Weekend Reading

At the risk of sounding completely clichéd, I’m going to gape “It’s the weekend already??” Honestly, I was having an immensely productive Saturday until the Simple Living Weekly newsletter popped into my inbox and alerting me that, yes, it was time to pour a glass of strawberry lemonade and relax with some quality reading.

In the meantime, here are a few more inspiring reads I stumbled upon this week and enjoyed very much…. [Read more…]

Spotlight Ingredient: Rhubarb (Recipe: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake)

It’s spring, and gorgeous produce is beginning to appear in the markets — as well as my neighbor’s expansive backyard garden! I’ve been admiring his handsome rhubarb patch from afar and trying to muster up the courage to ask for some. We’re new to the neighborhood, you see.

Inspired by Tsh’s Q & A ‘Do you know the people in your neighborhood?‘ and the fascinating discussion about community that followed, I decided it was time to put my shyness aside and I knocked on his door. He generously offered me ‘carte blanche‘ on his patch–for the whole season. I was thrilled!

Rhubarb is my favorite early summer fruit; I just love it. As a child I dipped the pale pink stalks in sugar and munched them raw. As a teen I paired rhubarb with strawberries, baked the fruit into pies and sold them at my local farmers market. (for $5 dollars!!). Now, the options are endless and I usually run out of rhubarb long before I finish experimenting with new recipes.

I should mention, before we get any further, that rhubarb is actually a vegetable. Did you know? It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, but my guess is that the majority of it ends up in a pie or a terrific crumble.

If you haven’t yet, pick up some rhubarb and discover what all the fuss is all about.  [Read more…]

Encourage Kids to Cook By Hosting a Cooking-Themed Birthday Party

There has been much discussion recently on the importance of teaching children to cook and instilling an interest in healthier food. In his acceptance speech, TED prize winner and renowned chef, Jamie Oliver had one wish: Teach every child about food. I agree with Jamie that children can help get families cooking again, and am excited to bring you today’s post in support of kids in the kitchen.

Does your child have a birthday approaching? This year, why not skip the Disney themes and host a cooking party instead? Children can learn how to bake from scratch, toss pizza dough and decorate cupcakes –all in a playful atmosphere of fun!

What better way to foster a love of the cooking? Extra bonus points for those who can squeeze in a garden tour as well… [Read more…]

Weekend Reading

Happy Mother’s Day!

The weather forecast for Mother’s Day in my area calls for rain and cool temperatures, but I’m not bothered by the impending drizzle. I’ll be tucked up in my bed with a plate of warm scones and my copy of In Defense of Food, our Simple Living book club selection for this month.

Thank you all who responded with such feeling to my post How to Have Peace, Serenity AND Breakfast in Bed on Mother’s Day. It was encouraging to know that so many of you appreciated the friendly nudge for your husbands and passed it on. Funnily enough, several of you who emailed said that the post had inspired your life partners and they had gone out and bought waffle irons.  I thought that was fantastic!

I’d love if you re-visited the Mother’s Day post and shared about your breakfast with the rest of us. We’d love to hear what your family cooked up; apparently waffles are a popular choice!

For now, here’s what caught my attention around the web this week. Happy Reading! [Read more…]

Spices 101: Three Options for Grinding Spices (Recipe: Quick Mojo Sauce)

If you’ve got a pepper mill, then you are off to a great start to grinding your own spices. Why grind your own? Well, we’ve already discussed the benefits of buying whole spices, so now you’ve got to break them down. Fortunately it’s easy to do and well worth your time. One sniff of freshly pulverized cinnamon will likely convert you forever.

As with most kitchen equipment, a simple tool is best for grinding spices; here are my recommendations for three different types.

1. Mortar & Pestle

I love pulverizing whole spices by hand in a mortar and pestle, because I feel like I am connecting with women all throughout history who have done the same thing. It’s like kneading bread by hand, it brings a satisfaction that only working ingredients by hand can provoke. [Read more…]