Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My newest obsession: Julia Child

Why you might ask? Because she's awesome, she cooks with real butter, makes mistakes, and has a unique voice Daniel calls "like Ms. Piggy". It all started when I watched Julie & Julia with my in-laws when Daniel was out of town about a month ago. I loved the movie and wanted to know more about the queen of cooking.

Previously all I knew was she was a really old woman with a cooking show on PBS. Also her cookbooks were very highly esteemed, and were tops for having working recipes. What other type would a cookbook have? Well unfortunately many cookbooks are published with recipes that don't work, ever cooked something that didn't turn out and you really followed the recipe? Well it may not have been your fault. But Julia was always very careful about having cookbooks with very carefully tested recipes.

I don't have her classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking yet. I'm hoping my Valentine might give me the set in hopes I'll make him a yummy meal.

Why in the world would I be interested in some from scratch, possibly complicated recipes now? Because I love to cook. Some of my favorite pre-Simeon times were making delicious meals for my hard working husband to come home to. And I will have the opportunity to teach Simeon about food in the years to come. Being we are home together all day and we don't have a TV, we'll need some activities. Seriously the boy is really active and is going to need some constructive outlets.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Successful Spelt Substitution

Once again I have stolen a picture from the internet. By the time Simeon was taken care of and breakfast was done we weren't waiting for photo shoots! This is similar to our Saturday breakfast, except ours was better! Why? Because our waffles were whole grain. Yuck you say, bad attitude I say. I made a straight substitution, whole spelt flour for the all purpose flour the recipe called for. Being I had little time (until my child's next feeding) and Daniel and I were hungry I kept it simple. I used a recipe out of The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. I must say I have better waffle recipes, but they require an overnight rise. Here is a pancake recipe I love, Sourdough silver dollar pancakes. These can't be beat, but require some prep the night before.

At any rate the quick fix waffles were very good this morning. Spelt flour is lighter in color than whole wheat and has a milder flavor. It is perfect for quick breads, muffins, cookies, and pancakes or waffles. Try it yourself, be sure to get whole spelt flour and be sure it is fresh. Here's a link to a guide to whole grain storage. Now to clean the mess up...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mommy Meal Tips

None of these are earth shattering and most people reading this will probably have some better tips of their own. Feel free to share!

-Cook early in the day when the baby is happy, rather than waiting till "the witching hour", 4-6 is not a happy time around here. This is so obvious, but I guess it has taken this stubborn housewife a while to have her little routine shaken up. Gosh I wonder where Simeon gets his determination?

-We eat more processed food, now I just don't have time to cut up sweet potato fries so I bought a big bag of already prepared ones. But I'm not giving up my quest to eat healthy, we'll just have to look for some healthy and cheap quick fix items.

-After talking to a friend, I prepared a "staple meal list". This is a list of meal I typed, printed out, and posted to our refrigerator. They are not dependent on fresh items, they consist of staples we have on hand all the time and they are quick to cook. This is working out pretty well. I'm not entirely giving up spontaneous and exotic meals but I just don't have the time to cook them or ability to acquire the ingredients every night. But I try to have variety, for example yesterday I cooked Mock Manti from my Greek cookbook and frozen spinach with toasted pine nuts and feta. This was quick and got the husband stamp of approval. I want to add more to our list, feel free to share yours.

What's Important

I guess I could have called this priorities 2 because it is a continuation of my previous post about my life after baby. Well much has changed for me since August 4th 2009. I am so very blessed to be a momma, what a joy that big grin is to me. I spend most of my days feeding and diapering my sweet Simeon. And when I'm not doing one of those things I am running about trying to clean our house, cook something to eat, and possibly groom my very neglected dog.

I felt bad for letting my blog posts drop to nothing, I even considered shutting it down. But my dear husband told me it was ok to let it sit for a bit. That made me feel better, that even though I don't have time or more importantly the mental energy to work on this blog I don't have to quit it forever! The picture by the way is not new, I'll try to get a newer one up soon. And I feel that way about many things I used to love to do. I knew that babies were lots of work, but I guess deep down I was hoping for an easy baby that slept a lot so I could still accomplish everything I wanted to for our house. Well there are many days my boy doesn't nap much and after taking care of him I have little time or energy to cook us a healthy meal. Not that I don't still try. I had an idea I could feed Simeon strap him in the baby carrier and go. Well I'm glad it works for some but errands are hit and miss for us. Some days like today grocery shopping is great, he just chills in the carrier and is fine. But last week we went to return a few items and I had about 15 minutes before he had a crank out. Every baby is different and I'm learning to take a day at a time and to enjoy my blessed time with him.

But I have come to the realization that my ideas of running a frugal healthy household might have to have some tweaking at least for the present. Now I'm not giving up but I'm done with browbeating myself for not fixing a fresh salad for every supper, hanging out the clothes on the line, and waking up before Daniel to cook his breakfast. I love doing these things, but my job now is to take care of my dear boy. One day he will sleep more, I hope anyway, and I can start doing more and he can help me.