The One in Which I’ve Lost My Groove

Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats.

I’m going to tell you a little secret. When I saw that this month’s Simple Bites theme was organization and productivity in the kitchen I kind of cringed a little. Because I’m so not feeling organized in my kitchen or productive right now.

I procrastinated and procrastinated submitting my post topic until Aimee and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Aimee: Just a quick reminder…I kinda need a topic from you for your next SB post!

Katie: I’m sorry! I have been trying to think of something….I’ll let you know tomorrow. I am just not feeling very organized or productive in the kitchen at the moment.

Aimee: So write about it. No, for real. How are you coping? Pushing through?

Katie: More like feeling sorry for myself.

Aimee: Hey we’ve all been there. And I think this end-of-winter, cusp of spring really triggers it.

[lightbulb moment happens and I think “oh. duh.”]

The last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling like I’ve totally lost my groove in the kitchen. But instead of doing something about it I’ve been doing nothing.

It’s been a busy month. We had spring break and that was….fun. Or not. My kids don’t quite appreciate being off from school for a week yet. Eric was out of town for work. Then really sick two weekends in a row.

Ever since then things have been a little off here. The weather is nasty. Crazy windy. Bad allergies which make me feel like I’m half asleep all day long. A couple of failed recipes. Yes, failed recipes and that never does much for self confidence.

Instead of doing nothing, I should be following my own advice.

[Read more…]

Eat Well, Spend Less: Simple Bites Goes Shopping

Marché is French for ‘market’, and one of the early words my three-year-old picked up, even though we’re an English speaking household. The open markets in and around Montreal are a pretty big part of our food shopping routine, hence Mateo’s early handle of the French word.

Shopping – conscientious, intentional shopping – is an integral part of eating well while managing to spend less.

Today, in our final post of the Eat Well, Spend Less series, I want to talk about how I stock my kitchen from bottom to top. I’ve already covered homemade pantry staples and frugal dinners in this series, but the ingredients for all that cooking and baking don’t just materialize on their own.

Food shopping is as particular and unique to each home as is their cooking style, taste preferences and health goals. My particular approach may not work for you, but I am confident I can offer a few nuggets of wisdom to help you get the most bang for your buck.

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Weekend Links: Virtual Easter Dinner Menu

What a week it has been around here! Part 2 of our Eat Well, Spend less series unfolded with a recipe for lentil shepherd’s pie and over three dozen ideas for frugal, family friendly dinners.

We sang the praises of farm-fresh eggs, which made me all the more anxious to get our chickens. Folks, the wood is cut for the hen house – it just needs to be assembled!

I focused on eating from the pantry (and freezer) this week and it went very well! We also had a goal of ‘no sugar week’, yep, even before I read the NYT article, Is Sugar Toxic? Aside from a few Cadbury mini eggs, we ate no sugar or desserts.

Finally, I set my shyness aside and vlogged my favorite potato dish for holiday dinners. Did you watch it?

All week long another group of blogging friends (yep, I’m overlapping two different series this week. I like punishment.) and I have been publishing dishes for one fabulous, virtual Easter dinner. Hit jump for the full menu.

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Weekend Giveaway: Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

This giveaway had ended. Congratulations to our winner, Mandi! Mandi you have been notified by email. A big thank you to all who participated in the giveaway.

Today’s weekend giveaway is for four dozen reusable canning lids from Tattler!

With spring just around the corner, I’m starting to think about homemade strawberry jam, rhubarb compote and other seasonal preserves. I use Tattler lids for my canning and am happy to offer you a chance to win some of their lids for your own home canning projects.

Tattler is a small US company that makes plastic, but BPA-free, reusable canning lids. These lids are a highly recommended resource; here’s why:

  • BPA free.
  • Indefinitely reusable.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Use standard canning processes.
  • No food spoilage due to acid corrosion.
  • F.D.A approved materials.
  • Use with Pressure canner or water bath (boiling water) methods.

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A Virtual Easter Dinner (vlog: Potato Rosemary Strudel)

Potato Strudel. I know, I know, it sounds weird, but can you please forget about the Swedish apple dessert momentarily, because I’m really excited to share this gussied up potato side dish with you.

Potato strudel was one of the first dishes I learned to make back in my early days in the professional kitchen. I was seventeen, and every evening, my chef and mentor, George (of the focaccia fame) served up slice after slice alongside expertly grilled New York steaks. After I watched him make the strudel a few times, I started recreating it at home for my family and it quickly became our go-to potato dish for holiday meals.

Thinly sliced potatoes, flavored with fresh rosemary and tossed with sour cream, are wrapped in puff pastry and baked until the potatoes are creamy and the pastry crisp. As trite as the expression is – what’s not to love?

Don’t let this sophisticated potato presentation lead you to believe that this strudel is a lot of work. I’ve purposely created a vlog to show you how easily it comes together. Just watch and learn! [Read more…]