Spotlight Ingredient: Cabbage (Recipe: Cabbage & Leeks with Apples)

Last Sunday night, as my weekly menu plan started to take shape, an autumnal influence became obvious. Cabbage, apples, leeks and carrots all had a featured spot over the week. And why not? This produce is beckoning from the market stalls: firm, vibrant and, best of all, a bargain. It deserves to be snapped up and served for dinner.

Cabbage just might be the best bargain out there. At this time of the year the heads are tight, bright green and so crisp, they practically snap in two at the nudge of a knife. Green, red and savoy cabbage are all competing for attention, but I’ve been buying the green for its versatility.

Today, I’d like to offer you 4 easy ways to prepare this leafy fall vegetable.

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Grocery Shopping With Kids

Written by Megan of Stetted.

For families with kids, doing the weekly shopping is something that often strikes dread into the heart of every parent. From crying and begging to full-on, lay-on-the-ground-and-kick tantrums that seem to occur at a pin drop, shopping can be exhausting. But taking the opportunity to teach your kids about what they eat and where it comes from can transform the experience from terror to – dare I say it? – fun.

Here’s how you do it. [Read more…]

DIY: Stir-fry Vegetable Freezer Packages

With late summer produce so plentiful and affordable at the markets, it makes sense to stock up while the “going” is good. A recent chat with my mother about preserving garden vegetables turned me on to this idea for freezing blanched (lightly cooked) stir-fry vegetables in meal-sized portions.

The concept is simple – prepare and cook vegetables separately, then combine them and package in resealable freezer bags for use all winter long. (We covered this last summer when we preserved broccoli for the freezer.) While the texture of the reconstituted-from-frozen vegetables is missing the firm, toothsome quality of fresh, they still retain their flavor and color, and are by no means mushy.

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Weekend Reading (and Le Creuset giveaway winner)

This week was a blur of action, including a trip across Canada and back. On Monday my sister and I flew out to Vancouver, and on Tuesday we filmed an episode of a new family cooking show with Food Network Canada (which was a total blast!). That evening we enjoyed a delightful dinner on the waterfront with all of my immediate family; a rare occurrence.

Wednesday we flew home and Noah started Grade One, another milestone. Thursday found me desperately trying to catch up on life in general, but as I was functioning on four hours of sleep, I failed miserably!

Then came Friday. After many back-and-forth emails and DM’s between Maggy, Erika and myself,  Bloggers without Borders announced the grand total raised for Jennifer Perillo – over $63,000.00.

Do head over to BwoB to read the recap of our campaign; it will make you proud, humble, moved and elated. PS. While you’re over there, check out the super sweet Kitchen Aid giveaway.

Speaking of giveaways, we have one of our own to announce. We have a winner for our Le Creuset 8-piece Cookware Set!

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Preserving Summer: A Round-Up of Inspiration

In case you wanted to approach Labor Day weekend in a very literal sense, I’m sharing a round-up of preserving tutorials for seasonal fruits and vegetables today. I’ve set aside some time tomorrow to pack my freezer with certain vegetables and berries that I know will be disappearing from the market soon.

For a practical application of this post, may I suggest you first scan the list below, then take note of what you and your family will use the most. After that, think about what you are able to source – Is blueberry season over? Are your favorite saucing apples ripe yet? – before deciding on a weekend project.

Here is more practical advice on how to make time and get organized to can and preserve the harvest. Have fun!

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