Experimenting in the Kitchen

I love finding new recipes. It’s not often we eat the same thing over and over because I genuinely like to find recipes and try new things. Life might be easier if I had a set menu I rotated through every week or so but that wouldn’t be much fun. Plus my kids would not get try new things with us.

I’ve been making my way through the recipes in my Oh She Glows cookbook. A lot of them are fairly simple and not necessarily adventurous. But this morning I served up muesli. I had never made muesli before and nobody had ever had it either. This recipe was a make the night before and have instant breakfast in the morning type recipe. Perfect for trying to get out of the house to make it to the zoo.

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There are oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, raisins, shredded and diced apple, and plain yogurt in this. The verdict? Amazing! I can’t believe something so easy could taste so good. It was sweet, chewy, and creamy all at once. Keeping this recipe for quick make ahead breakfasts or even lunches.

We went to the zoo for the first time this summer. Somehow we managed to see just about everything and enjoyed our leftovers from yesterday for lunch. Also miraculously I didn’t buy any treats or kettle corn from the zoo! Here’s my Iz enjoying our packed lunch in the beautiful sunshine. She was grateful that we went.

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Yesterday afternoon I made a batch of vanilla chia pudding. Originally it was going to be dessert for last night but it wasn’t ready. My loss is the girls’s snack time gain. They had strawberries and vanilla chia pudding for snack. I’ve made chocolate chia pudding in the past and Lexi was not a fan. This, however, they both devoured. I’m talking licked the bowls good.

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Also a recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook. I’m hoping to have some later with grilled nut granola. That is assuming I can still eat after grilled veggie and tofu kabobs for dinner:

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In this bowl we have corn, green peppers, onions, yellow squash, mushrooms, kale, and tofu topped with a little wasabi cashew cream sauce (adults only). Mmmmmm. Grilled veggies and tofu, delish!

Wasabi cream sauce is a new discovery to me. I bought some wasabi powder recently and have been on a wasabi kick. The Wheat Belly cookbook had a wasabi cream sauce recipe that I adapted to be vegan. See, adventures in the kitchen. All about trying new things. The same old, same old is not for me unless maybe you add a little wasabi. =)

School Snacking

My kitchen has been working over time the past few days as I make school snacks for both girls to bring in. Lexi got the chance to celebrate her birthday with her preschool class because she started after her birthday. She is a silly one and it’s tough to get her to make a decision on exactly what she wants. She goes back and forth and back and forth, again and again. Eventually, I force her into deciding and we don’t talk about it anymore so she can’t change her mind.

We were going to bring in a whole cake decorated with flowers, then cookies, and we ended up with ice cream cone cupcakes. The preschool theme this week was ice cream so we figured cupcake cones would be fun for the kids and she loved the idea.

The honorary birthday girl wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Interesting choice, since I don’t make that, like ever. I made this vanilla buttermilk cake recipe and filled colored cake cones with the batter. The cake was supposed to be reminiscent of yellow cake and it was quite tasty but it was more like a vanilla cake than a yellow cake (I’ve yet to find a yellow cake recipe that I love).  We frosted the cupcakes with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. Now, this frosting I am in love with! It’s so smooth and dreamy. The frosting shines nicely and the flavor is so yum, not grainy sugary like regular buttercream. For some reason I have had better luck making the swiss meringue buttercream in chocolate than in vanilla but it’s probably due to mixer problems (my hand mixer is cheap and missing speeds). We topped the beauties with sprinkles like one might if you got a fancy ice cream cone and called them delicious.

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Izzy on the other hand was quite sure of what she wanted to bring in for her June school snack. She requested pumpkin bread. Not a spring or summer time snack at all. I tried to convince her of zucchini bread, at least that’s seasonal and I have a good recipe. She was so set on the pumpkin bread, though, that I scoured Pinterest and found a lower sugar recipe (1/3 cup of sugar compared to the 2 cups in a regular recipe!) that I could feel ok about sending with her. Her class is huge (29 kids in kindergarten!) so we had to make two loaves. We did them one at a time because I was skeptical. The pumpkin bread came out wonderful! Not too unsweetened, nice spice mixture, and very moist.

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So while, I was extra busy yesterday creating these things for my girls to take into school I realized today that I’m so grateful. They both loved sharing good homemade food with their friends. Each of them couldn’t wait to tell me how much people enjoyed what they had brought in. That is what it’s all about. Lovingly creating something to share with my family and people we care about. I’m feeling very content.

 

Uninspired

Today my head was swimming with so many thoughts but nothing very concrete or actionable. Maybe it’s the short week or not having much of a menu plan this week? Anyways, I was feeling very uninspired in the cooking department. I did want to make something today but I just didn’t ever figure out what it was that I wanted to cook.

Thankfully, I was able to give the girls leftovers from yesterday for lunch.

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As a bonus, I made chocolate covered peanut, almond, and raisin clusters. I’ve made lots of chocolate covered nut clusters in the past and for some reason never added raisins. The chocolate covered raisins were so good! Raisinets are a fond memory for me and I imagine my chocolate covered raisins to be similar to them. I’m certain that is not true, though, I haven’t had Raisinets in so many years and my tastes are so different now I would probably dislike them and much prefer the homemade version. I believe I’ve stumbled upon something special with the chocolate covered raisins. Brian was already dreaming about chocolate covered cranberries. =)

This dinner came together pretty well for no real plan. Of course, it was a veggie bowl since no real plan is needed for those. Tonight’s Veggie Bowl had a super greens base topped with roasted asparagus, green beans, onions, daikon (a first for my family), and almonds. I added a little ground turkey (seriously, had no idea where I was going with this dinner) and drizzled olive oil over the top.

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Despite not knowing what I was actually making these veggie bowls turned out delicious. How can you go wrong with roasted vegetables and olive oil?

To combat my uninspiredness (yep, I make up words) I have already planned a creamy vegan tomato soup (Oh She Glows cookbook!) for dinner tomorrow. The trick is when I will get the chance to make it due to field trips and soccer practice but it looks easy enough that I hope I can fit it in between the activities.