My Go-To Cookbooks

0

April 7, 2017 by Sarah

IMG_2167
One of my weaknesses is cookbooks. At the library, I can easily come by with stacks of them. Most of them I flip through pretty quickly, with maybe only 1 or 2 recipes sticking out to me. There are just a small handful of cookbooks that I turn to again and again and have a permanent spot on my shelf.

Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Collection: Pat got this for me for Christmas a few years ago, this set really covers the basics of good old American cooking. Ina Garten is spot on with all her recipes, everything is seasoned so well and and delicious. You can never go wrong with Ina! If I’m looking for a basic, classic recipe, this is the set I go to.

Maagnchi’s Real Korean Cooking: This cookbook is like the Barefoot set, but for Korean cooking. I’d heard of Maangchi and her wild pink hair and Youtube videos but was always deterred by not aesthetically pleasing website. But then, she hooked me, with her video on how to make your own soybean paste. After checking out this book first from the library, I found countless recipes that remind me of my mom’s and aunt’s cooking, my Korean comfort food. I soon after bought my own copy.

Vegetable Literacy: I am passionate about gardening and growing my own food. I can’t get enough of it. This book celebrates vegetables and makes them the focal point of every dish, instead of the afterthought. I find that even when you put the tiniest thought and effort into vegetables, they transform. This book is packed full of recipes from countless types of vegetables, along with great information and some helpful garden wisdom.

Super Natural Everyday: I do my best to cook with whole grains, vegetables, and in general good for you ingredients. Heidi Swanson really nails it. I’m amazed at how much flavor she develops from such “healthy” ingredients. I’ve learned a lot from her cookbook and food blog, she’s definitely worth following if you are interested in natural foods.

And a few honorable mentions.

I’ve been tempted to add The Art of Simple Food II to my library, I love Alice Water’s cooking philosophy, I learn a lot from her. My friend sent me Small Victories as a gift and I’ve been loving it, such a great gem of a book if you’re learning to cook or want some new ideas to make food taste even better.


Friday Quick Takes (vol.29)

0

March 24, 2017 by Sarah

I was so excited to come back from a trip and find my seedlings alive and bigger, thanks to my kind neighbor! This and other quick takes on the blog today. Link in profile. #garden #gardening #seeds #growyourown #growyourownfood #organicgardening #kitchengarden #growsomethinggreen #thehappygardeninglife #urbangardenersrepublic

one. I somehow managed to start seeds indoors about a month ago, and here they are! Alive and well. We have brandywine tomatoes, sungold cherry tomatoes (my favorite), basil, kale, eggplant, and zinnia and borage flowers to attract good bugs to the garden. We also started another round this week of 3 kinds of cucumbers, marigolds, and cosmos.

two. A few blogs I follow did skincare posts recently! Check them out here, and here.

three. I’ve been loving being part of a book club, in the last few months I’ve gotten to read books I would have never otherwise picked up. Last month I finished Ready Play One and I’m currently reading Exit West. Both got me hooked.

Every year when the trees start blossoming, I'm reminded why spring is my favorite season. #spring #blossom

four. Every year when the trees start blossoming, I am reminded why spring is my favorite season. Trying to take it all in and savor it.

five. We’re in the season of Lent in the church calendar right now. I’ve been reading this Lenten devotional right now when I remember, it’s out of stock but it’s great so keep it in mind for future years if you’re interested!

I’ve also been enjoying the Friday meat fast and like past years, have been experimenting more with seafood dishes. This has been a go-to favorite, this is a new hit, and I’m making this tonight.

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum


Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

0

March 10, 2017 by Sarah

IMG_1754

Spring is arriving in full force over here, and I’m so happy about it. We’re back at the park many afternoons during the week, and the blue tarp is more permanently off our back yard patio table. My cooking starts to transition during this time, a little less oven use as it gets hotter, but we’re not quite there yet, which means, my favorite roast chicken will still be a guest (maybe a less frequent one) during the beginning of spring.

What to do with roast chicken besides make chicken stock and toss it with pesto pasta? This week it accompanied roast potatoes and kale salad, was tossed in Chrissy Teigen’s Sesame Noodles, and then as a finale, chicken and bean enchiladas.

IMG_1755

I grabbed what I had in my fridge that would work, the leftover chicken, black beans, carrots (that roasted underneath the chicken, amazingly good), and about half a bunch of kale. Added shredded cheese.

IMG_1756

Rolled the filling up into tortillas, eyeballing along the way. The last ones definitely got fatter as I realized I had a lot of filling left. Then I covered everything with this enchilada sauce and a final sprinkling of cheese. Dinner, as always, was a rush as we came back from the park starving, so, a final photo didn’t happen. I included the recipe below, but really, this is such a loose one that you can fill the tortillas with any other veggies or proteins that you think might taste good!

IMG_1753

Chicken and Bean Enchiladas 

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup black beans, drained
1/2 bunch kale, chopped finely, massaged with a little salt
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for top)
8  tortillas
enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss together the chicken, black beans, kale, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Taste it and add salt if it needs more flavor. Roll into tortillas. Pour enchilada sauce over and sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top. Back for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.


Homemade Chicken Stock

0

February 24, 2017 by Sarah

IMG_1626

I appreciate routine these days. The kids work best this way and with my mind in so many different places all the time, it’s nice to have defaults that are set. In the kitchen these days, this looks like meals that we rotate through every few weeks. We eat a lot of spaghetti, noodle soup, a version of this, and in the fall and winter, we have lots and lots of roast chicken. I stock up on whole chickens when they’re on sale at Whole Foods, I think I’ve gotten as many as 8 one time! Luckily we had enough freezer space during that particular trip.

So, roast chicken. Then the routine is, get the bones in our slow cooker, add a small list of things along with it, fill with water, and then let it simmer away overnight. All the while the kids are running circles around the kitchen island (why do they have an insane burst of energy RIGHT before bedtime?), but it’s fine because I’m on auto-pilot with this one now. And I love being able to be on auto-pilot at the end of the day, especially when it means I wake up to deep, rich chicken stock in the morning that I can turn into soups or base for risotto or any number of dishes that ask for it.

One little pro-tip that I learned from a friend, keep a ziplock or container in the freezer that you can add veggie scraps from throughout the weeks then dump it all into the slow cooker when it’s time to make stock. There’s no need for a whole carrot when you can use peelings and other odds and ends for veggies that might make sense in stock.

IMG_1651 (1)

Homemade Chicken Stock

Bones from 1 whole chicken
1/2 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
Small handful of thyme and parsley
1 tablespoon peppercorns

Put everything in a slow cooker, fill almost all the way up to the top and cover. Simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Cool, then freeze or use within a week.


Cooking for Kids: Noodle Soup

0

February 10, 2017 by Sarah

This is what we’ve been eating a lot these days for lunch. It’s easy and can be pulled together in such a variety of different ways. I often get in little ruts with cooking, especially lunch, and then I remember that my kids are usually pretty simple in what they like to eat. They like soup and they love noodles. And on our recent stretches of cold, rainy days, I’ve been a fan too!

I thought I’d share to spark some ideas if anyone out there, with kids or not, is feeling a little stuck too.

IMG_1588

I always have chicken broth in my freezer that I make from all the roast chickens I make. I’ll try to share how I do it soon. I boil some noodles in the pot I’m using first, drain them, and then heat up the broth. I pull out any cooked veggies I might already have, or I’ll chop some up and cook it in the broth. This time I also had chopped green onion and I happened to have roast chicken.

IMG_1587

Noodles go in the bowl.

IMG_1586

Then the broth.

IMG_1589

Add the veggies, and voila, lunch!  I’ve been loving this because there are endless combinations. Last week I did it with bok-choy from the farmer’s market and sliced hardboiled egg as the protein. You can use thick noodles or thin. Spinach, kale, any cooked meats you might have.

My favorite is eating it with kimchi, it adds a spiciness to the broth that is so good.

Noodle Soup

This is more of a choose your own adventure than a recipe.

Broth- chicken, veggie, beef.
Protein- Cooked meats, hardboiled egg, fried egg, tofu
Vegetable- Broccoli, bok-choy, spinach, kale, chard, green onions
Noodles- any kinds that you enjoy in a soup

Heat things up and put them in a bowl. And eat. And enjoy.


Friday Quick Takes (vol. 28)

0

February 3, 2017 by Sarah

one. I got to take Gianna and Caleb to our local farmer’s market this weekend and I was in heaven. Our market has everything from produce to eggs to meat and cheese and homemade pastas and dumplings. It’s pretty awesome, we loaded up!

16464179_251944341909448_7012197829196120064_n

two. I have summer gardening on my brain, the kids and I pulled out our seeds (and bought a whole lot more) this last week and I’m slowly coming up with a plan. I like starting plants from seeds because of how much you save (versus buying seedlings/small plants), but also for the kids to see how it all begins, one small seed becoming the food that we eat.

three. Speaking of gardening, it you like to garden, this is a great Instagram account to follow. Especially if you live in the bay area, he gives so many helpful tips and shares lots of cool plant varieties.

four. The Art of Being Overwhelmed, basically sums up what I’ve been feeling these days as a mom of 3.

five. I have so many thoughts and feelings about the news this week, I’ve been grateful for conversations with trusted friends about it. I’ve felt a little stuck as a mom of 3 young kids, trying to figure out how to engage and respond. My friend Janice shared this list with me, Books to Help Kids Understand What it’s like to be a Refugee and when I saw it, I felt like reading these books would be one way for me to interact with what’s happening, with my kids nestled in my lap.

 

 


Instagram

  • Homemade granola bars lots of oats almonds currants and otherhellip
  • Im forever wishing that we grew more snap peas! Thehellip
  • This to me right now is comfort in a bowlhellip
  • I have so many favorite little nooks in our gardenhellip
  • A new thing I tried this year was giving myhellip
  • The best part of the roast chicken the carrots andhellip
  • Somehow I managed to not kill the rhubarb that Ihellip
  • We harvested out first batch of shelling peas yesterday Thehellip
  • Our grapevines are really taking off this year These arehellip
  • My favorite local farmers market opened up this month andhellip
  • Spotted a little friend at the farmers market These beetshellip
  • Radishes plucked out of the ground about 20 minutes agohellip

At a Glance

  • DSC_8242
    3 Easy Korean Sides
  • DSC_6022
    My Meeting with a Stylist
  • DSC_4938
    Capellini with Tomatoes + Basil
  • IMG_0751
    Cloth Diapering 101