Hello there! I miss you! Verizon hasn't let me upload for days. You see they're upgrading our phone lines for all the extra smartphone users and adding iphone service to our area. Yes, such are the perks of living out in the country!
We have all taken turns being under the weather around here. Abigail was home with me yesterday due to some tummy troubles. She's off to school today but Ezra is home with a headache and stomach bug. He's such a trooper and hates missing a day of school - he got dressed, ate breakfast, took some motrin and made it all the way to the bus stop before he admitted defeat and asked to stay home. Right now he's wrapped in a quilt, nursing a cup of cinnamon apple tea, and reading Make magazine. So glad he's feeling a bit better.
I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing more important than one's health. Each week in temple we take a moment of silence to pray to G-d individually yet all under one roof - I always ask for health for my family and friends. Some weeks I question whether I should be asking for world peace or an end to hunger or...but I always end up asking for health. I guess i figure that we can work on fixing most other issues if only we had our health.
And on that note we've been cooking up a storm of healthy yumminess around here.
We baked the moistest pumpkin muffins using Ellie Krieger's recipe. We omitted the pumpkin seeds and sprinkled chocolate chips over the top to make them even more yummy.
We also made potato leek soup - twice. I modified this recipe. I doubled the amount of chicken stock and added three sliced carrots and some chopped broccoli because who couldn't use some extra veggies in their soup. We used yukon gold potatoes because they make the soup creamier and give it a pretty yellow color.
And here's some veggie/beef pasta sauce that was a huge hit with all three kiddos.
Saute 1 chopped onion, 3 sliced carrots, I head cauliflower in olive oil. (You can add or substitute with mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, etc.)
Add 1 pound ground beef to veggie mixture and continue to saute until meat is cooked through. Adding the beef to the veggies keeps it from browning and makes it moist. (kinda like meatball consistency)
Pour in 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice, 1 cup of chicken broth and juice of 1 lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for 10 minutes and toss with whole wheat pasta. Enjoy.
In case you were wondering - yes, 95% of the meals i cook are prepared using just one pot - or one bowl. I have a lengthy lack-of-dishwasher story that I will share at a later time but we do just fine bringing our one-pot meals to the table and digging in!
As long as we're on the topic of food, I wanted to mention that we do not bake the dried cherries or cranberries with the granola we make - we just stir them in once the granola is baked and cooled. I mention this because Ezra was making the granola this week and came to ask me if he should add the dried fruit before baking - as directed in Ina's recipe. He knew to ask because we always add the cranberries and cherries to the jar with the cooled granola and shake until it's incorporated. I must admit that I never read the recipe carefully enough to realize that Ina recommended baking dried fruit for 30 minutes - this would surely make it dry and not very tasty.
See the hearts?
We have been finding them everywhere lately.
Turns out you just have to slow down and look!