This post is going to be mostly about food, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I’ve decided on a new format for my posts. From now on, I’ll have different sections such as ‘Farm Happenings’, ‘This Old House’, ‘Grub’, etc. Here goes…
The biggest farm happening isn’t happening at all…rain! Nothing is growing except the long list of things that will go awry if we don’t get some of that liquid gold within the next few days. Well, liquid silver…we all know coffee is the only liquid gold, can I get a witness?! On a positive note, our grass hasn’t needed mowing in a few weeks. Not going to lie, Brian is usually so busy this time of year that our front yard resembles scenes from the Jungle Book before it ever gets mowed anyways–no exaggeration.
For the Lazy Chef: Recipes that have been saving my life
I have never liked to cook…or sew…or cross-stitch…or bake…or pretty much do anything domestic. I told Brian this within the first two weeks we started talking, and told him outright that I’m not wife material, and he still married me. Ha! Sucker. Buuuut it turns out that clothes have to get washed, meals have to get cooked, and floors, windows, and bathrooms have to get cleaned in order to do this thing called life. So just call me Martha Jemima (Martha Stewart+Aunt Jemima) and send me to a basket weaving class! Don’t hear me saying I hate work, because that’s not the case, but I have just always preferred other types of work.
I have actually started to enjoy doing some of these things, but cooking is not on the list. Then enter the most demanding (albeit cutest) baby on earth to a first-time mom, and cooking became that much more difficult. All that being said, here are the recipes that have been sustaining us for the past 4.5 months thanks to friends who suggested them, frantic Pinterest searches and pure desperation. I have been gluten free for a few years for health reasons, and now I’m (temporarily) dairy free while I’m breastfeeding Emory who has a (hopefully temporary) reaction to the protein found in cow milk. So all of the following are gluten and dairy free without sacrificing flavor.
Oatmeal Energy Bites. I’ll start with my favorite. If you are what you eat, just call me Oatmeal Energy Bites. These are DELICIOUS, and some of my lingering “baby weight” is actually the fact that I’ve eaten the equivalent of a swimming pool full of these. In order to make it dairy free, use Enjoy Life chocolate mini chocolate chips. Delish!
Next up is this simple Honey Mustard with Turmeric Recipe. This was my first experience using Turmeric, and all I can say is yummo! I fixed stovetop garlic asparagus and rice as sides for this, and it was perfection. I’m a big fan of steamable bags of vegetables as sides….like 99% of the time.
Granola. Thirdly, I have become slightly addicted to this granola recipe. Every variation of it I have made has been ah-mazing and makes the house smell like a Yankee candle factory, which is always a plus. I have used maple syrup, molasses, coconut oil, honey (or a mixture of whatever I had in the pantry), dried blueberries, cranberries, chopped dates, almonds, a nut medley, coconut flakes, TONS of cinnamon (cause it’s amazeballs), and vanilla extract just to name a few potential ingredients/flavors. I thought about adding chocolate chips one time, but it’s so good without it that I didn’t want to add them. And if I don’t feel the need to add chocolate to something…you know it’s good.
ROASTED VEGETABLES!!! Okay, so this takes a little prep work, but it has been worth it to me every. single. time. My wonderfully domestically skilled friend, Lydia, came to visit us when Emory was three weeks old, and she introduced me to this pot o’ gold.
Preheat oven to 400. Cut up several of each into cubes: potato, sweet potato (I peel these), carrot, beets, onion. I usually leave the onion out though. Toss these in enough olive oil to lightly coat then sprinkle with salt. One time I added some Lawry’s Seasoning salt as well. Spread onto sheet pan and cook for at least an hour. I usually check them at an hour then put them in just a little longer because I like them to start getting dark, but that’s just me. You can also stir these halfway through for more even browning, but at my house…ain’t nobody got time for dat.
Two words…Cheeseburger Rice. Farmer Man and I may or may not have developed a slight addiction to this. The second time I made it, he said, “Why don’t you just go ahead and quadruple that.” To make it dairy free just leave off the cheese. That’s what I did, and I was not disappointed at all.
Easy Slow Cooker Ribs…operative word=Easy. For those of us who hate…hate is a strong word. Despise, loathe, utterly disdain…? For those of us who see cooking as a personal growth area, the crockpot is our BFF, am I right?! In fact, I have 3 of them in varying sizes. RIP #4 that got a crack in it :(. This next recipe was the first meal I had after coming home from the hospital with some potato wedges and peas, and it put some color back into my pale cheeks. I’ve made it several times since, and it never disappoints. You can even skip the last step of putting them in the oven, and they’re still just as good.
Coconut Curry Chicken. This has ‘Coconut’ in the name because it uses coconut milk, but there is no hint of coconut taste at all. If you like curry, you will love this recipe. Very little prep, with a big flavor. My one tip on this recipe: use the full about of curry listed. Curry smells so strongly that I chickened out and only put half of what it called for. With each bite, I was wishing for just a little more of that flavor. See? That’s what happens when I deviate from being a rule follower.
Spaghetti Squash. I am in love with the stuff. The only downsides are that it can be expensive, and I have to wait for Farmer Man to cut it open for me because seeing her mom bleed out due to clumsiness with large knives would probably be really traumatic for baby Emory.
I’ve been using spaghetti squash for years in place of regular and gluten free noodles, and I actually love the taste and texture. However, I was making it wrong all these years! Most recipes online recommend adding water to the pan you bake them on which results in soggy, wet “noodles”. I finally found a recipe that recommends cutting it open long ways, scooping out the seeds, coating both sides in olive oil, and sprinkling salt and pepper. Pop it in an oven (preheated to 400) and let it cook for an hour. What results is perfect golden goodness without the sog. Pair with anything. You’re welcome.
Well, I think this post has turned out quite long enough without me giving an update on This Old House, so I’ll save that for next time. What are your favorite, fast, and delicious recipes?