Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry

Mixed Vegetable Coconut CurryHouston, we have a problem.

Lately I have been feeling rather out of sorts. Some­thing just didn’t seem right, and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out what is was. But the other day it came to me…I haven’t been canning.

Nor­mally at this time of year, I would have made, or would be in the process of making, gal­lons of pickles, jams, salsas and tomato sauces. I would have been putting up peaches, pep­pers, beans and toma­toes for use later in the year. Not this year.

This year’s crop was a ghost crop caused by a number of fac­tors. The first factor? Varmints ate the fruit from my trees. It was looking like we were actu­ally going to have a legit­i­mate crop of nec­tarines, peaches and cher­ries until the four-​​legged ban­dits came through.

The second factor? Water. I felt guilty about using the water so I was per­haps less vig­i­lant than normal about keeping things well hydrated.

The third and by far the most destruc­tive: Chickens. They ate every­thing. Well, almost every­thing.  I was able to save the but­ternut squash, but had to har­vest it all at once instead of keeping some on the vines. Need­less to say, I have a glut of but­ternut squash, so I am trying to use it anyway I can.

The really good news is that the chickens should start laying eggs soon, and we will have a glut of eggs. It may not make up for the lack of canned summer toma­toes come Jan­uary, but it does lessen the sting a little. Read more…

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt Gut Check

My sister is on a mis­sion to con­vince the people in her sphere of influ­ence to eat better, and to think about what we are putting in our bodies. Nor­mally this would just affect her imme­diate family. Since we were all together up at Tahoe last week, her quest now includes my family. This is not a bad thing. My hus­band and I def­i­nitely need to make some changes in our diets—as do the kids, and paying atten­tion to what exactly we are putting into our bodies is always a good idea.

The thing is, I hate diets. They are too restric­tive and before you say “No kid­ding Genius. That’s the point.” I would like to say that It’s not the smaller amounts of food that get to me, rather I am not the kind of person who can eat the same thing over and over. That is what I mean by restric­tive. I can eat more veg­gies. I have no problem swap­ping creamy mashed pota­toes for the fiber of roasted sweet ones. (Okay it might be kinda painful.) I can even handle the occa­sional salad for lunch…if I must. I just require variety in my meals.

With that in mind, I have decided to make some of the changes that my sister is suggesting—minus the cleanse. No way is that hap­pening. How­ever, I’m doing it my way. More yogurt for gut health. (She’s all about the gut.) More veg­gies and fruits. Leaner meats, and way less red meat. Whole grains. Basi­cally the obvious stuff. The key is that I am going to try to do it by eating the way people used to eat, and not buy the pre-​​packaged stuff. We’re going to eat REAL food.

It might be dif­fi­cult at first, and cer­tainly painful for me as the cook, but I think it will be a good thing all around. Once it becomes habit my kids will reach for a carrot rather than the crackers. I’ll let you know how it goes. School starts next week and I am sure there will be some dis­con­tent when the kids see their “new lunches”.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it has to all be bad, espe­cially with the fol­lowing recipe from Love and Lemons. If you make your own yogurt (which is incred­ibly easy by the way) so much the better…

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Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk WafflesWaf­fling
The boys just played in their last base­ball tour­na­ment of the season. This left us all sad because it was over—but equally as happy that it was all over, and our real summer vaca­tion could start. One bright spot in the weekend spent in Man­teca was…waffles.

Waf­fles may not seem like a big deal to you or me, but to my kids they are the best thing ever. (Except for, maybe, Roll-​​Up a.k.a. Swedish pan­cakes. But that’s another post for another day.)

We stayed one night in a hotel that pro­vides break­fast, and the kids were beside them­selves because they could make their own fresh waf­fles. By their actions and con­ver­sa­tion, you would think that the three of them never get to have waf­fles. That is so not the case. In fact we have waf­fles often. So often that I have the cool double waffle maker that spins and makes two at a time, ‘cause making them one at a time just takes too darn long, and they are not that patient.

I have tried many ver­sions and recipes for waf­fles. I’ve tried reg­ular, Bel­gian, sour­dough, pecan, but­ter­milk, sweet potato, banana, yeast, choco­late chip and on and on. You would be sur­prised at how many recipes there are for waf­fles. And don’t get me started on the ice cream/​dessert variety.

I have finally found what I con­sider to be my per­sonal favorite recipe for ye old basic waf­fles. They’re crispy and light with great flavor. Alas, in the eyes of my kids, they just won’t ever be as cool as the free hotel waf­fles during base­ball. Read more…

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits Attack Of The Killer Toma­toes
This is my favorite part of the summer growing season. I am expe­ri­encing a tomato explo­sion in my garden. It’s awe­some. But I do tend to get tired of just pop­ping the cherry toma­toes into my mouth, or eating the slicer toma­toes like apples. So when I saw this recipe for a tomato cob­bler on one of my favorite blogs, I was intrigued and excited about making it. All my favorite fla­vors are there: toma­toes, basil, bal­samic, and caramelized onions….and don’t forget the blue cheese!

I am fairly cer­tain that the kids will go nowhere near it, but I also have a strong feeling that this will be served for dinner up at Tahoe next week to those of us who are over 5 feet tall, and have a more sophis­ti­cated palate than the chicken nugget crowd.

I encourage those of you who have the same back­yard tomato largess to give it a try…
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