Asparagus - Header

Roasted Asparagus with Buttery Lemon Breadcrumbs

Our traditional Easter dinner is looking a little different this year.

My beloved first born’s birthday happens to fall on Easter Sunday, so we’re shifting things around to make space for both special occasions. My sister-in-law is hosting a multi-family dinner on the Saturday night of the holiday weekend, and I’m taking on Easter brunch the next day, reserving dinner later that night for Ben’s birthday celebration.

Seeing as he’s in charge of the menu that evening, I imagine we’ll be dining on pulled pork, poutine, and donuts for dessert, a decidedly un-Easter meal if there ever was one. In an effort to make up for it, I’m planning a buffet of seasonal spring foods for the brunch earlier in the day.

[Read more...]

Mushroom Ragu Header

Feeding Teenage Boys: An Update (Recipe: Quick Mushroom Ragu)

My approach to feeding my family has completely shifted focus over the last year as my boys have grown from tweens into young teenagers.

Their lives have changed along with their growing bodies, forcing a natural shift in our family’s approach to meals and food. A few years ago, I was petty confident I knew how to deal with ravenous appetites and the multiple meals my tweens required each day, and while I did well in that season of parenting, nothing prepared me for the days of packing school lunches for a 175-lb. child.

Please don’t be confused; my children are big and healthy, and the ample weight is evenly matched by the height, as my 13-year-old currently stands tall at a striking 6’1”. He’s the tallest person in our house right now; heck, he’s taller than anyone in our entire extended family, and his appetite just might be bigger than his body.

I’ve replaced traditional lunchboxes with food storage containers, and despite my best efforts to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, there are many, many days when I’m ill prepared for what the kids need to eat, especially when they show up at home with three to five friends, all of whom are equally as hungry as my own kids.

[Read more...]

mahi-mahi-teriyaki-vegetables-header

Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Vegetables and Coconut Rice: Faking Fresh

Three o’clock. As the small clock hands approach the quarter-hour mark, small feet and fingers make their way to the front door. It will open with a chorus of voices as my kids fall inside, all limbs and weighed down with multiple bags (three each: lunchbox, backpack, snow gear bag).

As they tumble in, I’ll direct them to their coat hooks, request that the snowy shoes be stored, and have them meet me in the kitchen with their lunchboxes to clear them out and get a snack started. Then the dinner duties begin.

Outside, the weather continues to remind us that winter is not yet over. These last few weeks are holding strong to frozen temperatures and snow-covered earth. The farmers’ market opening is still months away, and my pantry storage of root vegetables and winter squash from fall is nearly gone.

I dream of asparagus and spring strawberries to come. I plan my garden on scraps of paper while staring at seed catalogs with photos of juicy, plump tomatoes. I water my sad-looking herb garden that rests in the window and wonder how it will ever make it to the warmer weather.
[Read more...]

Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables (slow cooker) | Simple Bites #recipe #slowcooker #dinner #eatseasonal

Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables (slow cooker)

Mid-winter is my preferred season to haul out the slow cooker. The weather is frigid, requiring heartier dinner fare to make up for all the energy we spend trying to stay warm.

Yesterday’s Sunday dinner was a slow cooked veal roast, seasoned with orange zest and surrounded by an assortment of root vegetables. To say it ‘hit the spot’ after a mainly meatless week of meals would be an understatement.

It spurred us on to bundle up in toques and scarves and spend an afternoon ice skating. The city maintains a winding skating area along the river’s edge around this time of the year and it winds and bends with views of the snowy island directly opposite. It was the perfect opportunity to let go of the stress of the week and gather fortitude for another seven days. [Read more...]

noodles_header

Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken and Snow Peas

There’s a lot to be said about the days before school started. Looking back, everything seemed so easy, and I realize now that I might have been a bit too overconfident on my household and parenting skills.

Once the kindergartener is home, we scurry about to get homework done — I’m still in shock kindergarteners have homework — while also trying to keep the baby entertained during his fussy time, and get dinner ready so I can ensure the kids eat a full meal before bedtime creeps up on us.

I like to meal plan, but even the best plans go astray when kids are thrown into the mix. Luckily, I keep a few ideas in my back pocket, like stir fry.

[Read more...]