sharing our thoughts and dreams with her on her upcoming marriage. This is the second such weekend I have been blessed to experience, both of which have come for me after nearly 14 years of marriage, both of which taught me more about what it means to share a life with someone than I had figured out on my own in those 14 years. There is something so inspiring for me about being with women who are living life with purpose, passion and a commitment to their communities. I am honored to walk among them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Music Man

The other night I was treated to a bit of live music while preparing dinner. Guru and Sunshine were off doing their own thing when in wandered my Music Man with his guitar. I chopped, peeled and sauteed while being treated to a private play list of some of his all time favorite music. I was kind of disappointed when dinner was ready to be served, it was such a treat in that moment. Such a quiet shared moment is a rare commodity in this household.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Love CSA's

I have been loving the beautiful photos of people's csa box contents. We get our box each Thursday, I am going to try to capture some of that beauty with a photo and post on our weekly bounty. There is something so satisfying about knowing not only where your food came from but that it is just a stone's throw from home to boot. Music Man even notices the difference in flavor with truly fresh local organic produce, I never thought the day would come when he would utter, "wow, this is really good lettuce, it tastes so fresh!" No joke, he really said it:)

Today we received; the so mentioned lettuce, D'anjou pears, apples, yukon gold potatoes, acorn squash, green onions, cauliflower, baby carrots, lemons, kiwi, tomatoes, kale, and spinach. Sunshine promptly nibbled up a pear on the ride home and the lettuce and tomatoes were enjoyed with our taco dinner tonight. The greens and carrots will disappear quickly as I have started juicing fresh greens for us all. We all love cauliflower soup so that will be on the menu for sometime soon. The fruit goes quickly in this house which leaves me with just the squash and potatoes, any ideas? We currently have much squash about, I am going to try juicing it as well and perhaps using the rest in soup next week. This time of year soup is a standby in our home and luckily all are agreeable to it around here, or more realistically they tolerate my obsession with it. As I mentioned I hope in the future to post some photos.

Faraway Friends and a Kitchen Weekend

Recently Guru and I were able to travel to Colorado to visit some very dear friends. In getting ready for our time together my friend emailed me with questions of what we would like to do during our stay with them in Colorado. My response was simply, "spend time with you and learn to cook some great Moroccan food". In her previous life, my friend (Mama N) and her mama ran a very popular Moroccan restaurant. I have only once before sampled the flavors of Morocco, so I was very excited to try my hand at preparing a few dishes. In my mind, there is nothing more pleasant and relaxing than time spent preparing something in the kitchen with someone special. We spent our afternoons in her fabulous kitchen chopping, chatting, mixing, sauteing, laughing, and tasting while Mama N's hubby entertained the little ones. He was rewarded with a fresh Moroccan feast each night. I am in love with the flavors of Morocco and can't wait for another chance to cook together with Mama N. I will also treasure the huge supply of saffron I was sent home with, thank you Grandma K!

P.S. Once I am able to recreate any of the dishes we put together I will gladly share the recipes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Indulgences

I am always drawn to the heart of every home I visit, the kitchen. I love the way so often it becomes the gathering spot for family and friends. In our home the kitchen is not only where meals are prepared, but also where homework is done, songs are sung, tea is sipped, hugs and kisses abound and where we open our hearts to one another each day. If I could craft a home, it would start with the kitchen and everything else would be designed around it. I hope to share my view and vision of all the beauty and magic made from this special place.

I love the fall and all of the wonderful flavors that it brings. Our kitchen is currently stocked up with various squash, persimmons, bitter greens, pears and apples. In our csa box this week we received a bunch of sun chokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes). This was a new veg to our family, so through a quick query online I found an amazing lemon chicken with sun chokes recipe. My folks were joining us for dinner so, in true form for me, I decided to experiment with a new recipe. We also currently have a plethora of persimmons and there were more in our box, luckily so was a recipe for persimmon pudding cake, and another opportunity to experiment. I am pleased to say that both new recipes came out wonderfully, pleasing everyone. "Keepers" for sure as we like to refer to such experiments.